Religious life in New York City is booming, even while it shrinks in the rest of the country, according to a report by the Barna Group. Christian college professors in the Big Apple not only agree, but argue that the faith boom will inspire a revival across America.
"I think New York is ahead of the curve," Ronald Walborn, dean of Alliance Theological Seminary at Nyack College in New York City, told The Christian Post on Tuesday. He predicts a great revival of faith, and Christianity in particular, throughout the nation.
"Residents of the New York City media market are spiritually more active today than they were in the late 1990s – and more so than they were in 2001," the Barna study reported. Church attendance in the city hit its low in 1999-2000 at 31 percent, but has grown to 46 percent today. Similarly, Bible reading has risen from 29 to 35 percent, and adults with an "active faith" have increased from 17 to 24 percent. more >>
Seattle-based Mars Hill Church encountered a major stumbling block this week in its effort to move their main office from the Ballard area to Bellevue, Wash., when the owners of a huge former paper mill property sold it to a transit company instead of the church, which had promised to pay a quarter of a million dollars more than the highest bid.
"We were disappointed when we made a pretty generous offer for the property to International Paper and Sound Transit took it instead," Mars Hill spokesperson Justin Dean told The Christian Post. "We have a desire and vision to put our headquarters and our biggest church all together under one roof so that we can really support the pulpit better with our central operations. We'll be able to get a lot more done and steward our resources better with everything under one big building."
Mars Hill Church leaders announced last Friday that the organization with about 120 employees intends to move its headquarters to Bellevue and expand the existing Bellevue Church into a larger facility, including an organizational headquarters and eventually a fully accredited Bible college. more >>
When prominent theologian John MacArthur set off a heated debate in the Christian community about his unfavorable view of the Charismatic movement during his Strange Fire Conference last week at his church, some might have wondered what exactly is the Charismatic movement?
MacArthur went so far as to accuse the movement of offering God "unacceptable worship" that "blasphemes the Holy Spirit."
Below readers can get a primer on Pentecostals and Charismatics, who are estimated to number up to nearly a billion people who can be classified as being a part of or having been influenced by this movement within the Christian community. more >>
A historic Florida megachurch first planted in the 1950s is experiencing major decline in its attendance numbers and the first negative impact came from a moral indiscretion by a lead pastor no longer there, a spokesperson for the church said.
However, there are multiple reasons for the sharp decline in worship attendance, which threatens the congregation's ability to afford to use their current worship building, Dr. Bob Rhoden, Orlando-area Calvary Assembly's interim pastor, told The Christian Post. more >>
A British church has closed due to a shrinking congregation and will sell its building to members of the area's Muslim community. A spokesperson for the church noted that St. Peter's Catholic church in Stoke-on-Trent, Staffordshire, has had an important past in the community but that the current population of attenders was insufficient to keep it open.
"The parish of Cobridge has a long history," the spokesperson told The Daily Express. "But in recent times the number of Catholics living in the area has shrunk to such an extent that those attending Mass at St Peter's were simply no longer able to Marian a priest and the church buildings."
While the church declined to give the names of the buyers, it solicited several offers and ultimately made the decision after meeting with church leadership. more >>
As the importance of thriving multiethnic churches becomes clearer to the Christian community, pastors and church leaders should be open to change and more discussion in order to create a thriving multicultural environment, say ministry leaders interested in growing healthy churches.
Tony Kim, the communications pastor at Mariners Church in Irvine, Calif., and multicultural coach for a church staffing organization, Slingshot Group, says about 86 percent of American churches have failed to meet the "20 percent" diversity criteria, meaning there is still a "huge" lack of diversity within worship houses throughout the country. Multicultural churches account for only a small percentage of churches overall.
Although progress has been made in attempting to diversify churches, Kim says there is more that can be done which begins by simply facilitating a dialogue. more >>