Despite assurances from Ben Houston that the Hillsong LA church he feels called to plant in Southern California will not "build on anyone else's foundation," some observers are concerned that the popular Australian megachurch's expansion to the Golden State could mean a substantial loss of members for already-established churches in the area.
Hillsong Church founder and Senior Pastor Brian Houston shared in a blog post earlier this month, after making the announcement during weekend services, that his son, Ben, would be moving with his wife and three daughters at some point to begin tilling the ground for a new church plant. The ministry's only U.S. congregation is in NYC, led by Pastors Carl Lentz and Joel Houston, the the founding pastor's other son.
"I know there are a lot of questions out there after the announcement, but the truth is we don't really have the answers yet!" wrote Ben Houston in an update on the church startup. "We are still in the very early stages of planning. There is a stack of paperwork and immigration issues to sort through; and a lot to wrap up here in Sydney before we embark on this incredible journey." more >>
Hillsong Church is setting its sails for the shores of Southern California. Brian Houston, founding pastor of the Sydney, Australia, megachurch that already has 11 congregations worldwide, announced that his son would be packing his bags for Los Angeles to start tilling the ground for what is likely to be another fruitful Hillsong church plant.
"God is good and His timing is perfect!" Pastor Houston shared in a blog post explaining the expansion of his ministry to Hollywood. "Los Angeles is a city of millions of people — people chasing broken dreams, people desperate for hope in a higher cause, people longing for meaningful relationships with one another. Hillsong Church is about all those things. It is about 'welcoming home' the lost, the broken, the hurting, and the lonely. It's about connecting families; building purpose and value into everyONE and it is about seeing the Good News of Jesus Christ proclaimed everywhere — including the bright lights of big cities like LA." more >>
The pastor of a multisite megachurch based in Texas hopes to show Christians what "maturing in Christ" looks like, by way of a recently published book.
Matt Chandler, who is the pastor at the Village Church and president of the Acts 29 Network for church planters, had his latest book To Live Is Christ To Die Is Gain released earlier this month.
In an interview with The Christian Post, Chandler explained the reasons for writing the book, that focuses on Paul of Tarsus' Epistle to the Church in Philippi. more >>
The head of one of the largest Pentecostal denominations in North America has denied a news report that the practice of speaking in tongues has been declining among Pentecostal churches.
Dr. George O. Wood, general superintendent of the Assemblies of God, told The Christian Post that a recent Associated Press story on the decline of speaking in tongues was "totally inaccurate." "The practice of speaking in tongues is very integral to who we are. It was one of the generating factors 99 years ago in our being formed and it's still the encouragement for every believer to speak in tongues," said Wood.<
"Of course not everyone who is attending Assemblies of God church does speak in tongues, but this is who we are." more >>
California megachurch Pastor Rick Warren was in Rwanda this week and encouraged residents of the Central-East African country "to be a nation of purpose, dignity and hope," as he met with local leaders helping to advance his PEACE Plan and Purpose Driven Church initiatives.
A website titled "PEACE in Rwanda," linked to Warren's The Peace Plan website, shared several images and updates regarding the Saddleback Church pastor's travels around the country that started on Tuesday, Aug. 27.
In addition to a rally held in Kayonza District that saw hundreds turn out, Pastor Warren joined more than 200 local ministry leaders in Musanze in the northern province to teach them "how to build a healthy church to change the community it serves," according to the Rwanda PEACE Team's updates. That region reportedly also saw 2,000-plus residents turn out for a separate community rally. more >>
The controversial Church of Scientology said to be home to Hollywood A-listers like Tom Cruise, John Travolta and allegedly Will Smith has been on a building binge since the organization announced its plan to shower the world with "Ideal Churches of Scientology." In addition to raising beams in major urban areas in Chicago, Detroit and Philadelphia, the L. Ron Hubbard-founded faith has its sights set on historic Harlem in New York City.
The New York Daily News reports that the Church of Scientology is building a chapel and community center along East 125th Street in the northern Manhattan neighborhood that birthed the Harlem Renaissance and is home to the historic Apollo Theater.
According to the report, the Scientology building will house a 200-seat prayer room, a cafe and 12 classrooms. The chapel is reportedly near completion while the community center next door remains under construction. The new facility was slated for a 2014 opening and will offer East Harlem residents self-help classes and tutoring for school children. more >>