For more than twelve years I have been helping others to see what has long been overlooked, otherwise missed, or outright ignored in the New Testament: namely, the biblical mandate of the multi-ethnic church as envisioned by Jesus Christ (John 17:20-23), described by Luke (Acts 11:19-26; 13:1), and prescribed by the Apostle Paul throughout his writings, most specifically in Romans and Ephesians. Needless to say such teaching, though exegetically sound, is not readily embraced by an Evangelical establishment more enamored by size and growth than with diversity and holistic community engagement.
Nevertheless since the Mosaix Global Network's first national conference in 2010, attitudes have markedly changed. Receptivity to the multi-ethnic church is up across the board; throughout denominations, networks, and conferences, alike. Likewise, an increasing array of local and national influencers is speaking up encouraging biblical diversity in the local church for the sake of the Gospel. The number of practitioners is growing, too, due to intentional multi-ethnic church planting as well as through the transition of healthy but otherwise homogeneous churches. In fact today, according to the latest research, 13.7% of churches throughout the United States have at least 20% diversity in their attending membership (up from just 7.5% in 2000). Beyond this, 14.4% of Protestant Evangelical churches have now reached this marker.
That said, I am sometimes asked: "If this mandate is so clear in Scripture, how has it been so missed throughout history? In other words, who else in the past has shared a similar message or understanding?" more >>
A group of Korean Christians are planning to build a "peace center" for a Christian community in Pakistan that was hit by a terrorist attack last year.
Last month, a delegation of Korean church leaders visited the Anglican Diocese of Peshawar at the request of Bishop Humphrey Peters. During the visitation, the delegation, which included Dr. Myoung Hyuk Kim, chairman of the Korean Evangelical Fellowship, and the Rev. Dong-Hwi Lee, senior pastor of the Tin Church, announced plans for a peace center.
British-born ministry 3DM invited various Church leaders in the New England area to join them on a quest to re-imagine discipleship and church culture in America last week.
The group, whose headquarters are now based in Pawley's Island, South Carolina held a Discipleship and Mission Workshop at the Church of Emmanuel in Foxboro, Mass. from Feb. 4-6 that attracted church leaders from all over the northeast region of the U.S.
"We're not getting discipled, we're [learning how to use 3DM's tools]," said Vincent Gressi from Oasis Christian Center in New York City in regards to his experience with the material. "I've been discipled, now I should be discipling someone else. [3DM created tools], not a system [to make this possible]." more >>
Mormon missionaries are breaking down their suit-donning, door-knocking stereotypes and replacing them with volunteering and charity work.
The community engagement efforts have come at a time when the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (LDS) leadership has publicly recognized that many Americans feel uncomfortable letting strangers into their homes and where some local missions have already discontinued "tracting."
One less forward strategy was suggested by the Mormon mission in San Jose, Calif., which proposed that its missionaries do two hours a day, five days a week of nonproselytizing community service. (Missionaries are required only to do four hours worth of community service.) more >>
Theologian John Piper used the occasion of Martin Luther King Jr. Day to make a point about questions of racial diversity within the Church and to list how the apostles in biblical times handled the discussion of sin toward early churches – and to connect "Calvinist racism" to King's "alleged adultery."
In his blog post, "Calvinist Racism and King's Alleged Adultery – A Connection?" Piper writes, "The fact that I can use the term 'Calvinist racism' should make it clear that 'King's alleged adultery' does not exclude him from heroic standing in the cause of civil rights, any more than 'Calvinist racism' excludes me from loving Calvinism – and King.
"But there is a connection. It goes like this: Don't use a leader's sin to determine the truth of his ideas. Not King's. Not the Calvinist's. Not the Arminian's. And so on." more >>
Some things cannot be taught when it comes to taking on the role of a pastor's wife, says Christine Hoover, a Virginia church planter's wife. Nevertheless, she admits it would have been nice to know what she knows now since serving alongside her husband at the outset of their more than 10 years of ministry together.
"No one prepares you for the first time someone asks you a question you don't have a clue how to answer, the first time someone shares a deeply shocking experience they've had and you must respond, the first time someone criticizes your husband, or the first time you are treated differently because you're the pastor's wife. You step in blindly and find your way," writes Hoover in her blog.
The wife of Kyle Hoover, pastor of Charlottesville Community Church, now embraces the lessons she has learned along the way. However, when she was two years into her marriage and months into ministry with Kyle, she broke down after realizing ministry life was going to be difficult. more >>