While some church planters struggle to get their ministries up and running, others have seen their church plants grow from nothing more than a vision to megachurches that are attended by thousands of people every weekend.
But just because a church is large doesn't mean it hasn't seen its fair share of trouble, as Mark Driscoll, founding pastor of Mars Hill Church in Seattle, Wash., shared with The Christian Post via email this week. Mars Hill began in Driscoll's living room in 1996 when he was just 25 years old, and today is regularly attended by 19,000 people across four different states each weekend.
Driscoll has wondered at times whether or not his church could overcome the obstacles it was faced with, but when doubt begins to set in, he turns to Jesus, he shared. "My identity is not in my performance, but in Jesus ... My goal is to honor Jesus and do the best I can. If we fail, we fail. If we die, we die. I'm only a kite, He's the hurricane. If the wind don't blow there's not a thing I can do to keep our kite up," said Driscoll. more >>
While constructing churches has been known to take years, decades, or even centuries, one Iowa sanctuary was raised in a little more than 30 hours.
The Calvary Tabernacle Church of Perry was completed last weekend by an army of some 300 volunteers, who were part of the "Church in a Day" building program.
Rex Deckard, pastor of Cavalry Apostolic Church of Des Moines, the church for which Cavalry Tabernacle came from, told The Christian Post that the effort "took a tremendous amount of advance preparation and coordination." more >>
The offices of the Sudan Council of Churches (SCC) and the offices of relief organization Sudan Aid, both in the Darfur region, have reportedly been closed down by the Sudanese government without warning. Observers suspect Sudan's reported war on religious minorities, specifically Christians, may have been motivation for the closures.
Given the context of the Muslim government's reported animosity toward non-Islamic groups, the news coming from the SCC has attracted widespread criticism from the Christian community.
The Sudan Council of Churches' offices are located in Nyala, the main city of Southern Darfur state. The SCC officials told the press last week that on April 22, just as they came to work like on any other day, agents from the Sudanese National Intelligence and Security Service (NISS) showed up, ordering the staff to hand over keys to the premisses as well as company vehicles. Then, the authorities ordered SCC staff to leave immediately, without providing explanation, the organization said. more >>
With summer fashions seemingly getting skimpier every season, some men may be finding it increasingly challenging to control wandering eyes and lustful thoughts -- at least that's what one minister has confessed.
Ohio church planter Charles Hill addresses the issue in an article titled "Butts and Boobs" published on his personal blog, "Chazz Daddy."
"Warm weather has broken out and my eyes are already tired. I am tired of seeing so many butts and boobs. From age 11 up…it is the trend. As a man…this is not good," the Christian minister writes in his post. more >>
As we celebrate the 200th anniversary of Adoniram and Ann Judson's sailing from Salem, Massachusetts to India and later Burma, we are not merely celebrating a critical early event in the North American Mission Movement. We celebrate the life of a devoted follower of Christ whose life and ministry personified the long-term impact of endurance, perseverance, and tenacity.
To begin, however, join me on a ministry trip to Burma (Myanmar) several years ago. Under the auspices of the World Evangelical Alliance and the Myanmar Evangelical Fellowship, my wife and I traveled to Yangon, Myanmar (Rangoon, Burma) to speak to youth and youth workers.
To connect our trip with missions history, we decided to re-read the biography of Adoniram Judson, pioneer to Burma, during our trip. Judson and his wife, Nancy (also called Ann) Hasseltine Judson, went out as one of the first North American missionaries, sailing in 1812 from Massachusetts. more >>
When most people hear the word "missionary" they probably imagine a Christian worker in a faraway land who is trying to adapt to a new culture while also trying to share the Gospel with the indigenous people. Church planters, in many ways, view themselves as missionaries because they have to know the people and the culture they are trying to reach in order to effectively share the message of Jesus Christ.
Five years ago, Jack Thomas and his wife began to feel called away from their home in Washington, D.C., to start a new church plant in Pittsburgh, Pa. After serving as staff members at Allison Park Church near Pittsburgh for several months, they moved to the city's Southside community and started LifeStone Church.
Before officially launching the church, however, Thomas wanted to make it clear to the local residents that he wasn't just trying to build a church, but that he was genuinely there to help people. more >>