A Christian publication geared towards churches and ministries has recently published its annual lists of the 100 largest and fastest growing churches in the United States.
Outreach Magazine, a California-based publication that includes ideas, features, and interviews with evangelicals, published the two lists earlier this month. With approximately 43,500 worship attendees, Joel Osteen's Lakewood Church of Houston, Texas, was number one in the largest church category. Triumph Church of Detroit, Mich., was the fastest growing, having experienced an increase of about 3,800 worship attendees or 49 percent.
High ranking congregations on both lists included NewSpring Church of Anderson, S.C., which was number 2 on the fastest-growing list and number 4 on the largest. NewSpring Central Communications Director Suzanne Swift told The Christian Post that they were "honored" by the blessings God had given their congregation. more >>
Carl Lentz, presented in the mainstream press of late as an evangelical anomaly, was featured in Detail magazine's October 2013 issue in a story titled "Jesus Christ's Superstar" with a question posed asking whom the Hillsong NYC pastor was seeking to glorify.
Lentz, 34, founded and co-pastors HIllsong NYC with Joel Houston, son of Hillsong Church founders Pastors Brian and Bobbie Houston. Lentz and Houston have managed in three years to turn the vibrant congregation "into a Pentecostal powerhouse and a destination for the in crowd," according to Details.
Previously noted by The Associated Press for his fashion sense, ministry style and a je ne sais quoi that happens to attract Millennials, superstars, and everyday New Yorkers, Lentz appears to have the potential to become this generation's Billy Graham. But instead of packing stadiums, Lentz has been packing NYC's Irving Plaza concert venue several times over with thousands of people for Sunday services. With lines snaked around the block long before the start of every service, many worshippers are willing to stand, or sit on the floor, if they miss out on seats once inside. more >>
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 >>