The North American Church is finding itself in an odd position, where it is now receiving missionaries from the countries it once sent missionaries to. With this shifting of the "Christian center of gravity" away from the West, what role should the North American Church – with the U.S. still ranked as the top missionary-sending country in world history – now play in global mission?
Paul Borthwick, who teaches missions at Gordon College in Wenham, Mass., and is a senior consultant for Development Associates International, explores this difficult question in his latest book, Western Christians in Global Mission: What's the Role of the North American Church?
Far from giving readers an easy answer, Borthwick takes them through nearly 100 pages of context, including statistics on the astounding growth of Christianity in Africa (11.7 million Christians in Africa in 1910 compared to 495 million Christians in 2010), a nine-point "State of the World" report, and an assessment of the North American Church. more >>
Having your own hunger for God is an essential foundation for ministry work, well-known pastor and theologian John Piper told those attending and watching the Internet livestream of a Christian leadership conference held in Raleigh, N.C. on Tuesday.
"The foundation of your ministry is a hunger for God," said Piper at the Advance 13 conference. "Above that, the foundation for your ministry is being satisfied in all that God is for you in Jesus. The goal of that ministry is to help people go there. All your life, give yourself to that – to bring those people from loving the world, being satisfied in the world, until they put all that to death and to praise Jesus as their all satisfying treasure. That's the goal in ministry, to help them get there."
Piper, whose last sermon as the lead pastor of Bethlehem Baptist Church in Minneapolis will be on Easter Sunday, said he believes that ministry leaders should have the joy of Christ inside them in order to lead well. more >>
Eric "Doc" Benson is hoping America won't let him go without food for 40 days, but he is willing to do it if necessary to raise funds to complete a movie highlighting the struggle many small and mid-sized churches are having with change in America today.
The former pastor, now working as a filmmaker, has pledged to fast for 40 days or less, whichever comes first, until he raises $12,200 through a crowd-funding campaign on Indiegogo.com to finish the movie project about a church's struggle to deal with change in its congregation. The $12,200 will be used to cover post-production expenses that Benson is unable to meet alone. Once finished, the movie will be shown at some festivals and movie theaters.
"I poured every hour, every dollar I could spare into making this movie happen," Benson explained in a release on Monday. "My wife, Annette, my boys, and I have emptied out our savings and invested our time and talents, because we feel God wants this film to be a blessing to people. Now, the only thing I have left to give is...myself," he said. more >>
The commercial real estate firm Cushman & Wakefield recently hired two men who specialize in dealing with faith-based non-profit institutions. The firm recruited Eric Knowles, who will serve as Senior Director and will oversee the company's Religious Facilities Group, and Rob Fletcher, who will also aid in this department.
Knowles has worked in real estate for 27 years and has spent 14 of them years working with churches.
"When you serve church clients, their unique property types along with their unique situations, you have to have a certain amount of tolerance, patients, and you have to be willing to put the client's interests first and foremost," Knowles told The Christian Post. "A lot of our business is honestly counseling church leadership on how to make well informed decisions regarding their facilities." more >>
Pastor Greg Laurie, perhaps best known for his large-scale evangelistic events called "Harvest Crusades" that originated in Southern California, recently announced that his Riverside-based church's second main campus in the Orange County city of Irvine will need to move to a new location because more space is needed.
Harvest Orange County, which started out as a weekly Bible study that moved to several locations within the county over the years before becoming a church plant in Irvine almost three years ago, now has a congregation of more than 2,000 people. Laurie regularly preaches Sunday services first at Harvest Christian Fellowship in Riverside for the early morning services, and then commutes for a 30-minute or more drive to the Irvine location to then deliver his sermon for the 11:30 a.m. service.
Below is an interview with Laurie conducted by email with The Christian Post in which he discusses the Harvest Orange County church and a search for a new building. more >>
Mars Hill Church Downtown Seattle, one of 14 churches that have sprouted from the teachings and ministry of founding pastor Mark Driscoll, opened this past Sunday at its new location, a historic 1910 place of worship that once included some of Seattle's early families.
"There's a new chapter in Seattle's history tonight with the salvation of a downtown Seattle building that is over 100 years old," a local TV news anchor shared last week, Mars Hill reported. "The new tenant, a church, is preserving the building and restoring it to its original use."
Holding church services at out-of-the ordinary locations is not something new for Mars Hill. The Downtown Seattle church is using the building most recently known as Daniels Recital Hall after selling its Belltown location, the former building of the "notorious" Tabella Nightclub. more >>