NEW YORK — Contrary to a time when urban areas were abandoned in a rush of white flight to the more racially-homogenous suburbs, eager and excited church planters are now flocking to cities like L.A. and NYC, holding up the banner of God's call in Jeremiah 29:7 to "seek the good of the city." But, according to urban apologist and former church planter D.A. Horton, his peers mostly seem intent on seeking the welfare of the safe and gentrified urban areas.
Horton is also a former pastor and previously served as executive director of ReachLife Ministries. He currently works as the national coordinator of Urban Student Missions at the North American Mission Board, or NAMB.
NAMB is among numerous organizations and networks (like the Orchard Group and Acts 29) that are on mission to evangelize and revitalize cities by training, supporting and sending (usually male) Christians who say they feel called to start a church. With so many new churches being planted and launched (read about a few here, here and here), some observers have expressed concerns that the movement has become a fad. Others, like Horton, have noticed that amid the influx of Millennial-led churches to major cities, some leaders appear to be avoiding, or overlooking the inner city — frequently marked by poverty, high crime and afflicted education systems. more >>
R. Albert Mohler Jr., the president of the Southern Baptist Theological Seminary recently spoke with the New York Times about Hillsong Church and criticized the movement for watering down the Gospel message.
"It's a prosperity movement for the millennials, in which the polyester and middle-class associations of Oral Roberts have given way to ripped jeans and sophisticated rock music," said Mohler Jr. to NY Times. "What has made Hillsong distinctive is a minimization of the actual content of the Gospel, and a far more diffuse presentation of spirituality."
Youth pastors Chad and Julia Veach are set to plant a church in Southern California with the blessing of their pastor, Judah Smith of Seattle's The City Church.
The Veaches recently relocated to Los Angeles, where Chad said they kept sensing God was calling them to for a while. After praying about the church plant, Chad says they are now more than sure that is where their ministry, Zoe Church, is meant to flourish.
"I remember a few years ago listening to Judah preach a message with a tagline, 'A man with a savior is willing to take a risk,'… as we step out in obedience, we keep hearing these words. We're ready to risk it all because He's already risked it all," Chad said in a statement on the church's website. more >>
NEW YORK — A Dominican-American pastor leading a youthful church in a mostly-Hispanic New York City neighborhood said he is grateful to be a part of "the thing" he believes God has been doing through what he described as a surge of "sound and healthy" church plants in the Big City.
His particular part of the harvest, he believes, is in the same neighborhood where he has spent most of his life, and where he has been leading a church plant called Christ Crucified Fellowship for the past three years.
Pastor Rich Perez, 30, told The Christian Post that he felt called at the age of 19 to ministry and was particularly burdened to cultivate his community roots. Christ Crucified Fellowship in Washington Heights is situated in the northernmost part of NYC's borough of Manhattan. more >>
Christian rapper Tedashii made an appearance on VladTV this week where he discussed pastor and rapper Mase's decision to leave his church and return to music full time.
The host asked Tedashii to share his thoughts on Mase leaving his congregation, which consists of two mega sized churches -one in Atlanta, Georgia and the other in Phoenix, Arizona, to return to the secular hip-hop scene.
The Christian MC admitted to being a fan of Mase, but was not familiar with all the details. more >>
The Southern Baptist Convention, hoping for both a dramatic and unifying agent for change, announced Wednesday the election of 36-year-old pastor and Radical ministry founder David Platt as president of its International Mission Board.
"I believe Southern Baptists want to come together for the spread of the Gospel," said Platt, who leads a movement called Radical that is devoted to platforming and disseminating disciple-making resources, so that the Gospel "might be made known to the ends of the earth."
"I'm living and leading for the day when the IMB is needed no more because there are no more unreached people groups," Platt. senior pastor of The Church at Brook Hills in Birmingham, Alabama, said during a telephone conference for the press on Wednesday. "I want to trumpet the Great Commission, disciples made, God glorified here, and God glorified among unreached people around the world. I am exhilarated about the possibilities ahead." more >>