A seminary student arguing for shorter, more viral sermons, in the area of 18-minutes long, claimed that pastors are not following Christ's most famous example in the way they preach, pointing to the Sermon on the Mount. But three pastors remain unconvinced, and denounced the argument as unbiblical and misguided for the church.
Evangelist and seminary student Jeff Tatarchuck argued that pastors should keep their sermons below the 18-minute mark last week. When pastors weighed in, arguing that people's natural attention spans are longer than that, and that it takes more than 18 minutes to develop disciples, Tatarchuck responded by citing the length of "the greatest sermon of all time," Jesus' Sermon on the Mount, which, he argued, "can be read in 12 minutes, 30 seconds."
The student quoted Andy Stanley's book Communicating for a Change, saying that "every sermon should have one main idea." He argued that "many pastors (including myself) are guilty of trying to fulfill the 40-45 minute sermon expectation by filling their sermons with content not essential to the topic." He also added that discipleship should be one-on-one, rather than from the pulpit. more >>
Voters at the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America's 2013 Churchwide Assembly in Pittsburgh have elected the first female leader of the mainline Protestant denomination.
The Reverend Elizabeth Eaton, bishop of the Northeastern Ohio Synod, was elected ELCA Presiding Bishop with 600 votes, beating out incumbent Presiding Bishop Mark Hanson, who got 287.
"We are a church that is overwhelmingly European in a culture that is increasingly pluralistic," said Eaton in remarks delivered Wednesday following the election. "We need to welcome the gifts of those who come from different places, that is a conversation we need to have as a church." more >>
A Virginia Anglican congregation that traces its founding to the colonial era has announced that they will file an appeal over a property case to the United States Supreme Court.
The Falls Church Anglican stated earlier this week their intention to file an appeal over whether they or the Episcopal Diocese of Virginia controls the historic Falls Church property. "Through the work of the Holy Spirit, we achieved a broad degree of unity in our decision to bring these matters forward to the Supreme Court, believing that God has uniquely positioned TFCA to do so," reads an email sent out to parishioners on Monday.
"We are advised that the facts of our case are strong and that we are uniquely placed at this time – and perhaps for many years to come – to raise these issues to the U.S. Supreme Court. And each of us wanted to be good stewards of the resources God has given us." more >>
The Evangelical Lutheran Church in America is holding its biennial denominational meeting in Pennsylvania this week.
Kicking off Monday, delegates from across the United States converged at the David L. Lawrence Convention Center in Pittsburgh, Pa., for the 2013 ELCA Churchwide Assembly.
The Assembly, which is scheduled to go from Monday until Saturday, has in attendance about 950 voting members from 65 of the ELCA's synods. more >>
"My Husband Is Not My Soul Mate" hardly seems romantic from a wife on her first wedding anniversary, but this viral article set out to challenge common notions about romance, and somewhat surprisingly, Christian counselors agree – God does not have "the one," your perfect spouse, eternally chosen from the beginning.
"A 'soul mate' is not a Christian idea," biblical counselor June Hunt, founder, CEO, and CSO of Hope For The Heart ministries, told The Christian Post on Monday. Rather, an ancient Greek philosopher, Plato, taught that men and women were made in one body, but separated by the gods.
Each man and woman scours the earth for their perfect spouse, so the two can again become one, Hunt explained. Phrases like "my other half" or "my better half" actually come from this Greek myth, and well-meaning parents pass on the romantic idea to their children. more >>
Prominent voices claim that today's young people are leaving the church because they see it as too old fashioned, political, and exclusive. But Jefferson Bethke, creator of the YouTube sensation "Why I Hate Religion But Love Jesus," claims Millennials themselves are the true "puritans," judging the Body of Christ unfit for their company.
"We can think fundamentalists only wear suits and play boring Christian music, or we can address fundamentalism for what it is – an issue of the heart," Bethke wrote in a Thursday op-ed for the Washington Post. He defines "fundamentalism" as "adding rules to the Bible, or elevating things beyond how Scripture elevates them."
The Christian spoken word poet, whose forthcoming book Jesus>Religion: Why He Is So Much Better Than Trying Harder, Doing More, and Being Good Enough comes out in October, argued that the church doesn't judge Millennials so much as these youngsters judge the church. more >>