Authors of the recently released Next: Pastoral Succession That Works say the book was written after discovering that Christian leaders and churches are often looking for resources to help them with the process of finding a successor for the lead pastor, and that most pastors do not have a plan in place.
"The culture has recently shifted. Pastors are both willing to think about their own succession and also are looking for resources to help them, their families, and their boards to wisely handle their preparation," Warren Bird, research director for the Leadership Network, told The Christian Post.
"We tried to balance the book with a brief biblical foundation that affirms ways good leaders plan ahead, with numerous real-life specific stories, and with solid research." more >>
Thirteen regional congregations, primarily in the western region of the U.S., met for the first time at their churches on Sunday after learning on Friday that by the end of the year, they would no longer be under the umbrella of Seattle-based Mars Hill Church, once led by founder Mark Driscoll. For one local lead pastor at the Portland campus, who has been with the megachurch since 1999, the process and decision to dissolve made by its elders has been a difficult but exhilarating time.
"As we have made the decision to spread out in local churches I am sad to see Mars Hill go," Tim Smith, lead pastor at Mars Hill Portland and who sits on the board of elders, told The Christian Post on Monday. "God has used both Mark Driscoll and Mars Hill Church in incredible ways, in thousands of people's lives and for sure in my own life in significant ways. And so it's hard to see that go, but it's also exciting and hopeful in that it results in planting more churches which has always been something that's important to us."
While Mars Hill communications director Justin Dean confided to CP that it's too early to know each church's plans, he said, "The majority of our churches are choosing to continue as autonomous independent churches, rather than completely close down, which is exciting for us as it's our desire to see as many of these churches continue as possible." more >>
An Augustinian monk named Martin Luther nailed 95 theses to a church door in Wittenberg, Germany, centuries ago on the last day of October.
As the 500th anniversary of the historic occasion is still a few years away, various groups are already overseeing ways and providing resources to celebrate the milestone.
Tom Macy, senior pastor at Faith Church in Indianapolis, Indiana, told The Christian Post in an earlier interview that he viewed Reformation Day as a better alternative to Halloween. more >>
Reparative therapy is a hot button, cultural topic that stirs deep rooted emotions for those on both sides. So we must be cautious not to reduce what Dr. Russell Moore, President of the Southern Baptist Convention's Ethics & Religious Liberty (ERLC) Commission, says about it into a sound bite.
Taken out of context, Moore's remarks to press at the ERLC's 2014 conference this week could very easily be used to totally denounce reparative therapy. But if you read all of Moore's statements, nowhere do you find him downright rejecting reparative therapy. Instead, he's putting it in its place on the hierarchy of healing.
According to Religion News Service, Moore told journalists, "The utopian idea if you come to Christ and if you go through our program, you're going to be immediately set free from attraction or anything you're struggling with, I don't think that's a Christian idea." Moore continued, "Faithfulness to Christ means obedience to Christ. It does not necessarily mean that someone's attractions are going to change." more >>
A large Texas congregation that recently decided to disaffiliate from the largest Presbyterian denomination in the United States over its increasing acceptance of homosexuality is suing to keep its property.
Windwood Presbyterian Church of Houston has been waging a legal battle to not have to pay to keep their church property after having left Presbyterian Church (USA) earlier this year.
Defrocked United Methodist minister Frank Schaefer, who defied church law against same sex rites, has been reinstated by a church court on a technicality. See John Lomperis's analysis here.
Ironically, had Schaefer been immediately defrocked, the verdict likely would have stood. But the jury had suspended him for 30 days to allow him the chance to disavow further defiance, and his refusal provoked defrocking. Church appeals courts ruled this penalty punished him for future acts.
Schaefer has already quit Pennsylvania, where of course he left his local church in shambles, and now heads a small ministry in the fast declining and ultra liberal United Methodist region in Southern California. Good luck! more >>