In days of seeking God deeply, I have been asking Him for insights about all that is happening in the world now. While my understanding grows, I want to share what is on my heart today in relation to three areas of crisis.
1. Global Crises
Across the globe, crises abound. The global spiritual crisis continues to grow as lostness escalates. Billions of people are in need of the gospel of Jesus Christ. As more than one-half of the global population is now living in the cities of the world, missional strategies must emerge that address reaching these cities. more >>
J.D. Greear, lead pastor of Summit Church in Raleigh-Durham, North Carolina, has been noted for taking a 300-member church and growing the congregation to more than 9,000, making it one of the 100 fastest-growing churches in the U.S. So perhaps Greear can afford to say that pastors should stop their obsession with "gathering and counting" and instead get excited about the possible impact of "raising up and sending out" their members.
But what the North Carolina pastor suggests is not exactly revolutionary, as he points to the nearly 2,000-year-old command of Jesus for his believers to "go and make disciples of all nations," the basis of what Christians call the Great Commission, found in Matthew 28:16-20.
Another passage Greear points to is John 14:12. more >>
Christianity is said to be on the decline in the United States, according to a Pew Research survey, and 2 billion people around the world still haven't heard the name of Jesus Christ, according to David Platt, president of the International Mission Board, an entity of the Southern Baptist Convention.
At a time when more people are said to be turning away from faith, one group of believers has developed a new, innovative way of spreading the Gospel to ultimately propel people closer to God, and it seems to be working.
Socality has been described by its founder as a "new form of evangelism" and a movement that is "committed to creating spaces of belonging online and turning these into real life transactions." To put it simply, Socality connects believers and non-believers alike, mostly via social networking sites like Twitter and Instagram, for the purpose of bringing them closer to faith. more >>
A Georgia school district has launched an investigation into the mass baptism of a football coach and some of his players on the grounds of Villa Rica High School last month after a protest campaign was launched by the Freedom From Religion Foundation when video from the event was made public.
The video of the baptisms, which was shot by a staff member of First Baptist Villa Rica church and posted to YouTube, has since been removed but a copy is available in this Fox News report.
"We had the privilege of baptizing a bunch of football players and a coach on the field of Villa Rica High School! We did this right before practice! Take a look and see how God is STILL in our schools!" the caption of the video read on YouTube before it was removed, according to 11 Alive. more >>
Where do we start?
The murder on live TV of two human beings whose lives mattered? Casual luncheon discussion about the cutting up and sale of the body parts of babies whose lives mattered not because of their achievements but because of their intrinsic worth? The slaughter of people in a Charleston church prayer meeting whose lives mattered?
Then there's another scale to weigh the present agony: Iran getting a nuclear bomb; the unspeakable atrocities of people believing they are acting under divine authority; a secularist rage to push free religious expression to the very edge of culture, and then eliminate it altogether; mayhem in the streets; hate-driven strife; the collapse of marriage, and with it the family, the fundamental institution for civilizing a society; and apostasy in many churches. more >>
The Deaf Bible Society has started a movement to bring the story of Jesus in sign language to the deaf community in the Middle East for the first time ever as a way to combat the Islamic State terrorist organization's efforts to recruit the overlooked deaf populations with promises of a "false hope."
As only 20 of the world's 400 sign languages have some form of Bible content available, there is not one sign language in the Middle East that has Bible content available to let those in the region who are deaf know that there is hope that can be found in the Savior Jesus Christ.
Deaf communities are often overlooked in the Middle East, they become susceptible to fall for the sense of empowerment promised to them by IS, a terrorist group that has become renowned for the lies it uses to recruit disenfranchised members of society. more >>