Not too long ago a young man tweeted me, thanking and commending me for being a 21st century pastor. After a few moments of back-patting, and feeling good about myself, a sobering question came to mind. Should his comment be considered a compliment, or should I take it as a passive reference of the Church's overall state today? After thinking about his comment, I concluded that the latter was the truth.
Perhaps the answer to this question plays a major role in why there has been a constant decline in church attendance in America, especially among millennials. The decline is not limited to just millennials but holds across race, gender, education and geographic dimensions.
According to new findings from the Pew Research Center, Christianity in America has declined nearly 8 percent since 2007, most noticeably affecting Catholic and mainline Protestant churches. If it wasn't for another conflicting trend happening in today's church, these statistics would be alarming to the faithful and would suggest little hope for faith's survival in modern times. However, there is a modern expression of contemporary faith emerging, and I have personally been blessed to have a front row seat to its unfolding. more >>
Even if you have no interest in urban settings and ministries, I plead with you to continue to read this post.
We are called to get the gospel to all peoples of the world (Matt. 28:18-20), and we will not do that if we shy away from the world's cities.
Please read on, and pray about how your church might tackle a city — then encourage others to read this post as well. more >>
NEW YORK — Some young people fail to "walk in victory" because they have never been taught how the "weaponry of God's Word" can impact their lives, and instead rely on cliches and emotionalism when faced with tough situations, according to D.A. Horton, a Christian author and urban apologist.
Horton, speaking at the Urban Youth Workers Institute's RELOAD event earlier this month, compared the Christian's spiritual walk with a U.S. soldier assigned to fight against the Islamic State. In a fight against such an adversary, a soldier would want the best weaponry possible that his government has to offer. For the Christian, that elite weaponry would be the Word of God.
The problem, according to Horton, is that some youth ministry leaders, specifically those in urban environments, might feel ill-equipped themselves to adequately shore up the youth they are responsible for discipling in the faith. There just are not enough accessible resources tailored for the demographic that Horton, and Urban Youth Workers Institute (UYWI) President Larry Acosta, have in mind. more >>
Although it feels like a billion years ago, it really is true that Christianity used to be a pretty popular thing here in America.
Because of that, believers and unbelievers alike partook in its weekly practices. Lost, unregenerate people filled the pews every Lord's Day — not necessarily because they loved Jesus or wanted to be there but because they'd be shunned by their neighbors if they weren't. more >>
An international online evangelism organization is aiming to bring together thousands of Christians on Sept. 30 to create an online "Thunderclap," where a Gospel message video, along with further outreach, will collectively be shared at the same time through the participants' social networks, aimed at getting the world's attention.
"The timer is ticking down to the actual Thunderclap. The Thunderclap is what happens when the software that we use will be posting on everyone's behalf. Everyone who signed up around the world, on their behalf there will be a post made on their Facebook timeline, or their Twitter feed, depending on what they choose," Ian Walton, country manager for the African region, told The Christian Post in a phone interview on Wednesday.
WASHINGTON — At a Religious Freedom Project summit Friday at the Catholic University of America, a Chinese evangelist told of how she was was forced to make Christmas tree lights and endured starvation, electrocution and beatings in Chinese prisons and "re-education" labor camps due to her refusal to renounce Christ.
Speaking at the conference organized by Baylor University, the largest Baptist university in the world, Chinese evangelist Sarah Liu, and Syrian Christian ministry leaders, Joseph and Hannah Sleman, gave their testimonies to the torture and persecution faced by Christians unwilling to compromise in two of the most hostile regions toward Christianity this world has to offer.
Liu, a born-again Christian who was baptized in 1991 in the dead of a winter night due to fear of a government crackdown, told of how she and ministry partners traveled through China's Hubei province, going village to village, to spread the word of Christ. more >>