LAKE FOREST, Calif. – Pastor Rick Warren highlighted parts of his sermon on how the resurrection of Jesus Christ "changed everything" with scenes from the popular docudrama series "The Bible" during a lunchtime worship service at Saddleback Church on Good Friday. The message will be given again several more times before the weekend ends.
"How did 12 peasant fishermen, tax collectors, farmers – how in the world did they multiply – 12 followers of Jesus to one out of every three people on the planet [identifying as Christian]? The answer is the Resurrection," said Warren to about 2,000 people in attendance and an online viewing audience. "The resurrection of Jesus changed everything. It split our calendar to the A.D. and the B.C.
"No other event has impacted the world so much as the resurrection of Jesus Christ," he said. more >>
As Christians gather this Sunday to celebrate the resurrection of Jesus Christ, many churches are pulling out elaborate props and Easter presentations in an effort to grow membership and make converts out of those "Chreasters," their friends, coworkers, family members and neighbors who attend service only on Christmas and Easter. But, according to experts, some congregations are woefully unprepared when it comes to connecting and keeping contact with their biannual guests.
Easter 2012 saw Pastor Ed Young of Fellowship Church in Grapevine, Texas, use a live lion and a lamb on stage during his open-air Sunday service, which drew a bit of criticism from local animal rights activists. This year, Pastor Mark Driscoll of Mars Hill Church in Seattle, Wash., plans to hold a record 42 services across his 14 campuses in four states and expects a huge number of converts to come to faith in Jesus Christ.
As an electrified Driscoll explains in a recent video announcement about Easter 2013, "Easter's coming. It's our biggest Sunday of the year! We get so excited for Easter Sunday. It's where we see the most people meet Jesus, the most people attend the church, the most people get baptized. So it is the day we are the most excited." more >>
Robert A. Schuller, who took over for his father for two years as the leader of the Crystal Cathedral, said during a leadership conference about pastoral succession this week that had his father simply let go of his responsibilities seven years ago, the church would still be in the hands of its own ministry.
"The Crystal Cathedral Ministries, the assets and the buildings, would still be in the hands of the ministries if my father would have simply walked away," said Schuller during the webcast hosted by Leadership Network on Tuesday. "When I accepted the role as the next senior pastor he had agreed to be an ambassador-at-large and raise funds for the endowment fund. He didn't do that. He became a sounding board for my sisters and other people that didn't particularly care for the new direction for whatever reason.
"There's no question in my mind whatsoever," he added, talking about the founding pastor of the church, his 86-year-old father, Robert H. Schuller, "had I been given the proper authority and all of the responsibility I had, and had my father simply turned to those that came to them and said, 'I don't have anything to do with that anymore' that it would have been a very, very successful transition because we did lots of things very right." more >>
Will Graham, the grandson of well-known evangelist Billy Graham, says that his grandfather is preparing hard for likely his last sermon in November and has started filming for "My Hope America with Billy Graham."
"This is so exciting for me as a grandson to see my granddaddy end well. He can't see well; he can't hear well. So it's hard for him to study the Bible," Will Graham told The Christian Post last week. "So he's trying to memorize and get things just right for the few minutes he will be before the camera."
"My Hope America with Billy Graham" is a massive nationwide evangelistic effort to take place throughout November (Billy Graham turns 95 on Nov. 7) in which Christians will invite their neighbors and friends who don't have a personal relationship with Jesus Christ to their home for a meal and invite them to watch the TV broadcast of "My Hope America with Billy Graham," or the DVD version where Billy Graham will share his new message. more >>
A church in Birmingham, Ala., has confronted patrons of a gentleman's club in the area with a massive billboard that boldly reads, "Strip for Me," but it's not asking what you think.
According to Pastor Mike McClure Jr., 29, of The Rock Church that paid to have the billboard placed next door to the Palace Gentleman's Club, the message piggybacks on the advice given to Christians in the New Living Translation of Hebrews 12:1.
"Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a huge crowd of witnesses to the life of faith, let us strip off every weight that slows us down, especially the sin that so easily trips us up. And let us run with endurance the race God has set before us," says the scripture. more >>
No one seems to question Tim Tebow's capabilities when it comes to inspirational speeches. So it was with open arms that Wichita State University men's basketball team, fresh off an upset victory over top-seeded Gonzaga during NCAA's March Madness, granted the Jets QB his request to talk to the players on their bus.
"This you will remember for the rest of your lives," said Tebow, whose plane was refueling in Wichita when the Shockers' bus arrived Sunday. "Some of you might go play in the NBA and have great lives, but this is the time you will remember … these are the special times in your lives regardless of what you do in the future."
As the result of Wichita State's 76-70 victory, the Shockers advanced to the "Sweet 16" and are scheduled to play La Salle on Thursday. The Shockers went into the tournament as a No. 9 seed. The team made five consecutive 3-pointers in the win that ousted the West Region's top seed and the nation's No. 1 team during the regular season. more >>