John Piper cried.
On Monday morning, for the first time in 33 years, Piper woke up without the title of pastor of Bethlehem Baptist Church in Minneapolis, Minn., and he cried tears of thanks and joy.
"… As I woke up on this Monday morning for the first time in 33 years without the official mantle of pastor, the only tears that came were tears of thankfulness. And under them was a great joy. It is finished. It has a completeness to it. God started it. God sustained it. God ended it. And I have loved it," he wrote of his feelings on his blog, Desiring God. more >>
The Gospel music divisions of Motown and EMI record companies are merging together, The Christian Post learned in an exclusive interview with Pastor Touré Roberts of One Church International in Los Angeles. Although an official announcement was still pending at press time, Robert's church plans to host a concert event featuring artists from both labels Tuesday evening.
"It's awesome to get two big entertainment companies in music who are taking their Gospel divisions and bringing them together," Roberts told CP. "First of all, that's huge. It communicates that just from a corporate perspective the desire for Gospel music and the sense of profitability from labels. There's going to be a lot of resource, backing up music that we all believe in – it's God centered.
"I think it's an exciting time for music and people, and in particular, Gospel artists," he said. more >>
Volunteers from around the world are joining Franklin Graham and his organization Samaritan's Purse on Saturday in Orlando to celebrate a major milestone for Operation Christmas Child – reaching 100 million children in need with gift-filled shoe boxes since 1993.
Graham, the son of renowned evangelist Billy Graham, told The Christian Post on Monday that he really didn't have a "vision" to help children globally by delivering shoe boxes filled with gifts.
"It was just one guy who gave me a call 20 years ago and he said, 'I'm taking some gifts over to Bosnia. Do you want to help me?' I said sure," Graham explained. more >>
While many public assemblies of Christians in China are now being allowed as the result of a more Westernized country, there is a need for pastors and Christian leaders to have strong mentors now more than ever, says persecution watchdog Open Doors.
"Not so long ago, Christians were forced to meet in secret, sing softly and whisper their prayers to avoid unwanted attention from the local authorities," Open Doors stated recently. "Now, in many places, believers are free to gather and to be a church. The growing freedoms and the rapid urbanization have left the Chinese Church puzzled. The Church is in need of a mentor who shows her how to effectively function in a more free society."
Open Doors describes one of the first pastors they mentored as fitting the profile of many other Chinese pastors, including being in his early 30s, and having grown up in a rural area. He now serves as the leading pastor of one of many Chinese urban churches. When Open Doors came into contact with him, the pastor was struggling in many areas of his ministry, including his family life. more >>
Churches across the United States, many now more technologically equipped than ever before, are set to make their Easter services and celebrations this weekend collectively perhaps the most watched Christian event in history.
As churches of all sizes ramp up their webcast and livestream capabilities, no longer is television and radio the top component to spreading the Gospel message of Jesus Christ's death and resurrection, and reaching those beyond the church walls.
"To pull this off we had to install satellite and Internet equipment at each of our churches, as well as broadcasting equipment at downtown Seattle," Mars Hill Church Communications Director Justin Dean told The Christian Post. The church, led by the media savvy Pastor Mark Driscoll, will be broadcasting online all six of the Easter services led by Driscoll from their downtown Seattle church. more >>
Prison Fellowship, the world's largest Christian outreach to prisoners, ex-prisoners and their families, is partnering with the producers of "Unconditional," and plans to show screenings of the inspirational movie inside two Florida correctional facilities during Easter weekend.
The events also feature Prison Fellowship CEO Jim Liske and "Papa Joe" Bradford, a former maximum security inmate now working to improve the lives of Nashville's at-risk kids. His life is the inspiration behind the film.
"To help 'Papa Joe' share his message of God's life-changing, unconditional love is an honor," Liske said. "And this Easter weekend screening is just the beginning, as Prison Fellowship programs have the potential to connect or reconnect inmates in 1,200 prisons across the country to God's love and their purpose in life through this inspiring film." more >>