Joel Osteen, bestselling motivational author and evangelical pastor of America's fastest-growing megachurch, was among a small group that included Mormon Sen. Mike Lee, to meet privately with Pope Francis at the Vatican in Rome, this week.
Osteen said he was honored to meet with Pope Francis, who leads the world's 1.2 billion Roman Catholics.
"I like the fact that this pope is trying to make the church larger, not smaller. He's not pushing people out but making the church more inclusive. That resonated with me," Osteen told the Houston Chronicle. more >>
A former Indiana megachurch pastor imprisoned for sexually abusing a former female student at his church's high school is attempting to overturn his prison sentence by accusing the victim of seducing him.
The former leader of a 15,000-person congregation, Jack A. Schaap, 56, who is married and has two children, has asked U.S. District Judge Rudy Lozano to overturn his 12-year sentence, "due to the aggressiveness of (the girl) that inhibited impulse control."
Schapp was sentenced in 2013 for sexually abusing the victim and taking her across state lines, and is not set to be released until 2023. more >>
Following Covenant Life Church Lead Pastor Josh Harris' announcement two weeks ago that he had asked for a leave of absence, a church leader announced on Sunday that Harris would remain on staff.
Harris' first told the congregation he was considering stepping down on May 18, following former CLC pastor Grant Layman's confession that he (Layman) had withheld allegations from police that church volunteer Nathaniel Morales had been sexually abusing children. The former pastor's confession came while he was under oath and testifying at Morales' court case, where the volunteer was later convicted of sexually abusing three young boys between 1983 and 1991.
Layman stepped down from his position as a pastor at CLC in March 2014. more >>
A growing online group of Christians emphasizing the spiritual power of repentance is holding a "D-Day 70th Anniversary Prayer Storm" in an effort to push back evil in the world, organizers announced on Monday.
"We believe the 70th anniversary of D-Day is a spiritually significant time to celebrate freedom from tyranny, gifted to mankind by Jesus, and it is a monumental day that represents true self-sacrifice for the freedom of others," writes Pastor Jeff Daly, co-director of the National Day of Repentance and author of Repentance: God's Strategy to Bless a Nation, in an online announcement about the event.
"On Friday, June 6, 2014, many of 'His people, called by His name' in over 30 nations will be part of a 'Prayer Storm' to 'scale the cliffs and attack evil' – in their lives and in their nations – in the same way that thousands of brave men took the cliffs of Normandy in WWII," co-sponsors Capitol Hill Prayer Partners and National Day of Repentance stated. more >>
Pastor Joel Osteen, who already reaches millions around the globe via his weekly television and radio broadcasts, will have access to millions more when his new program, "Joel Osteen Radio" debuts on SiriusXM this fall.
SiriusXM, identified as "the world's largest radio broadcaster measured by revenue," announced in a press release Monday its development of a new exclusive radio channel headlined by Osteen.
"Joel Osteen Radio" will broadcast the Lakewood Church pastor and bestselling author's inspirational messages to SiriusXM's 25.8 million subscribers. Both Joel and Victoria Osteen will host weekly call-in shows, while Sunday sermons from Lakewood also will be added to the lineup. more >>
The power of a single prayer is often underestimated, Pastor Mark Batterson of National Community Church in Washington, D.C., said during LiderVision, a Christian leadership conference for Hispanic pastors.
"God can do more in one day than we can accomplish in a thousand lifetimes. One day, God is going to show up and He's going to show off His power in our lives," said Batterson during his session on Friday.
Batterson also focused on NCC's testimony of how the congregation grew to a seven-campus, multi-site church soon after he began to witness the power of God through a consistent, single prayer. more >>