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 >>
Responding to public criticism concerning his hiring of Billy Graham's grandson, Tullian Tchividjian, senior pastor of Willow Creek Church in Winter Springs, Florida, Kevin Labby, said Wednesday that no church rules were broken in hiring Tchividjian who was deposed by the Presbyterian Church last month.
"As a member of the Presbyterian Church in America, I proactively reached out to the South Florida Presbytery through the chairman of the committee overseeing Tullian's care and discipline process. I wanted to make sure that we were pursuing this course decently and in good order," wrote Labby in a letter sent to blogger Tony Arsenal, a graduate of Bethel University and Gordon-Conwell Theological Seminary, who remains opposed to Tchividjian's hiring.
Willow Creek Church recently announced Tchividjian's appointment as director of ministry development on its website. This coming less than two weeks after he filed for divorce from his wife, Kim, about three weeks since he was deposed by the Presbyterian Church, and about two months since he resigned from Coral Ridge Presbyterian Church in Florida due to an extramarital affair. more >>
A report from a group of clergy argues that Presbyterian Church (USA)'s vote taken last year to divest from three companies connected to Israel was tainted by institutional biases.
Released Tuesday afternoon, the report was signed by several commissioners from the 221st General Assembly who had taken issue with the process for which the debate over the divestment proposal was overseen.
Titled "Reformed and Reforming: A Word of Hope from Commissioners to and Observers of the 221st General Assembly of the PC (USA)," the report argued that the process was slanted in favor of the pro-divestment side. more >>
A strong majority of American Catholics support raising children in non-traditional families, such as single-parent and divorced households, or by same-sex parents, according to a survey conducted by the Pew Research Center for Religion & Public Life.
"Nine-in-10 U.S. Catholics say a household headed by a married mother and father is an ideal situation for bringing up children. But the survey shows that large majorities think other kinds of families — those headed by parents who are single, divorced, unmarried or gay — are OK for raising children, too," noted Pew in an analysis released on Wednesday, ahead Pope Francis' first U.S. visit later this month in which he'll encounter a national Catholic population largely supportive of family units not advanced or encouraged by Church teaching.
"This may be in part because Francis' American flock is experiencing life in all its modern complexity. According to the survey, one-in-four Catholics have gone through a divorce. One-in-10 have not only divorced but also remarried. One-in-10 are living with a romantic partner, sans wedding, and more than four-in-10 have done so at some point in their lives." more >>
Less than two weeks after he filed for divorce from his wife, Kim, about three weeks since he was deposed by the Presbyterian Church, and about two months since he resigned from Coral Ridge Presbyterian Church in Florida due to an extramarital affair, Billy Graham's grandson, Tullian Tchividjian, has landed a new job with Willow Creek Church in Winter Springs, Florida.
An announcement on the church's website welcomes Tchividjian as the church's new director of ministry development.
"We're so delighted to welcome Tullian Tchividjian to the staff of Willow Creek Church. A graduate of Columbia International University (philosophy) and Reformed Theological Seminary in Orlando (M.Div.), Tullian is a best-selling author, having written seven books on the Gospel of Jesus Christ and its liberating implications," states the announcement. more >>
Even after a Monday rejection from the U.S. Supreme Court, a county clerk in Kentucky will still not issue marriage licenses to same-sex couples, calling the matter "a Heaven or Hell decision."
Kim Davis, the Rowan County clerk who refuses to grant licenses to gay couples over her religious objections, was denied an appeal in her legal action by the U.S. Supreme Court.
When same-sex couple David Ermold and David Moore went to Davis' office Tuesday for a marriage license, Davis turned them away. (Video of the confrontation was posted at The New York Times.) When Davis is asked what authority she has to deny the couple a marriage license, she replied, "under God's authority." more >>