A Pastafarian elected to a New York town board, who may be the first of his sect to become a public official, wore a strainer while being sworn in last Thursday.
Christopher Schaeffer was sworn in to a position on the Pomfret Town Board on Jan. 2, wearing the cooking item while raising his right hand for the ceremony.
Schaeffer explained to local media that he wore the strainer in the name of "religious freedom" and in solidarity with likeminded individuals in Russia, reported Greg Fox of the Dunkirk Observer. more >>
Dr. Joe Hellerman has just released his new book Embracing Shared Ministry: Power and Status in the Early Church and Why it Matters Today. His doctoral research dealt with the social history of the early Christians, and he has authored five books. In addition to a full time schedule teaching at Biola University's Talbot School of Theology, he's a team pastor at Oceanside Christian Fellowship in El Segundo, California. I recently caught up with Joe to ask him about how the early church dealt with issues like power and status and what it can teach Church leaders today.
Q: Your new book is Embracing Shared Ministry: Power and Status in the Early Church and Why it Matters Today. As the title describes, it's about power and status in the early Church. Why is that important for church leaders today?
Joe Hellerman: It is "social given" among human beings that "wherever two or more are gathered," leaders will emerge who will exercise power and authority over others in the groups they lead. This is true in every culture, in just about any social setting, including the church. God created us this way, and he made provisions for this very phenomenon in the Bible, by establishing church offices, along with necessary qualifications and character qualities for church leaders. Since the use (and abuse) of power tends to manifest itself somewhat differently at different times and places, it is important regularly to return to the Bible's teaching on the proper use of power and authority in order to evaluate current tendencies and practices. more >>
God invented social media. I know that might sound like a crazy claim, but I have a biblical basis for believing this. So I'm primarily speaking to those who believe with me that God is the creator presented to us in the biblical book of Genesis.
Social media seems like a new term. Many people are just hearing it, and many others are already tired of it. It's a trend, a fad, something that people are jumping on quickly for reasons ranging from connecting to old friends to making millions of dollars. When I say it's a fad, I am referring to the term"social media" not to the actual concept of it.
Let's break it down this way. The word media really just refers to information. Facts. Things that are true, or at least things that are thought to be true. Social is a word we used to refer to interactions between human beings – otherwise known as relationships. Putting it together, social media simply refers to the sharing of information through relationships. more >>
With more than 1.26 billion users, Facebook has become a staple in today's modern culture, a revolutionary social and marketing tool, massive industry with its own vernacular. Let me add a new phrase, the "Facebook Fumble." This is one with devastating repercussions.
By nature, Facebook was designed to connect with old and new "Friends." It's like having a high school reunion online, anytime. You can "Like" people, photos, comments and corporate brands and receive regular "Posts" on your "Wall." You can create "Groups" of individuals with similar interests. You can also "stalk" others from a virtual distance by viewing photographs, comments of others.
Facebook is so ingrained into our society it's even one of the fastest ways to spread news, outrunning the television and media outlets to breaking events. These days, people wake up to the morning cup of jo and read their Facebook before other news sources. more >>
A West Virginia pastor pleaded guilty on Jan. 6 to sexually abusing a 14-year-old, female family member.
Johnnie Winnell, 60, who formerly pastored United Gospel Mission in Elkview, W.Va., was arrested in April last year and charged with three counts of sexual abuse by a parent, guardian or custodian, reported The WV Gazette.
Winnell admitted to investigators last year that there were three separate occurrences when he molested the girl while she slept in his home. more >>
Media consultant Phil Cooke recently listed five principles for leaders to effectively communicate the Gospel in today's high-tech social world, including the premise that expression of "Christian lingo" should be dropped.
"Forget Christian 'lingo,'" writes Cooke in his recent blog, Five Commandments for Becoming a Media Savvy Pastor. "Christian media is so filled with it's own 'lingo,' that most of the people we're trying to reach can't even understand us. But when I read the New Testament, Jesus spoke in a language and style people understood. Why have we lost that ability? Why have we created an entire vocabulary of words and phrases that only church members can understand?"
Cooke, who has produced and directed film and television programming in more than 50 countries and authored the book, Unique: Telling Your Story in the Age of Brands and Social Media, says he has helped some of the largest churches and ministries in the country create effective, high quality media outreaches. more >>