Two movements among Christian congregations in the U.S. today, churches with multiple locations (multisite) and leadership development (discipleship), continue to gain momentum as new innovations are being introduced. In addition, perhaps in an even newer development, a growing number of churches are intentionally developing a culture of generosity, an effort to help carry the gospel message outside the church, says the director of new media and technology for the Leadership Network.
"The multisite (one church, multiple locations) movement continues to gain momentum," Todd Rhoades, of Leadership Network, told The Christian Post via email. "We're seeing no slow down at all in the number of churches being involved in multisite ministry. In fact, we're seeing new waves of innovation in the movement itself: including international campuses, online campuses, the move from big cities to rural environments, and more churches partnering to redeem facilities and struggling churches through church mergers."
Rhoades, along with Leadership Nework, hosted a webcast conference on Tuesday called, Church Innovate North America. Guest speakers, which included pastors from around the country, spoke about multisite churches, leadership training, and generosity. more >>
Reaction to the guilty verdict of Philadelphia abortionist Kermit Gosnell, convicted of murdering three babies born alive in his clinic, was swift Monday from Christian and pro-life leaders, who while applauded justice being served in Gosnell's case, said there are many more abortions and "Gosnell-like" atrocities to stop across the nation.
"The guilty charge of Dr. Kermit Gosnell, dethroned ruler of 'Gosnell's House of Horrors' may spark justice for more women and babies across America," said Dr. Alveda King, director of African American Outreach for Gospel of Life Ministries. "Justice is served with this verdict, but injustice will continue unless we end abortion in this country. Gosnell was not the only abortionist who killed mothers and their born babies, he was just the one who got caught. Now we have to turn out attention to charging, trying and convicting others like him."
On Monday, Gosnell, 72, was acquitted in the fourth baby's death, but found guilty of involuntary manslaughter in the overdose death of an adult patient. The jury, comprised of seven women and five men, reached a verdict on all 268 charges on the tenth day of deliberations. Gosnell now faces the death penalty or life in prison without parole. A separate set of jurors will reconvene on May 21 to consider whether he should be executed. more >>
Noted theologian and founder of Desiring God Ministries, John Piper confessed that he is an introvert affected by brokenness, but God used him anyway to build a powerful ministry and pastor it successfully for 33 years.
This week, in a discussion about his 33 years of ministry with 75 pastors, Piper confessed to not really being a people person and shared how God was able to turn that feature of his personality into a blessing for his congregation.
"It's amazing how many introverts go into the ministry. It's amazing how many people go into the ministry who don't really like to be with people," Piper told his audience. "Now a lot of people would say that's a bad thing, you should repent of that, turn around and do something else or learn to hang out with people." more >>
A panel of experts with conservative values is set to discuss their views of the risks involved with a proposed change in the Boy Scouts of America that would allow gay youths to join local troops while continuing to exclude gay leaders. The discussion will be hosted by the Heritage Foundation in Washington, D.C., and is scheduled for this coming Tuesday.
John Stemberger, Eagle Scout and Founder of OnMyHonor.Net, a coalition of concerned BSA parents, Scoutmasters, Eagle Scouts and other Scouting leaders, says the Christian-based organization will not only lose a large number of members and financial sponsorships, but will run the risk of creating an environment where boys will be susceptible to homosexual encounters.
"The most important point is, and the BSA knows this, but they are not talking about it or entered it into their analysis, is that this move will absolutely dramatically increase boy-on-boy sexual contact," Stemberger told The Christian Post on Thursday. more >>
Pastor Rick Warren of Saddleback Church in Lake Forest Calif., continues to journal his grief over losing his son, Matthew, who committed suicide just over a month ago, through his posts on Twitter. He tweeted on Wednesday that he has been most encouraged by support from the people who his son inspired to find God.
"Since my son died, the most comforting notes have come from people Matthew personally led to know and trust Jesus," tweeted the megachurch pastor.
At the end of the message he referenced Proverbs 11:30 that reads: "The fruit of the righteous is a tree of life; and he that winneth souls is wise." more >>
Television show producer and media consultant Phil Cooke recently shared that he once partnered with evangelist Joel Osteen as producers of Christian TV programming, including helping with Osteen's own broadcasts that now reach 10 million U.S. households each week.
Cooke and Osteen became close friends as well as colleagues when they worked on Pastor John Osteen's (Joel's father) prime-time TV specials. Osteen was recently interviewed by Cooke about the practical lessons he learned behind the camera that have contributed to his enormous influence in front of the camera. The interview can be read at MinistryToday.
The Christian Post interviewed Cooke, who is the CEO of Cooke Pictures in Hollywood, via email about Osteen and today's TV production for evangelists. more >>