The founder of Sydney-based Hillsong Church, Brian Houston, in response to Australia's royal commission probe into "institutional responses to child sexual abuse" this week, strongly denied allegations that he tried to cover-up his involvement in a $10,000 compensation payment made to a man sexually abused as a child by his father, Frank Houston.
The abuse occurred 30 years ago, crimes which Houston admitted were perpetrated by his father, Frank Houston, when he was a high-profile Pentecostal preacher and the younger Houston was a teen.
The royal commission into institutional responses to child sexual abuse is investigating the way Australian Christian Churches, formerly the Assemblies of God, is probing abuse by Frank Houston and two other men. Houston's father, who died in 2004, admitted to molesting the man, anonymously known as AHA, in Sydney in the late '60s and early '70s. more >>
Today, Pastor Rick and Kay Warren of Saddleback Church are hosting "24 Hours of Hope," a free global online event designed to encourage individuals living with a mental illness, educate and support their families, and equip church leaders for compassionate and effective mental health ministry.
On Thursday, Kay Warren talked to The Christian Post about what she has observed transpiring in the church community on the topic of mental health. Because of the family's high profile, CP asked Warren to talk about how the suicide of their son, Matthew, who struggled with mental illness, has impacted the church in the U.S. Matthew Warren died at the age of 27 from a self-inflicted gunshot wound on April 5, 2013.
Rick and Kay Warren hosted the historic gathering on "Mental Health and the Church" last March, which was also co-hosted by Bishop Kevin Vann of the Diocese of Orange, and the National Alliance on Mental Illness – Orange County (NAMI-OC). more >>
Pastor Craig Groeschel discussed the importance of moving from a self-reliant style of leadership to one of being empowered by the Holy Spirit during the Exponential West conference at Saddleback Church in Lake Forest, California, on Wednesday.
Groeschel's message focused on his experience as pastor of Life Church, a multi-campus congregation in Oklahoma, and the trials he had to endure before realizing that the Holy Spirit needed to work in his life before he could lead a church.
"Church planters have a choice to be self reliant or spirit empowered ... Sometimes we try to lead out of our own ability but we forget about the power, the presence and the voice of God," Groeschel said. more >>
Let's ask the question: What costs more, healthy or unhealthy living?
Every single time I speak at a conference or church, people approach me afterwards seeking help. In probably nine out of ten conversations, as I share some steps they can take to begin their health journey, I am presented with what they believe is the ultimate reason for why they cannot become healthy.
There is a whole variety of other reasons: past failures, family genes, and medical challenges. However, the number one reason offered to me is "It cost too much!" more >>
Evangelist Francis Chan urged thousands of Christian leaders at the Exponential West conference to keep it simple in regards to church planting strategy, saying that two things will produce believers – unity in the Church and bringing communion back to the forefront.
"I know there's a lot of strategies out there, but I'm saying for fruit that lasts I think we need to rethink this," Chan said on Tuesday of the three-day conference hosted at Saddleback Church in Lake Forest, California, ending Thursday. "We are talking about a miracle and so I'm saying lets abide in Him. Let's seriously believe that we can be one, just as the Father and the Son are one, and pursue that in the Church."
He added, "Let's bring communion back to the forefront of proclaiming His death. I know these things don't seem like they would work. But, we are talking about raising the dead so I think it's our best shot." more >>
Church planting is successful when a planter knows their community's needs and is willing to risk their reputation and resources, said Pastor Sergio de la Mora of San Diego's Cornerstone Church, during an Exponential Conference live webcast on Wednesday.
De la Mora, who began his church with merely seven people 16 years ago, has grown his congregation in a neighborhood he least expected to end up in but along the way, he had to learn how to trust God to mold him into the revolutionary leader he is today.
"When I started the church, I initially had no idea what I was ultimately going to have to become ... God told me I had to become the pastor the community wanted me to be, not the pastor I wanted to be," de la Mora said. more >>