It's been a decade since North Carolina-based Elevation Church first opened its doors, and lead pastor Steven Furtick is celebrating that milestone along with 40,000 "professions of faith" thus far in his ministry.
In a Twitter post shared with his more than a quarter million followers, the megachurch pastor wrote, "Core team … still together 10yrs & 40k professions of faith later. God is Able ... " The message was accompanied by two photos of Furtick's "core team," one apparently taken 10 years ago and the other one more recently.
Christian Post had featured Furtick in a 2013 special article series called "An Inside Look at a New Generation of Pastors." The series interviewed up-and-coming pastors under the age of 40 who preached orthodox biblical Christianity and were successful in conveying the Gospel message in a way that resonated with today's generation. At the time of the article series, Furtick was 33 and was the founding and lead pastor of Elevation Church, a multi-site church in Charlotte, North Carolina, with an average of more than 14,000 people in attendance each weekend, according to the church. more >>
Members of large churches are less involved than those of smaller congregations, according to a recent study from Duke University.
Research published last week by the American Sociological Association's journal Socius found, according to its abstract, "a negative relationship between size and the probability of attendance for Conservative, Mainline, and black Protestants and for Catholics in parishes larger than 500 attenders."
"The addition of control variables does not change these patterns. These results support the theory that group cohesion lies at the heart of the size-participation relationship in churches," continued the abstract. more >>
A 21-year-old Michigan man arrested by the FBI last week was allegedly planning to shoot up a 6,000 member megachurch in Detroit, authorities have said.
The Guardian reported that Khalil Abu-Rayyan of Dearborn Heights is awaiting a hearing on Monday, having been investigated since May on marijuana and gun charges. He had also made threats against the church in question, though officials did not reveal which one.
NBC News noted earlier that an undercover investigator who interacted with Abu-Rayyan on social media uncovered that the suspect had guns in his possession, and admitted that he "tried to shoot up a church one day." more >>
Amid controversy surrounding a proposal to name a portion of an Atlanta highway after him, World Changers megachurch pastor Creflo Dollar visited Georgia's state House of Representatives Thursday to pray for leaders and lawmakers.
As the "pastor of the day," Dollar addressed the legislature on how government is a "divinely appointed duty," and expressed his appreciation for "leaders who still acknowledge and recognize good morals that are in line with God's Word."
The World Changers Church pastor also prayed for judges, mayors, policeman and community leaders, asking God to give them wisdom, protection and "a heart that yields to God and His ways," according to the Atlanta Journal-Constitution. more >>
All too often people speak pessimistically about themselves, and in doing so, unintentionally invite negativity into their lives. But a new book by Lakewood megachurch Pastor Joel Osteen reminds readers that words have power, and aims to help people kick the habit of speaking negatively and to invite good things through the power of the tongue.
"You have to invite the right things into your life," Osteen tells viewers during a segment on "The Late Show with Stephen Colbert" Tuesday.
In his latest self-help title The Power of I Am, Osteen teaches readers how to create a narrative of positivity in their lives using the two words "I am," followed by positive affirmations. In the opening chapter, he writes, "What follows those two simple words will determine what kind of life you live." more >>
"The Late Show" host Stephen Colbert praised Pastor Joel Osteen as a "Texan Pope Francis" for his message of inclusion during a recent appearance, though Osteen said he has no desire to become a denomination or have people follow him.
"I like your open message, it is very accepting, non-denominational, you seem like a Texan Pope Francis," Colbert, a Roman Catholic, told Osteen, who is the pastor of Lakewood Church, one of the largest megachurches in America.