Missions work doesn't always involve traveling abroad, and the inexperienced don't have to have all the answers in order to get started. That's the message that Rev. Dr. Paul Osteen, brother of Lakewood megachurch Pastor Joel Osteen, wants to impart through the Mobilizing Medical Missions Conference.
"We don't have to have all the answers; we just have to do our part," Osteen told to The Christian Post Monday. "There are so many opportunities available locally, and so many opportunities all across the nation, and then so many opportunities globally. So you don't have to go to the interior of Africa to do medical missions."
Doctors, dentists, nurses and other medical professionals interested in medical missions might be surprised to learn that they don't have to leave the U.S. in order to contribute. Osteen says missions workers can donate their time at a local clinic or even help to sort medical equipment to be sent to different locations around the world. more >>
China Aid, a Christian human rights organization based in the U.S., believes that Pastor Gu Yuese of Hangzhou's Chongyi Church, the largest government sanctioned church in China, has no chance to escape sentencing by the Communist Party for standing up against the crackdown on churches.
"I think the likely scenario to happen is that he will be indicted, and depending on his confession, and how cooperative he is, the length of sentence can be negotiated," Bob Fu, founder and president of China Aid, told The Christian Post in a phone interview on Thursday.
"All factors combined, I do not see any way that the Communist Party will let Pator Gu leave the prison without a criminal sentence," Fu added. more >>
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 >>