Texas megachurch pastor and author Joel Osteen suggested that Christians may be overreacting to the "war on Christmas" while speaking with "Fox News Sunday" host Chris Wallace.
Osteen, who also discussed his new book, Breaking Out, admitted that although the holiday may not be celebrated the way it was 50 years ago, it was not something he was overly concerned about.
"I think there is always things coming against faith, and I don't think that's going to stop people of faith," Osteen, who pastors the 45,000-strong Lakewood Church, said. "I do think the society is changing. It's not like it was when I was growing up. So in one sense maybe there is, but those kind of things it doesn't stop my faith, it doesn't discourage me. Even the Scripture says it's going to get darker in the world, but it'll get brighter for the church or for believers. So it's just another way to let our life shine brightly." more >>
Summit Church in Orlando, Fla., whose founder and former pastor Isaac Hunter died in an apparent suicide earlier this month, recently sold a $1.5 million property next to its main church facilities, local media reported.
The church, east of downtown Orlando, sold a retail center, one of the two properties it acquired in distress sales in 2012, according to Orlando Sentinel.
The retail center, which includes about 11,723 square feet on 1.4 acres, was 100 percent leased at the time of the sale, the newspaper quoted Jeff Porter, facilities director of Summit, as saying. more >>
College Park Church in Indianapolis, Ind., has selected this year Wycliffe Bible Translators USA, the world's largest Scripture translation organization, as the recipient of its annual Christmas Offering, a special collection meant to assist Christian missions.
The Indiana megachurch, which has averaged $600,000 in recent years for the special holiday offering, will donate the money collected during its three services on Sunday, Dec. 22 to the Christian nonprofit.
"At College Park Church, we have a particular passion that those who have never had an opportunity to hear about Jesus may do so, and thereby may find life in Him," said Nate Irwin, pastor of global outreach at the church. more >>
Joel Osteen, megachurch pastor and New York Times best-selling author, was pressed during a recent interview about his stance on homosexuality and asked if he would ever come out in support of same-sex marriage. The Texas minister, who leads America's largest congregation, explained that he refuses to "harp" on such issues and was "for everybody."
In his appearance on "Katie" this week, the Break Out! author was asked to state his core message in a nugget, which the Lakewood Church pastor said was that "God is good, He's for you, He's on your side."
"When you put your trust in Him, even when you have difficult times, you can rise higher. You can excel, you can be leaders. It's an empowering message, not one that pushes people down," he added. more >>
The megachurch movement in the United States is not dying or slowing down, according to a recent, end-of-year report that shows a growing number of attendance, averaging 2,000 people in 46 states.
"With each passing year, megachurches are more in both number and size and the ones at the top of the list are larger than the ones at the top of the list in previous years," Warren Bird, director of research and intellectual capital development for Leadership Network, told The Christian Post.
Megachurches tend to be more protestant in nature and, by definition, hold services for 2,000 members or more. In the U.S., several congregations surpass that figure by large numbers, including Rick Warren's Saddleback Church based in Lake Forest, Calif., and Joel Osteen's Lakewood Church in Houston, among others. According to Bird, there are currently 1,650 established megachurches in the country, many of which draw a sizeable percentage of young adults. more >>
Hillsong NYC Pastor Carl Lentz has made it clear that he will not take a public stance on social issues like homosexuality because, as he said during media appearances this week, that is not the example Jesus Christ models in the Bible.
When asked during an interview with Katie Couric on her self-titled daytime show if he felt that he had a moral imperative to speak publicly about "some of these more controversial issues," Lentz said, "No, because we try to be like Jesus."
He explained, "Very rarely did Jesus ever talk about morality or social issues. He was about the deeper things of the heart. Often people want to talk about behavior modification, and our church isn't about that. … We're about soul transformation. You start talking about some of the symptomatic stuff, that's not what we're about. We're about talking to people about their heart and the condition of their soul, and some of that stuff out-works itself. But we're not trying to change anybody because we can't." more >>