Belief operates at three levels: essentials, convictions and preferences. And to keep a church united and strong, its members should come together around the essentials while bearing with one another on differences in convictions and preferences, said a pastor at Willow Creek Community Church on Sunday.
Our convictions and preferences are not as important as the essentials, which are that Jesus died, He was buried, He raised from the dead and He appeared, said Teaching Pastor Steve Carter of the megachurch in South Barrington, Ill.
Essentials refer to matters of first importance, the pastor explained. Convictions are the strong beliefs that we hold, and preferences mean giving advantage to one thing over the others. more >>
More than a dozen members of New Birth Missionary Baptist Church have managed to recoup some of their losses, originally totaling nearly $1 million, in a civil suit involving Bishop Eddie Long and alleged Ponzi scheme mastermind Ephren Taylor.
Thirteen former members of Long's Lithonia, Ga., megachurch recently reached a confidential financial settlement with the Christian minister, although neither he nor Taylor have admitted to any wrongdoing.
"I somewhat blame New Birth, because when this happened, instead of really showing us love, we were kind of looked at as outcasts," J.B. Bailey, one of the 13 victims who has recouped his money, told MyFoxAtlanta.com. more >>
Elevation Church, the Charlotte, N.C. multi-site worship community led by pastor Steven Furtick, recently donated $300,000 towards a $20-million city fund to fight homelessness.
The proceeds will help fight the rise of homelessness in Charlotte through the Social Impact Housing Fund, created to provide short-term rental assistance for families and veterans, and assist residents who earn less than 50 percent of the area's median income.
"I can't thank you enough for hearing my cry on the trail as I talked about how important this subject matter is to me," said Charlotte Mayor Patrick Cannon to Furtick in a video interview. "$300,000, that's a big deal and you do it with humbleness and without asking for anything back. Charlotte will be set up as a place for best practices, where we can be looked upon by other places in this country, if not the world." more >>
Justin Bieber, seen recently in an X-rated photo with an adult dancer, reportedly scoured New York City over the weekend for a private pool where he could be baptized through Hillsong NYC church, led by his close friend Pastor Carl Lentz.
"Justin and his team spent time on Saturday searching for a place with a pool where they could conduct a baptism for him, a cleansing ritual, with the Hillsong Church. But they couldn't find a place in time," one person, among "multiple sources," told the New York Post's Page Six.
The publication reports a second source as saying, "Justin is serious about his Christian faith, and after recent events, he needed to take a pause." more >>
Their beloved Seahawks were to take on Denver Broncos on Super Bowl Sunday, but the Seattle-based megachurch Mars Hill went ahead with its evening service, knowing well that many would not show up.
"Today we collide with an unofficial U.S. national holiday: the Super Bowl," Pastor Mark Driscoll wrote in an email to the pastors across Mars Hill churches on Sunday. "For those of us in the Great North Left, today is of particular interest because our beloved Seahawks are playing. Go Hawks!"
Those who come for the evening services will be "uniquely crushed," the pastor acknowledged. "And it's ok. I love football and would love to watch the game. So I will record it and catch it after I preach the 4 p.m. service at Mars Hill Bellevue." more >>
Megachurch pastor and bestselling author Joel Osteen is making a second trip to New York City's Yankee Stadium this summer for his annual "America's Night of Hope" tour. The last time the Texas preacher and his family visited the baseball stadium in 2009, they brought a near-capacity crowd with them. But what happened during Osteen's visit to Yankee Stadium, and what can the estimated 55,000 worshippers who will likely join him in June expect this time around?
Osteen's "Historic Night of Hope" at Yankee Stadium on April 25, 2009, was the first non-baseball engagement held at the current venue, located in the Bronx borough of New York City. The ballpark, home to the N.Y. Yankees, had re-opened after a move just 9 days prior to the Christian event with Osteen reportedly beating out the Rolling Stones rock group for the inaugural spot.
Night of Worship & Weekend of Service more >>