Wilfredo De Jesus, pastor of a Chicago megachurch that oversees more than 130 ministries to the poor and disenfranchised, believes Christians in the U.S. have been playing it safe for far too long. He says many are unwilling to stick their necks out for the marginalized who are suffering in the cracks created by society's broken systems and abusive structures.
De Jesus, pastor New Live Covenant Church, the largest Assemblies of God congregation in the U.S., says it is fear of being ridiculed or ostracized that has paralyzed some leaders and kept them confined to their churches, limiting their engagement with a world in desperate need for people willing to help bridge those gaps.
"A gap is a place of weakness, vulnerability, and danger — a place of real threats," explains De Jesus in his new book, In the Gap. He explains in the book that while gaps can be as broad as illiteracy and human trafficking, they can be as personal as an unfaithful spouse or an abusive family member. more >>
Pastor Kong Hee of City Harvest Church in Singapore has been accused of having "shortchanged the faith of the church members" by the church's former investment manager, regarding the millions spent on his wife's pop-star career, as the high-profile trial resumed on Monday.
Channel News Asia reported that investment manager Chew Eng Han, who is also facing trial, accused Kong of knowing all the time that the 24 million SGD ($19.2 million) taken from the church's funds was used on singer Sun Ho's pop star career. He also said that Ho's CD sales and her position in the music charts were boosted by the money, and that her supposed success in the secular music industry was not real.
Kong, along with Chew, CHC pastor Tan Ye Peng, member Lam Leng Hung, and accountants Serina Wee Gek Yin and Sharon Tan ShaoYuen, could face 10 to 20 years in prison if convicted of having misused the money. more >>
Australian megachurch Hillsong has influenced Christian worship far and wide, with its songs like "Mighty to Save" and "Awesome God" routinely belted out in churches around the world. The Pentecostal church's music ministry has proven so pivotal to modern Christian worship that its United brand is the subject of a new documentary and, along with Hillsong's other mainstays (UNITED and Young & Free), has racked up this year 10 GMA Dove Award nominations.
But what is behind 31-year-old Hillsong Church's singing success?
According to Autumn Hardman, whose role is Worship Oversight for Hillsong Church's Australian campuses, the secret of Hillsong's success is simple — keeping Jesus front and center. more >>
Mars Hill Church announced the cancellation of their annual Resurgence Conference late Thursday which was expected to feature a lineup of leading evangelical preachers, some who have reportedly cut ties with Pastor Mark Driscoll.
The announcement comes a week after Driscoll was dismissed from Acts 29, the church planting network he founded, because of questionable leadership, officials of the group of national church leaders said. In a statement on the Mars Hill website, organizers said the conference had to be called off because of additional challenges.
"The Resurgence Conference has always been born out of our love of Jesus and the church, and the desire to support efforts to grow leaders to grow churches. Unfortunately, we have decided to cancel this year's conference due to unforeseen changes to our speaker line-up and other challenges we believe would make it difficult to provide the quality of conference people have come to expect from Resurgence," reads the statement. more >>
Hillsong's Pastor Brian Houston was unsure why Hollywood producers were interested in making a movie about their "little church" when they approached him with the idea, he admits in a new blog post.
Alcon Entertainment and Warner Bros. will release the film "Hillsong – Let Hope Rise" in April 2015 about their megachurch's humble beginnings and their famous worship band but Houston says a lot of thought, preparation and prayer was involved before allowing their cameras to roll.
"We aren't naive enough to believe that it's all going to be a 'walk in the park', but we have faith to believe that opening up our lives and portraying the journey with authenticity may just point people to the One we live for and long to glorify – Jesus," said Houston. more >>
Hillsong Music is celebrating an astonishing 10 Dove Award nominations received this week, including Artist of the Year and Song of the Year.
The numerous awards were announced at the 45th Annual GMA Dove Awards press conference on Wednesday, Aug. 13. Today, the group is celebrating the recognition by honoring God.
"We are honored to receive these nominations for Dove Awards and are humbled that people listen to our music," the Hillsong Music Team said in a statement. "We pray that it always points them to Jesus. To God be the Glory!" more >>