Saddleback Church's Pastor Rick Warren is scheduled to give the congregation at the Seattle-based Mars Hill Church, hosted at a dozen regional locations, its last sermon via video this Sunday, as the megachurch, founded and once led by Pastor Mark Driscoll, officially dissolves.
"As we reflect on over eighteen years of ministry, and ultimately close the doors on Mars Hill Church, we are thankful that many of our churches will continue as new independent, autonomous churches," officials stated Tuesday on the church's website. "While Mars Hill Church will cease to exist, God's work through his people will continue."
As Mars Hill staff were busy closing the final chapter on the church that once rocked the Seattle area and beyond with its edgy, strict orthodox preacher who had his share of leadership problems that led to his resignation in October, there were no official reaction statements coming from the church other than an announcement on its website. Both Driscoll and Warren declined to comment, according to their respective media representatives at press time. more >>
More than 12,000 bags of cookies along with a note and voucher for free hot meals at a local eatery were given to residents and workers on Christmas Eve near the four locations of the New Jersey-based Liquid Church. The gift bags were distributed by more than 5,000 people who attended one of 12 services at the church in what was called a "spiritual flash mob."
"It's exciting to see the enthusiasm to go out and share God's love after each service," said Liquid Church Pastor Tim Lucas. "And we just heard from some police officers in Times Square sharing that they just received a bag from a Liquid Church family. It made their day to know that they matter, especially on a day like today. Now that's what we call putting our faith into action."
Those who attended Christmas Eve services at Liquid Church throughout the day were given the bags of cookies and vouchers with instructions from Lucas to "fan out" and show God's love after the services. more >>
Stephen Broden, pro-life activist and pastor of the Fair Park Bible Fellowship Church in Dallas, Texas, is urging black megachurches to join him in protesting a sprawling 17,000 square-foot Planned Parenthood abortion center with an 8-foot concrete wall he believes was intentionally placed in their predominantly black neighborhood.
"Planned Parenthood has built a wall to shield their clients from the presence of God's prayer warriors who pray to end abortion at one of Texas' largest abortion facilities. This death trap is located in the middle of the black community, within a 1 mile radius of six of Texas' black mega churches. And 5 miles of seven. A wall cannot hide their bloody hands from the presence of an omnipresent God," wrote Broden in a Dec. 6 post on his Facebook page.
Broden, who's been a long time pro-life advocate, noted in a One News Now report that he believes it's the duty of the churches in the neighborhood to raise their voices against the ungodliness of abortion. more >>
Director Steve Carr opened up about his final, awe-inspiring film chronicling famed evangelical Ed Dobson's fight against ALS, this time offering a powerful message of hope for those ravaged by today's racial tensions.
The only thing more striking than the fact that Dobson has lived with Lou Gherig's disease for the past decade is that he has done so with undeterred optimism. Previously the emeritus pastor at Calvary Church, the 64-year-old Irishman first thought his life was over in 2001 after being diagnosed with the degenerative disease also known as amyotrophic lateral sclerosis. However, Dobson heard the voice of God urging him not to give up, and that hope has persisted 14 years and counting.
"Ed's Story" includes seven short films with the first "It Ain't Over" released in 2011 to the last "Healing" released just recently. The seventh and final short by Carr arrives at a pivotal time of racial unrest in American history. "Healing" takes a deeper look at Dobson's friendship with Pastor Clifton Rhodes Jr., an African-American who is also suffering from ALS. more >>
New Jersey-based Liquid Church announced this week its plan to equip churchgoers to participate in a "spiritual flash mob" on Christmas Eve.
"Thousands will be commissioned to put their faith into action with a special twist on the crowd-favorite that infuses a Biblical approach," organizers stated while listing the schedule for 12 Christmas Eve services at all four of its locations.
"We're excited to see what happens as thousands of unsuspecting people meet our 'conspiracy of kindness' face-to-face and receive the love coming their way this Christmas," lead pastor Tim Lucas said. "Especially on a night like Christmas Eve, when others might not take notice of their circumstances, we want them to know that they really do matter to God." more >>
South Carolina megachurch NewSpring gave away over $215,000 worth of shoes and gift cards to students and teachers in underprivileged schools earlier this month. NewSpring Public Relations Director Suzanne Swift said the donations are a no-strings-attached way to show the community they care.
"Our church believes you can't do life alone and as families are buying gifts for Christmas and other necessities, this is just a small way we can come alongside them, be generous and help these families in our community," Swift told The Christian Post.
More than 350 volunteers from Pastor Perry Noble's multi-site church traveled to 12 elementary schools, giving away 7,265 pairs of colorful New Balance shoes fresh out of the boxes to every single student. Teachers and staff also received $25 restaurant gift cards as well. more >>