As the Mainline denomination Evangelical Lutheran Church in America continues to wrestle with declining membership, one of its congregations is experiencing rapid growth.
Lutheran Church of Hope, an Iowa-based multi-site Lutheran megachurch boasting tens of thousands of members, continues to increase its size and scope.
Less than a year after being founded, the Waukee satellite congregation of Lutheran Church of Hope, the newest of five sites for the megachurch, will be moving into the building currently owned by a church called Point of Grace in early October. more >>
Actor Keith David will play the lead role in the Oprah Winfrey Network's upcoming original scripted drama series "Greenleaf," about a fictitious scandal-ridden Memphis megachurch.
David, known for his roles as the CIA director in "Agent Cody Banks" and Dr. Facilier in "The Princess and the Frog," will play Bishop James Greenleaf, leader of Greenleaf World Ministries, according to Deadline.
The Emmy-winning actor will be joined by Lynn Whitfield, who will play the role of Greenleaf's wife, Lady Mae, as "a steely woman who loves money and power and will do absolutely anything to protect her position as the First Lady of Greenleaf World Ministries," according to indiewire.com. more >>
J.D. Greear, lead pastor of Summit Church in Raleigh-Durham, North Carolina, has been noted for taking a 300-member church and growing the congregation to more than 9,000, making it one of the 100 fastest-growing churches in the U.S. So perhaps Greear can afford to say that pastors should stop their obsession with "gathering and counting" and instead get excited about the possible impact of "raising up and sending out" their members.
But what the North Carolina pastor suggests is not exactly revolutionary, as he points to the nearly 2,000-year-old command of Jesus for his believers to "go and make disciples of all nations," the basis of what Christians call the Great Commission, found in Matthew 28:16-20.
Another passage Greear points to is John 14:12. more >>
PHILADELPHIA — The lobbying entity of the nation's largest Protestant denomination has made it clear that it is against predatory practices that take advantage of the poor, having joined a broad coalition earlier this year organized to "raise awareness about families in financial crisis and how high-cost lending negatively impacts them." But what is the high-profile Christian ethics advocacy organization doing to protect vulnerable believers from preying prosperity preachers?
The question was posed to Russell Moore, president of the Ethics & Religious Liberty Commission of the Southern Baptist Convention that represents more than 15 million Southern Baptists in the public square. The outspoken ERLC president has been vocal about everything from abortion and gay marriage to racial reconciliation and Christian political engagement.
Moore, who has said that "payday lending is a form of economic predation and grinds the faces of the poor into the ground," told The Christian Post in an aside at the 2015 Religion Newswriters Association Conference in Philadelphia this past week that his SBC organization has long taken a stance against prosperity preaching. more >>
Stirred by a report of how the Islamic State uses the Quran to justify systematic sexual violence against women and young girls, Hillsong Church pastor Bobbie Houston has called on women everywhere to pray over the shocking and abhorrent situation in any way they know how.
After reading The New York Times Aug. 13 feature "ISIS Enshrines a Theology of Rape," Houston posted a fervent prayer request on her Instagram account, alerting potentially more than 100,000 followers to the powerful report.
The Times feature, written by Rukmini Callimachi, highlights how "the Islamic State codifies sex slavery in conquered regions of Iraq and Syria," using the Quran in support. The radical Sunni militant group uses the barbaric practice as a recruiting tool to grow its numbers. more >>
A man clad in black declaring himself to be a prophet took California megachurch pastor John MacArthur and congregants by surprise when he purposefully stormed the altar to deliver a message of rebuke that he claimed was from God during a recent Sunday service.
The man clad in black and wearing a black backpack stepped onto the podium while MacArthur was addressing congregants at Grace Community Church in Sun Valley, California, on Sunday, Aug. 16, according to a video of the encounter published on YouTube.
The man whistled as MacArthur spoke, immediately commanding the attention of all in the packed sanctuary. He then declared what he said was his message from God while pointing at the 76-year-old pastor, author and seminary president. more >>