Megachurch pastor Mark Driscoll recently apologized via an internal letter to his congregation for using a marketing company that promoted his book Real Marriage through what he now sees as a manipulative method to help place the book on top of the New York Times best seller list.
"My understanding of the ResultSource marketing strategy was to maximize book sales, so that we could reach more people with the message and help grow our church," Driscoll stated in the letter. "In retrospect, I no longer see it that way. Instead, I now see it as manipulating a book sales reporting system, which is wrong. I am sorry that I used this strategy, and will never use it again. I have also asked my publisher to not use the '#1 New York Times bestseller' status in future publications, and am working to remove this from past publications as well."
Earlier this month, after a report that the Seattle-based Mars Hill Church he pastors paid a promotional company $210,000 three years ago to make sure that Real Marriage, co-written by Driscoll's wife, Grace, made the New York Times best-seller list, the church released a "Note From Our Board of Advisors and Accountability." In addition to describing a shift in the way decisions made by the church administration are reviewed, the Board addressed the book promotion controversy. more >>
Approaching the 1-year anniversary of the death of her son, Matthew, Kay Warren recently shared her strong feelings about the perhaps well-meaning, but often insensitive comments she's received during the grieving process. Her husband, Pastor Rick Warren of Saddleback Church, says her post, which has since gone viral, resonates with many who have faced a similar situation.
"It struck a nerve with every grieving person who faces well-meaning but clueless reactions from others," posted Rick Warren on his Facebook page on Friday. "In 24 hours, her post has been read by over 1.5 million people, re-posted nearly 9,000 time, and thousands have left affirming 'I get it' comments."
In just the few days since its original posting, Kay Warren's "Don't Tell Grievers to 'Move On'" piece has been re-posted nearly 17,000 times and readership has climbed well over the initial 1.5 million. Pastor Warren urged the readers of his post to "Like" her Facebook page in support then pass her article on to others. more >>
Pastor Rick Warren and his wife, Kay, of Saddleback Church, will be joined by several experts in the field of mental health, and the National Alliance on Mental Illness-Orange County to host The Gathering on Mental Health and the Church later this month.
Open to everyone, The Gathering on Mental Health and the Church on March 28 is designed to encourage individuals living with mental illness, educate family members, and equip church leaders to provide effective and compassionate care to any who face the challenges of mental illness, say organizers.
"It's so important that people know, no matter how desperate their despair, there is hope, and not to give up," said Kay Warren. "We want this to be a hopeful event that encourages individuals and helps them realize they are not alone in dealing with mental illness." more >>
A former Swedish megachurch pastor has resigned from the church board of the largest Assembly of God church in the world.
Ulf Ekman, the former leader at Word of Life, announced earlier this week that he and his wife Birgitta would be converting to Catholicism, and that he would also be departing his post at Yoido Full Gospel Church, where pastor David Yonggi Cho was recently convicted on charges that millions of dollars of church money was spent on buying his son's stocks. Cho was also sentenced to three years in prison.
A California megachurch's recent vote to leave Presbyterian Church (USA) has been confirmed by the mainline Protestant denomination. Menlo Park Presbyterian Church, a multi-site congregation which has over 3,000 members, recently voted to leave PCUSA.
The PCUSA Presbytery of San Francisco affirmed the vote taken by Menlo Park Presbyterian Tuesday in a meeting. Nicole S. Laubscher, spokeswoman for Menlo Park Presbyterian, told The Christian Post about the time table now that the Presbytery has approved their vote to be dismissed.
"The effective date of dismissal will occur no earlier than 91 days after the Presbytery vote, and as promptly thereafter as practicable recognizing the need to complete necessary purchase and transfer documentation," said Laubscher. "Now that our dismissal from the PCUSA has been approved, we are beginning the formal transfer process into ECO for both MPPC and our pastors. We are in regular communication with the leadership of ECO to ensure a seamless transition at the end of the 91-day waiting period." more >>
Joel Osteen's Lakewood Church in Houston, Texas, was robbed of $600,000 in donations over the weekend.
"We were heartbroken to learn today that funds were stolen from the church over the weekend. This includes cash, checks and envelopes containing written credit card information, and it is limited only to those funds contributed in the church services on Saturday, March 8 and Sunday, March 9, 2014," Lakewood told the 45,000-strong congregation, the biggest in America, in a statement on Monday.
FOX 26 reported that Houston police are currently looking for clues on who might have broken into the church safe. The crime was discovered early Monday morning by a Lakewood employee. Around $200,000 of the stolen money is believed to be in cash, while the rest included donations made by checks and credit cards. more >>