After weathering a blistering week of scorn and ridicule for controversial comments she made during a worship service at the popular Lakewood Church in Houston, Texas, including a declaration that worship is not for God, co-pastor Victoria Osteen now says that's not what she meant and dismissed the notion as "ridiculous."
"While I admit that I could have been more articulate in my remarks, I stand by my point that when we worship God and are obedient to Him we will be better for it," she told The Blaze in a statement Friday. "I did not mean to imply that we don't worship God; that's ridiculous, and only the critics and cynics are interpreting my remarks that way."
She further explained that her congregants at Lakewood Church knew exactly what she meant and there was no confusion among the flock she co-pastors with her New York Times bestselling author husband Joel Osteen. more >>
The senior pastor of the largest Latino-led church in San Diego has been named president of The Hispanic Mega Church Association, where he will work to bring the country's largest Hispanic congregations together.
Pastor Sergio de la Mora says isolated churches are no longer relevant to the nation and believes in joining forces as a cohesive and collaborative church at large.
"For every nationality, every demographic and every social circle, today is the dawn of a new day. And our responsibility as the local church is to lead this shift in power and influence by leading our families, communities and nation to experience a Heart Revolution," de la Mora said in a statement. more >>
Attendance numbers in a megachurch are important regardless of the criticism they might get because churches are not meant to stay small and comfortable, says Perry Noble, senior pastor of the multi-campus NewSpring Church.
Noble said he has "caught some flak" in the past for caring about numbers too much and he admits that NewSpring hopes to attract more people than they have now because Jesus also cared about attracting multitudes.
"We're all about the numbers because we believe that every number has a name, every name has a story, and every story matters to God," Noble said in a recent blog post. "We aren't just about NewSpring being a church of thousands of people … we want all churches to be thousands strong because of the potential the church has." more >>
Theologian and pastor James Emery White argues that turmoil within churches regarding the pastor, such as what has transpired at Mars Hill Church with Pastor Mark Driscoll, is not just a problem for the individual congregation, but for all churches.
"Without going into the saga that is Mars Hill Church … let's just say that it's a mess. And not just for Mars Hill," White recently wrote in his blog, Church & Culture. "It's a mess for all churches as such things unfold before a watching world. Every time something like this happens locally, or nationally, I groan. Not simply because it grieves me, not simply because of the damage to our collective witness, but because it makes it so much harder for so many men and women in ministry who don't create messes."
White, the founding and senior pastor at Mecklenburg Community Church in Charlotte, North Carolina, fears that others will "get painted with the same brush." more >>
T.D. Jakes, Perry Noble, Nick Vujicic and Jentezen Franklin were among the numerous participants of the "ALS Ice Bucket Challenge" that's been sweeping online social networks. The stunt was being used to raise funds to support continued research into treating and curing Lou Gehrig's Disease.
Participants of the "ALS Ice Bucket Challenge" record a video of themselves being doused with a bucket of ice-cold (or icy) water. Participants also state which individuals they are nominating for the challenge. If a person who is called out for the challenge fails to accept within 24 hours, they are then expected to donate $100 to an ALS organization (although some do both the challenge and make a donation).
An example of the "ALS Ice Bucket Challenge" can be seen in the video below of Jakes, pastor of The Potter's House in Dallas, Texas: more >>
One of the nine pastors who wrote an open letter to Mars Hill Pastor Mark Driscoll, in which they complained about his lack of accountability, was terminated indefinitely on Wednesday from the church's staff.
Mark Dunford had served as an unpaid lay pastor at Mars Hill Portland and community groups pastor at the Mars Hill Ballard campus. According to Washington-based ABC affiliate, KING 5 News, Dunford was fired because of "rebellion against the church."
Neither Dunford nor anyone from Mars Hill has come forward with a statement regarding the termination. Meanwhile, Driscoll's parents have spoken out in defense of their son. more >>