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 >>
Nine current pastors at Mars Hill Church, the Seattle-based ministry led by Mark Driscoll, have written a letter to their fellow elders expressing their concerns and listing critical points of information regarding the "abusive and coercive" culture long fostered by their besieged senior pastor.
Their aim in the letter, written just days (August 22) before Driscoll announced a 6-week break from pastoral duties, is that the Mars Hill Church leader would step down, to eventually one day be restored to a stature of God-honoring leadership.
The Mars Hill Church campus pastors who signed this letter are: more >>
Bishop Noel Jones, the senior pastor of the City of Refuge Church in Gardena, Calif., was forced to address a shocking truth revealed to him by his longtime female friend Loretta Jones on the Oxygen docu-series "Preachers of L.A." aftershow.
"Because men and women have a relationship for years, that doesn't mean that there's sex. That just means that there's some compatibility," Bishop Jones stated on the aftershow after being questioned by Bishop Ron Gibson and his wife Lavette. "Nobody asks if she would want to live with me in a marital environment."
When the question was asked of Loretta on the show, all parties involved seemed shocked by her response. more >>
Fierce battles over whether classic hymns or contemporary tunes should be the linchpins of Christian worship may have subsided, but the arena is still messy, according to worship pastor and recording artist Lincoln Brewster. Some Christians are more excited about turning up for a concert than they are about getting to worship on time, he says from experience. Others have placed facilitating genuine God-connections on the back burner for the sake of being "cool."
Brewster, in his 40s, was such a maestro on the guitar as a youth that by the age of 19, he was considering a major recording contract. But he passed on the golden opportunity for what he believed was a more sure-fire deal — serving at his local church. He has since released seven albums in partnership with Integrity Music, and has produced for the label such worship anthems as "Everlasting God" and "God You Reign."
Bayside Church in Granite Bay, California, where Brewster has served as the worship arts pastor for the last 14 years, describes him on its website as "a multi-talented guitarist, singer and songwriter" who "speaks to the hearts of people who are hungry for non-traditional, passionate worship." His accolades surely attest to his skills, but Brewster, a married father, is reluctant to take on the "rock star" title. more >>