Derwin Gray, founding pastor of Transformation Church in South Carolina, reminds readers in his new book, Limitless Life: You Are More Than Your Past When God Holds Your Future, that their identity is found in Jesus Christ, and not in labels like "addict," "orphan," or "failure" that family members, friends or life might have thrown their way.
The Transformation Church leader and former pro NFL player writes in Limitless Life that the truth of one's identity, worth, and purpose is centered in God through Jesus Christ. Nothing but God's grace, not even "religion," can remove the barriers placed upon people because of these labels, or "soul-tattoos" as Gray calls them.
When asked what he believes is God's desire for His children, Gray answered, "To be transformed into the image of Jesus and to continue Jesus' redemptive mission on earth through our gifts as the Holy Spirit empowers us, His Church, in every facet of life." more >>
NEW YORK — Tim Keller, pastor of Redeemer Presbyterian Church in New York City, spoke at the fourth annual Movement Day gathering and told nearly 2,000 pastors, ministry and community leaders, and professionals in attendance that "every Christian is a burning bush, every Christian is a Mount Sinai."
Using the Acts 2 narrative of Pentecost, Keller spoke on the subject of movements, calling the birth of the Church the greatest movement in history.
Below are 10 excerpts from Keller's remarks on Movement Day 2013, a conference that brought together Christians from more than 300 U.S. cities and 30 countries around the world to help catalyze "leaders changing cities through Gospel moments." more >>
The subject of discipleship took center stage on the first day of the Exponential West conference hosted at Saddleback Church in Lake Forest, Calif., where 2,000 church planting leaders onsite were treated on Tuesday to the first 10 of 27 speakers planned for the 3-day event.
Saddleback's own Pastor Rick Warren led a mid-day session on the topic of making disciples, along with pastors Robert Coleman and Ray Chang. Other speakers on Tuesday included Jim Putman, Derwin Gray, Obed Martinez, Shawn Mitchell, Alan Hirsch, Debra Hirsch, and Larry Osborne.
Warren said that although not always practiced among Christian leaders, being a servant such as the example Jesus Christ set is the key to making good disciples. He pointed out that the term "servant leader" is an unnecessary one. more >>
Oxygen network has made available online the premiere episode of its Christian-based docu-series "Preachers of L.A." The first episode titled, "Comeback," introduces viewers to the six Southern California ministers starring in the program, and delves right into their challenges and controversies, including Deitrick Haddon fathering a child through adultery. The men also tackle questions about charging for ministry appearances.
Editor's note: the following article includes spoilers.
In the first episode of "Preachers of L.A.," viewers are shown Haddon, his fiance Dominique and their toddler daughter practicing in the studio in preparation for a "comeback" concert at Bishop Noel Jones' City of Refuge church. Haddon, who began a relationship with Dominique while going through a divorce, attempts to reassure her that all will be well. The Grammy-nominated and multiple Stellar Gospel Music Award winner had a fall-out with his former church and suffered a public controversy as a result of his relationship with his child's mother. more >>
To emphasize his point (and promote his new book) that the Church is essentially dying, or at least on the cusp of doing so, Seattle megachurch pastor Mark Driscoll arrived to a Sunday evening worship service at Mars Hill Church U-District in a black hearse and suited in formal funeral attire.
Driscoll's book A Call to Resurgence: Will Christianity Have a Funeral or a Future? is planned for release on Nov. 5 and focuses on the need for Christians to be aware of changing times and the importance of sharing the Gospel despite a corrupting culture. Resurgence 2013, a leadership conference, is scheduled to begin on the same date.
"The hearse symbolizes death," communications director Justin Dean told The Christian Post in regards to Driscoll's unique arrival to church and the promotional videotaping done for the book using the vehicle as a prop earlier in the day. "And in the book, Pastor Mark shares that 'the death of Christendom means life just got a lot more difficult for anyone who really wants to be a Christian and follow Jesus.' more >>
The dean of one of the largest churches in the world recently declared during a sermon that homophobia is a sin, while at the same time, making no mention as to whether homosexuality may also be one.
In a sermon delivered Sunday at the Washington National Cathedral, The Very Reverend Gary Hall declared that "much of the blame belongs to our churches" in spreading hatred of gay people.
"Homophobia is a sin. Heterosexism is a sin. Shaming people for whom they love is a sin. Shaming people because their gender identity doesn't fit neatly into your sense of what it should be is a sin," said Hall, who is the Tenth Dean of The Episcopal Church's Cathedral. "Only when all our churches say that clearly and boldly and courageously will our LGBT youth be free to grow up in a culture that totally embraces them fully as they are." more >>