Christian relief organizations began to provide food and shelter along the U.S. East Coast to people suffering in the devastating aftermath of superstorm Sandy on Tuesday. By nightfall, the region's death toll reached nearly 50 people and millions remained without power or mass transit.
"We all watched this unique 'superstorm' coming from far off, and could see the potentially devastating course," said Jack Munday, international director of the Billy Graham Rapid Response Team, yesterday. "Sadly, it seems that the worst fears were realized and millions of people are now hurting as a result of Hurricane Sandy. I'm not sure that there are words that can adequately describe the enormity of this massive disaster. We'll do all we can in the face of this catastrophe to offer emotional and spiritual care and the hope and compassion of Jesus Christ."
The team's chaplains trained in crisis-response deployed Tuesday morning from Charlotte with three mobile office units, and were scheduled to head toward northern New Jersey, southern New Jersey, and Philadelphia. After an initial assessment, additional chaplains will arrive from across the United States later this week, said leaders of the renowned evangelist's ministry. more >>
CHICAGO – It doesn't sound right: someone claiming to be both a follower of Jesus Christ while still identifying himself as a Hindu or Sikh. But some respected missiologists are defending the new communities in India called Yeshu Satsang as biblical.
Formed as a direct response to broken relationships that Hindus or Sikhs in India who convert to Christianity often must endure, members of Yeshu Satsangs seek to follow the Bible while still retaining their cultural identity as Hindu or Sikh, and thus retaining harmonious relationships with their family members and community. The communities are also a pushback against Western ways of worshipping Jesus that is seen as "other" and foreign to the community. A Yeshu Satsang can loosely be defined as a gathering of Jesus followers whose members are socially still identified as Hindus or Sikhs.
"Even though [they have] rejected the word and practices of church, they have retained a theological identity of church while seeking to retain their Hindu and Sikh socio-religious identity," explained Darren Duerksen, director and assistant professor of Intercultural Studies at Fresno Pacific University, at the recent North American Mission Leaders Conference in Chicago. more >>
IRVINE, Calif., – Author and pastor Mark Driscoll gave a glimpse into the subject of his next book by discussing what it means for a Christian to have an identity "in Christ" while speaking during the closing session of a two-day leadership conference.
"Most people, even those who are Christian, don't have a very good sense of who they are in Christ," said Driscoll to a crowd of more than 2,000 church leaders Thursday at the Resurgence Conference (R12) at Mariners Church in Irvine, Calif.
After talking about how people often describe their identity by way of things such as their achievements, duties, and material possessions, he said, "Your identity is in this constant state of chaos and change and influenced sometimes positively and sometimes negatively. What this leads to is a very inconsistent emotional and spiritual life. These are the things that may explain you, but they do not define you." more >>
America is one of the fastest-growing mission fields in the world, the most recent issue of Unfinished magazine says, but if Christians are not careful they will miss opportunities to reach their "least reached neighbors."
The fall edition of the magazine, which is published by The Mission Society, focuses on the increasing diversity throughout the U.S. and how Christians can engage in cross-cultural ministry without leaving the city they live in. The diversity that can be found in cities and university campuses, in particular, provides both opportunities and challenges for ministries that hope to do mission work here at home.
"Acts 1:8 calls us to take the gospel to the ends of the earth while not neglecting 'Jerusalem,' our mission field at home," Dick McClain, president and CEO of The Mission Society, said in a statement. "Whether you live in Louisville, Kentucky, or Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, it is incumbent on Christian disciples to identify and then reach out to those who have had the least exposure to the gospel. The least-reached people may very well be your neighbor." more >>
Right after finishing his round of "thank you for coming" at the end of the North American Mission Leaders Conference, hosted by Missio Nexus, Steve Moore, the group's president, sat down with The Christian Post's Michelle Vu for an interview over lunch before his flight back to Atlanta, Ga. Moore talked about the greatest development thus far in his mission career, tips on how to connect with the younger generation, why his father and him did not become full-time missionaries, and some of the biggest misconceptions about missions. Here are excerpts from the interview:
CP: One of my favorite things at this conference was the choir last night, which got people dancing and clapping. Is that a local church choir or African choir?
Moore: It is a Nigerian congregation. I don't have the specifics behind it, but we have an office here in Chicago and they are the ones that put together all the different local music groups, including that one. All I know is that it was a Nigerian congregation. Most African congregations have an identity that is based on the senior pastor, but most of them have people from multiple countries that are part of it, but we'll just say it's a Nigerian choir. more >>
CHICAGO – Christian author and college professor Miriam Adeney gave a sort of "state of missions" speech during the North American Mission Leaders Conference Friday in which she said the church in many parts of the world continues to flourish where the Gospel is proclaimed with regularity.
"What's new in missions? The church of Jesus Christ," said Adeney, answering her own question before more than 500 mission organization leaders attending the three-day conference at Chicago Marriott O'Hare.
"Who could have imagined the church in China as it is today? In China, the church is bigger than the communist party," she said. more >>