IRVINE, Calif. – More than 4,000 Christians interested in becoming better leaders packed out the Catalyst West conference held at Mariner's Church in Orange County beginning last Wednesday and ending Friday.
"We were praying that for every leader here this would be a bench mark for them or a marker on the road of leadership for them," Catalyst President Brad Lomenick told The Christian Post backstage at the event. He said that he hopes leaders would be able to look back at the conference and say that it was a significant turning point in their lives.
"We pray that with a fearless sense and an aggressive belief that it is going to happen for leaders individually," Lomenick said. "I feel like that it is happening [at Catalyst West]. The unity, the fun, and the energy are here. It's always here [at Catalyst conferences], but we feel like we dialed it up a bit." more >>
Saying he was "too blessed to worry about it," Joel Osteen of Lakewood Church in Houston revealed Friday that he has left it up to his lawyers to deal with people using his name, as was the case of a recent Internet hoax claiming that the pastor had renounced his Christian faith and quit leading his Texas megachurch.
Osteen made the remarks during a live online interview with The Huffington Post. Although he was asked to comment on various topics, such as instilling hope during a tragedy like the Boston Marathon bombing, Osteen chose to address the hoax that he perceived as a challenge to his calling.
"It was so far out to me, it was almost comical. So I thought it was just a joke, somebody having too much time on their hands," said Osteen. more >>
MIAMI – Miami Mayor Tomas Regalado and Doral Mayor Luigi Boria proudly spoke of God's work in their cities as they presented Pastors Joel and Victoria Osteen with the keys to their respective cities on Thursday at Shake-A-Leg Miami in celebration of the Generation Hope Project.
The Generation Hope Project is comprised of more than 150 young adults who are passionate about making a positive impact in communities by contributing their time and labor to help change the circumstances of despair through acts of kindness and compassion. This year's volunteers hail from Texas; Fort Wayne, Ind.; and one young man who endured a 16-hour flight from Johannesburg, South Africa, just to be a part of the two-day project in Miami.
Speaking about the impact Generation Hope and the Osteens have had on Miami, Regalado expressed his gratitude for their investment in the city, and for supporting the dreams of those who've devoted their lives to meeting the needs of their community. more >>
Joel Osteen, pastor of America's fastest-growing church, is in Miami this weekend for his annual "America's Night of Hope" worship event that will draw tens of thousands Saturday night. The megachurch pastor and bestselling inspirational author spoke with The Huffington Post Friday about the global event and the subject of hope, in light of this week's violent and tragic events.
Osteen appeared during the live chat apparently via a web camera as law enforcement officials were in Boston Friday morning, hunting down one of two suspects said to be responsible for the violent bombing at the Boston Marathon on Monday that killed three people and injured more than 170 others.
When asked by host Lamont Hill on what his message would be to Americans who have suffered not only from the bombing, but also due to other cases of tragedy this week, such as the Texas fertilizer plant fire that killed several people, the Lakewood Church pastor said, "I would tell them that God has us all in the palm of His hand." more >>
A teenager unintentionally linked to the Boston Marathon bombings by the New York Post has said that he is being stalked and fears for his life after his photo was put on the front page.
"Everywhere I go, I just don't want to look at people. Cause when they look at me, they're just gonna be like – oh he just did this." Salah Eddin Barhoum, 17, who was pictured at the marathon with the headline: "Bag men: Feds seek these two pictured at Boston Marathon," told ABC News.
"You got so many people killed – one eight years old, you got so many people injured. Their families are going to feel so horrible about what you did," Barhoum added of the accusations he is receiving. "The only thing they look at is my skin color and since I'm Moroccan I'm kind of dark." more >>
The Rev. Wilfredo "Choco" De Jesus, recently touted by one publication as "the new face of social justice," has been named one of Time magazine's "100 Most Influential People," with the New Life Covenant Ministries pastor introduced to Time readers by Saddleback Church Pastor Rick Warren.
"I am honored to be named to TIME's 100. It's a great privilege to be a voice not only for the Latino Christian community, but also for the poor and voiceless in our society," said De Jesus in a public statement. "The Hispanic community in the U.S. is over 51 million strong. We're people God has chosen to govern and to lead communities and cities with conviction, unapologetically. There are many great leaders in this community, and I am truly humbled by this recognition."
De Jesus's Chicago, Ill., megachurch is home to 5,000 members locally, and a total of 14,000 globally through New Life Covenant Ministries' church plants and various outreach programs. more >>