NEW YORK — Contrary to a time when urban areas were abandoned in a rush of white flight to the more racially-homogenous suburbs, eager and excited church planters are now flocking to cities like L.A. and NYC, holding up the banner of God's call in Jeremiah 29:7 to "seek the good of the city." But, according to urban apologist and former church planter D.A. Horton, his peers mostly seem intent on seeking the welfare of the safe and gentrified urban areas.
Horton is also a former pastor and previously served as executive director of ReachLife Ministries. He currently works as the national coordinator of Urban Student Missions at the North American Mission Board, or NAMB.
NAMB is among numerous organizations and networks (like the Orchard Group and Acts 29) that are on mission to evangelize and revitalize cities by training, supporting and sending (usually male) Christians who say they feel called to start a church. With so many new churches being planted and launched (read about a few here, here and here), some observers have expressed concerns that the movement has become a fad. Others, like Horton, have noticed that amid the influx of Millennial-led churches to major cities, some leaders appear to be avoiding, or overlooking the inner city — frequently marked by poverty, high crime and afflicted education systems. more >>
WASHINGTON — Pastors Mark Dever of Capitol Hill Baptist Church in Washington, D.C. and Christopher Brooks, head of Evangel Ministries in Detroit, say congregations must uphold their biblical responsibilities as members of the church by creating a "culture of accountability" for their pastors and church leaders.
Speaking at the Evangelical Leadership Summit hosted by the American Enterprise Institute, the two pastors who oversee inner city churches talked about an array of issues concerning pastoral leadership.
"I think a lot of churches are dysfunctional because their pastors are terrible. And I would like to see more healthy pastors leading more healthy churches," Dever said. more >>
Tom Mannin, the pastor of Oklahoma City Community Church which uses the Oklahoma City Civic Center Music Hall for its worship services, is breaking his silence on the city's decision to allow a satanic "black mass" and the Christian service to be held inside the same building later this month.
In a blog entry posted Tuesday on the church's website, Mannin said his congregation, as well as Christians in general, have to respond with "love and hope" toward the Dakhma of Angra Mainyu who will hold a black mass in a theatre space at the civic center.
Pastor Kong Hee of City Harvest Church tried to wipe out links tying his church to Xtron Productions, the management firm behind his wife Sun Ho's pop career, the prosecution argued on Monday. Kong and five other church members are being accused of misusing $19.2 million to fund Ho's career.
"The reason why you were trying to sweep the transactions with Xtron under the carpet is because that's what you do if your house is dirty and a visitor might be turning up unexpectedly," said Deputy Public Prosecutor Christopher Ong.
The pastor of an Ohio congregation whose members often protest the business of a nearby strip club, was arrested Friday for trespassing onto the club's property, a month after topless exotic dancers appeared at his church to counter protest.
Pastor Bill Dunfee of New Beginnings Ministries was standing at a public property parking lot next to the Foxhole North Club with his Bible, as he usually does to protest, when the owner, Thomas George, engaged in an altercation with him. According to the Coshocton County Sheriff's Office, Dunfee refused to leave and was immediately arrested.
"Strangers to Fire: When Tradition Trumps Scripture," an anthology published by the Foundation for Pentecostal Scholarship rebuts John MacArthur's "Strange Fire" book and conference which took aim at the charismatic Christian movement and their use of the supernatural gifts of the Holy Spirit.
The book, compiled by 26 scholars, consists of two parts with the first half giving direct replies to John MacArthur's "Strange Fire" and the latter with classic replies to cessation theology.
Cessationist Christians hold to the view that the supernatural gifts such as healing, speaking in tongues and prophesying were used as signs to confirm the validity of who Jesus and his followers were and that they are no longer necessary for the church. They also believe the position of Apostle no longer exists. more >>