SEATTLE, Wash. – On the eve of renowned evangelist Billy Graham's 95th birthday and his ambitious outreach event, "My Hope America," a 30-minute taped Gospel message by Graham to be broadcast nationally Thursday, several Christian leaders, including Pastors Rick Warren, Mark Driscoll, and James MacDonald, and "The Bible" TV series producers Roma Downey and Mark Burnett, gave their thoughts on the legendary preacher to The Christian Post.
"Every time I read an article or hear a report when somebody says, 'So-and-so is the next Billy Graham,' I just chuckle. There is no next Billy Graham," Driscoll, who is the lead pastor at Mars Hill Church in Seattle, told CP Tuesday during a break while hosting the Resurgence conference for Christian leaders.
When Graham was a younger man he took a lot of criticism about what he was trying to do evangelistically, said Driscoll, who is no stranger to controversy. However, Graham persevered and became a preacher with lasting, perhaps unparalleled influence. more >>
A half-dozen megachurch pastors, arguably at the top of the most recognizable names list within and outside the Christian community, are scheduled to discuss how believers can live out their faith in a culture that appears to be embracing biblical values less and less. Evangelical leaders including Rick Warren, Matt Chandler, Greg Laurie, James MacDonald, and Crawford Loritts will be joining host Mark Driscoll at the Resurgence Conference 2013 at Mars Hill Downtown Church in Seattle, Wash., Tuesday and Wednesday.
Driscoll recently told The Christian Post that he will open the conference by speaking about the changes in culture that he outlines in his book, A Call To Resurgence, as well as the obstacles and opportunities that are ahead of the church for the Gospel of Jesus Christ.
"I am asking the Holy Spirit to use the instructional and relational aspects of the conference to help leaders from various tribes waste less time fighting and more time learning so we can all invest our energy in evangelizing," Driscoll said. "I will close out the conference with the findings from a massive research project we have undertaken about the most common objections to Christian faith by the unchurched and de-churched ages 18-44 that is the basis for my next book due out next fall that I am currently writing as the follow up to A Call To Resurgence. The tentative working title is My Problem With Christianity. This is the biggest research and writing project I've ever been a part of and the findings are surprising and enlightening while also discouraging." more >>
During the second and third days of the Exponential West conference this week, speakers shared five discipleship essentials and encouraged church leaders to train and equip their flock to go out into the world to share the Gospel in order to empty hell and fill heaven.
Pastor Rick Warren, whose Saddleback Church in Lake Forest, Calif., hosted the three-day conference that was attended by 2,000 church planters, spoke about multiplying and exponentially reproducing disciples. The four core ingredients he said are necessary to make disciples are: having a disciple-making pastor; having a disciple-making ministry at church; using the method of Jesus as the process; and lastly, pain, problems and persecution.
Warren noted that no one wants pain, problems and persecution, but quoted from Acts 14:21-22 and said that believers, "enter into the kingdom through much suffering." 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 >>
Saddleback Church, which has 10 campuses across Southern California, is undertaking for the very first time in its 33-year history the launch of campuses outside of the United States in an effort to "finish the Great Commission," according to founding Pastor Rick Warren. Warren and his megachurch will see fruits of their years-long work with the "12 Cities PEACE Plan" come to bear this month with the launch of three global campuses, one each in Hong Kong, Berlin and Buenos Aires.
Saddleback Hong Kong is the first global congregation prepared for launch, and will officially open its doors this Sunday, Oct. 6. The following two Sundays will see Saddleback Berlin (Oct. 13) and Buenos Aires (Oct 20) follow suit. Eventually, over the next few years, these Saddleback church plants will be followed by sister congregations in Accra, Amman, Bangalore, Johannesburg, London, Manila, Mexico City, Moscow, and Tokyo.
"The ultimate goal is to finish the Great Commission by planting a body of Jesus (church), a Bible (portion of God's word) and a believer in the last unengaged people groups on Earth," Warren explained in a press release shared with The Christian Post. "Jesus said one day in heaven there will be people from every tribe and nation worshipping around God's throne. I intend to use all my influence in rallying the Global Church to do what Jesus commanded us 2000 years ago!" more >>
A growing movement of Christian leaders committed to accelerating the multiplication of healthy, reproducing churches is offering 10 hours of almost continuous programming on discipleship via a live webcast from the upcoming Exponential West Conference hosted by Rick Warren's Saddleback Church in Lake Forest, Calif., Oct. 8-10.
Exponential leaders say they are fueled by a goal to see as many church leaders, small groups, church planting launch teams, individuals and even full churches participating in the discipleship conversation as possible.
The three-day conference beginning today (Oct. 8) will focus on discipleship, specifically five key shifts Christian leaders can make to become better at making and releasing disciples. The event features 27 national and regional leaders in 10 main sessions. The live webcast, available for free to anyone who registers, will include 10-plus hours of nearly continuous programming, organizers said. more >>