BALTIMORE, Md. – Ronnie Floyd, one of three Southern Baptist Convention presidential nominees and pastor of an Arkansas church, on Sunday blamed the denomination's declining number of baptisms on "cool" pastors who are more concerned with keeping up with popular culture than having a singular focus on glorifying God.
"Some of us have a heart to be so real with people that we just think if we're cool enough, we're going to get [the numbers]," said Floyd, senior pastor of Cross Church in northwest Arkansas. "We're never going to be cool enough to win our towns, our rural settings, to win our cities, to win the nation, to win the world, to win the nations. We're never going to be cool enough; the only thing that's going to bring that is a binding movement of the spirit of God that comes only when we are going up to be with God."
Speaking on the first night of the 2014 SBC Pastors' Conference, Floyd urged Southern Baptist pastors to re-adjust their motives in ministry and revealed several statistics showing a number of churches are struggling to evangelize the next generation's unchurched. more >>
A former Southern Baptist megachurch in Tennessee once rocked by scandal has sold one of its campuses to a Roman Catholic diocese for $12.5 million.
The Fellowship at Two Rivers, formerly known as Two Rivers Baptist Church, has sold the campus near the Gaylord Opryland Resort and Convention Center to the Catholic Diocese of Nashville.
Rick Musacchio, director of Communications for the Diocese of Nashville, directed The Christian Post to a statement by Bishop David Choby on the matter. more >>
A Southern Baptist church in California has broken with the denomination's stance on homosexuality and has decided to accept the LGBT community without judgment. The church made the change after its lead pastor announced that he no longer holds to the teaching that homosexuality is a sin.
Danny Cortez, who leads New Heart Community Church in La Mirada, explained his journey in a letter to progressive Christian blogger John Shore, founder of Unfundamentalist Christians, last month. At the end of that journey, his son came out to him as gay.
"I recently became gay affirming after a 15-year journey of having multiple people in my congregation come out to me every year," Cortez wrote. After reading many of Shore's writings and hearing testimony from gay friends who felt marginalized, Cortez said his "eyes became open to the injustice that the church has wrought" and in August 2013, he said he "realized I no longer believed in the traditional teachings regarding homosexuality." more >>
The Southern Baptist Convention's North American Mission Board will focus part of its efforts on planting churches in the Washington, D.C. metropolitan area, with the aim of reaching nearly six million people.
In order to implement its plan, organizers are recruiting Southern Baptist churches to partner and commit to the vision of planting and multiplying churches over the next five years.
"We're focusing on D.C. because the Gospel is declining as D.C. grows in size and influence, so we want to provide a growing Gospel witness," Clint Clifton, city coordinator for the Send North America: D.C., told The Christian Post. more >>
The membership of the Southern Baptist Convention has declined among their churches for the seventh straight year, according to a LifeWay Christian Resources annual report.
The total membership of the SBC stood at 15.7 million at the end of last year, down from nearly 15.9 million in 2012, the report released on Wednesday showed.
"I am grieved we are clearly losing our evangelistic effectiveness," said Thom S. Rainer, president of LifeWay Christian Resources, in a statement. "I continue to pray for revival and a renewed passion for the Great Commission in our churches. May God renew all of us, including me, with a greater heart for the lost." more >>
Soong-Chan Rah and I have been writing and speaking about race and evangelicalism trends for decades. That work culminated in a project we started called Gospel and Race because we believe, as the data indicates, that the future of American evangelicalism will be diversely Asian American, Hispanic, and African American in its public expression, if it's going to have a future at all.
I'm not quite sure how to say this, and I'm not trying to be a offensive or cause trouble, but several of us are wondering if our Southern Baptist friends can stop conflating issues in their own denomination with "evangelicalism" or "the American Church" or "The Church" in general. For example, many Southern Baptist writers (current and former) posting at Religion News Service, major blogging websites, research organizations, conferences, etc. have been writing on the issue of Millennials leaving the church. It turns out, that this is not an evangelical problem nor an American church problem, but a white problem in certain circles. Asian American, Hispanic, and African American Millennials are growing in number. Black Millennials are not leaving the church.
"One of the dangers of being the majority culture is that you become complacent and you don't listen," says Derwin Gray Pastor of Transformation Church on this issue. "You think your problems are everyone else's problem." more >>