Popular megachurch pastor Bishop T.D. Jakes surprised attendees at his International Pastors & Leadership Conference in Orlando, Fla., last Friday when he brought a caged lion to emphasize his point that they are like caged lions waiting to break free.
Many praised Jakes' "creative anointing" on social media for the act, but some felt the lion was an unnecessary prop; dismissing it with terms such as "theatrics," "sideshow" and a "distraction."
While twitter lit up with surprised reactions from attendees Friday, it was Gospel singer Marvin Sapp who set-off a fierce debate over the use of the lion after he shared images and video from the event with his 2 million Facebook followers. more >>
The skeptic inside of us may knee-jerk away from going to see "Heaven Is for Real." However, may I suggest fighting that impulse and instead, taking yourself to see an extremely powerful movie that, in the end, is a movie about our own questions regarding life and the life-after.
The movie is about our humanness because nearly all of us question where it is we go when we die. We may not be part of a pastor's family, and surely most of us have never had a near-death experience, but we go about our lives doing much like the Burpo family portrayed in the movie, doing the best they can at making sense of things in day-to-day living, until the unexplainable happens.
Whether the real life, 4-year-old Colton Burpo went to the actual heaven during his emergency surgery in 2003, has not really been my concern since I caught a pre-release screening at the National Religious Broadcasters Convention in Nashville last Sunday. What I was impressed with most, and still marvel at, is that the life of an ordinary pastor and his family living in Nebraska were so authentically captured in a Hollywood film. That's not a given. more >>
Pastors and Christian leaders throughout the U.S. are jumping on board a campaign to spread the Gospel message via the upcoming film "Son of God" by buying out multiplex cinema screens for the day before its public release on Feb. 28.
"Few movies have been able to take over an entire multiplex – every screen, every seat; only blockbusters like 'Hunger Games.' But now the religious epic 'Son of God' is taking over several multiplexes nationwide on Thursday, February 27, the day before it debuts on 3,000 screens," say the film's promoters.
As of Monday, multiplexes in at least 10 cities nationwide are playing "Son of God" on all of their screens on the evening of Feb. 27. "It's very interesting to see this level of excitement around the movie," stated James Meredith, VP, head of Marketing & Communications for Cinemark. "We've already scheduled a few large-scale theatre buyouts for 'Son of God' in theatres across the country. The interest level for meetings, events, screenings and buyouts seems to be on par with that of major blockbuster, tentpole or franchise movies." more >>
A Texas judge extended a temporary restraining order against a former Potter's House of Dallas church member after pastor T.D. Jakes filed a lawsuit against her last month for allegedly stalking him for years.
The judge extended the injunction on Friday against Karleisha Tarver because according to court documents, her actions "may ultimately lead to the death of one of the plaintiffs, their family, their friends, church attendees and/or staff."
Trinity Broadcasting Network aired a 3-hour tribute Sunday evening to its founding visionary, Paul F. Crouch, that included a fascinating documentary-style history of the media organization and short testimonials from many well-known Christian leaders. Wife and ministry partner, Jan Crouch, also spoke briefly about her husband, who died on Nov. 30, following a decade-long battle with degenerative heart disease.
"God called us on the same day to TBN," said Jan Crouch, relating an evening more than 40 years ago, when both realized at the same moment that they needed to start a TV station, "and I just always dreamed we would go home the same day. I never dreamed I would be left without his wisdom and his saying 'no' as only he could say," she explained, while momentarily giggling through her tears, "so lovingly, so lovingly sometimes. I never dreamed that one day TBN would be here and Paul wouldn't … Right now we just need your prayers and your love like never before."
The Rev. Franklin Graham, CEO and president of Samaritan's Purse, said during the television special, "TBN Remembers Paul F. Crouch 1934-2013," that he could not say or think about Paul Crouch without also thinking about his wife. more >>
Jason Caston, an internet church developer at T.D. Jakes' The Potter's House of Dallas, spoke on the importance of ministries using social media platforms and the ability that it gives churches to reach the masses when used to its maximum potential, during day two of 'The Nines' virtual conference on Wednesday.
"What would your church look like if you could reach 10, 20, 40, 100,000 more people than you're currently reaching?" asked Caston during his five-minute message, the standard length of time leaders speaking during the conference. "That's the opportunity that social media has given us."
Caston is also the author behind iChurch, a book that explains how digital technology can advance a ministry online. Since coming onboard to The Potter's House, Caston has led a social media team that reaches more than 3 million connections through Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, Instagram, Google + and Pinterest. more >>