A call for Christians and churches to show more love as modeled by Jesus for people living a homosexual lifestyle was made by more than a dozen pastors and ministry leaders speaking during "The Nines" leadership webcast.
"This topic is an important one. It gives the Church a chance to wrestle with both grace and truth. It's a polarizing topic and one that leaves little room for compromise," said Pastor Gregg Farah of Shelter Rock Church in Long Island, N.Y. Farah was one of 16 Christian leaders who spoke during short video-taped segments for a two-hour session on Friday.
"How should we respond to the gay couple that wants to engage in our church? A couple that wants to apply for membership, who wants to be in leadership, who wants the opportunity for a deeper relationship with God and to experience authentic Christian community without being ridiculed or ignored," he asked. more >>
A massive four-day national prayer event is starting today, Oct. 26, in the desert north of Cairo, and is expected to draw 50,000 people from all over Egypt and reach around 5 to 6 million viewers with television coverage.
"What is happening in Egypt this month is truly awesome. In the midst of increased persecution, turmoil and uncertainty, Christians are reaching out to others and fervently praying 'in such a time as this.' Please pray for our brothers and sisters in Christ during this weekend event," said Jerry Dykstra, Media Relations Director for Open Doors USA.
A Christian contact in Egypt who was not identified but spoke with Open Doors, a nonprofit persecution watchdog, explained that the main theme of the event will be to show to Egyptian people how Christ can change lives. more >>
Grammy Award-winning Christian singer Israel Houghton, who finished the last leg of his "King's Men" tour in mid-October, recently testified that pastor Joel Osteen of Lakewood Church is "the real deal."
Houghton reportedly said that although Osteen has been criticized for not taking a more hardline approach to the topic of sin, he has seen the megachurch pastor make positive changes in the lives of his congregants.
"Houghton says he would rather offend Christian leaders who think Osteen doesn't preach enough about sin than the many non-Christians who are attracted to Osteen's message of God's love for them," The Associated Press reported. more >>
IDYLLWILD, Calif. – The subject of intercessory prayer for healing was a bit foreign for Bible study leader Alan Huggett. When his small group arrived at the Center for Prayer Mobilization located in the San Jacinto Mountains for a weekend retreat he was not sure what to expect. Neither did the rest of the group.
"Not really having any experience with intercessory prayer, and it wasn't really taught too much in my upbringing in the church, it was something new to me. However, I did go in with an open mind," said Huggett, 43, who had previously attended a Presbyterian church, then a Mennonite Brethren church, and now a nondenominational congregation in Southern California.
During the retreat at the center led by Pastor Tim Price, Huggett and the others listened to biblical teachings on letting go of resentment and emotional pain from past experiences in their lives. They were also "prayed over" by Price, his wife, and an assistant during intense prayer sessions that included the laying of hands on a few members of the Bible study for physical and emotional healing. more >>
A pastor in charge of community building and small groups feels it's so important for churches to make a good impression on first-time church visitors from the moment they walk onto a church campus that he's come up with a list of 10 statements that just might do the opposite and turn churchgoers away.
Pastor Ben Reed of Long Hollow Baptist Church in Tennessee told The Christian Post that a church can run people off if its greeters and the rest of the congregation are not careful about the words they use.
"I think that we forget a lot of times that the worship experience starts in the parking lot, not when we pastors step on the stage," Reed said. "We can put so much effort and time into crafting just that perfect worship service and it doesn't matter if we miss out" by the church's guest services giving the wrong impressions, he explained. more >>
IRVINE, Calif. – Christian hip-hop star Lecrae (Lecrae Moore) set his musical artist persona aside during a leadership conference recently to talk about the subject of engaging American culture in a non-typical, yet Christian way in order to further the Gospel.
"I think we don't engage culture because we're scared. We don't want it corrupting our kids. I think we're scared because ultimately we're still caught up in a sacred-secular divide," said Lecrae, who is also a ministry leader, to a crowd of more than 2,000 church leaders Thursday at the Resurgence Conference (R12) at Mariners Church in Irvine, Calif.
"We are still caught up in the reality that everything is broken up in two and if you go too far here you are going to get messed up," he said. "There is a sacred-secular divide that hinders us from impacting culture." more >>