According to a recent study Facebook makes people more depressed, envious, and jealous of those they are connected with. Matt Steen and I discuss the Facebook effect, and I share how/why I use Facebook:
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Half of Americans worry that religious freedom in the U.S. is at risk, and many say activist groups — particularly gays and lesbians — are trying to remove “traditional Christian values” from the public square.
Here’s our take…
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Here are eight brand new (within the past week) job and ministry opportunities that you might want to check out. Just click the graphic below to find out all the details and how to apply.
And if your church is hiring, be sure to add your opening. It’s free… and takes less than five minutes. I’ll do my best to help spread the word and find you some great candidates.
An interesting article over at Religion Dispatch, talking about current trends in culture and the church.
Here are the last two paragraphs that cite Matt Chandler. Then you can see the writer’s response in the last paragraph.
There’s a lot to discuss in those two paragraphs. Take a read, then let me know what YOU think:
In the wake of the Giglio withdrawal, there was an attempt to frame him as a victim. Chandler embraces a similar narrative, portraying gay rights activists as the bullies and Christians as the persecuted minority. “The rhetoric is changing,” he said. “At one time, we were Ned Flanders, goody two-shoes. Now we’re American al Qaeda.” He told me he was worried about a time, perhaps in the near future, when it would be considered a hate crime for a pastor not to perform a same-sex marriage. He is not alone in this fear. “Are you willing to go to jail?” Chandler said. “These are the questions that are coming for the church.”
I doubt that’s a question that’s coming for the church. The real question is: How long should you fight for a lost cause?
What do YOU think?
This from Corpus Christi, TX. South Shore Christian Church has opened a drive through prayer window that offers prayer for passers-by.
It all happens every Tuesday from 5-6 p.m. right across from McDonalds.
South Shore wants it to be a low-pressure, high-comfort experience. There’s no requirement to adhere to any religion or denomination, nor to attend services. Confidentiality will be honored, Ferrell said.
The church placed banners along each street to proclaim its offerings. The majority of takers on the first two Tuesdays — the first marred by chill and rain — were current church members.
Our own people have to be comfortable with it, experience it, know that it’s safe before they’ll talk about it with other folks,” the Rev. Richard Peltz said
But some nonmembers, perhaps only seeing the banner and driven by inner turmoil, have availed themselves of the service, too. Topics have ranged from major life decisions to ill relatives.
The idea emerged from a church committee looking at ways to better serve the community and fill voids in outreach, Peltz said.
Parishioner Karen Steffy said she had envisioned a parking lot lined end to end with cars. Though churches from California to Florida have drive-thru prayer services, she didn’t remember seeing one before. The committee immediately embraced the vision, Peltz said.
Oh, and if you want communion with that?
Individual, prepackaged servings are available.
What do you think?
This just in from Nigeria.
All the hot girls are going to Dr. Fireman’s church.
That’s the new billboard campaign for a church.
(I guess it’s a play on ‘fireman’ and ‘hot’. Tricky.)
Here’s the billboard:
According to Pastor Fireman:
“The point is that God sent me to bring Twenty-First Century innovations that will change Christianity and make it have more results. Let me give you an example…Recently, believers do soul winning among believers, Churches “wins souls” from another church. That is not soul winning, that is souls transfer… They are fishing in the frying pan. Real soul winning is reaching out to sinners and getting them saved.To do that, one has to go to where sinners are!” That is how Jesus did it! “And it came to pass, as Jesus sat at meat in the house, behold, many publicans and sinners came and sat down with him and his disciples” (Matthew 9:10)…And it brings criticism! “And when the scribes and Pharisees saw him eat with publicans and sinners, they said unto his disciples, how is it that he eateth and drinketh with publicans and sinners?” (Mark 2:16)… Jesus reaching out to sinners was misunderstood, but He didn’t care. Here was Jesus’ response to the criticism: “wisdom is justified of her children” (Matthew 11:19). He called strategy for reaching out to sinners “wisdom,” and said that, contrary to the claims of critics, the strategy is not justified by how it looks but by its results! Our Hot Girls flyer was a Twenty-First Century evangelistic innovation! We wanted to reach out to harlots. We wanted to take call girls off the streets around the location of the church.”
OK… you know you have to comment on this one. So… let’s hear it.
And please, please, please… don’t send this idea to Ed Young, Jr.
The new edition of Ministry Briefing is hot off the press and ready for immediate download!
Ministry is tough. The demands are high, and the extra time you have is low. Ministry Briefing is a concise look at what happened in ministry over the past month: The good, the bad, and the ugly.
We think that when you keep up what’s happening in churches and culture around the world, it will make you a better ministry leader. We love the church… and that love has caused us to write this unique commentary on what is impacting ministry and church-life, hoping that it will help you be better informed and on top of your ‘ministry’ game.
What stories made the news that will potentially affect you and your church? What trends are happening in culture and ministry that will affect you, your family, and your leadership? And what are some churches doing that are making an impact in their communities? You’ll find all the latest things you need to be aware of right here in one place.
Ministry Briefing is a short field guide to everything you should know in the church and ministry world. We’ll give you just the facts on each story, along with a link so that you can check out all the details only if you wish.
We hope that you’ll find our hours of research, reading and writing this months’ edition of Ministry Briefing will be a real help to you and your church. And we thank you, in advance, for the trust you have put in us by purchasing this first edition of 2013! The price is just $9.99 (and you can share it with up to ten of your staff members and church leaders)… and you’ll be able to download immediately in any format!
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Read these words written by Pastor Chuck Baldwin from Crossroads Baptist Church in Pensacola, FL.
My bet is that you will either be screaming Hallelujah, or pulling your hair out.
Which is it for you?
In the early 60s, the battlefield was prayer and Bible reading in school. Pastors and church abandoned the battlefield, and the enemy took the field. In the early 70s, abortion-on-demand was the battlefield. Pastors and churches abandoned the battlefield, and the enemy took the field. In the early 2000s, the creation of a police state was the battlefield (which is still raging), and the vast majority of pastors and churches are nowhere to be found. Now, the enemies of liberty are threatening to make outlaws out of millions of God-fearing, law-abiding citizens who believe in the Second Amendment right to keep and bear arms. This is the point today where “the devil and the world are at the moment attacking.” And once again, most pastors and churches are abandoning the battlefield.
Pastor, please help us!
If every pastor who, in his heart, believes in the right to keep and bear arms would publically from the pulpit denounce Barack Obama and Dianne Feinstein’s attempted gun ban plan, it is almost certain that the politicians at both the State and federal levels would hear the message loud and clear. With apologies to Edmund Burke, the only way evil can triumph is when Christian people – especially pastors – do nothing.
Instead of being courageous prophets, as God’s men are commissioned to be, so many of them – especially the nationally renowned ones – are busy providing cover for the would-be tyrants in Washington, D.C. Case in point: during a pre-inauguration service for President Obama, nationally-renowned pastor Andy Stanley (son of the famous Charles Stanley) delivered a 12-minute address. During his “sermon,” he called Obama “America’s Pastor-in-Chief.”
Barack Obama is a man who believes in killing innocent unborn babies (How many babies have been murdered in the wombs of their mothers since Obama was first elected back in 2008?); he is a man who, on his own personal orders, has killed nearly 200 children in drone missile attacks (at least two of the children who were killed were Americans). No consent of Congress was ever given. On his word alone, Barack Obama has used drone missiles to kill many times more children than Adam Lanza killed at Sandy Hook.
Leave a comment. What’s your first reaction from Pastor Baldwin’s words?
Pastor Brady Boyd from New Life Church in Colorado Spring is registered to carry a hand gun, but he doesn’t carry when he preaches: ”“It could be dangerous for a pastor to be shooting back in a big crowd of people. My church is safe because we have the right people carrying guns.”
Pastor Larry Dickey of First Baptist Church in Sunizona, AZ, however, thinks he’s the right guy in his church to carry a gun: “I do so because there is a need for people to understand that we need to defend families and ourselves…We are not a nation that understands how important it is to be vigilant in safely handling a firearm in a defensive manner – with courts and other segments of our society thinking if we are unarmed, we will be a safer people.”
Two different points of view.
Or maybe you think that guns should not be present AT ALL on Sunday mornings.
I’d love to hear where you (and your church) stand on this issue.
Leave a comment.
According to the Huffington Post:
The Rev. Robert Jeffress has changed the way he talks about homosexuality from the pulpit.
The pastor of the 11,000-member First Baptist Dallas hasn’t stopped preaching that homosexual sex is sinful, but he no longer singles it out for special condemnation. Now, Jeffress says he usually talks about homosexuality within “a bigger context of God’s plan for sex between one man and one woman in a lifetime relationship called marriage.”
“It would be the height of hypocrisy to condemn homosexuality and not adultery or unbiblical divorce,” he said, explaining that the Bible allows divorce only in cases of adultery or desertion. He also includes premarital sex on that list.
More interesting things from the article:
Demographics isn’t the only force driving changes in the evangelical response to gays and lesbians. As it becomes safer for gays and lesbians to come out of the closet, it becomes increasingly more likely that evangelicals know gays and lesbians personally, researchers say.
“Over the last five to 10 years, evangelicals have been faced with the issue even more poignantly as their sons and daughters come out of the closet,” Leonard said. ” … It has become more difficult to dismiss `those people.’”
Justin Lee, founder of the Gay Christian Network, is one of those children.
Like most evangelicals, Lee grew up believing that the Bible was to be taken pretty much at face value, but in wrestling with the realization that he was gay, he has found a more nuanced way to read Scripture. Now he works to foster understanding of gays and lesbians within evangelical institutions.
“I do hear from church leaders and pastors, who say, `I already know where I stand, but how can I be more loving and gracious to the gay community without compromising my convictions?’” Lee said. “There are a lot of things I say, but chief among them is that the more you listen to people and ask about their lives and stories, the more you are able to show grace and love, even if you don’t agree.”
Jeffress, who has gay and lesbian members in his church, tries to be compassionate and understanding.
He said he is open to the possibility that sexual orientation has a genetic basis that cannot be cured or prayed away.
“I think we were too quick to dismiss the possibility of a genetic predisposition,” Jeffress said.
But that hasn’t altered his belief the Bible teaches that acting on homosexual desire is sinful, and he feels it is his responsibility to talk about it with his congregation.
“We cannot pick and choose what parts of God’s word we are called to share,” he said. “God gave it to us, not to hurt people, but to help people.”
But Jeffress said he was concerned that some other evangelical pastors were shirking this responsibility.
“My sense is that people are just avoiding the subject, by and large,” he said. “They are so bent on trying to add to the numbers of their churches that they don’t want to disenfranchise new members or be characterized as unfriendly.”
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