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pastor ed youngPastor Ed Young has started a new sermon series this year called “What Would Jesus Say to…”

Here’s part of the press release: Beginning January 5 and 6, Pastor Ed Young of the multi-state Fellowship Church will begin a new series entitled, “What Would Jesus Say To…” In this new series, Ed Young will take an in-depth look at some conversations Jesus would have if he sat down one-on-one with celebrities like Kim Kardashian, LeBron James, Ellen DeGeneres and more. While Pastor Ed Young recognizes that it may seem presumptuous to claim to know what Jesus’ conversations would be, he said in a recent article with ChristianPost.com, “if you look at the Gospel to see Jesus’ interaction with people 2,000 years ago, it can be paralleled with the celebrities that we admire today.” Celebrities are the center of so much of today’s culture, and that has been the case since the time of Christ. Because of that reality, Ed Young and Fellowship Church are confident this series will strike a chord with everyone attending. OK… let’s turn things around a little bit on Ed. // Read more here… If you were preaching the sermon this week “What Jesus would say to Pastor Ed Young”, what would you say? Ready?  Set?  Go!
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From the press release: An exciting announcement came out of Miami, FL this past weekend as Pastor Ed Young of Fellowship Church in Grapevine Texas appeared via satellite to his current six campuses locations- four in Texas, one in Miami, and an online campus, FellowshipLive.com, to tell his parishioners that “the future is so bright at Fellowship Church you have to wear shades.” Then Ed Young continued- Fellowship Church is adding another campus location in Miami, named Midtown Miami. Located in the Midtown area of Miami, next to the Arts and Design District, one half of a mile from South Beach, the new Fellowship Church Midtown Miami is the oldest Spanish speaking church, founded in 1959, in South Florida. This Fellowship Church campus will have two weekend service times, an English service at 10:00 am and a Spanish service at 11:30 am. The campus pastors, Art and Lizbeth Salcedo, have been pastoring the church since 2009; Mr. Salcedo’s father was the previous senior leader. The announcement came as part of Pastor Ed Young’s current series “Throwback,” in which church attendees can see the pastor as 20-something Ed Young starting his ministry, preaching at various churches across the nation. Currently, Ed Young pastors seven campuses and travels internationally speaking at different churches and conferences.
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Leadership
Derik Hamby has an interesting post over at Associated Baptist Press about what happens when churches ‘jump the shark’.  (as Derik explains, that phrase refers to the time Fonzi, the star of the TV comedy “Happy Days,” jumped a shark (literally) and has served as an example of a TV show that tries something strange to boost sagging ratings.) Hamby starts with an old illustration when Baptist preacher J. Frank Norris baptized a rodeo cowboy and had the man’s horse stand in the back of the church (so the horse could watch his owner get baptized of course).  That would be an example of using something somewhat sensational to help ‘pack the pews’. More recently, Derik points out some current examples: 1.  Fellowship Church’s “Care Give Away Extravagana”.  Ed Young, Jr. gave away 13 cars on Mothers day. 2.  Another church who’s pastor preached about sex with a bed on stage and gave a daily sex challenge to couples. 3.  One church (according to Hamby) baptized children with a cannon shooting confetti over the crowd. 4.  Paige Patterson once came into a chapel at Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary dressed as General Patton on a hummer with guns. The whole premise of Hamby in the article is… “is this really necessary”?  Hamby makes a good point that the line here is very fuzzy and very easily crossed. When we cross the line, we look, as Derik puts it “very fake and quite silly”.  We need to make sure that as we strive to be culturally relevant, we don’t look fake and silly. In my fundamentalist tradition growing up; we tried to jump the shark all the time.  We would do contests all the time to increase attendance.  I remember being disappointed one time that I didn’t win the airplane ride that we were giving away.  Turns out some scoundrel invited more people that Sunday than I did. Some interesting questions for you as you start your week: 1.  What’s the most interesting form of ‘church shark jumping’ that you’ve ever witnessed? 2.  Do churches jump the shark because it’s the only way they can think of to gain more people or momentum? 3.  How could churches ‘jump the shark’ in a positive way and yet not look very fake and quite silly? I’d love to hear your responses! (You can read all of Derik Hamby’s post here at ABP) Todd
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Controversy
It’s been a joke that I’ve heard for many years… Ed Young and his notorious Hummer.  But it’s not the Hummer that is causing Ed problems (at least locally) these days, it’s the alleged private jet that he’s not telling anyone about… Why do things need to become so complicated and non-transparent?  Why the need to set up so many companies and identities?  And why the skirting around questions when they are asked?  Many have fallen over such things.  I hope Ed is not the next. More here… Todd
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