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Can a sex offender be the senior pastor of a local church? One church in Texas has just hired Claude Gilliland III to be their new pastor… the problem is… Gilliland is a registered sex offender. When the local newspaper started printing the names and pictures of local sex offenders, imagine the surprise when his picture was listed. Matt Steen and I talk about their thoughts on this story… how much grace should be offered… etc. sex offender

CLICK IMAGE TO WATCH Hiring a Sex Offender as Senior Pastor

(Length:  6 min 45 sec) Subscribe to MinistryBriefing on YouTube What do YOU think?  Leave a text or video comment here…
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From The Plano Star: “Where you start is not nearly as important as where you finish.” Those were the words of one of Plano’s most famous residents, Zig Ziglar, the world-renowned motivational speaker who died Wednesday at the age of 86 after a short bout with pneumonia. Ziglar was living proof that his advice about starting and finishing was true. While he died in Texas, Ziglar had a difficult childhood growing up in Alabama, where he was born in 1926. He suffered the loss of his father when he was only 5 years old and was forced to get his first job selling peanuts at the age of 6. This early work was tough, but taught him about people and life, he said. “I learned a lot about people who had so much less than I had,” Ziglar said in a 2010 interview. “And I resonated with them, and they resonated with me.” Ziglar began his motivational speaking career in the 1970s, with much of his advice based on his Christian faith. It was those beliefs that eventually led him to Prestonwood Baptist Church. “He was a man that influenced so many,” said Jack Graham, Prestonwood pastor. “Zig was a member of this church for over 20 years. I had the privilege of being his pastor and his friend. Zig was the real deal.” Of all the “zigisms” that Ziglar was known for, Graham said there was one that particularly stood out to him. That quote, “you can get everything you want in life as long as you are willing to help others get what they want in life,” perfectly summed up Ziglar’s message, Graham said. While he was known for being a motivational speaker with a great personality, Graham said what you saw from Ziglar on stage was not an act. The man that millions of people around the world saw was the same one that Ziglar’s friends and family saw, Graham said, adding that Ziglar was a dispenser of hope and love. “He was a minister of encouragement and gave a message in a way that connected with people,” Graham said. “He had the knack and ability to give truth in a practical way, as well as in a way so that people understood it. He helped so many people. He was in many ways like a pastor.” When he was not on the road, Ziglar taught the “Encouragement” Sunday school class at Prestonwood for 18 years. At one time the class was the largest class at the church because people wanted to hear what Ziglar had to say, Graham said. “No matter where he was in the world, he always made every effort to get back and teach that class on Sunday,” Graham said. “[After class] he would always say, ‘it is time to go to big church,’ and he would bring everyone in so I could preach to them. Zig and [his wife] Jean, who he affectionately called the ‘redhead,’ were always on the front row. Imagine that, being a preacher and preaching to Zig Ziglar — the ultimate communicator.” // Read more here…
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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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Current Events
A memorial service will be held Saturday, May 14 at 2 p.m. ET at Times Square Church in Manhattan, N.Y.  Doors will open to the public at 12 p.m. Wilkerson, founding pastor of Times Square Church in New York City and author of the well-known book The Cross and the Switchblade, was killed a week ago Wednesday in a head-on collision in Texas. He was 79. Wilkerson’s wife, Gwen, was also involved in the crash.  She is in fair condition and expected to recover.    
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Controversy
In Texas, there is a demonstration at the state capitol today.  They’re demanding that their state leaders begin taxing megachurches in the state in order to help local schools.  The project is headed by the state’s American Atheists.  Their director, Joe Zamecki, has released a statement stating why he thinks this is a good thing.  Read it, and see if he makes his point: Public education in Texas is in a financial crisis. This year’s state legislature is about to slash spending on education, to include the laying off of possibly hundreds of teachers, and the closing of public schools all over the state. Apparently the state budget is short this year, by billions of dollars. Right now, parents, students, teachers and others are rallying around their schools, and speaking out about the very real need to keep the teachers and schools we have now, as one of our state’s top priorities. Meanwhile mega-churches and televangelists in Texas are doing very well. So the recurring theme of church taxation is in the air again, although it’s still a somewhat shocking idea to most people. Not so shocking as in the past. Joel Osteen’s Lakewood Church alone is doing famously well, operating in the physically largest church building in the USA, tax-free. Like so many Texas mega-churches, Joel and his church have the ease of marketing that some corporations have, so we feel that they and other successful mega-churches could help with public education too. We’ve proposed just a 1% tax on profits taken in by just the top 1% of the most profitable mega-churches and televangelists in Texas. They can easily afford it. Not the small, poor churches we hear about so much. This is not an idea to harm or hinder any churches in their operations. We feel that giving churches blanket tax-exempt status is giving them a special privilege. The overwhelming financial success of some of those churches has some economists standing in awe. The idea isn’t new, and it isn’t going away, as long as Texas’ children have a grossly inferior system of education, a financial balance like this is needed. Studies show that our state is lagging behind in education very badly, and knowing that the current legislature with the Texas governor are working hard together, it’s clear that spending cuts will happen before any tax increases or new taxes are implemented. So without that normal financial balance, Texans are considering alternatives. This is one idea for an alternative that could solve the issue of insufficient tax funds. As unusual and unpopular as this type of idea is, it just needs to be said again, loudly. And for those who feel that a church tax would invite churches and religious activists into the public schools, the legislature, and other areas of secular government existence: too late. They’re already well established in those institutions, which is one reason why we have a state/church separation movement. They just need to pay their admission fee, finally. It would really help the people of Texas. So… they don’t want to tax the ‘small, poor churches’ just those that large churches that need to ‘pay their admission fee’. No word on how they would decide which churches are poor and which ones are rich. They’ve vowed to protest every weekday outside the Texas capitol until lawmakers take action. What[box type=”info”]What do YOU think? Should churches be taxed? Why or why not? And regardless of your answer to that question… do you think laws will ever be changed to require churches to pay taxes?[/box] Todd More information here…
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