Church & Ministry
Posted 5/25/16 at 7:41 PM | Mark Ellis
By Mark Ellis
More than three years have passed since the murder of a Tanzanian pastor, who was inadvertently caught in a riot as Muslims protested against Christians working as butchers.
Muslims are only permitted to eat meat that has been ritually slaughtered, while most Christians have no such restraints. Therefore, it is considered acceptable for only Muslims to work as butchers, even though there is no law to enforce this, according to a report by World Watch Monitor.
In 2013, after Christians in the northwestern city of Buseresere had arranged for a non-Muslim butcher to prepare meat for a Christian funeral reception, Mathayo Kachila, the pastor of the local Assemblies of God church, was hacked to death by rioters.
For several years tension had been building between Muslims and Christians in Buseresere over the issue of animal slaughter. The local government had forbidden non-Muslims from working as butchers, but Christians in the Geita district had begun to do so. FULL POST
Posted 5/23/16 at 12:25 PM | Marvin Thompson
Evangelicalism is at a crossroad. As the upstart Donald Trump’s presidential candidacy has shaken up the political landscape, and more so conservative politics, it has also pushed evangelical conservative politics to the brink of collapse as faith and ideology collide.
From the beginning during the 1980 political campaign for the presidency when the “Moral Majority” waded neck deep into American politics, becoming a political action group to counter the threat of socialism, evangelicalism has taken on an identity that is more associated with politics than with the Gospel of Christ. This is due in no small part to what has become somewhat axiomatic that to be a true evangelical (read: true Christian) a person must politically be a Republican or at least politically conservative. Thus no true evangelical should ever support a candidate with any other political ideology.
So along comes Donald Trump who most recently converted to conservatism from liberalism. Naturally, he deserves a look because of his new found political ideology - just what evangelicals require in a candidate. This year, it seems that is all evangelicals require in a candidate.
Not every evangelical leader is comfortable with the presumptive Republican nominee for president of the United States of America. In fact, some strong leaders have come out and publicly denounced his candidacy. However, there is growing pressure to “fall in line” because the alternative is anathema. At what price, though, should evangelicals sacrifice evangelical purity at the altar of political expediency? FULL POST
Posted 5/20/16 at 3:05 PM | Mark Ellis
By Mark Ellis
A Baptist pastor in eastern Uganda was poisoned to death after an intense theological dialogue with a Muslim villager, sources told Morning Star News.
Micah Byamukama, pastor of Kasecha Baptist Church in Kasecha village, died at Kabweri Health Centre on May 15th after consuming an insecticide laced into his food. He was 61.
Ahmed Mupere, the alleged assailant, was said to be upset with Pastor Micah, a fervent evangelist, after public discussions in which the pastor challenged his theology. The pastor had asserted that “the true God is the God of the Lord Jesus Christ, who conquered the power of Satan including the Islamic Jinn,” according to Morning Star.
The pastor argued the Islamic Jinn are satanic and should be denounced. Jinn are supernatural creatures in early Arabic mythology that became part of Islamic theology. FULL POST
Posted 5/17/16 at 9:03 PM | Mark Ellis
By Mark Ellis
The day after 70,000 people jammed the L.A. Coliseum to cry out for revival, God sent the wind of the Holy Spirit many miles away to a humble town of 500 in West Virginia coal mining country.
“We’ve prayed for many years for this,” says Mitchell Bias, pastor of the Regional Church of God in Delbarton, West Virginia. His church had a live stream from the Azusa Now event on April 9th with their own prayer gathering, but little did he know what would happen, beginning the next day.
It seems Pastor Mitch had invited Matt Hartley, a 31-year-old evangelist from Tennessee, to preach at the church’s “spring revival.”
“I felt impressed of the Lord to connect with him,” he notes. “I knew he was a young evangelist.”
After Hartley checked his schedule, he proposed April 10-13 for their event. “He came and started that Sunday. We had tremendous services the morning and evening on the 10th,” says Pastor Mitch. FULL POST
Posted 5/16/16 at 8:27 PM | Mark Ellis
By Mark Ellis
With tenderhearted affection, Pastor Rick Warren recently commissioned 110 pastors from 30 countries who are committed to his strategy for building healthy churches, transforming communities, and planting churches among unreached people groups worldwide.
The historic launch took place May 10-12 at Lakeside Mission in Rancho Capistrano, a sprawling church and retreat center only a few miles from Saddleback Church’s main campus.
With candor and emotion, Warren spoke for nearly two hours on the evening of the 11th as he exhorted the pastors and their wives to take on the most significant mission of their lives.
“If you know something more significant than bringing people to Christ, building them up to maturity, training them for their ministry, and sending them out on their mission for the global glory of God, I’d like to know it,” Warren declared.
He also shared vulnerably about his own burnout after his first year in ministry – and how it changed the direction of Saddleback Church.
“I was just trying to build the church the old traditional way, build a program, work as hard as you can, run yourself into the ground,” Warren recalled. “I was working 18-hour days; I had my office in my home and loving every minute of it, but I was burning out very quickly.” FULL POST
Posted 5/9/16 at 8:55 PM | Greg Holt
If you have ever been through a serious trial in your life or experienced a deeply painful loss then you can understand how difficult it can be to heal from these experiences.
Depending on what happened and how long it lasted…these things can be very destructive and damaging to you and your walk with Christ. Some examples would be: a serious illness, the loss of a loved one especially a spouse, parent, or child, a divorce or the end of a serious relationship/friendship, a job/career loss, or loss of your home to name a few.
Do these questions sound familiar to you?
What did I do to deserve this?
Where are You in all of this God?
While we all want to know why (well I did!) something happened, why is not always the best question, in fact it is for sure not the best one. Instead of wasting time asking why, instead ask, “how can I fix this?” and “what do You want me to learn from this Lord?”
Everyone needs time to experience grief and to work through it, attempting to sweep it under the rug will not help anything and in fact will make it harder to deal with. Rest assured you will at some point be faced with the need to deal with your pain/loss…better to do so now. FULL POST
Posted 5/4/16 at 11:33 AM | Dale Fletcher
"I believe that the local church should consider itself as the most important center for health, healing, and whole person care within our communities. This blog post explains my rationale and some key considerations."
This guest blog post was written by Dr. Mike Soderling. Dr. Soderling is Director for the Centre for Health in Mission(HIM) and co-Catalyst for the Lausanne Health in Mission Issue Network. His passion is seeing the global Church embrace Her full calling to ministries of health, healing and wholeness. The Centre for HIM is the umbrella organization for the Christian Journal for Global Health, the Best Practices in Global Health Missions group, the developing Fountain School for Community and Global Health and the Outlook on the Christian Global Health Movement project. He can be reached at email@example.com.
Posted 4/28/16 at 9:12 AM | Ron Edmondson
Everyone wants to be successful in life, but the truth is many people never really achieve what they set out to accomplish. Many of us fall short of obtaining our dreams and goals. This is true in life and leadership.
After years of observing a lackluster success rate among some of the people to whom I minister and to leaders I coach, I began to examine why some people never seem to succeed.
What is it which keeps people from being achieving what they claim to want most in life?
Are there some steps which can be taken to enhance our chances of winning in this “game” of life?
If I am asked to coach someone to be a winner, these are some of the steps I will start.
Step One: Get in the right race.
Many people never achieve the success they wanted, because they entered the wrong competition. They are aiming for the wrong targets. We should ask ourselves “where do I want to go in life and what do I eventually want to accomplish?” Until we know how we want our life to end we will never know the steps to take to succeed. This is true for leaders. If you don’t have a vision for your leadership – where you’re leading people – you’re failing before you get started. Of course, I believe in life this starts with a decision to allow Christ to set your path. Proverbs 16:9 says, “In his heart a man plans his course, but the Lord determines his steps.” FULL POST
Posted 4/26/16 at 11:56 AM | Kristi Porter
The Orange Conference, a conference for entire family ministry teams, will be held April 26–28, in Atlanta. For those who can’t attend in person, a Live Stream will be held to give those at home a glimpse of the event. Over 7,000 key influencers—NextGen, student, children’s and preschool leaders—will gather in person to discover how to make what you do on Sunday matter more during the rest of the week. The Live Stream will begin with the conference’s opening session, starting tonight at 7:20 pm ET. To watch the Live Stream or view the schedule, visit live.theorangeconference.com.
The Live Stream will include select main sessions, such as the opening session with Orange founder Reggie Joiner, as well as speaker and author interviews, the debut of new family ministry resources, giveaways and much more.
Drawing together speakers, authors and church leaders from around the world, Orange sets out to rethink the way the traditional church model approaches family ministry. The event is structured around the Orange Strategy of partnering families with the church to have a greater impact on the faith of kids and youth. “Thinking Orange” blends two vital, yet often unconnected worlds to reshape the current ministry model. Every year thousands of family ministry teams attend the conference to get realigned, hear new ideas, discover resources and answers that are specific to their needs, network with innovators, bond as a team and have fun. FULL POST
Posted 4/25/16 at 8:27 PM | Robin Schumacher
She was ready to be healed.
After all, charismatic healer Nathan Morris consistently boasted how he/God had supposedly caused Delia Knox to walk for the first time in 22 years after being paralyzed in a car accident, so why not her? The young woman had come to a recent Nathan Morris event in our city to walk again.
A friend of mine who was close to the girl at the gathering watched her enthusiasm, saw her excitement, and witnessed Morris command her to be healed. Sadly, my friend also saw the girl’s disillusionment and grief as she was wheeled back up the same aisle she had come down, still unable to walk.
Its episodes like this that have me turning a corner on those in the Church who insist that the gift of miracles is normative today. The more I see things like the above happen to good people, the more I grieve over the damage being done by them. FULL POST