Have you ever encountered a statement that seems to perfectly encapsulate both your thinking and your fears? Late last week, a friend of mine posted a little-known quote by Martin Luther King Jr. on his Facebook wall. And since that time, not a day has passed by in which I have not considered the ramifications of King’s statement, particularly as it pertains to my own life and the life of my brothers and sisters in the church universal. Read the rest of this entry »
Monthly Archives: August 2012
Earlier this week, the Leadership Network of Dallas, Texas issued a new report that highlights the explosive growth of Protestant churches committed to the practice of multi-site gatherings. As recently as 1990, there were only 10 documented examples of North American churches utilizing video technology to “beam” the teachings of a charismatic pastor to a variety of locations around a particular geographic region. But by 2005, the influence of these early methodological pioneers had fundamentally changed the spiritual architecture of the Protestant Church. As more than 1500 churches were now engaged in the practice of multi-site ministry, smaller ecclessial bodies began to take notice of the practice and its impact upon the numerical “success” of the larger churches in their area. Consequently, many of these smaller bodies began to adopt a similar strategy, which, in turn, has only served to accelerate the widespread adoption of this multi-site ministry model. Now today, in 2012, there are more than 5000 churches employing a multi-site church growth strategy in North America alone. And the question that begs to be asked is this: how is this development shaping our understanding of the church and the role of the senior pastor? Read the rest of this entry »
By now most of you have read the sad news regarding (former) Pastor Jack Schaap of the megachurch, First Baptist Church of Hammond, IN. On July 31, 2012, he was removed from his position as Senior Pastor for having sexual relations with a 16 year old girl from his church. Obviously, this event has tragic consequences for this young woman, Schaap’s family and this local church, but it raises the question of how a minister could be so “successful” while entwined in a pattern of sin, lies and a double life, much like Oscar Wilde’s John Worthing.
Today, I stand in solidarity with the Russian, feminist, punk-rock, art collective known as “Pussy Riot.” And as I do so, I do it as one who professes faith in Jesus Christ and as one who stands in defiance of the Russian Orthodox Church.
Allow me to explain. Read the rest of this entry »
Just a few short weeks ago, my wife and I took our three small children on an 18-hour car trip to Destin, Florida. Amongst many other pit stops (both planned and unplanned), we happened to pull through a Chick-Fil-A in Athens, Georgia, where we were greeted by the most delightful staff. Upon hearing that we were “northerners” who had never visited a Chick-Fil-A, they showered us with all manner of gracious gifts, including: peach shakes, cookie sundaes, little stuffed cows, and even five t-shirts as a way of remembering our time with them. As I said, the most delightful and friendly staff I have ever encountered. Read the rest of this entry »
In the most recent discussion spurred on by the post entitled Harvest Bible Chapel: Establishing the Authority of King James, several questions were raised regarding the validity of anonymous sources. At different times, the discussion even turned to the question of gossip and whether we, as Christians, have the right to ask questions about significant leaders and/or elders who are no longer present at HBC. Today, in the interest of continuing the discussion about James MacDonald and the internal workings of Harvest Bible Chapel, I would like to draw your attention to comments made by former pastor Rod Van Solkema, on the 25th of July.
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