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Introducing Ministry Today

Beginning with the May/June issue, Ministries Today will be relaunched under a new name: Ministry Today.

For nearly 23 years, Ministries Today has been the foremost journal for charismatic and Pentecostal pastors and church leaders. So why change now? Simply put, the Holy Spirit has prompted it, and the shifting landscape of the 21st-century church demands it.

First, today's church leaders have little time for the labels that often divided their forebears. The theological distinctions of yesteryear are melting away as leaders—evangelical, charismatic and Pentecostal—shed their differences and link arms to bring cultural transformation.

Second, the growing currents of secularism and pluralism combined with an increasing fascination with spirituality demands that leaders understand the times in which they live and that they possess intellectual and spiritual tools for capturing the hearts and minds of this generation.

The growth and influence of the church in some sectors—combined with the troubling statistics of dropout pastors and shrinking congregations—indicates that the stakes are high for those who navigate these waters.

In light of these dramatic shifts, founder and publisher Stephen Strang has felt the leading of the Spirit to relaunch Ministries Today under a different name, and with a redefined mission, to more effectively serve the needs of faithful subscribers and expand readership beyond the current boundaries of the magazine.

Beginning with the May/June issue, Ministries Today will be relaunched as Ministry Today. The mission of Ministry Today will be to identify and explore trends relevant to the next generation of Christian leaders, engaging the interests of church leaders from diverse theological, ethnic and generational backgrounds.

Ministry Today will provide tools for understanding the challenges and seizing the opportunities of 21st-century ministry, not merely informing readers about what is working and not working in the church, but inspiring critical thought and creative action.

Expect to find analysis of cultural and religious trends from experts such as George Barna, insight from columnists such as Andy Stanley—as well as profiles, news stories and commentary.

Each issue of Ministry Today will celebrate innovation and experimentation, connecting inquisitive readers with thoughtful experts who will help them understand the times, and proactively engage their communities and the world with the gospel. Our goal is not only to also offer information, but to be a catalyst for ongoing transformation in the church.


Matthew Green is managing editor of Ministries Today. He invites your comments and questions at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. .

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10 Hard Truths About Christ’s Church

dr-joe-mckeeverIt’s His church and not mine.

It’s His church and not yours either.

Settle that or nothing else will matter. Get it wrong and everything else you do will be off-kilter.

The moment you think it’s your church (you’re in charge) or my church (someone else makes the decisions; you have nothing to do with what happens), we’re all in trouble.

It is indeed the Lord’s church, and He is its sole owner.

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Is the Local Church Becoming Obsolete?

j-matteraCan you imagine a time when key apostolic leaders—both in the church and marketplace—would come together to exert strong influence over cities, communities and nations, with or without the cooperation or partnership of local church pastors and congregations? A time when the local church would almost be irrelevant when it comes to societal transformation because leaders would form their own ecclesia that would be mobile and not nuclear in nature? A time in which the local church would be relegated merely to shepherding our families, pastoral counseling, and Sunday school for our children?

There is a growing tendency in the body of Christ among practitioners in kingdom societal transformation to bypass the local church in order for the reformation of society to take place. This is due to the frustration of many marketplace leaders with the slow pace, bureaucracy, myopic local view and lack of high-level leadership found in many of this nation’s congregations.

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In Time for Christmas: Purpose Driven Life App

Rick-Warren-PurposeA new iOS app providing a portable and interactive user experience for the 10th Anniversary expanded version of Rick Warren’s bestselling The Purpose Driven Life: What On Earth Am I Here For? is now available from Zondervan at http://zndr.vn/UBL4E5.

The “Purpose Driven Life” app includes the entire content of the book as well as 42 built-in videos of Warren further sharing insights into each chapter. In addition, individuals will have the ability to create notes to use in small group settings or for personal study.

“The ‘Purpose Driven Life’ app allows for simple and efficient portability perfect for on-the-go reading,” said Tracy Danz, Vice President and Publisher, Zondervan Trade Books. “What better gift to give this Christmas than one that will help an individual start a journey of discovering the answer to life’s most important question: What on earth am I here for?”

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A Prophetic Look at Post-Election America

r-loren-sanfordConcerning the election results, I was right and I was wrong in what I thought would be the outcome, and, at the Lord's behest, chose to remain silent rather than issue a prophetic statement about who would win. In the aftermath of Election Day, the nature of that mix of right and wrong became clear and significant.

On Sept. 29 as I prayed for the outcome of the presidential election the Lord said to me, "He isn't the man I chose, but I will elect him. Close by a two point margin." In my intense desire not to see Barack Obama get another four years, I supplied the name "Mitt Romney" as the one the Lord referred to. Intense emotion and strong desire tend to distort what we hear from God. Out of the storehouse of our flesh, we fill in the blanks according to what we want to hear or what our emotions predispose us to hear. This explains the many false prophetic pronouncements so many of us have seen and read, even from leading voices.

Having learned this principle the hard way, I sensed the Father's hand of restraint, respected the nagging doubt I felt, and chose not to publish what I believed I heard.

When I shared what I thought it meant with a few others in private settings, I qualified it by saying that because of my intense emotional involvement in the issue, I could not be certain that God really spoke what I thought I heard and I made it clear that I was not, therefore, speaking prophetically. It appears, however, that I did hear accurately, but was confused concerning which candidate it applied to.

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A Gut Check in the Dark

 For the already overworked pastor, the challenges of this season mean one thing: It’s gut-check time.

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