"We continue with guest editors, and for the July/August 2011 issue of Ministry Today it's my good friend Mike Bickle. He is the founder and director of the International House of Prayer (IHOP-KC) in Kansas City, Mo. My visits to IHOP-KC over the years have really impacted my life."
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vThis month our Ministry 21 conference call is with Mike Bickle. Join us for an hour of interesting conversation with this respected prayer leader on Tuesday, July 26, at 4 p.m. EDT, 3 p.m. CDT, 2 p.m. MDT and 1 p.m. PDT. Share this with your friends. We are widely publicizing it, and we expect a lot of people on the call. Here is the call information: Dial-in number (712) 432-1001; access code: 462819956#.
You can also listen to a previous conference call of Mike Bickle with Charisma magazine by clicking here. Click here to listen to conference calls with various leaders, including pastors Jack Hayford, Ron Phillips and Mark Chironna. read more
Below are some links to stories from Charisma News in the last week that we felt you'll find interesting. You can also sign up to receive stories on your smart phone by signing up for the free app Charisma News by clicking here.
"We're excited to welcome new members to the Ministry 21 Network, but we would like to invite the rest of you to join. This is a relational network, and we provide connections for church leaders, pastors and anyone in ministry. Members have given great testimonials about the benefits. Click here to read some of the testimonials, and here to find out how you can be part of this exciting network. read more
"As you read this, I'm in Washington, D.C., where I am every time this time of year for Christians United for Israel's (CUFI) Washington Summit. CUFI founder and Pastor Israel John Hagee told me that registration is up 1,000 more than it was last year due to the concerns people have about President Obama's declaration to return to Israel's 1967 borders. If you're in the Washington, D.C., area, there still may be time to get a ticket to attend the Night to Honor Israel Banquet on Tuesday night, July 19. If you've never been to one, it's a wonderful event to attend."
Click here for more information on Christians United for Israel's sixth annual Washington Summit, to be held July 18-20.
Click here to watch the Night to Honor Israel Banquet live online starting at 7:30 p.m. EDT on Tuesday night, July 19. The Night to Honor Israel will also be shown on the Daystar Television Network at the same time. Click here for Daystar's stations. read more
While the debate continues over the withdrawal of America’s military from the Middle East, Canon Andrew White is quietly committed to remaining despite the ongoing danger.
Though Iraq may have faded from the news headlines some, violence is still a daily reality for Christians there. But Canon White is resolute in leading a church that stands as a beacon of hope—and you can help keep its flame burning. read more
A survey of 2,196 Protestant leaders from around the world highlighted the concerns shared by Christians in 166 countries and the divergent outlooks for the church in the Global North (Europe, North America, Japan, Australia and New Zealand) and the Global South (sub-Saharan Africa, the Middle East and North Africa, Latin America and most of Asia). read more
What do today's teens aspire to become after graduation, and how does the input from pastors and church leaders influence these aspirations? A study released from the Barna Group reveals that, while teens may look to the church for career advice, there is a disconnect between where teens’ future professional interests lie and the encouragement and instruction they receive in their church or faith community.
Only 38 percent of youth pastors and 36 percent of senior pastors say they frequently discuss college plans with their students, and this counsel is more likely to happen when "there is a clear strategy for student ministry in the church, and in those churches that work effectively with teen leaders," the study noted. read more
Recent public statements by megachurch pastors in response to a scandal-ridden peer reveal differing perspectives on repentance, restoration and ministerial ethics.
Last September, four men—all former members of New Birth Missionary Baptist Church in Atlanta—claimed the church's pastor, Eddie Long, used gifts, trips and money to coerce them into engaging in sex acts with him. Although no criminal charges were filed, Long settled with his accusers last month, leading some church leaders who had previously reserved judgment to speak out. read more
Nigerian pastor David Oyedepo, founder of Living Faith World Outreach Ministry (also known as Winners Chapel), is reportedly the wealthiest pastor in Nigeria and may be the wealthiest pastor in the world. Oyedepo, who has launched a publishing company, university and an elite private school—and who reportedly owns four jets and homes in London and the United States—is worth 23 billion Nigerian Nairas (approximately 150 million US dollars). read more
When a Seattle church was picketed by Westboro Baptist Church for "teaching the lies that God loves everyone and Jesus died for the sins of all of mankind," it responded by offering doughnuts, coffee and a free book.
Westboro Baptist Church is famous for its hateful rhetoric against homosexuals and typically protests military funerals. The church announced that it would protest Mars Hill Church in Seattle on Sunday, June 19, labeling senior pastor Mark Driscoll a "false prophet," the church a "whore house" and the members "blind lemmings." Driscoll, responded to the announcement by stating in a June 16 entry on his blog that the church would welcome the protesters as graciously as possible. read more
The Crystal Cathedral, once one of the most prominent megachurches in America, is now facing numeric decline in the wake of leadership struggles, Chapter 11 bankruptcy and the retirement of its well-known pastor, Robert Schuller. But on Sunday afternoons—after the Cathedral's graying English-speaking congregation has long since headed home for lunch—a Hispanic congregation packs out the cavernous sanctuary.
Since Argentine Assemblies of God pastor Dante Gebel arrived two years ago, the Crystal Cathedral's Hispanic ministry has grown from 300 to 3,000 people, and is now larger than its parent congregation, the traditional ministry led by Robert Schuller's daughter, Sheila Schuller Coleman. read more
A June 16 study released by the Alliance Defense Fund (ADF) revealed that 62 percent of Americans believe that “marriage should be defined only as a union between one man and one woman," and 53 percent of Americans strongly agreed with this statement. Completed by Public Opinion Strategies May 16-19, the study explored American attitudes toward marriage and conducted 14 focus groups across the country. read more
Former pastor and author Francis Chan has jumped into the debate on heaven, hell and eternal punishment with book titled Erasing Hell: What God Said About Eternity and the Things We've Made Up to be released in July. Although he doesn't directly mention Rob Bell's controversial book, Love Wins, in a YouTube video discussing the topic, Chan expresses concern for carelessness in discussing eternal matters.
"We can't just have these theological discussions about a doctrine when we're talking about people's eternal destinies here," he said. "We've got to lay everything on the table, I want to just present all of the facts, everything I can think of in this book [holding a Bible] and let you decide, not sway you." read more
A North Carolina church faced a potentially embarrassing PR nightmare and highlighted the need for churches to accommodate the disabled when ushers escorted a special needs child and his mother out of the sanctuary and the mother contacted a local news outlet with her story.
Kelly Helms, mother of 12-year-old Jackson Helms, told WSOC-TV that her son was removed from Elevation Church, a multisite church of 8,000 in Charlotte for being a “distraction” during their Easter service on April 24. Immediately after the opening prayer, Jackson, who has cerebral palsy, responded with an “amen" that attracted the attention of Elevation's ushers, who took her and Jackson to the lobby to wait out the remainder of the service. read more
A news conference Tuesday, June 7, 2011, will announce the formation of the International Communion of Evangelical Churches (ICEC). The brainchild of Bishop Harry Jackson, president of the High Impact Leadership Coalition and pastor of New Hope Christian Church, in the Washington, D.C., area, the group of churches and ministries hopes to "answer the international cry for urban churches to participate in both evangelism and community transformation."
"ICEC has been formed to create a structure for church planting, foreign missions and societal impact starting with the US, but eventually reaching around the world," the ICEC news release stated. "The founding churches believe there must be a balance between the foundational work of evangelism along with discipleship and the 'prophetic work' of speaking out nationally on matters of public policy." read more
Americans' positive view of their own morality is higher than ever, a May 26 Gallup poll reveals. Only 38 percent of Americans believe the overall state of moral vaues in America is poor (down seven percentage points from 2010), while the number of those who believe the country's morality is excellent or good has risen eight percentage points to 23 percent.
In addition to this trend, fewer Americans believe the country's moral values are getting worse. In 2010, 76 percent said the state of moral values in America is worsening. This year only 69 percent agreed said that moral values are declining, and 22 percent (up from 14 percent last year) believe they are improving.
Gallup's Values and Beliefs poll is conducted each May and reveals that, since 2002, the portion of U.S. adults who say the state of U.S. morals was poor has been in the range of 40 percent to 45 percent in 2010. It dropped to 38 percent this year, the lowest since 2003.
— UPI read more
When pastoral scandals hit the mainstream news, often the first item cited as evidence that a minister is misusing his or her position is the housing allowance tax break that allows pastors to deduct housing expenses from their income. Sometimes the pastor in question will claim his entire salary as housing allowance. For others, its the sheer size of the allowance that raises suspicion.
At the request of Senator Charles Grassley, the Evangelical Council for Financial Accountability (ECFA) will lead the independent commission to investigate and offer recommendations to lawmakers on a list of eight issues related to ministry ethics and finances. Housing allowances are near the top of the list. read more
A new study released by the Barna Group reveals that families are more technology- and media-dependent than ever and could benefit from a healthy dose of stewardship in regard to how they manage their time online, in front of the TV and on their digital devices. And most of those surveyed say they have not heard any kind of teaching in a church about how they can be good stewards of media, entertainment or technology.
Parents are using technology and media to nearly the same degree as their 11- to 17-year-olds, the study suggested. This includes using laptop computers, watching TV and movies, surfing the internet, talking on the telephone and emailing. While parents are spending more time on cell phones and desktop computers, their children are spending more time playing video games, texting and listening to music. read more
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