This issue includes an interview with David Horner, senior pastor, Providence Baptist Church, Raleigh, NC. Also provided is a feature highlighting six trends in church staffing.
‘So of all the questions raised in the book,
David Horner’s heart for missions goes back to his teen years when he was
Shawchuck is an author of more than 20 books, pastor, and professor, and Heuser is professor of leadership studies at Vanguard University, Costa, CA.
David Platt admits that his own congregation is “wrestling” with the way they look at what the Gospel demands of them. “We certainly have a long way to go, but this is a journey worth taking for the sake of God’s people accomplishing God’s purpose for God’s glory,” Platt, senior pastor of The Church at Brook Hills, Birmingham, AL, says. He shares his hopes and misgivings for ministry in Radical: Taking Back Your Faith from the American Dream (Multnomah Books/Random House, 2010). Church Executive asked him a few questions and he responded with some provocative answers:
Imagine the shock of opening your newspaper and seeing the headline, “Youth Minister Jailed,” and discovering this was a staff member at your church. Just the thought of a child predator in a congregation is a fearful concern of pastors. In recent months our community had several youth ministers and pastors face charges of sexual impropriety: men and women, married with children, mentors and counselors, respected and loved, friends and leaders. The churches were large and small, structured and unstructured, denominational and non-denominational, pastor or elder led. They were accused of raping pre-teen girls, soliciting sex with a young male through the Internet, and molesting adolescents during counseling sessions. The impact on the child, the family, the church and community is devastating. A child is harmed. Trust is broken. Spiritual lives are impacted. Members leave. Security in the ‘house of God’ is forever changed. Financial losses from lawsuits can run into millions for the church, staff, ministry leader or volunteer. Insurance will not cover the cost if there was a negligent selection of the worker.
At the Glade Church in Mount Juliet, TN, our
Teaching biblical truth from the pulpit, when many in the congregation may have differing views on the subject, can be a weekly challenge for most pastors. The comments that come to the pastor on a Monday from disapproving parishioners can often be disheartening and discouraging. But when the subject at hand is one of local and national debate, with international overtones, a pastor who voices a controversial stand for himself and for his congregation, is truly taking a leadership position and putting himself and his family at risk. Even more so when the issue is with a church that is just a half mile down the road from his own congregation. That is where Dan Johnson, senior pastor of Trinity United Methodist Church in Gainesville, FL, found himself one day this Spring when he first heard about signs reading “Islam is of the Devil” in front of Dove World Outreach Center in his town.
As I glanced through my messages and Twitter feed, I noticed a picture from Jud Wilhite. It was a snapshot of 1,100 people being baptized at Central Christian Church in Las Vegas earlier Sunday morning. It was like a payday for me. Central is a client of ours, and even more, dear friends. You have to know some of the backdrop to really understand why I teared up when I thought about that scene. Central has grown by leaps and bounds for the last decade. They now have about 20,000 attenders each week at their services. A lot of that growth has happened in the last few years. That’s right, since the economic downturn of 2008, Central has grown. That’s all in the context of a city many economists say has been hit harder than any other.