When Phil Hotsenpiller became the teaching pastor at Yorba Linda Friends Church, Yorba Linda, CA, writing a comic book was the last thing on his mind. In fact, the thought had never occurred to him. Little did he know that one of the comic book industries most talented and controversial artists, Rob Liefeld, attended his church. Neither Hotsenpiller nor Liefeld ever imagined what would happen next.
Saddleback Church, like most congregations, uses audio/visual equipment to enhance services as well as capture teachings and send video to other campuses. Increasingly technology is finding its way from the pulpit to youth ministry too. With youth demographics experiencing nearly every facet of life in Web 2.0 — from the classroom to the playground — why not integrate similar technology into youth worship experiences?
They are the young family from South Africa that just got transferred to Florida to head up a new division of a Global 1000 company. They are the American military family who has lived in Germany for more than a decade. They are the young family who was transferred to India, adopted two children while living there, one from India and the other from China. They now have five children from three different countries, and each family member has lived in at least two countries.
When Blackshear Place Baptist Church offered a family finance program, 1,200 people signed up, and trimmed thousands in personal debt.
Churches are as engaged in the issue of immigration in this country as are other groups, many doing quiet, steady work and providing dialog and attempting resolution that goes well beyond the public clamor that adds little to a real solution.
I’ll never forget the phone call I received from Joel Osteen to let me know his father — long time Houston pastor John Osteen — had passed away. It was January 1999, not a great way to start a new year. John Osteen birthed Lakewood Church on Mother’s Day 1959 in the most humble possible way — a rural feed store outside of Houston.
Step back and think about branding a church that still worships in a building built in 1891 (that’s not a transposition of numerals either) and in the center of that sanctuary stands a pulpit 118 years old. Then add the geographic context of being located in a city that is home to so many great churches.
While traditional interaction occurs face-to-face, a growing percentage of church-goers connect through another medium — the Web. For Crossroads Church in Grass Valley, CA, their church lacked the kind of online presence that leadership felt was necessary for connecting with their congregation and reaching out to their local community.
When it comes to Christian-themed drama, the church has moved a long way from 1970s flannelgraphs and campy skits with cardboard scenery, or have we?
For eight years we attended a small, especially friendly Methodist church. A year and a half ago, we left to find a church where our oldest daughter would no longer be the only child in her grade attending Sunday School, and where we didn’t feel like the youngest people in the pews.