Hundreds participate in Savannah Christian Church’s efforts to spread faith throughout the world.

"We want to be involved in church planting movements, specifically in places where the church is not established," Stewart said. "One of the ways we do that is by sending our people."

With nearly 6,000 worshippers a week, Savannah Christian hosts one of the largest missionary programs in the area.

In the past three years, the Chatham County mega church has placed more than 600 members in projects located in more than 20 countries.

About a dozen members have left the church this year to become full-time missionaries.

"We believe that when you study the Bible, this is what the church is called to be," Dave Stewart said. "It’s not an optional thing. It’s outreach to people who are hurting and lost."

As the Global Outreach pastor, Stewart leads a staff of four outreach assistants.

I applaud this churches heart for the mission of Jesus, say a big Amen, this should be every churches testimony, and I pray that many will be encouraged by their story and do the same.

Read the full story here. By Dana Clark Felty of the Savannah Morning News.

11-17-09 Last week there was quite a buzz around the internet social networks about a statement made by a well known pastor at a church leadership conference. He stated that they should focus on building a online church community rather than a brick and mortar church.

He stated that it is not necessary for people to attend a church, that being part of a “online church” is all that one needs as a Christian. That being part of a body as to in person, gather to gather face to face is not needed. That pastors should be moving from a live congregation to a virtual online congregation, church only. That’s the way to to church now, virtual community via the web, twitter is the way to do church fellowship.

I can not express how much that saddened me, to hear that the leadership, movers and shakers of the church world (the under 35 crowed) adapting that mindset. Seeking to do away with real church, biblical church. The gathering of the body is the heart of church, it’s very essence. Gathering together for fellowship, for each to exercise their Spiritual gifts for the good of the body is why we meet, to build up one another, encourages each other, brake bread, share a meal, lay hands on each other and pray, lest see them do that online, in less than 140 characters.

So for him church is only a 30 min feel good sermon that you pay 10% of your income to listen to on line. This just does not set right with me. I’m a community person, fellowship is a necessity, so I guess people like me, people who believe the scriptures will just have to go elsewhere than “virtual church” in the near future for that.  

110409 “At each of the three Sunday services, the Rev. Dan Willis of the Lighthouse Church of All Nations, in Alsip, IL. Pulls a number of one seat from a bag and the worshiper in that seat wins a cash prize. Two of the churchgoers win $250 and the third gets $500. The church gives away $1,000 each Sunday, Willis said.

Willis concedes the cash prize is a gimmick to fill the pews.”

This is wrong in so many ways to me, the Spirit in me was grieved when I read this, but I guess when you run church as a for profit business, spending a $1000 on marketing, gaining you $10,000 in new income (tithes) that’s good business. I cannot help but think of the verse Matthew 21:13

‘My house shall be called a house of prayer,but you have made it a ‘den of thieves.

Pastor Willis claims he’s doing it to help people pay bills, but this is not the way to do it, he needs to read Acts chapter 2, the body, church should be taking care of the needs of the body, helping each other, taking care of the poor. That’s to say there’s God’s way, and the way of the gospel. But then there is the way of the flesh, a gimmick for profit, turning God’s house in to a circus act of gimmicks, and / or a for profit business which is what Jesus was attacking in Matt 21:13.

That’s my first impression anyway, could be wrong, but just don’t like the sound of it, it’s not the gospel of Christ.

Read the full story By Lolly Bowean Tribune reporter here.

110309 An estimated 1.5 million evangelical Christians joined Brazil’s annual "March for Jesus" on Monday in Sao Paulp, Brazil, an event sponsored by a church whose leaders recently returned after being imprisoned in the U.S. for money smuggling.

Now in its 17th year, the march unites faithful from hundreds of evangelical churches and attracts dozens of Christian bands, preachers and local celebrities.

It is organized by the powerful Reborn in Christ Church, whose leaders said they had hoped to draw 5 million people to gather around a central Sao Paulo plaza where the main stage was located.

74 percent of Brazilians identify as Catholics, down from 84 percent in 1990. Fifteen percent classified themselves as evangelical Protestants, up from 9 percent in 1990.

"It’s one giant party for Jesus," one participant said, standing among a noisy throng of revelers.explo72

Associated Press writer Bradley Brooks in Rio de Janeiro. read full story here.

I remember the good old days here in America when this type of activity was a regular event, being a child of the 70’s. I remember the Jesus movement well, when thousands of followers of Christ held marches on school campuses, streets, rallies in parks an schools campuses, and filled stadiums. I miss those days when love and passion for Jesus was so white hot, when every follower of Jesus was passionate about sharing Jesus, proclaiming the gospel, and the result was we baptized hundreds at a time. Church where growing so fast we where taking over closed stores and warehouses, sadly today churches are closing, dying off, and I do believe there is a connection. We need to get that fiery hot passion back, for Jesus for the lost.

 

Photo from Expo 72 in Dallas, TX

_46626707_websitegrab In a victory in the war against human trafficking Chinese police have found 2,008 children, ranging from babies to young adults, who were kidnapped from their families. Hundreds of arrests have also been made and 42 suspects were detained last week for allegedly selling 52 children in the north of China.

In China’s patriarchal society, baby boys are especially prized, sometimes selling for as much as $6,000 (£3,670), says the BBC’s Quentin Sommerville in Beijing.

Girls are sometimes sold for just $500 (£305), he says.

Human traffickers also kidnap girls in order to sell them as brides in areas where there is a high ratio of men to women. Some families also sell their female children in order to be able to try again for a boy. Children of poor farmers or migrant workers are often targeted. The parents of such children have complained in the past of official indifference to their plight.

Read the full story Here.

geneva push Yes, there is a new a church planting movement, this one in Australia called The Geneva Push? (news story here). I do not quite get the name, what does the name Geneva have to do with Australia anyway, when I saw the name I immediately thought of Geneva Switzerland, as I’m sure most people did.

With that said, I must protest, Another church planting movement? I think we have to many now, all I have to say about them is enough, stop already. Speaking as one who has been part of a couple of them, we do not need them, they are just excuses to do nothing. To set around and talk about what we have already been told to be an active part of. Commissioned to Go and participate in.

First off we do not plant churches, that is Jesus job, He said so (Mat 16:18). It is done by the work of the Holy Spirit. We are invited to participate, we have a part to play in doing it. Preach the Gospel, make disciples, Baptize and teach the Word of God. There it is, meeting over. Then Jesus said when the Spirit has come “You will receive power”, Go, He has come, you have the power, so just Go. The power of the Holy Spirit trumps anything any man can give me in a meeting, any thing on earth in fact.

The only meeting we need to attend is fellowship with the Holy Spirit, to be in prayer daily, talking with God, getting our orders for the day. Walk with Christ, be filled with the Holy Spirit, and GO do what we where told to do. Yes it is that simple.

I think we need more daily meeting with God, walking in the Spirit and doing as Nike says “Just Do It”.

Federal officials announced Monday that 52 children had been saved and nearly 700 people had been arrested and charged over the past three days in a nationwide crackdown on child prostitution.

Officials of the FBI, along with representatives of the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children and police agencies throughout the country, said the arrests were the results of investigations in 36 cities.

Too many still do not believe human trafficking is not only alive and well in the US but is growing daily.

Read the full story By Joe Markman / Tribune Washington Bureau Here.

A father of two from Nepal who thought he was going to America wound up in Iraq, forced to work at a U.S. airbase. A 14-year-old Ugandan girl kidnapped by rebels spent nearly eight years in captivity as a sex slave and human shield. And a young Venezuelan woman lured to New York by the man she loved wound up in a brothel his family was running.

Charlotte Awino described how she and 138 other girls were abducted from a boarding school in 1996 by rebels from the Lords Resistance Army, marched for three months into southern Sudan, and used as human shields during fighting against Uganda soldiers.

"As usual, we girls suffered more," she said. "We were distributed to rebel commanders, as objects without rights, and we were sexually abused. … I was given to a man who had 20 other abducted girls, and he was a brutal man. I had two children with him."

"Kikka Cerpa described falling in love with a man named Daniel while working at a hotel in the Venezuelan capital, Caracas, when she was 17 years old. A few years later, she said, Daniel moved to New York and eventually she went to join him, only to discover that his family ran a sex trafficking ring.

"The first night was the worst," she said, her voice quavering. "I have to service 90 men."

These are just some highlights of the daily stories going on around the world, everyday more and more people are being Trafficking  in every country into slavery, forced labor and sexual exploitation.

Read the full story by EDITH M. LEDERER of the The Associated Press Here.

twitter bible A new bible called “Twitter Bible,” which summarizes the over 31,000-verse Bible into nearly 4,000 short-form tweets, is being released at the Frankfurt Book Fair this week.

According to The Christian Post, this project was formerly named And God Decided to Chill. The German language book is the compilation of tweets by more than 3,000 German Christians who participated in the church project earlier this year.

The tweets were sometimes entertaining, such as the tweet describing God’s day of rest after creation: “Thank God! It’s Sunday!”

Melanie Huber, portal manager of the Protestant Web site www.evangelisch.de, which launched the project, said about the initiative: “We want with this action to encourage a debate about the Bible and to simultaneously show the modern possibilities that exist to receive and make known the Word of God,” according to Ecumenical News International.

Guess we should have seen this one coming.

Read the full story here on The Christian Post.com.

sinai-desert I have always heard the time the Hebrews spent wondering in the Sinai desert (wilderness) after they left Egypt referred to as the "Wilderness Experience", and always in a Negative way. Christians always use the phrase "Your having a Wilderness Experience" when ever someone is going through a ruff time in their life. Having a bad season in life. But if you read the story and truthfully look at it, are they really right to teach it in a negative way, really use it as a comparison to a hard time in ones life.

 

This is what we read about the Hebrews experience in the Sinai desert.
1. They did not have to work for their daily meals, toil, plant, harvest or hunt for food. Their daily meals where delivered to their doorstep.
2. The women did not even have to prepare or cook a meal. Breakfast, lunch and dinner was catered for them.
3. They did not have to make or buy one single peace of clothing, repair or replace their tent (house) for 40 years.
4. They did not have to start their day wonder what they where to do, or God’s will. His physical, visible present lead them day and night. God walked among them, with them, visibly with them daily.
5. God was verbally teaching them about Him and life. As life was happing, God was telling them how to handle it, live.
6. When they gathered for worship, God was there, visibly and verbally His presents was there.
7. Their days where consumed with being married, having and raising children, living in community and listening to and following God.

OK, how may of us would not trade our life in the rat race for that life. How may of us would love to wake up every morning with God’s pillar of fire showing us where we should go today. Trade in the daily grind at the office for spending the day with our family, not having to worry about making ends meet, putting bread on the table, paying the rent. Having God take care of, provide everything for you. Go to church and have God there, just a few feet away from you. Have God with you visibly every day, guiding you, not in feeling like He is with you, you look with your eyes and see His hand showing the way.

I think we need to new understanding of what the Hebrews had in the Sinai. And new phrase to use for those going through bad times, hard times. Maybe we should start referring to the good life as the "Wilderness experience".