Andrew Lancel is an award winning English actor, producer and director, who is best known for his appearances as Frank Foster in the long-running British soap, "Coronation Street," and for his role as Detective Inspector Neil Manson in "The Bill," as well as Barry Pearce, the abusive partner of long running character Di Barker in Series 4 of "Bad Girls."
I recently observed that there must be something odd about someone who likes to play Naming of Parts with the children of strangers, whether it's a slobbering bachelor down the street who's friendly with one kid, or a minor governmental functionary who is friendly with two dozen. For suggesting that parents and not slobs or schoolteachers have the sole authority to teach their children about sex, I was called “bizarre.”
Please take a moment to pray right now. Pastor Saeed Abedini is in grave danger. We've just gotten word that ISIS terrorists inside his prison ward in Iran are threatening to murder him because he is a Christian. This is the same group who are slaughtering Christians and other religious minorities in Syria and Iraq. Saeed is an American citizen who has been imprisoned for nearly two years and cannot trust the guards or other prisoners. God alone can protect him.
Saddleback Church might seem like a large church on Sunday, but what's really amazing is that we're actually larger when we're smaller. We're larger during the week. On a recent weekend at Saddleback, we had over 25,000 people gathering on our campuses in southern California for weekend worship services, but there were about 35,000 who met in small groups from Santa Monica to San Diego.
Our model for ministry isn't found in the list of largest or fastest-growing churches on earth
Like gentle rain it falls,
Day after day, unbroken, soft, Unlike the thrashing whip
Of myriad liquid buckshot, swung At angles like an ax
Against the tender daffodils. No thunder, lightning, nor
A change, or slightest swing of wind. Straight down it falls, each drop
A perfect plumb from heaven's hand, As if infinite care
We're being taken there, for how It falls and where it lands,
Until the middle of the night.
This week Sunni and Shia Muslims ushered in the Islamic New Year and the beginning of the holy month of Muharram. For Shias, the month also is a time to mourn the events that sparked the centuries-old schism between Shia and Sunni Muslims.1 Pew Research Center polls conducted in 2011-2012 find high levels of concern about sectarian tensions in several countries where Sunnis and Shias live side by side. These concerns are particularly pronounced in Lebanon, where fully two-thirds of all Muslims,
In early May, I had the honor of delivering the commencement address at Hillsdale College in Michigan. National Review has described Hillsdale as a “citadel of American conservatism,” though the college wasn’t founded by conservatives in the modern American sense, but by Christians.
I was 28 when I became the pastor of Highland Village First Baptist Church (now known as The Village Church). I had had a rough go early on in my church experience, and at that time I was not fully out of my "disenchanted with the local church" phase.
In all honesty, I wasn't sure at the time that church membership was biblical. Despite that, the Spirit had made it all too clear that I was going to be pastoring this small church in the suburbs of Dallas. That was one of the many ironies of my
At the same time, it's important not to 'put all your eggs in the Easter basket.' What I mean is, Easter is a great starting point for evangelism, but it's not the finish line, at least not for a purpose driven church. In our culture, it usually takes multiple exposures to the gospel for someone to make a decision to follow Jesus. Let me explain.
The significant increase in immigration and the growing stridency of the national debate on immigration compel the National Association of Evangelicals to speak boldly and biblically to this challenging topic. The complexity of immigration issues provides an opportunity to mine Scripture for guidance. A biblically informed position provides a strong platform for the NAE to make a contribution in the public square that will be explicitly Christian. Out of commitment to Scripture and knowledge of
Everyone has personal trials that they must overcome. It's easy to remember some of the problems we each faced growing up. For some children, school presents challenges that push us to perform well academically and try to fit in and make friends. At home, family stresses can put a strain on a child's psychological well being as they try to please their parents and siblings. Children, especially small children, often feel helpless when faced with these challenges. While everyone has different cir
Last week, I wrote about the 9 reasons why your church should make the most of 'big days' for growth. And I told you that 'big days' have been very instrumental in Saddleback's growth over the last 34 years. We've learned the art of pyramiding growth through special days.
But how? How do we maximize those big days for all they're worth? Here are nine ways.
1. Plan your big days around your main worship service.
Most of you have probably heard or read by now of some significant and tragic news about World Vision. They have altered their personnel policy that now enables them to hire gay men and women who are living in same-sex "marriages."
Christianity Today reports that "World Vision's American branch will no longer require its more than 1,100 employees to restrict their sexual activity to marriage between one man and one woman." World Vision president, Richard Stearns, clarified, "The new policy will not exclude someone from employment if they are in a legal same-sex marriage."
World Vision is in the top ten charities in America and took in over a billion dollars
As a period in history, the so-called Dark Ages probably could use a Marketing Specialist or a Branding Team. The term has been applied to the period between the Third-century fall of Rome and the Carolingian Renaissance (Charlemagne's rule of the briefly reconstituted Holy Roman Empire) or, usually, the Late Gothic and Florentine Renaissance, around the 13th century. Certainly, in Europe, sanitation and plumbing declined and virtually disappeared during the Dark Ages; literacy was uncommon; lif
French Flight 447 was missing in the early morning of June 1, 2009. After two years of investigation, the crashed flight was still with myth. After detailed research and interview, New York Times reporter WIL S. HYLTON wrote the article 'What Happened to Air France Flight 447?' As the search and rescue work for the missing Malaysia Airline Flight MH370 continues, you may be interested in knowing this history.
Does your strategic dashboard light up with flashing warning signals and even alarm bells when you run certain diagnostics? Or do you find yourself reporting that "everything is fine" even when you find yourself uneasy about what's really happening?
I've written about the top 1o signs your small group ministry needs a reboot
Passion is a hard thing to describe or pin down. We sense when we have it and when it's gone, but we aren't sure how to explain where it comes from, or why we have it, or what to do when it goes away.
And because this is the case, it can be really tricky to figure out how to get
On June 2, 1944, General Dwight Eisenhower issued his Order of the Day to Allied troops preparing for the Normandy landing: "The eyes of the world are upon you. The hopes and prayers of liberty-loving people everywhere march with you."
There were lots of doubts and plenty of critics. Bad weather.
Our national immigration laws have created a moral, economic and political crisis in America. Initiatives to remedy this crisis have led to polarization and name calling in which opponents have misrepresented each other's positions as open borders and amnesty versus deportations of millions. This false choice has led to an unacceptable political stalemate at the federal level at a tragic human cost.
94% of churches in America are under 500 people. That's a real statistic. Go ahead, look it up.
This was surprising to me because most of the time it feels like we only hear about the largest 1% of churches. To be fair, those churches are creating amazing content and sharing incredible stories that need to be told.
If you are being led to change the way your church serves God's purposes, it is helpful to understand the process of renewal. Many leaders want to start by changing the structure of their church. However, this can be destructive for you, your leadership and your church. People don't like to change unless their hearts have been warmed and prepared for change. We believe that when God wants to work in a church he takes it through five renewals.
I'm sharing the first two today and the other thr
Some churches don't want a recovery ministry - a ministry that specializes in helping people deal with their addictions and pain - because of the messes they'd have to get involved in. That's tragic. Most churches in this category are less than a generation from their graves because they've forsaken the ministry of Jesus.