From online messages to ministry in resettlement communities, church leaders approach this missional moment with prayer and patience. Mike Christian and his wife lead a small congregation called the Afghan-American Church of the Bay Area. But their main ministry is not gathering with a dozen or so Afghan believers during the week. It is engaging with the tens of thousands of Afghan seekers from around the world who reach out through messaging apps, social media, and online outlets. Mike, who was born in Afghanistan and worked alongside the US military there, adopted the name “Mike Christian” after his conversion. It…

Parsing when doing ministry in the midst of danger is selfish v. selfless. On Saturday, a gang kidnapped 17 North American missionaries in Haiti as the party returned from an orphanage in a suburb of Port-au-Prince. Since then, the group, known as 400 Mawozo, has demanded a ransom of $17 million for the victims, who include five men, seven women, and five children. While many locals have been kidnapped in recent years as security on the country’s roads has been increasingly threatened, this incident has drawn significant international attention. This kidnapping comes roughly two months after US troops withdrew from…

Christian leaders have always grappled with tough issues surrounding finances and faith. Their insights still speak to us today. Some years ago, a survey estimated that 85 percent of clergy are uncomfortable talking about money. My dad was in the 15 percent. Before he was a Methodist pastor, he was a chemist at Union Carbide, supervising the making of Glad bags. As I was preparing to go into the ministry, he used to say to me: “There are two things they don’t teach you in seminary—how to run a finance campaign and how to fire the janitor.” Eventually, after some…

Christian Aid Ministries requests prayer for 17 captive Christians, including five children ages 15 to 8 months. PORT-AU-PRINCE, Haiti — Negotiations stretched into a fifth day seeking the return of 17 members of a US-based missionary group kidnapped over the weekend by a violent gang that is demanding $1 million ransom per person. The group includes five children whose ages range from 8 months to 15 years, although authorities were not clear whether the ransom amount included them, a top Haitian official said Tuesday. Sixteen of the abductees are Americans and one Canadian. The abduction is one of at least…

“Take delight in the LORD, and he will give you the desires of your heart.”

Americans are rapidly giving up on church. Our minds and bodies will pay the price. The Reverend William Glass is an Anglican priest and theologian, fluent in five languages and possessing an impressive résumé in marketing. His story isn’t one of privilege, however. In Glass’s view, the church saved his life. Glass grew up desperately poor in a Florida trailer park. His family went to church perhaps once a year, but his religious background was, in his words, “Southern alcoholic.” His father was either absent or abusive, he had no close friends, and when he attended school it was a…

“May these words of my mouth and this meditation of my heart be pleasing in your sight, LORD, my Rock and my Redeemer.”

How intimacy with God fuels Meg Baatz’s ministry among same-sex-attracted and LGBT peers. Meg Baatz was first drawn toward God as a preteen. “I was really insecure and just full of shame and guilt, and searching for meaning,” she says, but she knew “Jesus was there just loving me exactly as I was.” Years later, while serving as a Bible study leader in a campus ministry, Baatz says her “faith and sexuality journey collided” as she became more conscious of feelings of attraction to other women. For Baatz, prayer has been key in her personal discipleship as she holds to…

Christian ministries are concerned about the Biden administration’s efforts to expand a Trump program of scanning letters. Pastor Frank Switzer has written thousands of letters to men in prison. During his first tentative years as a young pastor, a woman in his congregation in Phoenix approached the pulpit one Sunday and asked him to write to her son, who had just been sentenced to five years. Switzer’s yes turned into a long list of correspondents spanning more than two decades of letter writing. But a new policy at the Federal Bureau of Prisons could change how Switzer and other Christian…

Brian Houston will go to court in Sydney over alleged child abuse by his late father. Hillsong Church founder Brian Houston will plead not guilty to illegally concealing alleged child abuse by his father, his lawyer told a court on Tuesday. Houston did not appear at Sydney’s Downing Center Local Court when his charge was mentioned before a registrar for the first time. His lawyer told the court Houston would be pleading not guilty to the charge of concealing a serious indictable offense of another person, his late preacher father Frank Houston. The case will next be before the court…

Executive Committee decision comes after weeks of heated debate and division. It took three weeks of scheduled meetings, at least three law firms, dozens of statements, hours of closed-door briefings, and extensive back-and-forth debates across boardooms, social media, and Zoom calls for the Southern Baptist Convention’s Executive Committee (EC) to agree to the terms of a third-party investigation into its response to abuse. But on Tuesday, it did. The EC voted 44–31 on in favor of waiving attorney-client privilege in the investigation, after a half dozen members resigned and several switched their position in favor of the waiver. For a…

A webinar about the facts, falsehoods, and theological implications of critical race theory—and the way forward for the church. With hysteria and misinformation swirling all around it, critical race theory has become nearly impossible to discuss without stirring up ideological fears and partisan divisions. Yet many believe its ideas must be responded to if the church is ever going to take seriously issues of diversity, justice, and racial reconciliation. Join Christianity Today’s Russell Moore and a diverse panel of evangelical leaders as they explore the facts, falsehoods, and theological implications of critical race theory. Our Panelists Nathan Cartagena Nathan is…

But like the CCM industry, it speaks an insider language. I have a memory of being five or six years old and helping my mom prepare for a party with Amy Grant’s album Heart in Motion playing in the background. I knew (and still know) all the words to “Baby, Baby” and “Good for Me.” When I got married, my three sisters sang a parody of her song, “Lucky One” at the reception. I know every song on Steven Curtis Chapman’s Speechless by heart. I saw DC Talk in concert at eight, tagging along with a friend whose parents led…

The Christian life is not a series of a few special performances; it is steady persistence for a lifetime. Many of us can produce a burst of enthusiasm now and then. That’s not particularly difficult. The real challenge is to stay the course over the long haul—not a flash in the pan but steady, stable, and persevering in the essentials of maturing faith. The second half of Hebrews 12 presents us with a to-do list of sorts for the Christian life. It’s not a quick-fix, three-easy-steps-to-success kind of list, but it does offer us six important ways to walk in…

“Not only so, but we also glory in our sufferings, because we know that suffering produces perseverance; perseverance, character; and character, hope.”

The second coming of Jesus Christ is absolutely foundational to the Gospel, which concerns not only the birth, life, death, resurrection, and ascension of God the Son but also His return. This event and the doctrines that surround it are integral to “the faith that was once for all delivered to the saints” (Jude 3). Though Christ’s return is both a main thing and a plain thing in Scripture, enough views on the second coming have circulated over the years to cause confusion and, indeed, to induce conflict among those who share convictions about Scripture’s inerrancy and the event’s imminency….

“This Present Darkness” and other bestsellers show us the history of evangelicalism—and how it could be different. Danyell didn’t like This Present Darkness. In fact, she hated it. The 1986 novel by Frank Peretti tells the story of demons invading a classic American small town until the local Christians are roused to prayer. The book was wildly popular when it came out, and after more than 30 years, it still sells about 8,000 new copies annually. There are a lot of readers who really love This Present Darkness. For some, it’s changed the way they pray. It has shaped their…

“Be glad, people of Zion, rejoice in the LORD your God, for he has given you the autumn rains because he is faithful. He sends you abundant showers, both autumn and spring rains, as before.”

How a celebrity vocal coach changed her tune after encountering the truths of Scripture. From the outside, my life looked great. I was living in a trendy area in Santa Monica, California, and enjoying a fantastic job as one of the top vocal coaches in Los Angeles. With almost a decade of experience at the highest levels of the music industry, I had worked with major-label and top-40 artists, as well as hit TV shows like The Voice and Glee. Clients regularly flew in from around the world. Though I had moved to LA to pursue a career creating my…

“Do not let any unwholesome talk come out of your mouths, but only what is helpful for building others up according to their needs, that it may benefit those who listen.”

“Do nothing out of selfish ambition or vain conceit. Rather, in humility value others above yourselves, not looking to your own interests but each of you to the interests of the others.”