Half cite reaching young people, inconsistent evangelism as top concerns
Barna found 51% of American pastors see reaching a younger audience is a major concern facing their church, followed closely by declining or inconsistent outreach and evangelism. The findings are part of Barna’s 2020 State of the Church report.
When asked to rate issues facing the Christian church at large, 72% of pastors noted watered down gospel teachings, while 66% acknowledged culture’s shift to a secular age.
Greear recounts Baptists’ ‘year of waking up’ to abuse
Last February, two Texas newspapers uncovered hundreds of cases of sexual abuse in Southern Baptist churches. The “Abuse of Faith” series by the Houston Chronicle and San Antonio Express-News began a “year of waking up” for the denomination, SBC President J.D. Greear told Christianity Today. A new committee established to review reports of churches that have mishandled abuse will give its first report to the SBC Executive Committee Feb. 18.
Church planting network removes CEO over charges of abusive leadership
British pastor Steve Timmis has transitioned out of his role as CEO of Acts 29, a network of 800 churches around the world. Timmis also resigned from his position as an elder at his church, The Crowded House in Sheffield.
Acts 29 previously wrestled with leadership issues in 2014, when founder Mark Driscoll was removed from membership amid accusations of unhealthy leadership and culture at his Seattle church.
Baptists continue to debate resolution from 2019 annual meeting
Some Southern Baptist leaders are urging the denomination to rescind a resolution passed at least year’s annual meeting in Birmingham. Resolution 9 focused on critical race theory and intersectionality, two frameworks linked to moral relativism and liberal politics. The resolution recommends the theories “should only be employed as analytical tools subordinate to Scripture—not as transcendent ideological frameworks.”
Tom Ascol, CEO of Founders Ministries, opposed the resolution in Birmingham and has said there will be a motion made to rescind it at this year’s annual meeting in Orlando. The 2019 SBC Resolutions Committee addressed the debate around the resolution in a recent Q&A with Baptist Press.
Chinese Christians meet needs amid virus outbreak
As the death toll from coronavirus rose above 800 over the weekend, Christians in the city of Wuhan distributed masks and shared the love of Christ, The Christian Post reported. One Wuhan pastor wrote in a letter to the international faith community that “Christians are not only to suffer with the people of this city, but we have a responsibility to pray for those in this city who are fearful, and to bring to them the peace of Christ.”
Sources: Barna, Christianity Today, Baptist Press, Christian Post