Ministries find a central hub is less and less essential to taking the gospel global.
When the owners of Ralph D. Winter’s missions mecca opted to sell much of it, they weren’t just parting from the California campus that long housed the late missiologist’s US Center for World Mission (now Frontier Ventures).
Frontier Ventures and the affiliated William Carey International University (WCIU) were also saying goodbye to the traditional notion of a single headquarters for their global ministry—instead adapting, like many missions groups have, to base more of their efforts outside the United States.
“We’re envisioning multiple collaboration points globally—closer to where the Global South sending movements are, closer to where the unreached people groups are—in order to disperse the DNA this place is known for,” said WCIU president Kevin Higgins.
He and Frontier Ventures president Fran Patt believe the move to decentralize best positions their organizations to carry on Winter’s call to minister to the world’s unreached people groups. That’s how they explained their decision to sell to the disappointed alumni and supporters who donated decades ago to secure the then-$15 million Pasadena property as the mission center’s permanent home.
Critics aren’t buying it and have spoken out against a deal announced in April with EF Education First, a global education company that plans to turn the missions headquarters into a boarding school in 2020. “They are secular, they are focused on business and government, and they are focused on preparing people to work in those realms in a global market,” said David Clancy, a former employee involved in the hundreds-strong Save the Campus campaign. “This is not at all about the gospel. ...
Christians must reach out to their Muslims neighbors and together prevent extremist abuse and violence.
While there is growing interest in the #METOO and #TIMESUP movements, and rightly so, we must not forget the women who are subjected to religious-based violence every day of their lives. Gender equality is not only defined by glass ceilings, pay raises, and workplace sexual harassment. No, there are millions of women subjugated to violent extremism all over the globe.
The women’s empowerment movement, including women of faith, must reach out to the toughest regions of the world with their message of freedom of belief and the sanctity of life.
In the last year a record-high 137 women carried out bombings in which 4,310 people were killed. In May 2018, a band of young sisters acted on their plan to bomb various locations throughout London after their fiancés died fighting for ISIL in Syria. Earlier in the month, a family of suicide bombers attacked three churches in Surabaya, Indonesia, killing at least 13 and seriously wounding a dozen more.
I recently had the chance to collaborate with Camille Tucker, Director of the CELLULAR short film, which chronicles the journey of a young Arab woman in Los Angeles ensnared in a local terrorist plot.
After receiving startling news, she begins her unexpected journey away from radicalism. I got excited about this project because Muslim and Christians partnered together to film the film, aiming to promote peace and security (Article 1325). To me, the counter-extremism film has an important sanctity of life theme that makes a case for why we must mobilize women for peace in the modern age.
Rather than being just mothers to future jihadists, women around the world are now radicalized and used as propagandists for ISIL. Women terrorists increase numbers, garner media attention, and ...
Bruce Ashford models a refreshingly amiable approach. But perhaps he could have used a little more fire and brimstone.
For those Americans who think of themselves as residing within the conservative Christian orbit, things might feel a bit odd these days. On the one hand, they have a president who is rather explicit about protecting their interests and advancing their priorities, even though his personal life does not, to put it gently, match up with their ideals. On the other hand, they feel increasingly besieged, as their moral views—especially about sexuality—have put them at odds with our society’s cultural elites (and sometimes with broader trends in public opinion). They are, it seems, a politically influential and especially controversial moral minority.
Responses to this odd moment have ranged from an almost shameless embrace of political Machiavellianism to calls for a defensive redeployment into friendly institutional redoubts. Bruce Riley Ashford’s Letters to an American Christian takes a bit of a different tack, offering a contemporary defense of what amounts to a pretty standard set of conservative political nostrums in the context of his Christian convictions.
As the title suggests, Ashford, who is provost and professor of theology and culture at Southeastern Baptist Theological Seminary, offers his arguments in the form of 26 letters written to a college student named Christian. Each letter covers a particular question—Should Christians be involved in politics? What’s the right view of gun control? How should Christians think about transgender issues?—and Ashford’s answers are always well-constructed, amiable, and fairly generous. Few people will agree with everything Ashford argues for, but if more conservative Christian political engagement was marked by the spirit of these letters, ...
What does it look like for church leaders in Chicagoland and other large cities to actually seek the peace and prosperity of the city?
Chicago has been my home town only for the past four years. I spent most of my adult life in Boston, the San Francisco Bay area, and the Inland Northwest. But perhaps since I grew up in the Midwest (Cleveland, Ohio), somehow Chicago feels even more like home than other places where I’ve lived much longer.
As a matter of fact, I think I am falling in love with the city!
My husband and I just spent a beautiful spring night downtown catching a Broadway show and dinner to celebrate our 44th wedding anniversary. That evening reinforced my infatuation with Chicago. The vibrancy of Chicago’s culture and business, its gorgeous architecture, fabulous food, top shelf entertainment options, and the diversity of its population—9.4 million people—are just a few of the things I love about it.
But let’s face it, even the most attractive love relationships we have (even if it’s with a city) have an unappealing side that prevents a five-star rating. In Chicagoland, as in other metropolitan areas, broken social structures are tearing apart communities and causing a plethora of serious problems.
Broken families. Fractured relationships. Racial divisions. Violence. (An estimated 1,000 gunshot murders occurred in the metro area in 2017.) Drugs. (About 1,500 people died from drug overdoses in Chicagoland last year.) Chicago is regularly on national news for having more than its share of violence, gangs and shootings.
Undoubtedly, more and more people in Chicago are also suffering from chronic loneliness. The health insurer Cigna just released a study revealing that loneliness is widespread in America. Nearly 50 percent of respondents in a nationwide survey reported that they feel alone or left out always or sometimes. ...
Trinity Western University’s loss over its LGBT stance is seen as a blow to religious freedom.
Trinity Western University has lost a years-long legal fight to launch what would be the only Christian law school in Canada.
The Supreme Court of Canada considered a pair of appeals cases involving regional law societies that refused to accredit the Trinity Western program due to the evangelical institution’s student covenant, which prohibits sex outside of traditional marriage.
In Trinity Western University v. Law Society of Upper Canada and Trinity Western University v. The Law Society of British Columbia, justices sided 7-2 against TWU, calling it “proportionate and reasonable” to favor the rights of LGBT students over the school’s religious convictions.
Some legal experts say Friday’s decision has essentially “gutted” religious freedom protections. It also quashes the future of the school, which was slated to open as early as 2019 if the ruling had been in its favor, since Canadian law schools require the approval of provincial law societies to operate.
“Without question, the Trinity Western community is disappointed by this ruling,” said Earl Phillips, executive director of TWU’s proposed law school. “However, all Canadians should be troubled by today’s decision that sets a precedent for how the courts will interpret and apply Charter rights and equality rights going forward.”
The majority judgment said the covenant would deter LGBT students from attending the proposed law school, and those who did attend would be at risk of significant harm.It found the public interest of the law profession includes promoting equality by ensuring equal access, supporting diversity within the bar and preventing harm to LGBT students.“In ...
Whether you are a business leader, a community leader, a pastor, or a parent who wants to lead your family well, there is a place for you in the partnership between The Global Leadership Summit and Wheaton College.
I truly believe that each of us, working together, can use our leadership influence to transform the people and communities around us.
That’s why I’m excited that Wheaton College and Billy Graham Center are partnering with the Global Leadership Summit to help attendees deepen their summit experience and grow their influence by earning a Global Leadership Certificate.
Many organizations encourage their staff to demonstrate professional growth through continuing education. For all of you marketplace and ministry leaders who attend the summit (and for those of you that are thinking about attending!), this supplemental certificate can serve as evidence that you are continuing to sharpen your leadership skills.
The certificate course through WheatonX, Communication and Leadership, is designed to expose students to the dynamics of communication in relation to leadership in contemporary contexts. In particular, we will apply communication best practice to the leadership tasks of communicating vision, leading teams, and guiding change.
Building on the GLS content, the course will help students deepen their summit experience. Check out the syllabus.
To receive the GLS Certificate, students must attend both days of the Global Leadership Summit on August 9-10, 2018, and the WheatonX portion of the course on August 11. For more details and registration: https://wheatonx.wheaton.edu/.
Along with gleaning insights from all the amazing GLS faulty, students will also learn from the world-class faculty I’ve asked to join me in teaching the certificate course on Saturday.
Nicholas Pearce, Ph.D.
Clinical Associate Professor of Management & Organizations
Dr. Nicholas Pearce is as an award-winning professor at Northwestern ...
After months of delays, Vice President Pence pushes to streamline aid to the persecuted.
Following mounting complaints from Iraq’s beleaguered Christian minority—who are desperate for security and a chance to rebuild—the United States has doubled-down on its pledge to channel funds to the persecuted religious groups who need such resources for their communities to survive.
At the direction of the White House, the US Agency for International Development (USAID) will address holdups in the process to assist Christians and Yazidis threatened by ISIS genocide.
Vice President Mike Pence announced last year that the US would shift its aid to support them directly rather through the United Nations, only to realize in recent weeks that many groups in the region were still waiting for the help they were promised.
“The Vice President will not tolerate bureaucratic delays in implementing the Administration’s vision to deliver the assistance we promised to the people we pledged to help,” spokeswoman Alyssa Farah said in a statement last week, announcing that USAID administrator Mark Green would travel to Iraq to meet with local leaders.
In a Wall Street Journal op-ed, Green wrote that despite the Trump administration’s efforts to prioritize Christians and other persecuted minorities, the bureaucracy in place over the past several months still leaned on earlier thinking, “such as an overreliance on the UN and an inadequate appreciation for the work accomplished by faith-based organizations.”
“The US stands with the persecuted religious and ethnic communities of the Middle East. And the federal government won’t rest until these oppressed people receive the help they need to thrive again,” Green said.
New research shows where to focus if we want to change stereotypes about men.
Not many things can bring all of America together these days, but one thing that did was the charming video of Marc Daniels, the dad who danced onstage with his two-year-old daughter—all while holding his baby in his arms—when she got stage fright at her recital. It’s no wonder the video quickly went viral. In the midst of our current cultural confusion on the subject of masculinity, “Ballerina Dad” was the hero we needed.
Daniels’s sudden popularity isn’t just another cute story to entertain us for a few minutes. It signals something about what we’re looking for in men. And for Christians who are paying attention, it hints at something we can do about falling rates of male attendance at church.
The Scandal of Masculinity
The problem, for Christians, is that our culture’s current view of male characteristics seems to be completely at odds with the qualities that Jesus called upon us to demonstrate. When researchers recently asked participants how well various traits described the average man or woman, those participants tended to view men as being aggressive, forceful, selfish, greedy, conceited, unemotional, shallow, and egotistical. Furthermore, they viewed men as lacking many positive traits, such as being forgiving, generous, patient, supportive, gentle, considerate, devoted, clear thinking, and fair-minded.
From the #MeToo movement that was sparked by horrific stories of sexual assault to the male loneliness epidemic, we can see evidence of the fallout from our conception of manhood. And the number of scandals in the church involving sexual abuse, abuse of power, and poor treatment of marginalized groups makes it clear that the church is not immune to these problems.
I discovered the deepest joys of fatherhood in the mundane work of domestic life.
Attend church on Mother’s Day and you’ll hear how great mom is. Attend on Father’s Day and—if you hear anything about fathers at all—you’ll hear how today’s fathers need to step up and provide.
I suspect that the attitude we take toward these two holidays reveals something deeper: Christians praise Mom for serving well but criticize Dad because he’s not leading well. But I’ve begun to wonder if our inflexible parental gender roles come more from culture than from Scripture. Perhaps the best way for fathers to lead their homes spiritually is to embrace the work of the home rather than build an identity outside of it.
I am a husband and father of two—a 4-year-old daughter and a 4-month-old son. I am also an employee at a church. Of those three, the first two are unique to me; no one else can be the husband to my wife or the father to my children. At home, I am irreplaceable.
My role as an employee, however, is different. If anyone calls me “irreplaceable” at work, I take it as well-intended flattery, but I don’t believe it. Unfortunately, this is more discipline than impulse for me. American culture works against our understanding of work as secondary to family. It elevates our jobs to such a status that what we do becomes who we are.
Our small talk drifts more naturally toward work (“So what do you do?”) rather than relationships (“So tell me about your parents.”). If you don’t have a job—or don’t have an impressive one—it’s hard to feel like you have much of an identity. No wonder so many women feel ashamed of being stay-at-home mothers.
Our attempts to elevate the domestic life, sadly, have often ...
These athletes aren’t quiet about using their global platforms to share their faith.
World Cup fever will be consuming the planet for the next month. As you learn the stories of the hundreds of athletes from nearly three dozen countries, hear them talk about their faith in their own words.
Alisson Becker, Goalkeeper (Brazil)
One of several players on Brazil’s national team who are open about their Christian faith, Alisson Becker took to social media to praise God for the opportunity to play in his first World Cup: “Very happy to receive the opportunity to defend my country in a world cup! Realization of a dream!!!!...Glory to God!!” The 25-year-old Roma star recently advised would-be professional goalkeepers that faith plays an important role in success. "If you want to be a great keeper, you need to work very hard. That’s what I do. You need to be very focused on football and I think faith is important too,” he said. “If you believe in God, you know you have to do your best on the pitch and put love into everything you do in life."
Edinson Cavani, Forward (Uruguay)
In 2014, Edinson Cavani’s national teammate Luis Suárez earned international notoriety for biting a competitor in a World Cup match. That level of aggression isn’t Cavani’s style. Playing in his third World Cup, the 31-year-old Paris Saint-Germain favorite has been outspoken about the role that Jesus plays in his life, even busting out one of those “I belong to Jesus” T-shirts. Several years ago, Cavani was asked whether he considered himself an athlete of Christ. "No, no, no. I am an athlete for Christ,” he said. "That's why I play for Him, to give Him glory, to thank Him for giving me the ability to play football … for giving me that divine ...
Christians pray for asylum seekers and defend family unity amid US policy changes.
While the United States continues its “zero tolerance” crackdown on asylum seekers crossing the border, churches across the country and around the world are rallying to support millions displaced by the global refugee crisis.
This week, the Trump administration pulled protections for undocumented migrants fleeing domestic violence and gang violence, a population that includes Central American Christians who come to the US because they fear for their lives as unrest worsens in places like El Salvador, Guatemala, and Honduras.
Just as the government implements another new policy—the Justice Department’s recent decision to put children into government custody or foster care away from their detained parents—Christians are crying to God: Abba Father, we lift to you the precious refugee children who have become separated from their parents and family. Father God, please keep them safe and protect them from any kind of abuse. Help the children to be quickly reunited with their parents and family.
That prayer comes from the World Evangelical Alliance (WEA)’s World Refugee Sunday resources, to be used in participating churches this weekend and next weekend, timed around the United Nations’ annual World Refugee Day on June 20.
With over 65 million people forcibly displaced by conflict, violence, and persecution around the globe, WEA and partnering ministries encourage Christians to raise awareness, raise prayers, and themselves welcome the stranger.
In the US, evangelicals rallying for immigration reform—who have long called on the government to prioritize family unity and protections for persecuted Christians—have likewise become more vocal in their advocacy.