Two major staff transitions at very influential churches to report today:
- Shane Hipps, who only recently succeeded Rob Bell as teaching pastor of Mars Hill Bible Church in Grand Rapids will step down as soon as the church finds a permanent replacement. “I knew instantly my internal shape did not fit the role they created. But I had to ask the question, is this something God wanted me to change about myself? Or was I simply not tall enough for this ride? That is a question easier posed than answered.”
- Tony Jones’ response: “While I can understand the Elders’ decision to move in a more conventional direction — with a pastor who does the majority of the preaching — it seems odd that this person will report to the executive director of the church. It makes you wonder: What gifted preacher would come to Mars Hill without also being able to lead the staff?”
- The second concerns Willow Creek teaching pastor Darren Whitehead leaving. This, along with the above story was reported a week ago at the Christianity Today Live Blog, but without any confirming link beyond a May 19/20 sermon audio link. The story was also reported June 6th at Out of Ur, which is owned by Christianity Today.
And now on to the rest of today’s links.
- Church break-ins are nothing new, but sixteen in one county of one state just days apart?
- After years of being told why men hate going to church, we learn that boys hate going to Sunday School.
- The tour bus of Sanctus Real was involved in a fire early Wednesday morning, destroying the entire bus and resulting in the band losing all of their personal belongings.
- Prince Charles dropped by Toronto’s Yonge Street Mission on his recent Canadian tour to hear how charities and businesses are working together to create employment opportunities for young people. (Personal note: The YSM coffee house was the first place I performed as a Christian music artist.)
- Author and televangelist Creflo Dollar was arrested early Friday on charges involving the choking of his 15-year-old daughter. He was taken into custody at his home and charged with simple battery and cruelty to children.
- In the last 12 months, over 17 million American adults who don’t regularly attend worship services visited the website of a local church or place of worship according to a recent study.
- Popular teen’s and women’s author Dannah Gresh on why she’s passing on the opportunity to read Fifty Shades of Gray.
- A military chaplains’ organization is speaking out against a lesbian ceremony held at a U.S. Army chapel in Louisiana. “While the ceremony was not a marriage, it is clear that this was in fact a marriage-like ceremony…”
- New York City Pastor and author Tim Keller offers fellow-pastors a behind the scenes look at the ministry philosophy behind Redeemer Presbyterian.
- Veteran Christian blogger Bill Kinnon joins a disturbing number of people who “no longer” believe in the inerrancy of scripture.
- Your friends in youth ministry might want to know about this four-week, interactive discipleship program for new Christians.
Devotions Department: After a week at what our British friends would call “the seaside” Stephen and Brooksyne Weber offer devotional thoughts on some older hymns inspired by the ocean.