BOSTON, Jan. 29, 2014 /Christian Newswire/ — Every Christian ministry has ongoing needs. They need prayer, resources, workers, and finances. They might have a lot to offer but many times it’s an uphill battle just to get the resources needed to operate. A startup ministry called Crowds for Christ is hoping to change that. They’re building a network that will allow ministries, churches, small groups, and individuals to post needs (prayer, material, financial, and personnel) and share resources.
The network will offer a free online space for the various church entities to connect and collaborate. They’ll have their own pages to operate from where they can post needs, fundraise, and be found by those who want to help. “Essentially, we’re a ministry that will serve other ministries. It’s not just crowd funding but crowd resource sharing,” said Kenneth Brown, founder of Crowds for Christ. Before that can happen though Crowds for Christ is hoping to obtain some crowd funding of its own. It needs to raise $45,000 to build and test its platform. It’s seeking this financing through a crowd funding process on its
So how exactly will it function? Here are two hypothetical examples that Brown gave us:
Ministry: A street evangelism team of three people serving in Chicago.
Problem: They have prayer requests and need the following: another individual to share the Gospel with them, $2,000 for equipment needs, a truck, and they have two recent converts who need to be discipled.
Solution: They join CFC and share their needs. Users of the network see their needs and here’s how they respond: a brother from Green Bay feels called to street witnessing and moves to Chicago to join them, fifty different individuals collectively donate the $2,000, a nearby church donates a truck, and this team of evangelists is able to search the CFC network and find good Bible teaching churches and Bible studies located near these two individuals that they can refer them to.
Individual: Bob is a Christian just trying to serve the Lord.
Problems: Bob has several problems: 1) It’s hard to stay up-to-date with the various small groups and ministries that he’s active and interested in. 2) He doesn’t really know what other churches and ministries are doing in his area. 3) Bob has graphic design skills and is fluent in Japanese but He hasn’t found a way to honor God with these abilities.
Solution: He joins CFC under his church’s umbrella. When he logs into his account he’s able to see on his personalized dashboard all of the latest prayer requests, announcements, activities, events, and needs for the groups and ministries that he’s involved in both inside and outside of his church. Additionally, he’s able to search ministry needs. He finds that on the west coast there is a church that needs bulletins and tracts translated into Japanese. With his skills he’s able to help them.
In order to keep a Christ centered and like minded network Crowds for Christ will not be open to just any ministry, church, or individual. Brown added, “Would be users will have to agree to a Statement of Faith and enroll through an application process. Once they’re approved churches, ministries, and individuals will have access to a wide array of privacy options allowing them to control their footprint within the network.”
MEDIA: Contact Kenneth Brown for interviews and further info. Last minute calls are okay. Visit www.CrowdsforChrist.com for Statement of Faith, case studies, FAQs, fundraising details, and more.
New State Security Guidelines Increase Surveillance, Punishments for Citizens Engaged in “Religious Superstition”
COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo., Jan. 22, 2014 /Christian Newswire/ — With North Korea continuing its twelve year run atop the World Watch list of most persecuting countries, it is hard to imagine that life could become more difficult for North Korean underground believers. But new guidelines released this month by the North Korea’s Ministry of People’s Security order a crackdown on “superstitious behavior,” which according to the head of one North Korea ministry means increased surveillance and even greater punishment for North Korean Christians.
The Rev. Eric Foley, CEO of Colorado-based Seoul USA, says that four behaviors are now subject to heightened enforcement: Slandering North Korean leader Kim Jong Un, drug trafficking and consumption, distributing or viewing illegal recordings, and superstitious behavior.
The directive comes at a time of accelerated veneration of North Korea’s new leader. Says Foley, “While Kim Jong Un’s birthday has not yet been declared a national holiday, new songs — like ‘Can’t Live Without Him’ — appear regularly in North Korean media, and the word ‘Great’ has already been added to his title.”
Foley says that three of the four new People’s Security guidelines
What would it look like for Christian persecution to increase in already Christian-hostile North Korea?
“Our estimates are that one third of North Korea’s 100,000 underground Christians are in concentration camps,” says Foley. “That means two thirds have managed to avoid detection. Some of those would be believers who have been protected because of their high position or family history.” Foley adds that the recent execution of senior Kim advisor Jang Song Taek shows that position or blood no longer exempts anyone from punishment.
Foley says North Korean Christians would not want other Christians to pity them as these new guidelines go into effect. “They tell us not to pray for them but instead to pray with them — that God will empower us both to be faithful wherever he places us.”
To learn more, visit www.seoulusa.org.
FRANKLIN, Tenn., Jan. 15, 2014 /Christian Newswire/ — Building on the deep and rich legacy of the True Love Waits movement, which for two decades has helped millions of young people pursue lives of sexual purity, LifeWay Christian Resources has relaunched True Love Waits through a video-driven Bible study for students called The True Love Project.
The eight-session curriculum was written by author and speaker Clayton King.
The True Love Project seeks to communicate God’s design for relationships to a new generation of students and young adults who may be struggling or confused about love, dating and sex. In a culture that has largely abandoned a traditional
“True Love Waits has been a tremendous movement, orchestrated by God, to spread the biblical message of sex and purity to a younger generation,” Trueblood said. “Now, God has opened the door for the True Love Waits message to be restated, to once again point people to the gospel through this very important issue in our culture.”
In the midst of a culture that is sex-saturated, Trueblood said today’s generation needs a new message “to see how the gospel impacts their purity and how their choices in purity are about more than their sexual decisions.”
The refocused message has been inherent in True Love Waits from the beginning according to Dr. Richard Ross, one of the co-founders of the movement, which was introduced publicly in 1993. At the time, he was a youth ministry consultant for LifeWay and a student minister at a local church. The first 53 students to participate were from his church.
In their commitment, these early adoptees were “affirming their love for Jesus through their commitment to purity,” said Ross. Since that day, an estimated 3 million students have made that pledge around the world.
For King, that legacy is something on which he wants to build.
“I spoke at one of the very first True Love Waits DiscipleNow weekends,” he said. “I signed the [commitment] card, along with hundreds of thousands of students, and I still meet people today who give testimony to a season in their adolescence when they began to discover God’s design for love and intimacy through True Love Waits.”
The new curriculum captures the gospel-centric focus implanted in the original and that Trueblood wanted to bring back to the forefront.
By beginning lessons in the broader paradigm of the story of the Bible – Creation, Fall, Redemption, Restoration – Trueblood believes King’s lessons will give students the proper perspective for later lessons dealing specifically with sex and purity.
“We believe students can live pure lives in Jesus’ power,” King said. “We also seek to communicate the forgiveness and restoration that Jesus offers those who compromised their sexual purity in the past. Just because you messed up doesn’t mean you give up.”
For more information, visit TrueLoveWaits.com.
Four Year Earthquake Anniversary Marks Significant Milestone for Haiti Nonprofit Feeding 80,000 Children Daily
– Reaching more than 200,000 Haitians through holistic programming
– More than 5,000 volunteers annually visit the MOH campus
– Support from 360 North American churches
– Daily providing food to more than 400 Haiti schools & orphanages
– More than 400 permanent homes provided for Haitians since earthquake
AUSTIN, Texas, Jan. 9, 2014 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ — With this Sunday, January 12, marking the four-year anniversary of Haiti’s devastating, 7.0-magnitude earthquake, Mission of Hope (MOH), a Christian nonprofit headquartered in Haiti, announces it has reached a significant milestone. Using prepositioned food supplies stored in the organization’s new 32-thousand square-foot warehouse, Mission of Hope and partner Convoy of Hope are today daily delivering more than 80,000 meals to more than 400 schools and orphanages in Haiti.
“For many children, the meal provided by Mission of Hope is the only food they will eat all day,” said Brad Johnson, President of Mission of Hope.
Founded in 1998, the Haiti-based nonprofit has grown into a 236-acre organization providing a variety of programs impacting more than 200,000 Haitians. More than 360 churches in the United States and Canada uniquely support Mission of Hope. The organization also welcomes hands-on volunteers and annually is visited by more than 5000 North Americans.
MOH uses a holistic model for development and rebuilding by meeting both short-term and long-term needs including housing, medical, food and education. To date, more than four hundred homes have been built to assist in transitioning earthquake survivors from temporary shelters to permanent, concrete homes. The organization is also in the process of building a new technical school, sports complex and hospital. Plus, for every dollar donated to MOH, 97 cents is directly contributed to programming.
“While progress has been slow in some areas, Haiti is advancing and rebuilding,” said Johnson. “Yet, those who say they don’t see Haiti improving likely never saw Haiti before the earthquake and don’t know how far we have come.”
About Mission of Hope
Mission of Hope Haiti (MOH) is a Christian, nonprofit organization serving and ministering to the people of Haiti. As an organization following Jesus Christ, Mission of Hope’s mission is “to bring life transformation to every man, woman, and child in Haiti.”
CONCORD, Va., Jan. 9, 2014 /Christian Newswire/ – Gleaning For The World, a non-profit humanitarian aid organization based in Virginia, is providing 60,000 blankets to U.S. families suffering during extreme winter weather this month. These blankets are being distributed in 10 states, including Colorado, Nevada, Kentucky, Virginia, Florida and Georgia.
“Nearly one-third of the homeless are military veterans,” stated Ron Davidson, President of Gleaning For The World. “We are committed to helping those who have faithfully served our country in time of war. It may also surprise you that there is a large group of homeless individuals under the age of 15. They need our help as well.”
If you would like to help in this effort, you can donate at www.GFTW.org.
About Gleaning For The World
Founded in 1998 by the Rev. Ronald Davidson, Gleaning For The World is a non-profit humanitarian aid organization that shares the love of God at home and around the world through the efficient delivery of high quality, life-saving supplies to victims of poverty and devastation by connecting corporate surplus to critical needs.
Forbes Magazine has ranked Gleaning For The World the “most efficient large charity in America” four out of the past five years. This non-profit organization is based in Concord, VA. Jonathan Falwell serves as Board Chairman. www.GFTW.org
2014 New Legislation; Baptist Pastor Intoxicated Child Victim with Church Communion Wine Before Committing Clergy Sexual Abuse
Illinois Law Passed After Adult Survivor Chicago Motivational Speaker Tiffany Denmark Testified Before Congress
Contact: Mrs. McMillian, 312-914-6605
CHICAGO, Ill., Jan. 8, 2014 /Christian Newswire/ – Tiffany Denmark is a Chicago adult clergy child sex abuse survivor who testified before The Senate and The House of Representatives compelling the legislature to pass House Bill 1063 which eliminates the criminal statute of limitations on child sexual abuse in the State of Illinois. Victims now have the opportunity to initiate legal action at any time without regard to their current age effective January 1, 2014. The civil statute of limitations was eliminated with Senate Bill 1399 which went into effect in 2013.
She was inspired to share her story of abuse after an adult immigrant victim confided in her revealing that she bore a child with a pastor when she was only twelve years old, but due to a fear of deportation her family never reported the crime.
The sheriff of Cook County stated that adults who were child victims of sexual assault could have received justice in the case where several rape kits were recently discovered sitting untested in the Robbins, Illinois police evidence room for nearly twenty years if HB-1063 had previously been in effect, but the statute of limitations has since expired, now the criminals who were matched to the DNA
Tiffany Denmark shares her story in the new book ‘PRETTY EYES PASTOR’ describing the life altering effects resulting from acts committed by a married Baptist pastor using church communion wine to intoxicate his young victim before committing clergy sexual abuse when she became intrigued with the beautiful color of his pretty eyes. The Baptist church political hierarchy concealed the clergy sexual misconduct and coerced the victim into remaining silent until the statute of limitations for reporting abuse expired while the abuser continued serving in a pastoral position to ensure his congregation remained financially intact in order to repay a million dollar church expansion loan.
Chicago author Tiffany Denmark is a member of the RAINN (Rape, Abuse, Incest National Network) Speakers Bureau
CAROL STREAM, Ill., Jan. 2, 2014 /Christian Newswire/ — PreachingToday.com, a ministry of Christianity Today, announced the Top 10 Sermons of 2013 that highlight relevant concerns and challenges that pastors must address in the present-day Church.
PreachingToday.com offers the world’s most powerful sermon and sermon illustration
database to help preachers teach the Bible in a fresh way. The tools and training provided through PreachingToday.com help to guide and direct pastors as they connect with culture, develop preaching skills, and face challenges in the pulpit.
With more than 12,000 sermon illustrations and 1,000 sermons, PreachingToday.com provides ideas and tips to help preachers connect with the Holy Spirit and craft sermons in a unique way for the edification of the local church. The Top 10 Sermons of 2013 highlight current preaching trends and themes being addressed in the church today. According to Matt Woodley, Managing Editor of PreachingToday.com, “In the wake of broad and rapid cultural changes, preachers are seeking resources for addressing controversial social issues from a biblical, pastoral stance. But many of the sermons on this list reflect classic, unchanging concerns of Christian living — renewing the church (#2); dealing with grief, suffering, and doubt (#3, #5, and #6); understanding God’s character (#7, #9, and #10); and growing in generosity and gratitude (#4, and #8).”
Your primary identity is not your sexuality; it is who you are as a man or woman in Christ.
By Rick McKinley
2. The Marks of a Renewed Church
Four things about the church that should never change.
By John Stott
3. Mediation for a Fallen Police Officer
In times of deep crisis the Bible offers even deeper words of encouragement.
By Stuart Briscoe
4. A Psalm for Thanksgiving
You have a duty to give thanks to God for who he is and what he has done for you.
By H.B. Charles
5. What to Do When Your Fig Tree Doesn’t Blossom
We can trust the person of God even when we can’t grasp the plan of God.
By Jeffrey Arthurs
6. Finding God in the Dark
By bringing our laments to God, we engage God and declare our trust in Him.
By Chuck DeGroat
7. God Is Holy
Gaining a glimpse of God’s fire.
By Dan Meyer
8. The 10 Financial Commandments
How are we doing when it comes to living with financial wisdom? Let these 10 biblical principles serve as a guide.
By John Ortberg
9. The World’s Best Love Story
God keeps pursuing us and waiting for us to cast ourselves on His faithful love.
By Haddon Robinson
10. What Child Is This?
What’s the big deal with Christmas? Jesus is God ‘with’ us and ‘for’ us.
By Juan Sanchez
In addition to insight into the church, these sermons also provide a sampling of more than 1,000 downloadable sermons provided by PreachingToday.com. Editors choose high-quality and biblically based sermons that serve as models for preaching and guide preachers in crafting sermons for the local church. “In the coming year,” says Matt, “we’ll continue to offer sermons that are grounded in Scripture, well-organized and illustrated, and relevant for people in ministry context.”
Click here to visit PreachingToday.com and read more about the Top 10 Sermons of 2013.
“Our nation’s veterans have time and again faced and defeated dangerous threats to the liberties we cherish as American citizens–children singing Christmas carols is not among them,” said Alliance Defending Freedom Senior Legal Counsel Jeremy Tedesco. “By banning these Christmas carols, the VA is trampling the very religious freedoms our veterans have sacrificed so much to defend. Contrary to what hospital officials are claiming, they are disrespecting–not respecting–constitutionally protected religious freedoms.”
According to news reports, the students sang religious carols at the hospital in 2011 and 2012 with no resistance from officials. This year, however, when the students arrived to sing at the hospital, officials provided them with a pre-approved list of 12 non-religious Christmas songs that the hospital’s Pastoral Service had reportedly “deemed appropriate for celebration within the hearing range of all veterans” and said the students could not sing any other songs except in the hospital’s chapel.
The Alliance Defending Freedom letter explains that “every federal court to examine the issue has determined that permitting religious Christmas carols to be sung at public facilities like the Medical Center fully complies with the First Amendment…. The Medical Center’s policy appears to be nothing more than political correctness run amok, and we thus urge you to immediately rescind the new policy instituted by the Medical Center’s administration.”
“The Constitution clearly prohibits the VA from targeting religious Christmas carols for exclusion from a public facility,” added Legal Counsel Matt Sharp. “We hope our letter will help clear up the misinformation upon which the VA is acting and that it will lift its unnecessary and unconstitutional ban.”
Alliance Defending Freedom has encountered numerous other instances of actual or attempted Christmas censorship this season in Kalispell, Mt., West Columbia, S.C., Rock Hill, S.C., Bordentown, N.J., and Wausau, Wis. Alliance Defending Freedom issued a letter in November to more than 13,000 public school districts nationwide to explain the constitutionality of religious Christmas carols and offer free assistance to schools that need help.
- Pronunciation guide: Tedesco (Tuh-DESS’-koh)
- VA Protects Vets From Children Bearing Cards and Gifts and Singing Christmas Carols (gds44.wordpress.com)
- SC school lifts ban on religious Christmas carols (faithinspires.wordpress.com)
- VA under fire after prohibiting school children from distributing religious Christmas cards (al.com)