Friday, February 27, 2009

Interesting Read

While I do not necessarily endorse this book, I found an interesting read. It is free on Google Books.

The title is, "The Psychology of Religious Fundamentalism" by Ralph W. Hood, Peter C. Hill, William Paul Williamson.

CLICK HERE to read.

Pastor Passionate

Our passion for pastors runs deep as a church, and today we are challenged by the Spirit to raise up more means and new avenues to encourage these crucial leaders and to build them up in their ministries.

In addition to CBL, the Tomlinson Center continues to grow as an online college, offering Bachelor-level training; and next month, we are excited about the opportunity for pastoral inspiration and equipping offered through the Leadership Development Institute.

Recently, we as leaders have been gripped with the awareness that we must raise the intensity level of our service to pastors. We want to become more pastor-passionate than ever before.

Here, in the western world, it is obvious that the old idea of denominational unity and strength is eroding. Our conviction is that as this movement pours and invests into our pastors, we will be securing the future strength of our churches and ongoing ministries.

With passion, we want to serve pastors so that they can become the God-given, gracefilled, Spirit-activated leaders that will lead every local congregation.

Pastors are in the heart of God, and we want to place them in the heart of this ministry network as well. Join us in loving your pastor, praying for him or her, and encouraging him or her as he or she leads your church in great ministry.

[Church of God of Prophecy General Overseer Randall Howard, White Wing Messenger, March 2009 issue.]

Dr. James Dobson Resigns as Chairman of Focus on the Family

DENVER (AP) - Conservative evangelical leader James Dobson has resigned as chairman of Focus on the Family but will continue to play a prominent role at the organization he founded more than three decades ago.

Dobson notified the board of his decision Wednesday, and the 950 employees of the Colorado Springs, Colo.-based ministry were informed Friday morning at a monthly worship service, said Jim Daly, the group's president and chief executive officer.

Dobson, 72, will continue to host Focus on the Family's flagship radio program, write a monthly newsletter and speak out on moral issues, Daly said.

Dobson's resignation as board chairman "lessens his administrative burden" and is the latest step in a succession plan, the group said. Dobson began relinquishing control six years ago by stepping down as president and CEO.

"One of the common errors of founder-presidents is to hold to the reins of leadership too long, thereby preventing the next generation from being prepared for executive authority," Dobson said in a statement. "... Though letting go is difficult after three decades of intensive labor, it is the wise thing to do."

While Focus on the Family emphasizes that it devotes most of its resources to offering parenting and marriage advice, it is best known for promoting conservative moral stands in politics.

Dobson, a child psychologist and author, has gotten more involved in politics in recent years. He endorsed Republican John McCain last year after initially saying he would not, and also sharply criticized Democratic candidate Barack Obama.

On political matters, Dobson "will continue to speak out as he always has - a private citizen and not a representative of the organization he founded," said Gary Schneeberger, a Focus on the Family spokesman. He said the nonprofit ministry and Focus on the Family Action - an affiliate set up under a different section of the tax code that permits more political activity - will continue to be active on public policy.

Dobson has a devoted following. His radio broadcast reaches an estimated 1.5 million U.S. listeners daily. Yet critics say his influence is waning, pointing to evangelicals pushing to broaden the movement's agenda beyond abortion, gay marriage and other issues Dobson views as most vital.

"In the short term, in the near term, Dr. Dobson will stay committed to the issues close to his heart," Daly said in an interview. "He'll continue to speak out on those topics."

Daly said there is no timetable for Dobson to leave the radio program, and the group will "look for the next voice for the next generation" while Dobson remains on the air.

That will likely mean not one person behind the microphone but several speaking on their respective areas of expertise, Daly said. The organization, anticipating a post-Dobson era, for several years has tried out different voices on the broadcast and in giving media interviews on hot-button social issues.

At the same time, Focus officials have acknowledged difficulties in raising money from younger families critical to its future. The economy also has hurt. Last fall Focus on the Family eliminated more than 200 staff positions, its largest employee cutbacks ever.

Daly said the group is now "right on track" with a revised annual budget of $138 million.

Dobson's wife, Shirley, also resigned from the Focus board. The new board chairman is retired Air Force Lt. Gen. Patrick P. Caruana, a longtime board member and a former executive with defense contractor Northrup Grumman.

"I don't see any dramatic departure from what Focus stands for," Caruana said of Dobson's leaving the board. "There are obviously younger people the ministry would like to reach, and we're on track to do that."

[Copyright 2008 Associated Press.]

Today's Quote

"Prepare for old age. True, you may never make it; there are former students of mine who have died already. If you don't have some activity that you can engage in for the Lord, you will probably end up a sour and regretful old person." - Jay Adams

Death Announcement - R. O. Covey

Bishop R. O. Covey, age 97, passed away early this morning in a local health care facility in Cleveland, Tennessee.

Arrangements will be announced as soon as we know them.