Monday, March 23, 2009

Charles B. Holt Arrangements

Charles B. Holt, father of Bishop Paul Holt, went to be with the Lord Sunday evening about 8:00 PM. Bishop Paul Holt is the International Director of Heritage Ministries for the Church of God of Prophecy.

The family will be receiving friends on Tuesday from 6:00 to 8:00 PM CST at the Pine Grove Church of God of Prophecy in Crossville, Alabama.

He will lie in state on Wednesday from 12:00 to 1:00 PM CST. The funeral will be at 1:00 PM Wednesday at the Pine Grove COGOP with Bishop E.C. McKinley, State Overseer of Tennessee officiating. Burial will follow in the Crossville City Cemetery.

Hood Funeral Home is in charge of arrangements.

Recent Pastor Survey

On Friday, Biblical Seminary hosted the first "Pastoring though Church Challenges” conference for pastors. Pastors gathered to hear plenaries and breakouts regarding specific church challenges and opportunities/challenges to their spiritual and emotional lives.

At the end, an anonymous survey was taken. Here’s what we learned from the pastors present:

1. Over half of the respondents are facing high levels of chronic stress.
2. Most report they are “managing with struggles” (opposed to managing either “poorly” or “satisfactorily”, or “well”).
3. When asked to write in the top 2 sources of their stress, they gave answers that fit in several categories. The categories receiving the most “hits” were personal issues (e.g., depression, anxiety, sinful habits, no passion) and marital distress. Financial stress and church conflict got the next highest level of “hits.
4. 43% did not have regular contact with someone who really knew them and their personal issues.
5. Interestingly, respondents were rather wary of joining face-to-face or web-supported support groups of peers. Most rated their interest (theoretical) as maybe to unlikely. Web supported groups (video/discussion) received the least interest.

How would you respond? (Click Comments below.)

Church Planting in America

There’s a theory behind church planting. It rejects the idea of trying to fill up existing churches before building new ones. Old churches are often “closed clubs” that don’t attract new residents or young people or “the lost,” says the Rev. Johnny Kurcina, an assistant pastor of The Falls Church.

Besides, population increase far exceeds church growth in America. This is especially true in cities. As an Episcopal Church rector, Mr. Yates began thinking about planting churches 20 years ago. But the bishop of Virginia “wouldn’t allow us to discuss it,” he says, fearing that new Episcopal churches would lure people from older ones. In 2001, he was allowed to plant a church, but only a county away in a distant exurb.

Mr. Yates was strongly influenced by the Rev. Tim Keller of Redeemer Presbyterian in Manhattan. Mr. Keller has led in creating new churches — Redeemer has planted more than 100 churches in New York and other cities around the world. Innovative new churches, he has written, are “the research and development department” for Christianity, attract “venturesome people” as fresh leaders, and have the spillover effect of challenging existing churches to revitalize their ministry.

Leaving the Episcopal denomination (while remaining in the Anglican Communion) has given Mr. Yates the freedom to plant churches in urban areas amid many Episcopal churches. (One is next door to Christ the King.) His goal is to plant 20 churches in northern Virginia before retiring. Christ the King was the third, and a fourth was recently planted in Arlington. Mr. Kurcina, 33, who is my son-in-law, is preparing to plant a fifth in Fairfax County.

For a growing number of young preachers like Christ the King’s Mr. Glade, planting and then leading a new church is an ideal option. As orthodox Anglicans, they didn’t feel welcome in the Episcopal church. And they felt a strong calling to lead their own parish. Mr. Glade grew up as an Episcopalian in Jacksonville, Fla. After graduation from Florida State, he came to The Falls Church as an intern and spent four years as a youth leader before attending Trinity Seminary outside Pittsburgh. He returned to The Falls Church eager to lead a theologically conservative Anglican congregation. “In order to do that, you had to go out and do it yourself,” he told me.

[from the Wall Street Journal]