Nurse and Daughter Freed in Haiti, Fear Prevalent in Pews & Signs of Simmering Church Division
American nurse Alix Dorsainvil and her daughter were freed Wednesday in Haiti. “Fear not” is a frequent command in the Bible, but most pastors feel churchgoers aren’t getting the message. And, while churches are families of faith, they are still made up of people wrestling with sin and its devastating consequences.
American nurse Alix Dorsainvil and her daughter were freed Wednesday in Haiti. The news comes two weeks after they were kidnapped in Port Au Prince. Dorsanvil is a nurse with the organization El Roi Haiti…and the wife of the ministry’s founder Sandro Dorsanvil.
The State Department issued a warning in late July for Americans to leave Haiti due to the risk of being kidnapped by gangs.
One Haitain organization claims there have been 539 kidnappings since January.
“Fear not” is a frequent command in the Bible, but most pastors feel churchgoers aren’t getting the message.
A Lifeway Research study finds almost 7 in 10 U.S. Protestant pastors (69 percent) believe there is a growing sense of fear within their congregations about the future of the nation and world. Additionally, more than 3 in 5 (63 percent) say their churches have a similar increasing dread specifically about the future of Christianity in the U.S. and around the world.
“The Bible tells followers of Jesus Christ to expect trials, tribulations and suffering,” said Scott McConnell, executive director of Lifeway Research. “However, Scripture doesn’t prescribe fear as the response to adversity. Instead, it frequently encourages rejoicing and faithfulness as anxieties are cast upon God.”
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While churches are families of faith, they are still made up of people wrestling with sin and its devastating consequences. In a piece in the Baptist Press Toolbox, Chuck Lawless offers tips to recognize causes of division in the local church.
1. Unresolved, but hidden, anger over a past church issue. I’m amazed by how many times I’ve talked with church members who are angry over things that happened years, if not decades, ago. On the outside it looks like they’ve “gotten over it”; but, the volcano is always ready to erupt.
2. Bitterness among members. I don’t understand it, but I’ve seen it: members who are so bitter at each other that they’ll change small groups, intentionally sit on opposite sides of the worship center, and avoid each other on the Lord’s Day. It’s crazy, actually….
3. Rigid small groups. By “rigid,” I mean small groups that are unwilling to change, are quite comfortable with their current fellowship, are unwelcoming (although seldom intentionally) to guests, and are often “doing their own thing.” In essence, they’ve become their own little church. That’s division.
He lists several more…
AL Baptists Work to Build Camp in Alaska, Empty Historic Church Houses New Congregation & What We Should Learn From Gen Z
There’s a piece of land nestled next to a lake in Alaska, and Tommy Bishop said when he’s there, he thinks of somewhere else. Amanda Hicks knew there were bees inside the building that once housed Chula Baptist Church. Everyone in the small Missouri town knew that. And, what does Gen Z need?
With a recent mission trip to Australia, Fruit Cove Church in North Florida has reached its goal of extending its missions footprint to all seven continents. Author, speaker and a mentor to many, Rhonda Kelley was known for her vibrant spirit and dedication in serving women in the local church, in the seminary classroom, and at the state and denominational level. And, Augustine is credited as having said, “God had only one Son who never sinned, but He never had any sons who didn’t suffer.”
Celebration of New Missionaries, Nicaragua’s Crackdown on Catholic Church & Steps for Starting New Groups
62 new missionaries were commissioned last week by the International Mission Board. The celebration took place in Phoenix, Arizona. In a concerning turn of events, the situation for the Catholic community in Nicaragua has deteriorated. This year alone, nineteen priests have been forcibly expelled. And, Lifeway discipleship expert Ken Braddy offers tips on starting new groups in your local church.