June 2018

JESUS Film Harvest Partners: 180 for Christ

The Kingdom of God is one of the few places where you can see a person who once hated Christians, a former thief, and their victims all working together to advance the Gospel. The story of Brother Silverio and Brother Carlos is one of extreme faith and incredible transformation.

Silverio was a man who abhorred Christians. He could not stand to even hear the Word of God. However, one day, God intervened and opened his ears long enough for him to hear. He gave his life to the Lord when the JESUS film was shown on the street corner near his house.

The Heart of Worship

The essence of Christian worship is captured in these two excerpts written 260 years apart—one now considered a classic hymn of the Church and the other an often—played contemporary chorus, respectively. They both capture the interplay between who God is and our response to God’s work. 

In worship, we focus on the love and glory of God (who God is and what God has done), and then respond both with awe (“And can it be that I should gain an interest in my Savior's blood?”) and action (“I’m coming back to the heart of worship, and it’s all about you, Jesus”). 

Q&A: Worship Settings of the Old and New Testaments

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Q: What is the relationship between the word ekklesia (“church”) in the New Testament, and the worship settings of the Jewish people in the Old Testament?

A: The ancient Greek word ekklesia simply means assembly. In the early Church, this word referred to local “churches” or assemblies of Christians in different locations, often in homes. We have continued to use this definition in reference to religious gatherings. 

What We Know about Nazarene Worshippers

(Above: What Languages do Nazarenes Speak?)

Every year, Research Services asks Nazarene pastors around the world about their local churches. When it comes to worship, we ask one single question: What is your average attendance of weekly corporate worship? We also record other information about each church in order to get a better picture of global Nazarene worshippers.

On an average Sunday in 2016, about one and a half million people worshipped in a Church of the Nazarene. That’s an average of 65 people in each congregation each week.

Size

Worshiping Christ in a Culturally Diverse World

Accepting Diversity

From the rhythmic drums of a small church in East Africa to the orchestra at a large congregation in Olathe, Kansas, Nazarenes worship in some of the most diverse ways possible. Nazarenes have a global representation in 162 world areas and 180 languages of worship. We are a culturally diverse bunch, a reflection of God's creation in the fullest, and a testament to what awaits us in eternity.

When Do Americans Become Christian?

A survey by the International Bible Society indicates that 83% of all Christians make their commitment to Jesus between the ages of 4 and 14. The Barna Research Group surveys demonstrate that American children ages 5 to 13 have a 32% probability of accepting Christ, but youth or teens aged 14 to 18 have only a 4% probability of doing so. Adults age 19 and over have just a 6% probability of becoming Christians.

The Call of a Music Minister

I have loved music for as long as I can remember. I started playing guitar at age 15 and began performing at local venues in Tennessee by 16. By my late teens, I was writing and recording music.

I desperately wanted to write music for the church, but I had yet to hear any worship music that made me think I could write for that genre. The most contemporary worship music I had heard in the church up to that point didn’t exactly set my world on fire.

Worship and the Family Table

It is increasingly common for me to find myself in the midst of a conversation where leaders are wrestling with questions like, “How do we structure a worship service so children will want to engage?” or, “How do we structure an event so children and adults can worship together?” Somewhere in the midst of that conversation, it becomes clear that we are all interested in the same outcome. We are passionate about raising children who love God with their whole heart, soul, mind and spirit. And we will continue our search until we discover the way.

Waiting on the World to Change

“We can hardly stand the wait! / Please Christmas, don’t be late.” Most of you can hear the song in your head immediately, can’t you? Those squeaky, aggravating chipmunk voices singing the Christmas song we all love to hate. The song is a trite (and annoyingly persistent!) example of secular culture’s approach to Christmas commercialism.