Tuesday Briefing: Five reasons pastors pray, a lifesaving app, and the dream of diversity

Meredith Flynn —  January 21, 2014

Tuesday_BriefingTHE BRIEFING | Meredith Flynn

Nearly 400 Southern Baptist pastors met in Atlanta last week to pray for revival and spiritual awakening, doubling the attendance of a similar meeting last fall. Ronnie Floyd, an Arkansas pastor who organized the meetings, reflected on the most recent gathering on his blog by posting five reasons pastors pray:

1. They’re burdened for a great move of God.2. They’re aware they’re limited, and their churches are in need.
3. Pastors are concerned beyond words for our nation.
4. They believe the Great Commission (Jesus’ words in Matthew 28:18-20) can be fulfilled in their generation.
5. Pastors know we need to work together now more than ever before.

The pastors’ prayer meetings raise a question: What is the role of Christians in America’s next great awakening? Read the full story from the Illinois Baptist here.

Phone app calls people to pray for women considering abortion
What if there was a way to direct a woman considering abortion to a crisis pregnancy center, and simultaneously rally a national network of partners to pray for her? Online for Life, a nonprofit business, has developed online marketing techniques to connect abortion-minded women to CPCs, and an app to mobilize intercessors to pray for them. Read the story, first reported by the Southern Baptist TEXAN, in the January 20 issue of the Illinois Baptist (page 6).

Hannah_Gay‘God cured that baby,’ HIV specialist says. ‘I just happened to be standing close by.’
Hannah Gay, who describes herself as “the shiest pediatrician in America” has been in the spotlight for months after achieving a functional cure of a child with HIV. The continued lack of any replication of the virus indicates the first documented case of HIV remission in a child, The New England Journal of Medicine reported in October. Read the full story at BPNews.net.

Poll: Most pastors want diversity, but most churches aren’t diverse
“Having a racially diverse church remains more dream than reality for most Protestant pastors,” reports LifeWay Research about a study released just before the anniversary of Martin Luther King’s birthday. While 85% of senior pastors of Protestant churches say every church should strive for racial diversity, only 13% have more than one predominant racial or ethnic group in their congregation. Read more at LifeWayResearch.com.

The (church) dating game
A new game show will test the matchmaking prowess of church members competing to set up a single member of their congregation. “It Takes a Church,” set to premiere on GSN this year, will be hosted by singer Natalie Grant. “There are a growing number of singles in the church who do not want to be single,” Grant told The Christian Post. The show will visit a new church each week, and the winning “cupid” gets a donation made to the church in their name. The best part: GSN says the unmarried church members will be “unsuspecting” until camera crews arrive. Read more at ChristianPost.com.

Meredith Flynn

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Meredith is managing editor of the Illinois Baptist newspaper.