Thursday, December 29, 2005

It's a Small World After All

World Magazine ran an interesting story recently:
    Between lacing children's films with sexual innuendo and offering support to a gay-rights agenda, the Walt Disney Company has hacked off more than a few Christians in recent decades. But the September resignation of CEO Michael Eisner, coupled with the company's impending feature-length foray into Narnia, has helped soften opposition—even convincing the American Family Association to call off its nine-year boycott.

    Now, Christians may find reason to move beyond neutrality to qualified support of the global leader in family entertainment: Al Weiss, a top-ranking Disney executive, is planting churches—doctrinally sound ones, and lots of them.

    As chairman of the board for newly formed Vision USA, Mr. Weiss aims to raise $300 million over the next 10 years for aggressive church planting in 50 of the country's most influential cities. The project is well underway in Orlando, where several million dollars of grant money will help open eight to 10 churches by the end of the year. Preliminary efforts have also begun in Seattle, Sacramento, Los Angeles, Phoenix, Denver, Nashville, Charlotte, New York, and Washington, D.C. ...

    ... Though affiliated with the Baptist General Conference (BGC), Vision USA has partnered with a range of denominations willing to affirm the Lausanne Covenant, male eldership, and Reformed theology—most recently aligning with Redeemer Presbyterian Church in New York City. ... (Full article)
In a time when most evangelical churches seem to be more seeker-friendly than gospel-friendly, it is encouraging to see more Reformed churches sprouting up.


Jeremy Weaver said...

Upon reading the rest of the article, although I am happy that solid, reformed churches are being planted, I am appalled at the entrepreneurial spirit that is attached. ('Brothers, we are not professionals'.)
We need to get entrepreneurial thinking out of church planting, and begin thinking in terms of spreading God's fame.

Lee Shelton said...

I agree. But what I find interesting is that even though this can be considered an entrepreneurial approach to church-planting, the churches that are being planted do not fit into the entrepreneurial paradigm. They don't seem to be operating according to the mega-church's do-anything-you-can-to-pack-'em-in-on-Sunday-morning playbook.

Jeremy Weaver said...

That's what I was wondering, especially when I saw where you wrote that someone from Bethlehem was involved.
Maybe this is the only way the 'new Christianity' (being held captive by the culture) knows how to talk about the church?

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