Atheist church shows need for community which true church can offer

Writer Paul Holland with family

Writer Paul Holland with family

PARIS, Ky. (BNc) by Paul Holland — “Church without God.” Thus reads the title of an article from the Lexington Herald-Leader. Sounds contradictory, doesn’t it? But it seems that hundreds, if not thousands, of folks have decided that they—although atheists—miss many things about “church,” and they want those things back. Continue reading

‘We were babied,’ says millennial-generation preacher

Minister Ben Giselbach

Minister Ben Giselbach

LOUISVILLE, Ky. (BNc) — The number one reason Ben Giselbach thinks most millennials are leaving the church: the previous generation “didn’t challenge us enough.”

That lack of challenge led millennials to look elsewhere, the Cedar Creek minister wrote today. “We are smart, and if our intellectual needs aren’t met inside the church, we look somewhere else. For whatever reason, we didn’t grow because we weren’t challenged.”

With the assumption that in the church statistics are similar to the 59% loss among denominations, Ben charges: “The last generation failed to make New Testament Christianity appealing to my generation.”

He put into words some of the sentiments that his generation are feeling.

He noted exceptions, of whom he is one, and acknowledged that the millennials themselves are responsible for their own faith.

As a solution, he touched on a direction for the church to consider:

How can we keep those that are left? We’ve got to challenge my generation. We must teach them God’s Word. We need to engage their minds and demonstrate that New Testament Christianity is relevant and meaningful. We need to show them that being faithful child of God is the only way to find true success and happiness.

Ben’s article is available at this link.

Budding publisher kicks trend with third release: ‘Bible 101′

Bible101-footprintsPAINTSVILLE, Ky (BNc) by Rick Kelley — Ben Wright hopes to achieve “something a bit more out of the box while remaining Biblically sound” with his new publishing company, Enwrightened Publications (EP). Ben ministers to the congregation in Paintsville, Ky., where he grew up, and where his father David serves as an elder.

EP’s third book, Bible 101, written by Mike Johnson, came out May 14. Directed toward new Christians, it covers “everything from the authority of the Bible to the important role women have in the Church,” and “clearly lays out the foundation of the church,” Ben said.

Ben took the time to answer some questions about his new venture.

BNc: What provoked your interest in this work? Tell us how Enwrightened Publications (EP) got started?

Ben: Our interest in the work has really developed over the last few years. It all began as a simple blog and grew from there. My wife and I love to read and write, so we decided to embark on a journey of producing books that we really liked. The name Enwrightened is more of an accident than anything; we were trying to come up with names for our blog and misspelled “enlightened,” then discovered we could use our last name and make it “Enwrightened”.

BNc: Your first two books, While You Are Away From Home (Mike Johnson) and Branded (Ben Wright) are already in print. How are they being received?

Ben: So far, they have been received exceptionally well. Mike is an extremely talented guy and his books are marvelous. While You Are Way From Home is a really neat concept for a book and one that, I think, was very needed.

Branded has achieved more than we had anticipated in terms of copies sold and the reaction it has received. Considering that, for the most part, social media has been our only source of advertising, both books are doing really well.

BNc: Someone once said that those associated with churches of Christ do more publishing than any other group. Why another publishing company? Does EP have a niche is seeks to serve, or a deficiency it seeks to address?


Emilee and Ben Wright

Ben: We knew so many talented people that had amazing things to say, but didn’t know how to get their ideas out. I (Ben) have a background in Graphic Design so we were able to do most of the legwork ourselves and really get people heard who may not have had the means otherwise. We really believed it to be a great way that we could serve others and spread the Gospel.

We try to work on projects that are maybe a little different from the traditional type of books that are published in the church today. Many books in the church now are written specifically for classes and have a very standardized format and, while we have (and will have) many of those kinds of book, we also want to produce books that are written with more of a practical aspect in mind.

Branded, for example, is a small book; it’s not a classroom book, features no questions at the end of the chapters, but rather focuses on making the Christian life better in a challenging and more practical way than a traditional classroom book might. That is certainly not to say that the traditional approach isn’t great, but just that we are interested in doing something a bit more out of the box while remaining Biblically sound.

BNc: We’re in a digital age; printing isn’t cheap. Why books?

Ben: I am a huge technology lover. If I can do it digitally, generally, I do; but I also love the feel of a book in my hands. There’s just something about it I can’t describe. I’ve tried e-books and own many. They are fantastic in their own way, but the experience just isn’t the same.

The digital age has also produced things like on-demand printing that makes the costs of creating printed books extremely affordable, which is why you see so many people self-publishing today. We try to make all of our books in as many formats as possible, including digital ones. We are also currently in the process of making our books available in audio book format.

BNc: What’s in the works for EP?

Ben: We have a lot of projects going on right now. Our big work is a project called, “Radiate”, that we hope to have out early next year. It will be a four-year teen class curriculum, written with teachers in mind. We want teen class teachers to be able to take our materials and easily be able to teach from them, and have a pre-set teaching schedule. “Radiate” takes students through the entire New Testament and various other topical subjects in a period of four years. We have some really fantastic guys lined up to write for us.

We also have several more books in the works that we’re excited to put out, including a book called, “Spiritually Fit”, a book that challenges Christians to take a look at their spiritual health. Another one is called, “Not Just the Future”, and it is about empowering the younger generation to take hold of leadership now. Of course, we also try to keep our blog updated regularly with good stuff there, as well.

Find out more about Ben, Enwrightened Publications, and ordering information on their website.

Former hard-rock musician takes new hermeneutic to task over catering to the world

Writer Rick Kelley

Writer Rick Kelley

PRESTONSBURG, Ky. (BNc) — Hard rock musician cum preacher Rick Kelley hit back hard today, Feb. 12, after critics suggested that churches of Christ need to understand this generation better and jettison the pattern theology of the 19th century.

In a lengthy article on his blog, Rick, who works with the Prestonsburg congregation, gave four reasons for the decline among the churches — if such a decline can be proven, he said: the new hermeneutics, a worldly church, a misunderstanding of who the church is, and a moral free-fall in society since the 1960s.

With that, he placed much of the blame for the church’s decline squarely on the doorstep of progressives. Continue reading

Audio: How to study the NT effectively: Guy N. Woods

Guy N. Woods

Guy N. Woods

(BNc) by David Lemmons — One of my all-time favorite voices of preachers has to be that of the late Guy N. Woods. I consider this lesson taught in a Bible class somewhere (unknown to me) to be a remarkable presentation.

Guy N. Woods was a great student of the Bible. In this lesson: “How to Study the New Testament Effectively,” brother Woods has some wonderful suggestions for us to consider.

The beginning of 2013 is an excellent time for any person to consider his own Bible study efforts. Listening to this file should provide some wise insights from someone who practiced what he preached.

My source is Redland church of Valdosta, Ga. Length is 35m18s. Continue reading

Preacher apologizes publicly for speaker’s gaffes at youth rally

Apology for youth speaker

Steven Hunter

TOMPKINSVLILE, Ky. (BNc) — After a guest speaker for an area-wide youth rally went off script Sunday night, Nov. 4, minister Steven Hunter felt it important to apologize publicly for “inappropriate” and “scripturally inaccurate” statements made by the speaker.

After listing three of the speaker’s statements, Steven affirmed the convictions of the Tompkinsville church. Continue reading

Video: ‘Giving Him Back to God’ interview

PADUCAH, Ky. (BNc) — Preacher Roger Comstock interviews Beth Baker about her autistic son and the struggles they went through. Beth is the author of Giving Him Back to God. This video is the first of a four-part series. Thanks to David Lemmons, who shared the video and said that Beth faithful member of the Maple Hill church of Christ, where he preaches.

Kentucky churches to merge

LOUISVILLE, Ky. (BNc) – Elders at the Watterson Trail congregation announced an official merger date with the Middletown church. In their bulletin for the week of May 15, they wrote:

As many of you know there have been discussions over the past few years regarding the possible merger of the Middletown Church of Christ and Watterson Trail Church of Christ. Both parties have established the necessary understanding to move forward with this merger. It is anticipated that all of the necessary paperwork will be completed to make May 15th the official date of this merger. We ask that we all continue to pray for this event and that the merger between our two families become one in fellowship and spirit striving to continue to build the family of God in Louisville. We look forward to members of the Middletown Church of Christ placing membership with us and laboring with us. Continue reading

Evangelize Kentucky Project needs help

BOWLING GREEN, Ky. (BNc) – The Evangelize Kentucky Project soon will be starting a congregation in Owen County Kentucky in the town of Owenton. They are in need of 10-15 matching pews, preferably no longer than 14 feet, a Lord’s supper table, pulpit stand, number boards, etc.

The property has already been purchased and Bill Dayton who will preach there has recently moved to Bowling Green, Ky. to spend time getting to know the sponsoring congregation at Lehman Avenue. A house is currently being remodeled for them to live in.

The church building will be a converted metal warehouse building similar to the one in Grant County, the first congregation planted by the Lehman Avenue congregation. Continue reading

Earl Gieseke, gospel preacher, dies

GREENVILLE, KY. (BNc) — Elisha Earl Gieseke, 78, of Greenville, KY., died Tuesday, March 9, at Western Baptist Hospital in Paducah after a lengthy illness. He was a minister for more than 50 years and an Air Force veteran of the Korean War.

Survivors include his wife of 57 years, Gloria June Hunter Gieseke; a son, Rob Gieseke; two brothers, Bill Gieseke and Ray Gieseke; and two sisters, Lou Soaper and Mary Voss.

Services were at 1 p.m. today at Gary’s Funeral Home in Greenville. Burial was at the Unity Cemetery in Graham, KY.

Old Mulkey celebrated its bicentennial

By Gina Kinslow, Glasgow Daily Times

oldmulkeyTOMPKINSVILLE, Ky. (BNc) — A celebration to commemorate the bicentennial anniversary of Old Mulkey was held Saturday, Nov. 21, at Old Mulkey Meeting House State Historic Site.

“During the bicentennial observation we will be examining what happened at the historic service of Nov. 18, 1809, and the effects of that service,” said Sheila Rush, park manager. “We’ll take a look at excerpts from the minutes of the church dated 1798 to 1809 and sing period-accurate songs.”

Lynwood Montell, a noted historian and folklorist, led an interactive history activity, asking questions about the origin of Old Mulkey and it’s beginning as Mill Creek Church.

Loy Milam, author of Old Mulkey, A Plea for the Ancient Order discussed “the split.” Continue reading