American Pastors Network Planning Pilgrimage to Biblical History Center of Israel in March; Christians Called to Stand with God’s Chosen Ones

As headlines continue to come out of Israel during one of the world’s most turbulent times, the American Pastors Network  regularly creates a dialogue about the matters that should be important to all Christians, especially through its daily radio ministry, “Stand in the Gap Today.”

APN President Sam Rohrer, along with “Stand in the Gap Today” co-hosts Gary Dull of the Pennsylvania Pastors Network (PPN, and Dave Kistler of the North Carolina Pastors Network (NCPN,, works to engages listeners by considering today’s news from a constitutional and biblical perspective—including headlines from the Holy Land.

“News from Israel should be extremely critical to Christians,” Rohrer said. “And the importance of Israel to today’s Christian leaders cannot be overstated. The simple reason we must support the State of Israel is because God does. The Jews are His chosen people, and He gave His promise to Abraham, Isaac and Jacob that He would not only bless them but also bless every nation that blesses them and curse every nation that curses them. Throughout history, God has miraculously protected the Jewish people although the nations around them have sought to annihilate them. 

“Additionally, we cannot ignore the biblical significance of standing with God’s chosen people in Israel,” Rohrer continued. “What America does in relationship to the support of Israel is the difference between experiencing God’s blessing or God’s judgment on our nation. Additionally, Israel has long been America’s strongest ally in the Middle East, continues to be the only truly democratic nation in that region and is the only nation in the Middle East that allows true religious freedom.”

Because of the important ties between the U.S. and Israel, as well as the impact on today’s churches, the American Pastors Network will co-host an upcoming trip to Israel, partnering with Prophecy Today, led by Jimmy DeYoung, for a tour beginning March 7, 2018. During the trip, travelers can experience Israel like never before, and see the sights and sounds of the Holy Land while considering Israel’s past, examining current events in light of biblical prophecy and understanding God’s plan for the future.

APN noted that especially pastors who take a pilgrimage to Israel find the experience to be personally rewarding, and those rewards flow into their ministry, as they return to their congregations with new passion, a deeper spiritual relationship with Christ and a Bible that went from black and white to color.

Photo by David Rodrigo on Unsplash

5 Reasons and 5 Ways to Honor Pastors During Pastors Appreciation Month

October is Pastor Appreciation Month, and while churchgoers might think the “good sermon, pastor” sentiments they give on their way out the door is enough, today’s church leaders serve as a light to millions of people in a dark world.

Perhaps at no other time in history have America’s pastors been more needed in this culturally significant time, says the American Pastors Network.

For that reason, APN is suggesting five reasons and five ways to appreciate and honor pastors this month.

“We know from research that pastors can feel isolated and sometimes unappreciated,” said APN board member Gary Dull, who also serves as executive director of the Pennsylvania Pastors Network (PPN, and leads a church in Altoona, Pa. “Those feelings can sometime lead to early burnout, and today’s churches need committed pastors who are sold out to preaching the whole counsel of God now more than ever. Even a small word of encouragement or gesture of appreciation can make all the difference in a pastor’s life. And what better time than Pastor Appreciation Month!”

5 Reasons to Appreciate Pastors

  1. Pastors are “on call” 24 hours a day, seven days a week. They often must break away from their own families to help someone in the church through a difficult situation.
  2. Pastors are selfless and make daily sacrifices for their congregations.
  3. Pastors make the Word of God and His Truth plain and simple so we may apply it to our everyday lives.
  4. Pastors are people, too! Churches tend to put their leaders on a pedestal, but they also have joys and struggles, hobbies and favorite things.
  5. Pastors have followed God’s call to give up their own life and their own desires to serve others.

5 Ways to Appreciate Pastors

  1. Tag your pastor in a social media post with the hashtag #pastorappreciation and tell your friends, family and fellow church members what you appreciate about your pastor.
  2. Send a personal thank you note or card and let your pastor know how your life has been bettered.
  3. Make and deliver dinner to your pastor’s family, invite them to your home or take them out for a meal, not only to express appreciation, but to also get to know them better.
  4. Find out your pastor’s hobbies and interests, and consider giving a gift card or certificate for an experience to enjoy “off duty.”
  5. Give your pastor a gift from the APN online store, which includes resources that will rejuvenate and refresh your pastor. Now through the end of October, use the code MYPASTOR for a 25 percent discount on the purchase of the U-Turn DVD set, which are recordings from an APN church leader conference and transformative information.

New Study Finds That Americans’ Opinions on Abortion Can Be Confusing and Polarizing

American Pastors Network: How Should the Church Respond?

As the U.S. House of Representatives recently passed the Pain-Capable Unborn Child Protection Act, which would outlaw abortions past 20 weeks of pregnancy, the American Culture & Faith Institute is releasing a new survey on Americans’ views on abortion, which, say the researchers, can be confusing and polarizing.

According to ACFI and lead researcher George Barna, who is a frequent guest on the American Pastors Network radio ministry “Stand in the Gap Today,” 47 percent of adults claim to be pro-choice, substantially more than the 38 percent who claim to be pro-life. Another 8 percent said they held neither position, and the remaining 8 percent were not sure.

“However,” Barna reported, “when the intensity of one’s position is taken into account, the difference between the two sides is reduced. Overall, 31 percent said they were strongly pro-choice compared to 24 percent who said they were strongly pro-life.”

APN board member and “Stand in the Gap Today” co-host Gary Dull said news about the study and the pain-capable act are especially timely in October—Abortion Recovery Awareness Month and Respect Life Month.

“In the church, we can’t assume that every person sitting in the pews is passionately and strongly pro-life,” Dull said. “They may be confused about their views on abortion, or they may waver with the culture or even with personal experience. That’s why is still crucial that pastors and the church stand up for life and not take for granted that all churchgoers realize that God created every life in His image from the moment of conception. He values these unborn children of God and has placed them in our protection.”

The ACFI study also found that 56 percent of Americans want abortion to be legal, but that view is dependent upon the circumstances:

  • Less than one-quarter (23 percent) want abortion to be legal under any and all circumstances.
  • One-third (33 percent) want abortion to be legal under most but not all circumstances.
  • Another one-quarter (24 percent) want the practice to be illegal under most circumstances.
  • Only one out of 10 adults (10 percent) wants to outlaw abortion in all situations.
  • 11 percent were not sure.

A double-digit percentage of those surveyed are also confused about the morality of abortion, with 36 percent stating that abortion is immoral, while close to one-fourth (23 percent) say abortion is a moral act, while a similar proportion (24 percent) says that abortion is not a moral issue. The remaining 16 percent do not know.

Still more perplexing are Americans’ contradictory views on the legalization of abortion. One-third say abortion is murder and yet they believe it should be legal. Three out of 10 adults (29 percent) argue that life starts at conception and yet they support the legalization of abortion.

Dull added that pastors and churches should especially pay attention to the views on the value of life, as Americans provided numerous answers on what makes a human life valuable:

  • 38 percent say that people are made in the image of God or that life is a gift from God.
  • 17 percent said that life is of value by the mere fact that we exist, while the same proportion attributed the value of life to our potential to become something greater or more productive.
  • 14 percent said the value of life comes from what we are able to accomplish.
  • 4 percent think life matters and is valued because humans can identify a purpose for living.
  • 2 percent said life does not have value.
  • 8 percent said they are not sure how to identify whether and why life has value.

Read the full American Culture & Faith Institute study here.

Pennsylvania Pastors Network Leader Says Lehigh County Must Stand for Constitutional Law After Judge Rules Cross Must Be Removed from Seal

A federal judge last week ruled that a cross must be removed from the Lehigh County seal in Pennsylvania because it is violates the U.S. Constitution, reported Fox News and several other outlets.

The Freedom From Religion Foundation filed the suit on behalf on four Pennsylvania residents, who claimed the cross was offensive. According to Fox News, U.S. District Judge Edward Smith “made it known in his ruling that he was not happy about the decision he had to make but was following the rule of constitutional law, including the establishment clause, which states that Congress may not pass any laws establishing a religion.”

“It is obvious to me that Judge Smith failed to recognize the truth of the United States Constitution and the historical background of our nation and Lehigh County,” said Gary Dull, executive director of the Pennsylvania Pastors Network (PPN,, a state chapter of the American Pastors Network. “The First Amendment of the Constitution states that ‘Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof…’ Having a cross in the center of the Lehigh County seal is not in any way ‘establishing’ a religion by county founders, leaders or citizens. Therefore, the opinion of Judge Smith is unconstitutional in that it both prohibits the free exercise of people of faith who historically were and are a part of the county and also fails to recognize the Judeo-Christian heritage upon which our nation, of which Lehigh County is a part, was founded. 

“In his own statement, the judge said that ‘the court does not believe the current state of law applicable to this case comports with the text of the Establishment Clause,’ and so in the mind of any sensible person, that ends the argument,” added Dull, who is the senior pastor at Faith Baptist Church of Altoona in Blair County. “For the judge to then rule in favor of the plaintiffs is an act of twisting the wording of the First Amendment in an effort to make it say what it does not according to original intent. The citizens of Lehigh County, whether they are religious or not, must stand up for constitutional law if indeed the integrity of the court system is to remain in compliance with the law of the land. America is a nation of law based upon a Constitution that has lasted for nearly two and half centuries and is not based on the whims and opinions of individual citizens. The best thing any judge or citizen can do to maintain the strength of our country is to follow the law of the Constitution, interpret it accordingly and refuse to allow personal opinion, politics, philosophy, desire or pressure from those who oppose the basic principles of our nation to take away from what America has been about from the time of its founding.”

Judge Smith wrote in his ruling that “While the court does not believe the current state of the law applicable to this case comports with the text of the Establishment Clause, the court is not in a position to reject it. The law, as it currently stands, requires that the court rule in favor of the plaintiffs: the inclusion of the cross lacked a secular purpose both when the defendant adopted the seal and when the defendant refused to remove the cross from the seal, and a reasonable observer would perceive the seal as endorsing Christianity.”

Lehigh County will now have to redesign the seal, in use since 1944, which includes a Latin cross near the center, as well as a heart, bison, silos and other imagery. The seal appears on flags, buildings, letterhead and legal documents, as well as the county website.

APN President Sam Rohrer also spoke with WFMZ-TV in eastern Pennsylvania about the ruling. View here.

Pastor Offers Biblical Perspective on Las Vegas Shooting

As the investigation continues into the mass shooting in Las Vegas last night, and as Americans continue to wait for word on family members visiting the popular location, leaders from the American Pastors Network  are considering the tragedy from a biblical perspective.

The mass shooting that took place last night at the Mandalay Bay Hotel in Las Vegas is, above everything else, a clear indication of the spiritual depravity of mankind,” said APN leader and Pastor, Gary Dull, who also serves as executive director of the Pennsylvania Pastors Network (PPN, “How a 64-year-old man who, according to his brother, never really had an interest in guns was able to randomly shoot at the distance of over 300 yards and kill at least 58 people and injure more than 500 others is truly in accordance with what Jesus Christ teaches about the mission of Satan in John 10:10—to ‘steal, kill and destroy.’

“Yes, this event that is stated to be the deadliest shooting in American history is truly devilish and from the pit of hell,” Dull continued. “There are still many unanswered questions about the background of the shooter, but the fact remains that this was a terrible massacre as innocent people were shot at random by a depraved individual. Many officials have yet been willing to call this an act of terror, but in reality it was a terrorist action. We know that Satan is the chief terrorist of the ages and will do all that he can to bring fear into the hearts and minds of us all. Are we to give into that fear? Not at all. The Bible tells us in 2 Timothy 1:7 that ‘God has not given us the spirit of fear; but of power, and of love and of a sound mind.’ Therefore, we should determine to not live in fear but live by faith.”

Dull added that as the world watches the facts develop from this tragedy in the days to come, pastors across America will consider how to bring the event into a biblical perspective for their congregations. Dull says that consideration will include several concepts:

  1. It is the total depravity of mankind born into sin that leads to this type of action of killing and injuring so many.
  2. Christian citizens should not live in fear but fully trust in the Lord to face such events with courage and strength.
  3. Churches and pastors must be about the ministry of evangelizing the lost, as this tragedy would not have occurred if the shooter had known Christ as his personal Savior.
  4. Events like this are a part of the “perilous times” that 2 Timothy 3:1 states will come and will continue to increase in the “last days” before the return of Jesus Christ.
  5. All must be ready to meet the Lord by knowing Him as a personal Savior and serving Him according to His will.
  6. Believers must encourage one another with biblical truth in light of such events, so as to be able to properly represent Christ to the world that struggles to find answers in times like these.
  7. Americans must pray for one another, for the citizens of our nation, for the families of those who were killed or wounded in the attack, for our political leaders and law enforcement officials as they deal with the situation, and for the Church of Jesus Christ to stand tall as the “pillar and the ground of the truth” in times such as these.
  8. Christians should ask God if there are further spiritual lessons to learn in light of this terrible event and order our lives accordingly.