News feed

What’s Next for Pastors and the Church?

After the election came somewhat of a stunned silence among those, both for and against Donald Trump, who never thought he would be elected president of the United States. Then, reality set in. Many embarked on a buoyant, hopeful journey for what was ahead for the nation, while others took to the streets in anger and fear.

Regardless of how divided the country may seem, pastors and churches will be a key component to renewal, restoration and revival in America.

“The process for renewal of our nation must be led on our knees in prayer,” said APN President Sam Rohrer, “as we humble ourselves before God and seek His blessing. It also involves a commitment by the pastors in the pulpits of America to once again preach the whole counsel of God and reteach our people that the biblical principles that made America great are the same principles that can restore and heal our nation—one nation under God.”

One fact the country must realize, Rohrer said, is that half of voters did not choose Donald Trump for president, and are now in despair and despondent. The other half, however, feeling forgotten and desperate for change, did cast a vote for Trump, and are feeling hopeful and perhaps relieved. Rohrer commented that this dichotomy marks one of Christians’ greatest chances to tell the life-saving story of Jesus’ love and grace, in this relatively small window God has granted us again; He has given us a stay.

“How we think and act as believers,” Rohrer said, “will be crucial in not only how our nation will ultimately be united, but how the message of Christ will be furthered. The voters today who are in despair were seeking and searching for something, but they did not find it in the outcome of this election. This is an incredible time to share the hope and the truth of the Gospel. And we must remember that when we have a disagreement with someone, we must pray for them. It’s impossible to remain in strife with those for whom we are praying. This is biblical truth. Therefore, true unity is only possible when we come into agreement with God’s commandments and with His plans—both for our lives and for this nation.”

Rohrer hosts the daily, live, one-hour “Stand in the Gap Today,” the news and commentary radio program from APN that airs on about 425 stations nationwide daily at noon ET. Social science researcher George Barna is a regular guest on the show and recently shared election insight from his organization, American Culture & Faith Institute (ACFI). (Read more: “God Uses Strong Christian Support to Place Donald Trump in the White House”)

This election season, Barna’s surveys of SAGE Cons—Spiritually Active, Governance Engaged Conservatives—focused on voting trends, polls and the issues that were important to evangelicals. The latest research shows that the largest segment of support behind Trump was the Christian conservative vote.

While the Institute found that Trump was not the preferred option of SAGE Cons, they were the most reliable base of support he had. In an election night survey of 1,000 SAGE Cons, ACFI found:

  • More than 90% of them turned out to vote.
  • 94% of them cast their ballot for Donald Trump.
  • More than half (52%) didn’t expect him to win.
  • Two-thirds (67%) said they preferred his stand on key issues.
  • Nearly 6 in 10 (58%) said they disliked Hillary Clinton.
  • Key issues for these opinions were the candidates’ stands on abortion (53%) and Supreme Court nominations (49%).

On Thursday’s “Stand in the Gap Today” program (listen here), Rohrer and Barna discussed several key questions, including: What role did Christian conservatives play in the outcome of the election? What role did God play? Where do we go from here?

“God has given us a narrow window of opportunity,” Rohrer said. “Now we ask ourselves, what must be done in that window? God has given us grace and mercy, so what can we do with that gift? God answered the pleas and the prayers of His people and provided a reprieve. His continued blessing will be linked directly to our level of obedience. Yes, He has given us a stay, but the length of that stay is dependent on whether God’s people will be obedient or will go back to sleep. We will very easily return to the same comfortable, status quo ways if we fail to lead appropriately. This is about much more than winning an election; it’s a complete lifestyle shift and a change in the hearts of God’s people. And it starts at the pulpits of America’s churches.”

Dr. Ben Carson on Making Choices in this Election

Dr. Ben Carson appeared on Stand in the Gap Today radio program on October 28th to speak to those who feel they can’t vote due to principle.  Listen to this audio clip to hear his message about making choices in this election.

Be an Informed Voter! Get Your Voter Guide HERE!

The American Family Association has published the 2016 Voter Guide on their website HERE.  You’ll get a “sneak peek” at your federal and state ballot and find candidate comparisons all in one place!

Michele Bachmann on Advice to 3rd Party or No Voters

Michele Bachmann, recent guest on Stand in the Gap Today, gives advice in this audio clip to those planning to vote 3rd Party or not vote at all. To listen to the entire program, please click HERE.

Arkansas Pastors Network on Victory TV

FREE RESOURCES to Help You Understand the Transgender Identity Debate

We are in perilous days. It does no good for us to know the truth of the Bible and not preach it and practice it.

This is the reminder that the American Pastors Network wants to emphatically send to pastors and engaged believers, especially as they work to navigate an ever-changing culture, one where once-unheard-of laws and policies about who is allowed behind bathroom and locker room doors are commonplace.

Therefore, in an effort to educate and equip the faith community with the knowledge and tools necessary—especially in regards to complex gender issues—APN has launched an online toolkit that will provide visitors to the website with a white paper, sample letters, and other pieces of information that will arm them with biblical truth.

EXCLUSIVE (FREE) WHITE PAPER DOWNLOAD: Transgender Identity. Not Accepting God’s Design.

Other Downloads

Sermons by Pastors on the Transgender Issue

Voting the Lesser of Two Evils?

Now that the presidential field has considerably narrowed, there’s a pressing question looming for some: “Will I vote the lesser of two evils or not vote at all?”

American Pastors Network President Sam Rohrer has discussed this very question and others on recent “Stand in the Gap Today” radio programs.

“Are we ever, as Christians, biblically required to vote for what many have called ‘the lesser of two evils’?” Rohrer asks. “We are always faced with the real challenge of voting among two or three ‘imperfect’ people. Jesus is not on the ballot; in Him, we would have a perfect candidate. Everyone on the ballot is imperfect.

“To illustrate,” Rohrer continued, “let’s consider a choice like this—Adolf Hitler or Joseph Stalin—both haters of Jesus, of Israel, of Christians, and both thinking they are gods themselves. The difference is which one will imprison or kill you first? In that case, yes, we would be constrained to not vote for either because both choices are truly evil—with clear evidence that neither align  with the word of God nor have a fear or respect for God. But when considering candidates today, we must determine if they are  less than perfect—or evil? As voters deliberate over these substantive  questions, what is the pastor’s role—and is there one? Should churches and pastors even delve into issues of government and politics? The answer is unequivocally, ‘yes.’”

Civil government is a creation of God, Rohrer added, and pastors have a responsibility from the pulpit to uphold the godly ideals of what leaders should be and educate their churches about  God’s expectations for leaders.

“When it comes to voting, evil equates to a candidate who is clearly anti-God, anti-Christ, anti-Israel, and anti-Bible,” Rohrer said. “For instance, does that candidate reject God-defined moral absolutes such as life, marriage and God-established human sexuality or does that candidate embrace and pursue the killing of the unborn and marriage between any combination of people other than man and woman? Does that candidate support bribery and corruption and the subversion of justice for all? As Christians, we should support and vote for the candidate whose principles most closely align with what we believe, what the word of God teaches and what God’s expectations of a leader are. After all, pastors must preach biblical principles about all aspects of life—at home and in parenting, in the workplace, as we reach out to our neighbors, in how a church should be run, and yes, in the principles we should hold close when we head to the polls.”

Hundreds of Pastors and Church Leaders Gather in Charlotte for American Pastors Network ‘U-Turn’ Event

To read an article on the event by One News Now, please click HERE.

To watch a short video clip of the conference, please click HERE. 

Pastors and church leaders gave rave reviews about something many had never heard before—the role of the nation’s founding pastors, presented at last week’s “U-Turn” event hosted by the American Pastors Network and the North Carolina Pastors Network.

The fascinating ideals motivated pastors to make a real change in the way they preach, lead their churches and engage their congregations, as some pastors wrote in emails after the conference to APN President Sam Rohrer.

Hundreds attended the powerful day-long event, co-led by the North Carolina Pastors Network (NCPN, www.ncpastors.net) and hosted by Southern Evangelical Seminary in Charlotte. There, some of the nation’s leading speakers shared their incredible stories and inspiring words, in an effort to demonstrate to pastors and ministry leaders that a new vision for their churches is a catalyst for critical change in their communities.

The event delved deep into our nation’s history and gave reasons today’s pastors and their churches must be involved; it was more than a rally to pump up the crowd—it was a serious call to action for America to do a “180”—a U-Turn back to what made our country work and what made America great.

“We are immensely encouraged by the amazing experience at ‘U-Turn’ on Thursday,” said Rohrer. “We are grateful, and praise God for blessing the conference, and now will certainly continue to pray, not only for immediate and significant results but also eternal impacts.”

Rohrer added that one pastor in attendance remarked, “Even though I believe that I’ve been involved in cultural issues and have faithfully preached, I know now that I must do much more. There is so much at stake not only [in my] preaching [but] warning and discipling my people.”

Also at “U-Turn,” APN announced the new “We Will Stand—Preach, Pray, Encourage, Engage” initiative, a commitment pastors nationwide can make to “stand in the gap for truth” in their churches and communities. APN will share more about the new initiative in the coming weeks.

“I heard directly and indirectly from those in attendance that they were greatly challenged and blessed by the ‘U-Turn’ conference,” said Dave Kistler, president of NCPN. “The days ahead will certainly tell the tale of what God has done in their hearts, focusing and firing them up for faithful engagement. One pastor stated, ‘I’ve got to change some things at church and get both myself and my people engaged!’ Comments like these are so encouraging, as we now pray for those who attended, that they will take the important principles presented and meet the challenge.”

Although biblical and not political, the “U-Turn” conference for church leaders sought to equip, empower and educate attendees about the essentials to impact culture, especially now, as the culture changes rapidly.

Speakers for “U-Turn: A Roadmap for Renewal—A Conversation with Pastors on Society, Culture and Leadership” included:

  • George Barna, social science researcher, executive director of the American Culture and Faith Institute (a division of United in Purpose), president of Metaformation, a faith development organization, and author
    • David Barton, historian and leader of WallBuilders, a national pro-family organization that presents America’s forgotten history and heroes, with an emphasis on America’s moral, religious and constitutional heritage
    • Paul Blair, president of Reclaiming America for Christ and former NFL star
    • Jeremy Dys, senior counsel for First Liberty, formerly the Liberty Institute, where he focuses on religious liberty matters and the First Amendment
    • Gary Frazier, Biblical writer and founder and president of Discovery Missions International
    • Dr. Richard Land, evangelical leader and president of Southern Evangelical Seminary
    • Steve Scheibner, president of Characterhealth Corporation and a pilot who will share his gripping story from 9/11
    • Bryan Smith, senior manager for biblical integration for BJU Press
    • Sammy Tippit of Sammy Tippit Ministries

Does History Repeat Itself?

In this unique election year, political analysts, the media and even voters are looking to the past to see if history will repeat itself. While some things never change, this presidential election is certainly proving to color “outside of the lines.”

At the upcoming “U-Turn” conference for pastors, ministry leaders and engaged believers, headline speakers social science researcher George Barna and WallBuilders leader and historian David Barton will address the pressing topics on the minds of many as they head to the polls.

Biblical, not political, the daylong event, “U-Turn: A Roadmap for Renewal—A Conversation with Pastors on Society, Culture and Leadership,” offered by the American Pastors Network (APN, www.americanpastorsnetwork.net) and the North Carolina Pastors Network (NCPN, www.ncpastors.net), will equip, empower and educate attendees about the essentials to impact culture, especially now, when the church and Christian voters have the potential to make a real difference.

“We are honored to again welcome George Barna and David Barton to the ‘U-Turn’ stage,” said APN President Sam Rohrer. “These two powerful speakers are an inspiration to pastors and church leaders, and their motivating words will be deeply embedded on the hearts of all who attend ‘U-Turn’ in North Carolina on April 14. Pastors, church leaders and engaged believers are ready to take their ministries to the next level, and ‘U-Turn’ will be a catalyst for that change.”

Set for 9 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. April 14 at Southern Evangelical Seminary (SES) at 3000 Tilley Morris Road in Matthews, N.C., “U-Turn” will feature Barna speaking on “The Necessity of Engagement: A Statistical Perspective” and Barton addressing the topic of “When Pastors Stand for Truth: A Historical Perspective.”

George Barna has filled executive roles in politics, marketing, advertising, media development, research and ministry. He founded the Barna Research Group in 1984 (now The Barna Group) and helped it become a leading marketing research firm focused on the intersection of faith and culture before selling it in 2009.

Barna currently serves as the Executive Director of the American Culture and Faith Institute (a division of United in Purpose), and is President of Metaformation, a faith development organization. He has written more than 50 books and his work is frequently cited as an authoritative source by the media. Barna also serves as a speaker at ministry conferences around the world, on the faculty at several universities and seminaries, and as a pastor who helped start several churches.

David Barton heads WallBuilders, a national pro-family organization that presents America’s forgotten history and heroes, with an emphasis on America’s moral, religious and constitutional heritage. He is the author of numerous best-selling books, with the subjects drawn largely from his massive library-museum of tens of thousands of original writings, documents and artifacts from early America. He also addresses well over 400 groups each year. Barton’s exhaustive research has rendered him an expert in historical and constitutional issues.

Additional “U-Turn” speakers in North Carolina will include:

  • Former NFL star and pastor Paul Blair, president of Reclaiming America for Christ
  • Gary Frazier, biblical writer and founder and president of Discovery Missions International
  • Jeff Mateer of the First Liberty (formerly the Liberty Institute), who has argued significant religious liberties and marriage cases
  • Pastor, pilot and author Steve Scheibner, who tells his gripping story from 9/11
  • Bryan Smith, senior manager for biblical integration for BJU Press
  • Sammy Tippit of Sammy Tippit Ministries

Said a pastor who attended the Pennsylvania “U-Turn” event, “I was really blessed by the U-Turn Conference. … This was truly life-changing and transformational. I don’t remember the last time I have been so inspired to want to make a difference in the kingdom of God after attending a conference with such great impact. I was thoroughly energized to know what, how and why we should take back our country for Jesus Christ.”

The “U-Turn” early bird rate of $29 for adults ends March 24. The student rate (with an ID shown at the door) is $21, and the group rate (with five or more individuals) is $25. To register online, click here, or for more details, click here.

APN Addresses Important Election News from Iowa on ‘Stand in the Gap Today;’ Examines CNN Analysis and the Missing ‘Biblical Evangelicals’

With the all-important Iowa caucus now in the rear-view mirror, presidential hopefuls are keeping up their efforts to court Christian evangelical voters, as the tone continues to be set for the 2016 race.

Through its daily one-hour “Stand in the Gap Today” radio program, the American Pastors Network (APN,www.americanpastorsnetwork.net) has been following election news closely, and discussing candidates and their stances on the issues important to Christians.

For example, in a report last week, CNN segmented American Christians to help better understand how they are making up their minds for the presidential ​primaries. “It’s an axiom in American politics, duly repeated every four years,” CNN reported. “Evangelicals are the country’s biggest and most powerful religious voting bloc, especially during the GOP primaries.”

Outlining splits in both the candidates whom evangelicals favor and the principles that will drive their votes, CNN categorized these voters into seven groups: 1) the old guard; 2) institutional evangelicals; 3) entrepreneurial evangelicals; 4) “arm’s length” evangelicals; 5) millennial evangelicals; 6) liberal evangelicals; and 7) and cultural evangelicals.

However, says APN President Sam Rohrer, there is one classification notably absent.

“The one missing but most needed category is that of ‘biblical evangelicals,’” Rohrer said. “This classification of evangelicals bases decisions on the word of God and the Bible’s teachings—and there is no foundation more solid. This eighth category of the ‘biblical evangelical’ should also be reflected by a public narrative, focusing on matters of candidate requirements such as fear of God, the opposition of bribery and corruption, a knowledge of the biblical definition of justice, a commitment to the Rule of Law as defined and embodied in God’s Moral law and our Constitution, and the demonstration of character and integrity. These qualities all stand apart from any determinations of a candidate’s chance to win the election based on pragmatic decisions.

“APN’s pastoral and biblical emphasis hones in on these beliefs and this emphasis,” Rohrer added. “Furthermore, pastors can help guide their congregations by first and foremost encouraging them to vote. Election analysts say that if more evangelical voters visited the polls and voted with their values in 2008 and 2012, the outcome may have been vastly different for our country. We must ensure that in this election, the Christian voice is heard loud and clear.”

Listen to the audio clip “Seven Evangelicals” from “Stand in the Gap Today”

Added Gary Dull, APN board member and executive director and vice president of the Pennsylvania Pastors Network (PPN, www.papastors.net), “The division among evangelicals is caused, in part, by a lack of solid voices to represent and lead them. Unity is crucial at this time—and going forward. But the goal is not unity alone. Unity must always be connected to and the result of biblical obedience. For the sake of pastors and the people in the pews, we must help them effectively, wisely and biblically sort through the confusion in order to elect the best leader for our nation, not just the one we think is most ‘electable’ but yet may not contain the solid leadership America desperately needs.”

Rohrer and Dull went on to say that pastors can do several things to help motivate and empower their congregations to speak their minds and stand up for biblical values at the polls:

  • Communicate the importance of the faith-driven vote in this election.
  • Educate parishioners about the position of the candidates on critical issues through an in-depth Voter Guide, such as the one from AFA Action, a division of the American Family Association.
  • Pray about which candidate to choose in the upcoming election.