Connecting Older and Younger Pastors to Address the Millennial Faith Crisis

Few would argue that there’s no disconnect between generations when it comes to matters of faith. And this is true of pastors from different generations as well, which is why the American Pastors Network (APN, www.americanpastorsnetwork.net) is embarking on a new initiative to bring together millennial pastors with those who have spent 20 or 30 years, or more, in ministry.

APN President Sam Rohrer recently talked with The Christian Post about the plan to bridge the gap between these pastors, noting that connecting biblically faithful pastors across generations is crucial both for the church and for millennials who are leaving the faith.

“If we believe, which we do, that the Scripture holds the answers to all issues of life, then in fact, the confusion of the day does not need to remain confusion of the day but it can be brought to clarity and purpose when biblical principles are applied to the issues,” Rohrer told The Christian Post.

“The Christian life, biblical truth is real,” he continued. “It changes lives, it affects everything, everything that we do no matter our station in life. So if that’s the case then we believe that God’s model is that the pulpit is the place from which that needs to come.”

So far, the response to the “bridging the gap” project has been overwhelmingly positive.

“There is a desire from many who are younger to learn from those who are older,” Rohrer said, “but there’s no bridge.”

Read the entire Christian Post article here. Read more about the American Pastors Network and its “Stand in the Gap” radio ministry here.

To interview Sam Rohrer from the American Pastors Network, contact Beth Harrison at 610-584-1096, ext. 104,Media@HamiltonStrategies.com, or Deborah Hamilton at 215-815-7716 or 610-584-1096, ext. 102.

Bridging the Generational Gap Between Pastors

Distinct generations are attending Christian churches across the nation, and while one commonality—faith in Jesus—brings them together, they may have different reasons for attending church, becoming involved, giving, serving and growing in Christ.

The American Pastors Network knows that the pastors of these churches are also from distinct generations. It’s for this reason that APN is embarking on a new initiative to bring together millennial pastors with those who have spent 20 or 30 years, or more, in ministry.

“Over the past several months, we leaders at the American Pastors Network have had a real heart, longing and passion to connect biblically faithful older pastors with biblically faithful millennial pastors,” said APN President Sam Rohrer. “We know that most older pastors do have a concern for their younger counterparts, but don’t necessarily know how to connect with them. And some millennial pastors know there is value in learning from the generations who went before them. Conversely, pastors who have been in the pulpit for decades realize they can also learn from younger pastors as well, such as about how millennials think and act, what they are looking for in a church and how they see themselves fitting into the culture.”

Rohrer added that APN will be looking for ways to “bridge the gap” between these generations so they can “stand in the gap for truth” together, such as mentoring experiences, events with relevant speakers and resources to help pastors share their knowledge with each other.

The APN president also said he has asked millennial pastors about their needs and found that APN’s “Stand in the Gap” radio ministry and the network itself are both helpful resources for both church leaders and congregations, especially as they consider the culture from a biblical and constitutional perspective.

How Can Pastors Reach Millennials?

Like many Christians, leaders from the American Pastors Network are surprised and concerned about recent research showing that the vast majority of millennials do not have a biblical worldview.

In fact, just 4 percent of millennials look at life through a biblical lens, according to the newAmerican Culture & Faith Institute (ACFI) Worldview Measurement Project, which considered how the core beliefs and behaviors of millennials compare to other adults.

This alarming discovery, coupled with the fact that the number of Americans with a biblical worldview in general is severely waning, makes pastors’ jobs even more difficult, says APN. It’s for this reason that the ministry is working toward ways to connect biblically faithful older pastors with biblically faithful millennial pastors.

“Most older faithful pastors have a concern for younger pastors but don’t always have ways to connect with them,” said APN President Sam Rohrer. “And younger pastors tend to be divided into two categories: those who don’t necessarily see the value with connecting with other generations, or those young biblically faithful pastors who do long for the opportunity and are honored to be in the presence of those who have sustained, perhaps, a 40-year ministry and have remained true. Many from all age groups who truly want to connect just don’t know how—and that’s where the American Pastors Network comes in.”

Rohrer said he has been in contact with millennial senior pastors, asking them about their needs and how APN and its “Stand in the Gap” radio ministry are helpful to their churches and congregations in looking at the culture from a biblical and constitutional perspective. In the coming months, Rohrer said, APN will consider that feedback to initiate programming so older and younger pastors can walk alongside each other.

“If we can’t connect the biblically faithful pastors in the pulpit,” Rohrer added, “how we can expect them to connect with their own people on the importance of having a biblical worldview and on the most pressing societal issues of the day?”

Social science researcher George Barna, who leads ACFI, is a frequent guest on “Stand in the Gap Today.” On a recent program, Rohrer and Barna talked about the ramifications of a declining number of millennials holding a biblical worldview.

“Most pastors realize our nation is in trouble,” Rohrer said on the program. “Without a doubt, it’s divided. The enemy is within the gate, trying to collapse our current administration and destroy our constitution, but when we learn that less than 4 percent of millennials hold a biblical worldview so necessary to supporting a constitutional republic here in the United States, the concern, in many regards, is even greater. This issue of millennials and millennial values is paramount in the country, and data from the American Culture & Faith Institute helps us focus on exactly where the problems are and where the opportunities are as well.”

Rohrer also noted that the ACFI research found that, besides millennials, the biblical worldview of Americans in general is deteriorating at an alarming rate. And Barna backed up this finding.

“Twenty-four out of 25 millennials don’t have a biblical worldview,” Barna said on the show. “But be that as it may, the point is that across the country, only 10 percent of American adults have a biblical worldview. What difference does that make? In order to get to that number, we asked 40 different questions about people’s beliefs or behaviors and looked at (the answers) in a number of different ways, including generationally.”

Barna and Rohrer observed that the world is becoming increasingly more secular, especially because a worldview is engrained during childhood and adolescence, and fewer younger Americans have the same worldview as their older counterparts, which means millennials—along with Generation Xers, of which 7 percent holds a biblical worldview—are not instilling these values and beliefs in their own children.

Discoveries from the ACFI study also included the following:

  • 72 percent of adults over the age of 30 call themselves Christians, but just 59 percent of millennials do.
  • Of those who say they’re atheist, agnostic or have no religious affiliations or beliefs, 18 percent are 30 or older, and more than 28 percent are millennials
  • One-third of older adults are born again Christians, stating that they will experience eternity in heaven with God after their death because they have confessed their sins and accepted Jesus Christ as their Savior, but far fewer millennials (20 percent) share that expectation.
  • A minority of adults 30 or older (43 percent) supports same-sex marriage, while nearly two-thirds of those under 30 (65 percent) support it.
  • Conservatives outnumber liberals by a 2:1 margin among adults 30 or older (28 percent vs. 12 percent), yet, the opposite is true among millennials—12 percent are conservative while 26 percent are liberal.
  • Millennials are the generation most likely to prefer socialism over capitalism (44 percent compared to 35 percent among older adults).
  • While just 6 percent of adults 30 or older claim to be in the LGBT community, two-and-a-half times as many millennials (15 percent) adopt that label.

Knowing these facts, Rohrer added, one of APN’s goals is to equip pastors with the tools necessary to preach about issues related to a biblical worldview. A separate study from ACFI found that just 10 percent of pastors are preaching about the most pressing cultural issues of the day.

American Pastors Network on UK Terror Attack: Appeasement in Face of Evil is Always Disastrous

ISIS has claimed responsibility for this week’s deadly attack in London, which the group said was carried out by a “soldier of the Islamic State,” the Associated Press reported yesterday morning.

American Pastors Network President Sam Rohrer released the following statement on the act of terrorism in London that killed at least four, including an American man from Utah, a British police officer and a teacher, after the attacker plowed through 40 pedestrians with a car on Westminster Bridge, then carried out a knife attack outside Parliament, according to The Guardian.

“The terrorist attack in the UK has the world on edge,” Rohrer said. “But will the British government finally wake up and call Islamic terrorism what it is? And will Americans awaken to the threat that exists here? Appeasement to evil is always a disaster. The UK and its leaders since 9/11 have been in an appeasement mode. They must learn from Winston Churchill, who said that individual Muslims ‘may show splendid qualities, but the influence of the religion paralyzes the social development of those who follow it. No stronger retrograde force exists in the world. … and were it not that Christianity is sheltered in the strong arms of science, the science against which it had vainly struggled, the civilization of modern Europe might fall, as fell the civilization of ancient Rome.’

“Until we identify Islam as evil and the source of jihadism, Americans and Brits alike will be subjugated and in grave danger,” he concluded.

Rohrer and other APN leaders discuss headlines like these daily on “Stand in the Gap Today,” the radio ministry of APN that airs on 425 stations nationwide. The “Stand in the Gap” lineup of programming allows the faithful to consider news and current events from a biblical and constitutional perspective.

Missouri Pastors Network Joins American Pastors Network; Commits to Stand for Biblical Truth in All Pulpits

The American Pastors Network, the largest national network dedicated to equipping pastors to be a voice for truth in the public square, is welcoming a new state pastors network to its growing organization.

This week, APN is launching the Missouri Pastors Network (MOPN, www.mopastors.net), a uniquely gifted group of pastors in Missouri who are joining together to “Stand in the Gap for Truth.”

“The American Pastors Network has been standing in the gap for truth around America and is growing again through the new Missouri Pastors Network,” said APN President Sam Rohrer, who is also president of the Pennsylvania Pastors Network (PPN, www.papastors.net). “We know that pastors there will be an invaluable support to one another as they engage their congregations to stand for truth and freedom and effect true change in the culture.”

Leading the Missouri network as its president will be J. Keith Carnahan, pastor of Maranatha Baptist Church in St. Robert. Joining him as vice president will be Monte Shinkle of Concord Baptist Church in Jefferson City, and Steve Proctor of Westwood Baptist Church in Poplar Bluff, who will serve as secretary/treasurer.

“I am excited and blessed to work with other believers and pastors in my home state through the Missouri Pastors Network to advance the cause of Christ and preserve religious liberty,” Carnahan said.

Carnahan was born into a Christian family in 1954 and was born again in 1964. Following the example of his parents, he grew up serving in their local church. Surrendering to preach the gospel at the age of 24 brought an abrupt halt to his dreams of buying the family business. Supported by his wife, Cheryn, he spent the next three years preparing for the gospel ministry. In 1981, he moved his wife and three children to southern Illinois to plant Grace Baptist Church and begin a Christian school.

The new ministry soon came into conflict with the state of Illinois, which planned to put church property on the tax rolls. Grace Baptist became the test case in this battle, and a victory was won for all churches in the state. The experience left Carnahan with the firm conviction that Christians must vigorously defend religious liberty.

In 1991, the Carnahan family returned to Missouri to accept the pastorate of Maranatha Baptist Church and school in St. Robert. The church serves the military community of Fort Leonard Wood and has experienced wonderful blessings over the past 26 years.

Carnahan continues to promote religious liberty by serving as the Legislative Director for the Missouri Association of Christian Schools. He also oversees the Committee on Legislative Education and Action for Religious Liberty (C.L.E.A.R.) in the state of Missouri.

American Pastors Network President Sam Rohrer Encourages ‘God’s Plan for a Blessed Nation’

The theme of returning America to God’s favor was central throughout the election, leading up to the inauguration and in the first month of Donald Trump’s presidency.

Many Christians felt the country had been given a reprieve with the surprising turn of events in 2016, and now, are vigilant in how they move forward within that small window.

This is a topic that has been explored by the American Pastors Network and through its “Stand in the Gap” radio ministry, which has the goal to provide pastors, Christians leaders and engaged believers the tools to analyze news and events from a biblical and constitutional worldview.

APN president Sam Rohrer has been speaking to listeners about “God’s Plan for a Blessed Nation” and a roadmap to build a government of integrity.

“The process for renewal of our country won’t be easy, but it does begin with an understanding of who we are as a nation and who God is,” Rohrer said. “And this process must be led on our knees in prayer, 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.”

Rohrer added that the following steps are necessary to submit to the wisdom of God’s plan for the nation:

  1. Understand the Nature and Role of God: That God is sovereign, He is the Creator and Sustainer of life, the Supreme Authority, and God delegated men as His Creation overseer.
  2. Understand the Nature of Man: That man is born a sinner, depraved and doesn’t naturally do right.
  3. Understand the Purpose for Government: To enact justice, to punish evil and praise good.
  4. Understand the Purpose for Law: To establish the framework for right actions and to enact justice, as the law was made for the lawbreaker.
  5. Understand the Natural Tendency of Government: That government tends to consolidate control and take the place of “God.”
  6. Understand the Components of Biblical Justice: 1) Truth is the absolute standard; 2) Mercy’s goal is restoration; and 3) Equity is judgment imparted without partiality.
  7. Understand the Need for Maintaining a Republic: It requires responsible citizens and responsible government leaders.
  8. Understand the Need to Build Safeguards: Man is naturally selfish, and God initiated separation of powers.
  9. Understand the Need to Biblically Educate: Parents must train their children in God’s ways and teach the history of God’s blessings.
  10. Understand the Need for Prayer for God’s Help in Building a Nation: As Psalm 127:1 says, “Unless the Lord builds the house, the builders labor in vain. Unless the Lord watches over the city, the guards stand watch in vain” (NIV).

Islam Just as Violent as Other Religions?

A new CBS poll published in Breitbart.com found that two-thirds of Democrats believe that Islam does encourage violence—but to the same degree as any other religion.

The February 2017 poll also found that just one in seven Democrats believe that Islam is more violent than other religions, such as Christianity, Mormonism, Judaism and Buddhism, reported Breitbart.

That’s a position the American Pastors Network (APN, www.americanpastorsnetwork.net) desperately wants to refute. The topic of Islam is a frequent discussion on the APN radio ministry, “Stand in the Gap Today,” which airs on 425 stations nationwide. “Stand in the Gap Today” hosts, which include APN President Sam Rohrer, have welcomed numerous experts who educate Christians about the dangers of Islam.

The poll also found, Breitbart reported, that Republicans have a far colder view of Islam, with 63 percent seeing Islam as aggressive compared to other religions. Additionally, about one in 10 Democrats believe that Islam is less violent that other religions, according to the poll of more than 1,000 adults.

Evaluating the President’s Immigration Policies: Are They Biblical? Are They Constitutional?

The policies President Donald Trump set forth on immigration last week certainly stirred debate across the nation, from riotous protests on college campuses to government leaders strongly stating their opposition or support.

Now, Christians are asking themselves some very important questions—safety or being a good Samaritan? How would Jesus approach the refugee situation the country is facing?

The American Pastors Network  is attempting to explore some of those answers on its nationally syndicated radio program, “Stand in the Gap Today,” heard on 425 stations around the country.

APN President and “Stand in the Gap Today” co-host Sam Rohrer welcomed noted historian and WallBuilders leader David Barton to the program last week, when they discussed the ongoing immigration debate and the biblical and constitutional perspectives therein.

“Immigration in this country is certainly a polarizing issue,” Rohrer said. “But the main questions to explore are these: Are President Trump’s immigration policies in agreement with or in opposition to the historical ideology set in motion by our Founding Fathers? What did our founding fathers envision for the immigrant and how did they perceive this issue? David Barton’s valuable insights and knowledge of the historical and biblical precedent for our laws on immigration helped shed great light on this dilemma. After all, this is an issue that touches every American, with many looking to their pastors and the church for guidance.”

These three questions, and others, were explored on a recent program, with David Barton’s answers following:

Question 1: What did George Washington and our founders think about immigration and controlling it and would they have agreed with the concept of extreme vetting-similar to what President Trump is putting in place?

Answer: “It’s not somebody that just shows up at your border and says, ‘I’m going to live here.’ No, you have to say, ‘I want to live according to your rules. I want to become one of you’ … our immigration (policy) was based on was the biblical concept of ‘come in and be part of us.’” Read more

Question 2: When did the view of immigrants change to bringing in people who don’t ever want to become Americans but actually want to change America?

Answer: “The seeds of that change began in education in the 1920s, as Progressives shifted the way we taught. Prior to that point in time, we taught about individuals. We did not look at groups, we looked at individuals. Every individual had God-given inalienable rights. Every item in the Bill of Rights is given to every individual, it’s not given to groups…” Read more

Question 3: What other characteristics of a nation did our Founders understand and build within the framework of our Constitution?

Answer: “If you look at the Declaration, it starts with 155 words that set forth the entire philosophy of American government in six principles. Of those six principles, four of the six are absolutely God-centered. If you don’t get that right, you don’t get the philosophy of the government right … In America, you’re an American because you adopt a certain philosophy. You can come from any country to be an American if you’ll become part of that philosophy.” Read more

How Will the Johnson Amendment Repeal Free Pastors and Churches?

Now that President Donald Trump has officially taken office, will pastors and churches be affected at the pulpit and in the pew?

American Pastors Network certainly thinks so. In fact, one action by President Trump will return decades of freedom to churches.

For more than 60 years, the Johnson Amendment, proposed by then-Senator Lyndon B. Johnson and passed by Congress in 1954, has prohibited tax-exempt organizations—including churches and other nonprofits—from lobbying elected officials, campaigning on behalf of a political party and supporting or opposing candidates for office. The Johnson Amendment has instilled fear in pastors, wary of losing their church’s tax-exempt status if they speak truth into cultural, societal or political issues.

“For six decades, the Johnson Amendment has restricted the free speech of pastors and churches,” said APN President Sam Rohrer. “On the campaign trail, Donald Trump and Mike Pence vowed to work on behalf of pastors to restore their pulpit freedoms, especially at a time when Christians need biblical truth and God-centered guidance spoken into their lives regarding the pressing issues of the day.”

New research by George Barna of the American Culture & Faith Institute found that three out of four SAGE Cons (Spiritually Active, Governance Engaged Conservatives) turned to resources such as voter guides, websites and other resources to gain information about their choices on the ballot this election season. Overall, 61 percent specifically identified voter guides as a resource they used to help them decide how to vote.

The research, Rohrer says, is a telling indicator that Christians are looking for guidance on important issues, and will likely look to the church.

On “Stand in the Gap Today,” a radio ministry from APN, co-hosts Rohrer, Dave Kistler of the North Carolina Pastors Network (NCPN, www.ncpastors.net) and Gary Dull of the Pennsylvania Pastors Network (PPN,www.papastors.net) recently discussed the Johnson Amendment and how a repeal of this legislature will affect pastors and churches.

“The Johnson Amendment is believed to have stifled and stymied many Christian leaders from being more outspoken with respect to what are deemed ‘political issues,’ when, really, these are moral issues,” Kistler said during the program. “If President Trump is successful in removing or repealing the Johnson Amendment, will that affect the speech of pastors in the pulpit? Some say yes, while others say no. In some cases, it may not be solely the Johnson Amendment that has muzzled preachers across America. Those in the pulpit who have not spoken out forthrightly have not been motivated by fear of violating a tax code law. They have been motivated by fear of something else.”

The Johnson Amendment does a number of things, Kistler noted, but it does not do the following:

  1. It does not prohibit pastors from speaking out against political corruption.
  2. It does not prohibit pastors from speaking out against LGBT activism.
  3. It does not prohibit pastors from speaking out against controversial subjects such as abortion or marriage.
  4. It does not prohibit pastors from speaking out against other moral or culturally relevant issues.

“So if pastors are not speaking about these things and addressing them from the pulpit now,” Kistler asks, “then the question is, if the Johnson Amendment is repealed, will they speak out about it at all? This is a question we will be addressing through the pastors’ networks and on our radio program, and we pray that pastors are emboldened by these truths.”

American Pastors Network Prays Trump Will Stay Committed to Repealing Johnson Amendment

Christian evangelical voters were key in electing newly inaugurated President Donald Trump and Vice President Mike Pence. Among the reasons for their votes were the promises Trump and Pence made to the faithful on the campaign trail and the support they showed to pastors and churches.

One of those commitments was to peel back the Johnson Amendment, which for more than 60 years has restricted the free speech of pastors and churches.

Stated Trump at the Republican National Convention in July, “An amendment, pushed by Lyndon Johnson many years ago, threatens religious institutions. I am going to work very hard to repeal that language and protect free speech for all Americans.” According to the Daily Caller, he echoed that sentiment at the Value Voters Summit in September: “We’re going to get rid of that law … we’re going to get rid of it so fast.”

“Pastors are charged by God to always speak biblical truth from the pulpit,” said APN president Sam Rohrer. “From abortion and marriage to tyranny in office, the Bible is very clear on social, cultural and political issues. Efforts by government to intimidate pastors on preaching biblical truth not only violate God’s direct command but are also unconstitutional. We encourage pastors to stand up for truth by continuing to urge President Trump and Vice President Pence to make good on their commitment to repeal the Johnson Amendment.” 

Proposed by then-Senator Lyndon B. Johnson and passed by Congress in 1954, the law prohibits tax-exempt organizations—including churches and other nonprofits—from lobbying elected officials, campaigning on behalf of a political party, and supporting or opposing candidates for office. Reports the Daily Caller, “Section 501(c)(3) of the tax code bestows tax-exempt status upon nonprofit groups as long as they don’t ‘participate in, or intervene in (including the publishing or distributing of statements), any political campaign on behalf of (or in opposition to) any candidate for office.’ (The ‘in opposition to’ clause was added in 1986.)”

So, for example, a church opposed to abortion is prohibited from explicitly supporting a pro-life candidate running for Congress.

Research from the American Culture & Faith Institute has found that while 90 percent of pastors believe the Bible has much to say about today’s pressing political and societal issues, less than 10 percent are talking about those issues from the pulpit. Rohrer noted that many pastors fear losing their church’s 501(c)(3) status and, therefore, avoid preaching on political issues.

“Churches, by their very nature, operate under God’s jurisdiction and as such have historically been tax-exempt,” Rohrer said. “They predated the IRS and any another-man made provision such as incorporation or 501(c)(3) status, and these rights remain inviolate. When it comes to preaching the truth of God’s Word, the pastor’s obligation is to God, not government. This chance to repeal the Johnson Amendment is an ideal opportunity for pastors across this nation to reaffirm their biblical duty and constitutional rights.”