Pastors and Churches Must Understand Biblical and Moral Responsibility of Safety

In the wake of a tragic church shooting in Texas just after Christmas that left a congregation and a community devastated, many churches are beginning the new year on a somber note when it comes to considering safety and security.

Following other sad and shocking acts of violence in churches over recent years, the American Pastors Network (APN), the largest national network dedicated to equipping pastors to be a voice for truth in the public square, took a lead in helping pastors and church leaders work through a perplexing societal problem.

“Unfortunately, church security is now a pressing matter in our nation,” said APN President Sam Rohrer. “No longer can we fully count on the peaceful and serene sanctuary of the church. It’s clear that those with evil intentions, whether against the church itself or those inside, have sought to steal and kill and destroy, as we witnessed at West Freeway Church of Christ in a Fort Worth, Texas, suburb. We live in a culture where our churches must seriously think about how to keep people safe. Just as a shepherd carries a staff to guard his sheep, so must every pastor employ ways to protect his flock.”

Rohrer and other APN leaders have developed 10 recommendations for churches to consider when it comes to the important matter of church security.

  1. Understand the biblical and moral responsibility of safety. It is the duty of pastors and church leadership to do all they can to protect the lives of those in the congregation.
  2. Develop and train a security team. Dedicate certain individuals, whether staff or volunteers, to undertake the important issue of security. Train these personnel how to identify potential threats and how to de-escalate potential threat situations. During services or functions, outfit the team in plain clothes.
  3. Perform a risk assessment. Where is the church vulnerable in its facility and grounds? Consider a community threat assessment as well.
  4. Implement security protocols. Consider these suggestions: 1) Lock doors after services begin; 2) Post security team members at entrances; 3) Conduct a regular, annual re-assessment of the security plan.

 

  1. Install security cameras. Consider video surveillance to document and record potential threats or incidents.

 

  1. Establish a medical response team. Mobilize medical personnel already within the congregation who can take action if injuries ever occur.

 

  1. Evaluate the legal parameters for security measures. Research insurance requirements and conduct a liability assessment. Identify state civil laws regarding security measures, which can vary from state to state.

 

  1. Create an evacuation plan. Be sure the security team knows how to best evacuate churchgoers of all ages and mobility ranges, and consider creating another key team to assist. Practice the plan through drills.

 

  1. Involve local law enforcement in the security plan. Tell local police departments and other emergency responders about the security plan, perhaps through an evening meeting. They may be able to offer additional suggestions or protocols.

 

  1. Communicate the new or existing security measures with the congregation. Members will appreciate knowing the church has a plan to keep them safe.

Photo by Sarah Noltner on Unsplash

American Pastors Network: Israel and U.S. Share Commonality of Political Turmoil

While many Americans dread the drama leading up to American presidential elections every four years, Israel is heading for its third election in less than one year.

And the American Pastors Network (APN) says the two nations currently share at least one commonality—political turmoil. APN follows news about Israel closely, especially as it relates to American politics and American Christians—and in light of the fact that Israel will be one of the most important 2020 election issues. In fact, APN focuses on Israel at least once a week on its daily “Stand in the Gap Today” radio program, which airs on about 400 stations nationwide, as well as addresses news coming out of the Middle East from a biblical and constitutional perspective.

“If we think Washington, D.C., and the American political system is in turmoil—and it is—the Israeli political system is perhaps in greater turmoil, having been unable to form a working parliament and now being forced to proceed to a third general national election in less than 12 months,” Rohrer said. “For Israel, however, this government crisis continues in the midst of imminent war with Iran and it’s coalition members. This developing situation is significant for Israel, Benjamin Netanyahu and the entire Middle East. Earlier this month, the world marked the two-year anniversary of President Trump declaring the recognition of Jerusalem as Israel’s capital. Linked together and with other facts, Biblical prophecy is literally coming alive before our eyes.”

Since the historic move in May 2018 to dissolve the parliament when Benjamin Netanyahu was unable to form a majority government, each succeeding month has been historic, Rohrer noted. Moving into a second election in September, then still unable to form a government, the nation now moves to a third election scheduled for March 2.

“What is also troubling,” Rohrer added, “is that Israel sits at the precipice of war with Iran and its Islamic neighbors, the acting prime minister is being hounded by his political enemies and is under indictment for bribery, and there is no one at the moment who seems posed to be able to rule the nation. Understanding that Israel is even in existence because of a miracle of God Himself, many may wonder if the disfunction and concerning status of the Israeli government is unknown to God. Unfortunately, there appears to be no reason to believe that another election will produce any different results. This is a serious and significant political crisis for Israel.”

Additionally, Rohrer said, Netanyahu’s enemies have seemed to fuel the current crisis with legal challenges and allegations of bribery against him. Yet, even in the midst of this, Netanyahu has been very bold and continues to warn the world about Iran.

According to The Times of Israel, Netanyahu said on Dec. 1, that “While the Iranian regime is killing its own people, European countries rush to support that very murderous regime.”

“The enemies of Israel—led by Iran—must be taking advantage of this situation,” Rohrer said. “Another report indicated that Iran is building massive tunnels in Syria for the storage of Iranian missiles. The Pentagon is also considering sending thousands more U.S. military personnel to the Syrian/Iraqi border to fortify resistance against Iranian expansion. This continued military build-up has both geo-political and prophetical meaning.”

With ongoing headlines from Israel, Rohrer added that American Christians should remain supportive of Israel and pray for peace.

“Christians should be more engaged, more passionate and more prayerful when it comes to Israel,” he added. “We know God draws people in and calls them to be involved and that the American connection to Israel is blessed by God. Therefore, we should also link these two nations together and their impending elections in prayer. If Christians don’t have a heart for Israel, they should. If they don’t have a heart for our own country, they should.”

American Pastors Network: God Calls Churches, Pastors and People in the Pews to ‘Stand in the Gap’ for Life

While Christians are called to protect God-given life every minute of every day, the month of January places an important, historical significance on this biblical charge. Since Jan. 22, 1973, when the landmark Supreme Court case Roe v. Wade legalized abortion in America, upwards of 60 million babies have lost their lives.

During Sanctity of Human Life Month in January, the American Pastors Network (APN) is reminding churches, pastors and people in the pews of their responsibility to stand up for the unborn. After all, says APN President Sam Rohrer, Scripture reminds believers that a child is developed in God’s image at the point of conception.

“While politicians often debate pro-life laws based on the point of conception, Scripture reveals God’s view of life in its earliest words,” Rohrer said in this week’s “Stand in the Gap Minute” radio series. “Genesis 1:27 notes that God created people in His image. This includes life from the point of creation—or conception. The issue is not the timing at which life is sacred, but the fact that all human life is sacred from the moment of creation. For example, how many know that a newly developing child’s heartbeat exists at just 22 days? This is before most women even know they are pregnant. We dare not turn a blind eye to those created in God’s image. Rather, God’s Word repeatedly highlights the value of human life. We are created on purpose and for His purposes.”

Rohrer went onto say that this realization takes on a new meaning when humans are aware that God participated in every moment of their creation. The Christian foundation of the pro-life movement is based on God’s view of our lives, and Psalm 139 reveals key details.

“God ‘forms’ our inward parts,” Rohrer said. “He ‘knits’ us together in the womb. Verse 16 of this Psalm notes, ‘Your eyes saw my unformed substance.’ God’s view is exceedingly more detailed than the greatest ultrasound! Because God values our lives at such an early stage and with intricate detail, we can conclude we are to care for children in the womb with a similar attitude. The preborn child deserves our highest protection and greatest devotion. 

“Therefore, God’s people must not grow weary in standing for life,” he added. “We must take a clear stand for those whose lives need our help the most. Likewise in Scripture, Proverbs 31:8 commands us to ‘Speak up for those who cannot speak for themselves.’ Though the original context addresses those in poverty, the principle also applies to protecting preborn children from abortion. These children cannot speak for themselves—but we can and must! When we are afraid or doubtful that our voices don’t matter, we must reconsider. Every time we speak up, we give another child a better chance to live. Yes, God is calling us to speak up for those who cannot speak for themselves.”

Rohrer also noted that even though upwards of 60 million American children have been murdered in the security of their mother’s womb since Roe v. Wade—or one abortion every 30 seconds—some good news has emerged. Between 2011 and 2017, the number of abortions declined by 19% in the United States.

“One important factor is the number of local volunteers serving in pregnancy care centers,” Rohrer added. “Despite little change at the federal level during this time, individuals across our nation have helped mothers facing difficult pregnancy situations. It reminds me of the woman who anointed Jesus with oil. Though others mocked her, Jesus responded, ‘She did what she could.’ When you and I ‘do what we can’ to save lives, our seemingly small actions result in tremendous impact. How we live today matters, and God’s Word indicates our action is vital.”

Rohrer concluded by pointing to Jeremiah 1, where God called the prophet with the words, “Before I formed you in the womb I knew you, before you were born I set you apart.”

“God has a plan for our lives,” Rohrer said. “However, the scourge of abortion continues to destroy countless lives each year before they can impact our world. Who knows how many scientists, artists, ministers and other world leaders have disappeared through legalized murder? We dare not passively watch as our nation continues to destroy those created in His image. Indecision is a decision to allow abortion to continue. Yet we can serve together to make a difference. God’s people must lead the way in saving lives. Don’t wait. Lives are counting on it.”

Photo by Chayene Rafaela on Unsplash

3 Blessings from God in 2019

While God’s blessings are immeasurable all throughout the year, the American Pastors Network (APN) is looking back on three particular areas where the Lord has guided the ministry and allowed it to make nationwide impact.

President Sam Rohrer said APN has watched God move in profound ways in 2019.

“The way the Lord has guided the American Pastors Network has been an incredible yearlong journey, and we sincerely hope this will be an encouragement to all to trust Him more deeply in 2020,” he said. “What began less than a decade ago as a ministry of support and encouragement to pastors in my home state of Pennsylvania has become something far beyond any personal expectation.”

First, God blessed the ministry through far-reaching radio impact.

“By God’s grace,” Rohrer said, “our ‘Stand in the Gap’ radio programs are aired on over 700 different stations nationwide, reaching millions of listeners with programming that cuts through the shrill noise of our culture with commentary that reassures listeners so they can ‘look up’ in times like these.”

APN’s daily radio program, Stand in the Gap Today,” airs live from noon to 1 p.m. ET, when Rohrer and his co-hosts invite cultural experts to the show and discuss a variety of pressing topics and headlines from a biblical and constitutional perspective. Archived programs can be viewed herefind a station here. Rohrer also hosts the daily short radio feature, “Stand in the Gap Minute” and “best of” shows from the week are broadcast on “Stand in the Gap Weekend.”

Second, God gave APN an unprecedented platform that has provided hundreds of thousands of television viewers with 30 minutes of weekly, challenging programming with “Stand in the Gap TV.”

“In early 2020, APN will make a major announcement that many of our ‘best of’ programs will be given nationwide placement to some 1 million television subscribers,” Rohrer shared.

Stand in the Gap TV,” reaching millions of potential viewers on several networks, considers transcending cultural issues, seemingly difficult to navigate, from a biblical worldview perspective while bringing clarity to cultural confusion and making sense of the nonsense around us. Each week, “Stand in the Gap TV” focuses on root problems and applies biblical principles so God’s people can know the truth.

Third, with APN’s firm belief in God’s power to heal and restore our nation, the ministry has launched a nationwide plan to enlist 10,000 prayer warriors to commit to praying every Tuesday until Election Day 2020 for the moral and spiritual renewal of America.

“APN invites all to add their names to the roster and begin receiving specific prayer requests and updates on this ‘52 Tuesdays’ initiative,” Rohrer said. “Prayer is the answer, and we’re expecting God to move mountains through Christians’ prayer commitment with the American Pastors Network through November 2020.”

“52 Tuesdays” is a dedicated season of prayer for the important 2020 presidential election. APN is encouraging prayer warriors nationwide to add their name to the growing “52 Tuesdays” list.

Photo by NordWood Themes on Unsplash

Why Do Young People Participate in Church and What’s Missing? Their Answers May Surprise You

Politicians, professors and pastors have all spent considerable time trying to figure out the hearts and minds of millennials—how they will vote, how they relate to the culture and how they worship.

Now, a new Barna study sheds some light on why young adults participate in a community of worship and what they feel is missing from church.

The American Pastors Network (APN) is particularly intrigued by the survey because of the ministry’s interest in the future of the Christian church in America.

APN President Sam Rohrer said the need for pastors to understand millennials is crucial.

“Most pastors realize our nation is in trouble,” Rohrer said. “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 4% 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, so studies like these help us focus on exactly where the opportunities as well as the problems lie.”

The Barna survey of over 15,000 18- to 35-year-olds across 25 countries found that about 6 in 10 Christians in the study say they participate in their community of worship to grow in their faith (63%) and learn about God (61%). Other motivations also relate to relevant teachings (40%), wisdom for how to live faithfully (39%) or wisdom for applying scriptures (35%). This desire for spiritual instruction persists even though 4 in 10 Christians in this age group (39%) say they have already learned most of what they need to know about faith, and nearly half (47%) say church teachings have flaws or gaps. Others attend for the worship and music (37%), sacraments (14%), or readings and recitations (15%), while still others cite obligation as a reason to attend.

But a relatively surprising factor may be that young people say the top thing missing from their church experience is having their friends in attendance.

While the majority of responses isn’t as large as the reasons for church attendance, nearly one-fifth (18%) said their friends are absent from their church experience. “This may be partly due to the fact that religious affiliation and engagement has generally declined among younger adults, particularly in secular contexts—but regardless of the religious climate in which these Christians live, friends are still identified as the main thing missing,” Barna reported. Relatedly, social gatherings outside of services (14%), relationship workshops (14%) or support groups (13%) are also among the top things lacking from young Christians’ church experiences.

Rohrer works closely with “Stand in the Gap TV” co-host and millennial pastor Isaac Crockett, and the two will be discussing APN’s new yearlong “52 Tuesdays” prayer initiative—a dedicated season of prayer for the important 2020 presidential election now less than a year away. The weekly television program reaches millions of potential viewers on several networks.

Especially as young Americans will be concerned with the election, APN is encouraging prayer warriors nationwide to add their name to the growing “52 Tuesdays” list and join APN’s Stand in the Gap Today” radio co-hosts from noon to 1 p.m. EST on local stations each Tuesday or by tuning in live online. During the final segment of each Tuesday program, listeners can pray with the hosts, as well as during their own prayer time.

Photo by Sincerely Media on Unsplash

Does Prayer Really Change Things? Sam Rohrer Says God Shows Us That Prayer Works

Nearly every person—religious or not—has heard the phrase, “Prayer changes things.” But do they really believe it?

They should, says American Pastors Network (APN) President Sam Rohrer, because God has made it clear that He answers prayer.

“Proper prayer can turn the head of God,” Rohrer said. “Proper prayer by God’s people can turn back the judgment of God. Christ even said that powerful prayer with faith can move mountains. So we should pray personally and fervently, and nothing can ever remove that ability except our own choices.

“Yet,” Rohrer added, “when it comes to public prayer, such as prayers that open each session of Congress, Senate, state assemblies and many local government meetings to the kind of prayer that used to start most public school days to days of prayer initiated in the past by presidents, public prayer has been increasingly ridiculed in our nation. But when public prayer does happen, it is far more for traditional, symbolic or historic reasons than because the true power and benefit of prayer is understood. But that knowledge of prayer needs to change in this nation.”

Rohrer is hoping that national knowledge of prayer will change, in part, through APN’s new, yearlong “52 Tuesdays” prayer initiative—a dedicated season of prayer for the important 2020 presidential election now less than a year away.

“We know that personal prayer and public prayer by leaders of government is highly valued by God,” Rohrer said. “There are famous prayers in the Bible led by King David, Solomon, kings’ servants in secular governments such as Ezra and Nehemiah, and by vice rulers in pagan governments, such as the prayer of repentance led by Daniel in the Babylonian era. Here in our nation, many organic documents of law address prayer as well, including the Mayflower Compact, Declaration of Independence, and the U.S. or other state constitutions.”

APN is encouraging prayer warriors nationwide to add their name to the growing “52 Tuesdays” list and join APN’s “Stand in the Gap Today” radio co-hosts from noon to 1 p.m. EST on local stations each Tuesday or by tuning in live online. During the final segment of each Tuesday program, listeners can pray with the hosts, as well as during their own prayer time.

“As Christians, we should place great value on prayer—personal and national—because God does,” Rohrer said. “Let’s pray together, believing God will hear and answer!”

Rohrer also pointed to a history of public prayer called for by U.S. presidents over the years, which should serve as a reminder of the importance of national prayer for all Americans today:

  • President George Washington, after the Whiskey Rebellion in western Pennsylvania, declared a National Day of Prayer on Jan. 1, 1796, when he declared: “All persons within the United States, to … render sincere and hearty thanks to the great Ruler of nations … for the possession of constitutions of government … and fervently beseech the kind Author of these blessings … to establish habits of sobriety, order, and morality and piety.”
  • During a threatened war with France, President John Adams declared a National Day of Prayer and Fasting on March 23, 1798, and again on March 6, 1799.
  • President James Madison, who had introduced the First Amendment in the first session of Congress, proclaimed two National Days of Prayer and a National Day of Fasting during the War of 1812.
  • President John Tyler proclaimed a National Day of Prayer and Fasting on April 13, 1841, after President William Henry Harrison died in office.
  • President Zachary Taylor declared a National Day of Fasting and Prayer, July 3, 1849, during a cholera epidemic.
  • President James Buchanan declared a National Day of Prayer and Fasting to avert civil strife on Dec. 14, 1860.
  • After President Abraham Lincoln was shot, President Andrew Johnson proclaimed a National Day of Prayer on April 29, 1865.
  • In 1918, when the U.S. entered World War I, President Woodrow Wilson proclaimed a National Day of Prayer and Fasting.
  • Then, in 1952, President Harry S. Truman made the National Day of Prayer an annual event, stating: “In times of national crisis when we are striving to strengthen the foundations of peace … we stand in special need of Divine support.”

“Public prayer from an historical basis in this nation has been consistent, long and recognized for various reasons as something that rises to the level of full public prominence and engagement,” Rohrer said. “But due to the 1962 ruling of the U.S. Supreme Court in the Engel v. Vitale decision, the wishes of a few people to reject prayer to God in public schools became law, and public prayer in public schools became illegal and unconstitutional, even though from the beginning of this nation, public prayer was lawful, constitutional, proper and necessary. And the negative results of the move away from national and public prayer have been numerous.”

With the crucial 2020 presidential election now less than a year away, APN, through the “52 Tuesdays” initiative, is calling on all pastors to encourage their congregations to pray weekly with the “who, what, when, where, why and how” of national prayer in mind.

Rohrer added that this special year of prayer will focus on the biblical basics of prayer, such as why we pray, what prayer is and what we are called to pray for as citizens. These basics will be explored on the “Stand in the Gap Today” radio program and Tuesdays will be dedicated topics for prayer, including prayer for the president, the nation and for repentance as well as closing in prayer in each “Stand in the Gap Today” daily program.

“Public prayer was encouraged by God Himself by those in positions of authority, since under God’s design they all directly report to God,” Rohrer added. “Kings have led in prayer. Presidents have called for Days of Prayer. And in the months leading up to 2020, we at the American Pastors Network and the ‘Stand in the Gap today’ radio program want to even more purposely lead in the regular emphasis in prayer for our nation, for our needs, for the Church in America and for persecuted Christians around the globe, and to use our public platform to demonstrate what we are encouraging pastors, people in the pews, radio listeners and elected leaders to do—pray without ceasing.”

On future Tuesdays, regular fourth segments of the daily, one-hour program will be dedicated to these prayer discussions, and guests to the show will be part of the prayers as well. Additionally, the “Stand in the Gap Today” co-hosts will be inviting listeners to pray with them, and live engagement will also occur through a variety of platforms.

Photo by Stephen Walker on Unsplash

America Will Never Be Great Again Until We Acknowledge That God Is Great

Political division. Impeachment hearings. Waning church attendance. Young people walking away from the faith. A PC agenda pushed on the culture.

The list of deep concerns for America goes on and on. With a crucial 2020 presidential election now less than a year away, the American Pastors Network (APN) has embarked on an inspirational, exciting and very necessary prayer initiative called “52 Tuesdays.” The yearlong prayer focus calls on Christians to pray for America as never before.

APN President Sam Rohrer said that after launching “52 Tuesdays” on the “Stand in the Gap Today” radio program, which airs on 425 stations nationwide, feedback from listeners was extremely positive and hopeful.

“This is a crucial season for prayer in America,” Rohrer said. “And prayer does not only have to be driven by pastors in the church, although pastoral leadership is of utmost importance. Prayer can and should also be driven by our national leaders. But prayer should also be initiated by citizens and moms and dads in the home.”

Rohrer added that for nearly every election in America’s history, Christians have been heavily involved, whether by fundraising, mobilization, recruiting candidates or education efforts.

“Many of those who are driving the evangelical involvement in our nation’s most significant elections and those who are out plying the boat are doing nothing different than what has been done for the past generation, which really hasn’t led to any real change in the American election process nor certainly the culture within our nation,” Rohrer said. “What has to be different for 2020?”

One notable difference was the historic 2016 election, Rohrer added, but that outcome was not human-driven.

“No one can take credit for the window that God provided in most recent history,” Rohrer said.

“Elections are a time, forced by the calendar, to call on Christians to check their hearts to ensure they are grounded in God rather than in a man or woman who seeks to run the country,” he added. “America will never be great again until we return to a time when we acknowledge in our minds and hearts that the God of the Bible is great.”

A listener from Madison, Wisconsin, said she was encouraged and challenged by the “52 Tuesdays” prayer initiative when she heard a Nov. 12 interview with Rohrer on “Crosstalk” with host Jim Schneider, which airs in several states on the VCY America network.

“I said ‘Amen’ during that program more than I probably have any program, and that may be due to the growing desperation that many of us feel as we see what is going on around us,” she said. “I pray for President Trump regularly … but I continue to recognize what the true need is, and this is what your (program) hit right on the head. I have long been attempting to confront my own life and to challenge my six children, as well as appeal to my husband, who has been responding. I am burdened to share with whomever the Lord brings me to, especially with other women, regarding getting our lives right before God. Thank you for this program and this particular message. This is the bottom line. This is what has to be there underneath whatever else we are engaged in with in our friends, family, co-workers, church and culture.”

For “52 Tuesdays,” APN’s calls on all pastors to weekly encourage their congregations to pray with “who, what, when, where, why and how” in mind, as each American carefully considers our nation, its leaders, and the meaning, the gravity and the outcome of praying for America.

Rohrer added that this special year of prayer will focus on the biblical basics of prayer, such as why we pray, what prayer is and what we are called to pray for as citizens. These basics will be explored on the “Stand in the Gap Today” radio program and Tuesdays will be dedicated topics for prayer, including prayer for the president, the nation and for repentance as well as closing in prayer in each Stand in the Gap Today daily program.

To kick off “52 Tuesdays” on Nov. 12, Rohrer and co-hosts Gary Dull and Dave Kistler welcomed journalist, best-selling author and Christian publisher Stephen E. Strang to the “Stand in the Gap Today” program, which airs on hundreds of stations nationwide. Strang is the author of the forthcoming book, “God, Trump, and the 2020 Election: Why He Must Win and What’s at Stake for Christians if He Loses.” Listen to the program here.

On future Tuesdays, regular fourth segments of the daily, one-hour program will be dedicated to these prayer discussions, and guests to the show will be part of the prayers as well. Additionally, the “Stand in the Gap Today” co-hosts will be inviting listeners to pray with them, and live engagement will also occur through a variety of platforms.

Photo by twinsfisch on Unsplash

American Pastors Network Embarking on ‘52 Tuesdays’ Prayer Initiative for America

To add your name to the Prayer Initiative, please click HERE.

With the 2020 presidential election just over a year away, Americans of all cultural, societal, political and religious identifications know again—as they did in 2016—the incredible significance the election will carry.

For this reason, and with a 365-day countdown—“52 Tuesdays”—until the election fast-approaching, the American Pastors Network (APN) is calling for a national “season of prayer,” which, says APN President Sam Rohrer, is the only solution to the nation’s problems. “52 Tuesdays” will kick off Nov. 12, as Rohrer and his “Stand in the Gap Today” radio program co-hosts will call on Christians to pray for America as never before.

“God’s judgment on and plan for our nation has been happening for a long time,” Rohrer said. “Only prayer will bring the country from the depths to which we’ve sunken. That’s why the American Pastors Network is aiming to be a leader to call for an emphasis on prayer for our nation—not just for one day of the year, but daily weekly and monthly.”

Rohrer noted that Nov. 12 is exactly “52 Tuesdays” away from the 2020 presidential election—a crucial time and another possible turning point in the nation’s history. APN’s hope is that pastors will weekly encourage their congregations to pray whenever they can, with “who, what, when, where, why and how” in mind, as each American carefully considers our nation, its leaders, and the meaning, the gravity and the outcome of praying for America.

Regular fourth segments of the daily, one-hour program will be dedicated to these prayer discussions, and guests to the show will be part of the prayers as well. Additionally, the “Stand in the Gap Today” co-hosts will be inviting listeners to pray with them, and live engagement will also occur through a variety of platforms.

“We know that countless churches are praying corporately every Sunday for our nation—as they should,” Rohrer added. “But people in the pews can make significant prayer impact as well, and the American Pastors Network is suggesting that believers follow up with specific prayer for the nation each Tuesday between Nov. 12 and next year’s presidential election. This initiative, ‘52 Tuesdays,’ will hopefully bring churches, pastors and Christians together to focus on prayer for our nation. It is desperately needed.”

Rohrer added that this special year of prayer will focus on the biblical basics of prayer, such as why we pray, what prayer is and what we are called to pray for as citizens. These basics will be explored on the “Stand in the Gap Today” radio program, especially on Tuesdays, as well as topics for prayer, including prayer for the president, the nation and for repentance.

“These things are at the heart of what God wants us to understand,” he said.

APN also noted that while all eyes are already on the 2020 president election, important local elections are also planned for Tuesday, Nov. 5, around the nation. APN reminds Christians to be informed about the issues in their community, pray and vote. Rohrer noted that iVoter Guide is a useful, biblically based tool to inform voters about the most important issues. Sample ballots, voting information, candidate evaluations and more are available by zip code.

Photo by Arnaud Jaegers on Unsplash

To listen to an interview on this prayer initiative aired on VCY America with Jim Schneider, please click HERE.

To read about it on Charisma News, please click HERE.

American Pastors Network: Churches, Pastors and People in the Pews Must Stand for Life

With October marked as Respect Life Month and Abortion Recovery Awareness Month, the American Pastors Network (APN) is calling on America’s churches, pastors and the people in the pews to acknowledge the great need for pro-life advocates in today’s culture, as well as commit to helping those who have experienced abortion find healing.

“We pray 2020 will be the year that not one tax dollar ever goes toward abortion again,” said APN President Sam Rohrer, “and that the nation’s justices will stand for life, no longer allowing the killing of innocent babies to be stain on the pages of our nation’s history.

“Although life is precious every day of the year,” Rohrer added, “Respect Life Month is a time when pastors and churches can truly focus on protecting life in their communities. We can no longer ignore abortion in our churches. Many may be struggling with the scars of abortion in their own lives, and looking to the church for help, healing and restoration. Additionally, we must equip our people to stand up for the sanctity of life in their own communities, states and across the nation.”

In Pennsylvania, where APN is headquartered, two lawmakers on Monday introduced companion “heartbeat bills,” which would ban abortion after a heartbeat is detected, as early as six weeks after conception. Republicans Sen. Doug Mastriano and Rep. Stephanie Borowicz, whom APN has welcomed as a guest on the “Stand in the Gap Today” radio program, said they hope the bill will help counter and overturn Roe v. Wade, according to PennLive.com.

Pennsylvania Pastors Network (PPN, www.papastors.netExecutive Director and APN board member Gary Dull said pastors shouldn’t make assumptions about abortion.

“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 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.”

While many pastors may be in denial that abortion is not an issue in their churches, Rohrer says church leaders can still bring this important topic in front of their congregations, through sermons, special speakers and support groups, while also remembering that abortion and the pro-life/pro-choice debate will be critical election issue in 2020 as well as in local elections on Nov. 5.

America, We’ve Been Warned

In a day where false alarms, exaggerated warnings and intentional scare tactics are used by a deceptive culture, it’s sometimes difficult to separate true warnings from deceptive false alarms.

So, asks the American Pastors Network (APN), how can Christians differentiate between the two?

Sam Rohrer, president of APN, the largest national network dedicated to equipping pastors to be a voice for truth in the public square, and host of APN’s “Stand in the Gap” radio and television programming, says that Old Testament woes and warnings directed toward Israel have timely significance for America today.

“In the Bible,” Rohrer says, “the word ‘woe’ or warning is used nearly 100 times—98 to be exact,” he said. “The Old Testament prophets used it. Christ used it many times Himself. The word occurs in the Book of Revelation in final judgment. In nearly every case where a woe is given, the warning of judgment is certain, and God’s punishment imminent.”

As an example, Rohrer said, Noah warned the people for 100 years of a coming flood. The people heard, considered, rejected then died, illustrating that God gives His people warnings that they might live. Then in Isaiah Chapter 5, God’s prophet pronounced six specific warnings of imminent judgment against identified national sins.

“These woes were sobering, the sins specific and God’s judgment certain,” Rohrer said. “The message was to Israel, but the application is for America. When God warns, it’s real, and we’d better sit up and take notice.”

WOE #1: The sin of materialism. After God blessed the nation with security, wealth, houses and productive land, the people turned their back on Him. The result? God withheld His blessings, removed His protection, allowed rebellion within and threats of attack from without. Rohrer asks: Does this sound anything like America today?

WOE #2: The sin of hedonism. Consumed with an intoxicating addiction to alcohol, drugs, entertainment and partying, the nation willfully rejected God and the consequences of evil choices, as depicted in Isaiah 5:11.

WOE #3: The horrible practice of literally promoting sin and evil. As told in Isaiah 5:18, without regard for God or moral truth, the nation dreamed of evil, sinned without remorse and even belittled God by profaning His name and His truth.

WOE #4: The sin of moral relativism. Even more dangerous is when a nation redefines moral truth into moral evil, as outlined in Isaiah 5:20. This is accomplished by discarding the Ten Commandments as dangerous, killing the unborn through abortion, redefining marriage between two men or two women and much more. “Have these redefinitions been made in America?” Rohrer asks. “Yes—all have!”

WOE #5: The sin of arrogance and corruption. God hates pride because it embodies the sin of satanic defiance against God, Rohrer said, pointing to Isaiah 5:21. Through pride, mankind pronounces himself to be God, which results in the rejection of God and eternal life.

WOE #6: The sin of corrupted leadership. The prophet warned: Woe unto the political and military leaders who through addiction become bribed and incapable of sound judgment.

“What is the result of continually ignoring God’s true warnings?” Rohrer said. “Isaiah 5:24 says that God’s love will be turned to anger, His blessings will turn to judgment, murder and death of the people will increase, enemy nations will threaten to attack—suddenly and overwhelmingly—and all trusted defenses will fail. It happened to Israel. It will happen to America if we don’t soon change our ways. It’s past time to look to God, repent and beg His mercy.

“The similarities of the six woes in Isaiah Chapter 5 and how they relate to America today are astounding,” Rohrer concluded. “What will we do to heed God’s warnings? Will we claim ignorance and say we were never warned? While God is full of mercy, His justice will prevail. When God warns, we’d better listen because time eventually runs out. God has been warning America, but America doesn’t seem to care.”

Photo by NeONBRAND on Unsplash