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MinistryWatch Podcast

 

On this page you’ll find all of our podcast episodes. Check back here weekly for new episodes, or subscribe to our podcast in iTunes or Google Play!

 

 

 

Ep. 220: Celebration Church, Seattle Pacific University, the $100-M “He Gets Us” Campaign

On today’s program, a church does something it doesn’t often do.  It apologizes for its past.  We’ll share why.  We also look more closely at the $100-million evangelistic ad campaign called “He Gets Us.”  And we note the passing of an evangelical elder statesman.  Steve Douglass, who helped Cru grow into one of the largest ministries in the world, is dead at age 77.  We’ll have an appreciation.  We begin today with news that Celebration…

Ep. 219: What’s Up At MinistryWatch?

Usually, we do interviews on these mid-week episodes, but today an update on what’s going on at MinistryWatch. The main reason I wanted to do this episode was to tell you about our new MinistryWatch 1000 Executive Survey. I also want to let you know where we are financially.   The budget for MinistryWatch is about $450-thousand a year.  Our fiscal year begins July 1.  That means we’re in the fifth month of our fiscal year. …

Ep. 218: Franklin Graham, Anglican Bishop Reinstated, Preventing Elder Fraud

On today’s program, when the economy falters, we often see financial fraud emerge.  Today we have a couple of stories about financial fraud, and some advice about what you can do to prevent elder fraud.  Also on today’s program:  An Anglican bishop is returning from a voluntary leave of absence in the aftermath of a sex abuse and spiritual abuse scandal, and not everyone is happy about his return. We begin today with the resolution…

Ep. 217: Understanding Evangelical Mid Level Donors

Here at MinistryWatch we bring you news about Christian ministries, as well as the latest in charity and philanthropy, news that we examine from a Christian worldview perspective.  Our goal is to help us become better stewards of the resources God has entrusted to us. These mid-week “Extra” episodes are a chance for us to go deep with a particular topic, and today I’m pleased to have back on the program Ron Sellers, the president…

Ep. 216: Steven Furtick and Elevation, Brian Houston and Hillsong, and How MinistryWatch Reports on Dropped Cases

On today’s program, Steven Furtick and Elevation Church are generating controversy because of the ticket prices of their upcoming tour.  And Hillsong’s Brian Houston was removed from the pulpit is awaiting a court date, but that hasn’t stopped him from taking the stage at other events.  We’ll have details.  We begin today with the story of a massive financial fraud that targeted Christians. The producers for today’s program are Rich Roszel and Jeff McIntosh.  We…

Ep. 215: Should We Be Paying Ministry Leaders More?

An important part of what we do here at MinistryWatch – especially with these “Extra” episodes — is to bring to you thought leaders who have important things to say both to donors and to ministry leaders.  That’s why I’m pleased to have back on the program Phil Cooke. Phil has written a provocative article for the MinistryWatch website about pastor and ministry leader compensation.  Phil argues that we should be paying not less, but…

Ep. 214: Hot Youth Pastors, Pastor Arrested For Capitol Riot Involvement, and MinistryWatch Changes Financial Efficiency Formula

On today’s program, we examine a ministry called Pre-Born!, which has grown dramatically over the past three years.  We’ll tell you why.  Also on today’s program, another pastor has been charged with felonies for his participation in the Jan. 6, 2021, riot at the U.S. Capitol.  We’ll have details.  We begin today with the strange story of a youth pastor whose lapse in judgment has garnered national attention. A reminder that I’ll be hosting a…

Ep. 213: Kanakuk Doc Wins An Emmy, Christian Filmmaker Arrested, and a Mississippi Ministry Scandal

On today’s program, a Christian filmmaker from Colorado Springs has been arrested as part of a child sex sting conducted by local police and the Department of Justice.  We’ll have details.  And a documentary about the sex abuse scandal at Kanakuk Kamps has won an Emmy.  This journalistic prize for the news organization VICE lends further credibility to the stories of the survivors of sexual abuse at the hands of a Kanakuk counsellor.  We begin…

Ep. 212: Chris Tomlin and Hillsong, Brother Andrew’s Passing, and ECAP Rolls Out Abuse Prevention Program

On today’s program, the Evangelical Council for Abuse Prevention (ECAP) is set to roll out an accreditation program designed to train and certify ministry executives in skills to prevent sexual abuse.  And we note two notable passings this week:  Open Doors founder Brother Andrew, and the long-time president of the Evangelical Council for Financial Accountability, Dan Busby.  We begin today with the controversial decision by Christian musician Chris Tomlin to tour with the scandal ridden…

Ep. 211: The Nazarene Fund, Turning Point USA, and the SBC Executive Committee Meets

On today’s program, it’s been a year since Glenn Beck’s The Nazarene Fund raised $35-million for Afghan relief.  We’ll have an update on where the money went.  We also look at Charlie Kirk’s organization Turning Point USA.  The group now has a subsidiary called Turning Point Faith, aimed at pastors and church leaders.  We begin today with news that the Southern Baptist Conventions’ top administrative body voted to cut ties with two congregations on Tuesday….

Ep. 210: Bible Translation, “Respect for Marriage Act,” and Samaritan’s Purse Hits $1-Billion

On today’s program, we take a look at the Bible translation industry.  We ask the question:  How much does it really cost to translate the Bible.  We also look at a milestone for the Christian ministry Samaritan’s Purse.  It will hit $1-billion in revenue this year.  And one of evangelicalism’s flagship seminaries, Fuller Seminary, has the first African American president in its history.  We’ll have details.  We begin today with news that 2,000 churches and…

Ep. 209: Ted Haggard, American Bible Society, and Ravi Zacharias

On today’s program, one of evangelicalism’s most prominent leaders, Ted Haggard, his hit new lows.  We’ll have the latest.  And the American Bible Society latest president lasted less than 90 days.  The organization has had five presidents in the past 10 years.  We’ve got news of the latest changes at this two-century old ministry.  We begin today with the latest chapter in the story of Ravi Zacharias International Ministries.  Last week, Lighten Group, announced it…

Ep. 208: Phil Cooke: The Loyalty Obsession – Why It’s Hurting Churches and Ministries

An important part of what we do here at MinistryWatch – especially with these “Extra” episodes — is to bring to you important thought leaders who have important things to say both to donors and to ministry leaders.  That’s why I’m pleased to have back on the program Phil Cooke. Phil got his start in media working on the television program of Oral Roberts, while he was still a student at Oral Roberts University.  Over…

Ep. 207: Wycliffe Bible Translators, World Vision, Matt Chandler and The Village Church

On today’s program, more promises, but few details, from the Bible translation industry.  We’ll have the latest from Wycliffe Bible Translators.  And a former World Vision staffer gets 12 years in prison after an Israeli court found he aided a terrorist group.  But his supporters – including World Vision itself – say he’s innocent.  We begin today with the story of Matt Chandler, who is taking a leave of absence from his role as pastor…

Ep. 206: Liberty University, The United Methodists Continue To Splinter, and A Close Look At Kenneth Copeland

On today’s program, Liberty University is receiving complaints from veterans who use the school’s online program as part of their GI Bill benefits.  We also have the latest in the slow-moving schism in the United Methodist Church.  Plus, a look at Prosperity Gospel preacher Kenneth Copeland.  He’s in the Ministry Spotlight.  We begin today with something you don’t hear Christian leaders do too much these days, and that’s apologize.  That apology came from Andy Wood. …

Ep. 205: The Dorean Principle:  A Biblical Response To The Commercialization of Christianity

If you’re a regular reader of MinistryWatch’s daily journalism, or a regular listener to our podcast, you know that we care about integrity.  The personal integrity of Christian leaders, and the integrity of the process and procedures of Christian ministries themselves.  We advocate for transparency and accountability as a way of giving Christian donors the chance to make giving decisions for themselves. But my guest today, Conley Owens, say that is not enough.  He suggests…

Ep. 204: Harold Camping and Family Radio, Hillsong, the United Methodist Church, and the Feds Investigate the SBC

On today’s program, in the 1990s and 2000s, radio preacher Harold Camping wrongly predicted the return of Jesus.  The ministry he founded has spent the last decade recovering.  We’ll have an update.  And the Department of Justice has launched an investigation into the Southern Baptist Convention.  We’ll have the latest.  We begin today with a lawsuit against Hillsong Church by one of its key employees.  The lawsuit says the church misled donors and evaded taxes….

Ep. 203: John Bevere, Stuart Briscoe, and Bible Translation’s “Last Mile”

On today’s program, we look at a network of ministries fighting chemical abortions.  We also look at prosperity gospel preachers John and Lisa Bevere and their ministry Messenger International.  We begin today with new leadership for a couple of the nation’s leading Christian publications.  Russell Moore, the former Southern Baptist ethicist, was named editor in chief at Christianity Today. Lynn Vincent, a motorcycle-riding Navy veteran and New York Times best-selling author, was recently named executive…

Ep. 202: Translating The Bible In A New Way:  A Conversation With Jane Schoen

Today I welcome back to the program Jane Schoen. Jane is the director of Strategic Initiatives for the Strategic Resource Group, an organization that funds projects to reach unreached people groups in the Middle East and North Africa, the so-called MENA region of the world. A year ago I reported on a new initiative by the Strategic Resource Group that – if successful – could have a dramatic impact on the way we do Bible…

Ep. 201: Venue Church Foreclosed, and What Is Spiritual Abuse?

On today’s program, we look at spiritual abuse.  At what point is a difference in opinion, or a disagreement with the pastor, real abuse?  It’s a question lots of churches, pastors, and church members are having to grapple with.  Also, we look at an online ministry that started as a hobby, but is now generating more than 100-million page views a year from people wanting answers to tough spiritual questions.  We begin today with news…

Ep. 200: Mario Murillo, Amy Grant, and Ted Haggard

On today’s program, prosperity gospel preacher and Donald Trump supporter Mario Murillo led a crusade in Colorado Springs.  We had a reporter on the scene.  Amy Grant will be one of the recipients of the Kennedy Center Honors this year.  And we have an update on the story of the Family Research Council changing its status to an “association of churches.”  FRC President Tony Perkins reached out to us to explain why.  We begin today…

Ep. 199: Leaving The Network, Saddleback Church, and Bill Hwang Faces Lawsuit

On today’s program, a fast-growing church planting network called simply The Network, is facing criticism by a group of former staff and lay leadership.  We also have the results of an investigation done by Saddleback Church into its new pastor.  The new study finds no evidence of wrongdoing.  We begin today with news that an employee of disgraced Wall Street financier Bill Hwang is suing his former employer.  The employee says he was forced to…

Ep. 198: Phil Cooke:  Paying Church Planters, and What To Do With a Disgraced Teacher’s Materials?

An important part of what we do here at MinistryWatch – especially with these “Extra” episodes — is to bring to you important thought leaders who have important things to say both to donors and to ministry leaders. That’s why I’m pleased to have back on the program Phil Cooke. Before I tell you what we’re talking about today, I should mention that Phil Cooke is a content machine.  He got his start in media…

Ep. 197: Seattle Pacific, Food Ministries Stressed, and Pro-Life Ministry in the Post-Roe Era

On today’s program, students at Seattle Pacific University end their sit-in for LGBTQ rights, but the controversy at this Christian school is not likely to go away.  And we check in with some prominent pro-life ministries to see how the Dobbs decision, the Supreme Court decision that overturned Roe v. Wade, will impact their work.  We begin today with a report that rapidly rising prices are having a significant impact on ministries that provide food…

Ep. 196: Ryan Bomberger on What’s Next For The Pro-Life Movement?

The Supreme Court’s Dobbs decision put an end to the Roe v. Wade era in America.  Many millions of pro-life Americans played a role in bringing about this historic decision, but few have been as active as my guest today Ryan Bomberger. Ryan’s story gives his pro-life activism special power.  His biological mother was raped, but chose not to have an abortion.   He was then adopted at 6 weeks of age and grew up in…

Ep. 195: David Platt, TV Preachers and Book Royalties, and Pregnancy Resource Centers in the Post-Roe Era

On today’s program, a lawsuit against well-known preacher David Platt and the church he pastors, McLean Bible Church, has been dropped.  We’ll have details. We’ll also talk about TV preachers and their books.  Who should get the royalties?  We’ll have the answer.  And Explo 72, took place 50 years ago.  An event took place in Dallas last week that tried to capture some of the spirit of Explo.  We’ll have a report.  We begin today…

Ep. 194: World Vision, Chris Rice, and a Win for Religious Liberty

On today’s program, a former World Vision executive is convicted in Israel of aiding a terrorist group, but independent observers say this verdict is a miscarriage of justice.  We’ll have details.  And an independent report into the behavior of Christian musician Chris Rice found what it calls credible evidence of child abuse.  We begin today with a major win for religious liberty.  The Supreme Court ruled Tuesday that religious schools can’t be excluded from a…

Ep. 193: Southern Baptists Meet, Seattle Pacific Fractures, and One of the Nation’s Largest Methodist Churches Departs

On today’s program, Seattle Pacific University is struggling with issues of human sexuality.  A three judge panel in Colorado ruled against a Christian school’s ability to hire and fire teachers based on belief.  And the United Methodist Church has settled a dispute with one of the largest churches in its denomination.  The church gets to leave and keep its building, but it will pay millions to the denomination.  We begin today with news from the…

Ep. 192: Church Terminates Sex Abuse Investigation, Alleged PPP Fraud, Joel Osteen Disrupted

On today’s program, pro-abortion activists disrupt a church service in Houston.  And we have details of a bizarre story we’ve reported on previously.  It’s the story of a Christian ministry that allegedly defrauded the Payroll Protection Program of millions of dollars. Also, Godly Response to Abuse in the Christian Environment (GRACE), an organization hired by Covenant Fellowship Church to look into the allegations against the church and its former head pastor, Min Joshua Chung, said…

Ep. 191: More SBC News, A Pro-Life Activist Faces Scrutiny, and Fighting Embezzlement

On today’s program, a pro-life activist, Jennifer Christie, is facing a credibility crisis after aspects of her dramatic testimony are not standing up to scrutiny.  When a major ministry saw a 50 percent drop in revenue, it had to ask some hard questions about how it was doing things.  But Cross International is back, and it’s a case study in how to make a strategic shift.  We begin today with more news from the Southern…

Ep. 190: Why Does MinistryWatch Do That? Warren Smith Answers Reader Questions

On today’s EXTRA episode, Christina Darnell and Warren Smith will be doing a question-and-answer episode.  Regular listeners to the program might remember that back in February we did our first Q&A session, and at that time I said we’d be doing them every month or so.  But what’s that old saying about the best laid plans of mice and men? We haven’t done a Q&A session since March, so we’ve got some catching up to…

Ep. 189: Donors Sue RZIM, SBC’s Sex Abuse Report, A Dramatic Confrontation Goes Viral

A judge has decided that a lawsuit filed by donors to Ravi Zacharias International Ministries can continue.  It the donors succeed in getting their money back, could set a landmark precedent.  We’ll also look at the story of a sexual abuse victim confronting his alleged accuser – during the Sunday service.  A video of the event has gone viral.  We begin today with the biggest religion story of the week, and one that will likely…

Ep. 188: Jack Schaap Released From Prison, and Willow Creek Association — Now Global Leadership Network – Makes a Comeback

On today’s program, we have updates on the situation at Grove City College.  The Global Leadership Network – formerly known as the Willow Creek Association — makes a comeback.  And disgraced megachurch pastor Jack Schaap, convicted of sex crimes more than a decade ago, gets an early release from prison.  We begin today with news that a controversial “discernment blogger” has been charged with DUI and for carrying a weapon. I want you to know…

Ep. 187: United Methodists, Pastors Sue Their Churches, And A Church Lending Scam

On today’s program, a former pastor and two accomplices defraud churches of more than $3-million.  United Methodists continue to look for ways to split amiably, but some are becoming impatient.  And we take you on the ground to Romania for a look at churches who are helping in Ukraine.  We begin today with the story of a Colorado pastor who is suing his congregation for defamation.  A couple of housekeeping items, you might say.  First,…

Ep. 186: Kanakuk, Liberty U, Celebration Church, and Methodists Split

On today’s program, Kanakuk Kamps face new scrutiny over its handling of sex abuse cases.  And Liberty University faces a federal investigation over its handling of sexual assault.  Also on today’s programs, Duke Divinity students pray to a “queer god” and conservative Methodists form a separate denomination.  We begin today with news that Jacksonville, Florida’s Celebration Church has been kicked out of the Evangelical Council for Financial Accountability. I want to mention again that a…

Ep. 185: What is the Favorite Charity of Evangelicals?

  The Bible says that where your treasure is, your heart is also.  So it would make sense that if you want to do a heart examination on evangelicals, you should look at their giving habits. When you do that, you find that the evangelical heart is weak, if not downright diseased.  Yes, evangelicals give more than mainline Christians, and far more than those who are unaffiliated religiously, but giving among evangelicals still falls far…

Ep. 184: Grove City and “Wokeness,” Church Buys $8-M Mansion, and SBC Sex Abuse Costs Rise

On today’s program, The Southern Baptist Convention could spend up to $4-million to deal with clergy sex abuse issues.  And Grove City College is dealing with controversies related to “wokeness” and “critical race theory.”  We begin today with the story of a church that has paid $8.3 million for a Tampa, Florida-area estate. Before we go:  A couple of housekeeping items, you might say.  First, I’ll be on the Pilgrim Radio Network next week to…

Ep. 183: A New Model for Missions?

I’m Warren Smith and I’d like to welcome you to the MinistryWatch podcast. Here at MinistryWatch we bring you news about Christian ministries, as well as the latest in charity and philanthropy, news that we examine from a Christian worldview perspective.  Our goal is to help us become better stewards of the resources God has entrusted to us. These mid-week “Extra” episodes are a chance for us to go deep with a particular topic, and…

Ep. 182: Andrew Wommack, Hillsong, and a Missionary Plane Is Destroyed

On today’s program, popular televangelist Andrew Wommack is trying to get out of a deal it make with a Colorado city.  We begin today with the story of a missionary airplane that makes vital trips to Haiti, the Bahamas, and the Dominican Republic.  It was recently attacked and burned. And a quick reminder as we approach month-end that we are offering Randy Alcorn’s classic book “Managing God’s Money” as a thank you gift if you…

Ep. 181: Evangelical Media Habits

I’m Warren Smith and I’d like to welcome you to the MinistryWatch podcast. Here at MinistryWatch we bring you news about Christian ministries, as well as the latest in charity and philanthropy, news that we examine from a Christian worldview perspective.  Our goal is to help us become better stewards of the resources God has entrusted to us.   These mid-week “Extra” episodes are a chance for us to go deep with a particular topic,…

Ep. 180: Hillsong

On today’s program, more news regarding the Hillsong controversies, which just keep growing.  Virginia’s Governor Glenn Youngkin signs a bill into law that protects donor privacy.  We begin today with another Southern Baptist leader throwing his hat in the ring to be president of that denomination. I hope you will forgive us a bit of shameless self-promotion, but I wanted you to know that I was on the syndicated radio program Issues, Etc. this week…

Ep. 179: How Journalism Can Save Evangelicalism

I’m Warren Smith and I’d like to welcome you to the MinistryWatch podcast. On today’s mid-week “Extra” episode I’m pleased to present to you a speech I recently did at the annual meeting of the Evangelical Press Association in Colorado Springs.  The title of the speech is “How Journalism Can Save Evangelicalism.” This speech outlines why we do what we do here at MinistryWatch, and I hope it will be both a challenge and an…

Ep 178: Elder Fraud, the AME Church, SBC Leadership Challenges, and the IRS

On today’s program, we discuss financial abuse of the elderly.  Some charity scams target old people, but there are things you can do to protect yourself and your family.  A new law will require Christian ministries to file their Form 990s electronically.  I’ll explain why that’s a good thing, but it won’t solve the problems at the IRS.  We begin today with new developments in the case of the AME Church’s Retirement Funds. There’s a…

Ep. 177: Christian Schools in Ukraine, Lysa TerKeurst, Eric Metaxas, Jacksonville’s Celebration Church

On today’s program, a pastor in Georgia pleads guilty to fraud after receiving COVID relief funds.  And the Colorado Springs-based Association of Christian Schools International, ACSI, is proving that the word INTERNATIONAL in its name is true by coming to the aid of member schools in Ukraine.  We begin today with updates on a couple of court cases involving Christian celebrities.  We’ll hear about Eric Metaxas in a moment.  We get started today with Lysa…

Ep. 176: Southern Baptists, Hillsong, Boy Scouts, and Ukraine

On today’s program, bestselling author Voddie Baucham is running for a senior leadership position in the Southern Baptist Convention.  But it’s not clear that he’s even a Southern Baptist.  Calvin University, one of evangelicalism’s flagship organizations, is struggling with LGBTQ issues.  It’s discovering that compromise often invites more trouble than just taking a firm stand.  And we take a deep dive into Sid Roth’s “It’s Supernatural” television ministry.  We begin today with the resignation of…

Ep. 175: Slavic Gospel Association’s Michael Johnson on the Situation in Ukraine

This week, we’re going to do a something a bit different on this mid-week EXTRA podcast episode.  The war in Ukraine has motivated Christians to give.  And that’s a good thing.  But it has also motivated some ministries to take advantage of the situation to raise money even if they have little or no experience in the region. That’s why I wanted to bring on the program someone who has had extensive experience in that…

Ep. 174: Christianity Today Harassment Report, More from Ukraine, and What Happens To Old Churches?

On today’s program, we discuss what happens to a church’s building when the church itself shuts down.  More from Ukraine, of course.  And we’re seeing some dramatic shifts in the fundraising environment.  I’ll have details.  We begin today with news that the former editor of Christianity Today, Mark Galli, has been accused of sexual harassment. A quick reminder.  I mentioned last week that Christina’s “Ministries Making A Difference” column is made up of information that…

Ep. 173: Phil Cooke With Tips For Being Creative on a Deadline

An important part of what we do here at MinistryWatch is to provide resources for ministry leaders to help them become more effective in their roles.  That’s why I’m pleased to have back on the program Phil Cooke. Phil Cooke got his start in media working on the television program of Oral Roberts, while he was still a student at Oral Roberts University.  Over the years Cooke has become one of the nation’s experts on…

Ep. 172: Kanakuk, John MacArthur, and Ukraine Relief

On today’s program, we talk about the pastor of one of Canada’s largest churches after an investigation into sexual abuse at the church.  Controversial pastor John MacArthur is back in the news.  And we have more information about how churches and ministries are helping in Ukraine and the surrounding region.  We begin today with the National Center for Sexual Exploitation’s annual “Dirty Dozen List.”  It’s a list of organizations that names twelve entities for facilitating,…

Ep. 171: Ukraine, Boy Scouts, Kanakuk, and MegaChurch MegaMansions

On today’s program, we talk about Ukraine.  The Russian invasion has dominated the news, and motivated Christians to give.  We offer some advice about how to give responsibly and helpfully.  Also, MinistryWatch unveils a couple of new tools to help donors with their giving efforts.  I’ll have details.  We begin today with a look at the multi-million dollar homes of televangelists. Get the “75 Red Flags” booklet here. If you have a story you’d like…

Ep. 170: Warren Smith Explains The MinistryWatch 1000 Database And The New “Donor Confidence Score”

I’m Warren Smith and I’d like to welcome you to the MinistryWatch podcast. On today’s mid-week “Extra” episode I’ll be doing something a bit different.  Regular listeners may recall that a couple of months ago I did a Q&A episode, an episode in which I answered questions about MinistryWatch.  I didn’t know how that would go, but I was surprised to discover that it was one of most listened to episodes ever. So today I’m…

Ep. 169: Putin and Evangelicals, Ravi Zacharias, and the SBC

On today’s program, Vladimir Putin and Russia are now invading Ukraine.  That action has caused us to take a second look at the cozy relationship many Christian leaders have had with Putin over the years.  And the Southern Baptist Convention’s Executive Committee is meeting this week, and it’s making news.  We’ll bring an update.  We begin today with details of a newly released report on Ravi Zacharias International Ministries. The producers for today’s program are…

Ep. 168: Duggar Sisters, Association of Related Churches, Landmark Non-Profit Reform

On today’s program, news about landmark non-profit regulatory reform in Washington state, and Gordon College has cancelled a Christian speaker for sharing what the Bible teaches regarding human sexuality.  We begin today with the latest chapter in the Duggar family saga. A quick reminder.  I mentioned last week that Christina’s “Ministries Making A Difference” column is made up of information that we mostly get from our readers and listeners.  They send us news tips, press…

Ep. 167: Tavner Smith, the Orthodox Presbyterian Church, and a Generosity Generation Gap

On today’s program, there’s a generation gap among evangelical givers.  We’ll take a closer look at a new survey.  And victims of a church shooting receive a massive financial pay out from the US Government.  We begin today with the story of a Tennessee pastor returning to the pulpit just weeks after he was removed for having an inappropriate relationship. If you have a story you’d like us to cover, or a ministry that you…

Ep. 166: The Generation Gap in Evangelical Giving

Today I’m pleased to have back on the program Ron Sellers, the president of Grey Matter Research and Consulting.   Ron Sellers and I discuss a new study his organization has done in conjunction with Infinity Concepts.  That study was published a week ago, and it’s called “The Generation Gap:  Evangelical Giving Preferences.” Before we jump into that interview, I just want to note that we will have a way for you to get a copy…

Ep. 165: Hillsong’s Brian Houston, the “Billy Graham Rule,” and the Southern Baptist Convention’s Historic Move

On today’s program, we take a look at the so-called “Billy Graham Rule.”  We have updates on a couple of religious liberty cases that will have an impact on Christian ministries, and we have the latest on Hillsong’s Brian Houston.  He has taken a sabbatical in advance of his criminal trial.  We begin today with a history making move by the Southern Baptist Convention. So, if you have a story you’d like us to cover,…

Ep. 164: Q&A With MinistryWatch President Warren Smith

On today’s mid-week “Extra” episode we’ll be doing something a bit different. For the past month or two I’ve been collecting questions that I often get from readers, and I’m going to be answering a few of them today. I’m doing this because I’m guessing that if one person has these questions, others might as well, and because I want to encourage your questions, and I thought the best way to do that was simply…

Ep. 163: Association of Related Churches, AME Zion, Security vs. Transparency

On today’s program, a Tennessee adoption agency is sued in a case that could impact religious liberty for millions of Americans. And the ARC, or Association of Related Churches, is in the news again, and – once again – not for good reasons. We begin today with news of one of the biggest financial frauds we’ve ever seen here at MinistryWatch. Staccato Powell, the former president of the African Methodist Episcopal Zion Church’s board of…

Ep. 162: Mike Cosper On “The Rise and Fall of Mars Hill”

On today’s mid-week “Extra” episode I’m pleased to have on the program Mike Cosper, the producer and host of the podcast phenomenon “The Rise and Fall of Mars Hill.” By virtually any measure, “The Rise and Fall of Mars Hill” has set a new standard for podcasters in the Christian world. Its episodes have had more than 14-million downloads, frequently ranking at the top of the charts on Stitcher and iTunes. But perhaps more importantly,…

Ep. 161: ABC: Anglicans, Bible translation, and Cover-ups

On today’s program, an update in our ongoing coverage of the Bible translation industry.  We check in on a new way of translating the Bible that could disrupt the industry.  Also, you may have heard the expression “It ain’t the crime, it’s the coverup.”  Pastors and ministry leaders are learning that the hard way.  We’ll explain.  We begin today with new developments in the sex abuse case plaguing the Anglican Church in North America. A…

Ep. 160: Church is Boring…and other Myths

Today I’m pleased to have back on the program Ron Sellers, the president of Grey Matter Research and Consulting.   Ron Sellers and I discuss a new study his organization has done in conjunction with Infinity Concepts.  That study was published a week ago, and it’s called “The Congregational Scorecard:  What Evangelicals Want In A Church.”  Before we jump into that interview, I just want to note that we will have a way for you to…

Ep. 159: Religious Liberty Ruling, Reformed Church in America Splits, ACNA Members Want Investigation

On today’s program, a federal court ruling protects the right of churches and Christian ministries to hire and fire staff members based on religious beliefs.  And we’ll take a look at how money given to tax-exempt organizations, including Christian organizations, is going to partisan political causes.  We begin today with what appears to be a body blow to a group that claims to be the oldest Protestant denomination in the United States. The producers for…

Ep. 158: A Conversation About Bible Translation With Jane Schoen

Today I have on the program Jane Schoen. Jane is the director of Strategic Initiatives for the Strategic Resource Group, an organization that funds projects to reach unreached people groups in the Middle East and North Africa, the so-called MENA region of the world. Strategic Resource Group is doing something that – if successful – could have a dramatic impact on the way we do Bible translation. They are using a so-called Translation Service Provider…

Ep. 157: Boy Scouts, Preemptive Love Coalition and Lysa TerKeurst

On today’s program, news about the sex abuse case involving the Boy Scouts of America. Survivors appear to have rejected the settlement plan. And clergy burnout has become more acute in the era of COVID, but some pastors say sabbaticals are helping them and their families cope. And Proverbs 31 Ministries founder and president Lysa TerKeurst announced on social media Jan. 1 that she and her husband Art are getting divorced. We begin today with…

Ep. 156: A Conversation With Investigative Reporter Nick Ochsner

Today, I have on the program a story about the collision of religion and politics that ended badly for both.  In 2018, a Southern Baptist pastor named Mark Harris ran for the U.S. Congress.  Harris had been pastor of one of the most prominent churches in Charlotte, North Carolina, and he had been a strong voice for Christian ideas in the public square.  But what happened next is the stuff of Greek tragedy.  A close…

Ep. 155: MinistryWatch List of Top 10 Stories of the Year 2021

On today’s program, we take a look at the top stories of the year, as identified by you, our MinistryWatch readers and listeners.  These are the stories that got the most page views on the MinistryWatch website this year.  We’ll present the top 10, mention a few others, and provide a bit of commentary along the way.  To see a longer list – a list of the 15 most viewed stories – go to MinistryWatch.com….

Ep. 154: Dave Ramsey, Russell Moore, Boy Scouts and More

On today’s program, financial guru Dave Ramsey gets sued by a former employee.  A pastor who sexually abused a teenager gets 45 years in prison.  And we’ll tell you about churches and ministries who have stepped up to help in the aftermath of last weekend’s tornadoes in Kentucky and neighboring states.  We begin today with the latest in the ongoing story of the Boy Scouts of America. We have had a number of requests from…

Ep. 153: A Conversation with Andrew Case

These mid-week “Extra” episodes are a chance for us to go deep with a particular topic, and today we look again at the world of Bible translation with Andrew Case.  Today, specifically, we look at how open sourcing of Bible translation materials have the potential to revolutionize the Bible translation industry. Before we begin, though, a bit of context.  Many Christians do not know that many of the Bible translations in the world today are…

Ep. 152: Josh Duggar, Two Haiti Missionaries Released, Religious Liberty Victories

On today’s program, Josh Duggar’s child pornography trial begins.  But beyond the salacious headlines, what can we learn?  And one of Canada’s best-known evangelical pastors has been accused of sexual misconduct.  We begin today with news from Haiti. There’s a quick, easy, and FREE way you can support this podcast, and that is to give us a rating on your podcast app.  The more ratings we get, the more attention we get from search engines,…

Ep. 151: Kanakuk, Marcus Lamb, Phil Saviano, and MinistryWatch’s Shining Light Awards

Each week, MinistryWatch brings you news about Christian ministries, as well as the latest in charity and philanthropy, news that we examine from a Christian worldview perspective.  Our goal is to help us become better stewards of the resources God has entrusted to us. On today’s program, the death of a whistleblower who was one of the few heroes in the Catholic Church clergy sex abuse scandal.  And Daystar’s Marcus Lamb, who preached against the…

Ep. 150: A Conversation with MinistryWatch’s Warren Smith and Christina Darnell

I’m Warren Smith and I’d like to welcome you to the MinistryWatch podcast.  Here at MinistryWatch we bring you news about Christian ministries, as well as the latest in charity and philanthropy, news that we examine from a Christian worldview perspective.  Our goal is to help us become better stewards of the resources God has entrusted to us. These mid-week “Extra” episodes are a chance for us to go deep with a particular topic, and…

Ep. 149: A Conversation with David French

These mid-week “Extra” episodes are a chance for us to go deep with a particular topic, and today I’m pleased to have back on the program David French.  David wrote an article about Liberty University that I wanted to explore more deeply. But first, a bit of David’s background. David French is a graduate of Lipscomb University in Nashville, and also of Harvard Law School.  He spent many years as an attorney with Alliance Defending…

Ep. 148: St. Jude Hospital, WORLD Magazine, Sean Feucht, and More

We’d like to welcome you to the MinistryWatch podcast. Each week, MinistryWatch brings you news about Christian ministries, as well as the latest in charity and philanthropy, news that we examine from a Christian worldview perspective.  Our goal is to help us become better stewards of the resources God has entrusted to us. On today’s program, we look at St. Jude Children’s Hospital.  It’s not a Christian ministry, but a lot of evangelicals donate to…

Ep. 147: Evangelicals and Giving

I’m Warren Smith and I’d like to welcome you to the MinistryWatch podcast.   Here at MinistryWatch we bring you news about Christian ministries, as well as the latest in charity and philanthropy, news that we examine from a Christian worldview perspective.  Our goal is to help us become better stewards of the resources God has entrusted to us. These mid-week “Extra” episodes are a chance for us to go deep with a particular topic,…

Ep. 146: Evangelicals and Giving, Hacking for Jesus, and Franklin Graham

On today’s program, we take a look at a group of Hackers for Jesus.  And a new study by the Hartford Institute says COVID has led to both innovation and conflict in America’s churches.  We begin today with more news from the Southern Baptist Convention. There’s a quick, easy, and FREE way you can support this podcast, and that is to give us a rating on your podcast app.  The more ratings we get, the…

Ep. 145: A Conversation with Sam Rainer

I’m Warren Smith and I’d like to welcome you to the MinistryWatch podcast. Here at MinistryWatch we bring you news about Christian ministries, as well as the latest in charity and philanthropy, news that we examine from a Christian worldview perspective.  Our goal is to help us become better stewards of the resources God has entrusted to us. These mid-week “Extra” episodes are a chance for us to go deep with a particular topic, and…

Ep. 144: Liberty U., Baseball and Jesus, and Re-Thinking Missions

On today’s program, a lawsuit brought by indigenous people against New Tribes Mission could force many missionary organizations to re-think the way they do their work.  And a new study highlights the vital role churches play in helping those with food insecurities.  We begin today with more news from Liberty University.  The way Liberty University has handled sexual assault incidents has come under scrutiny in recent months.  This week, a new report by the investigative…

Ep. 143: A Conversation with Mark Galli

Here at MinistryWatch we bring you news about Christian ministries, as well as the latest in charity and philanthropy, news that we examine from a Christian worldview perspective.  Our goal is to help us become better stewards of the resources God has entrusted to us. These mid-week “Extra” episodes are a chance for us to go deep with a particular topic, and today we have on the program former Christianity Today editor Mark Galli. Mark…

Ep. 142: RZIM Re-Boots, Liberty University, Eric Metaxas, and T.D. Jakes

On today’s program,  Ravi Zacharias’s daughter forms a new ministry, but some former staff members and donors have concerns.  And TD Jakes is doing a big real estate deal in Atlanta. We begin today with the latest chapter in the continuing saga at Liberty University. Before we go…I want to let everyone know that we have a limited supply of hardback copies of Faith Based Fraud.  We’re offering these books for a gift of any…

Ep. 141: A Conversation with Trail Life USA’s Mark Hancock

Here at MinistryWatch we bring you news about Christian ministries, as well as the latest in charity and philanthropy, news that we examine from a Christian worldview perspective.  Our goal is to help us become better stewards of the resources God has entrusted to us. These mid-week “Extra” episodes are a chance for us to go deep with a particular topic, and this week I want to take a deep dive into Christian higher education,…

Ep. 140: Loving Haiti to Death, Pastor Saeed, and Gravitating To Gab

On today’s program, we look at the new social media platform Gab.  It’s become home to a number of Christian leaders and others who have been kicked off of Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, and other mainstream platforms.  And we also look at the strange case of Pastor Saeed Abedini.  Free Pastor Saeed was a rallying cry for evangelicals five years ago.  But his ex-wife now says we didn’t know the whole story.  We begin today with…

Ep. 139: A Conversation with Dr. Erik Hoekstra

Here at MinistryWatch we bring you news about Christian ministries, as well as the latest in charity and philanthropy, news that we examine from a Christian worldview perspective.  Our goal is to help us become better stewards of the resources God has entrusted to us. These mid-week “Extra” episodes are a chance for us to go deep with a particular topic, and this week I want to take a deep dive into Christian higher education,…

Ep. 138: Joel Osteen, John Ortberg, United Methodists, and the SBC

On today’s program, the oldest denomination in America is struggling with LGBTQ issues.  And Joel Osteen’s Lakewood Church pays back its Payroll Protection Program – PPP – loans.  We begin today with the final report of a sexual abuse investigation of Pastor John Ortberg’s Menlo Park Church.  The investigation found no evidence of wrongdoing. A reminder that there’s a quick, easy, and FREE way you can support this podcast, and that is to give us…

Ep. 137: A Conversation with Dr. Gerardo Marti

I’m Warren Smith and I’d like to welcome you to the MinistryWatch podcast. Here at MinistryWatch we bring you news about Christian ministries, as well as the latest in charity and philanthropy, news that we examine from a Christian worldview perspective.  Our goal is to help us become better stewards of the resources God has entrusted to us. These mid-week “Extra” episodes are a chance for us to go deep with a particular topic, and…

Ep. 136: Southern Baptists Waive Privilege, a Hillsong Update, and Christian Troll Farms

On today’s program, a Hillsong update, and we look at where all the money went that Christians gave to Glenn Beck and others who promised to provide relief during the Afghan airlift.  Later in the program we look at Facebook and the most popular Christian Facebook pages.  They are both more, and less, than meets the eye.  We begin today with news that Southern Baptists will waive attorney-client privilege in order to facilitate their investigation…

Ep. 135: A Conversation with Dr. Russell Moore

Here at MinistryWatch we bring you news about Christian ministries, as well as the latest in charity and philanthropy, news that we examine from a Christian worldview perspective.  Our goal is to help us become better stewards of the resources God has entrusted to us. These mid-week “Extra” episodes are a chance for us to go deep with a particular topic, and today we have on the program Dr. Russell Moore. Russell Moore needs little introduction…

Ep. 134: Scouts, Southern Baptists, and The Decline Of The Mainline

On today’s program, churches that sponsor Boy Scout troops and Cub packs may be at risk for sexual abuse lawsuits.  We’ll explain why.  And we look at yet another formerly great Christian denomination that progressive ideologies have forced into decline.  An update on the United Church of Christ, later in the program.  We begin today with news that Southern Baptists are still struggling with how to move forward in the fact of sex abuse scandals….

Ep. 133: COVID and the Future of Church Life

I’m Warren Smith and I’d like to welcome you to the MinistryWatch podcast. Here at MinistryWatch we bring you news about Christian ministries, as well as the latest in charity and philanthropy, news that we examine from a Christian worldview perspective.  Our goal is to help us become better stewards of the resources God has entrusted to us. These mid-week “Extra” episodes are a chance for us to go deep with a particular topic, and…

Ep. 132: Donald Trump, The Boy Scouts, and Hillsong’s Brian Houston

On today’s program, a billboard featuring Donald Trump is facing charges of blasphemy, and the bankruptcy case against the Boy Scouts moves forward.  We begin today with news that Brian Houston, the founder of the Hillsong movement, has stepped down from the organization’s governing boards. Each week, MinistryWatch brings you news about Christian ministries, as well as the latest in charity and philanthropy, news that we examine from a Christian worldview perspective.  Our goal is…

Ep. 131: Boy Scouts Settle, Lutherans Elect Transgender Bishop, United Methodists Sue

On today’s program, a controversial pastor has been banned from Twitter, and the Boy Scouts have reached a massive $1.8-billion agreement with sexual abuse victims, but will it hold up?  We begin today with news that the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America installed its first openly transgender bishop in a service held in San Francisco’s Grace Cathedral last Saturday.  And the United Methodist Church is suing one of its own congregations. The producers for today’s…

Ep. 130: Natasha Smith and Brittany Smith on “Unplanned Grace”

I’m Warren Smith and I’d like to welcome you to the MinistryWatch podcast. Here at MinistryWatch we bring you news about Christian ministries, as well as the latest in charity and philanthropy, news that we examine from a Christian worldview perspective.  Our goal is to help us become better stewards of the resources God has entrusted to us.  These mid-week “Extra” episodes are a chance for us to go deep with a particular topic, and…

Ep. 129: Trump Redux, an Exodus at Safe Families, and Student Leadership University

On today’s program, former President Trump reinvigorates his Faith Advisory Board, we discuss the importance of putting Youth Protection Policies in place, and there’s been a shake up at GRACE, the group that investigates sexual abuse in Christian environments.  We’ll have details.  We begin today with news of turmoil at Safe Families for Children, an organization that bills itself as a faith-based alternative to foster care that has helped more than 50,000 families in crisis…

Ep. 128: Methodists Cut Ties With Scouts & John MacArthur Wins Lawsuit With California, LA County

On today’s program, United Methodists are cutting their ties with the Boy Scouts, and Christian ministries are responding to disasters on the Gulf Coast, in Tennessee, and in Afghanistan.  We’ll have updates.  We begin today with a victory for religious liberty by John MacArthur’s church in California.  The producers for today’s program are Rich Roszel and Steve Gandy. We get database and other technical support from Cathy Goddard, Stephen DuBarry, and Casey Sudduth.  Writers who…

Ep. 127: A Conversation with Del Tackett

On today’s MinistryWatch EXTRA episode, we have Dr. Del Tackett.  Del Tackett served more than 20 years as an officer in the US Air Force.  As a top executive at Focus on the Family, he created The Truth Project, a worldview program that has been seen by more than 20-million people in more than 100 countries.  Many people say that The Truth Project was their first exposure to a Christian worldview. I wanted to have…

Ep. 126: Thomas McKenzie, Glenn Beck, and Royal Rangers

On today’s program, a beloved Nashville pastor and author died in a car crash this week.  We’ll remember Thomas McKenzie.  And the Assemblies of God denomination settles a sex abuse lawsuit involving the youth program Royal Rangers.  We begin today with a slate of stories motivated by the crisis in Afghanistan. The producers for today’s program are Rich Roszel and Steve Gandy. We get database and other technical support from Cathy Goddard, Stephen DuBarry, and…

Ep. 125: Christians Help in Afghanistan, COVID Kills Fundraising Events, and Sex Abuse Survivors Fight Back

On today’s program, Christians are working to help get people out of Afghanistan.  We’ll have one couple’s story.  And the Delta variant is killing some in-person fundraising events, but there may be a silver lining to this cloud.  We begin today with more news about sexual abuse and the Southern Baptist Convention.  Each week, MinistryWatch brings you news about Christian ministries, as well as the latest in charity and philanthropy, news that we examine from…

Ep. 124: A Conversation With Dr. Michael Bennett

At MinistryWatch we bring you the latest in charity and philanthropy, all designed to help us become better stewards of the resources God has entrusted to us. On today’s MinistryWatch Extra episode, I’m welcoming to the program, Dr. Michael Bennett. Michael Bennett has a doctorate in Mechanical Engineering, and he spent most of his career as a Defense Department scientist and high-tech inventor and entrepreneur.  But in recent years he has turned his attention to…

Ep. 123: The Boy Scouts, Honorary Degrees, and The Holy Land Experience

On today’s program, we explore the practice of Christian colleges granting honorary degrees, one of the largest churches in the African Methodist Episcopal denomination is facing a financial scandal, and the building of new churches is at historic low levels.  We begin today with news from Orlando, Florida.  The Holy Land Experience, a Christian-based theme park in Orlando, Florida, has been purchased by a Seventh-day Adventist health care company. The producers for today’s program are…

Ep. 122: Anti-Bullying Expert Paul Coughlin

On today’s MinistryWatch Extra episode, my guest is Paul Coughlin.  Paul is the founder and president of The Protectors, an Oregon-based non-profit committed to ending bullying in schools, churches, and elsewhere.  He is an expert witness regarding bullying and the law, and is a FoxNews contributor. He’s appeared on Good Morning America, Nightline, C-Span, The LA Times, The New York Times, Newsweek and other media outlets. Paul is also the author of eight books on…

Ep. 121: Hillsong, Ravi Zacharias, and Voddie Baucham

On today’s program, Australian police want Hillsong Founder Brian Houston to appear in court to answer charges that he covered up child sexual abuse.  More senior leaders depart Ravi Zacharias International Ministries, and a beloved Baptist youth speaker has unexpectedly died.  We begin today with charges of plagiarism against popular speaker and New York Times Bestselling author Voddie Baucham. A couple of reminders: First, “Faith-Based Fraud” is now available at Audible.com. Secondly, a reminder to…

Ep. 120: Brian Kluth on Money, Sex, and Power in Ministry

On today’s MinistryWatch Extra episode, I’m welcoming back to the program a man who is fueling a movement of generosity in this country, Brian Kluth. Brian has been called “America’s Giving Guy” because of his work to help Christians become more generous.  But he is a man of many parts, you might say.  He was in my hometown of Charlotte recently as part of his nationwide “Bless Your Pastor” tour, and over dinner we started…

Ep. 119: Hobby Lobby, Mark Driscoll, Prophetic Preachers, and More

On today’s program, a clever scam that took in hundreds of thousands of dollars from dozens of ministries. We have updates on stories related to Hobby Lobby and the Anglican Church of North America. And a federal court deals religious liberty a blow, but the fight is not over.  We begin today with a development in the ongoing saga of controversial pastor Mark Driscoll. The producers for today’s program are Rich Roszel and Steve Gandy….

Ep. 118: Liberty University, Wycliffe Associates, Bethlehem Baptist, and the SBC

On today’s program, the Bible translation organization Wycliffe Associates continues to make ambitious claims about its work, but is able to provide few details or evidence of results. And troubles continue at McLean Bible Church in the suburban Washington, DC, area.  We’ll have the latest. We begin today with a lawsuit against Liberty University.  The suit has been brought by victims of sexual assault that the victims say Liberty should have prevented. A couple of…

Ep. 117: A Conversation with the ECFA’s Michael Martin and Staci Brown

Here at MinistryWatch we bring you news about Christian ministries, as well as the latest in charity and philanthropy, all designed to help us become better stewards of the resources God has entrusted to us. On today’s MinistryWatch EXTRA episode I’m pleased to welcome back to the program the president of the Evangelical Council for Financial Accountability, Michael Martin. We’re also joined today by Staci Brown, ECFA’s new Senior Vice President of Member Accountability and…

Ep. 116: Anglicans Deal With Sex Abuse, and Wisconsin AG Fights Clergy Sex Abuse

On today’s program, a prominent Anglican bishop is forced to take a leave of absence for his handling of a sexual abuse case in his diocese.  And the Wisconsin Attorney General has declared war on clergy sex abuse. We also have the story of McLean Bible Church in the Washington, D.C., area.  McLean Bible Church is one of the largest and most influential churches in the nation.  Because of its proximity to Washington, D.C., many…

Ep. 115: Warren Smith and Paul Glader discuss the Decline of the Mainline, Preachers and Plagiarism, and “The Chosen”

On today’s MinistryWatch EXTRA episode I’m pleased to welcome back to the program Paul Glader.  Paul is the editor-in-chief at Religion Unplugged and the director of the journalism program at The King’s College in New York City.  His journalism experience includes a long tenure with the Wall Street Journal. We begin with a story by Ryan Burge on the Decline of the Mainline.  It was a response to a story by PRRI, the Public Religion…

Ep. 114: Boy Scouts, Liberty University, and Kanakuk

On today’s program, more troubles with the Boy Scouts, and that trouble could create a financial liability for the churches that host Scout troops and Cub Packs.  And the Southern Baptists aren’t the only denominations having meetings this summer.  We begin today with more news related to Kanakuk camps, the prestigious Christian camps in Missouri. The producers for today’s program are Rich Roszel and Steve Gandy. We get database and other technical support from Cathy…

Ep. 113: A Special Message From MinistryWatch President Warren Smith

My name is Warren Smith.  I’m the president of MinistryWatch, and this week we’re taking a break from our normal podcast schedule so we can give our staff a break, and so I can share with you a special message. This episode will be much shorter than normal, but I hope you’ll hang with me for 6 or 7 minutes so I can tell you a bit about who we are, what we do, and…

Ep. 112: A Conversation with David French About Kanakuk, the SBC, and The State of Evangelicalism

Here at MinistryWatch we bring you news about Christian ministries, as well as the latest in charity and philanthropy, news that we examine from a Christian worldview perspective.  Our goal is to help us become better stewards of the resources God has entrusted to us. These mid-week “Extra” episodes are a chance for us to go deep with a particular topic, and today I’m pleased to have David French on the program. David French is…

Ep. 111: Kanye West, Gospel for Asia, Ben Zobrist, and the Boy Scouts

On today’s program, a World Series Most Valuable Player sues his pastor.  And Kanye West’s Sunday Service gets tax-exempt status, while a ministry that encourages people to pray was denied.  We’ll explain later in the program.  We begin with more on the ongoing saga surrounding Gospel for Asia, now known as GFA World. The producers for today’s program are Rich Roszel and Steve Gandy. We get database and other technical support from Cathy Goddard, Stephen…

Ep. 110: “Faith-Based Fraud”

Here at MinistryWatch we bring you news about Christian ministries, as well as the latest in charity and philanthropy, all designed to help us become better stewards of the resources God has entrusted to us.  Every Friday we post our regular roundups of the week’s news.  Those are episodes I co-host with Natasha Smith.  But these MinistryWatch Extra episodes are a chance for us to share with you a little something different, a little something…

Ep. 109: A Southern Baptist Convention Round-Up

On today’s program, the Southern Baptists met in Nashville this week.  We’ve got extended coverage of the event.  Also, a new study on giving in the US indicates that giving is up, but religious giving is not.  We’ll unpack the numbers.  We begin with the story of an alternative to the Boy Scouts of America.  The name of the group is Trail Life USA, and it’s growing significantly. Two quick notes: First, the audio version…

Ep. 108: Rick Warren, Religious Liberty, Russell Moore and the Southern Baptist Convention

On today’s program, Rick Warren asks Saddleback Church to start looking for his replacement.  Donor Advised Funds race new regulations.  And the Southern Baptists have some important – and difficult – issues ahead of them at their upcoming annual convention in Nashville.  We’ll have a preview.  We begin with the story of a small Christian college in Pennsylvania that shut down its social work program rather than compromise their Christian beliefs. The producers for today’s…

Ep. 107: Russell Moore, Hillsong and Carl Lentz, and Trinity Broadcasting

On today’s program, Russell Moore leaves the Southern Baptist Convention over the churches handling of sexual abuse and race issues.  And more accusations about Carl Lentz motivate hard questions about the culture at Hillsong.  We also have our list of the lowest rated ministries in the MinistryWatch database.  We’ll discuss that list later in the program.  We begin with news of a billion-dollar restriction at the Trinity Broadcasting Network. The producers for today’s program are…

Ep. 106: WORLD’s Michael Reneau on George Floyd, “Tolerant” Portland, and Transborder Education

Here at MinistryWatch we bring you news about Christian ministries, as well as the latest in charity and philanthropy, all designed to help us become better stewards of the resources God has entrusted to us. Regular listeners to the program know that last week we began these “MinistryWatch Extra” episodes.  We will continue our regular Friday weekly roundup episodes.  Those are episodes I co-host with Natasha Smith.  But these MinistryWatch Extra episodes are a chance…

Ep. 104: Talking Harold Camping, Anti-Vaxxers, with Religion Unplugged’s Paul Glader

Here at MinistryWatch we bring you news about Christian ministries, as well as the latest in charity and philanthropy, all designed to help us become better stewards of the resources God has entrusted to us. On today’s MinistryWatch EXTRA episode I’m pleased to welcome back to the program Paul Glader.Paul is the editor-in-chief at Religion Unplugged and the director of the journalism program at The King’s College in New York City.  His journalism experience includes…

Ep. 101: Christian Radio Under Scrutiny and Why We Report Clergy Sex Abuse

On today’s program, turmoil at a Christian radio station in Orlando has caused the entire industry to take a hard look in the mirror.  We begin today with the story of a ministry founder who has been asked to step down from his role because of “unbiblical behavior.” Each week, MinistryWatch brings you news about Christian ministries, as well as the latest in charity and philanthropy, news that we examine from a Christian worldview perspective. …

Ep. 100 A Conversation with Pete Singer of GRACE: Godly Response to Abuse in the Christian Environment

Here at MinistryWatch, we bring you news about Christian ministries, as well as the latest in charity and philanthropy, news that we examine from a Christian worldview perspective.  Our goal is to help us become better stewards of the resources God has entrusted to us. These mid-week “Extra” episodes are a chance for us to go deep with a particular topic, and today I’m delighted to have on the program Pete Singer. Pete is the…

Ep. 99: Josh Duggar, Bethany Christian Services, and Why MinistryWatch Covers “Icky” Stories

On today’s program, reality TV star and former evangelical ministry leader Josh Duggar is arrested on child pornography charges.  The latest in the ongoing Jerry Falwell Jr. saga, and news about Donor Advised Funds that you should know – even if you’ve never heard of them before.  We begin today with news that Bethany Christian Services has left the Evangelical Council for Financial Accountability. We also want to mention that “Mission Drift” is our book…

Ep. 98: A Conversation Stephen Mansfield on Leadership and the “Billy Graham Rule”

These mid-week “Extra” episodes are a chance for us to go deep with a particular topic, and today I’m delighted to have on the program Stephen Mansfield. Stephen Mansfield has written more than 20 books, but he first came to wide attention in 2003 with his book “The Faith of George W. Bush,” which made the New York Times Bestseller List.  His books on Bush, Barack Obama, Donald Trump, and Winston Churchill have focused on…

Ep. 97: Warren And Natasha Discuss “Founder’s Syndrome” and Bogus Covid Cures

On today’s program, we take another look at the claims of the bible translation organization Wycliffe Associates.  And John Ortberg’s former church, Menlo Church in Menlo Park California, has yet more troubles.  We begin today with a story from the United Methodist Church, which has been in turmoil for the last few years over doctrinal and other issues.  Each week, MinistryWatch brings you news about Christian ministries, as well as the latest in charity and…

Ep. 96: Warren Smith Discusses “Faith Based Fraud”

I recently did an interview about the book with my friend Bill Feltner of the Pilgrim Radio Network.  It’s one of the great Christian radio networks in the country, serving millions of people in the mountain west.  The interview was for Bill’s “His People” program.  When I got a chance to listen to the interview, I thought it captured what the book is about, and what MinistryWatch is about, in ways that I wanted to…

Ep. 95: Gospel for Asia and Liberty University

On today’s program, the massive ministry Gospel for Asia is attempting to rebrand itself, but is the ministry, which has been embroiled in scandal, really changing its ways.  And Liberty University files a $10-million lawsuit against Jerry Falwell Jr. Each week, MinistryWatch brings you news about Christian ministries, as well as the latest in charity and philanthropy, news that we examine from a Christian worldview perspective.  Our goal is to help us become better stewards…

Ep. 94: Warren Smith and Julie Roys Discuss Liberty U, Classical Conversations, and Ole Anthony

On today’s program, Julie and I discuss the latest from Liberty University.  Liberty has sued Jerry Falwell, Jr., for $10-million.  We also discuss a Baptist preacher who berated women for being overweight.  He has since apologized.  The Roys Report has been covering controversy at Classical Conversations.  She’ll bring us the latest.  And, finally, Julie and Warren pay tribute to ministry watchdog Ole Anthony. Here at MinistryWatch we bring you news about Christian ministries, as well…

Ep. 93: Shake-Up At Liberty University & A Look At Anti-Human Trafficking Ministries

On today’s program, we take a look at the cottage industry that has grown up to fight sex trafficking.  Anti-sex trafficking organizations raise more than $100-million a year in the US.  Where does all that money go?  Plus, Kanakuk Ministries demands that MinistryWatch retract three stories we wrote about them.  I’ll share our response at the end of the program.  We begin today with more shake-ups at Liberty University. Two quick notes before we go. …

Ep. 92: A Conversation with WORLD Magazine’s Michael Reneau

Today, I’m pleased to have back on the program Michael Reneau.  Michael is the Editor of WORLD Magazine.  He came to WORLD after a successful tenure as an award-winning editor at The Greeneville Sun, a daily newspaper serving East Tennessee.  We discuss Sophia Lee’s WORLD cover story on the border crisis, and how Christian ministries are responding.  We also discuss how WORLD and MinistryWatch cover the COVID crisis as well as the immigration crisis. Here…

Ep. 91: Kanakuk, illumiNations, and Christian Colleges Face LGBTQ Challenge

On today’s program, more problems in the Bible translation industry, and Christian colleges are named in a lawsuit motivated by LGBTQ activists. We begin today with more news from Kanakuk Camps, a large Christian camp in Missouri. Each week, MinistryWatch brings you news about Christian ministries, as well as the latest in charity and philanthropy, news that we examine from a Christian worldview perspective.  Our goal is to help us become better stewards of the…

Ep. 90: Why and How MinistryWatch Does What It Does – Part 3

Here at MinistryWatch we bring you news about Christian ministries, as well as the latest in charity and philanthropy, all designed to help us become better stewards of the resources God has entrusted to us.   Regular listeners to the program know that these “MinistryWatch Extra” episodes are a chance for us to “go deep” with some of our editorial partners.  But a couple of weeks ago we started a three-part series in which I was the…

Ep. 89: Trouble at Kanakuk Kamps, and a Billionaire Christian Philanthropist Unravels

On today’s program, trouble in paradise.  Kanakuk Kamps, the beautiful Missouri camps that host 20,000 kids a year, is rocked by sex abuse and financial scandals.  And Franklin Graham is taking heat from some of his supporters for encouraging them to get the COVID vaccine.  We begin with a billionaire Christian investor who rattled Wall Street this week and caused a lot of Christian ministries to wonder what the future holds. Each week, MinistryWatch brings…

Ep. 88: Behind The Scenes At MinistryWatch—Part 2

Dan Burrell is a teaching pastor at Life Fellowship in suburban Charlotte, and he had me on his podcast called “Life Talks.”  We recorded three 20-minute episodes discussing MinistryWatch, our work, why we do what we do, and some of our recent stories.  The conversation turned out so well that I asked Dan if I could air them on the MinistryWatch podcast.  Dan graciously gave us permission to do so.  We aired the first episode,…

Ep. 87: YWAM, Justice for Sankey, Preachers’N’Sneakers

On today’s program, more controversy at the Christian mega-ministry Youth with a Mission.  And we question why pastors need $800 sneakers.  We begin today with an update on last week’s mass shooting in Atlanta.  The church the alleged gunman attended has now issued a statement.  The church of the alleged gunman in the fatal shootings of eight people, including six Asian women, in Atlanta-area spas, has distanced itself from the suspect, saying it was “absolutely…

Ep. 86: Phil Cooke and Warren Smith Discuss Ravi Zacharias – and Character for Christian Leaders

Here at MinistryWatch we bring you news about Christian ministries, as well as the latest in charity and philanthropy, all designed to help us become better stewards of the resources God has entrusted to us. Regular listeners to the program know that these “MinistryWatch Extra” episodes are a chance for us to “go deep” with some of our editorial partners.  But today, I’m bringing you something a bit different, because the guest today is not…

Ep. 85: Youth With A Mission, RZIM Financial Liability, and Bible Translation Fundraising Schemes

On today’s program, we take a close look at Youth With A Mission and the possible financial liability Ravi Zacharias International Ministries may have toward victims of its founder’s sexual abuse.  We begin today with news of a women’s conference that raised $1.5-million for Bible translation.  But questions remain about where the money is going. Each week, MinistryWatch brings you news about Christian ministries, as well as the latest in charity and philanthropy, news that…

Ep. 84: Pastor Dan Burrell Interviews Warren Smith

Regular listeners to the program know that these “MinistryWatch Extra” episodes are a chance for us to “go deep” with some of our editorial partners.  But today, I’m bringing you something a bit different, because the guest today is…well, it’s me. Here at MinistryWatch we bring you news about Christian ministries, as well as the latest in charity and philanthropy, all designed to help us become better stewards of the resources God has entrusted to…

Ep. 83: Beth Moore, Ravi Zacharias, Gospel For Asia, and Luis Palau

On today’s program, new developments in the Dave Ramsey and Gospel for Asia stories, and Beth Moore blows up the Internet with her decision to leave the Southern Baptist Church.  And evangelist Luis Palau is in hospice care after taking a turn for the worse in his three-year battle with lung cancer.  We begin today with the latest from Ravi Zacharias International Ministries. Each week, MinistryWatch brings you news about Christian ministries, as well as…

Ep. 82: A Conversation with Paul Glader of The King’s College

Today, I’m pleased to welcome back to the program Paul Glader.  Paul is the editor-in-chief at Religion Unplugged and the director of the journalism program at The King’s College in New York City.  His journalism experience includes a long tenure with the Wall Street Journal. Here at MinistryWatch we bring you news about Christian ministries, as well as the latest in charity and philanthropy, all designed to help us become better stewards of the resources…

Ep. 81: Bethany Christian Services Caves, Boy Scouts’ $300-M Offer Rejected

On today’s program, Bethany Christian Services caves in to LGBTQ activists, and the Boy Scouts make an offer to deal with tens of thousands of sexual abuse cases, but victims say that offer is not nearly enough.  We begin today with news from The Master’s University, the California college founded by John MacArthur. The producers for today’s program are Rich Roszel and Steve Gandy. We get database and other technical support from Cathy Goddard, Stephen…

Ep. 80: Julie Roys on the Doxing of Christian Journalists

Today, I’m pleased to have back on the program Julie Roys.  Julie Roys runs The Roys Report, an investigative journalism website.  She also has a podcast of the same name. Here at MinistryWatch we bring you news about Christian ministries, as well as the latest in charity and philanthropy, all designed to help us become better stewards of the resources God has entrusted to us.  Regular listeners to the program know that these “MinistryWatch Extra” episodes…

Ep. 79: “Cancel Culture” and Christian Ministries, PLUS: Southern Baptists Expel Churches

Each week, MinistryWatch brings you news about Christian ministries, as well as the latest in charity and philanthropy, news that we examine from a Christian worldview perspective.  Our goal is to help us become better stewards of the resources God has entrusted to us. On today’s program, the Southern Baptist Convention expels four churches.  We’ll explain why.  And some Christian leaders don’t take kindly to journalists writing about them.  We’ll discuss their practice of doxing…

Ep. 78: Why Executives Fail – And What To Do About It

Today, I’m pleased to have back to the program Dr. Patrick Wright.  He is the Thomas C. Vandiver Bicentennial Chair in Business, and he is the Director of the Center for Executive Succession at the Darla Moore School of Business, which is at the University of South Carolina. Here at MinistryWatch, we bring you news about Christian ministries, as well as the latest in charity and philanthropy, all designed to help us become better stewards…

Ep. 77: Homosexuality and the SBC, John MacArthur, and Ravi Zacharias

On today’s program, a Southern Baptist church in the Atlanta area rebels against the denomination on the issue of homosexuality, and pastors who participated in the events in Washington DC on Jan. 6 are facing consequences from their home churches.  We begin with more news from the rapidly evolving situation at Ravi Zacharias International Ministries. Each week, MinistryWatch brings you news about Christian ministries, as well as the latest in charity and philanthropy, news that…

Ep. 76: A Conversation With Chuck Bentley of Crown Financial Ministries

Here at MinistryWatch we bring you news about Christian ministries, as well as the latest in charity and philanthropy, all designed to help us become better stewards of the resources God has entrusted to us.  Regular listeners to the program know every Friday we do a weekly news roundup.  Those are episodes I co-host with Natasha Smith. But these MinistryWatch Extra episodes are a chance for us to “go deep,” you might say, with one…

Ep. 75: Max Lucado, Eric Metaxas, Pastors & Porn, and Habitat for Humanity

On today’s program, LGBTQ activists object to evangelical pastor Max Lucado’s sermon at the National Cathedral.  And pastors are caught up in a child porn sting operation in Florida.  We begin today with the story of well-known radio personality Eric Metaxas, who was named this week in a defamation lawsuit. Each week, MinistryWatch’s Warren Smith and Natasha Smith (no relation!) brings you news about Christian ministries, as well as the latest in charity and philanthropy,…

Ep. 74: A Conversation with ECFA President Michael Martin

Here at MinistryWatch we bring you news about Christian ministries, as well as the latest in charity and philanthropy, all designed to help us become better stewards of the resources God has entrusted to us.  On today’s MinistryWatch Extra episode we present a recent conversation I had with the president of the Evangelical Council for Financial Accountability, Michael Martin. In 1977, Senator Mark Hatfield convened a group of ministry leaders to meet to see how…

Ep. 73: Ministry Banned on Twitter

On today’s program, the Museum of the Bible is making an expensive effort to get things right.  And Russell Moore, the Southern Baptist’s top ethicist, is the subject of a new report released this week by his denomination.  We begin today with news that one of Focus on the Family’s Twitter accounts has been banned from Twitter. Each week, MinistryWatch brings you news about Christian ministries, as well as the latest in charity and philanthropy,…

Ep. 72: A Conversation With WORLD Magazine’s Michael Reneau

Today, I’m pleased to have back on the program Michael Reneau.  Michael is the Editor of WORLD Magazine.  He came to WORLD after a successful tenure as an award-winning editor at The Greeneville Sun, a daily newspaper serving East Tennessee. On today’s program, we discuss the pro-life movement and the state of politics in the post-Trump era. Here at MinistryWatch, we bring you news about Christian ministries, as well as the latest in charity and…

Ep. 71: Has Colorado Springs Lost Its Cool?

On today’s program, controversial pastor and ministry leader David Jang is in the news again, and we take a look at the growth of Donor Advised Funds.  We also ask:  Is Colorado Springs losing its cool as a home for Christian ministries?  We begin today with more news from Hillsong Church. Each week, MinistryWatch brings you news about Christian ministries, as well as the latest in charity and philanthropy, news that we examine from a…

Ep. 70: A Conversation with Julie Roys

Today, we discuss the investigation into Pastor Bryan Lorrits, the whereabouts and health of Pastor John MacArthur, the changes that are needed at Ravi Zacharias International Ministries, and developments at Dave Ramsey’s organization, Ramsey Solutions. Here at MinistryWatch we bring you news about Christian ministries, as well as the latest in charity and philanthropy, all designed to help us become better stewards of the resources God has entrusted to us.  Regular listeners to the program…

Ep. 69: Dave Ramsey Under The Spotlight

On today’s program, the annual March for Life is going virtual this year amid concerns of COVID.  We also have a deep dive into Ramsey Solutions, the company behind the popular money guru Dave Ramsey.  We begin today with news that a Christian crowd-funding site was used to finance the efforts of the Proud Boys and other radical groups associated with the Jan. 6 insurrection in Washington, D.C. Each week, MinistryWatch brings you news about…

Ep. 68: Rehabilitating Ravi Zacharias

On today’s program, so-called modern-day prophets are coming under scrutiny for their false prophecies concerning the recent presidential election.  The mobile hospital of Samaritan’s Purse is saving lives all over the country.  And MinistryWatch President Warren Smith prescribes a way back for Ravi Zacharias International Ministries, which has been rocked by recent troubles. We begin today with the World Watch List from Open Doors of countries that are the worst when it comes to the…

Ep. 67: Jim Denison and The US Capitol Incident

Today, we have on the program, Jim Denison. Jim is the founder of The Denison Forum, which in the past few years has emerged as one of the leading Christian worldview voices on radio and the Internet. We’ve had Jim on the podcast before and I wanted to bring him back to discuss the events of the past week in Washington and to ask how Christians should respond. Here at MinistryWatch, we bring you news…

Ep. 66: MinistryWatch’s List of Highly Paid Ministry Executives

On today’s program, updates regarding Hillsong and Ravi Zacharias, as well as a discussion of MinistryWatch’s list of Highly Paid Ministry Executives.  We begin today with the riot in Washington, DC, on Wednesday.  Specifically, with the reaction of faith leaders to the violence. Each week, MinistryWatch brings you news about Christian ministries, as well as the latest in charity and philanthropy, news that we examine from a Christian worldview perspective.  Our goal is to help…

Ep. 65: MinistryWatch Extra With WORLD’s Michael Reneau

Today’s guest is Michael Reneau.  Michael is the Editor of WORLD Magazine.  He came to WORLD after a successful tenure as an award-winning editor at The Greeneville Sun, a daily newspaper serving East Tennessee. Here at MinistryWatch we bring you news about Christian ministries, as well as the latest in charity and philanthropy, all designed to help us become better stewards of the resources God has entrusted to us. Regular listeners to the program know that…

Ep. 64: Top 10 Stories Of The Year With Julie Roys

Today, I’m pleased to have on the program Julie Roys.  Julie Roys runs The Roys Report, an investigative journalism website.  She also has a podcast of the same name.    Julie and I are going to do something a bit special today.  This is the week before Christmas, and our last MinistryWatch podcast episode of the year, so we are going to go down the list of the top 10 stories of the year, as judged by you,…

Ep. 63: A Tribute to the Anti-Celebrity Preacher

On today’s program, a new development with Ravi Zacharias International Ministries, Christian Finance Guru Dave Ramsey is throwing a big staff Christmas party that is drawing national attention, and in this age of celebrity flame-outs, we highlight the lives of two men who served God and their neighbors quietly and faithfully for decades.  We begin today with an investigation of possible abuses of the Payroll Protection Program. The producers for today’s program are Rich Roszel…

Ep. 62: Paul Glader

Here at MinistryWatch we bring you news about Christian ministries, as well as the latest in charity and philanthropy, all designed to help us become better stewards of the resources God has entrusted to us.  Regular listeners to the program know that I do a regular weekly roundup of the week’s ministry news with my co-host Natasha Smith.  But these MinistryWatch Extra episodes are a chance for us to “go deep,” you might say, with…

Ep. 61: A COVID Christmas

On today’s program, an update on the controversy regarding Carl Lentz and Hillsong Church.  We also examine how the COVID crisis has impacted Christmas outreaches, including Living Nativity Scenes and Singing Christmas trees.  We’ll talk about how churches are adjusting.  And we have the latest in our Generous Living series.  The story of a man who died in 2015 whose legacy of generosity is still being felt today. If you want to dig deep into…

Ep. 60: Don Sweeting

On this week’s MinistryWatch Extra episode: the president of Colorado Christian University, Dr. Don Sweeting. Don is the president of CCU is a long-tenured veteran in Christian higher education leadership. Before taking over the presidency of Colorado Christian University in 2016, he was the president of Reformed Theological Seminary’s Orlando campus. He also spent many years as a pastor in the Evangelical Presbyterian Church. He holds degrees from Moody Bible Institute, Oxford University, and Trinity…

Ep. 59: Ponzi Schemes, Schisms, and Scams

On today’s program, The United Methodist Church, which has been facing a split for years, finally cracks.  We continue our Shining Light series with a story about a program that helps at-risk boys become responsible men.  And the Supreme Court gives Religious Liberty a boost. We begin today with the story of a con man who has defrauded investors out of $35-million by targeting the members of a church in California. Each week, MinistryWatch brings…

Ep. 58: A Conversation with WORLD’s Michael Reneau

Here at MinistryWatch, we bring you news about Christian ministries, as well as the latest in charity and philanthropy, all designed to help us become better stewards of the resources God has entrusted to us.  Today, I’m pleased to have on the program Michael Reneau. Michael is the Editor of WORLD Magazine.  He came to WORLD after a successful tenure as an award-winning editor at The Greeneville Sun, a daily newspaper serving East Tennessee. To…

Ep. 57: Boy Scouts of America & The Importance of Youth Protection Policies

On today’s program, John MacArthur’s California church is cleared by local health officials as being the source of a COVID outbreak.  We have the latest in our “Shining Light” series of stories.  This week we feature a ministry that provides a safe place for children and their mothers who are recovering from substance abuse.  We begin today with the story of the Boy Scouts.  Monday was the deadline set by a bankruptcy court for filing…

Ep. 56: A Conversation with Dr. Robert Myers, President of Toccoa Falls College

Today, I’m pleased to share with you my conversation with the president of Toccoa Falls College, Dr. Robert Myers. Colleges are the recipients of hundreds of millions of donor dollars every year.  They are also on the front lines of many of today’s most important cultural battles.  They are powerful tools for shaping culture – both for good or for ill – and they are often defining moments in the lives of individual students, who…

Ep. 55: Gospel for Asia, Succession Planning, and Trump’s Evangelical Advisors

Each week, MinistryWatch brings you news about Christian ministries, as well as the latest in charity and philanthropy, news that we examine from a Christian worldview perspective.  Our goal is to help us become better stewards of the resources God has entrusted to us.  On today’s program, we talk succession planning by taking a look at two organizations that are struggling with that problem, plus the next installment of our Generous Living series.  But we…

Ep. 54: A Conversation with Religion Unplugged’s Paul Glader

Here at MinistryWatch, we bring you news about Christian ministries, as well as the latest in charity and philanthropy, all designed to help us become better stewards of the resources God has entrusted to us. Today, I’m pleased to welcome back to the program Paul Glader.  Paul is the editor-in-chief at Religion Unplugged and the director of the journalism program at The King’s College in New York City.  His journalism experience includes a long tenure…

Ep. 53: Hillsong, Compassion International, and Willow Creek

On today’s program, a pastor in the popular Hillsong movement has been fired for an unspecified “moral failure.”  We’ll have details.  Compassion International reaches a financial milestone.   And we have the latest installment in our Generous Living series, the story of a young couple whose financial stewardship has motivated generosity in others. We begin today with massive staff cuts at Chicagoland’s Willow Creek Church. Each week, MinistryWatch brings you news about Christian ministries, as well…

Ep. 52: The State of Christian Higher Ed with David Dockery

On today’s MinistryWatch Extra podcast, a special presentation of my conversation with David Dockery. It is likely that Christian education in this country would look significantly different were it not for the life and work of David Dockery.  He has served as president of Trinity International University, in the Chicago area, and as president of Union University, during a time when Union faced a significant crisis – which we’ll talk about later in the program. …

Ep. 51: Preachers Behaving Badly

On today’s program, The Episcopal Church’s embrace of theological liberalism has caused such a steep decline that the denomination’s very existence is in question.  Jerry Falwell Jr. sues Liberty University.  Warren explains why MinistryWatch finally decided to cover the “peeing pastor.”  And we have the latest installment in our “Generous Living” series.  A pastor and his family from Texas who live simply, tithe, pay their bills and give away everything else. Up first today, the…

Ep. 50: A Conversation with Religion Unplugged’s Paul Glader

Here at MinistryWatch we bring you news about Christian ministries, as well as the latest in charity and philanthropy, all designed to help us become better stewards of the resources God has entrusted to us. Regular listeners to the program know that this month we began these “MinistryWatch Extra” episodes.  We will continue our regular Friday weekly roundup episodes.  Those are episodes I co-host with Natasha Smith.  But these MinistryWatch Extra episodes are a chance…

Ep. 49: Liberty U., Ridgecrest, Moody Bible Institute, and Chris Rice

Each week, MinistryWatch brings you news about Christian ministries, as well as the latest in charity and philanthropy, news that we examine from a Christian worldview perspective.  Our goal is to help us become better stewards of the resources God has entrusted to us.   This week, Christina Darnell is sitting in for Natasha Smith, who is on assignment. On today’s program, Liberty University announced the details of its audit of the tenure of Jerry Falwell…

Ep. 48: A Conversation with Investigative Journalist Julie Roys

Hello, everyone.  I’m Warren Smith and I’d like to welcome you to the MinistryWatch podcast.  Here at MinistryWatch we bring you news about Christian ministries, as well as the latest in charity and philanthropy, all designed to help us become better stewards of the resources God has entrusted to us. Regular listeners to the program know that this month we began these “MinistryWatch Extra” episodes.  We will continue our regular Friday weekly roundup episodes.  Those…

Ep. 47: Religious Liberty, Abuse at a Girl’s Boarding School, and Wycliffe Associates President Is Out

On today’s program, A boarding school in Missouri was abruptly shut down after allegations of sexual, physical, and emotional abuse.  While cities, towns, and organizations are removing statues and re-naming buildings all over the country, the Southern Baptist Convention has decided to leave their buildings alone.  We’ll examine why.  And we continue our Generous Living series with the story of a toy shop owner who became successful beyond his wildest dreams, but now believes it’s…

Ep. 46: A Conversation with WORLD’s Michael Reneau

Hello, everyone.  I’m Warren Smith and I’d like to welcome you to the MinistryWatch podcast.  Here at MinistryWatch we bring you news about Christian ministries, as well as the latest in charity and philanthropy, all designed to help us become better stewards of the resources God has entrusted to us. Regular listeners to the program know that last week we began these “MinistryWatch Extra” episodes.  We will continue our regular Friday weekly roundup episodes.  Those…

Ep. 45: James MacDonald, Ravi Zacharias, John MacArthur, and Immigration

Each week, Warren and Natasha bring you news about Christian ministries, as well as the latest in charity and philanthropy, news that we examine from a Christian worldview perspective.  Our goal is to help us become better stewards of the resources God has entrusted to us.  On today’s program, updates on previous stories involving Ravi Zacharias and John MacArthur.  We’ll also have a story about a non-profit organization that provides alternative funding sources for African-American…

Ep. 44: A Conversation with Kay Warren

On today’s MinistryWatch Extra podcast, a special presentation of my conversation with Kay Warren. I had this conversation with Kay in Dallas, Texas. Kay Warren, the co-founder of Saddleback Church with her husband, Rick, is a speaker, best-selling author, and Bible teacher.  She is perhaps best known as an advocate for those living with mental illness and HIV & AIDS.  Following the death of her son Matthew by suicide, in 2013, Kay became an advocate…

Ep. 43: James MacDonald, Jerry Falwell, Jr., and Why MinistryWatch Covered The Ravi Zacharias Story

On today’s program, new sexual abuse charges have been leveled against the recently deceased Christian apologist Ravi Zacharias.  We’ll have the latest.  Also on today’s program:  When unwanted or disruptive people log on to your Zoom meeting, that’s come to be called Zoombombing.  It’s starting to happen in church services and other worship gatherings.  We’ll have a report.  And we’ll have the latest installment in our Generous Living series.  Today a couple from Manhattan who…

Ep. 42: A Conversation with John and Ashely Marsh

I’m Warren Smith.  Thanks for joining us for the MinistryWatch podcast. At MinistryWatch we bring you the latest in charity and philanthropy, all designed to help us become better stewards of the resources God has entrusted to us.  On today’s MinistryWatch Extra episode, John and Ashely Marsh If you type “death of small-town America” into a search engine, you’ll get more than a half-million hits.  You’ll find stories about the death of Rust Belt cities. …

Ep. 41: Denominations Change Names, Navajo Ministries, and Word Vision Ambush

On today’s program, two of the nation’s largest protestant denominations – the Southern Baptists and the United Methodists – consider changing their logos and even their names as a way of putting past racial insensitivities behind them.  But the changes are not universally welcome.  A new study says liberal congregations are significantly more political than conservative ones.  And we take a look at Navajo Ministries, which is doing remarkable work in the Four Corners region…

Ep. 40: Bryan Owens and the Theology of Work

On today’s MinistryWatch Extra episode we have Bryan Owens. Mr. Owens has turned a highly specific, niche business into a multi-million dollar operation that has also become a significant tourist attraction. In the process, he has developed what he calls a “theology of work,” which we’ll discuss later in the program. That business is Unclaimed Baggage. In 1970, Bryan’s father Doyle Owens bought some unclaimed bags from a bus company and sold the contents on…

Ep. 39: Charles Stanley, NFL QB Kirk Cousins, and Warren’s new book “Faith Based Fraud”

On today’s program, Dr. Charles Stanley is finally stepping down as the pastor of First Baptist Church in Atlanta – at age 88.  But don’t expect him to retire.  I’ll explain why later in the program.  And we have an update on the situation at Taylor University after the firing of a popular professor there.  Questions have arisen regarding whether the college followed appropriate processes in the firing of Jim Spiegel.  And we have the…

Ep. 38: A Conversation with Julie Roys of The Roys Report

I’m Warren Smith and I’d like to welcome you to the MinistryWatch podcast.  Here at MinistryWatch we bring you news about Christian ministries, as well as the latest in charity and philanthropy, all designed to help us become better stewards of the resources God has entrusted to us. Regular listeners to the program know that this month we began these “MinistryWatch Extra” episodes.  We will continue our regular Friday weekly roundup episodes.  Those are episodes…

Ep. 37: Well-Known Pastors Take Leaves of Absence

On today’s program, megachurch pastor Todd Wagner is taking a break from ministry following concerns about his leadership style.  And a beloved professor at Taylor University was fired for posting a video that he says is thoroughly biblical, but which received an anonymous complaint.  The college is now in an uproar over the controversy. But up first today is the story of TV preacher Perry Stone, who has been on a sabbatical since April for…

Ep. 36: A Conversation with Religion Unplugged’s Paul Glader

Hello, everyone.  I’m Warren Smith and I’d like to welcome you to the MinistryWatch podcast.  Here at MinistryWatch we bring you news about Christian ministries, as well as the latest in charity and philanthropy, all designed to help us become better stewards of the resources God has entrusted to us. Regular listeners to the program know that this month we began these “MinistryWatch Extra” episodes.  We will continue our regular Friday weekly roundup episodes.  Those…

Ep. 35: Falwell, MacArthur, and PPP Top Stories for August

On today’s program, updates to ongoing stories involving Jerry Falwell Jr. and megachurch pastor John MacArthur.  We’ll have the latest.  Also on today’s program, another church in California could be fined more than $25,000 for its defiance of COVID restrictions.  And Campus Crusade for Christ – now known as CRU and one of the largest Christian ministries in the country – gets only the third new leader in the organization’s history. You can find the…

Ep. 34: A Conversation with “America’s Giving Guy” Brian Kluth

On today’s MinistryWatch Extra episode, I talk with a man who is fueling a movement of generosity in this country, Brian Kluth. Brian has been called “America’s Giving Guy” because of his work to help Christians become more generous.  As you will hear him say later in the program, people aren’t born generous, and even when they are born again, that doesn’t automatically make them generous.  Generosity is learned.  Generosity grows as we grow as…

Ep. 33: The Falwell Fiasco: Where Was The Board?

On today’s program, Jerry Falwell Jr. has resigned as president of Liberty University, walking away with a reported $10.5-million severance package.  What lessons can the evangelical church learn from the Falwell Fiasco?  Also on today’s podcast:  Two hurricanes hit the Gulf Coast, and terrible straight-line winds level crops in the Midwest.  Christian relief ministries are responding.  And Christian publishing giant David C. Cook struggles to re-invent itself in the face of massive shifts in publishing…

Ep. 32: A Conversation with Julie Roys

Regular listeners to the program know that this month we began these “MinistryWatch Extra” episodes.  We will continue our regular Friday weekly roundup episodes.  Those are episodes I co-host with Natasha Smith.  But these MinistryWatch Extra episodes are a chance for us to “go deep,” you might say, with our editorial partners. Today, I’m pleased to have on the program Julie Roys.  Julie Roys runs The Roys Report, an investigative journalism website.  She also has…

Ep. 31: Young Life Faces Pressure, and Donor Advised Funds Soar

On today’s program, there’s been an explosive growth in donor-advised funds.  We’ll explain what they are, and why they’ve become an important philanthropic tool, even for those who aren’t wealthy.  We’ll also have an update on the stand-off between the state of California and pastor John MacArthur.  And we continue our Generous Living series with the story of a couple who doesn’t invest just money, but also time – lots of it – in the…

Ep. 30: A Conversation with WORLD’s Michael Reneau

I’m Warren Smith and I’d like to welcome you to the MinistryWatch podcast.  Here at MinistryWatch we bring you news about Christian ministries, as well as the latest in charity and philanthropy, all designed to help us become better stewards of the resources God has entrusted to us. Regular listeners to the program know that last week we began these “MinistryWatch Extra” episodes.  We will continue our regular Friday weekly roundup episodes.  Those are episodes…

Ep. 29: Trouble Continues at Wycliffe Associates – And an Update from Liberty University

On today’s program, trouble at the Bible translation organization Wycliffe Associates continues.  We’ll have an update.  Also on today’s program, the latest in our Generous Living series.  Most of our stories focus on people giving away money, but in today’s story, we feature a woman who literally gave away a part of herself.  But we begin today with the latest chapter in the ongoing saga of Jerry Falwell Jr. and Liberty University. Before we go,…

Ep. 28: Warren Smith talks with Paul Glader of “Religion Unplugged”

This is the first of our “MinistryWatch Extra” episodes.  Today’s guest is Paul Glader.  Paul talks to us about “Religion Unplugged,” a website with which MinistryWatch has a content-sharing relationship.  We’ll go deep into our editorial processes and look at the “making of” some of the stories from “Religion Unplugged” that we have posted at the MinistryWatch podcast. We also spend time talking about the mission of “Religion Unplugged” to train the next generation of…

Ep. 27: Race, Remembrance, and Responding To COVID

On today’s program, the US Capitol and the state of North Carolina came up with an elegant solution to the confederate monument controversy when they replaced the statue of a white supremacist with the statue of Billy Graham.  Also on today’s program:  have you ever signed your name to a petition for a cause you believe in?  You may have just given the group permission to share your contact information with the world.  We also…

Ep. 26: The COVID Dilemma For Churches and Ministries

On today’s program, the Texas-based ministry Gospel for Asia files for creditor protection in Canada.   Also on today’s program, a British ministry that believes it;s possible for homosexuals to change says it has been the target of death threats.  We’re going to begin today with extended coverage of how the COVID-19 crisis is impacting churches and ministries, and how some churches are pushing back on government restrictions.  While this is not a new story for…

Ep. 25: Remembering Two Fallen Leaders

On today’s program, one of the nation’s largest software providers for non-profit fundraising, Blackbaud, was hacked, and the data of millions of people were potentially put at risk.  Also on today’s program, theologian J.I. Packer died last week.  We have an appreciation for his work not just as theologian, but as a ministry builder.  We also have the latest in our Generous Living series.  This week, a businessman who employs prisoners, and gives his profits…

Ep. 24: Former Wheaton Chaplain Answers Charges And Silicon Valley Is Not All Greed

On today’s program, the Paycheck Protection Protection Program was designed to save jobs at organizations that didn’t have the money to pay its staff.  But some churches and Christian ministries that are flush with cash took the money.  We’ll take a closer look.  Also on today’s program, the Wheaton College chaplain that was fired last week is this week answering the charges against him.  And today’s Generous Living story is about a Silicon Valley couple…

Ep. 23: Paycheck Protection Program Abuse, COVID in Kanakuk, and Family Drama with John Ortberg

Welcome to the MinistryWatch podcast. On today’s program, a COVID outbreak at Kanakuk Kamps, a popular Christian camp in Missouri. Also on today’s program, pastor and author John Ortberg is in the midst of a family drama involving his transgender daughter that has become a public controversy. And Promise Keepers is back.  The men’s ministry that attracted 1-million men to the National Mall a generation ago will hold its first big event at the end…

Ep. 22: Supreme Court Decisions Impact Ministries and GOD TV Booted From Israeli TV

On today’s program, The Supreme Court is handing down decisions on an almost daily basis.  We look at a couple of those decisions that will have an impact on churches and Christian ministries.  Also, GOD TV gets booted off the air in Israel.  We’ll explain why.  And we continue our Generous Living series with the story of a young couple in New York City who is giving away 90%  of what they earn and living…

Ep. 21: Ministry In The Age of COVID, and A Summer Camp Faces Scrutiny

On today’s program, the campus ministry Christian Union is learning new ways to minister in the age of COVID-19.  A new survey says that while many Christians WANT to return to church, they still have plenty of concerns about safety.  And we continue our series on Generous Living with a profile of Greg and Ronda Brenneman, who have made philanthropy a family affair. We begin today with accusations of sexual abuse and exploitation of teenagers…

Ep. 20: Cancel Culture, Moody Bible Institute, And Philanthropy News

On today’s program, an Alabama pastor is under fire for liking a couple of posts on Twitter.  Now the city of Birmingham is canceling contracts with his church. Also on today’s program, Moody Bible Institute apologized for yearbook photos from the 1970s and 80s that portrayed students in blackface.  And at least 30 private schools, including Christian schools, will close permanently because of the COVID Crisis. We begin today with a landmark ruling from the…

Ep. 19: Tim Keller, Sen. Josh Hawley, Jerry Falwell Jr., and More

On today’s program, well-known pastor Tim Keller announced that he has pancreatic cancer.  Also on today’s podcast, non-profits are growing increasingly frustrated with Facebook.  And we hear about a doctor, whose conversion to Christ in 2014, transformed not only his life but his work as a doctor as well. But up first today:  Sen. Josh Hawley.  He’s asking why most churches and ministries are still banned from large meetings, but recent protests, some involving tens…

Ep. 18: Bogus Cancer Cures Target Christians, and Ministries Respond to George Floyd

On today’s program, the death of Ravi Zacharias due to cancer has caused some Christians to start promoting alternative therapies. We examine both their claims and their effectiveness. We also look at how the COVID-19 pandemic has affected the nation’s food banks.  Plus: new rules that will impact the nation’s non-profits. But first, the death of George Floyd. His death at the hands of Minneapolis police has prompted outrage around the country, but also a…

Ep. 17: Media Matters and Controversies With Well-Known Christian Leaders

On today’s program, more media outlets are converting to non-profit status.  Will that change how news is reported?  Also on today’s program, conservative Anglicans win a major lawsuit against Episcopalians in Texas.  And a well-known ministry leader, Bryan Loritts, is facing tough questions over his academic credentials.  Up first:  The men’s ministry Promise Keepers has canceled its planned rally this summer, another casualty of the COVID-19 Crisis. A quick MinistryWatch update:  Beginning last week we…

Ep. 16: Ravi Zacharias Dies, GOD-TV Stirs Controversy, FX Documentary Generates Response

On today’s program, Norma McCorvey, the Roe of Roe v. Wade, is the subject of a new documentary that has pro-life groups up in arms.  Also on today’s program, GOD-TV is generating controversy because of its programming in Israel.  And Planned Parenthood mistakenly got $80-million in COVID relief funding.  But will they give it back?  Up first is news that famed apologist Ravi Zacharias has died, following a short battle with aggressive cancer.  He was…

Ep. 15: Pastor Darrin Patrick Dies, plus updates on Wycliffe Associates and Liberty University

On today’s program, our ongoing investigation of the Bible translation organization Wycliffe Associates continues. Also on today’s program, Liberty University makes significant cuts to its philosophy department. Is it a sign of things to come? Plus, the people who give out journalism’s top award, the Pulitzer Prize, has recognized religion coverage. We begin today with the story of the death of yet another megachurch pastor by his own hand. Darrin Patrick, a megachurch pastor, author,…

Ep. 14: Beyond COVID: Churches and Ministries Slowly Returning To A New Normal

Samaritan’s Purse closes its hospital in Central Park as the COVID Crisis abates there.  Some churches are re-opening, while others are making plans.  And the “new normal” could include a new financial environment: Habitat for Humanity joins the ministries who have laid off staff, and the largest Christian media company, Salem, gets downgraded by Moody’s. Plus, Cedarville University’s president has been placed on administrative leave for his handling of a sex abuser at his college….

Ep. 13: Covid-Created Crises at Christian Camps and Colleges

On today’s program, Ohio’s Cedarville University fires a professor for alleged sexual abuse, abuse the school has known about for years.  Also on today’s program:  Alliance Defending Freedom, The Becket Fund, and other religious liberty law firms are finding the current Covid Crisis to be a busy time indeed. Plus, COVID could be fatal for some Christian colleges and summer camps.  Finally, if you can’t go on a mission trip, what about a virtual mission…

Ep. 12: COVID-19 Fallout & Investigating Andrew Wommack Ministries

On today’s program, the COVID-19 Crisis is having a significant impact on church giving. A new survey has the details. Also on today’s program: The COVID Crisis is giving churches an opportunity to shine.  One LA Church has given out 350,000 meals to the people in its neighborhood.  Plus,  Samaritan’s Purse, which has come under fire in New York City, has found an unlikely advocate. We close the show with MinistryWatch’s Guide To Giving During…

Ep. 11: Wycliffe Associates Under Scrutiny; Samaritan’s Purse Under Fire

On today’s program, we have an update on the massive Bible translation organization Wycliffe Associates.  The group’s PR and fundraising material says it can complete Bible translations in a matter of weeks.  But are their claims true? Also on today’s show:  Willow Creek Community Church, which has been embroiled in controversy for years, has a new pastor.  We’ll introduce you to him.  Plus, The Southern Baptist Church’s Russell Moore weighs in on the question:  Should…

Ep. 10: Should Christian Ministries Take COVID Stimulus Money? PLUS: Pro-Lifers Arrested For Violating Social Distancing Orders

Pro-life activist David Benham gets arrested outside an abortion facility.  He was charged with violating a local stay-at-home order.  The case has attracted national attention.  Also on today’s show:  a program that allows larger churches to help smaller churches. We begin today with that word of warning from Chuck Bentley, the CEO of Crown Financial Ministries, one of the best known financial ministries in the country.  Bentley says Christian leaders should think twice before taking…

Ep. 9: For Samaritan’s Purse, No Good Deed Goes Unpunished

On today’s program, the Christian ministry Samaritan’s Purse opens a hospital in Central Park to aid with the crisis there, but LGBTQ activists are not happy about it. Also on today’s program:  we look at the recently passed COVID Relief or CARES Act, the $2.2-trillion relief package. What’s in it for churches and Christian ministries? We also have the story of a Florida pastor who was arrested on Monday after he refused to stop holding…

Ep. 8: COVID-19 Responses, Stimulus Money For Churches

On today’s program, more stories about the consequences of the COVID-19 virus outbreak, including how churches and Christian ministries are responding.  Also on today’s program:  A Christian group that ministers to the children of military personnel. We begin today with news that Congress has passed a $2-trillion stimulus package that will include money for churches.  Churches will be able to apply for aid as part of the small business provision in the government’s $2 trillion…

Ep. 07: Christian Ministries In An Age of Covid-19

On today’s program, Samaritan’s Purse sends a mobile hospital to Italy.   Cru ministers to students at Cornell, and sports ministries active even though sporting events are canceled. Also on today’s program:  The Evangelical Council for Financial Accountability has a new president – who will face new challenges in the months and years ahead.  And Wycliffe Associates faces scrutiny over its million-dollar airplane. To learn more about the ministries mentioned in today’s program, just go to…

Ep. 06: David Jeremiah and the Evangelical Council for Financial Accountability

On today’s program we take a look at how Christian colleges are dealing with the COVID-19/Corona Virus outbreak. Also on today’s program: popular pastor David Jeremiah was recently inducted into the National Religious Broadcasters Hall of Fame, but his induction came despite lingering questions about financial improprieties at his ministry. We begin today with Wycliffe Associates, one of the charter members of the Evangelical Council for Financial Accountability (ECFA). Wycliffe Associates voluntarily resigned on Feb,…

MinistryWatch, Ep.5

On today’s program an update on Harvest Bible Chapel and James MacDonald. Also on today’s program: The Corona Virus hits close to home as two well-known pastors have been quarantined after being exposed to potentially deadly disease. We also bring the story of how Christian ministries have contributed to the resurgence of a major American city: Indianapolis, Indiana. We also have an update on Franklin Graham’s efforts to hold rallies in the UK. He is…

Ep. 04: The Decline of the Boy Scouts of America

On today’s program, Warren comes to you this week from the annual meeting of the National Religious Broadcasters in Nashville, Tennessee, and Natasha Smith reports from the evangelical ministry hub of Colorado Springs. On today’s program we discuss the fire at a Haiti orphanage run by an American church. It highlights problems with evangelical ministry in Haiti. Also on today’s program: Sexual abuse allegations at one of the most influential independent churches in the country:…

MinistryWatch, Ep.3

Every week, Warren Smith and Natasha Smith bring you news about Christian ministries, as well as the latest in charity and philanthropy, all designed to help us become better stewards of the resources God has given us. On today’s program we’ll discuss the bankruptcy of the Boy Scouts of America. Also on today’s program: A fraud conviction of ministry leaders in New York, as well as news that Southern Baptists have disfellowshipped a Texas church…

MinistryWatch, Ep.2

On today’s program we’ll discuss the closing of Portland’s Concordia University and what that closing is telling us about Christian higher education in this country. Also on today’s program, learn how Franklin Graham decides to hold evangelistic crusades in England even though every venue has cancelled on him. Plus, the Acts 29 church planting network faces another crisis of leadership and MinistryWatch’s Warren Smith explains Donor-Advised Funds and California’s efforts to regulate them. To learn…

Ep. 01: Troubles at Willow Creek Church

Welcome to the inaugural weekly edition of The MinistryWatch Podcast! On today’s program we discuss the following: 1. New revelations at Chicago-based Willow Creek Community Church. 2. A new approach coming out of Indianapolis called Purposeful Design that helps men in recovery. 3. A former chief executive at United Way of Santa Rosa County (Florida), Guyland W. Thompson, was sentenced to 51 months in prison for stealing $650,000 from the organization. 4. A look at…

MinistryWatch Introduces New Podcast!

MinistryWatch announces the launch of a new weekly podcast beginning Friday, February 7, 2020. MinistryWatch is a 20-year-old ministry that highlights the great work of faithful Christian ministries, and reports on ministries that have been, well, less than faithful. This new podcast will be a great tool for those who believe that transparency and accountability are vital to the renewal of the evangelical church in this country. Hosts Warren Smith and Natasha Smith will highlight…