Type to search

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. 361: Reggie Joiner, Kristen Ivy & Orange; Ed Young Retires, Missionary Couple Murdered

On today’s program, former CEO of Orange, Kristen Ivy, originally admitted to an “inappropriate relationship” with the ministry’s founder Reggie Joiner. Now, she’s reclassifying that relationship as clergy abuse. We’ll have details. Also, summer is the season of short-term missions—but The Chalmers Center has some warnings before posting about those trips on social media. We’ll take a look.  And, former S-B-C leader and long-time megachurch pastor Ed Young announces he’s retiring. But first, a young…

Ep. 360: Remembering Marshall Allen

On today’s MinistryWatch podcast we remember Marshall Allen, an investigative journalist who was a friend and supporter of MinistryWatch. To read a transcript of this podcast, click here. You’ll also find there links mentioned in today’s episode. The producer for today’s program is Jeff McIntosh. Until next time, may God blss you.

Ep. 359: SBC Prof, Pastor Indicted, Boy Scouts Fall But Trail Life Rises

World Vision Fined

On today’s program, the U-S Department of Justice has indicted a former professor and interim provost of Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary for obstructing justice in a sexual misconduct case. We’ll have details. Also, the Boy Scouts of America changes their name in hopes of boosting its dwindling numbers—but instead, a different scouting ministry is being flooded with requests for more information. We’ll take a look at Trail Life USA later in the program. And, World…

Ep. 358: More Thoughts On The PCA/David French Controversy

  On today’s EXTRA Episode, Warren Smith identifies four lessons we can learn from the controversy surrounding David French and the Presbyterian Church in America. To read more about this controversy: https://ministrywatch.com/editors-notebook-the-pca-david-french-debacle/ https://ministrywatch.com/pca-cancels-anti-polarization-panel-with-david-french-for-being-too-polarizing/ The producer for today’s program is Jeff McIntosh. Until next week, may God bless you.

Ep. 357: Mica Miller Update, When Helping Hurts Haiti, KP Yohannan,

Another Homeless Shelter Shut Down

On today’s program, a North Carolina Sheriff’s office has called in the FBI to help investigate the death of pastor’s wife, Mica Miller. We’ll have details. And, Haitian workers are concerned Christian donors could be hurting the very people they’re trying to help…and ask donors to redirect their money away from orphanages. We’ll take a look. Also, Gospel for Asia founder K-P Yohannan dies following a tragic accident. But first, another church is being told…

Ep. 356: Celebrities For Jesus: A Conversation with Katelyn Beaty

Katelyn Beaty believes that some Christian leaders use their fame and influence in positive ways. But too often, she says, fame and celebrity are cultivated for their own sake, or for the sake of profits and the building of personal empires. We see this phenomenon most conspicuously with the prosperity Gospel preachers. But, increasingly, these practices of the Prosperity Gospel have crept into mainstream evangelical ministries. That’s why Katelyn Beaty believes we should explore the evangelical church’s…

Ep. 355 : Eric Metaxes, Gunman in Pennsylvania Church, Investigation on Mica Miller

On today’s program, an investigation into the death of a South Carolina pastor’s wife, 30-year-old Mica Miller, has captured the attention of people across the nation, raising questions about mental health and abuse. We’ll look at the latest findings. A Pennsylvania pastor faces a gunman in the middle of his Sunday sermon. We’ll have details. A new Southern Baptist report details where member churches stand with attendance, baptisms, and sexual abuse reforms. We’ll take a…

Ep. 354: A Conversation with Aaron Renn About Life In The Negative World

For centuries, Christianity has been seen as a positive force in the world – even by those who are not Christians. But my guest today, Aaron Renn, argues that this perception has changed. In a widely read and discussed article for “First Things” magazine, first published a decade ago, Renn said that the world up until 1964 was a “positive world” for Christianity. From 1964 to 2014, we lived in what he calls the “Neutral…

Ep. 353: United Methodist Church Approves LGBTQ Clergy, Wayne Grudem Retires, Metaxas and Feucht Hit Manhattan

On today’s program, the top legislative body of the United Methodist Church gathered in Charlotte, N.C., this week for its long-awaited General Conference. There, delegates cast decisive votes on issues of gender and sexuality.  We’ll have details. And, an Ohio church is under fire AGAIN for opening its doors to shelter the homeless. We’ll take a look. Also, Wayne Grudem, bestselling author of ‘Systematic Theology,’ is stepping away from academia after teaching for almost 50…

Ep. 352: A Conversation with Nancy French

Cancer, Politics, Ghost-Writing, and Life

Nancy French was not a household name in American politics — because she mostly operated behind the scenes. But she was well known in the highest levels of Republican circles. She was the ghost writer for politicians and conservative celebrities, with five books she wrote making it to the New York Times Bestseller List. But she found the Republican Party to be going down a path she could not travel, and eventually her political clients…

WEEKLY REVIEW: Database Changes, Podcast Highlights & More

Ratings rise for International Justice Mission, Jimmie Hale Mission ; Ratings fall for Mel Trotter Ministries

MinistryWatch Database Changes MinistryWatch now has more than 1,000 ministries in its database. These ministries represent more than $44-billion in total revenue, most of that donor revenue from evangelicals. The following ministries have their profiles updated in the past week (or so) with the most recent year’s financial data. The Financial Efficiency rating – indicated by a 1 to 5 star rating — is in parenthesis. The Transparency Grade and Donor Confidence Score is also…

Ep. 351: More on Driscoll-Lindell, A Seminary Survives, and Orange’s Reggie Joiner Resigns

On today’s program, Arkansas pastor Steven Smith steps down after fallout from mishandling abuse allegations against a former children’s minister. We’ll have details. Also, controversial megachurch pastors Mark Driscoll and John Lindell seemed to reconcile on stage at the Stronger Men’s Conference last week…but since then, tensions between the two leaders have only intensified. We’ll take a look. And, how a small U-S evangelical seminary is defying the odds. While many theological schools are shrinking,…

Ep. 349: Mark Driscoll, Calvin University, Chuck Swindoll

FIRST SEGMENT Warren Hello everybody.  I’m Warren Smith, coming to you from Charlotte, North Carolina. Natasha  I’m Natasha Cowden in Denver, Colorado. We’d like to welcome you to the MinistryWatch podcast. Warren On today’s program, General Episcopal Theological Seminary thought it had found a solution to its financial woes—until 7 bishops intervened, saying they didn’t want to be in partnership with a conservative. We’ll have details. Also, controversial pastor Mark Driscoll got booted off the…

Ep. 348: Eric Metaxas’s Letter To The American Church

Ten years ago, Eric Metaxas was the belle of the evangelical ball. Indeed, his evangelical bona fides were nearly impeccable. Early in his career he wrote for Veggie Tales and worked for Chuck Colson. He wrote humorously but piercingly about Christian apologetics. His biography of Bonhoeffer was named the book of the year by the Evangelical Christian Publishers Association. It sold more than a million copies and has been translated into 20 languages. His keynote…

Ep. 347: State Department Proposes Rules that Could Hurt Ministries

Salem Media Reports Big Loss

SHOW NOTES: On today’s program, a proposed State Department rule could impact employment regulations for nonprofits…and some ministry leaders are voicing concern. We’ll take a look. And, the North Carolina pastor who went viral for remarks he made from the pulpit about rape has apologized—but the controversy, which has sparked ongoing protests, caught the attention of lawmakers and inflamed the state’s debate over school vouchers. We’ll have details. Also, Salem Media—one of the only Christian…

Ep. 346: From Half-Time to Full-Time

A conversation with David Bahnsen about the dignity of work

You’ve probably heard that you should achieve balance in your life. Perhaps you’ve heard the old saying that “No one ever said on their death-bed that they wish they had spent more time at the office.” Maybe you’ve read the popular Christian book “Half-Time” by Bob Buford, in which he said you should reach a place in your career in which you pivot from “success to significance.” My guest today, David Bahnsen, doesn’t think much…

Ep. 345: T.D. Jakes, NC’s Pursuit Church, Birmingham Southern College To Close

On today’s program, North Carolina Pastor Bruce Frank is joining the crowded Southern Baptist Convention presidential race. Frank was a former leader of the SBC’s abuse task force. We’ll have details. And, Bishop TD Jakes is mentioned in a lawsuit against music mogul Sean ‘Diddy’ Combs—though the lawsuit does not accuse the bishop of wrongdoing. We’ll take a look. Also, another Christian college is closing its doors. But first, North Carolina’s Pursuit Church announced this…

Ep. 344: A Conversation with Andrew Peterson

He talks music, writing, community, Wingfeather, and becoming a ministry leader

Andrew Peterson is, as the old saying goes, a “man of many parts.” I first discovered Andrew’s music in the late 1990s, when his song “Nothing to Say” first became a favorite – and it still is. I began following his musical career and quickly discovered that he had more on his mind that music. He was building a community of artists in Nashville that were slowly making something great. Musicians such as Ben Shive,…

Ep. 343: Zoning Laws Shut Down Church Ministries, How To Navigate Crypto

More SBC Drama

On today’s program, an Arizona church is fighting to continue its food pantry ministry—but city zoning regulations threaten to shut it down. We’ll have details.  Also, the rise in crypto currency is forcing nonprofits to consider the pros and cons of taking crypto donations. We’ll take a look. And, the Evangelical Council for Financial Accountability announces a new leadership standard. But first, Adam Greenway is suing the Southern Baptist seminary he once led. Lawyers for Adam Greenway,…

Ep. 342: What We Can Learn From Lent

This week, the podcast highlights how the lessons of Lent and Holy Week can inform the way we lead and give in this post-modern age. To read a written version of today’s podcast episode, click here. The producers for today’s program are Rich Roszel and Jeff McIntosh. Until next time, Happy Easter. Christ is Risen. He is Risen Indeed!

Ep. 341: Chi Alpha, Compassion International, Child Evangelism Fellowship, and “Margin Stacking”

On today’s program, another person has sued the Assemblies of God and the denomination’s college ministry Chi Alpha. The victim, who is blind, claims he was sexually abused by one of the Chi Alpha leaders over the span of five years. We’ll have details. Also, Christians are often among the first to give to humanitarian aid nonprofits when a crisis hits—but where does the money go? We talked with some of the biggest ministries, like…

Ep. 340: Rickardo Bodden on Toxic Leadership

Leadership books have become a dime-a-dozen. But books that combine rigorous academic research, boots-on-the-ground leadership experience, and an understanding of scripture and church and ministry dynamics…well, those books are rare indeed. But that’s what we have in a new book called “End The Reign of Pain: Identifying and Treating Toxic Leadership.” In this book, by Dr. Rickardo Bodden unpacks what toxic leadership is, what causes it, and how toxic leaders can de-tox and how churches…

Ep. 339: American Bible Society Pivots, Trinity International University Cuts Programs, and Turning Point USA Holds Event

On today’s program, the American Bible Society is closing its state-of-the-art museum in Philadelphia…after spending nearly $100 million on it over the past decade. We’ll have details. Also, Texas church members support wildfire relief efforts—while also suffering losses of their own. We’ll take a look.  And, Trinity International University is cutting programs and changing leadership in hopes of righting a sinking ship. But first, we revisit Dream City Church in Phoenix, Arizona. Last week, we…

Ep. 338: Matt Bronleewe on the Founding of Compassion International

In the early 1950s, war had left tens of thousands of orphans in South Korea. Everett Swanson arrived there to preach the Gospel to the troops there, but he was overcome by the starving children, and he faced the question, “What are you going to do?” That question compelled Everett Swanson to start an organization that became Compassion International, now one of the largest orphan care organizations on the planet. Compassion now cares for more…

Ep. 337: Liberty University, Charlie Kirk and Turning Point USA

Lifeway makes a comeback

On today’s program, Liberty University faces a record-breaking $14 million fine from the Department of Education. We’ll have details. Also, Dream City Church in Arizona partners with Turning Point USA to host a politically flavored conference for ministry leaders. Featured speakers included Eric Metaxas, Sean Feucht, and Jentezen Franklin. We’ll take a look. And, later in the program, Wycliffe Bible Translators is selling its Florida headquarters. We begin today with a look at Lifeway Christian…

Ep. 336: Character Matters

A Conversation About Leadership with Marvin Olasky

In today’s secular, post-modern world, many Americans – even Christians – have settled for a transactional relationship with leaders in church, in government, and in our civic institutions. If those leaders give us what we want, when we want it, that’s all we ask of them. But Marvin Olasky believes that character matters when it comes to leadership. He has studied great leaders in American history, from the founding era to today, and he has…

Ep. 335: Calvin University, TD Jakes, YWAM, Artificial Intelligence in the Pulpit

On today’s program, Calvin University’s president resigns after allegations of misconduct surface. We’ll have details. Also, T.D. Jakes Foundation announces $9 million in grants—we’ll take a look at the recipients, plus take a deeper dive into some of T.D. Jakes other business ventures. And, A-I in the pulpit. As technology advances, pastors are faced with new opportunities…and ethical considerations. We begin today with sad news out of Tanzania. A bus accident claimed 11 of missionaries serving with Youth…

Ep. 334: Checking In On A Paradigm-Busting Bible Translation Project

Will "Translation Service Providers" change the way Bible translation is done?

Today I welcome back to the program Amy McClintock, with 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. Joining Amy is Al Fadi, who is helping to lead a bible translation project that we have been talking about for a couple of years here at MinistryWatch. More than two years ago, I started reporting on…

Ep. 333: SBC Executive Committee Meets & Disfellowships Congregations, Christian Persecution Growing Globally

On today’s program, SBC leaders met this week in Nashville and announced some significant decisions. We’ll have details.  Plus, a joint report from some big ministries details how persecution against Christians in Iran continues to worsen. We’ll take a look. And, our quarterly list of books worth noting. We begin today with news that the SBC is starting a new nonprofit. Leaders of the Southern Baptist Convention’s abuse reform task force announced plans Monday (Feb….

Ep. 332 : A MinistryWatch “Best-of”

Handling Allegations In A Ministry: A Conversation With Theresa Lynn Sidebotham

On today’s MinistryWatch EXTRA episode, we’re re-airing an episode featuring an interview I had with Theresa Lynn Sidebotham.  She’s an attorney and the author of a new book Handling Allegations In A Ministry:  Responses and Investigations. It’s not clear to me that we are seeing more incidents of sexual abuse in the church than in years past.  But I think it is fair to say that more stories are seeing the light of day.  The…

WEEKLY REVIEW: Database Changes, Podcast Highlights & More

Back to the Bible, Calvary University, Dare 2 Share among those with low Financial Efficiency Rating

MinistryWatch Database Changes MinistryWatch now has more than 1,000 ministries in its database. These ministries represent more than $41-billion in total revenue, most of that donor revenue from evangelicals. The following ministries have their profiles updated with the most recent year’s financial data. The Financial Efficiency rating of each ministry is in parenthesis. If this rating represents a change from the previous year, that change is noted: Alberto Mottesi Evangelistic Association, Inc.  (4 Stars, Transparency…

Ep. 331: Aaron Ivey, Abilene Christian University, Joel Osteen’s Lakewood Church, and IHOP Founder Mike Bickle

On today’s program, Worship Pastor Aaron Ivey—husband of popular podcaster Jamie Ivey—was fired from his church after they found evidence of explicit text messages with other men, at least one of whom was a minor. We’ll have details. Also, Abilene Christian University in Texas recently reviewed its sexuality policy in response to pushback from students and alumni…and they came back with a decision. We’ll take a look. And we have new information about the shooting at…

Ep. 329: The SBC, Child Sponsorships and Musicians

Ministry Executives Face Retirement

On today’s program, leaders of the Southern Baptist Convention’s Executive Committee face two new lawsuits. Also, big ministries often partner with Christian music artists to encourage child sponsorship, but where does the money really go? And we have results from our January survey of ministry executives. It appears that a changing of the guard is underway. We begin today with news that Pentecostal leaders are hitting the road to influence the upcoming election.

Ep: 328: A Conversation with Naghmeh Abedini Panahi

Naghmeh Abedini Panahi first made national news when she publicly advocated for the release of her then husband Saeed Abedini, who was imprisoned in Iran for his Christian faith. The story of “Pastor Saeed” became a global cause celebre, and Naghmeh was its primary spokesperson. But all was not well with Saeed and Naghmeh. When she finally revealed that she had endured years-long domestic abuse by Pastor Saeed, many Christian leaders who had previously used…

Ep. 327: Samaritan Ministries, Alistair Begg, United Methodist Final Tally of Disaffiliations

On today’s program, one of the big healthcare sharing ministries is suing New Mexico. We’ll have details. Plus, popular pastor Alistair Begg—whose radio program was dropped by American Family Radio last week—is standing by his advice about attending an LGBTQ wedding. We’ll explain.  And, the deadline for churches to disaffiliate from the United Methodist Church has passed…and the results are in. We’ll look at how many congregations have left. We begin today with news that a…

Ep. 325: Chi Alpha, Joel Osteen, Mike Breen and APEX Church

On today’s program, another Chi Alpha leader is out at the Assemblies of God college campus ministry. He was director over the regions where convicted sex offender Daniel Savala had access to students. We’ll have details. Joel Osteen is brought to tears during a Sunday service as he announces that his Houston church has paid off a 100-million dollar loan. Also, churches face fines for sheltering the homeless during brutal winter weather. More on that…

Ep. 324: Giving Up Power To Have Greater Influence

On today’s episode, I would like to tell you a story. It’s the story of a lunch meeting I had 15 years ago with Mark Dever and Garrett Kell. The lessons I learned that day are lessons that continue to resonate with me and are lessons I believe the church needs to learn. On today’s program I mentioned that Garrett Kell’s daughter Eden is facing severe health challenges. To find out more, please click here….

Podcast Ep. 323: Doug Wilson, TD Jakes, and Cru’s President Resigns

Open Doors releases list of most dangerous countries for Christians

On today’s program, Doug Wilson—the pastor who leads what some call a Reformed religious empire in Moscow, Idaho—has hired a law firm to protect himself and his organizations from defamation. We’ll have details. Also, Bishop T.D. Jakes has recently been the subject of scandalous rumors—but that hasn’t stopped him from preaching at the annual Maryland revival meetings where he’s been a guest speaker for more than 30 years. We’ll take a deeper look. And, the…

Ep. 322: Changes To The MinistryWatch Website

This week MinistryWatch President Warren Smith walks you through some of the recent changes we’ve made to the MinistryWatch website, and why we think these changes will help us serve you better. The producers for today’s program are Rich Roszel and Jeff McIntosh.  We get database, technical, editorial, and other support from Casey Sudduth, Kim Roberts, Christina Darnell, Rod Pitzer, Stephen DuBarry, and others. Until next time, may God bless you!

Ep. 321: Acts 29, Grand Canyon University, IHOP, and Remembering Donald Wildmon

On today’s program, one of the early members of the influential Acts 29 church planting network is leaving – and going public with its reasons.  Grand Canyon University, now the nation’s largest Christian college, faces new legal challenges. And we remember Donald Wildmon, the founder of the American Family Association, who recently died at age 85. We begin today with news that the shakeup at the International House of Prayer in Kansas City continues…this time…

Ep. 320: Answering Questions About MinistryWatch’s Annual Compensation Lists

MinistryWatch’s annual lists of highly paid executives (one for Christian ministries and one for colleges and universities), just published, are among our most read posts of the year. They also generate the most questions and comments. I’m going to take this EXTRA episode to answer some of these questions, and to ask a few of my own. You can find Kim Roberts’ article about Glory of Zion here. We’ve written about the relationship between IFCJ…

Ep. 319: Paul Pressler Lawsuit Settles

IHOP cuts ties with Mike Bickle, Taylor U. gets $30 M grant

On today’s program, the Southern Baptist Convention settles over a sexual abuse lawsuit against influential leader Paul Pressler.  Also, right before Christmas, the International House of Prayer officially cut ties with legendary founder Mike Bickle. We have details of Taylor University’s $30 million grant from the Lilly Endowment to revitalize its local community. And we also unveil our list of the highest paid Christian ministry executives in the nation. We begin today with news that…

Ep. 317: MinistryWatch’s Top 10 Stories of the Year

On today’s program, we take a look at the top 10 stories of the year from MinistryWatch. This list is based purely the number of page views, so in a very real sense, you could say that our readers compiled this list. However, for purposes of this podcast, I’m going to tweak with the list a bit. If you look strictly at the page views of individual stories, you get an interesting picture, but not…

Ep. 316: Churches Implicated in Haiti Arms Deal, YouVersion’s Top Verses, Bankruptcy Judge “Claws Back” Donations

On today’s program, a bizarre story out of Haiti. Haitian gangs are using churches to smuggle arms into the country.  We’ll explain how that scheme works. And a church in Alabama has to pay back nearly a half-million dollars given to it a decade ago because the man who gave the gift has now declared bankruptcy. And this church is not alone. We’ll have details. Later in the program, we look at the popular bible…

Ep. 315: A Conversation with Dr. Russell Moore

Dr. Russell Moore is editor in chief of “Christianity Today” and previously served as president of the Southern Baptist Convention’s Ethics & Religious Liberty Commission. Today we discuss his new book Losing Our Religion: An Altar Call For Evangelical America.” The producers for today’s program are Rich Roszel and Jeff McIntosh. We get database, technical, editorial, and other support from Christina Darnell, Kim Roberts, Casey Sudduth, and Stephen DuBarry. Until next time, may God bless…

Ep. 314: Brian Houston and Hillsong, Mike Bickle and IHOPKC, the UMC Breakup Continues

On today’s program, Brian Houston of Hillsong infamy is starting a new church. We ask:  is it too soon?  Also on today’s program: Mike Bickle of the International House of Prayer Kansas City has apologized for past behaviors, sort of. We also have an update on the lawsuit against prosperity gospel preacher David Taylor. We finally have a court date. Finally, American Life League has published a list of which non-profit organizations you should not…

Ep. 313: Tim Alberta and “The Kingdom, The Power, and The Glory: American Evangelicals In An Age of Extremism”

On today’s MinistryWatch EXTRA episode, we have Tim Alberta. Tim writes for The Atlantic and is the author of a new book that I think will likely cause shock waves in the public conversation about evangelicalism and its relationship to politics. FINAL THOUGHTS: Thanks to Rich Roszel and Jeff McIntosh for producing today’s program. Until next time, may God bless you.

Ep. 312: Museum of the Bible, More Hillsong Fallout, World Vision, and David C. Cook

On today’s program, former Hillsong Atlanta pastors announce their divorce on social media. We’ll have details. And a judge rules that World Vision is liable for discrimination after rescinding a job offer after discovering a woman was in a same-sex marriage. Plus, both David C Cook and Museum of the Bible announce new CEOs. We’ll take a look. We begin today with news that the historic Tenth Presbyterian Church in Philadelphia has ousted its pastor…

Ep. 311: Five Lessons For Ministry Leaders From A Demon-Possessed Man

The story of the Gaderene Demoniac in Mark 5 is one of my favorite stories. In a celebrity soaked age, it has lessons for pastors and ministry leaders. I identify five of them. By the way, if you’d like to read this episode, complete with links mentioned today, click here. FINAL THOUGHTS: The producers for today’s program are Rich Roszel and Jeff McIntosh. We get technical, database, and editorial support from Christina Darnell, Kim Roberts,…

Ep. 310: Mike Bickle and IHOP-KC, John Stackhouse, Trust in Christian Ministries Declines

On today’s program, New York opened a one-year window to allow adult abuse survivors to file lawsuits that were barred by the statute of limitations—that window closed on Thanksgiving Day. We’ll have an update. And we’ll look at a recent statement by the International House of Prayer in Kansas City about its investigation into its founder Mike Bickle. Also, religious groups are no longer the most trusted charities, according to a recent report by the…

Ep. 309: A Conversation with Steve Camp About Life, Music, and the Disrupting the Christian Music Industry

Any assessment of Contemporary Christian Music in the 1980s and 90s would have to include the name Steve Camp. His first national release, “Sayin’ It With Love,” topped the then fledgling Christian charts in 1978, 45 years ago.  He put out a steady stream of top selling albums and singles for the next 20 years. But in 1998 he did something that amplified his influence far beyond the Christian music scene. While on tour in…

Ep. 308: The Fundraising Appeal In Your Inbox is Compelling, But Is It True?

During the Thanksgiving and Christmas season, you will compelling, even heartbreaking, appeals for funds. One of them came to me from Prison Fellowship Ministries. It began: “Bibles are desperately needed in America’s prisons. Every gift you give will put Bibles and Christian content into the hands of a waiting prisoner.” But is that true? We tried to find out, and our search highlights the fact that donors to Christian ministries need to give generously, but…

Ep. 307: IHOP Kansas City, Scott Sauls Resigns, & The Dynamics of Church Hopping

On today’s program, the International House of Prayer in Kansas City has stripped its founding leader Mike Bickle of his duties pending a formal investigation into allegations of clergy sexual abuse. We’ll have details. Also, Bible publishers—are they stewards of God’s Word…or profiteers? We take a closer look. Then, later in the program, church switchers share the reasons behind their congregational change. We begin today with news that pastor and author Scott Sauls has resigned…

Ep. 306: In Praise of Pregnancy Resource Centers

Pregnancy Resource Centers (PRCs) are the heart and soul of the pro-life movement. They provide compassionate care to women and babies in more than 3000 locations across the U.S. The pro-life movement, in its pursuit of political victories, should not forget that if it wants to change not just laws, but the hearts and minds of Americans.

Ep. 305: Gavin Ortlund, Prager U, and Andrew Wommack

On today’s program, California pastor Gavin Ortlund is leaving to focus on his YouTube Ministry Truth Unites. We’ll have details. Also, PragerU a conservative media organization known for its 5-minute videos on hot button cultural issues, has grown from $10 million in revenue to $65 million in just five years. We’ll look at why. And we have the next article in our series of stories based on our quarterly survey of ministry leaders. We begin…

Ep. 304: A Few Thoughts on SBC President Bart Barber’s Apology

Last year, SBC President Bart Barber signed an amicus brief that was submitted to the Kentucky Supreme Court that argued against statute of limitations reform. The reforms that the SBC argued against were precisely the reforms that many sex abuse survivors want and have been working for in Kentucky and around the country. Bart Barber ultimately apologized for that action. Today, I offer a few thoughts about the chain of events that let to that…

Ep. 303: International House of Prayer, More SBC Problems, and Grand Canyon University Hit With Record Fines

On today’s program, the leader of the International House of Prayer in Kansas City, Mike Bickle, has been accused of sexual abuse spanning decades. Also, Grand Canyon University—the largest Christian university in the U-S—is facing record fines after a federal probe that claims the school lied to students about the cost of degrees. And, we have compiled a list of the largest Christian ministries in the U-S. We begin today with news that Kanakuk Kamps…

Ep. 302: Christian Leaders, Pornography, and the Healing Church

Here at MinistryWatch we write from time to time about sexual sin, scandal, and brokenness. It has been my experience that many of these stories have pornography as one component of the story.  It is also apparent that pornography has become something of a secret sin among church and ministry leaders. Some surveys have found that as many as 50 percent of church leaders have some involvement with pornography. Other studies say that a child’s…

Ep. 301: Korean Churches Leave UMC, Former SBC Seminary President Threatens Lawsuit, and Trump Attorney and “Christian Lawyer” Jenna Ellis Pleads Guilty

On today’s program, Christian attorney Jenna Ellis pleads guilty for her role in attempting to overturn election results in Georgia in 2020. We’ll have details. Also, Korean churches are leaving the United Methodist Church—but not without difficulty. And a Texas seminary has big changes ahead…we’ll share more later in the program. We begin today with news that the former president of Southwestern Theological seminary Adam Greenway is threatening the school with a $5 million lawsuit….

Ep. 300: The Gospel Coalition’s Collin Hansen on Tim Keller

On today’s EXTRA episode, I’m sharing a conversation I had recently with Collin Hansen. Collin is editor in chief at The Gospel Coalition, and he is the author of an intellectual biography of Tim Keller called “Timothy Keller: His Spiritual and Intellectual Formation.” I think it’s fair to call Tim Keller the “Accidental Celebrity.” When he went to New York City to found Redeemer Presbyterian Church in the 1980s, a clear-eyed assessment of his chances…

Ep. 299: Fake Covid Cures, Tim Ballard Sued, Tommy Nelson Retires, and Helping Israel

On today’s program, the family charged with using a fake church to promote its fake COVID cure has been sentenced. We’ll have details. Also, Tim Ballard—the hero behind the anti-trafficking movie Sound of Freedom—has himself been sued for sexual assault. And, our MinistryWatch guide for giving to relief efforts in Israel. We begin today with news that Tommy Nelson, the best-selling author and long-time pastor of Denton Bible Church in Dallas, has announced plans for…

Ep. 298: “Daily Wire” Article About “Christianity Today” Provides Teachable Moment

“Christianity Today” and “The Daily Wire” Provide Teachable Moment An article in the “Daily Wire” about the political contributions of “Christianity Today” staffers offer Christians a lesson in how to – and how not to – engage in truthful and fair public discourse. You can find the “Daily Wire” article here: https://ministrywatch.com/ministrywatch-guide-to-giving-to-support-israel/ You can find MinistryWatch President Warren Smith’s article about this “dust up” here: https://ministrywatch.com/dust-up-between-christianity-today-and-daily-wire-provides-a-teachable-moment/ The producers for today’s program are Jeff McIntosh and…

Ep. 297: Pregnancy Resource Centers Under Fire, The Ankerbergs Respond To Integrity Concerns, and Safety Concerns at Liberty University

On today’s program, we take a look at legal and verbal assaults on Pregnancy Resource Centers in California and New Jersey. Famous Christian apologist responds to the Evangelical Council for Financial Accountability’s decision to terminate his membership. And a new report says churches and ministries kept more than $7 billion in Payroll Protection Plan funds.  We’ll look at some of the details. We also look at a report from the Department of Education about Liberty…

Ep. 296: Will Journalism Save Evangelicalism?

Regular readers of MinistryWatch (or listeners to this podcast) likely already appreciate the value of hard-hitting, truth-seeking journalism. But in this episode, MinistryWatch President Warren Smith goes deep into this topic with Christianity Today’s News Editor Daniel Silliman. Indeed, you might even call today’s episode an apologia for Christian journalism with one of its master craftsmen. That master craftsman, Daniel Silliman, has been at Christianity Today since 2019. He got his start as a crime…

Ep. 295: Mark Driscoll, Andy Stanley, and Albert Tate…Oh, My!

On today’s program, we take a look at the 50 largest evangelism and discipleship organizations in the nation.  We also have details regarding the suspension of celebrity pastor Albert Tate. And the state of California has sued pregnancy care centers in the state. The lawsuit could have chilling effect on pregnancy resource centers around the country. And do you remember Mark Driscoll, the disgraced former pastor of Seattle’s Mars Hill Church?  Well, he’s back, and…

Ep. 294: What Christian Leaders Can Learn From A Jewish Economist

Julian Simon’s name does not mean much to many Christians today, but it should.  Julian Simon understood “the long game” when it came to public discourse. He knew that it was important not merely to win political victories, but to win hearts and change minds. It’s a lesson that ministry leaders and donors who want to make a difference would do well to remember.

Ep. 293: United Methodists, The AG’s Response to Chi Alpha Scandal, Christian College Growth, and Mildly Good News For The SBC

On today’s program, a Methodist nonprofit in New Jersey is embroiled in a religious liberty battle with local government over beach access. We’ll have details. Also, an Assemblies of God pastor speaks out against Chi Alpha, the denomination’s college campus ministry that’s currently knee deep in a sexual abuse scandal. And, a new study shows that Southern Baptist churches are growing in the Northeast…but does it tell the whole story? We begin today with positive…

Ep. 292: Who Controls The Wallet – Giving Decisions Among Evangelicals

Do women or men make most of the giving decisions in evangelical households?  That’s one of many questions Ron Sellers and Grey Matter Research asked in their most recent survey. In this conversation, we hit the highlights of his study. But if you want to know more, click here. The producers for today’s program are Jeff Mcintosh and Rich Roszel. We get database, technical, and editorial support from Stephen DuBarry, Christina Darnell, Kim Roberts, and…

Ep. 291: Liberty University, The SBC’s Leadership Meets, Andy Stanley, and World Vision Answers Sen. Grassley

On today’s program, new conflicts between Liberty University and Jerry Falwell, Jr. Now his brother Jonathan Falwell is in the mix. Andy Stanley, the pastor of Northpoint Church in Atlanta, is facing criticism for hosting a conference that many observers say affirms homosexuality. Plus, the Episcopal Church continues its decades-long decline, we’ll have facts and numbers. And the Southern Baptist’s leaders met last week in Nashville, and – well – things are still a mess….

Ep. 290: Remembering Robertson McQuilkin

Today’s EXTRA episode is based on Warren Smith’s “Editor’s Notebook” column, which you can find here. To hear Robertson McQuilkin in the YouTube video I mentioned in the podcast, click here. The producers for today’s program are Jeff McIntosh and Rich Roszel. I’m Warren Smith.  Until next time, may God bless you. Editor’s Note:  This episode and the original “Editor’s Notebook” column are based on an article written by Warren Smith in 2017 for The…

Ep. 289: SING Global Conference, Turning Point USA, and Aiding Morocco’s Earthquake Victims

On today’s program, a former executive at the American Family Association is suing for alleged sexual harassment. We’ll have details. Also, an annual conference founded by the hymn-writing duo Keith and Kristyn Getty pushes back on the spread of megachurch music. We’ll take a look. And tips for Christians wanting to give to disaster relief ministries providing aid in Morocco following a devastating earthquake last week. We include a list of ministries with high ratings…

Ep. 288: Tim Tebow, Florida Baptists, and “Jesus Calling”

On today’s program, Tim Tebow’s foundation is fighting human trafficking, and the presiding bishop of the Episcopal Church is responding to allegations that he has not done enough to deal with sexual abuse claims. And the Southern Baptists of Florida have released a report explaining how $700-thousand was stolen. The report finds no wrongdoing on the part of the staff, but recommends safeguards that all Christian ministries should pay attention to. We begin today with…

Ep. 287: Solving The Christian Higher Education Crisis

For the past four years, MinistryWatch has an annual list of the 50 largest Christian colleges and universities in the nation. This year’s list published today, and you can find it here. In today’s EXTRA episode, Warren Smith discusses this list and explains how we can solve the Christian higher education crisis with one simple fix: Christian parents, don’t send your kids to secular schools. The producers for today’s program are Jeff McIntosh and Rich…

Ep. 286: Christian College Under Scrutiny, Prosperity Gospel on the Rise, and John Blanchard’s Criminal Record Expunged

On today’s program, a closer look at a Christian college offering courses to prisoners raises more questions than answers. Plus, a new LifeWay study suggests that prosperity gospel beliefs are on the rise among churchgoers. We’ll have those details later in the program. And thieves swipe a massive air conditioner unit of an Atlanta church…in the sweltering heat of summer. We begin today with news that Virginia Beach Pastor John Blanchard has had his criminal…

Ep. 285: More SBC Troubles, Pulse Outreach’s Remarkable Claims, and Bank Of America Kicks Out Christian Ministry

On today’s program, the Southern Baptist Convention sees another leader resign in scandal…and names a new interim replacement. Also, Pulse Outreach—an evangelistic megaministry geared to young adults—claims they reached 300 million people with the Gospel…but won’t share how they GOT that number. We’ll get into all that later in the program. We begin today with news that a Christian relief ministry is accusing Bank of America of discriminating against them based on their religious beliefs….

Ep. 284: Smart Phones And Their Impact On The Mental Health of Ministry Leaders

Today’s podcast is based on this week’s “Editor’s Notebook” column, which you can find here. In today’s episode I mention Dr. Jean Twenge’s 2017 article in The Atlantic magazine. That article is “Has The Smart Phone Destroyed A Generation?” You can read that article here. I also mentioned Kathy Koch’s book Screens and Teens. You can get a copy of that book here. The producers of today’s program are Jeff McIntosh and Rich Roszel. We…

Ep. 283: Maui Giving Recommendations, John Ankerberg Out at ECFA, and a $35 M Fraud

On today’s program, Multnomah University in Portland, Oregon, drops its requirement that all students sign a statement of faith. We’ll have details. Also, an update on sexual abuse within the Chi Alpha college ministry—victims are sharing their stories on a newly created website forum…and a church is threatening to sue if some of the comments aren’t removed. Plus, giving to disaster relief organizations working in Maui—we’ll tell you who we recommend…and who we don’t. We…

Ep. 281: Josh Duggar, United Methodists, Anglicans, and More SBC Troubles

On today’s program, a judge has upheld Josh Duggar’s conviction on child pornography charges, and a prominent Austin church that had been started by the Anglican Church of North America has decided it’s too liberal for that denomination, and has decided to affiliate with the Episcopal Church. Plus, a couple of new studies indicate that giving to Christian ministries could be down in the coming year. We begin today with news that a former trustee…

Ep. 280: Should U.S. Reauthorize PEPFAR?

The U.S. is debating the reauthorization of PEPFAR, the President’s Emergency Plan For AIDS Relief. The 20-year-old government program has now spent more than $85 billion. PEPFAR has been championed by evangelicals, and evangelical ministries have been major beneficiaries of funding. But should funding continue? Some conservative and evangelical groups are saying no, and others say that new restrictions should be placed on the program to ensure that taxpayer dollars do not fund abortion or…

Ep. 279: Jerry Falwell, Jr., Sues Liberty University, Biblical Rebounds, and Helping Kids In The Foster Care System

On today’s program, a former president of a Southern Baptist state convention is being investigated for sex crimes. Also on today’s program, Biblica. The organization formerly known as the International Bible Society has seen a remarkable comeback, and we’ll take a closer look. We also examine a ministry in Arkansas that is helping kids who age out of the foster care system. It’s a huge problem in this country, and they may have a solution….

Ep. 278: MinistryWatch Update – August 1 Edition

Every month or six weeks MinistryWatch President Warren Smith drops a short episode updating our listeners on what’s going on at MinistryWatch. On today’s episode he fills you in on some of our recent initiatives, what to expect in the next month, and he includes a financial update. So if you’re one of those folk who want an “insider’s peek” at what’s happening at MinistryWatch, today’s episode is for you. The producers for today’s program…

Ep. 277: Operation Underground Railroad, Wycliffe Associates, Texas Baptists Affirm Women in Leadership Roles

On today’s program, Tim Ballard—hero of the hit movie ‘Sound of Freedom’—has been removed from two nonprofits, one of which is Operation Underground Railroad. We’ll have details. Also, the Bible translation organization Wycliffe Associates is asking for big donations, but giving few details on how they plan to use the money. And, tips for donors wanting to give to anti-trafficking ministries. We begin today with news from Texas, as the debate over women pastors has…

Ep. 276: Advice for Donors Giving To Anti-Sex Trafficking Organizations

Give locally. Before you send money off to a national organization that is taking in tens of millions of dollars, see if there’s a ministry in your community. My experience is that there likely is. Investigate that ministry first. Big ministries can afford slick marketing. Don’t be seduced. Do your research. MinistryWatch tracks the 1000 largest ministries in the nation here. Many of the largest trafficking organizations are there. But, as I said above, most…

Ep. 275: International Justice Mission, David C. Cook, Matt Redman, and Remembering Salem Media’s Stu Epperson Sr.

On today’s program, we discuss a BBC investigation that calls into question some of the so-called child “rescues” in West Africa initiated by the International Justice Mission. Also, financial troubles continue to plague Christian publisher David C. Cook. We’ll have details. And we’ll take a look at the latest state measures that could undermine donor privacy. We begin today with news of popular worship leader Matt Redman. He took to social media last week, saying…

Ep. 274: Checking In With SRG’s Amy McClintock About Translation Service Providers

Today I welcome back to the program Amy McClintock, with 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.  Two years ago, I started reporting on a new initiative by the Strategic Resource Group that – if successful – could have a dramatic impact on the way we do Bible translation. They are using a so-called…

Ep. 273: Operation Underground Railroad, More Christian Colleges Closing, and Ministries That Serve Foster Kids

On today’s program, a pastor and the brother of the Rev. Al Sharpton is in legal trouble again. We look at Operation Underground Railroad, the organization on which the new movie “Sound of Freedom” is based. We also begin a series on ministries that are working with kids who have aged out of the foster care system. We begin today with news of yet another Christian college shutting its doors. The producers for today’s program…

Ep. 272: How Are We Doing With Our Fiscal Year-End Fundraising?

Hello, everyone. Warren Smith here, coming to you from Newport Beach, California, where I’m attending a conference on Bible translation. If you listened to our recent podcast EXTRA episode titled “Just How Broken Is The Bible Translation Industry,” you know that I have a lot to say on this topic. We’ve written nearly 50 stories on this topic in the past two years. But the group I’m meeting with this week is all about solutions,…

Ep. 271: What Happens To A Teaching Ministry When The Teacher Dies? PLUS: Belmont University Cancels Promise Keepers

On today’s program, we look at how ministries who depend on the teaching of their founders – ministries such as Charles Stanley’s In Touch Ministries – are able to survive years or even decades after their founders have died. We also look at The Inspiration Networks. It has gone from being a small religious network to being one of the biggest cable networks in the nation. We explain how, and what the network aims to…

Ep. 270: Just How Broken Is The Bible Translation Industry

I’m Natasha Smith, and today you’ll be listening to a special episode of the MinistryWatch podcast.  We’re calling it “Just How Broken Is The Bible Translation Industry.” Over the course of the next month, we’ll be releasing a companion episode, “Fixing The Bible Translation Industry.”  Stay tuned for that. To read more of MinistryWatch’s coverage of the Bible translation industry, just go to the MinistryWatch website and use the search engine to type the words…

Ep. 269: Southern Baptists Make Historic Decisions, Bible Translation Innovation, and Campus Group Chi Alpha Faces Scrutiny

On today’s program, we look at an innovative Bible translation process coming from the African nation of Chad. We have new developments on a story we’ve been covering for several months, the story of the campus group Chi Alpha, which is associated with the Assemblies of God denomination. It’s been wracked by scandal, and there are new developments. We begin today with news from the Southern Baptist Convention. Nearly 13-thousand members of the nation’s largest…

Ep. 268: A Conversation with MinistryWatch Founders Rusty and Carol Leonard

In June of 1998, 25 years ago this month, Rusty and Carol Leonard officially incorporated MinistryWatch. To celebrate that occasion, and all that God has done to keep MinistryWatch alive and thriving over a quarter-century, we have Rusty and Carol on today’s podcast to talk about why they decided to found MinistryWatch, and some of the successes and trials they’ve experienced with MinistryWatch over the years. You’ll hear from Rusty and Carol in a bit,…

Ep. 267: Dave Ramsey, Rick Warren, and Daystar Wants Its $25-M Back

On today’s program, popular radio host and personal finance guru Dave Ramsey is being sued for $150 million over some of his advice that allegedly turned out badly for those who followed it. Also, one of the largest Christian broadcasters in the nation, Daystar Television Network, lost $25-million in the cryptocurrency market. Now they’re suing to get it back.  We’ll have details. Finally, we remember the remarkable life and career of Pat Robertson. We begin…

Ep. 266: Screening Candidates for Character Issues:  A Conversation with Dr. Rich Kidd

Regular listeners to this podcast, or readers of the MinistryWatch site, you know that we often write about preachers behaving badly. We do so because we believe it’s important to maintain the purity, peace, and unity of the church, and we believe what the Bible teaches, in Ephesians 5:11, that we should have no fellowship with the evil deeds of darkness.  We should, instead, expose them. But the goal is not merely to expose wrongdoers,…

Ep. 265: Assemblies of God Ministry Under Scrutiny, Christian Adoption Agency Gets Big Win, and More PPP Fraud

On today’s program, a Christian college group, Chi Alpha, which is associated with the Assemblies of God and operates on 60 campuses, is under scrutiny because some of its leaders sexually abused students. We’ll have important details. And a Christian adoption agency in New York has won important religious liberty protections that will allow it to continue to place children only in families with one-man, one-woman marriages. We begin today with a strange story from…

Ep. 264: Donor Confidence Is Slipping:  A Conversation With Rick Dunham

Donors are pulling back on their giving. The reasons for this pullback seem to be varied. There’s a crisis in confidence in institutions. In some cases, the personal circumstances of the donors themselves have deteriorated. Some are nervous about the economy. A new study by the fundraising, marketing, and communications company Dunham and Company has attempted to quantify these factors and more. I found the study fascinating, and I wanted to have Rick Dunham on…

Ep. 263: Johnny Hunt, Tim Keller, Harry Reeder, and Carl Lentz

On today’s program, The Word Network, which bills itself as the world’s largest African-American Christian broadcast network, is in trouble with the IRS. We’ll also have an update on former Hillsong pastor Carl Lentz.  He’s now the subject of a television documentary series, and he’s not happy about it. And there have been new revelations in the business dealings of former SBC President Johnny Hunt. And in the last segment of the program, we’ll remember…

Ep. 262: Florida Baptists Defrauded of $700-k, Carl Lentz is Back, and Saddleback Appeals Disfellowshipping by SBC

On today’s program, the Florida Baptist State Convention has been defrauded of more than $700-thousand. We’ll explain how the fraud worked, and how you can keep your church or ministry from becoming a victim. Former Hillsong pastor Carl Lentz is back in the news, and is soon coming to a television near you. And we look at a group of Christian ministries in Nebraska who are withdrawing from the local community foundation over the foundation’s…

Ep. 261: Community Foundations Exclude Christian Groups, Southern Baptist Membership Drop, and More Hillsong, UMC Drama

On today’s program, we look at the Lancaster Pennsylvania Community Foundation, which has implemented restrictions that could keep Christian groups from receiving funds.  It’s not the only community foundation in the nation to use non-discrimination policies to exclude Christian groups.  We’ll have details. And we also have updates on two stories we’ve been covering for a while:  Hillsong, and the breakup of the United Methodist Church. We begin today with news of significant membership declines…

Ep. 260: A Conversation With MinistryWatch Managing Editor Christina Darnell

Regular listeners to this podcast have heard the name Christina Darnell at the end of nearly every MinistryWatch podcast. Today you get to meet her. Christina is the Managing Editor at MinistryWatch and plays a vital role in our work.  As Managing Editor, she has edited virtually every one of the more than 3000 articles on the MinistryWatch website. I don’t want to do too much of an introduction, because I want to let her…

Ep. 259: T.D. Jakes, John Ankerberg, And Christians Re-Think The Tithe

On today’s program, Dallas megachurch pastor T.D. Jakes launches a billion dollar community redevelopment project.  We’ll have details.  And a former executive at Southeastern University in Florida pleads guilty to fraud. We’ll explain how the complicated fraud occurred. Also, a new survey by Lifeway Research indicates that Christians’ views on tithing are shifting.  We’ll have details from that study. We begin today with news that popular Christian apologist John Ankerberg has been suspended from the…

Ep. 258: Corporate Worship With Kelsey Kramer McGinnis

Hello everybody.  I’m Warren Smith, coming to you from Charlotte, North Carolina, and I’d like to welcome you to the MinistryWatch podcast. Here at MinistryWatch we cover a lot of stories about scams, scandals, and frauds in the church. Every story is different, of course, but I find that most of the scandals have one of two origin stories. The first story is the story of someone who sets out from the beginning to defraud…

Ep. 257: John Ankerberg Sues Whistleblower, Hillsong’s Brian Houston Pleads Guilty, and Hope For The King’s College

On today’s program, popular Christian apologist John Ankerberg has been under scrutiny after a former fundraiser for the organization filed a whistleblower complaint and shared it with both the Evangelical Council for Financial Accountability, and with MinistryWatch. Now, Ankerberg has sued the whistleblower.  We’ll have details. And Hillsong’s Brian Houston has pled guilty to DUI charges following a 2022 incident in California. Later in the program we’ll have the latest from The King’s College.  This…

Ep. 256: Abuse Prevention with ECAP’s Jeff Dalrymple

Regular listeners to this podcast, or readers of our website, know that we cover a lot of stories about sexual abuse. We take no pleasure in these stories, but we believe they are important.  To explain why, I would use a simple analogy.  I would ask you to imagine that you have a headache.  If you think this headache is caused by sinus pressure, or perhaps too much coffee, you will take a couple of…

Ep. 255: James MacDonald, Pastors and Planes, and Remembering Charles Stanley and George Verwer

On today’s program, former megachurch pastor James MacDonald has been arrested in California. We’ll have details.  We also have an update on our “Pastors and Planes” project, which we’re doing in conjunction with The Trinity Foundation.  Find out which ministries are using donor dollars to fly around in private jets. And we remember Charles Stanley and George Verwer, two giants in the evangelical church, both of whom passed away in the past week. We begin…

Ep. 254: A Conversation with MinistryWatch Podcast Co-Host Natasha Smith

On this week’s EXTRA episode, we’re doing something a bit different.  We’re featuring a short conversation with my MinistryWatch co-host Natasha Smith. Natasha shares a bit of her background, how she got to MinistryWatch, and some big news coming up in her life. The producers for today’s program are Rich Roszel and Jeff McIntosh.  We get database and other technical support from Stephen DuBarry, Emily Kern, Rod Pitzer, and Casey Sudduth. Until next time, may…

Ep. 253: Compassion International and Hillsong’s Multi-Million Dollar Deal, Plus More Upheaval at Bob Jones University

On today’s program, Compassion International paid Hillsong $1-million a year to sponsor its concert tour.  We’ll have details. Have you ever wondered why all the songs on Christian radio sound the same?  There’s a reason, and that reason is money.  We’ll explain. We begin today with the resignation of the chairman of the board of Bob Jones University. FINAL THOUGHTS:  A quick shout-out to the folks in Lancaster, Pennsylvania.  I’m there this week, and I…

Ep. 252: How To Prevent Financial Fraud in the Church With Matt Branaugh

Regular listeners to this podcast, or readers of our website, you know that we cover a lot of financial frauds.  It’s reasonable to ask, and often we get this question:  “Are you guys just going for sensationalism, or is financial fraud really that big a problem?” The answer is not one that any of us want to hear.  It really is a big problem. That’s why I wanted to have Matthew Branaugh on the podcast. …

Ep. 251: Bob Jones University, Convoy of Hope, and the United Methodist Church

On today’s program, the president of Bob Jones University resigns in what some media reports have called a coup by some of the hardline fundamentalist board members at the school. We also look at the remarkable growth of the relief and development ministry Convoy of Hope. We also look at why so many ministry leaders have been resigning lately.  Is it part of a trend, and – if so – why? We begin today with…

Ep. 250: Carl Lentz, Hillsong, John Ankerberg, and the Latest on the Shooting in Nashville

On today’s program, controversial pastor, Carl Lentz, is back in the pulpit two years after the scandal that forced him out of Hillsong. Popular Christian apologist John Ankerberg is facing accusations by a whistleblower that he took money that donors thought was going to pay for audio Bibles and used that money for other purposes. We begin today with the story that has horrified the entire nation this week.  The story of a shooting at…

Ep. 249: The King’s College, Johnny Hunt Sues the SBC, and the Richest Preacher in Nigeria Comes To The U.S.

On today’s program, we take a look at a Nigerian Prosperity Gospel preacher whose church, called the Winner’s Chapel, now has locations in 30 US cities.  We also have new information about The King’s College, the Manhattan Christian college facing a financial crisis. And a well known Christian filmmaker has pled guilty to felony sex charges. We’ll have details. We begin today with two stories about the Southern Baptist Convention.  The first one is about…

Ep. 248: Just How Broken Is The Bible Translation Industry – A Response From Andrew Case

On today’s MinistryWatch EXTRA episode, we’re doing something a bit different.  Let me explain. More than a year ago, in September of 2021, I wrote an article called “Just How Broken Is The Bible Translation Industry.” In that article I highlighted some of the problems I had seen in Bible translation world, from deceptive marketing practices to excessive spending on fundraising. I have a link to that article here. That article caused a minor stir…

Ep. 247: Arizona Christian University, Jerry Falwell Jr., “Our Daily Bread,” and Much More

On today’s program, Arizona Christian University’s student teachers are no longer welcome in the local public school system, and the college is fighting back.  We’ll have details. A Ponzi scheme that targeted Christians defrauded investors of more than $80-million.  One of the perpetrators of the fraud cooperated with authorities and got off with a slap on the wrist.  We ask why? The ministry behind the popular devotional magazine “Our Daily Bread” was the victim of…

Ep. 246: A MinistryWatch Update With Warren Smith

On today’s abbreviated MinistryWatch EXTRA episode, I’m going to give you an update on what’s going on here at MinistryWatch. Regular listeners know that late last year I started dropping in these monthly updates, and it appears that many of you find them interesting and helpful, as they’ve become some of our most listened to episodes. Today I’ll give you an update on what we’re doing, and let you know what we have planned over…

Ep. 245: Kanakuk Victims Speak, Tony Dungy and James Brown Pull Out of Andrew Wommack Conference, The King’s College Gets A Temporary Reprieve

On today’s program, Super Bowl winning NFL coach Tony Dungy has backed out of a conference hosted by Prosperity Gospel Preacher Andrew Wommack.  CBS anchor James Brown has, too. We explain why later in the program. Allen Stanford, who amassed billions of dollars in a Ponzi scheme that used unwitting Christian financial planners to sell his investment products, is now serving what will likely amount to a life sentence in jail. More than a decade…

Ep. 244: United Methodists, Saddleback and the SBC, John Ankerberg, and More

On today’s program, we have news from ACSI – the Association of Christian Schools International. They’re growing and changing, and not all of those changes are for the better. I’ll explain later in the program. We also have the latest news from Asbury University, where a revival started that is now sweeping the country. And we take a look at The John Ankerberg Show.  The popular apologetics teacher is under fire for his use of…

Ep. 243: Should Christian Critics Give Asbury, The Chosen, and He Gets Us A Rest?

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 wrote a provocative article for his webite, PhilCooke.com.  It’s called “Can Christian Critics Just Give The Asbury Revival, The Chosen, and He Gets Us A…

Ep. 242: Asbury Revival, Johnny Hunt and the SBC, Women’s Ordination at Saddleback, and More

On today’s program, the revival at Asbury University in Kentucky is entering a new phase, but it is also spreading to other locations. We also have updates on the Southern Baptist Convention’s struggles with one of its former presidents, Johnny Hunt. And in MinistryWatch’s quarterly survey of ministry executives, we’re seeing a shift.  Leaders are becoming slightly less concerned about finding qualified staff, and more concerned about finding donors.  We’ll have details later in the…

Ep. 241: Asbury Revival and Christian Ministries In Ukraine, Turkey, Syria

On today’s program, we’re coming up on the one-year anniversary of the Russian invasion of Ukraine.  We’ve got an update on what Christian ministries have been doing to relieve the suffering.  And the earthquakes in Turkey and Syria have now claimed more than 45,000 lives.  We’ll have an update on relief efforts and how you can help. We begin today with a story that’s been Christian social media for the past week or more, and…

Ep. 240: A Guide for Christians Wanting To Give To Earthquake Relief in Turkey and Syria.

On today’s MinistryWatch EXTRA episode, we’re going to take a look at ministries providing disaster relief following the earthquakes in Turkey and Syria. On today’s program we’ll discuss general principles for giving, plus identify some specific ministries that receive high ratings from MinistryWatch. Here are some links I mentioned on today’s program: The MinistryWatch 1000 Database Explaining Our Five-Star Financial Efficiency Rating System Understanding Our Donor Confidence Score More Information On Disaster Relief Efforts in…

Ep. 239: Johnny Hunt and the SBC, The King’s College, Hillsong Gets A New Leader, and Pastors and Their Jets

On today’s program, disgraced former Southern Baptist Convention President Johnny Hunt has been restored to ministry.  Now two of the churches that restored him are being investigated.  We also have an exclusive investigation, done in conjunction with the Trinity Foundation, on pastors and their private jets. We begin today with news from The King’s College in New York City. Also on today’s program I mention that the Dallas-based Trinity Foundation has been tracking the use…

Ep. 238: Handling Allegations In A Ministry:  A Conversation With Theresa Lynn Sidebotham

On today’s MinistryWatch EXTRA episode, we’re featuring a recent interview I had with Theresa Lynn Sidebotham.  She’s an attorney and the author of a new book Handling Allegations In A Ministry:  Responses and Investigations. It’s not clear to me that we are seeing more incidents of sexual abuse in the church than in years past.  But I think it is fair to say that more stories are seeing the light of day.  The #MeToo Movement,…

Ep. 237: He Gets Us, MinistryWatch Investigates Glory of Zion and Love for the Least, 50 Largest Relief and Development Ministries

On today’s program, we take a closer look at the “He Gets Us” media campaign.  We’ll also share with you some of the highlights of a couple of MinistryWatch investigations.  One of them was a close look at Glory of Zion, a Dallas based ministry.  We also take a deep dive into a Colorado ministry called Love the Least. We begin today with news from Knoxville, Tennessee.  In an unusual move, a judge said an…

Ep. 236: Jason Jimenez and Warren Smith Discuss Matt Chandler and Church Discipline

On today’s MinistryWatch EXTRA episode, we’re featuring a recent interview I had with pastor and author Jason Jimenez. Jason has served as a pastor and ministry leader, and his books include The Bible’s Answer To Live’s 100 Biggest Questions, which he co-authored with Dr. Norman Geisler. He is also the author of Challenging Conversations:  A Practical Guide to Discuss Controversial Topics in the Church. Jason also leads Stand Strong Ministries, and he often posts helpful…

Ep. 235: John Blanchard, PRC Vandalism and Arrests, and The Truth Network Has Radio Towers Destroyed

On today’s program, new developments in the case against megachurch pastor John Blanchard, arrests in the vandalism of pregnancy care centers, and a Christian broadcaster’s radio towers were destroyed. We begin today with a story about sexual abuse allegations that concern the Salvation Army, one of the largest Christian organizations in the country. A final reminder that we’ll be doing a webinar next week called “How To Find and Read A Form 990.”  The webinar…

Ep. 234: Translating The Bible In A New Way:  A Conversation With Jane Schoen and Amy McClintock

Today I welcome back to the program Jane Schoen, and we are joined by her colleague Amy McClintock.  Jane and Amy are with 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. Almost two years ago I reported on a new initiative by the Strategic Resource Group that – if successful – could have a dramatic…

Ep. 233: John Blanchard, Bryan College, Christian Persecution on the Rise

On today’s program, Virginia megachurch pastor John Blanchard had sexual solicitation charges against him dropped, but protesters are showing up at his church and even the town’s police chief thinks the case was mishandled.  We’ll have details.  Also on today’s program, Open Doors releases its annual Watch List, which tracks persecution of Christians around the world.  This year’s conclusions are bleak.  We’ll explain why. We begin today with a lawsuit involving Bryan College that has…

Ep. 232: A New Year’s MinistryWatch Update

Hello everybody.  I’m Warren Smith, coming to you from Charlotte, North Carolina. Today’s episode is one of my periodic updates on how things are going here at MinistryWatch.  I hope you enjoy it. The producers for today’s program are Rich Roszel and Jeff McIntosh.  We get database and other technical support from Stephen DuBarry, Emily Kern, Rod Pitzer, and Casey Sudduth.  Until next time, may God bless you.

Ep. 231: The IRS’s Form 990 Backlog, More United Methodist Departures, and Remembering Jack Hayford

On today’s program, one of the largest United Methodist churches in the country, and the largest in South Carolina, is preparing to leave the denomination.  And the Internal Revenue Service is far behind in its efforts to process Form 990s.  This backlog is a blow to transparency and accountability.  We’ll explain why.  And we remember pastor, author, and hymn writer Jack Hayford, who died last week at age 88.  We begin today with former Celebration…

Ep. 230: United Methodist Meltdown, And Ministry Executive Salaries

On today’s program, Open Doors USA is changing its name and its focus.  We’ll have details.  Plus, the Evangelical Council for Abuse Prevention rolls out an accreditation program designed to help ministries protect children.  And it’s a new year, and MinistryWatch has published its annual list of Highly Paid Ministry Executives.  We’ll have a preview of the list later in the program.  We begin today with more news about the slow-moving breakup of the United…

Ep. 229: MinistryWatch’s Top 10 Stories of 2022

On today’s special year-end program, Natasha and I will countdown the Top 10 stories of 2022. That’s right.  We’ll start with #10, and work our way to #1. But before we get started, here are a few things you should know. The first thing I’ll say is that we have organized this list by the number of page views it got on our site.  That doesn’t necessarily mean they are the most important stories of…

Ep. 228: Ministries Are Involved in PPP Fraud, the PCA in the News, and Kanakuk Lawsuit Draws Supporters

On today’s program, two Florida ministry leaders that we first reported on during the summer have been arrested and charged with defrauding taxpayers out of $8-million in Payroll Protection Program funds. And in Virginia, The Family Foundation, a nonprofit organization that promotes Christian values, was denied service at a restaurant in Richmond, this month on the basis of the group’s position on abortion and same-sex marriage.  We’ll have the details on both these stories later…

Ep. 227: Matt Chandler Back in Pulpit, Christian Groups Vandalized by pro-abort, pro-LGBTQ Activists, and Evangelical Giving Is Up

On today’s program, Christian groups are being vandalized by pro-gay and pro-abortion activists.  We’ll have two stories that highlight this growing and troubling trend.  And a new report from the Evangelical Council for Financial Accountability indicates that – despite uncertainties in the economy – giving to evangelical groups is up. We begin today with news that megachurch pastor Matt Chandler will be reinstated to the pulpit after a three-month leave of absence.  Dallas-area megachurch pastor…

Ep. 226: The State of Giving 2022 With the ECFA’s Warren Bird and Jake Lapp

As we approach year-end, the thoughts of children turn toward Christmas, but the thoughts of ministry executives turn toward year-end giving efforts.  And the thoughts of many donors turn toward those ministries they have given to in the past as they try to decide how much, or even if, they will be giving to them this year. One of the cliches in the philanthropy world is that the state of the stock market is a…

Ep. 225: Liberty University, SBC Prez Bart Barber Rebukes A Predecessor, and MinistryWatch’s “Shining Light Awards”

On today’s program, in an unprecedented move, the current president of the Southern Baptist Convention, Bart Barber, has released a sharp rebuke of one of his predecessors in that role, Johnny Hunt.  We’ll explain why the rebuke, and why it’s important.  Also on today’s program, MinistryWatch releases its “Shining Light Awards.”  We’ll tell you how we arrived at the list, and who some of the winners are. We begin today with the latest chapter in…

Ep. 224: A “Giving Tuesday” Update

We usually 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 talk with you about Giving Tuesday.  I’ll admit that this short episode is shamelessly self-referential – it will be almost all about us.  So I hope you will show me a bit of grace for that, but – on the other hand – I consider you…

Ep. 223: A Conversation with Robert Thrasher, Who Represents Kanakuk Survivor Logan Yandell

Last week, Logan Yandell filed a lawsuit against Kanakuk Ministries alleging fraud.  Logan Yandell’s lawsuit says that when he signed a financial settlement and non-disclosure agreement with Kanakuk, he did not have information that Kanakuk had that would have changed his decision to sign these documents. Here at MinistryWatch, we’ve been covering this story for more than a year, so naturally we were interested in this new development.  So we reached out both to Kanakuk…

Ep. 222: Greg Locke Banned From Twitter, and Children’s Hunger Fund Sees Explosive Growth

On today’s program, Tennessee pastor and MAGA celebrity Greg Locke has been banned from YouTube.  We asked why.  Charis Bible College, founded by prosperity gospel preacher Andrew Wommack, was rocked this week by a murder-suicide.  We’ll have details.  We also take a look at the explosive growth of a ministry called Children’s Hunger Fund. We begin today with an influential Hispanic pastor under investigation for violating wage and hour laws. A big thank you to…

Ep. 221: James Dobson, Politics and Preachers, and Bob Jones University

On today’s program, James Dobson is stepping aside from the ministry he founded after turning Focus on the Family into an evangelical powerhouse.  We’ll have details.  And during this election week, we have a couple of stories of pastors who are mixing politics and the pulpit.  At least one is under investigation. We begin today with an interesting story coming from one of the bastions of fundamentalism in this country:  Bob Jones University. The producers…

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. 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…