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Giants in the Land

Megachurches are waking up to address huge global and social issues, and smaller churches are making a big difference.

The pastors who gave us "purpose-driven" ministry and "seeker-oriented" services are leading their churches to take up new causes, campaigns that do not promise growth, at least not traditional church growth.

Rick Warren is championing the eradication of AIDS, illiteracy, and poverty in Africa, and Bill Hybels has named racial reconciliation as his next summit worth climbing. The question is, will their churches and the thousands of churches that take their cues from Saddleback and Willow Creek join the campaigns?

A skeptical observer of these developments suggested this article be titled "Boomer Pastors Get a Social Conscience," noting that concern for social issues was characteristic of his own generation since before they were named "busters." It is true that the prominent churches of the boomer-led era are known more for excellence in leadership, weekend services, and evangelism than for tackling social justice issues, but to attribute their leaders' recent elevation of social causes ...

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