Why Stephanos Ministries is Not a 501-C-3

Why Stephanos Ministries is Not a 501-C-3 Tax Exempt Corporation Legalities and Spiritual Convictions

In this blog I explain (for those interested) why as of July 2015, Stephanos Ministries ceased to be a 501-C-3 corporation with IRS pre-approval of donations. For decades we were a 501-C-3, so what follows is surely not a judgment or condemnation on anyone who currently maintains that status. For years I believed being a 501-C-3 was a benign and mutually beneficial exercise of Christian liberty. I do not judge those who maintain that conviction today.  However, in the light of recent political and legal trends in the world, I thought an explanation for our conviction and action in terminating our status might be helpful. Most believers I have met are very naïve and ill-informed on the “legal” aspects of operating a “church” or “ministry.” This is my attempt to inform and educate.

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Servanthood – The Highest Calling Guest Blog by David Fredrickson

The Highest Calling

Servanthood – The Highest Calling

Professional Christian “ministry” attracts insecure people looking for validation and significance like flies to manure. In this guest blog by my friend David Fredrickson, he shares what real servanthood is about and where real validation and significance come from.

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Church Refugee Sanity Guide – Part One What is Happening to Us?

Next to death of a loved one or a divorce, fewer things are more emotionally and psychologically challenging than changing a “church” association. Often when people begin to question their church experience and consider “leaving,” they feel alone, misunderstood, accused, disoriented, and perhaps even crazy or thinking they are losing their mind. They often feel unloved and unsupported.  In this first session of an  eleven-part series called the Church Refugee Sanity Guide, I introduce the topic and provide a frame of reference for understanding that you are not alone.

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Where Should I go to Church? You are asking the wrong question

Where should I go to church? You are asking the wrong question.

Where should I go to church? You are asking the wrong question.

I often get asked: “Where should I go to church?” It is the wrong question to ask. Lurking in it are likely inappropriate and unrecognized presuppositions and motives. We need to ask a “who” question, not a what and where question. The correct answer to that question will be found in understanding God-assigned relationships. Relational reality in God-assignments is where you will find your “church,” no other way.

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Coming Out of the Institutional Religious System – The “IRS” Hierarchical, institutional religion is already under a sentence of death.

A guest blog by John and Katherine Matthews.

Leaving Institutional Religion

Leaving Institutional Religion

Unfortunately we missed National Coming Out day on Sunday, October 11.  Better late than never though, so in honor of that special day, it’s time to officially confirm that we are out of the IRS, aka the Institutional Religious System.  Yes, it’s true.

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The Nones and Dones – Part Two A Tidal Wave of Change

The Nones and Dones - Frustrated with Church and Gone

The Nones and Dones – Frustrated with Church and Gone

My friend, Greg Albrecht, provided the following. It’s a fascinating, and sobering, postscript to my previous blog on “Nones and Dones: “The number of unchurched people in America would make the 8th most populous country in the world!”

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The Nones and Dones 65,000,000 Believers in the USA Are De-churched

The Nones and Dones - Frustrated with Church and Gone

The Nones and Dones – Frustrated with Church and Gone

According to sociologist, Josh Packard, in his scrupulously researched book, Church Refugees, there are currently 65,000,000 individuals in the USA who are “done” with church, 30.5 MM of those, retaining their “faith,” the balance having no “faith affiliation.”

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Christ Who is My Life In the Garden with Christ - Michael Turner

Christ Who is My LIfe

Christ Who is My LIfe

I personally know the individual in this news release, and his journey. Perhaps this story from The Fig Tree (an online journal in the Pacific Northwest) has more impact on myself than it might you. However, Mike’s story captures so much wisdom and so much of the essence of what being alive in Christ means, that I wanted to share it. So many think that the pinnacle of spirituality is to be the leader of a megachurch in the USA or to have your book become a best-seller and be in demand as a conference speaker. It is not. It is so much more than pulpits, sermons, and singing. Michael has learned what it means. Mike exemplifies what it means to be a “minister” in the grace of the new covenant. If you sometimes feel like your lot in life makes you “insignificant” in any way, I hope Mike’s story encourages you today.

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Rat Park or Rat Cage? Attending Church, Still Alone, and Living in Misery

Rat Park or Rat Cage - Attending Church, But Still Alone

Rat Park or Rat Cage – Attending Church, But Still Alone

Dr. Bruce Alexander of Simon Fraser University in Vancouver, BC reconsidered a famous lab experiment done in the 1970s involving addiction. He pondered that the presumptions behind the science could be flawed and incomplete. The scientific experiment in the 1970s involved a lone rat in a rat cage with two water bottles. One was laced with cocaine and the other just water.  In this well-known experiment, it was allegedly proven that nine out of ten rats in the rat cage will go back, again and again, to the cocaine bottle until they killed themselves. The conclusion taken from this experiment was that the rats were hopelessly chemically addicted to the point of suicide. Not so fast.

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The Bible and the Church Truth Needs a Body

Truth Needs a Body

The Bible and the Church: Truth Needs a Body

There was a Body before there was a Christian “Bible.” This is a threatening fact for many. It is none-the-less, an indisputable historical fact. The implications can, and have been, argued for centuries, but the fact cannot be.

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