December 2012
Church Press Newsletter


God has forgiven you all your sins and has written your name in the Book of Life in heaven. Praise God! If you have a moment, go back in spirit to your childhood and sing a song that still moves your heart and blesses your faith. Away In A Manger

"The Recipe for Christmas Bread"
sermon on Micah 5:2-4

(Note: Many years ago someone sent me this sermon. I have tweaked it a bit, but I want to give credit to whoever wrote the original sermon. He did an excellent job. - Pastor Ginkel.)
There is a famous baker who lives in a very tiny town in the mountains not far from San Diego. His village is at the crossroads of two main highways, and thousands of people stop to buy bread at his bakery. Every year this baker goes out of his way to get new recipes for bread from all over the world. It is said that the aroma that comes from his bakery as he tries these new recipes is beyond description. His name is Santa Ysabel, and he has truly made a name for himself in that little town.

Micah was a lot like this baker, but he was not a baker; yet, he had a way with words that did more than tempt the taste buds. Here is the first part of Micah's recipe for Christmas Bread. Verse 2: "But you, Bethlehem Ephrathah, though you are small among the clans of Judah, out of you will come for Me One who will be Ruler of Israel, whose origins are from of old, from ancient times."

1. The First Ingredient for Christmas Bread Is Bethlehem [complete article]

Christmas Caroling an Outreach Tool? Yes!

How would you like to have a large number of first-time visitors at your Christmas Eve Service? I can't imagine any of you saying, "Oh, I don't know." You better not. That being the case please, please read on. Here's how to do it successfully step by step.

STEP ONE: The pastor asks everyone to meet in the fellowship hall a few nights before Christmas, men, women, and especially seniors and children. Pastor - be enthusiastic! [complete article]

Creating Sermons That Go Beyond the Superficial 
By Dr. J. Kent Edwards
Ask yourself the following: Why is the truth of this text theologically necessary? Why would God ask this of His people or do this to His people? Is God being unreasonable or unfair? Does He have your best interests at heart? How do you know that?

It is very important that you are honest here. Don't succumb to the temptation to use cliches. Don't let yourself use "god talk." You can - and you must be - honest with God here. Don't worry about theological orthodoxy as you wrestle with hard passages and the God whose character necessitated the idea you will be preaching.

There is nothing you can say that will shock or surprise God. He knows you and all you have been thinking. Besides, you are not the only person who has asked such serious questions. . . . Honest questions that challenge orthodoxy are not sinful and do not cause sin. In fact, you will not be able to combat or correct sinful behavior - in yourself or others - until you understand its theological core. (Deep Preaching, p. 145, Dr. J. Kent Edwards)  202 pages, #351 $19.99. order click Deep Preaching or email call 1-888-772

Stack of Stuff

Candlelight Service Sets
Make your Christmas Eve Candlelight Service complete. Each set has the needed candles and accessories. All worshipers can participate. Included are Pastor's Candle, 6 Usher's Candles, 125 Congregation Candles (#341 $51.55) or 250 Candles (#342 $78.60) or 425 Candles (#343 $113.55), and drip protectors. Just click candles
to order on the website or email us or call 888-772-8878. Order your set now.

Sometimes worship bulletins for funeral services
are not that great. Stella Doering is a very close friend of Nadine Ginkel. Recently Stella's mother, Alice, in St. Louis, died. Take a peek at the front and back of the bulletin. Well done. Gives glory to Jesus. The picture of Alice on the front of the bulletin is in color. The paper is a fancy off-white.

Practice showing affection
for your spouse by frequently holding hands in public and at home. It communicates affection, protection, comfort and that you belong to one another. Do it with your kids, too. The key word is "practice."

We updated our Facebook page. Check us out here and like us.

Pray for Israel
privately AND at your worship services. Think of reasons why you should. Then, pray for Israel again.

What women greatly appreciate 
at church is a ladies rest room that is neat and feminine. No matter how good these rooms are now, they can be improved. Ask two or three ladies to tackle the project. You'll get MANY affirmative comments on the new look.

The next thing women appreciate

is a well-staffed nursery with attention to detail. Make a hard copy of this Welcome to Our Nursery handout. It provides guidelines for staff and parents of little ones. Very, very important. Just click nursery.
"One of the secrets of healthy  
churches is that the leaders in these churches believe in a literal hell. Their evangelism is thus motivated not only by the good news of the Gospel, but the bad news of rejecting the Gospel." - Thomas S. Rainer

If snow is a problem in winter for your seniors,
put someone in charge of developing a list of volunteers to come to their rescue.

"The Key to a Purposeful Life:
I will live, like Jesus, through suffering and sacrifice, rejoicing and rejection, obedience and fellowship, service and sadness, death and resurrection. And my life will end, like His, in glory." By Sarah Lebhar Hall, p. 39, Christianity Today, November 2012.

"If I were to purchase a book as a Christmas

gift for my pastor, I would buy a copy of Bonhoeffer, Pastor, Martyr, Prophet, Spy. - Pastor Ginkel." It is the deeply moving story of Lutheran pastor Dietrich Bonhoeffer in Germany in the late '30s and early '40s. He was a man determined to do the will of God radically, courageously, and joyfully - even to the point of death. 591 pages. Soft cover. $19.99. Click Bonhoeffer or email us. 

10 Lessons Churches Should Learn from the Apple Store
by Steve Gladen was an amazing article on the subject that we featured in the November Newsletter. If you did not read it, stop everything. We are carrying it again. This is a must article for you and your church. Run off a hard copy so that you can make notes for points of application and then start applying them. Please click churches learn.  

For ideas for your website

Google St. Mark Lutheran Church, Houston, TX. They have a good one. Rev. Scott Heitshusen (LCMS) is the senior pastor.  


For pastor's eyes only: How to Treat a Staff Infection by Craig and Carolyn Williford. They are well-versed in diagnosing and prescribing treatment for a large variety of staff ailments. 217 pages. New. Retails for $14.99. This single copy is available to the first pastor who emails us and asks for it. There is no charge. Will also include Atlas of the Bible Lands, hard cover, new, $14.95. We'll send them to you by Media Mail.  


For church secretary's eyes only: The Friendships of Women by Dee Brestin. Harnessing the power in our heartwarming, heartrending relationships. 206 pages. New. Retails for $11.99. This single copy is available to the first secretary (or office administrator) who emails us and asks for it. There is no charge. Will also include Atlas of the Bible Lands, hard cover, new, $14.95. We'll send them to you by Media Mail.   


What on Earth Am I Here For?

That will answer the most fundamental question everyone faces in life - What on Earth Am I Here For? Campaign is an all-new 6 session video & workbook teaching from Pastor Rick Warren. This all-new curriculum is designed to unite and ignite small groups in your church. National Kickoff is February 3. This allows your church to complete the campaign on March 17th, leading up to Easter Sunday services on March 31st. For more information click What on Earth Am I Here for?  


Interesting Observation by Ben Stein (concerning atheists and Christmas) 

I am a Jew, and every single one of my ancestors was Jewish. And it doesn't bother me even a little bit when people call those beautiful lit up, bejewelled trees, Christmas trees. I don't feel discriminated against. That's what they are, Christmas trees. [complete article]    

Special Helps for Advent and Christmas
  • Worship service for the Third Sunday in Advent (could be used for other Sundays also). Click Advent Service.
  • A special hymn of thanksgiving to the Trinity for Advent or Christmas. Click special hymn.  
  • Christmas Eve Candlelight Service. Click Christmas Eve.
  • Special paragraphs for Christmas Eve concerning the nursery, New Year's Eve Service, and next Adult Membership Class. Click paragraphs

Martha's way vs. My Way

Martha's way #1: Stuff a miniature marshmallow in the bottom of a sugar cone to prevent ice cream drips. My way: Just suck the ice cream out of the bottom of the cone for Pete's sake. You're probably lying on the couch with your feet up eating it anyway.

Martha's way #2: Use a meat baster to "squeeze" your pancake batter onto the hot griddle and you'll get perfectly shaped pancakes every time. My way: Buy the precooked kind you nuke in the microwave for 30 seconds. The hard part is getting them out of the plastic bag.

Martha's way #3: To keep potatoes from budding, place an apple in the bag with the potatoes.
My way:  Buy Hungry Jack mashed potato mix and keep it in the pantry to up to a year.

Martha's way #4: To determine whether an egg is fresh, immerse it in a pan of cool, salted water. If it sinks, it is fresh, but if it rises to the surface, throw it away. My way: Eat, cook, or use the egg anyway. If you feel bad later, you will know it wasn't fresh.

Martha's way #5: Cure for headaches: Take a lime, cut it in half and rub on your forehead. The throbbing will go away. My way: Martha, dear, the only reason this works is because you can't rub a lime on your forehead without getting lime juice in your eye, and then the problem isn't the headache anymore, it is because you are now blind.  

Preaching the Word
Dietrich Bonhoeffer - Lutheran pastor in Germany late 1930's to early 1940's

But as with so much else, Bonhoeffer knew that the best way to communicate what he thought and felt about homiletics was by doing it. Delivering a real sermon during an actual service was infinitely better than giving a lecture on homiletics. The ordinands must see in him someone who lived what he meant to teach them, just as Jesus did. The teaching and the living must be two parts of the same thing.

Yet even when he was not preaching, but merely talking about sermons, he wanted to communicate practical things to his ordinands. Bethge remembered some of Bonhoeffer's advice: "Write your sermon in daylight; do not write it all at once; 'in Christ' there was no room for conditional clauses; the first minutes on the pulpit are the most favorable, so do not waste them with generalities but confront the congregation straight off with the core of the matter; extemporaneous preaching can be done by anyone who really knows the Bible." (Bonhoeffer, Pastor, Martyr, Prophet, Spy, p. 272, Erick Metaxas.) 591 pages, soft cover  #317  $19.99. To order click Bonhoeffer or email us or call 1-888-772-8878.

Facilities Helped Them Grow 
Be Ed Stetzer and Mike Dodson

Robert Eby, pastor . . . in Lake Villa, Illinois, said, "Our growth spurred our remodeling." This church totally renovated its worship center, replacing pews with chairs, putting in a new sound system, replacing the carpet, and giving the building a new paint job. The education space saw changes too - new carpet, paint, and classrooms.

Notice the cause-and-effect cycle - the vision to reach new people or segment in the community led to new or remodeled facilities, which helped growth. The resultant effect on the people who began supporting the vision financially had a tremendous impact on the church being excited about the new ministry opportunities, which led to more people, and the church becoming a comeback church.

This leads to a very important principle: "Let your vision determine your facilities. Never allow facilities to dictate your vision. (Comeback Churches, page 165, Stetzer and Dodson). Hard cover, 226 pages  #305  $17.95. Click Comeback to order on Web or email us or call 888-772-8878.

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