January 2013
Church Press Newsletter
"You Raise Me Up!"
Will you let Jesus do that right now? Take two minutes
to watch, listen or sing along. Just click "You Raise Me Up."
Go ahead and do it!

Setting Outreach Goals for 2013
By Pastor Don Ginkel

Not failure, but poor goals or no goals at all is the crime. Let's learn from Shamgar. Judges 3:31, "After Ehud came Shamgar son of Anath, who struck down six hundred Philistines with an oxgoad. He too saved Israel." 

Shamgar was a farmer, and the harvest was ready. As expected, the Philistines came, 600 of them armed with flashing swords. They swept down on this one farmer, Shamgar, who was armed with an oxgoad - not a very sophisticated weapon. He could have had many excuses for doing nothing, but because of his faith in God and concern for the people and his own dignity, he decided to take a stand at any cost. When the dust settled there were 600 Philistines on the ground dead and Shamgar went back to harvesting his crops.

"They made him a judge" - the third judge of Israel. We need to be more like Shamgar. We need to set our sights a bit higher. Let me suggest six outreach goals (guaranteed to produce fruit and very, very contagious) that will help make your life count more in 2013. [complete article]
"Don't Quit!"
A high school coach was attempting to motivate his players to persevere through a difficult schedule. Halfway through, he stood before his team and asked, "Did Michael Jordan ever quit?" The team shouted "No!" "Did Larry Bird ever quit?" The team responded "No!" "Did Magic Johnson ever quit?" Again the team screamed "No!" "Did Elmer McCallister ever quit?" There was a long silence. Finally one player was bold enough to ask, "Who was Elmer McAllister? We never heard of him." The coach snapped back, "Of course you never heard of him - he quit!"

Reaching careful and Godly goals in your life is a lot like a long basketball season with many opponents. You must face each goal for 2013 with determination and focus. Decide now that you will see it through to the end. "Don't Quit!" What did we say? "Don't Quite!" I can't hear you. What? "DON'T QUIT!"
Stack of Stuff
Our Awesome God
A ten lesson Bible study by Pastor Ginkel on the Person of God. This is an invitation to nurture and improve the greatest relationship we will ever have. This  is not a "101" Bible study; it's a bit advanced. Run off Lesson One (free) and then consider using it in your Bible study group. Click Lesson One.

A Win Win Situation
Have the Sunday School children, grades 4 on down, sing two songs at your worship services every eight weeks or so. This gives them time to practice. They will be thrilled to do it. The parents love it. Tell the children to invite relatives and friends to the service. Ask some responsible person to work out the details. Remember - at least once every eight weeks.

Hey - if you did not attend church
do you think you would like to attend the church you now belong to?

Don't forget it
"It is during those times of frustration, pain, fear and despair when we must remember that we serve a God of Hope. Even before God uttered the curse upon humanity, He declared our Hope which is Jesus Christ. He never left us adrift without The Promise." Anonymous

Give compliments
to some of the people who serve you every week (shuttle driver to the airport, person at the check out counter at the store, etc.): "You are very professional in what you do. Good for you, and I thank you!"

We've updated
our Facebook page. Click here and like us.
For pastor's eyes only: The Cost of Discipleship by Dietrich Bonhoeffer. "It is costly because it costs a man his life, and it is grace because it gives a man the only true life." 316 pages. New. Retails for $15.00. This single copy is available to the first pastor who emails us and asks for it. There is no charge. We'll send it to you by Media Mail.

For church secretary's eyes only: The Love Dare by Stephen & Alex Kendrick. How to understand and practice unconditional love. 213 pages. New. Retails for $14.99. This single copy is available to the first secretary (or office administrator) who emails us and asks for it. There is no charge. We'll send it to you by Media Mail.

How to Deal With Disappointment
By Pastor Bob Tasler (LCMS)

How do you deal with disappointment? What can you do to work through your feelings when things do not turn out the way you expected? The prophet Elijah knew all about disappointment. It all started when God had Elijah provide food for a widow and her son when they were starving.   

In 1 Kings 17, God called Elijah to speak His Word to King Ahab of Israel. The Promised Land had been divided into the northern kingdom of Israel and the southern of Judah. Ever since King David and King Solomon, it seemed like every new king was as bad or worse then the last one.
[complete article]


Ten Things Pastors Like about Pastoring
 By Thom S. Rainer
Here are the top ten responses from pastors listed in reverse order, followed by a comment from a representative pastor.

10. Counseling. "I really like helping people by counseling them. My masters degree at seminary focused on counseling, so I feel equipped to help in all but the most serious needs."

9. Funerals. "It seems to me that people are more receptive to the gospel and other important Christian matters at funerals. I think that they get an idea about how brief life is, so they really listen to the message and they are tuned in the entire service." [complete article]

One Complete Adult Class Program Kit (super special for January 2013 only - free shipping)
Includes the following: I Have Good News for You Student Guide spiral binding. I Have Good New for You Leader's Guide spiral binding. 100 I Have Good News for You Flyers, Good News Poster, Good News Sign-up Sheet, Good News CD set all ten lessons - 90 minutes each lesson, I Have Good News for You large print edition for the visually impaired. $90.80 value for only $25 which includes free shipping.  Email us or call 888-772-8878 and ask for A122.

Note: We have sold 10,000 copies of this study a year to LCMS congregations for the last 41 years!

When Our 'Theology' Gets in the Way
By Dan Kimball

I am not someone who cries often, but lately I have found myself emotionally moved to the point of tears several times.

What is causing such a strong emotional reaction? The rhetoric and tone some evangelical Christians use when they differ with other evangelicals on theology or ministry methodology. I am not talking about major doctrines of historical orthodoxy. When such foundational teachings are compromised, we are instructed to defend the faith, teach correction, guard doctrine (1 Tim. 4:16). I also love robust arguments and fun discussions about our differences as evangelicals.

The theological disputes that grieve me and cause me to feel ashamed of us are when evangelicals engage in destructive arguments over Calvinism or Arminianism. Or whether one interprets Genesis to believe that the earth was created in a literal six-day time period or over billions of years. Or when we dispute methodology: Do we advocate for the mega church with plenty of paid staff or an organic church staffed almost exclusively with volunteers? Do we use traditional liturgy or contemporary pop and rock music? Do we preach topically or verse by verse?

I have found myself overwhelmed with sadness because we have time to disagree, but we don't have time to evangelize. . . . We should have no tolerance for intolerant evangelicals who care more about minor areas of doctrine or ministry methodology preferences than they do about people who don't know Jesus yet. We should be cheering and praying for other evangelicals who may do things differently than we do, but are evangelizing and seeing people come to know Jesus. (Outreach November/December 2012, p. 18.)

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Cover to Cover

Is it time to read your Bible through from cover to cover? Set aside ten minutes each morning before reading the paper or going to work. Make it a promise. Here is a Bible reading schedule for 2013. Print it off. Make additional copies to place in  your worship bulletins for next Sunday.
Abused Children

 "Since 2007 175 small children in Colorado have died of abuse and neglect - beaten, starved, suffocated and burned" (Sunday Denver Post, November 11, 2012)

"In my parish ministry a mother in the congreation suffered the loss of her baby. Two years later her second baby died. I'm fearful that what really happened is - that the two babies did not 'just die.' Try to pay attention to possible child abuse. Thanks! - DFG"
Secrets of Healthy Churches
One of the secrets they have is a healthy small group structure. For some churches, the primary small group was Sunday school; for others, it was home groups or small groups that met in diverse locations. The churches that emphasized moving as many members as possible into a small group assimilated those members five times better than those who attended only worship services.

Another sign of a healthy small group structure was the involved leadership of pastors and senior pastors. They see the critical importance of members and guests connecting in a small setting. - Thom S. Rainer, Outreach, September - October 2012

Charles Spurgeon
"The fact is, brethren, we must have conversion work here. We cannot go on as some churches do without converts.

We cannot, we will not, we must not, we dare not. Souls must be converted here, and if there be not many born to Christ, may the Lord grant to me that I may sleep in the tomb and be heard no more.

Better indeed for us to die than to live, if souls be not saved" (Outreach November/ December, p. 62).

The Purpose Driven Life
 - What On Earth Am I Here For? 

The first edition is the second most translated book in the world after the Bible. Rick Warren has added two new chapters. Now 361 pages. Hard cover. $22.99. To order email us and ask for #696. Pastors and churches may charge their orders.
How Long?
How long should you stay as pastor of your church? We like what Roger Parrot says, "Lead as if you'll be there forever! Imagine that the organization and position you are in right now is what God wants you to do for the rest of your professional life" (Lasting Strategies for Rising Leaders, p. 19).

Nota Bene: That could affect the mindset of any pastor.

The Facts on Roman Catholicism
The basics of their faith. The role of tradition. What they mean when using the words salvation and justification. The roles of Mary and the Pope. The sacraments. The claim that it is the one true church. 80 pages. $5.95. Click #369 or email us.
Five Questions to Think About

What's the last book you read and finished? Answer?

What's the first thing you do when you get out of bed in the morning? Answer?

Favorite television show? Answer?

The book, besides the Bible, that has impacted your ministry the most? Answer?

Do you have a hero when it comes to outreach? If so, who? 

For Chick-fil-a lovers

For the first person (other then the two people who received the free book offer in this Newsletter) who emails us and asks for the 2013 Chick-fil-a Calendar and Card, we'll send them to you free. Present the Card once a month at a Chick-fil-a and you'll receive one free featured item of the month - total of 12.

Paul's Contentment

Paul's prison contentment was rich in joy . . . Years earlier, Paul and Silas were cast into the inner cell of a different prison. Yet deep in the darkness of midnight, during the loneliest hour, they were found singing praises to God. No half-hearted humming. In spite of thick walls and heavy doors, other prisoners actually heard them singing praises (Acts 16:25). (When God Weeps, p. 128, Joni Eareckson Tada)