January 2014
Church Press Newsletter
Are you interested . . .

in increasing your worship service attendance? A best seller is 44 Ways to Increase Church Attendance by Lyle Schaller. 44 practical and effective ideas on what can be done. #300, $18.00. Email us or call 888-772-8878.

"DREAM! . . .

Create a template that includes the following information:

1. What's the dream?
2. Who does it affect?
3. What will it cost?
4. What will it take to accomplish it?
5. Why is it important?

Scripture says, 'Where there is no vision, the people perish' (Proverbs 19:18). Dream far beyond what you know you can do, and create a page for each dream." - by Paul Allen in Rev! Magazine

Planning  Ahead

Ideas for Christmas Eve 2014: 4:30 Drama, Holy Communion, Candle Lighting and 7:00 Traditional Service with Holy Communion and Candle Lighting at Ascension Lutheran Church (LCMS), Littleton, CO. These two orders of service are well done.

Stephen Pruitt, Director of Program Ministries, Music, and Youth, prepares the content for the bulletins.

Run off hard copies of both services from their website. Go to alutheran.org and then to the "Resources" tab.

"Oh, No! Oh, Okay!"

One day a teacher hurried into the classroom to find a group of boys huddled on their knees in a corner of the room. She rushed up to the boys and demanded, "Boys, boys, what are you doing?" "We're shooting dice, Miss Jones," said the boys. "Oh! Oh, okay!" exclaimed the teacher much relieved, "for a moment I thought you were praying."

Web Site Fact

In many communities over 80% of your perspective visitors will visit your web site first. Does your web site have eye and content appeal? Ask some folks outside your church for their opinion. Everything can be improved upon, including your web site.

For Pastor's Eyes  Only

Our Father Abraham - Jewish Roots of the Christian Faith by Marvin R. Wilson. An extensive presentation. Delineates the link between Judaism and Christianity. Biblical, historical, and cultural in nature. New. Retails for $24.00. Free (including shipping) to the first pastor who emails us.

For Church Secretary's
Eyes Only

HYMNS - A Portrait of Christ - Reflections and prayers on the timeless hymns of our faith by Steve Green. Presents the rich heritage of the hymns and centers on God incarnate - Jesus Christ. New. Hard cover. Retails for $19.99. Free (including shipping) to the first secretary (or office administrator) who emails us.

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 2014 Chick-fil-a Calendar and Calendar Card, we'll send them to you free. Present this Card once a month at a Chick-fil-a and you'll receive one free featured item of the month - total of 12.

Excellent Church Website

We like the attractive and very informative website for Immanuel Lutheran Church (LCMS), Temple, TX, Rev. Dana Wilhelmsen, lead pastor. Covers all the programs and activities of the church. Sermons are carried. Be sure to view The Proclaimer, the monthly newsletter. Click Immanuel Lutheran Church for ideas. Well done.

Is it time to . . .

read your Bible through from cover to cover? Why not go for it? Set aside just ten minutes each morning before reading the paper or going to work. Make it a promise to yourself. We offer this Bible reading schedule to follow this year - print it off now. Make additional copies to put in your bulletins for next Sunday. Yes!

Big Homiletical Point

Repeat the sermon theme again and again throughout message. It's important to Include the theme and its implications in the excorde prayer after the sermon.

Random Act of Kindness
When you are in the drive through lane at Starbucks, place your order and then say, "I would like to pay for the customer behind me, but I don't want them to know who I am." Just say that the customer ahead of them paid for their order. Then tell them that I said, "I hope you have a happy day." There are many more possibilities for you to have a "random act of kindness" on any given day.

Welcome! Please come in. The Word of Life (In a Byre Near Bethlehem) is a rousing Scottish tune. It's here for your enjoyment and edification and relates to the events from the Lord's Incarnation to His Resurrection. 
Growing In Hope This Year
By Pastor Don Ginkel

It is good for us to have HOPE and to have a growing HOPE. But what is it? Romans 8:23-25, "Not only so, but we ourselves (believers), who have the first fruits of the Spirit, groan inwardly as we wait eagerly for our adoption as sons (we are already adopted sons, but the following words tell us what we are waiting for), the redemption of our bodies (when the body is raised from the dead on the Last Day). For in this HOPE we are saved (salvation is a present fact, but the final consummation or end result waits for the resurrection of our bodies). But HOPE that is seen is no HOPE at all. Who HOPES for what he already has? But if we HOPE for what we do not yet have, we wait for it patiently."

A pastor was going on vacation. He called and asked if I would visit an elderly member who was in the hospital while he was gone; she was not expected to live long. As I entered her room, I heard her softly singing hymns and then reciting Scripture - all in German. The focus was on Jesus, her Savior. It was an amazing thing to witness. She was filled with hope. She obviously had been nurturing it for a long time.

1 Peter 1:3, "Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ (this is an exclamation, an outburst of praise for all God has done for us)! In His great mercy (it is in the inconceivable compassion of God that our redemption had its origin) He has given us (past tense) new birth into a LIVING HOPE (a very bright future indeed) through the resurrection from the dead."

Have a living and growing HOPE; nurture it. Be in your Bible a lot, every day. Be in a good Bible study group. Spend less time reflecting on the past, but more time on what is to come. And, help others do the same. May you be edified! May God be glorified!

To Maintain A Healthy Level of Insanity
  1. At lunch time sit in your parked car with sunglasses on and point a hair dryer at passing cars. See if they slow down.
  2. Page yourself over the intercom. Don't disguise your voice.
  3. Every time someone asks you to do something, ask if they want fries with that.
  4. In the memo of all your checks write, "For Marijuana."
  5. Skip down the hall rather the walk and see how many looks you get.
  6. Sing along at the opera.
  7. When the money comes out of the ATM scream, "I won! I won!"
  8. Tell your children over dinner, "Due to the economy, we are going to have to let one of you go."
  9. Put decaf in the coffee maker for 3 weeks. Once everyone has gotten over their caffeine addictions, switch to Espresso. 
What Will Drive Your Church This New Year?
By Pastor Rick Warren

When I wrote The Purpose Driven Church, I made the bold assertion that every church is driven by something. That's still true. As you prepare to lead your church this new year, you must decide what will drive your congregation.


Some churches will be driven by tradition. 2014 won't look much different than any other year . . . Others will be driven by personalities and politics. Still other churches will be driven by debt, by the shape of their buildings, or by a ministry structure so large and so inflexible that fresh growth will be difficult.  


Healthy churches, however, will be driven by God's purposes. These churches will focus on the Great Commandment and the Great Commission and they'll discover that God wants His church to fulfill five purposes [read more] [read more]


Promote Your Next Adult Membership Class
Promotional paragraphs for bulletins and newsletters

Our next _________________ Class begins Sunday, January 26, at 6:00 p.m., in the _______________ Room. We will study a course which half a million people have taken: I Have Good News for You. It's a ten week Bible study that covers all the basic teachings of the New Testament.


People from various church backgrounds are usually in attendance, which promotes good discussion and excellent questions. Students are made to feel comfortable knowing that they can ask questions without any embarrassment.


The sessions are informal. CDs and DVDs are available when a student must miss a lesson, which means that one can easily keep up with the class.


This course helps people know what our church and pastor believe and teach. Sometimes people join a church without this knowledge. At the close of the course those who wish may become members of our congregation. That is a nice approach.


You may attend just the first lesson or all ten of them. Why not give it a try? We are sure that you will discover that this Bible study is unlike any you've ever attended. The impact it will have on your life will be surprising and pleasant.


Stack of Stuff

101 Questions to Ask Before You Get Remarried.
Whether divorced or widowed, people who marry again face unique challenges. This is a premarriage guide which helps couples work through problem areas before they become issues. 144 pages, #306 $9.99. To order go to our website or email us or call 888-772-8878.

Good idea - Consider including birthdays in your monthly newsletter.

"Duck Dynasty" star's suspension over remarks on gays by A&E may be a blessing. Phil Robertson seems to tell it like it is, his fans love him for it, and many more folks are joining the crowd.

For a moment, focus on what happens to visitors and members in the first three minutes they're on the property.

Would you attend your church if you weren't on the church staff?

Five key principles of The Starbucks Experience as named by the author, Joseph Michelli: 1. Make it your own. 2. Everything matters. 3. Surprise and delight. 4. Embrace resistance. 5. Leave your mark. How can you apply these five points to your life and ministry?

John Wesley was once asked how he drew such huge crowds to hear him preach. He replied, "I light myself on fire and people come to watch me burn!"

Do you have a plan for hosts to greet visitors and introduce them to others at your coffee hour? Imagine the frustration if guests "just stand there." Have a responsible person take care of arrangements for this.

How many adult membership classes should you have in 2014? For a medium size to a large church we suggest one to start late January, another after Easter, possibly one in the Summer, and one in the Fall. Let your plans include shut-ins and those who travel a lot. I Have Good News For You CD's and DVD's make this very easy.

What to say: Say "Thank you" often and mean it. Say something positive about their personal qualities.

Is Evangelism Going Out of Style?
From the Barna Group, December 18, well done and worth reading

Gospel tracts, sidewalk evangelism, street preachers with bullhorns - all of these seem like evangelism efforts of yesteryear. But if this is true, where does that leave the state of evangelism today? Is faith-sharing a fading practice, or does it simply look different today? In all their innovative efforts to encourage culture, have Christians left this ancient practice so integral to their faith behind?


Barna Group has charted evangelistic practices and attitudes for more than two decades, and the latest study sheds light on the gaps between evangelism in theory and practice, the groups who are sharing their faith the most, and the surprising ways economics color one's outreach efforts. [read more]  


Be determined to make this year . . .

a year of growth for yourself and your church. One step in this direction is easy and practical. Pastor - every three months have lunch with another pastor (doesn't have to be your denomination, but you pay for the lunch). Each of you share problem solving, brain storming, and goal setting thoughts and experiences. Make a few notes for yourself in advance on a legal pad. The opportunity for growth is huge. Encourage everyone in leadership roles to do this: Church secretaries, church administrators, music directors, youth ministers, teaching staffs, etc. (Get a legal pad out now and make plans on paper to do this in all areas of leadership.)

Rejection Is Hard
By Kurt Bubna, Leadership, October 2013

Every Sunday I am keenly aware that I am being evaluated. Some will like me and what they hear; others will not. Some will leave after a service and think, "How did that guy ever end up a pastor?" Others will make a beeline for me after a service and say, "That's the best message I've ever heard! You're the best pastor I've ever had!" And I smile, not in cynicism, but in the knowledge that we humans (and I include me in that we) are a capricious clan.


I am always grateful for the encouragement and kind words but also painfully aware of the fickleness of human nature. That very same person who patted me on the back initially sometimes ends up punching me in the gut weeks, months, or years later as they exit our church in a tizzy.


Rejection is hard. Here are some of the things I've learned about this along the way: [read more



"Studies have continually revealed that the need to be touched is innate in all warm-blooded animals. Contact causes them to feel more comfortable and peaceful. Touch deprivation, on the other hand, often leads to despondency, loss of appetite, apathy and a decline in efficient functioning.

Dr. Harold Voth, psychiatrist at the Menninger Foundation in Kansas, said, '. . . Hugging can lift depression - enabling the body's immune system to become tuned up. Hugging breathes fresh life into a tired body and makes you feel younger and more vibrant. In the home, daily hugging will strengthen relationships and significantly reduce friction'" (Loving Each Other, p., 139, Leo Buscaglia).

One Complete Adult Class Program Kit (super special for January 2014 only - free shipping)

Includes the following: I Have Good News for You Student Guide spiral binding. I Have Good News 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's 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 $25 which includes free shipping. This offer is good only for congregations in the U.S. 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!

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