July 2014
Church Press Newsletter
Comeback Churches
By Ed Stetzer


On three occasions I asked the members of stagnant churches to go visit the areas fastest growing churches . . . When we sent "spies," almost every member returned wanting some aspect of what they saw! (Comeback Churches, p. 85.) To learn more click Comeback.

With Your Men

"Years ago I invited all of our men to join me in a 'fishing retreat' at Lake of the Woods on the Canadian boarder. The men took turns preparing the meals (that was something to see). Among other things, we went fishing under the hot sun and for refreshments we drank warm beer and ate chocolate chip cookies. I know, I know, that's not spiritual, but great things came out of the venture. Consider doing something special with your men this summer. Encourage them to bring unchurched friends along. It pays big dividends." - Don

Boy Praises His Way Out of Kidnapping

A 9-year-old boy in Atlanta had a unique response to being kidnapped from his own driveway: He sang praises to God. Willie Myrick repeatedly sang Hezekiah Walker's "Every Praise" (the theme of deliverance is in the chorus) during the three-hour ordeal. Eventually, his abductor - who had been cursing and telling the boy to shut up - pulled the car over and kicked him out. - Focus On the Family
 
I Am A Pauper


"A pauper does not ask out of any reason other than the completely hopeless and painful conditon of his poverty. He is not ashamed to beg - blessed are the paupers in spirit (see Matthew 5:3). - Oswald Chambers

"Dear Mom -

The counselor said if your parents called, you could come home. Mom, call! I want to go home. I'm crying right now, Mom. Right now. Because all the counselors are mean. Come now! Please Mom. Love, Allison
P.S. Come quick!"
Rebecca Watters of Kansas City, Allison's mother, now thinks her daughter just wasn't ready to attend summer camp at the age of 9.

For Pastor's Eyes  Only

In the Presence of My Enemies by Gracia Burnham. The true, gripping account of the kidnapping of American missionaries and their year in the Philippine jungle. New. $22.99. 305 pages. Hard cover. Free (including shipping) to the first pastor who emails us.

For Church Secretary's
Eyes Only

Our Covenant God by Kay Arthur. New. Hard cover. 275 pages. Retails for $19.95. Free (including shipping) to the first secretary (or office administrator) who emails us.

Good Church Website

You need to look at the informative and colorful website for Trinity Lutheran Church (LCMS), Paso Robles, CA. Rev. Daniel Rowe and Rev. Stephen Willweber are the Pastors. Excellent layout. Covers all the activities and programs of the Church. Click Trinity Lutheran for some good ideas.

We Desperately Need to Know More About Islam



We are in a very serious war with Islam both physically and spiritually. As this war unfolds you will feel the effects of it. Many of us are very ignorant about what is taking place. It takes time to study the threat against America and Christianity. We have 3 excellent tools to help book clubs and Bible study groups.

The Facts on Islam - A brief and well done overview. Soft cover, 80 pages, #367, $5.99.
 
Islam: Qur'an vs. Holy Scripture. A six lesson Bible study on a CD. Run off as many copies as you wish. #261, $39.99. 

Muslims - Reasoning from the Scriptures with Muslims. An in-depth study. Soft cover, 342 pages, #311, $14.99.

You can order these now. Just email us. To learn more details go to our website.

Idiots In the Neighborhood

"I live in a semi-rural area. We recently had a new neighbor call the local township administrative office to request the removal of the Deer Crossing sign on our road. The reason: Many deer were being hit by cars and he no longer wanted them to cross there."

Suggestion, Suggestion, Suggestion 

Starting today or tomorrow, read one chapter of Isaiah a day. Isaiah is the "John the Baptist" of the Old Testament. The Holy Spirit speaks loud and clear. Put a definite time of day on your calendar when you will stop and read slowly. Hey, don't mean to bug you, but do it now. Thanks!

Here's How We Do It
By Bobby Gruenewald
Outreach, March/April 2014


We've found there's a greater sense of anticipation as people see in multiple places what's coming up at church. As we give them a reason to show up this weekend, we're not only seeing an increase in the frequency of their attendance, but we're also seeing many new families visit. 

The more excited people get, the more they bring others along. And we provide plenty of tools and encouragement to make it easy for attendees to invite people to church.


 
 
Welcome! Please come in. "You Are My All In All" was written by Dennis Jernigan. Jesus! The name above all names! Lamb of God. His name is worthy! He's your Jesus! This is a fabulous presentation. Watch, listen or sing along.
Jesus Lamb of God
Jesus Lamb of God
Boy, Oh Boy, Oh Boy!
By Pastor Don Ginkel 

A Church Membership Committee was examining a Lutheran (Methodist, Catholic, whatever) who wanted to join the church. One of the questioners asked the candidate: "What part of the Bible do you like best?" "I like the New Testament best." "What book in the New Testament?" "The book of Parables sir." "Would you kindly relate one of these parables to this Committee?" So the uncertain candidate bluffed his way as follows:

 

"Once upon a time a man went down from Jerusalem to Jericho and fell among thieves, and thorns grew up and choked the man. And he went on and met the Queen of Sheba, and she gave that man a thousand talents of gold and silver and a hundred changes of raiment. And he got in his chariot and drove furiously. And when he was driving along under a big tree, his hair got caught in a limb and left him hanging there. And he hung there many days and many nights, and the ravens brought him food to eat and water to drink. And one night while he was hanging there asleep, his wife, Delilah, came along and cut off his hair and he dropped and fell on stony ground, (You need to see where this is going!) [read more] 


5 Signs of an Excellent Youth Leader
By Greg Stier, Rick Warren's Ministry Toolbox

As I travel down the youth ministry highway I get the privilege of encountering a lot of excellent youth leaders along the way, and I notice the signs of youth leaders who are truly making a difference. 
Youth leaders who are excellent are fully yielded to God in their personal lives. For them their personal consecration to God is their top priority. 

Jesus took detours from walking down the ministry road before Him to help those who needed it. Great youth leaders do the same. They keep their eyes and ears open to the silent cries of the hurting teenagers they encounter along the way. They make the time to love the unlovable and introduce them to the life-transforming power of Jesus. [read more]

Autopsy of a Deceased Church: 11 Signs of Doom
By Thom S. Rainer
You can order the book, hard cover, 96 pages, $12.99. Just email us and ask for #801 
 
I was their church consultant in 2003. The church's peak attendance was 750 in 1975. By the time I got there the attendance had fallen to an average of 83. The large sanctuary seemed to swallow the relatively small crowd on Sunday morning. 
 
The reality was that most of the members did not want me there. They were not about to pay a consultant to tell them what was wrong with their church. Only when a benevolent member offered to foot my entire bill did the congregation grudgingly agree to retain me.
 
I worked with the church for three weeks. The problems were obvious; the solutions were difficult. On my last day, the benefactor walked me to my rental car. "What do you think, Thom?" he asked. He could see the uncertainty in my expression, so he clarified. "How long can our church survive?" I paused for a moment, and then offered the bad news. "I believe the church will close its doors in five years." I was wrong. The church closed just a few weeks ago. [read more] Please share the article with your church officers.
 
Stack of Stuff

Two good quotes: 1. Live each day as though it is your last. 2. Avoid time bandits in your life - unplanned, repeated trips; certain television programs; some church meetings; etc. Try to work on both of them.

Martyred Missionary Jim Elliot: "He is no fool who gives up what he cannot keep to gain what he cannot lose."

For this praise God: Just a mere 3 pounds, your brain is composed of billions of cells that make hundreds of billions of connections every day. "I praise You because I am fearfully and wonderfully made; Your works are wonderful, I know full well" (Psalm 139:14).

Stephen Covey: "Most people do not listen with the intent to understand; they listen with the intent to reply."

Here is a truism: If your people see the results of your inviting people to worship services and to your adult classes (and they notice things like this), it won't be long before they'll be doing the same thing. This is contagious, and it is a truism. Count on it!

NEWSLETTER ARCHIVE is at the bottom of this Newsletter. Click it for some good ideas and encouragement from past Newsletters..

Today's Quote: "A big error young leaders make is thinking leadership is about the leader. It's not about you. It's about serving others."

Doing something special at your church that is blessing? Share it with us. Just send to info@churchpress.com.
 
For worship services - organ and piano make a great combination, but another excellent combination is duo pianos. The latter is a pleasant surprise.

For the sake of power and to drive the focus points of your sermon home, consider having prayer while still in the pulpit. Go directly to the Throne of God instead of waiting until later in the service.

Be sure that you order sufficient quantities of Portals of Prayer from CPH, at least one for each family unit. Include the large print edition. Frequently remind folks to use this devotional booklet on a daily basis. To order call 1-800-325-3040.
 
Save on shipping! Shipping costs are rising fast. For some materials, like attendance pads, certificates, etc., order in quantities that will last for a year - the savings is considerable.
 
My wife, Nadine, is on a well-deserved 17 day vacation in Europe with her close friend, Stella, from KC. Last night I was confronted with making my first meal. I decided to let the little boy in me decide what to eat for dinner - chips, jelly beans, and ice cream! Later my stomach told me never to do that again. Guys, hope you never do that. - Don

Charisma Is Optional, Character and Competence Are Essential
By Rick Warren, Rick Warren's Ministry Toolbox

All leadership is built on two things - character and competence. Those are the twin values of leadership. Charisma is optional. Some of the most charismatic people of the twentieth century were also the worst. Hitler, Mao, Marx and Mussolini were all charismatic. Charisma has absolutely nothing to do with leadership. If you possess it, it's merely a bonus and, if you allow it, it can actually get you into a lot of trouble . . . Re-train your heart to long for deeper character and greater competence . . . the two rails on which great leadership runs." [read more]

3 Accolades 

Permit me to share three precious accolades.
  1. To Jesus Christ, my dear Lord and Savior, who would love a poor sinner like me!
  2. To Nadine, my dear wife, who serves as the Director of Library Operations and Technical Services at Denver Seminary and as the one who makes most everything happen at Church Press (resource, finance, and technical support)!
  3. To all of you who permit me to serve you in some small way!
THANK YOU! - Don

My Top 7 Relational Practices for Dealing with Church Conflict 
By Kurt Bubna

If you've been pastoring for more than a month, you've had someone go nuclear on you. You know what I mean . . . a charter member, board member or disgruntled church member drops a bomb on you that blows up! Deserved or not, it hurts. Ready or not, it comes with destructive power that sends you into an emotional mess. Perhaps they've never read what Solomon wrote, "The tongue has the power of life and death . . ." (Proverbs 18:21), and they don't understand the wound they've inflicted.

So what should you do when you're deeply disappointed with someone? Whether you've been hurt by a nasty email or upset by a post-service meltdown, what are the best ways to deal with your frustration and anger? Here are some things that will help:
  1. Bite your lip and count to a million! [read more]
Why Won't They Change? 
By Dr. Craig Loving

At some time in his ministry, every pastor has encountered a person or group who knows they need to make a fundamental change in some aspect of their lives - but don't. Our minds race with questions like: Can't they see the problem they're facing (or making)? Aren't they motivated to change? Are they just resistant? Or could it be something else?

 

Could it be that the person knows that a change is necessary, but is ambivalent about changing? Authors Miller and Rollnick suggest four types of ambivalence that keep a person in the "I want to, but don't want to" dilemma: 

  1. Approach/avoidance ambivalence: The person is both attracted to and repelled by the change. Some aspects of the proposed change are appealing, other aspects are threatening. The change doesn't happen because both poles of the change are balanced against each other. [read more]
Christ Lutheran Offers Drive-Through Prayers 
 
Last month we carried a powerful and
bold idea entitled, "Christ Lutheran Offers Drive-Through Prayers" which they did last year and which was a featured article in the Globe Correspondent. Pastor Dan Eddy (LCMS) sent this note a few weeks ago: "We resurrected Drive-Through Prayers a week after Easter this year featuring Maggie, the Comfort Dog, from Newtown. She came and greeted those with whom we prayed." 
 
If you didn't read the June article, please read it now. Run off hard copies to share with your elders and church council. Ask for their reaction. 
[Click drive-through prayer and make a hard copies.]

Requirements for Confirmation 1st & 2nd Year 

Ascension Lutheran Church (LCMS), Littleton, CO, Rev. John Larson, Pastor, has an excellent printed outline for Requirements for the Rite of Confirmation. Beside required memory work, acolyting and ushering, there are three very important areas of activity.
  1. Worship Service Review including Scripture readings, hymns, and sermon highlights.
  2. Sunday School Summary including text, topic, and 3 things you learned during this lesson.
  3. Community Service Summary. Complete 20 hours of community service and turn in details. 
We have a 4 page print-out for the above. Run off hard copies for pastor. We highly recommend their program. Just click requirements. We suggest that the Pastor or instructor meet with the students and parents to go over the requirements and answer any questions before classes begin. Also, and very important: "We require at least one parent (take turns) to audit the course." The class atmosphere goes up a big notch when this happens. Ask one mother to take care of the scheduling. 

Getting Closer to God (1 copy free)
By Pastor Don Ginkel

 

Dear Reader:

 

Please accept a free copy ($9.50 value) of Getting Closer to God - it's a reality for young people here on earth. 20 lessons. The worksheet questions are designed to be interesting and challenging for this age group. For Junior confirmation classes and Christian Day Schools (6th, 7th, or 8th grades). Sunday schools are using it as a refresher for teen Bible classes. 

 

Fosters a clear and concise understanding of basic Christian doctrine in catechetical form. In addition, the centrality of the Gospel of forgiveness in Jesus in each lesson, the direct approach in Lesson One on the assurance of heaven, and the continual reminder for daily Bible reading are tremendously important for the student. A Leader's Guide helps with preparation.

 

To receive your free copy including shipping (limit one per congregation), just email us with your name and address.

 

Abundant blessings to you because of Jesus,

 

Pastor Don Ginkel


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