August 2014
Church Press Newsletter
Hope in the Midst of Depression - How to Embrace Life Again 
By Mary Southerland

Mary Southerland had a successful ministry, a husband who led a growing church, and two kids who were the joy of her life. She kept all these things in balance until clinical depression brought her world crashing down.

Understand what depression is and isn't. This book is for anyone who struggles with depression, knows someone who is, or who needs encouragement; this is a source of light that will lead to the hope and healing of Christ. 252 pages. No. 302, $12.99. Click Hope to order.
Adopt A Senior 

Some seniors no longer have transportation to church. One thing they would really appreciate is a ride to church on Sunday. Ask someone to spearhead an effort to have active Christians invite seniors to come along to church. The seniors will love you for it!
W O W!  

Churches of 200 OR LESS ARE FOUR TIMES MORE LIKELY TO PLANT A DAUGHTER CHURCH than churches of 1,000 or more. The pattern continues - the smaller the size of the church the more fertile they are in planting churches. - Lifeway
Is it time for your church to plant a church?

The church-to-population ratio in the U.S. peaked at ONE CHURCH FOR EVERY 430 PEOPLE in World War I. But today there is only ONE CHURCH FOR EVERY 6,194 PEOPLE. Is it time for your church to plant a church?

Plans for September 

A Florida pastor shared with us that he plans to have his entire membership go through the Bible study, I Have Good News For You. He said that his people need to get back to the basics. They need to be "on the same page."
He plans to divide the membership into fellowship groups each with a lay leader. They will have one lesson a week using the DVDs for the course. They will do worksheets together. Light refreshments will be served.
When the ten-week course is completed, he hopes that each group will continue meeting for Bible study and fellowship. Another pastor told how he plans to do the same thing starting in September, but each group leader will teach with the aid of the I Have Good News For You Leader's Guide (#102).
A. W. Tozer Once Lamented -

"If the Holy Spirit was withdrawn from the church today, 95 percent of what we do would go on and NO ONE WOULD KNOW THE DIFFERENCE. If the Holy Spirit had been withdrawn from the New Testament church, 95 percent of what they did would stop, AND EVERYBODY WOULD KNOW THE DIFFERENCE."

Augustine, from Confessions

"Man is one of Your creatures, Lord, and his instinct is to praise You. He bears about him the mark of death, the sign of his own sin, to remind him that You 'thwart the proud.' But still, since he is part of Your creation, he wishes to praise You. The thought of You stirs him so deeply that he cannot be content unless he praises You, because You made us for Yourself and our hearts find no peace until they rest in you."

For Pastor's Eyes  Only

Spiritual Disciplines For The Christian Life by Donald S. Whitney. Disciplines include Scripture reading, prayer, worship, Scripture meditation, evangelism, stewardship, Scripture application, silence and solitude with practical suggestions for cultivating them. New. $19.99. 253 pages. Hard cover. Free (including shipping) to the first pastor who emails us.

For Church Secretary's
Eyes Only

The Story - read the Bible as one seamless story from beginning to end. Unfolds the progression of Bible characters and events arranged chronologically from Genesis to Revelation using the NIV by Zondervan. New. Hard cover. 403 pages. Retails for $14.99. Free (including shipping) to the first secretary (or office administrator) who emails us.

The Best Church Website Around?

If not, it's right up there! Saint Lorenz Lutheran Church (LCMS), Frankenmuth, MI, is a big Church, 1600 average church attendance. Pastors: Rev. Mark Brandt (Lead Pastor), Rev. Caleb Adams, Rev. Gary Bender, and Rev. Joel Kaiser. 
Every congregation can get ideas by examining this website. Look closely at the home page. Like the cover of a book, the home page invites the viewer to come in and take a look. Covers all the activities and programs of the Church. Click Saint Lorenz to start your study. Jot down ideas for your website.
Quiet Time

Some evening soon, when the phone is not ringing, the TV is off, the dog is sleeping, and the sun is setting, spend some time all by yourself reflecting on some of the great experiences God has permitted to come your way when you were a child and early in your vocational life. Then thank your heavenly Father. I did it the other evening, and it was fabulous. - Don

"The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Society" . . .

is a novel based on real characters and relationships by Mary Ann Shaffer and Annie Barrows. Guernsey is a small Channel island just off the French coast. The setting is during World War II when the island was occupied by German soldiers for 5 years. 
The experiences of the people is touching, a hard life, but the people were brave. Horrible things happened to them, but you will be uplifted at their endurance. A few weeks ago Nadine Ginkel and her friend, Stella, spent vacation time to see the island for themselves. Get the book; It's good reading. Amazon will give you the best price.

Welcome! Please come in. "10,000 Reasons (Bless the Lord)" by Matt Redman is a masterpiece. One Bible study group opens their study each time singing it. One man listens to it every night before he goes to sleep. Idea: have a copy of it at work and at home and play it any time to bless the Lord and to be blessed. An excellent presentation. Watch, listen or sing along.
10,000 Reasons (Bless the Lord)
10,000 Reasons (Bless the Lord)

A Truly In-Depth Study of God for You and Your People this Fall. It Should Be A Priority.
By Pastor Don Ginkel 

Dwight L. Moody told the story of a man who was asked by his ten-year-old son, "Daddy, why don't you ever go to church with us?" "I don't need to go to church, son," his father replied. "My faith is established." Later that same day the man drove his horses out of the barn and hitched them to the buggy. As he and his son drove out of the yard, the horses became stuck in a mud hole. The man tried in vain to get them out of the mud hole whereupon the boy observed, "They're not going anywhere, Daddy! I believe they're established!"


An established person is a person who is not going anywhere, and I suspect that many of us, pastors included, are "stuck in the mud" in our relationship with God, and, despite all the activity, we do not seem to be going anywhere. 


Thoughtfully consider the following quote: "The low view of God entertained among Christians is the cause of a hundred lesser evils everywhere among us. With our loss of the sense of the majesty of God has come the further loss of religious awe and consciousness of the divine presence . . . If we would bring back spiritual power to our lives, we must begin to think of God more nearly as He is" (The Knowledge of the Holy, p. 2, by A. W. Tozer).


Just to begin with, there are at least six reasons for an in-depth study of God by Pastor and people this Fall and to make it a high priority.

  • Because He Is Awesome
  • Because He Owns Us
  • Because We Are Vulnerable
  • Because of Uncertain Times
  • Because We're Going to Spend Eternity with Him
  • Because of the Importance for Growth
[read more] (There's a very good freebie if you "read more")

BBQ Season
By Charlotte Nutter

After many long months of cold and winter, we are finally in summer and BBQ season. Therefore, it is important to refresh your memory on etiquette of this outdoor ritual as it's the only type of cooking a real man will do, probably because there is an element of danger involved. When a man volunteers to do the BBQ, the following chain of events is put into motion.

  1. The woman buys the food.
  2. The woman makes a salad, prepares vegetables and makes dessert.
  3. The woman prepares the meat for cooking, places it on a tray along with the necessary cooking utensils and sauces, and takes it to the man who is lounging beside the grill - drink in hand. 
Here comes the important part:
      4.  THE.....MAN.....PLACES.....THE.....MEAT.....ON.....THE.....
           GRILL (This gets even more exciting) [read more]
The Invisible Savior Made Visible

(Put the above picture in royal blue on the front side of your church business card. Put the following on the opposite side.)
 On the front of this card is an artist's drawing of Jesus (Note: the picture should "bleed" on all four sides). If you set it up about 4 feet away and half close your eyes, His face will emerge clearly between the leaves. If you want to see the real Savior in His grace and beauty, we cordially invite you to worship with us next Sunday. We will "see Jesus." (Include your church's name, address, and other details. Run off a hard copy of the picture to use for your church business card. If there are no funds in the budget for this, ask one or two people to pick up the tab. This is a card that has a solid impact. Order a large quantity of cards so that members can periodically hand them out. For a larger copy of the picture to use in designing your card, click picture)

Stack of Stuff

The United States Government is now in debt 18 Trillion Dollars! 
What a legacy! Does anyone seriously believe that that debt will ever be paid? If so, by whom? If it's never paid, what will happen next? Is is okay to say, "Well, there's nothing I can do about it!"? Things to think about when you cast your vote for someone or if you don't vote at all or if you feel that maybe your should write a note to those who represent you in DC.  

Think this one through: What would you pursue today if you weren't afraid to fail? What would it be?

Good quote: "Jesus demands that, as His follower, I must love everyone and treat with dignity even those who reject what God commands." - Rick Warren

Can you go 99 days without Facebook? Is it possible that you could be happier without social media?

Why some divorced people stay with their church: Pastor and people love and support them no matter what. They do what Jesus would do (John 8:11).

Encourage members and transfers in to attend your next adult class for a refresher, to get to know the pastor better, and for the pastor to become better acquainted with them. When this happens, people invariably enter into a new and higher level of discipleship.

Hope for the hungry: Have a canned goods or food drive in your church. You can set up a table in a mall or in front of a store to solicit from a broader spectrum. It has been said, "If you give hope to someone without hope, all of a sudden life changes."

For your bulletin or newsletter
If you know of anyone who will be hospitalized, has a new baby, a death in the family, or a long-term illness, please notify the church office at (phone number). This will enable us (pastor, elder, and others) to visit them, send a card, share their needs with a Prayer Chain, mention them in the bulletin and include them in prayer at the next worship service.

For an example of a blended worship service, click Ascension Lutheran Church (LCMS), Littleton, CO. Then click RESOURCES and then WORSHIP BULLETIN. Stephen R. Pruitt is the Minister of Music.

In the next 60 seconds an animal here in the U.S. will be physically abused.

Tips on Preaching to the UnchurchedAre Essential
By Rick Warren, Rick Warren's Ministry Toolbox

In terms of seeing radical life changes in individuals, nothing can take the place of Spirit-anointed preaching. The message is still the most important element of a worship service for the unchurched (and the churched). Saddleback's growth - in spite of hot gymnasiums, cold tents, and crowded parking - has shown that people will put up with a lot of inconveniences and limitations if the messages are genuinely meeting their needs.


Here are a few tips I tend to share with pastors when they ask. You should provide an outline with the scriptures written out. There are a number of reasons that I do this:

  • The unchurched (and some churched) don't own Bibles.
  • It relieves embarrassment in finding texts.
  • You can cover more material in less time. I once counted the number of times a well-known pastor said, "Now turn to this" in his message, and I timed how long he took. Seven minutes of his message was spent just turning pages!
  • You can have everyone read a verse aloud together because everyone has the same translation. [read more]
Three Lists - No, Make It Four 

There are three lists of names that are essential for a caring and growing congregation - these are a must. 1. Membership List. 2. Prospect List. 3. Inactive Members. August is a time to add a list: 4. New Member Class List

Unless you have the names of people to invite to your next new membership class this Fall, how can they possibly be invited? Businesses are keen on developing lists of present and potential customers. We are "in business" for the Lord.
"The first thing Andrew did was to find his brother Simon and tell him, 'We have found the Messiah.' And he brought him to Jesus" (John 1:41-42). Pastor - be an Andrew. Start developing and expanding this fourth list now. Ask your people to assist you in making this a good list and a large one. Everyone on the list should be contacted personally - and sent a letter of invitation.

Every Youth Leader's Big Fight 
By Greg Stier 
Everyday a youth leader wakes up he/she enters into a battle. This age-old war is not with disconnected parents, apathetic teenagers or micro-managing pastoral leadership.
This is a battle that relentlessly rages for the souls of the next generation. It is not imaginary. It is real, intense, and all around us. With every teen suicide, school shooting or drug overdose, you can almost hear the enemy's victory cry in the distance.
And this invisible nemesis is worse that we could ever imagine. In the beginning he was the most powerful, beautiful and intelligent creation that God ever made. He was so impressive in fact that he convinced a third of all the angels of heaven that he was more mighty than God Himself (Ezekiel 28:11-19).
He was wrong! [read more]
God's Deepest Delight
"Do not be afraid, little flock, for your Father has been pleased to give you the Kingdom" (Luke 12:32).
This verse tells you about what makes your heavenly Father glad. When God gives you the Kingdom, He is acting out His deepest delight. It is His joy, His desire, His wish, and His hope to GIVE YOU the Kingdom. 
John Piper writes: "God is not acting in this generous way in order to cloak and hide some malicious motive. This verse utterly rules that out. He is not saying inside, 'I will have to be generous for a while even though I don't want to be, because what I really want to do is bring judgment on sinners.' The Lord's meaning is inescapable: God is acting here in freedom . . . At this very point, when He gives His flock the Kingdom, He is acting out His deepest delight. This is what the word means: God's joy, His desire, His want and wish and hope and pleasure and gladness is to give the Kingdom to His flock." So, little flock, do not be afraid!
Being a Friend 
It is strange that we are more prone to accept friends and acquaintances for what they are than we are to accept close loved ones. The more we care, the more we seem to hurt, compare, and judge. In our zeal to make our loved ones perfect or protect them from pain, we devalue them as human beings. We are certainly not as trusting, tolerant or thoughtful with them as we are with friends. Still, that is what is needed in loving each other. 
Uta West, in her book, If love is the Answer, What is the Question, says that she believes . . . "that the trust and tolerance and thoughtfulness that characterize friendship at its best can heal and save all intimate affiliations. Being a good friend - whether to yourself, your mother, your child, or the person sharing your bed - means first of all, respecting the integrity of the individual." (Loving Each Other, p. 183, by Leo Buscaglia)
One Little Letter 

A Minneapolis couple decided to go to Florida to thaw out during a particularly icy winter. They planned to stay at the same hotel where they spent their honeymoon 20 years earlier. Because of hectic schedules, it was difficult to coordinate their travel schedules. So, the husband left Minnesota and flew to Florida on Thursday, with his wife flying down the following day.
The husband checked into the hotel. There was a computer in his room, so he decided to send an email to his wife. However, he accidently left out one letter in her email address, and without realizing his error, sent the email.
Meanwhile, somewhere in Houston, a widow had just returned from her husband's funeral. He was a minister who was called home to glory following a heart attack. The widow decided to check her email expecting messages from relatives and friends. After reading the first message, she screamed and fainted. The widow's son rushed into the room, found his mother on the floor, and saw the computer screen which read:
To: My Loving Wife
Subject: I've arrived
Date: July 15, 2013
I know you're surprised to hear from me. They have computers here now and you are allowed to send emails to your loved ones. I've just arrived and have been checked in. I see that everything has been prepared for your arrival tomorrow. Looking forward to seeing you then! Hope your journey is as uneventful as mine was.
P.S. Sure is hot down here!

"I Have Good News For You" (1 copy free) 
Half a million copies sold world wide in twelve languages

Some brief info on this best seller:
  1. 128 pages, perfect binding #101 $6.95
  2. 128 pages, spiral binding #101S $7.95
  3. Large print for visually impaired #103 $6.95
  4. Spanish edition #109 $49.95 (CD pdf format)
  5. Ten 90-minute recordings, one for each lesson. Recorded live with Pastor Don teaching. Entire CD set #C121 $55.00. Entire DVD set #D121 $85.00
  6. Good News Leader's Guide, spiral binding, #102 $16.95 ($25 value) 
Click Good News for more information. Email us and ask for your free copy (including shipping) of #101.

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