October 2014
Church Press Newsletter
Reproducible Bible Study CDs  


1. Evolution: Satan's   Lie 
2. Faith Shakers:           Common Cults 
3. The Dark Side
4. New Age Beginnings 
5. New Age Practices
6. The Early Beginnings
7. Reformation and Beyond
8. A Bible Introduction
9. Government: A Godly Perspective
10. Islam: Qur'an vs. Holy Scripture
11. The End Times
12. My Marvelous Body.

6 chapters for each lesson. Written by R. R. Kremer (WELS). For more info and to order click reproducible.
The Facts on the Masonic Lodge 

 Why is understanding Freemasonry important today? What do Masons teach about Jesus, salvation, and life after death? What do Masonic symbols represent? Is the God of the Bible also the God of the Lodge? Are Masonry and Christianity compatible? Can Christians join the Lodge in good conscience? 

80 pages, #370, $5.99. Click Lodge to order. 
10 Things Every Small Group Leader Needs to Know  

By Mark Howell from Rick Warren's Ministry Toolbox 9/12

Battle hardened veterans and wet-behind-the-ears alike, every small group leader needs to know these 10 things:

1. Their senior pastor appreciates them. This is a very, very important thing for a small group leader to know. It ought to be communicated over and over again. Senior pastors who understand this and act on it are able to build enduring armies of small group leaders. [read more]

Church Computer

Suburban Bethlehem Lutheran Church (LCMS), Ft. Wayne, IN, does an excellent job using office computers and state-of-the-art software. They use an Excel spread sheet to record all attendance figures for members and guests. They also use Shepherd's Staff 2014 from CPH.

This permits pastors, elders, evangelism teams, etc., to view details on all activities of members and guests, adults and children, plus easy emails and mailings to any group. Kudos to Rev. William Mueller, Mary Ann, and others. You can call Suburban Bethlehem for additional input: 260-484-7873.

Identifying the Obstacles to Church Crowth
By Charles Arn, Rick Warren's Ministry Toolbox, 9/6/14

Healthy people grow. Healthy animals grow. Healthy churches grow. Growth is a characteristic that God supernaturally breathed into all living things. And the body of Christ - the local church - is a living thing.

So, when a church is not growing, it is helpful to ask: "Why?" If we understand the reason for a church's lack of growth, it is easier to accurately diagnose the cause and to prescribe the cure. Here are the five most common "growth-restricting obstacles." [read more]

For Pastor's Eyes  Only

JESUS and Muhammad 
Profound Differences and Surprising Similarities by Dr. Mark A. Gabriel. He grew up as a devout Muslim in Egypt and has been a Christian for ten years. New. $13.99. 259 pages. Free (including shipping) to the first pastor who emails us.

For Church Secretary's
Eyes Only

Heaven - My Father's House by Anne Graham Lotz. Fearful of death or troubled by the future? Lift your eyes to the hope of heaven. New. 127 pages. Hard cover. Retails for $12.99. Free (including shipping) to the first secretary (or office administrator) who emails us.

An Excellent Church Website

God has richly blessed a LCMS church plant in Apex, NC. God be praised! Rev. Mike Merker is pastor of Jordan Lutheran Church. They worship in a movie theater. 

We love their website.  
Spend some time looking closely at it. It's colorful. Easy to follow. Covers all their activities and programs. It breathes life. Click Jordan Lutheran to start your study. Jot down ideas for your website.
Alternative Scouting Group Takes Off

In January, Trail Life USA was launched as a biblically based scouting alternative to the Boy Scouts. After the Boy Scouts voted to allow openingly gay members, a group of men, led by John Stemberger, came up with Trail Life USA.

"It's amazing to see what's happened," Stembergber said. "We have about 470 troops in 47 states and another 275 troops coming into the fold."

To learn more about Trail Life and how to start a troop in your congregation just click Trail Life.
Before You Say "I Do"

A 91 page marriage preparation manual for couples. Can go through the manual together and, in some cases, the pastor may discuss some points with them. Can also be used by the pastor or counselors (lay couple) in a class setting. 

Chapters: 1. What Is Marriage? 2. Uniqueness and Acceptance in Marriage. 3. Love As a Basis for Marriage. 4. What Do You Expect from Marriage? 5. A Vision Statement. 6. Fulfilling Needs in Marriage. 7. Roles, Responsibilities, and Decison Making. 8. In-Laws or Outlaws - It's Your Choice. 9. Communication. 10. Conflict. 11. Finances.12. Sex in Marriage. 13. Your Spiritual Life Together. 14. Planning Your Wedding Together. 8 1/2" x 11", 91 pages. #307 $9.99. Use email to order or website.
Time to Grow Again
By Brad Powell, Outreach, September-October 2014, pp. 120, 121

When I'm not growing as a leader, I become the greatest obstacle to the success of the church I'm called to lead . . . Are you making a positive impact? If not, the solution is obvious. It's time to start growing again. Suggestions:

Surround myself with the right kind of people - those who challenge, stretch, and motivate me rather than those who allow me to be comfortable where I am.

Refuse to be satisfied with where I am. Here's the simple reality: when you're through improving, you're through. This principle of growth applies to our spiritual lives too. Growing spiritually precedes knowing spiritual blessing and impact. Peter urges us, "Grow in the grace and knowledge of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ" (2 Peter 3:18).

Welcome! Please come in. The table of the Lord. Who does God want at His table? How big is it? How inclusive is it? "There Is Plenty of Room at the Table of the Lord" Yes, there is plenty of place I see. There is room for you. The Mennonite Atrium Choir excels in bringing you the good news. Watch, listen or sing along.

 Plenty Of Room
Plenty Of Room
Four Important Goals for My Life 
By Pastor Don Ginkel 

Goal #1 Acts 16:31, "Believe in the Lord Jesus, and you will be saved." If we are to prioritize our goals according to the Bible, this would have to be Number 1. Could anything be more important than that for us? This is basic to salvation, to life, to hope, to everything. It's basic for my children, for my neighbors, for my friends, for the world - every day, every hour - to believe in Jesus as my Savior and Lord!


Goal #2 Revelation 2:10, "Be faithful, even to the point of death, and I will give you the crown of life." Folks, this is the only crown that matters; it's the only life that endures forever. Be faithful to Jesus. Trust Him alone and always as your dear Savior. Do not let anyone or anything stand in the way.   


Goal #3 Mark 16:15-16, "Go into all the world and preach the Good News to all creation. Whoever believes and is baptized will be saved, but whoever does not believe will be condemned." My third goal is to take that which I have spiritually and give it away, and the more I give it away, the more I'll have it. Who says so? Jesus! Go share the Good News with everyone you can. I want to spend the rest of my life doing that.


Goal #4 Revelation 22:20-21, "He who testifies to these things says, 'Yes, I am coming soon.' Amen. Come, Lord Jesus. The grace of the Lord Jesus be with God's people. Amen." There was a Christian man who asked this question each evening at bed time: "Perhaps tonight, Lord?" When waking the next morning: "Perhaps today, Lord?" If we are going to prioritize things, Goal #4 would be the development and growth of the concept within myself that the imminent return of Jesus in the sky is about to take place. Unless I am operating with that kind of thinking, I'll spend too much time on peripheral piffle (Don't ask me how to spell that correctly). I'll be robbing myself of some of those good stewardship concepts and promises that are rightfully mine as a child of God.


Intentionally focus on these four goals in the days ahead. And then make the confession of St. Paul your very own (Philippians 3:12-14): "Not that I have already obtained all this, or have already arrived at my goal, but I press on to take hold of that for which Christ Jesus took hold of me. Brothers and sisters, I do not consider myself yet to have taken hold of it. But one thing I do: Forgetting what is behind and straining toward what is ahead, I press on toward the goal to win the prize for which God has called me heavenward in Christ Jesus." 


God bless - for Jesus' sake!


5 Steps To Creating A Culture of Evangelism in Your Church
By Brandon Hilgemann, LifeWay

It is a sad reality today that many churches are simply not reaching many people for Christ. No, it's not all about numbers. Yes, fellowship and discipleship are important.
But if we are trying to follow the great commission, why are we not doing more to try to reach people?

Put simply, I believe it is because we have not created a culture of evangelism in our churches. Somewhere along the way, many churches have lost their evangelistic fervor. If we want to create a culture of evangelism in our churches, I believe there are at least 5 things that we must do. 
  1. Model Evangelism Yourself. You cannot expect your people to do something that you yourself are not doing. It is as simple as that. You can only lead people as far as you have gone yourself. If you are not actively seeking evangelistic opportunities, your people won't either. [this is important; please read more
For Your Worship Service: Confession With Praise
(3 verses from "Holy, Holy" by Jimmy Owens

I believe in God, the Father Almighty, Maker of heaven and earth.
Sing: Gracious Father, gracious Father, We're so blest to be Your children Gracious Father, And we lift our heads before You As a token of our love, Gracious Father, gracious Father.
And in Jesus Christ, His only Son, our Lord, who was conceived by the Holy Spirit, born of the virgin Mary, suffered under Pontius Pilate, was crucified, died and was buried. He descended into hell. The third day He rose again from the dead. He ascended into heaven and sits at the right hand of God the Father Almighty. From thence He will come to judge the living and the dead.
Sing: Precious Jesus, precious Jesus. We're so glad that You've redeemed us, precious Jesus; And we lift our hands before You As a token of our love. Precious Jesus, precious Jesus.
I believe in the Holy Spirit, the holy Christian Church, the communion of saints, the forgiveness of sins, the resurrection of the body, and the life ever lasting. Amen.
Sing: Holy Spirit, Holy Spirit, Come and fill our hearts anew, Holy Spirit; And we lift our voice before You As a token of our love, Holy Spirit, Holy Spirit.

Just for Fun 

Each of the first five people who have the best score on our
"This and That Quiz" below will receive a $10 Starbucks Card in the mail. Contest ends October 5. Names of winners will be carried in our November Newsletter. Some answers may be found on our website: www.churchpress.com. 
Just reply to this email with your answers typed in. Include your name, address, and zipcode.
  1. What is the right number for you "to dial" in order make a direct call to your Heavenly Father toll free whenever you want? _____ 
  2. How can you find a list of archived Church Press Newsletters for the past few years? ____________________________________
  3. Who compiled and edited The Best of the Best In Contemporary Christian Music? ______________________________________
  4. What is synergism?  ___________________________________
  5. What elements does the communicant receive when attending the Lord's Table according to Catholic beliefs? ______________ According to many reformed churches? ___________________   According to the Bible? _________________________________
Stack of Stuff

Church signs of the week (iPod, Quicker Picker Upper, Hot Party) from Christianity Today, 8/15/14. These are winners! You need to take a peek. Click signs.

We like these two sentences: "I would like a copy of Comeback Churches for myself and the elders to read. We need help, and we are willing to step out of the box." - Rev. Ken Serr, Grace Lutheran Church (LCMS), Haven, WI. Do you "wanna step out of the box?" For more info on the book click Comeback.

Here is a comment for someone you've been trying to win for Christ and he's refused (could also be used on your church sign): Eternity is a long time to be wrong!

Have you given a sincere compliment to someone today?

Take a good look at your desk top. Are things arranged for maximum efficiency? It pays to have everything on your desk where it should be, if it needs to be moved, or even if it should go "to file 13."

Try to "touch" mail items only once in the interest of time management.

Want to save money? Signing for your UPS package will save your church money ($3.50 - $5.00) (other than home delivery). Ask your UPS driver to get your signature on all UPS deliveries. It pays.

It makes an enormous difference when people really believe that their church (pastor and people) truly loves them and cares for them. Do members and guests attending your church know it?

It's Never Too Late to Start Over, Part 1: Why We Fail
By Rick Warren, Rick Warren's Ministry Toolbox, 9/5/14

Failure doesn't have to be final. In fact, I believe God wants to put our failures to work for us. Everybody experiences defeats in life. Everybody has failures. The book of Proverbs has a lot of insight into what causes failure. Five different things that can cause failure in our life according to the book of Proverbs:

1. We fail when we don't plan ahead.

It's like the old saying, "If you fail to plan you're planning to fail." Proverbs 27:12 says, "A sensible man watches for problems ahead and prepares to meet them. But the simple minded man never looks and suffers the consequences." Are you simple-minded? Some of us have a tendency to be impulsive. Yet the sensible man plans ahead. [read more]


Well Known Proverbs 

A first grade teacher collected old, well known proverbs. She gave her class the first half of the proverb and they had to come up with the rest; here is the result:

As you make your bed so shall you.... mess it up.
Better be safe than.... punch a 5th grader.
Strike while the.... bug is close.
It's always darkest before.... daylight savings time.
You can lead a horse to water but.... how?
Don't bite the hand that.... looks dirty.
If you lie down with the dogs, you'll.... stink in the morning.
And idle mind is.... the best way to relax.
Happy is the bride who.... gets all the presents.
A penny saved is.... not much.
Laugh and the whole world laughs with you, cry and.... you have to
    blow your nose.
Children should be seen and not.... spanked or grounded.
When the blind leadeth the blind.... get out of the way.
"It's sad to say: Ray Rices are here too "
By Benjamin Hochman, Denver Post, September 9, 2014

Ray Rice lives in Denver, and he just punched somebody's daughter. Ray Rice is standing in front of you in line at the coffee shop. Ray Rice is in the car next to you on Interstate 25. You see Ray Rice every day, a regular man doing regular life things... until he goes home and unleashes hay makers upon the skull of a woman.

On one day in Colorado - just one single day - 978 women and children sought refuge from domestic violence. Think about this folks. For the day of September 17, 2013, the National Census of Domestic Violence Services gathered information from 36 of Colorado's 45 domestic violence programs. On that day, 255 adults and 265 children - children - found refuge in emergency shelters or transitional housing, provided to victims. And 461 more adults and children received assistance that didn't include some sort of housing - be it counseling, legal advocacy or children's support groups. Yes, many of these people utilize these services on more than one day in a year. But the number 978 provides a sobering glimpse into this world.

Note: God hates abuse and so should we. Please consider addressing this horrendous problem in your church and in your pulpit - it's a problem that cries for attention.

Promote Your Next Adult Membership Class 
Promotional paragraphs for bulletins and newsletters
Our next ______________________ Class begins Sunday, October 12, at 6:00 p.m., in the _____________ Room. We still 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 many church backgrounds and those with no church background are usually in attendance; this 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 class 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 with be surprising and pleasant.

Loving the Lost: Churches Without the Broken are Broken Churches 
It's easy for Christians to love each other, but it's important for believers to love others as well
By Ed Stetzer, Christianity Today, 9/17/14

It is a natural thing for Christians to want to be around other Christians. We can worship freely, study deeply, and communicate clearly. Hanging out with like-minded people who "have their stuff together" is a blast.

But how well are we engaging those aren't as spiritually stable as we (think we) are? I've been fascinated by the fact that a lot of Christians don't seem to like non-Christians - otherwise known as "the lost," "the unchurched," or what other term you may want to use . . . Our needs get met and we move on, oblivious to a world that is falling apart all around us.

Jesus lived differently. One of the common criticisms Jesus faced was that He spent too much time with sinners. He associated with the unwelcomed and unappreciated of society. How many of us could be accused of spending too much time with the "riff raff?" [read more]
What's the Answer to This Question

In the October Newsletter we asked: "Why is the LCMS experiencing such enormous membership losses?" Here is one response from Rev. Stephen Skov (LCMS), St. Paul Lutheran Church, Wartburg, TN.

Here are my reasons why the LCMS is not growing:
  1. "To continue to do what you've always done expecting new and greater results is the definition of insanity."
  2. If a church is not intentionally working for growth, it will not grow.
  3. Many of our churches are dominated by strong members who want the Status Quo.
  4. There is no plan or vision or strategy for growth.
  5. Bickering or grumbling among the members is a sure sign that the church has turned in on itself.
  6. Lousy fellowship where members are not loved and visitors are overlooked.
  7. No prayer, no life, no fervency. Why would anyone want to join something that looks dead?
  8. We cling too much to past traditions - "We've never done it that way before."
  9. The pew hardly ever rises higher than the pulpit. If the preacher has lost his joy, zest and relevancy, it translates quickly to the pew.
  10. Too much mediocrity and comfort zone and not being aggressive enough for Christ.
  11. Our message never changes, but our methods better change. Change or die!
  12. In worship Content is king over Form. We rely too much on form.
  13. Church growth doesn't happen by chance. Where is the attitude of St. Paul who said, "I seek to become all things to all men so that by all possible means I might save some" (1 Corinthians 9:22).
I could go on and on, but that is a starter to your question. 

                                             Sincerely yours, Stephen Skov

Note: His words should actually be an encouragement to us. Thoughtfully go through his 13 points again.

Be blessed and be a blessing
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