November 2014
Church Press Newsletter

Immigrants are plentiful in many of our communities. The Spanish Edition of I Have Good News for You can help you reach some of these people for Christ. It's on CD-Rom in Adobe PDF.

Has the entire text for the course plus worksheets with answers for the teacher. You may print unlimited copies of the text. #109. Regular price is $49.95. November special is $24.97. To order call 303-980-8863 or email us. To view the first page of Lesson One click sample.
"Emergency Food Supply"   

In one sealed container you can find over 300 servings. A 20 year shelf life. 1,857 calories a day. Average retail around $95.00 and can be found discounted for around $83. Check Amazon, Sam's Club, etc., for the best offer. Every home should have an emergency food supply. Would also make a practical gift for Christmas. Make a note now to purchase a container.

Coming to Jesus
By Oswald Chambers

"Come to Me . . . (Matt. 11:28). Isn't it 
humiliating to be told that we must come to Jesus! Think about the things about which we will not come to Jesus Christ.

If you want to know how real you are, test yourself by these words - "Come to Me . . ." In every dimension in which you are not real, you will argue or evade the issue altogether rather than come; you will go through sorrow rather than come the last lap of the race of seemingly unspeakable foolishness and say, "Just as I am, I come."

A Sweet Deal

Over the years Church Press has sold  a large number of Bible studies. Take a guess at the number and email us before November 5. The person closest will receive a one pound gift certificate from See's Candies. Only one clue: The number is fairly high. 

For Pastor's Eyes  Only

The JESUS Movement
- Its struggle for identity, its urban and rural settings, and the roles women played in it. By Ekkehard and Wolfbgang Stegemann. A useful history of New Testament times. New $29.95. 532 pages. Free (including shipping) to the first pastor who emails us.

For Church Secretary's
Eyes Only

A DVD on The Power of Forgivness is a religious/secular presentation. How to let go of the pain in the memory. Retails for $24.95. Free (including shipping) to the first secretary (or office administrator) who emails us.

A Winning Church Website

St. John Lutheran Church (LCMS) in Rochester, MI, has an attractive and colorful home page. Rev. Marc Schwichtenberg is lead pastor assisted by Rev. Steve Grafe  

We like their opening sentence: "You are a welcome guest as you step through our virtual open door." Click each drop down to discover all the information available. Has excellent eye appeal. Click St. John Lutheran to start your study. Jot down ideas for your website.
In Selecting Happiness...

over despair, we are able not only to generate it, but to make it contagious. All relationships are in need of happiness. A life approached in joy can neutralize the all-too-present pain and apathy with which most people approach each day. And that is no small matter (Loving Each Other, p. 182, by Leo Buscaglia).
What special...

ministries can your church start which will build people up and bring glory to Jesus? The list is almost endless. Suggestion: Bring ten to twenty Christians together to brain-storm the question. Provide some light refreshments. You'll be pleasantly surprised at the list. Be in prayer over this, and then ask the same group to pick out two ministries and how your church can go about starting them. Now, what are you waiting for? Go do it!

Nota Bene: Just one idea - start a ministry to teach English to immigrants, both adults and children. Some congregations are using I Have Good News for You in Spanish to assist them. 
If you read no other book this year, you must read:
Bonhoeffer, Pastor, Martyr, Prophet, Spy. Here is a snippet from p. 269:

The authority of a servant leader, as opposed to the authoritarianism of the mis-leader, came from God and was a leadership of serving those below oneself. That was Christ's example to the disciples, and Bonhoeffer strove to lead that way too.

Bethge remembered that early on - they had been at Zingst a few days - Bonhoeffer asked for help in the kitchen. There were no immediate volunteers, so Bonhoeffer locked the door and began to wash the dishes. When others tried to come in to help, he wouldn't unlock the door. He never mentioned a word about it, but the point was made. Selfishness, laziness, self-pity, poor sportsmanship, and the like were not tolerated. He made that legacy of his upbringing a part pf these seminaries.

Note: Church Press carries this book. For more info click Bonhoeffer.

Total Number of Asian American Churches: 

7,123. Of these 56% are Korean. "I fear evangelicalism won't take us seriously. It's unclear to me whether most white Americans, and in particular white American Christians, care about the issue of race." - Jonathan Tran. (Christianity Today, October 2014, p. 43)

Welcome! Please come in. "Awesome God" is a contemporary worship song written by Rich Mullins who died in September 1997. Its title is inspired by Biblical expressions in Nehemiah 1 and 9, Psalm 47, Daniel 9:4, etc. Watch, listen or sing along.

Our God is an Awesome God
Our God is an Awesome God

Changing Your Name 
By Pastor Don Ginkel

There is a man in the Bible that you may not know much about. His name is Joseph of Cypress. He was a wealthy businessman and farmer. He was a real man of encouragement. So much did this man develop and demonstrate the ministry of encouragement that the church changed his name. They called him Barnabus, meaning "the son of encouragement." 

When we read about him, we see that he left his home in Cyprus and moved to Jerusalem where he had a farm. The church was in trouble. It's back was against the wall. They were financially strapped and were extremely discouraged. We read where this man, Joseph but now called Barnabas, sold his farm and brought all the proceeds and gave them to the apostles. Not only did this help the church, but it encouraged many more to do the same thing. So the church of Jesus Christ was greatly helped and encouraged in their time of need.

Every time we see the name Barnabas, he is engaged in encouragement. Barnabus befriends a man whom no one else would befriend, a man who had a very questionable background. Barnabas took him in. This man whom Barnabus took in was named Saul, who later had his name changed to Paul. And Paul is considered the greatest of the New Testament apostles. What was the role of Barnabus in the church? He was an encourager. And that's needed today.

There are a lot of people today with frustration, despair, and discouragement. Many are just tired of day-to-day drudgery. LET'S CHANGE YOUR NAME to Barnabus - (the son or daughter of encouragement) and then go out of your way daily to encourage everyone you can. Your perspective on life can change if you begin to lift up the arms of those who are hanging, shoulder the burdens or drudgery they are carrying, take time to lift the corners of their mouths, and in the process you will change, too. Can I hear an "Amen!"? 

Ten Traits of Pastors Who Have Healthy Long-term Tenure
By Thom S. Rainer, LifeWay

Imagine what might take place if pastors consistently stayed at churches for ten or more years. Imagine that their tenure was largely healthy. Imagine what would happen in our congregations. The median tenure of a pastor at a church is around four years. Simply stated, over one-half of pastors leave a church before their fourth anniversary. And our research shows that the time of greatest fruit in a pastor's ministry does not begin until until somewhere around years five to seven. 

Is it possible, then, for pastors to stay longer in a healthy situation? In many cases, the answer is a resounding "yes"! I approached this issue by looking at over 30 pastors whose tenure exceeded ten years. And from my perspective, their tenures have been healthy and loving. Here are the ten traits of those pastors: [read more]

My Strange Life as a Pastor's Wife
By Laurie Carnright Edwards, Leadership Journel, 10/14/14

"She was a Plain Jane minister's wife type - you know what I mean."
That is how one of our parishioners described a visitor they'd had in church while my husband and I were away on vacation.Did I know what she meant? Did I want to know? After all, I am a minister's wife. I was hesitant to ask.

"Some minister's wives are good at it, some aren't." This remark came from a friend and mother-to-be. She was confined to home near the end of her pregnancy, and I brought her a gift, thinking it might cheer her up. Her offhand comment caught me off guard.

"How did the two of you ever get together? I mean you're so different." I was helping set up tables for the annual church bazaar and this question hit me out of the blue. It wasn't asked with the intent of getting to know me better. It was more of a "That's weird that he's married to you" kind of statement.

What is a "pastor's wife" anyway? Is it a profession? Certainly more than a few parishioners see it that way. (pastors wives must see this.) [read more]

Political Correctness Gone Crazy 

Parents in Lincoln, Nebraska, were up in arms after teachers were given teaching guidelines that advised them not to use "gendered expressions," like calling the students "boys and girls." The handout said that so as not to impose any specific gender classifications on students who might be gay, lesbian, bisexual or transgender, teachers should create non-gendered terms like "purple penguins" or divide students by personal preferences, like "dog or cat" people. Well, first of all, I'd point out how offensive that is to kids who prefer parrots! Hey, if someone prefers pets with colorful plumage, don't try to impose your outdated canine-feline stereotypes on them! Second, I hate to break this to you, but gender is a biological fact of life. You're either a boy or a girl. Even if you sincerely believe you're a girl trapped in the body of a boy, you're still in the body of a boy. All the politically correct weasel words in the world will not alter the basic reality of anatomy. After getting an earful from parents and a lot of unwanted national ridicule, the Lincoln school superintendent said the gender-neutral terms were just a suggestion, not a policy or a mandate. I'd also like to add: there's no such thing as a purple penguin. - Governor Huckabee. 

Our son lives in a very liberal part of Maryland. It appears that they are pursuing the same policy. He called us a few weeks ago and said he is pulling his six year old daughter out of the public school system next year and enrolling her in a Christian school even though that will cost money and time. - DFG


Stack of Stuff

Thanksgiving Day or Eve Worship. Develop a thoughtful and enthusiastic worship service. Use special music and special instruments. Have lay people read Scripture and lead in prayer. Consider having a lay Christian give a personal testimony. Make the service a bit more informal. Pastor - forget the robe. Deliver the message standing "down where the people are." Two thoughts.
  1. Send a special letter of invitation to all members and all prospects. We include a sample letter. Just click it.
  2. We include a sample Thanksgiving Eve or Day Sermonic Bible Study by Pastor Don. Just click it.
Develop the habit of printing a hard copy of this Newsletter; then, highlight sections you would like to pass on to a friend or that you may want to pursue more fully yourself. Do more than just read articles; decide how you want to act on them.

Is it time for you to get to know a lot more about Islam? We have three excellent presentations on Islam:
1. The Facts on Islam, 80 pages, #368, $5.99, for reading
2. Islam: Qur'an vs. Holy Scripture, #261, $39.95, reproducible    
Bible study
3. Reasoning from the Scriptures with Muslims, 342 pages, #311,          
$14.99 for reading.

Remind people: Eternity is a long time to be wrong. We need to think soberly about that.

A follow up to the above: Ebola can kill you without treatment. Sin WILL kill you forever without treatment. 

  What can wash my away my sin? Nothing but the blood of Jesus:
  What can make me whole again? Nothing but the blood of Jesus.
  Oh! precious is the flow That makes me white as snow;
  No other fount I know, Nothing but the blood of Jesus.

The U.S. Congress has a 13% approval rating - all the more reason for you to vote intelligently. And, don't be like one elderly lady who said, "I don't vote anymore - it only encourages them!"

Treat them carefully: 
  • Parking - Most unchurched people don't know how long it takes to get to your church. They often arrive late. In most churches they can't find a parking spot. Reserve some parking close to the church just for visitors.
  • Seating - Since they are late, they are greeted and led to the last seats available - right in front. This is the most uncomfortable place you can seat a visitor. They usually want to be toward the back, near an aisle, and not too far from an exit - "in case things get crazy."
To my pastor - 25 ways of saying "Thank You" by Brian K. Dodd. Hope you'll read them. This is important.

One of our dedicated LCMS pastors in Missouri recently wrote us: "Is home calling out of vogue? Mormons and JW do it. One of our church members said that since the problems in neighboring Ferguson, MO, she has had two visits from Mormons and three by Jehovah's Witnesses. I don't think anybody follows up our visitors except with one or two follow up letters from the pastor. I am told we cannot do this old time follow up any more. What do you think?" How would you answer him?

Getting to the spiritual: One of the questions I have used over the years to get the conversation from the secular to the spiritual is to ask this simple question: "So, Jim, how's the Lord treating you?" The answer is usually, "Really good." The quick follow-up question with a smile on my face is, "And, Jim, how are you treating the Lord?" Invariably his answer let's me direct the conversation so that it will prove profitable for both of us. - DFG

Frequently encourage your people to attend church when they are out of town, AND, ask them to bring back the bulletin, write their name on it, and hand it to you the following Sunday. You'd be surprised at the benefits of this good habit. Remember, encourage them frequently.

5 Ways to Excel In Your Ministry and Leadership
By Rick Warren, Rick Warren's Ministry Toolbox, 10/17/14

God is more concerned with your progress than with your perfect performance . . . If we aren't growing and challenging ourselves to move to the next level, personally and professionally, we can't lead a congregation or a team to do so.

Excellence, in and of itself, isn't a core value at our church. We'd rather launch things imperfectly than wait for perfect conditions, which never really arrive. Having said that, excelling or growing and improving is another matter. While we don't have to have perfection to serve God, we must be willing to grow. Some Pastors and leaders excel and grow, while others don't. What makes the difference? The Bible mentions at least five factors that cause us to excel: [read more]


The Ministry of Small Talk 
What we talk about while we're preparing the way for Jesus to join in the conversation
By Eugene H. Peterson, Christianity Today 10/13/14

Given a choice between heated discussion on theories of the Atonement and casual banter over the prospects of the coming LIttle League season, I didn't hesitate. It was the Atonement every time. If someone ever raised questions on theology, I was immediately in the thick of the talk, but if conversation dipped to the sale of radial times at the local dealer, my attention flagged. I substituted meaningless nods and grunts while looking for a way to disengage myself and get on to a more urgent and demanding meeting of souls. What time did I have for small talk when I was committed to the large message of salvation and eternity? What did I have to do with the desultory gossip of weather and politics when I had "fire in my mouth"?  We hope you'll [read more]

The Role of the Elders

In the early New Testament Church the office of the ministry was extended through the position of deacons (today we might call them elders). Specific instruction for deacons (elders) is given in 1 Timothy 3:8-13.

The elders are not to be a check and balance system for the pastor nor he for them. They are to be assistants to the pastor. They are never to be torn by dissension or internal conflict. The elders are to constantly seek to glorify Christ by making decisions based on sound Biblical principles of love and working closely as assistants to the pastor.

The unity and harmony of a church begins with the elders and pastor. Their unity, in turn, is dependent upon their knowledge of the Word and their conformity to the Word. When their knowledge and spirituality is right, their influence will pervade and give spiritual alignment to every level of the church. To reach this goal the elders should be faithful in church attendance, Bible class attendance, and daily study of the Word at home.

By Anthony Coppedge

To draw more visitors to your church, learn one quick, easy change or addition you can make to your web site. First time visitors to your web site want to know what happens when they enter your building. Make sure you answer the questions they're asking.
  1. What are services like? Let them know if it's contemporary, traditional, one hour or more, chairs or pews, etc.
  2. What should I wear? Show what's typical attire through pictures.
  3. Is childcare provided? If so, let them know for what ages and where exactly they should go to drop off the children. 
How did you find out about our church?

That is a huge question to ask first time visitors. Pastor could ask them as they are leaving church or do it during the service when asking all worshipers to fill out the church attendance card or pad. Ask if they would just note it on the card or pad. Then warmly thank them for it. The answers you receive will help your church immensely for future outreach.

Be blessed and be a blessing
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