January 2015
Church Press Newsletter
I Have Good News For You Leader's Guide  

A January special: $25.00 value. Regular price $16.95. 50% off -
only $8.48. 

238 pages. Spiral bound. Verse by verse commentary with numerous illustrations. Student text enclosed with questions and answers and ideas for starting and ending your adult class successfully. Click email to order your copy.
Write More Better  
By Aaron Armstrong
Helpful tips for writing well

What you're going to find in the pages that follow are the tips I've found helpful on the journey to becoming a writer. My goal here has been to be practical, helpful, and (hopefully) write something that's enjoyable. Alright, let's get started.

Writing simply is harder than it looks. (And a more obvious sentence has yet to be written.)

When we're starting out, we often try to sound like we know what we're doing. Our impressive vocabularies (or impressive proficiency with thesaurus.com) are on display for all to see. The only problem? No one wants to read it. [read more

Note: This article is must reading for anyone who writes. Run off a hard copy and then read it carefully.
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!

Four Steps for Taking a Personal One-Day Retreat
By Rob Hurtgen, LifeWay

Life gets busy. There are certain times of the year that feel busier than others. If we are not careful, busyness gradually becomes both an idol and a substitute for effectiveness. Instead of advancing the Kingdom we can easily wind up managing mayhem. Scheduling and taking a personal one-day retreat is a tool to avoid this temptation. Here are four steps to consider when taking a one-day retreat. [read more]

10 Card Sampler Pac - only $4

I Belong certificate for new members, Baptism for children, for adults, Sponsor, Thank You For Visiting Us In Worship, Encouragement/Get Well card, We Miss You, Thank You for serving, A Gift Card for parents of a baby, Wedding Anniversary. #410 $4.00 ($12.95 value). Email us for this special.

Tips on Meetings

Try to honor people's time. Start the meeting on time and finish on time. Have an agenda. Email it in advance. Always attend with a legal pad and take notes. Beside ideas offer possible solutions. Begin with a Bible reading and prayer. Stop at times during the meeting for specific prayer. Be positive.

For Pastor's Eyes  Only

The Seed-Planting Church by Dr. Waldo Werning (LCMS), Powerfully practical. Suggests changes from a bureaucracy to a movement for God. New. 168 pages. $12.00. Free (including shipping) to the first pastor who emails us.

For Church Secretary's
Eyes Only

On Holy Ground, A Daily Devotional by Charles Stanley. A year's worth of spiritual adventure. 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 than the two people who received the free book offer in this Newsletter) who emails us and asks for the 2015 Chick-fil-a Calendar and Calendar Card, we'll send it 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.
Nine Issues Regarding Pastors and Office Hours
By Thom S. Rainer, LifeWay

What should a pastor and staff do regarding church office hours? What should be the expectations of the church members about their schedules? Allow me to respond by noting nine key issues.

1. Pastors must be out of the office on a regular basis to be in a relational presence in the community. The most effective pastors I know give relational presence a priority. That presence is to both church members and those who aren't members. [read more]
A Special Church

Trinity Lutheran Church (LCMS) in Port Edwards, WI, has very practical website. Rev. Daniel Bohn is Pastor.

The home page is colorful and active. Good eye appeal and good info. Click Trinity Lutheran to start your study. Jot down ideas for your website.
Ash Wednesday Is February 18th 

Bought With A Price by Dr. Arthur Graf (LCMS). 7 sermons on the last words of Christ on the cross plus 10 occasional sermons. Only $9.95. 140 pages. #183. Email us or call 303-980-8863.

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.

What Are Saints?
Sermon by Pastor Don Ginkel
1 Samuel 2:9a, Ephesians 4:11-13, Psalm 116:15

A lot of churches in the country are named after people like Mark, John, Peter, and Thomas. Why do we name a church St. Matthew, St. Mark, or St. Luke? Just who are and what are all these saints?


I asked a ten-year-old boy who he thought the saints were and he said, "They are the pro football players in New Orleans." Another person said candidly, "Saints are dead people." Saints are often looked upon as people who lived hundreds of years ago. They were brutally murdered or something like that, and now a church is named after them. We have stained glass windows in some churches which depict them. This leads some people to believe that saints are people who are now in heaven, and we will have to wait until we get there to be a saint.


Let's turn to our bulletins and sing a song that most everyone likes to sing. We'll ask the organist to play it through once, and then we'll sing it with gusto.


Oh, when the saints go marching in, Oh when the saints go marching in,

Lord, I want to be in that number, When the saints go marching in.


Now listen closely. In both the Old Testament and New Testament the word for "saints" is often translated "holy ones." According to the Bible holy ones are made holy through Jesus Christ their Savior. So in other words, wives, your husbands are what? Holy ones, made holy by Jesus. I realize that may be hard for you to believe, but they are holy! They are saints and so are you! Can I hear an "Amen!"? [read more]


Invite Cards Really Help
By Troy Anderson, OutReach, November/December 2014, p. 33

Parkway Fellowship, Katy, TX, provides members with invite cards to give to their family, friends, neighbors and co-workers. Pastor Mike McGown explains, "We put them in every seat. Whenever we have a big sermon series, we'll put those cards on the seats two weeks prior, and part of the message will be about the need to reach out to people and invite them to church. When you provide people with an invite card, you make it easy for them to invite their friends," he says. "Our fall series is so big and people invite so many friends that 50 percent of our growth for the entire year comes during our fall series."

Counting Correctly: Create the Right Scorecard for Churches
By Ed Stetzer, Christianity Today, 12/9/14
Church assessment matters, and counting certain numbers is a key part of assessment.

Fifty years ago, many churches had signs within the building showing weekly numbers on them: worship service attendance, Sunday School attendance, offering total, and even how many people brought their Bibles. We live in a different age now. Today, some frown upon "counting." But I actually think it's worth doing - and doing better than we've ever done before.

There's an old but true cliche: We count people because people count. We count because we care about the souls of each person we count. We count because we want to be effective in what we are doing. [read more]

Top Ten Sources of Discouragement of Pastors and Church Staff
By Thom S. Rainer, LifeWay

I love those men and women who serve local churches. I love their commitment and sacrifice. And I wish I could do more to help them remain energized and encouraged.

In this post, I share the results of an informal Twitter poll where I asked pastors and church staff to share with me those areas that discouraged them most. My motivation for doing so is primarily my love and concern for church leaders. It is my payer that this awareness will encourage church members to be even more supportive of and prayerful for these leaders. 

Here are the top ten sources of discouragement of pastors and church staff listed in order of frequency. Admittedly, there is overlap in some of these responses, but those who responded often made their own distinctions. A representative quote follows each category.
  1. Conflicts/complaining/murmuring. "I find myself physically exhausted at the end of the week just from dealing with naysayers. My problem is exacerbated by naysayers using social media as their outlets." [read more]
5 Ways to Improve Audience Engagement
By Brandon Hilgemann

Is your audience boring? You may think the problem is your people, but I want to propose something different here: If your audience is dull, maybe the problem isn't your audience. Maybe, the problem is how you have engaged them.

Audience engagement starts with the speaker. People will do what they are taught. Many pastors just don't encourage engagement. In my opinion, good preaching sits somewhere in between monologue and dialogue (a lecture and a conversation). The preacher does the talking, but the audience is engaged and gives feedback with their body language and occasionally with their mouths. So how do you help build audience engagement? Here are five ways I have found helpful. [read more]

Stack of Stuff

Please, please root with her.
This is our 15 year old Bichon Frise, Lily. She is an ardent Bronco fan. She goes hyper when the Broncos are on TV until we put her Bronco sweater on. She settles down for a few minutes and then races next door to visit Shawn and Shana who give her treats. She then comes back home to watch the rest of the game with us. She had a bad Bronco Super Bowl Sunday a year ago. So, please help this dog and root for the Broncos when they play next on January 11th. Thank you.

To help with your outreach:
Prepare 500 chocolate bars for worshipers to hand out to friends the week before Valentine's Day. Wrap the bars with your church's contact info and service times. To get it done just put a few people in charge of the preparation. Easy. And it really helps.

At the annual awards dinner in heaven, the preacher sat in the seat of self-satisfaction. He had worked for this moment all his life. Now, just before the prizes were to be announced, he pushed himself back from the table and leaned over to his life-long partner. "I wonder how many great preachers are here," he whispered. She replied, "One less than you think."

Ed Stetzer: 
"One of the common criticisms Jesus faced was that He spent too much time with sinners. How many of us could be accused of that?"

Consider including
birthdays in your monthly newsletter.

Church business card - Be sure you have an attractive card. Make it a habit to hand out as many as you can to non-members during the week.

How many adult membership classes should you have in 2015?
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. 

"There is one thing worse than being lost; it's being lost and no one is looking for you." - Chuck Kelly

What to say:
Say "Thank you" often and mean it. When appropriate say something positive.

Email received:
"Don, thank you for the 'Thank You Cards' you forwarded with our last order. I appreciated them and am sending them to all our volunteer leaders and Elders. Please send us six more. - Pastor Dan, Minneapolis (This is THANK YOU CARD #407, $12.95 a dozen. Click "Thank You" to view on the Website or email us.

For next Advent and Christmas -
make a hard copy of Nine Lessons & Carols for Advent & Christmas from December 2014 at Ascension Lutheran Church (LCMS), Littleton, CO, for consideration for this year's Advent Season. Click Ascension. 

Zion Lutheran Church in Saint Ignace, MI, has Soup Days - inviting the community in for fellowship and a variety of hot soups and coffee to warm up when it's cold outside. - ZionStIgnace.com

To Be a Great Leader, You Absolutely Must Be a Good Reader
By Rick Warren

Somebody has said, "When your output exceeds your input your upkeep will be your downfall." There must be a balance. Most Christians get too much input and not enough output. They attend Bible study after Bible study. They're always taking in but they're never doing any ministry. The problem we pastors and church leaders face is the opposite. You're always giving out, and if you don't get input, you'll dry up.


Paul wrote his second letter to Timothy in prison. At the end of the letter he tells Timothy, "When you come, bring my coat, bring the books, too, and especially the ones made of parchment." (2 Timothy 4:13. ) At the end of his life, while in prison, Paul wants two things... "I want my coat and I want my books." C. H. Spurgeon commenting on this passage says:

He is inspired, yet he wants books. He has been preaching at least thirty years, yet he wants books. He's seen the Lord, yet he wants books. He's had a wider experience than most men, yet he wants books. He's been caught up to heaven and has heard things that are unlawful to utter, yet he wants books. He's written a major part of the New Testament, yet he wants books. [read more]

Re-Engage Your Congregation With A Mission to Reach People for Christ 

Eagle Brook Church in Centerville, MN, challenged churchgoers to choose one person to pray for, be intentional with and invite to a service. They held services in December specifically geared to reach those far from Christ. Over 3,000 new people attended - people their members had been praying for and took the risk to invite. 

Note: Something like this could be done by most any church, any size. Concentrate on a month or a particular Sunday. Two thoughts are simple and effective: "praying for and took the risk to invite." You can easily challenge your people to do both. Only one other thing needed: pastors who are willing to challenge their people. 

Hark! 'Tis the Shepherd's voice I hear, 
Out in the desert dark and drear. 
Calling the sheep who've gone astray, 
Far from the Shepherd's fold away.

Bring them in, bring them in, Bring them in from the fields of sin;
Bring them in, bring them in, Bring the wandering ones to Jesus.

Beware of Allowing
By Oswald Chambers

Beware of allowing yourself to think that the shallow aspects of life are not ordained by God; they are ordained by Him equally as much as the profound. We sometimes refuse to be shallow, not out of our deep devotion to God but because we wish to impress other people with the fact that we are not shallow. This is a sure sign of spiritual pride. We must be careful, for this is how contempt for others is produced in our lives. And it causes us to be a walking rebuke to other people because they are more shallow than we are. Beware of posing as a profound person - God became a baby.

Bible Studies Just for Women by Dee Brestin

A Woman of Beauty, 1.2, & 3 John, Becoming More Like Jesus
A Woman of Moderation, Breaking the Chains of Poor Eating Habits 
A Woman of Purpose, Luke, Walking With Jesus
A Woman of Confidence, 1 Peter, Facing LIfe's Difficulties
A Woman of Faith, Esther, Overcoming the World's Influences
A Woman of Contentment, Ecclesiastes, Life's Sorrows & Trials
A Woman's Journey Through Luke, 12 Lessons on the Savior
The Joy of Hospitality, Recovering a Lost Art

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