April 2015
Church Press Newsletter
God, Help Me!

For some people this will be the last Easter service they will attend. Imagine that you were not in Christ. Imagine this was the last worship service you would attend. Plan, pray, and preach accordingly for a very powerful and moving worship service - that it would be a tool for the Holy Spirit to bring you to saving faith in Jesus.

General William Booth, founder of the Salvation Army, once said that his desire, had it been possible, would be to dangle his evangelism trainees over hell for 24 hours. That way, they could see the reality that awaits those who do not know Jesus Christ.

St. Paul had a burden for his people. He cared. It burned inside him. "I speak the truth in Christ - I am not lying, my conscience confirms it through the Holy Spirit - I have great sorrow and unceasing anguish in my heart. For I could wish that I myself were cursed and cut off from Christ for the sake of my people, those of my own race" (Romans 9:1-3).

God, give me such a passion for people. Amen. 

Killing Jesus -
a history

by Bill O'Reilly and Martin Dugard. His death is presented more in the historical setting of His life and time. There is a huge benefit just from learning more about the history of the world when our Savior died. We encourage you to read it.   

Church Signs of the Week

Here are three church signs that are sure winners. Amazing. Have to see it to believe it. Even then its difficult to believe it.

By Dr. Frank Luntz, 
Words That Work, p. 21

"Visualizing has as much to do with words as it does with pictures, and there is one word in the English language that automatically triggers the process of visualization by the mere mention, simply because it has 350 million unique, individual, personal manifestations to match the 350 million Americans. 

"That word: imagine. Whether it's the car of your dreams or the candidate of your choice, the word imagine is perhaps the single most powerful communication tool because it allows individuals to picture whatever is in their hearts and minds."

FOCUS ON THIS: Add the Lord when you imagine and you've really got something big! Make it a habit to imagine this every day. Then imagine the possibilities.

For Pastor's Eyes  Only

Luther - Biography of a Reformer by CPH. Hard cover. Retails for $14.99. 219 pages. Free (including shipping) to the first pastor who emails us.

For Church Secretary's
Eyes Only

Simpler Living Compassionate Life - a christian perspective by Nouwen, Foster, and Andrews. New. 296 pages. Retails for $14.95. Free (including shipping) to the first secretary (or office administrator) who emails us.

Deadly Sins


Not long ago, after 1,500 years, the Vatican added to the seven deadly sins these: polluting, genetic engineering, drug dealing, being obscenely rich, abortion, pedophilia, and causing social injustice. 


But what is really deadly? Any sin. "For the wages of sin is death" (Romans 6:23).


The Good News? "Jesus Christ is the atoning sacrifice for our sins" (1 John 2:2b).

Who on earth are we here for? The 
  • Hurting
  • Broken
  • Hopeless
  • Depressed
  • Doubting
  • Lost
  • Alone
  • Unchurched
A Good Church

St. Matthew Lutheran Church (LCMS) in Bel Air, MD, has an attractive website. Rev. John Ramey is lead pastor assisted by Rev. Blaise Sedney.

The special welcome is warm and inviting. It presents important subjects neatly arranged. Very informative. Click St. Matthew to start your study. Jot down ideas for your website.
Jehovah's Witnesses 

The 10 Most Important Things You Can Say to a Jehovah's Witness by Don Rhodes. 

They teach that Jesus is a "lesser" god, the Trinity is a doctrine inspired by Satan, salvation hinges on obedience, Jesus' second coming occurred in 1914, and more and more.

Explains their teachings point by point and how to counter them. 128 pages. #319 $9.99.

Grandpa Don Exhausted 

It's Wednesday evening. I've just returned from babysitting (hadn't done that in over 50 years) grand daughter Emma, age 6, and Finley, 10 months, for TWO HOURS (note how long it was). Wife, Nadine, suggested that she should come along. I said, "No way. It's a piece of cake!" They did not tell me Finley was teething, so when she screamed for thirty minutes without breathing, I was frantic. What will I do? What if she dies? Her nose was running profusely. I tried wiping it, but that really made her mad. I finally gave up. Then Emma offered me some relief. She said, "Grandpa, don't worry," referring to the constantly running nose. "It won't drip on the carpet; it'll just run in her mouth!" Oh, that made me feel a lot better. Believe me, being the mom of a 10 month old girl teething is not a good thing. I advise against it if at all possible. Do it only if you must - Don

Welcome! Please come in. "I Know That My Redeemer Lives" was written by Samuel Medley in 1775. This video with lyrics is integrated with Scripture and is a very comforting presentation. Come rest a bit. View the video, listen to or sing the words.

I know that my Redeemer Lives (with lyrics)
I know that my Redeemer Lives (with lyrics)

Don't Be Caught Dead Without Christ!
An Easter Sermon 
by Pastor Don Ginkel

1 Corinthians 15:55-57

"Where, O death, is your victory? Where, O death, is your sting? The sting of death is sin, and the power of sin is the law. But thanks be to God! He gives us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ."


There is something about Christianity that distinguishes it from all the other religions in the world. It is the only religion that claims that it's Leader died and rose again and is alive at this very moment. Christ is living today. Those who are true believers in Jesus are winners. I want you to be a winner because of Jesus.


You can follow any philosophy in life that you want. You can belong to any kind of religious denomination you want. You can call yourself a Baptist or a Buddhist, but unless you have the living Christ as your Savior, you are a loser.


You can have a good education, live in a beautiful home, drive a nice car, and be vaccinated against all kinds of diseases, but until you are converted to the Lord Jesus Christ you are a loser, you will continue to lose, and for all eternity you will lose.


You may have attended Sunday School as a child, have memorized many Scripture verses, and today you are a member in good standing in a church, but you will lose if you have not had an encounter with the Son of God. Until you are converted to Jesus Christ instead of following whatever it is that you are following, you are a loser, and you will continue to be a loser. The Bible says there is no hope for you. [read more

4 Secrets of a Fruitful Ministry
By Pastor Rick Warren, Ministry Toolbox, 3/13/15

Most people are interested in productivity. But the Bible doesn't use the word "productivity;" instead, you'll find there the word "fruitfulness." God wants us to have fruitful ministries, so I want to show you some principles that will produce a godly fruitfulness in your life. I believe there are four conditions that are essential for a fruitful ministry.

First, you must cultivate roots.
God says there's no fruit without roots. You need roots particularly when your resources are limited, for when times of drought come along. Drought, as you know, is a long period without rain. We had one here in California that lasted seven years! A drought in your life is whenever you have to do without something you need, perhaps time, energy, money or support. There will be times of drought in your ministry; perhaps you're even in one now. [read more]

Learning from Pastor Nathan Brandt (LCMS)
His church building, Our Savior Lutheran Church in Tualatin, OR, burned to the ground two years ago. Nathan lost his entire personal library in the fire. He has been using I HAVE GOOD NEWS FOR YOU for years for his large adult classes. He recently sent us this note.

Don, I want to share something with you. I've promoted a program wherein we have members of the congregation go and visit all of the people who visit us. Our goal is to visit them within 48 hours of the worship service. We do not call for an appointment. We just show up at their door. We do not expect to get in the door, but rather just seek to acknowledge that we were glad to see them. We hand out a re-usable grocery bag to them with a loaf of bread and some church literature. If they aren't home, we hang the bag on the door knob. If the visitor gets invited in, so be it - but we tell our people to keep the visit short because none of it was planned. We also tell them when the next adult class is starting.

Tom Renne, who knows you, is the chairman of that committee. He coordinates visitors with those that need to be visited by geographic area. He keeps a Google Docs spreadsheet on each visiting family that can be updated by any of his visitors and can be read and updated by me at any time. It also gives me a list of visitors that I can report to the Spiritual Life Board and Church Council.

Thanks for everything,
Nathan Brandt

Deep Preaching
Bu Dr. J. Kent Edwards, p. 150 

Whatever you do, don't preach holiness to others without practicing it yourself. It is so easy to stand above our sermons rather than in them. Our old nature wants us to lecture others on godliness, while standing in the stench of our own iniquity. It encourages us to spot the speck in our brother's eye while overlooking the log in our own, to minister hypocritically. We can avoid this ministry pitfall by first taking the truth we're going to preach for a tour of our own heart. (#351 $19.99).

How Do You Keep Track? Two Concerns
  1. How do you track your visitors, follow-up, and retention? What tools or systems do you use? How can you do that?
  2. How do you track your members, attending and non-attending? Can you hit a button and instantly pull up their complete history at your church?
Both concerns are vitally important for them and you. We suggest you put someone (or plural) in charge. For information on the Shepherd's Staff click http://www.shepherdsstaff.org and for Church 360Members click http://www.360members.com. For a side by side comparison click
http://cts.cph.org/comparisonFor questions you can call Stephen Jenkins at CPH at 800-325-2399 Ext. 1421 or by email click stephen.jenkins@cph.org.

How To Stop Fears From Stealing Your Peace
A Holy Experience, Ann Voskamp

All Michelle Cushatt ever wanted was a well-ordered life. Peace, predictable, and happy. A life she could control. She never expected a devastating divorce and single motherhood. Or a second marriage marred by the challenges of a blended family. Or, at the age of thirty-nine, a cancerous diagnosis followed by the addition of three little ones in crises. The resulting chaos proved far more than she could contain. Although the details may be different, Michelle's story isn't so different from yours. Michelle calls each of us to relinquish perfection and embrace what is. To lean in. Because sometimes life's best stories are written right in the middle of the mess. It's a grace to welcome Michelle to the farm's front porch today. Her moving article is titled, "How To Stop Fears From Stealing Your Peace." (Hope you read it and pass it on to someone else - Don)

Stack of Stuff

Good News Class Review at End of Course
Here is a 30-question review which can be used at the end of the course. Hits just 30 high points of Christian doctrine. Hey preacher - dare you to give this 30-question review to your members. Double dare you to give it to your Church Council. Triple dare you to give it to your Board of Elders. You might be surprised; it could be good, or maybe not. (some pastors encourage their people to occasionally attend a Bible study on just the basics to make sure they're all "marching to the same drummer"). Click review now.

For Easter
sing "O Sons and Daughters of the King." There are nine verses. Have ladies sing one verse, then men, then stand for last verse. 

Put a limit on it
As a general rule limit yourself and your children to a maximum of two hours of TV a day; more than this equals wasted time. Similar concern should be given to too much time on the cell phone. Be careful.

are available from the ushers. Please speak to them to receive one of these bulletins for today's service. (Place this note in your bulletins periodically)

Church Press and credit cards
Please note that in order to keep our prices low, we will no longer be accepting payments by credit card. Payment should be made by check when you receive the invoice with your shipment.

Take another peek
at the note from Rev. Nathan Brandt above on how his congregation does follow-up on visitors. Visitors are a "precious commodity" and need the best of care.

Seen on a church sign:
"It is highly unlikely there'll be a reduction in the wages of sin."

Time to change what you call your worship services?
We like what one church calls worship services. Instead of "Traditional" and "Contemporary" (a bit archaic), they call them "Classic Grace" and "Majestic Praise" (we like that, but you have to make sure the titles match reality).

Practice this daily
Give at least one sincere compliment a day to a spouse, child, friend, or almost anyone. Practice it daily.

For churches and individual Christians
who are really trying, struggling, and progress is slow: Be faithful! The Spirit of God says, "Stand firm. Let nothing move you (or deter you). Always give yourselves fully to the work of the Lord, because you know that your labor in the Lord is not in vain" (1 Corinthians 15:58).

Suggestion for you and your Mom
Sit down with her, just the two of you, and have a heart-to-heart talk with her. Share your heart with her. Tell her how much you appreciate everything she has done for you. She will love it and you will, too.

Do dogs have a conscience?
Here are the top 10 guilty dog choices for 2014.

Email your people
during Holy Week letting them know why they should invite neighbors and friends to your Easter Services. Make it an encouraging email.

"Perfectionism is slow death by self." - Ann Voskamp

A general truism to think about
You feel how you look, grooming, dress, etc. There are some exceptions, but not many.

10 Questions First Time Guests Are Asking
By Brian Moss

What we don't often realize is the incredible anxiety most first time guests feel when they walk through our doors. Their minds are racing with questions. The answer to those questions will most likely determine whether or not they ever come back. For some, it may even determine where they spend eternity! Here's my unofficial list of a first guest's questions: [read more]

SEAL of God (an amazing true read for men)

Days before Chad Williams was to report to military duty in Great Lakes, IL, he turned on a TV and was greeted with horrifying images of his mentor, US Navy SEAL Scott Helvenston, being brutally murdered in an ambush in Fallujah, Iraq. Steeled in his resolve, Chad followed in Scott's footsteps and completed the US military's most difficult training to become a Navy SEAL. One of only 13 from a class of 173 to make it straight through to graduation. Chad served on SEAL Teams One and Seven for five years, completing tours of duty in the Philippines, Saudi Arabia, Bahrain, and Iraq.

Part memoir, part evangelism, SEAL of God follows Chad's journey through the grueling Naval Ops training onto the streets of Iraq, where he witnessed the horrors of war up close. Along the way, Chad shares his own radical conversion story and talks about how he draws on his own experiences as a SEAL to help others better understand the depths of Christ's sacrifice and love. (This is an excellent read. Go to Amazon for a good price. Well worth your time.- Don)

No Matter What, Please Keep Your Hope

Even when faith falters, hope comes to the rescue. Peter wrote to believers who were going through severe trials: "Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ! In His great mercy He has given us new birth into a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead" (1 Peter 1:3).

Hope is illustrated in the true story of a dog who was abandoned at the airport of a large city. He stayed there for over five years, waiting for his master to return. People at the airport fed and cared for him, but he refused to leave the spot where he last saw his master. If a dog's love for his master can produce that kind of hope, how much more should you keep your hope in God? Please take a moment to read Psalm 42. Thanks!

Special blessings to you as you prepare 
more residents for the Father's House
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