May 2015
Church Press Newsletter
A Nightly Prayer

Dear Lord Jesus, I have plans for tomorrow, but I especially want to know Your plan for the people that I will meet. I want to give a word of encouragement to someone tomorrow. Pick that person out for me. And I want to tell someone tomorrow about what You mean to me. Pick that person out for me and bless the words that I speak. In Your name. Amen.

(Hope you pray something like this 
each night. The next day will be much
more fruitful.)


Not many of us have it now days. Learning How to Be More Content is a new and inexpensive reproducible Bible by Pastor Don that will be coming out shortly. Watch for details.

Church Signs of the Week

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

Pastor - 

Apprehensive about door-to-door canvassing? We believe it is still a viable option in many communities.

Consider starting by personally visiting homes for blocks around your church. Introduce yourself. Ask if there is anything you or your church can do for folks. Hand out an attractive church business card. 

Pastor, this exposure is profitable for you, your congregation, and the people in your neighborhood. You'll be pleasantly surprised at the results.

For Pastor's Eyes  Only

The Top Ten Leadership Commandments by Hans Finzel. Based on the life and legacy of Moses. An effective tool for developing leadership skills, all based on God's Word. Retails for $14.99. 248 pages. Free (including shipping) to the first pastor who emails us.

For Church Secretary's
Eyes Only

The Bible in 90 Days. That's all it takes to read the Bible in 90 days. NIV. Very attractive hard cover. New. 1065 pages. Retails for $19.99. Free (including shipping) to the first secretary (or office administrator) who emails us.

Nine Traits of Church Bullies

By Thom Ranier 3/30/15



Church bullies are common in many churches. They wreak havoc and create dissension. They typically must have an "enemy" in the church, because they aren't happy unless they are fighting a battle. They tend to maneuver to get an official leadership position in the church, such as chairman of the elders or deacons or treasurer. But they may have bully power without any official position.


Church bullies have always been around. But they seem to be doing their work more furiously today than in recent history. Perhaps this look at nine traits of church bullies can help us recognize them before they do too much damage. [read more

A Good Church

Zion Lutheran Church (LCMS) in Georgetown, TX, has an attractive website. Rev. John Davenport is lead pastor assisted by Rev. Kevin Hintze.

The entire website is colorful and inviting. It presents important subjects neatly arranged. Very informative. Click Zion Lutheran to start your study. Jot down ideas for your website.
Summit Counseling 
By Dr. Craig L. Loving, Licensed Marriage & Family Therapist, Licensed Addiction Counselor, Denver, CO

There is perhaps no greater honor than to teach God's Word or lead His people. Nevertheless, pastors are frequently called on to be with people during important, but sometimes very difficult times.

I know what that's like; I spent 30 years in pastoral ministry myself. More than a few times I looked for other pastors and professionals to partner with to help the people who were looking to me for help.

Since transitioning into full-time professional counseling, I've looked for ways I can come alongside pastors to assist them in their counseling ministry. Some of the ways I help include: [read more]

(Craig is a close friend; hope you take a minute to read more - Don)

Throw A Praise Party 

Some Sunday evening soon throw a Praise Party in your Fellowship Hall. Use piano and other instruments for a joyful song fest. Emphasize Gospel music. Provide a Nursery. Follow it with refreshments. Encourage everyone to invite a friend to come along.

Thank You Card 

 Here's a special "Thank You" card for those who have served your church and Lord faithfully. It includes an appropriate poem and Bible verses. This is a card that will be appreciated. Email us and we'll send you a card, free.

Warm Words 

"I love you." Warm words. Meaningful words. I need to hear those words. From my family. In the actions of the special people in my life.

 "I love you." It gives me a boost. It makes life worth living - even the rough times - because I know that someone really cares about me.

"I love you." God says that on every page of the Bible. He said it on the first Christmas. He said it on the first Easter. He says it to you now (John 3:16). Oh, how He loves you. God really cares about you. Let that warm your heart today.

Welcome! Please come in. "Rock of Ages" was written by Augustus Toplady in 1776. He was given the inspiration after taking refuge in a cliff during a terrible thunderstorm. "...cleft for me" reminds us of Moses' plea to God in Exodus 33:18-23. It is sung by the Antrim Mennonite Choir. It's a comforting presentation. Come rest a bit. View the video, listen to or sing the words.

Rock of Ages
Rock of Ages

"Them Bones, Them Bones, Them Dry Bones"
Sermon on Ezekiel 37:1-10 by Pastor Don Ginkel 
Ascension Lutheran Church, Littleton, CO, April 19, 2015

By now you know that I recently didn't make it as a baby sitter for my 10 month old granddaughter, Finley. In less than an hour little Finley, 10 months old, did me in. You know I imploded. It was so bad that my gracious wife, Nadine, took me on a Caribbean cruise for healing. That was great. But Easter Sunday was horrible. We went to the Easter Service. The preacher talked about looking at a sparrow in England. No Jesus. Not a word. I wanted to stand up and yell, "Shoot the sparrow! Get to Jesus!" I knew I shouldn't make a scene, so I sat there. They announced that the closing Easter hymn was, "He's Got the Whole World In His Hands." Nadine immediately got up and walked out. I followed. It was a bummer. We came back to Ascension last Sunday and Pastor Larson preached a powerful sermon on John 20. What a relief.


Now we come to the next preacher, the prophet Ezekiel. Here's the question: Can dry, dead bones come back to life? Can a dry bone with no skin, no brains, no sign of life, come back to life? That's the question God asked Ezekiel. Verse 3, "The LORD asked me, 'Son of man, can these bones live?'"


Poor Ezekiel. The Bible says that when he was 30 years old, God came to him and said in Ezekiel 2:4-5, "The people to whom I am sending you are obstinate and stubborn. Say to them, 'This is what the Sovereign LORD says.' And whether they listen or fail to listen - for they are a rebellious house - they will know that a prophet has been among them.'"


Now that's like God telling you: "This morning I want you to go to a certain house in a bad area in Denver. This house is packed with people. They are still carrying on after an all night party. They are in a rebellious mood. No, they won't listen to you. They might threaten you. They might even attempt to do you bodily harm, but you go anyway just so they can never say that they didn't have a chance to hear the Gospel." That is your assignment. Would you go?


Could your message bring life back into the people in that house? Well, that was Ezekiel's predicament. God did not say to Ezekiel, "Just go to those who will listen." He said, "Go to all the people just so they will have a prophet among them." Ezekiel went. They didn't listen. God said they wouldn't. [read more]

How to Recover the Lost Art of Dying Well: 
What Kara Tippetts Taught Us
By Ann Voskamp, A Holy Experience, 3/25/15

She'd said it brave into the camera, the liquid of her heart brimming like light in her eyes: "I feel I'm a kid at a party, whose Father said its time to leave and go Home already... And I am not afraid of dying - I just don't want to go."

Her wondrous little boy, Lake, had curled into her bed and he had looked into her eyes and whispered: "I don't want you to go..." Kara hadn't wavered. She was 38 years old and the mother of 4 children. Dying of cancer, and she hadn't looked away - She nodded and stroked his cheek with the palm of her hand, like she could etch her love right into his grief.

I had choked it out last night before I turned the last light out: "I feel like I am a kid still left at the party - and I'm at the window watching her go... watching the life of the party go." [read more] (feel free to share this article with your people)

Please believe that most churches can do MUCH, MUCH BETTER on visitor follow-up. That's why we're repeating the following article from last month's newsletter:  "Learning from Pastor Nathan Brandt (LCMS)." Please read it and resolve that your church will make some critical improvements.
 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

The Power of Adding More Services to Grow Your Church
By Rev. Dane Aakers, Centerpoint Church, 3/10/15

Centerpoint was founded in1887 and had averaged 125-150 attenders for over 30 years. The church had been through many pastors, much conflict, and several splits. I came to pastor the church in 1985 after a major church split which left the church with an average attendance of 89.

Slowly the church grew to about 150 in attendance but we just couldn't seem to get through the 200 barrier. In 1989 15 leaders went to a conference on prayer sponsored by the Fuller Institute of Church Growth. When we came home we met in the living room of my house to pray for our church to reach people for Christ. My wife, Karen, prayed, "God, take us through the 200 barrier like a space shuttle through a rubber band."

Sunday morning, two weeks later, I went down to the church at 6 a.m. to pray for our worship service. When I walked into the sanctuary the presence of God was so strong all I could do was fall on my knees in silence. That Sunday 100 new people walked into church. Our average attendance went from 150 to 250 in one Sunday. We went through the 200 barrier in one Sunday like a space shuttle through a rubber band. [read more] (because this was just the start of even more amazing things)

8 Values of TEAMWORK That Keep a Church Healthy
By Rick Warren, Ministry Toolbox, 3/27/15

The success of your ministry depends largely on a strong team with a deep sense of team spirit. I've witnessed the incredible power of a unified team to create growth and have counseled many churches who weren't  growing because their team members worked as individuals and not as a team. A team spirit is never accidental; it is always intentional. 

Teamwork is built on three factors; 1. A compelling purpose. 2. Crystal clear communication. 3. And a code of commonly held values. At Saddleback Church, we express eight values of teamwork in a simple acrostic, T.E.A.M.W.O.R.K.:

T - Trust. Trust among your team is the emotional glue that binds them together; it's essential to producing true confidence in each other. There are three factors that create trust within a team: [read more]

Stack of Stuff

Before you hear your Father say, "It's time to leave and go Home," tell
someone, "Come and go with me to my Father's House." Tell them why and then take them by the hand.

Every church should have a commercial first-aid kit, including procedures for CPR. Periodically remind staff and others where it is located.

Don't limit yourself by small dreams - dream some big ones too!

Knowing the Creator makes all the difference in the world. Unspeakable delight is ours as we see the intricacies of His handiwork. But immeasurable joy fills our hearts when, with gratitude and praise, we acknowledge that the great Creator became our Savior, and all of God's fullness dwells in Him. Wade Robinson wrote: 

Heaven above is softer blue, Earth around is sweeter green;
Something lives in every hue Christless eyes have never seen!
Birds with gladder songs o'erflow, Flowers with deeper beauties shine.
Since I know, as now I know, I am His and He is mine.

We like what we heard one boss say to an employee: "Get off your 'donkey' and do it!" Okay, okay, so it's "R" rated, but we still like it.

If you have a protocol for follow-up with visitors that seems to work, share it with us, if you will. Thanks.

Who do you need to forgive today?

"Perfectionism is slow death by self. It will kill your skill, your spark, your art, your soul." - Ann Vosskamp

D. W. Moody said, "When I study the Bible, I prepare myself to talk to others. When I read the Bible, God talks to me." Hope you study and read.

They really do care! "Your food stamps will be stopped effective March 2 because we received notice that you passed away. May God bless you. You may reapply if there is a change in your circumstances." - Department of Social Services, Greenville, SC.

What It Will Take

Most visitors at worship who receive cheerful hellos and smiles will not be convinced to come back the following Sunday. It's going to take much more than that. Two questions: 1. What would it be? 2. Are you willing to do that? Now, go ahead and do it

12 Pillars of a Healthy Church
By Dr. Waldo Werning (LCMS)

People are searching everywhere for answers to church ministry. This book will give you a vision for church growth and will broaden it. Rev. Stephen Hower (LCMS) says, "I especially recommend this book for those who are frustrated with their ministries and are looking for insights that will help them understand important principles of health." 130 pages  #303  $12.00. Go to our website or email us. 

You're Free to Toke Up. But Don't
By Andy Crouch, Christianity Today, 3/13/14

With the recreational use of marijuana now legal in Colorado and Washington (and the Obama administration disinclined to enforce federal laws against it) it's only a matter of time before it is completely legal coast to coast to toke up.

All things are permitted. But not all things are helpful (1 Cor. 6:12). The Christian's freedom is a gift that leads to serving others, with care, attention, skill, and singleness of heart. It's a freedom that willingly sacrifices easy pleasures in order to serve. And by that standard, it's hard to imagine that pot will be helpful any time soon.

What is the function of pot? It is associated with superficially pleasant disengagement from the world. It connotes a kind of indolence and "tuning out" that is not an option for people who want to become agents of compassion and neighbor love, not to mention its association with all kinds of immaturity. Are these the eternal truths of pot, the only possible way marijuana can be used? No. But these cultural realities are still relevant for the discerning Christian. [read more]

Second Calling - 25% Discount

By Dale Hanson Bourke. She presents the case for women wanting to find passion and purpose in a new vocational life. It's a book for grown-up women who want to make their lives count for something bigger. Well written. Practical. 221 pages. Hard cover. $18.99. 50% discount for May brings the price to $9.50. Will send by Media Mail for low shipping. Email us now while supplies last. Ask for #680.

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