August 2015
Church Press Newsletter

Pastor - sit down with your board of elders and have a brain storming session on how to reach your non-attending members. Bring a list of those people along to the meeting. Have your office secretary put this list together for you. Make copies for each elder. 

Some churches periodically use our "We Miss You" card. A very warm and friendly card. Email us and ask for a free sample of #406. 
How about...

reading our Bibles first thing in the morning each day before or after breakfast. Just a chapter a day will make all the difference in the world. Start in Matthew Chapter 1. Shall we do it tomorrow morning? 

"Then Jesus said to the Jews which believed on Him, If ye continue in My Word, then are ye My disciples indeed." (John 8:32)

By Thom and Sam Rainer, Outreach

Many people who are not currently attending a church are receptive to going. In fact, about 38% of the unchurched are highly receptive to attending church.

The reason they do not attend is that they have yet to be invited. If invited and escorted, 82% of the unchurched we surveyed are open to attend church with a friend or acquaintance. 
Unfortunately, only 21% of active church-going Christians invited someone to church last year."

For Pastor's Eyes  Only

The Seed-Planting Church by Dr. Waldo Werning (LCMS). Nurturing churches to health and a movement. $12.00, 171 pages. New. Free (including shipping) to the first pastor who emails us.

For Church Secretary's
Eyes Only

Grace for the Moment, morning and evening devotions for each day of the year by Max Lucado. Very attractive hard cover. Over 2 million copies sold. New. 763 pages. Retails for $15.95. Free (including shipping) to the first secretary (or office administrator) who emails us.

Being Shallow

By Oswald Chambers


To be shallow is not a sign of being sinful, nor is shallowness an indication that there is no depth to your life at all - the ocean has a shore.

Even the shallow things of life, such as eating and drinking, walking and talking, are ordained by God. These are all things our Lord did. He did them as the Son of God, and He said, "A disciple is not above his teacher . . ."
(Matthew 10:24).

Excellent Church

Bethel Lutheran Church (LCMS) in Morton, IL, has an excellent website. Rev. Jeffrey Anderson is lead pastor and is assisted by Rev. Mark Anderson


This Church gives evidence of loving the Lord and people. Click Bethel Lutheran Church to start your study. You'll get ideas for ministries for your church and your website. Have a pad handy to make notes.
Walking and Talking with God 
By Dr. Arthur Graf (LCMS)

Series I: 11 sermons on Old Testament Bible characters.
Series II: 9 sermons on the Lord's Prayer

174 pages. #184 $9.95. Click sermons for more info or just email us and ask for #184.
Promote Sunday Adult Bible Class

We need to be much more aggressive. Here are four ways to build attendance (and they work):


1. Have studies that are really BIBLE studies with challenging topics and teach with enthusiasm and gusto.


2. Work as hard getting folks to this class as you do to get them to worship. My personal goal in the parish ministry was to bring at least one member to Bible class each week. It's easy to build attendance doing this. DFG


3. Serve home made goodies with tea and coffee (this is a guaranteed winner). I loved it when Sunday School kids in one church I served demanded goodies, too! And they got them. Yes!



4. Each week announce the topic for study and encourage everyone to attend, and, if the folks really like you, dare them to attend!


Born A Lutheran 
Lars, a Norwegian from Cook County in northern Minnesota was an older, single gentleman who was born and raised a Lutheran. Each Friday night after work he would fire up his outdoor grill and cook venison steak.

Now, all of Lar's neighbors were Catholic, and since it was Lent they were prohibited from eating meat on Fridays. The delicious aroma from the grilled venison steaks was causing such a problem for the Catholic faithful that they finally talked to their priest.

The priest came to visit Lars and suggested that Lars convert to Catholicism. After several classes and much study, Lars attended Mass, and as the priest sprinkled holy water over Lars, he said, "You were born a Lutheran and raised a Lutheran, but now you are a Catholic"

Lar's neighbors were greatly relieved. But when Friday night arrived, and the wonderful aroma of grilled venison filled the neighborhood, the priest was immediately called in and, as he rushed into Lar's yard, clutching a rosary and prepared to scold Lars, he stopped in amazement and watched.

There stood Lars, clutching a small bottle of water which he carefully sprinkled over the grilling meat and chanted: "You were born a deer and raised a deer, but now you are a walleye"

Welcome! Please come in. "Ten Thousand Angels" was written by Ray Overholt. In 1958, at the height of his show-business career, he wrote this now famous song. The song is really about Jesus going to Calvary and about the vast number of angels always standing ready to serve Him. View the video, listen to or sing the words.

The Story of Angels
By Pastor Don Ginkel

Are there other beings on earth and in space beside human beings? If so, who are they and what do they do? Unfortunately, a Christian can go to church and attend Bible class his entire life and never hear a sermon or study a lesson that deals with the subject of angels - both good and bad. We pay a big price for not knowing. Some of us in the church are like these children who offered their explanations.


Gregory, age 5: "I only know the names of two angels, Hark and Harold."

Mitchell, age 7: "It's not easy to become an angel! First, you die. Then you go to Heaven, and then there's still the flight training to go through. And then you got to agree to wear those angel clothes." 

Daniel, age 9: "Angels talk all the way while they're flying you to heaven. The main subject is where you went wrong before you got dead."

Jack, age 6: "Angels don't eat, but they do drink milk from Holy Cows."


Some time back Rev. Mike Zehnder (LCMS) said: "Pastor Ginkel's course on angels is the most in-depth Bible study on the subject I've ever seen. His teaching is strictly Biblical, steadfastly adhering to God's Word on a subject where there's a lot of wild speculation. Still, the fascinating feature of this course is that he has provided quotations from popular books and articles on angels that are dead wrong, serving as an interesting foil to show what the Word truly says. We advertised the course in the paper and a number of folks came from the community regularly because the topic of angels is 'hot!' And so is this Bible study."


The Story of Angels Study Guide, 120 pages, 10 lessons, #150 $6.95

The Story of Angels Leader's Guide, 64 pages, #151 $4.95

50 Flyers to promote the study, #152 $3.50


To learn more about the course click Angels to go to our website. You can place your order there or email us or call 303-980-8863. 

15 Ways to Improve Your Preaching or Teaching
By Chuck Lawless, LifeWay 6/11-15

I'm a professor who doesn't like course evaluations and a preacher who doesn't enjoy sermon critiques. So, I'm leery of telling others how to improve their preaching or teaching. Nevertheless, here are 15 ways (some that are perhaps surprising) to improve your communicating the Gospel:
  1. Assume you need to improve. If you genuinely believe you have no room for improvement, ask others until you find someone who's honest enough to help you (in fact, that person might tell you that you sometimes come across as arrogant). [read more]
Make Room for People

Thomas Watson, founder of IBM, built one of the most successful companies in history because he never allowed the organization to replace people as his number-one focus. During one meeting a number of managers were reviewing customer problems with Mr. Watson. On the table were eight piles of papers, identifying the sources of problems: manufacturing problems, engineering problems, etc. After much discussion, Watson, a big man, walked slowly to the front of the room and, with a flash of his hand, swept the table clean and sent papers flying all over the room. He said, "There aren't any categories of problems here. There's just one problem: Some of us aren't paying enough attention to our customers." He turned crisply on his heel and walked out, leaving twenty fellows wondering whether or not they still had jobs . . . Isn't it funny that we have to remind ourselves that the goal of all ministry is people! (The Top Ten Mistakes Leaders Make, p. 49, Hans Finzel) 

Why Men Hate Going to Church

Randy was a nominal churchgoer for many years, but never really came alive in his faith until he went on a two-week mission trip to Peru to build a water project in an impoverished village. "I had no idea how real the Gospel was until I went on this trip. We depended on God every minute of every day. He helped us through one tight spot after another. As we were taking off, our airplane was hit by bullets from a rebel para-military group. It was like being in the Book of Acts!"


Randy returned from Peru a changed man. Once he realized how powerful and real God is, he began a daily walk with Him. He stepped up to leadership in church. He and his wife began praying together for the first time. Randy continued to support missions in South America, and he returned the next year with a bigger team. He shared his story with his American neighbors, and they started coming to church. Adventures with Christ change men in a way church attendance never could. (Why Men Hate Going to Church, p. 207, David Murrow) 


Note: This book explains why many men hate going to church and offers numerous and practical solutions. 248 pages, #301 $15.99. Order your copy today. Just email us and ask for #301. We'll send it right out.


"To learn, you must love discipline. . ." Prov. 12:1
  • The first step on the path to commitment is making up your mind.
  • You can plan to succeed or you can plan to fail. The choice is yours.
  • Motivation increases when we assume large responsibilities with a short deadline.
  • Don't be good at making excuses.
  • Acquire good habits; abandon bad habits.
  • Use your free time productively.
  • Your dreams won't come true if you allow them to languish.
  • If you want to achieve excellence, began with discipline.
  • People will be more impressed by what you finish than by what you start.
  • Motivation can fade. Habits prevail.
(God Is In the Small Stuff, pp. 86-87, by Bruce & Stan)

Stack of Stuff

When was it that you heard a sermon on the subject of angels? When was it that you participated in a Bible study on the subject of angels? What does it tell you that angels are mentioned nearly 300 times in the Bible?

Four timely cards free
1. "A Gift from God to See, to Hold, and to Love." Send to parents on the birth of a baby. 2. "Baptism Certificate" for children. 3. "Sponsor Certificate." 4. "Adult Baptism Certificate." For August only, we'll send you a sample of each card free and we'll pay the shipping. Just click email.

A foreign missionary and a lay Christian
were visiting after worship here in the States. The lay Christian said, "I couldn't do your work for all the money in the world." The missionary responded, "Neither could I!"

Pastor, occasionally say from the pulpit:
"Please do not call me 'Reverend' because I'm not. I'm a sinner like you. Ask my wife. Just call me 'Pastor' or if you are slightly displeased with me say, "Hey, you!" I'll know you are talking to me."

It's time to order
I Have Good News for You for adults, Getting Closer to God for teens, and consider our new reproducible six lesson course entitled, "Learning to Be More Content."

A great tip from Billy Graham
He said, "I think it's very important to sit still for a few minutes a day and not take yourself too seriously."

True or False
Without a doubt the doctrine of election or predestination almost always precedes your actually coming to saving faith. False. (Romans 8:28-32)

Ladies Bible Studies
We have a ton of great Bible studies written by a woman and just for women. Just click Bible studies.

Mark Twain was not Christian,
but he did have some worthwhile things to say. One of his great statements: "The man who does not read good books has no advantage over the man who cannot read them." One attainable goal: Read one good book a month!

For balance 
For every visit you make to a member's home visit the home of a non-member. This balance pays off handsomely. 

Corrie Ten Boom,
the Dutch evangelist who survived the horror of a Nazi concentration camp once wrote: "Yesterday is a cancelled check, today is cash, and tomorrow is a promissory note to them that accept the victory of Jesus."

Just for you
Develop the goal to give at least one sincere compliment to someone each day.

On the proper care and feeding of a church secretary
By Rachel Motte

Hello, my name is Rachel, and I am a burnt out former church secretary. The Stuff Christians Like blog had a post on the church secretary, the most powerful person in the church some time ago. It's eerily accurate, but I laughed especial hard when I read this in the comments section:

When the only church secretary I ever knew concluded her job was too stressful, she decided to take it easy and go to law school. Then run her own law firm. That pretty much tells me what I need to know about the craziness of being a church secretary.

I don't doubt it. I'm in my twenties, but it only took a few years in a small church office to burn me out - and I worked at an especially healthy church, full of good people who cared about helping me thrive. Not every secretary - and certainly not every pastor - is as fortunate as I was when it comes to interacting with co-workers. [read more] Note: Be sure to read some of the posts

Seven Subtle Symptoms of Pride
By Fabienne Harford

Pride will kill you. Forever. Pride is the sin most likely to keep you from crying out for a Savior. Those who think they are well will not look for a doctor.

As seriously dangerous as pride is, it's equally hard to spot. When it comes to diagnosing our hearts, those of us who have the disease of pride have a challenging time identifying our sickness. Pride infects our eyesight, causing us to view ourselves through a lens that colors and distorts reality. Pride will paint even our ugliness in sin as beautiful and commendable.

We can't conclude that we don't struggle with pride because we don't see pride in our hearts. The comfortable moments when I pat myself on the back for how well I am doing are the moments that should alarm me the most. I need to reach for the glasses of Christ-like humility, remembering that nothing good dwells in my flesh, and search my heart for secret pride and its symptoms. In his essay on undetected pride, Jonathan Edwards points out seven sneaky symptoms of the infection of pride. Here they are: [read more]

Three Facts I Wish I'd Known Before
By Rev. Karl Vaters, Outreach, July/August 2015

Fact #1: 90 percent of pastors will never pastor a church larger than 200 people. Eighty percent have less than 100.

Fact #2: 99.9 percent of us will pastor a small church some time in our ministry. Every pastor wants their church to grow. I do. And it has.

Fact #3: I can pastor a small church well, without settling for less. I discovered it to be a profound privilege and blessing.

Big Repetitions with Big Results

Over many years we've noticed something very interesting. When a congregation is going to start a new Bible class course or adult membership class, and they advertise it strongly in the three Sundays preceding, attendance is much, much higher. They advertise the new study course or adult class with a bulletin insert and the pastor verbally announcing it and encouraging participation compared to those who don't, is remarkably different. Consider the three repetitions in the years ahead. Make it a must habit for your church.

Even Though They Were "Damaged"
By Scott Sauls, A Holy Experience, 7/16/15

In Scripture very "damaged" people are the ones through whom God often did the greatest things.

Hannah had the bitterness of soul over infertility and a broken domestic situation.
Elijah felt so beaten down that he asked God to take his life.
Job and Jeremiah cursed the day that they were born.
David repeatedly asked his own soul why it was so downcast.

Each of these Biblical saints was uniquely empowered by God to change the world - not in spite of affliction, but because of it and through it.

Leading Successful Meetings
By Dr. H. B. London

I tend to agree with the person who said if all planned meetings were postponed, a lot more would get done. This is what I have learned about planning and executing successful meetings:

  1. People and their time are valuable. Do not waste either. Begin on time!
  2. It is vital that the right people are in the meeting. Decision makers and implementers are crucial.
  3. Most meetings last too long. Strip down the agenda to cover what needs to be addressed. Be careful with non-agenda suggestions. [read more] 
 This week say to someone: "Come and
go with me to my Father's House."
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