December 2015
Church Press Newsletter
Christmas Eve Candlelight Service Sets 

Each set has the needed candles and accessories. Includes Pastor's Candle, 6 Usher's Candles, 125 Congregation Candles (#341 $51.55) or 250 Candles (#342 $78.60) or 425 Candles (#343 $113.55) and drip protectors. Just click candles to order on the website or email us or call 303-980-8863.
Elders Active in December 

Ask each elder to contact personally or by phone several non-attending members giving  a word of encouragement and inviting them to your special worship services. 

"And let us consider how we may spur one another on toward love and good deeds. Let us not give up meeting together, as some are in the habit of doing, but let us encourage one another - and all the more as you see the Day approaching" (Hebrews 10:24-25). 

Cookies Are Winners!

If you really want to impress your Sunday visitors, this is a winner. Have a couple bring a dozen freshly baked cookies to their home late Monday afternoon or evening. Make it a practice to do this each week.

A number of years ago I took my turn to deliver the dozen cookies. The couple came back the next Sunday, attended the next adult membership class, came to saving faith, and became very active members of our church.
Pastor Don

For the Entire Month of December 

Serve hot beverages. Have coffee and hot apple cider available before and after services to warm people up and give them a reason to linger for conversation.

Spruce up the ladies bathrooms. Make sure they're clean. Add some finishing touches by including soft facial tissues, baskets of mints, lotion, etc. 

God Has Given
By Rick Warren

God has given every believer a mission to share the Good News about Jesus. Why? Why should we care enough about the people around us to tell them about how to get to Heaven? How do we motivate our people to take the Good News and share it with others? Here are some things that will help. [read more] (we hope you read this)

For Pastor's Eyes  Only

When You Lose a Loved One by Charles L. Allen, with Poems by Helen Steiner Rice. 112 pages. New. $9.99. Free. (including shipping) to the first pastor who emails us.

For Church Secretary's
Eyes Only

The Purpose of Christmas by Rick Warren. Excellent. Will give your Christmas a fresh breath. Hard cover. New. 131 pages. Retails for $17.99. Free (including shipping) to the first secretary (or office administrator) who emails us.

Church Website

Immanuel Lutheran Church (LCMS) in Temple, TX, has an excellent website. Rev. Dana Wilhelmsen is lead pastor and is assisted by Rev. Grayson Albers and Rev. Luke Madsen.

New to Immanuel has a great greeting and Get Connected lists: God Connects, Baptism, Groups, Kids, Students, Mission, Weekend Teams, Prayer, and Bible Reading.

Good layout. Click Immanuel Lutheran to start your study. You'll get ideas for ministries for your church and your website. Have a pad handy to make notes.
There is a lot . . . 

of noise in the weeks before Christmas. In one city a Salvation Army woman was told by a cop that the local ordinance prevented her from ringing her bells.

This made the evening news on TV. But this law did not stop her. The next day she had more contributions than ever as she stood by her red kettle and waved one sign and then the other in the air. One sign said, "DING!" and the other, "DONG!"

How would you like . . . 

to have the largest number of first-time visitors ever at your Christmas Eve Service? We can't imagine any of you saying, "Oh, I don't know." You better not. That being the case, please read on. Here's how to do it in four simple and exciting steps. [read more]

The Dark Side 

Here is a special CD reproducible Bible study that will attract attention for your Bible class in January - The Dark Side by R. R. Kremer (WELS). 

Here are the six lessons: 
1. What is the occult? 
2. Magic and witchcraft
3. Spiritualism 
4. Satanism 
5. Humanism 
6. Scientology

Regular price is $39.99. Order in December for a 25% discount - $30.00. Just email us and ask for #253.

The Secret 

A young man asked the older man, "What's the secret of your success? "Good decisions," he replied. "How do you learn to make good decisions?" "You get that by experience." "How do you get experience?" "By making bad decisions."

Ask your unbelieving friend, "Can I tell you the greatest secret I know?" If your friend says, "Yes," reply, "The greatest 'secret' that I know is that Jesus was born on Christmas Night and died for my sins on Good Friday. God has given me faith in Jesus as my Savior. Now I know that Heaven is my Home. It used to be a 'secret,' but now I know that it is true, and I'd like to tell someone." Then ask if you may share more.

Please share . . . 

this Newsletter with a friend. Click "Forward email" below.

Welcome! Please come in. The last great enemy we face is death. David says that when we walk through that valley of black darkness we will not fear. The first pronouns are "The LORD," "He," and "You." They are followed by the subjective: "I," "Me," and "My." This is the 23rd Psalm, especially verse 4. The hymn "The Lord's My Shepherd" by Stuart Townend is our victory song. View the stunning video, listen to or sing the words. A new melody. Go full screen. Take a moment to confess your confidence in the Lord and your victory over the dark valley. Think about this as you read about the Rosenberg family below.

The Lord's My Shepherd
Jesus Is Holding You In His Arms So You Won't Be Frightened
By Pastor Don Ginkel

The Solomon Rosenberg family endured life together in a Nazi death camp. Not only were Solomon and his wife imprisoned, but their two children, Jacob and David, and Solomon's aged parents, too.


The first to die in the ovens were the grandparents. They were in their eighties and unable to work the long, grueling hours. Under Nazi policy, since they were unable to "earn" their livelihood in the camp, they forfeited their right to life! Solomon feared the next to go would be David, the youngest, who was slightly crippled. Every morning as members of the family went their separate ways, Solomon feared it might be the last time he would see David.


Upon returning home one day, his greatest fear had been realized. David was nowhere to be found. He quickly scanned the crowds of people and saw Jacob huddled in a corner crying.


"Where is David? Did they take David today?" he asked. "Yes," Jacob replied between sobs. "But where is mother? She was well. She could work. Where is she?" Jacob looked at his father with tears flowing from his cheeks. "Papa," he said, "they came for David, and he started to cry. And so Mother pleaded to go along, and they let her. I saw them go Papa. Mother was holding David in her arms so that he would not be frightened!" 


This earthly story is a picture of what God did in a much greater way when He came to earth. The Baby "wrapped in swaddling clothes and lying in a manger" (Luke 2:12) comes for one reason - to die. Not to the ovens of Auschwitz, but to a cross to die for your sins. He comes to hold You in His arms so that when you walk through the valley of death, you will not be frightened (Psalm 23:4).


This is Christmas. He comes to bring life out of death. He opens the doors to heaven. He comes to say, "Do not be afraid. I hold you in My arms." The future is promised. "Heaven is your home!" ""Glory to God in the highest..." (Luke 2:14).


Send This Message A Week Before Christmas

To members and non-members by email or hard copy

Dear Bob and Carol (try to use their first names),

Birthday parties are happy occasions for family members and friends. But what could anyone have done that would warrant a month-long birthday celebration (Advent) by people in every nation on earth? What did Jesus do that makes Christmas the holiday of the year?

He entered this world as a helpless baby; birthed in a dirty cattle barn; mothered by Mary, a virgin; fathered by God the Holy Spirit. Unbelievable? Right! But it happened. Why?

Man had rebelled against God, and God sent Jesus to take our punishment. That is why He came, why He died, why He rose again from the dead. By faith in this Savior God gives you forgiveness of all your sins and writes your name in the Book of Life in heaven. Praise God! Andrew Culverwell wrote:

 Celebrations come because of something good,

 celebrations we love to recall.

 Mary had a baby boy in Bethlehem,

 the greatest celebration of them all.

 Come on, ring those bells, light the Christmas tree.

 Jesus is the King born for you and me.

 Come on, ring those bells, ev'rybody say,

 "Jesus, we remember this your birthday." 


We encourage you to invite your friends to celebrate Jesus' birthday at our Christmas Eve Candlelight Service at 6:00 p.m. Ask them to join you for this celebration. This is an important invite. (Change the wording of this paragraph for non-members)

See you at the celebration Thursday evening,

Pastor John Doe


A Powerful New Film Links Holocaust with Today's Genocides 

Just watch the news. The human person is getting hammered every day, from ISIS's killing fields in Iraq to Planned Parenthood's clinics in America. We hope that everyone who reads this will watch the film, then stop to offer a prayer for the most endangered human beings on earth right now: the forgotten child in the womb, the victims of terrorism, the Christians driven from their homes and threatened with rape, torture, and death for clinging to the saving name of Jesus. 

Sing Louder
The short film is based on an actual historical incident, recalled by an elderly German from his childhood. It depicts a church full of Christians worshiping on a Sunday, located near the railroad tracks. A train passes by full of victims headed for the death camps. There's a problem on the tracks, and the worshipers can hear the moaning and screaming from the train - and they have no idea what to do. To find out what they decide to do, you'll have to watch the film. Believe me, you're not going to forget it. (1
1 minutes long. Share this link with the members of your church and your friends. Go full screen. Thanks.)

Pastor, Multiply Your Ministry 

Take a little time to multiply your ministry. Three examples.

Outreach: Take a member with you and make three separate outreach visits. After each visit discuss what happened. Then have that member take someone else on three separate visits. Repeat. See what will happen?

Non-attending member. Take an elder with you on three separate visits. After each visit discuss what happened. Then have that elder do the same with another elder. Repeat. See what will happen?

Hospital or shut in. Take a member with you on three different visits to people in the hospital or shut-ins. After each visit discuss what happened. Then have that member take someone else on three separate visits. Repeat. See what will happen? 

Remember: Take the time to do it. You will honor the people you involve. And you will reach many, many more people with the beautiful Gospel of Jesus.

Stack of Stuff

Two groups of special people 
deserve your attention this December - those who are guests at worship and members who have been missing. The "Thank You For Visiting Us In Worship" and "We Miss You" cards fill both needs. Hundreds of churches use these cards to great advantage. Orders are usually filled the next day. $12.95 a dozen. Place your order now on our website or email us.

Make a hard copy of this newsletter
and then highlight items that will need some follow-through. Good thoughts deserve our attention.

From a Quaker hymn:
"Since Christ is Lord of heaven and earth, how can I keep from singing?"

A sobering truth about some
of our friends and relatives: This will be their last Christmas on earth. The Good News - Jesus longs to be their Savior.

No One
I give myself to Jesus because no one has loved me like that. No one else will ever love me like that. No one else can - but Jesus!

Please feel free
to use any of the articles in our monthly Newsletter for your bulletins, newsletters, and discussion points at committee meetings.

Idea for Pastor
Go out of your way to befriend a fellow pastor who is going through difficult times.

This month
make it your goal and prayer to speak to at least one person who doesn't "know" Jesus so that they may really come to know Him. What a Christmas gift that would be!

Random Act of Kindness
Think of one today that you will do this week. It'll make someone's day and your day, too!

Seven Thoughts about Retiring Pastors Who Stay at Their Churches
By Thom Rainer

Every seven seconds a baby boomer retires, about 10,000 a day. A lot of baby boomer pastors are retiring. Concurrently we are seeing many of these pastors retire and stay in the church where they retired. Frequently, I am asked my thoughts on this issue. Allow me to share seven of those thoughts. [read more]

We Praise God! Yes, We Give Him Sincere Thanks!
We received this email two weeks ago:

Pastor Ginkel, 

Want to order 12 Church Membership Certificates and 1 Adult Baptism Certificate. Need these cards for next Sunday as I am baptizing a lady and receiving four other couples as new members. Pretty exciting for our congregation of 55 members in a retirement community! 

We're finishing up our adult instruction class this Wednesday morning. Three members and three new members. I've only used I Have Good News For You my entire ministry because it's clear, Gospel centered, and fun to teach (37 years). Thank you very much!

God's Peace,
Pastor Bob Herring
Grace Lutheran Church, Holiday Island, AR

How To Really, Really Grow Your Bible Classes

On September 15th Deacon Dennis Froemming of Lamb of God Lutheran Church, Lake Havasu City, AZ, ordered 10 copies of the Bible study course, THE STORY OF ANGELS. On September 24th he ordered 10 more copies. On November 8th he ordered 10 more copies. On November 21 he ordered 10 more copies. We just got off the phone and he says he suspects he will be ordering more yet. He said people tell their friends about the course and many of them attend the next session (they meet on Thursday evenings). We asked Dennis, "How important do you think the topic is for Bible classes?" He replied, "It's very, very important!" We then asked, "Do you think a study on the liturgy would pique people's interest in Bible class?" (with all due respect to the liturgy). "No," he said, "I don't think so."

Pastor friend, the topic for your Bible classes is of great importance. The ability and enthusiasm of the teacher come next. If you have not yet used the study, The Story of Angels, please consider doing so starting in January. Attractive bulletin inserts on the course are available and help in building attendance. The course has 10 lessons. You won't race through it. It will take at least two hours for each lesson. The Student Guide is #150 $6.95. The Leader's Guide is #151 $4.95. Angel bulletin inserts #152 $3.50 for 50. To order go to Angels or email us.

Why Some Churches Choose to Die
By Thom Ranier

The conversation surprised me. I was recently meeting with about a dozen members of a church that was on the precipice of closing. During their perceived "good old days," the average worship attendance was in the 40s and 50s. Now the church attendance was in the teens. The church was on metaphorical life support.

I shared with them some items of urgency that might give them some glimmer of hope. So I was surprised when one of the members asked me a question that seem to come from nowhere: "Will we have to sing from screens instead of hymnals?" she asked with a tinge of anger.

I never responded directly to the question. It was too late. I left saddened. The church had chosen to die. So what are churches doing specifically that leads to their demise? Here are five of the more common choices. [read more

Ann Voskamp says it nicely:

"The whole world's whispering, 'We're waiting for You.'"
You whisper for it, too!

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