February 2016
Church Press Newsletter
Joy! Joy! Joy!
By Pastor Don

I love to write (I'm really not a writer), but what I really love is to teach. So imagine my joy when my Pastor, John Larson, of Ascension Lutheran in Littleton invited me to teach our newest Bible study, Learning to Be More Content to his Sunday morning Bible Class.

Did Lesson One, "Learning to Be More Content Concerning My Existence" the last two Sundays. Oh, what a God! We scarcely have a clue. But Lesson One helps a bit. 

Please consider this practical and moving study for your church. Six lessons. All Bible verses written out. Challenging questions. Only $4.50 a copy. Order one now. We'll ship it free. Just email us or call 303-980-8863 or go to our website. Leader's Guide is available.
Handling Money

I assumed a new pastorate. While cleaning the library shelving in the pastor's office, I noticed hundreds of offering envelopes hidden behind the shelving. When I showed this to the church officers, they were shocked. Only one man was in charge of receipts, and he had been stealing for years.

Divide responsibilities here. Have at least two people take the offering off the altar. Have at least two count and record the gifts including appropriate forms for the bank, the financial secretary, and the church office. Have two people responsible for disbursements. Have a responsible entity audit the books with a detailed report to the congregation. Make this a standing operational procedure. - Pastor Don 
Five Favorite and Five Least Favorite Instruments Used in Worship Services 
By Thom Ranier

Jonathan Howe told me I was opening a can of worms by conducting this Twitter poll. He was right. Still, I wanted to hear from churchgoers what their favorite and least favorite instruments are. Some of the responses were anticipated. Many were not. [read more}

Dr. Kent Hunter

"Help people change incrementally, step-by-step. Help people take little bites, one at a time, which is the best way to eat an elephant."

"Focus on what you would go to the wall for. Make sure that the things you would  'die' for are the things Jesus would 'die' for."

Book of Daniel 

To see how great, how mighty, and how eternal the Most High God is you need to read the Book of Daniel slowly. Only twelve chapters, but WOW! Make a sticky note so you won't forget. Make the note now. Thank you.

John Dickerson

"The calming, breathing presence of the living God. The Spirit who comes alongside Jesus' followers in our troubles. He doesn't always still our storms. But He can still us in the storm."

Teamwork Is Essential

"None of us is as smart as all of us." - Ken Blanchard

"If you want to go fast, go alone. If you want to go far, go together." - African Proverb

For Pastor's Eyes  Only

For the first pastor who emails us and asks for one pound of See's candy, we'll send you a Certificate free. You can eat the candy yourself or be a really great guy and give it to your wife on Valentines Day. 

For Church Secretary's
Eyes Only

The Fruit of the Spirit is Love by Honor Books. In beautiful fashion presents Paul's listing in Galatians of the fruit of the Spirit with special emphasis on love. Hard cover. New. 95 pages. Retails for $11.99. Free (including shipping) to the first secretary (or office administrator) who
emails us. 

A Well Done
Church Website

St. Paul Lutheran Church (LCMS) in Lapeer, MI, has an excellent website. Rev. Rev. John Kaiser is Senior Pastor and is assisted by Rev. Andrew Johnson

We really like these subjects: I'm New Here, Service Styles, Connect, Church Life, Sermons/YouTube Channel, and many more.

Hey, spend some time here. Worth you while. Click St. Paul to start your study. You'll get ideas for ministries for your church and your website. Try to actually implement some of the ideas you like. Have a pad handy to make notes.
A New Way to Live and Lead  
By Sara Nagelvoort Marlin. She is vice president of marketing and communications for Prison Fellowship, the nation's largest outreach to prisoners, former prisoners and their families.

I've been very stingy about the currency of time. Recently in my quiet time I was struck by Proverbs 3:27: "Do not withhold good to those whom it is due, when it is in your power to act."

"My daily goal is to leave the office at a decent hour to spend quality time with my husband, but I have reprioritized activity during the day - no longer speeding up meetings and tasks, but slowing them down by starting with a discussion about how everyone is doing. Then we can open in prayer. Then we can work. It unites hearts, calms nerves and invites our Creator to guide us in what He has called us to do."

Welcome! Please come in. More than 100 years ago a great renewal of genuine Christianity swept through Wales. Church buildings overflowed; thousands of new converts were made. It is known as the Welsh Revival of 1904. Welsh Christian William Rees wrote "Here Is Love, Vast As the Ocean." It became known as the love song of the Welsh Revival. View the video, listen to or sing the words of this stirring hymn.

God's Love - Awesome 
By Pastor Don Ginkel

A new, middle-aged secretary sat at her desk in a large office with many other workers. A man working at a desk some distance away noticed that for a number of days she kept staring at him. Finally he decided to do something about it. He went to her desk and said, "Why are you always staring at me?" She replied, "Because you remind me of my fourth husband." "Well," he said, "how many husbands have you had?" and she answered, "Three."

Two thousand years ago the world had that kind of definition of love. The ancient philosophers said, "God is eros." Even Plato said, "Eros is stronger than the human will. It produces babies. It makes families and friends. Therefore it must be a spark of divinity."

"Philia" is often defined as friendship and brotherly love. "Eros" is frequently defined as sexual love. Agape, however, is refreshingly different. Rather than being dependent on the value of its object, it creates value in its object. When God wanted us to understand agape, He did not give us a definition, He gave a demonstration. He sent His Son to die on a cross so that we could see His love. Jesus went to the grave for us, not because HE deserved it, but because WE did. What kind of love is it that would cause a loving heavenly Father to take His own dear Son, nail Him to a cross, and there punish Him for the sins of all men? It was His agape for you and me. 

John 3:16-17, "For God (the Father) so (in Greek the first word is not "God" or "loved." The first word  is "so." It means "thus" or "to such an astounding degree.") loved the world (everyone, even the worst sinner in human history) that He gave His one and only Son (how could He possibly do that?") that whoever believes in Him shall not perish but have eternal life (Listen closely. God's love is the hardest thing for us to understand because it is totally unrealistic.). For God did not send His Son into the world to condemn the world, but to save the world through Him." (Our Awesome God, pp. 86, 87, 88, Donald F. Ginkel). Note: To view or print off Lesson One click A Study of God - Why?

What to Do When You Get Discouraged

By Rick Warren


We put in long hours, we experience a unique form of loneliness, and we face decisions everyday. It's easy to get discouraged. And I think discouragement is one of the most deadly diseases. Everybody can catch it, and you can catch it more than once. It's highly contagious and spreads easily and quickly.


But here's the good news: Discouragement is curable. Whenever I get discouraged, I head straight to Nehemiah. This great leader of ancient Israel understood there were four reasons for discouragement in ministry. [read more] (If you are discouraged, you must read this article. If you know of someone who is discouraged, forward this Newsletter to them)


Eight Reasons Your Church Should Have an Email Newsletter 
By Jonathan Howe

In addition to a weekly bulletin, churches have often used weekly, monthly, or quarterly newsletters to better communicate with guests and members. As costs to produce newsletters have increased and budget funds designated for them have decreased, they have all but vanished from churches. Instead of replacing them with digital versions, many churches abandoned the practice altogether.

In so doing, another problem was created: bulletins and announcement times became overcrowded. The result was not better communication, but too much being communicated and less information retained.

So instead of relying on a weekly bulletin or a brief 2-minute announcement time in the service, consider using an email newsletter to more effectively communicate with guests and members. Here are eight reasons your church should have an email newsletter. [read more]

We Are Very Impressed With His Weekly Letter
Here is just a snippit of Pastor Arthur Andrews' Weekly Letter to members and friends of Hephatha Lutheran Church, Anaheim, CA. He has a very personal communication style that seems to be a winner every week. It's the kind of weekly letter together with happenings for the week that every congregation should consider.

Pastor's Weekly Letter
January 25, 2016
(To receive a copy via e-mail see the bottom of the page)

Dear friends in Christ,

Lent could be my favorite church season. I gain a great deal from the more intense focus on the passion of Christ, our need for a Savior, the narratives that speak of the depths to which Jesus suffered for my sake, and the battle between Jesus and Satan fought with Jesus' hands and feet nailed to the cross. The rigors of the Lenten season bring me to like the themes of Easter and the Pentecost season more. Easter and Pentecost are all about Christ's victory - which is our victory - and the fruits of the victory for us . [click LETTER to see all of it] (hope you do it)

Stack of Stuff

pray for the Denver Broncos on February 7th at 3:25 Central time while they are playing the Carolina Panthers. Don't pray for the Panthers. Thank you.

Ann Vosskamp
"Dare not to give yourself a lecture but dare to give yourself grace."

Pastor, you know that your sermon
was very, very good when the choir dumps a bucket a Gatorade on you just as you finish while still in the pulpit.

I dated this girl for two years and then the nagging starts: "I wanna know your name. I wanna know your name."

Good news/Bad news for the pastor
Good news: The women's group voted to send you a get well card. Bad news: The vote passed 31-30.

Hannah Whitall Smith
"Sight is not faith, and hearing is not faith; but believing when we neither see, hear nor feel is faith. Therefore, we must believe before we feel if we would honor God."

Martyred missionary Jim Ellliot
"When it comes time to die, be very sure that all you have to do is die."

Call a brother pastor up today, tell him you've been thinking about him and ask how things are going. Then wish him God's blessing. This is a great gesture for any Christian to make to someone.

John Piper on his grand daughter
"Now there is Talitha Ruth whose motto at fifteen is 'a girl should get so lost in God that a guy has to seek Him to find her." That is a touch down!

Anatomy of a Sick Church - 10 Symptons to Watch
By Thom Rainer

There are certain metrics and issues physicians check when we go to the doctor. They want to check our blood pressure and temperature. They do blood tests to see if there are any warning signs. They are looking for symptoms that might indicate real problems exist.

After working with churches for thirty years, I too look for symptoms that might point to greater concerns. The symptoms are not necessarily the problem; they simply provide warnings or cautions of potential issues.

While there are many potential symptoms of a sick church, I have found ten to be consistently common. These ten are not listed in a particular order: [read more

It's Time to Pray

I want to thank You, Lord, for being with me so far this day.

With Your help I haven't been impatient,
lost my temper,
been grumpy,
or envious of anyone.

But I will be getting out of bed in a minute,
and I think I will really need your help then. Amen.
Four Lenten Sermons Series
By Dr. Arthur Graf (LCMS)

Bought With A Price, 7 sermons on the last words of Christ on the cross plus 10 sermons for special occasions. 140 pages, #183. $9.95.

No Other Name, 7 sermons on Lenten symbols, plus sermons on the Ten Commandments. 157 pages, #186, $9.95

Joybells of Life, 7 Lenten sermons on favorite hymns plus 15 sermons for special occasions. 216 pages, #185, $10.95.

The Apostles' Creed, 7 sermons on figures around the cross plus 14 sermons on the Apostles' Creed. 208 pages, #182, $10.95.

Go to Sermon Books on our website or email us or call 303-980-8863.

Goal Setting f0r 2016
By Dr. Craig Loving

Start your 2016 goal setting with an objective self-assessment. The more I observe myself and others, the more convinced I am that who we are determines what we see. Our unique personality and passion mixes make us alert to particular needs. This is good. However, that same personality and passion will cause us to miss other, equally important needs. This is not good.

Find and make use of balancing - even contrarian - points of view. God has placed others in our lives whose personalities and passions enable them to be alert to needs we don't see. Pay attention to how your own 1 Corinthians 12:21 might be working against you. Ask influential people in your church, "What do you see that I'm missing?"

In light of the above, ask some diagnostic questions about your 2015 goals. For example: What did you set out to accomplish? How do you know whether/how well you achieved the goal? What did you learn in the process? What changes have you experienced personally? What changes has your church experienced? Is this goal an activity you believe you should continue in 2016? What modifications are needed?

In light of the above, what specific human need do you and your ministry team believe is important enough to establish risky, change-oriented goals for your church or ministry for 2016 and beyond?

Dr. Craig Loving, Marriage & Family Therapist, DMin, LMFT, LAC, is located in Denver, CO. To visit his website click Summit Counseling Associates.

A Bible Introduction (50% February Discount)
A reproducible Bible study on a CD. Includes Bible research by R. R. Kremer (WELS) with questions and answers

A Bible Introduction
  1. What is the Bible? When Was it Written?
  2. Inspiration and Languages
  3. Divisions and Doctrines
  4. Versions and Bible How-To's
  5. Overview of Old Testament Books
  6. Overview of New Testament Books
#258. Regular price $39.99. 50% February discount price is $20.00. To order email us or call 303-980-8863.

The Clock

The clock of life is wound but once, 
And no man has the power
To tell just when the hands will stop
At late or early hour.

To lose one's wealth is sad indeed.
To lose one's health is more.
To lose one's soul is such a loss
That no man can restore.

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