March 2016
Church Press Newsletter
So Should You!
By Pastor Don

It's Wednesday morning, the 24th. Working in my office. The phone rings. It's a woman named Mary from Wisconsin. Didn't remember her at first. Then she said we met her and Al, devout Catholics, in 2006 on a cruise ship bound for Israel. 

She said that back then I gave her a copy of the first edition of The Many Wonders of Heaven. Every Lent since she studies it thoroughly and is overjoyed. She wanted to say "Thanks."

You and your Bible class should study it, too. Start on the first Sunday after Easter. Place colorful flyers on the study in your Easter bulletins. We'll send you as many flyers as you need free, including shipping. Just email us and tell us how many. 

How Can We Pray for You?
By Paul Tripp

I was out with a friend for dinner, and he said to the waiter, "We like to pray before we eat. How can we pray for you?" The waiter was caught off guard and mumbled, "I don't think I really need any prayer" before walking away. But he came back five minutes later and said, "I recently found out that my girlfriend is pregnant, and I'm terrified of being a father. Would you pray for me?"

What an amazing opportunity to be light in this man's world! And how did it all start? Because my friend saw the waiter as a person - and not just as a waiter - and then engaged him as a person. What about you? Especially in places where you go frequently, see people as people, engage people as people, and then be a light into the relationship that develops. 

Paul Scalia . . .  

spoke these words at the funeral of his father, Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia, a few days ago. 

"We are gathered here because of one man. A man known personally to many of us, known only by reputation to even more. A man loved by many, scorned by others. A man known for great controversy and for great compassion. That man, of course, is Jesus of Nazareth. It is He who we proclaim."

Steven K. Scott

"Don't talk every time you feel like talking; instead, take control of what you say. Learn when to speak and when not to speak. Think about when to speak and when not to speak and what to say before you open your mouth. For some this is easy. For others, it can be very difficult."

Tips from Leo Buscaglia 

- After an argument is over, forget it.

- Learn to bend. It's better than breaking.

- Watch for little irritations, they grow into destructive monsters. Verbalize them at once.

Church Press Future

Some time in the relatively near future Church Press will be for sale. We'll make sure that info is available. We want the move to be smooth when it comes.
For the Children

The Sunday before Easter, give each child 10 plastic eggs filled with candy and a brief invitation to attend your church's Easter service. Encourage children to give to family, friends and neighbors.

Before preaching next Sunday think about this -

Nearly everyone who comes to your church next Sunday will come with some kind of baggage, pain, hurt or difficulty!

For Pastor's Eyes  Only

For the first pastor who emails us and asks for it, we'll send you half a pound of Godiva Dark Chocolate Assortment candy. You can eat the chocolate yourself or be a really great guy and give it to your wife. 

For Church Secretary's
Eyes Only

The Carpenters Cloth by Sigmund Brouwer. In beautiful fashion presents Christ's journey each day from Palm Sunday to Easter. Excellent explanations and artwork. A keep sake. Hard cover. New. 126 pages. Retails for $14.99. Free (including shipping) to the first secretary (or office administrator) who
emails us. 

A Good 
Church Website

Beautiful Savior Lutheran Church (LCMS) in Lees Summit, MO, has an excellent website. Rev. Jonathan Gruen is Pastor.

The home page has good pictures and a great welcome message. Ministries section and info center well done.

Hey, spend some time here. Worth you while. Click Beautiful Savior 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.
Move the Temp  

"Take an honest look at the thermostat in your church. Are you taking risks as a body? How about you personally? Do you walk with God for adventure or security? Do you pray for God's will or God's protection? Do you embrace change or try to stop it.

"If you want to see men (and young adults) back in church, begin moving the thermostat away from security and toward challenge." (Why Men Hate Going to Church, David Murrow, p. 22). 

Welcome! Please come in. The Hallelujah Good Friday Easter version is a beautiful rendition of Hallelujah rewritten with Good Friday/Easter lyrics. It's a great song of worship to the Lord. View the video, listen to or sing the words of this stirring hymn.

He is Risen and Lives! - Therefore 
By Pastor Don Ginkel

Early Easter Sunday morning Jesus' body is suddenly filled with life. Instantly and silently He passes right through the walls of the tomb. An angel then appears and jars the earth with a violent earthquake. The two Mary's are on their way to the tomb at dawn with spices to complete the burial. They had to feel the earthquake. They continue to the tomb and see the entrance wide open. They look inside, see the angel, and are filled with fear. The angel knows why they are there. He invites them to come closer to see where the body had been placed, but there is no body. They see only the linen wrappings lying there undisturbed. 

The angel tells them the great news: "He has risen, just as He said . . . Go quickly and tell His disciples." On their way Jesus makes His first appearance to them. "Greetings" He says. This word in Greek conveys the wish of happiness and well-being. The women are overcome with joy. They come up to Him and fall prostrate at His feet in happy adoration and worship Him. 


- Quit going about gloomy and dejected as though you are going to God's funeral, but know that He lives and shall live forevermore.

- Quit living your life with the attitude and expression that you have little or nothing, when a living Lord guarantees that you have the greatest gift that one can possess.

- Quit looking at all the obstacles and problems about you, the wind and the waves that surround you, and look up to see the living God and know that He still reigns and rules.

- Quit worrying about whether the government is doing all they can for you, and know what God has done and will continue to do for you in all of your needs.

- Quit playing around with God's Word and know that He who lives will carry out that Word to the letter.

- Do know that as a child of the living God, you are the most blessed and fortunate of all people.

- Do know that you did not choose God, but that He chose you, that you might be His own, now, today, and forever and ever.

Say it now: "Hallelujah! God I praise You! "
Say it again:" Hallelujah! Oh, my God, I praise You!"

4 Big Questions to Ask Before Easter Sunday

By Rick Warren


For three and a half decades, Easter Sunday has been one of the biggest evangelistic opportunities of the year for Saddleback Church, and for thousands of other churches too. When the celebration of Easter Sunday is such a golden opportunity to tell people about the hope we have in the risen Christ, it's definitely prudent to start planning for it early. To develop a strategy for reaching as many unchurched people as possible, here are some vital questions for pastors to answer: [read more]


7 Church Communications Tips to Boost Your Reach This Easter 
By Jonathan Howe
Earlier this week Dr. Rainer and I discussed eight Easter planning tips to aid in preparing your church for one of the biggest weekends of the year. While these tips are specific to Easter, many - if not all of them - could be used for any special weekend or event. [read more]

Here Are Four Ways to Prepare for Easter
By Brandon Hilgemann, Outreach, January/February 2016

1. Preach with urgency
Do you feel an urgency about Easter? You may have only one shot to introduce someone to Jesus. Don't fall into the trap of believing that you will have another chance. They may not come back. They are not guaranteed to live to see another Easter. You, yourself, are not guaranteed that.

2. Give a call to action
You preached a great sermon - now what? What do you want the people sitting of front of you to actually do with what you just told them? Tell them. Don't assume that people will know what to do. 

3. Don't assume people will come
. . . without any work on your part. How are you getting the word out about your church services? How are you encouraging your congregation to invite others? How are you personally reaching out?

4. Have a follow-up plan
New people showed up! Now what? What is your plan to encourage them to come back? Will you personally call them? Will you just send a letter? How will you follow up?

Stack of Stuff

Be sure the Easter message
clearly tells how those without saving faith may come to faith then and there. "I tell you, now is the time of God's favor, now is the day of salvation (2 Cor. 6:2). "Seek the LORD while He may be found, call on Him while He is near (Isaiah 55:6). For some worshipers this will be the last Easter service they will attend. Pretty sobering.

Imagine getting to heaven and getting a hug from Jesus.
Imagine actually hearing the Father say to you, "Welcome Home!"

Duh at Taco Bell
My daughter went to a local Taco Bell and ordered a taco. She asked the individual behind the counter for "minimal lettuce." He said he was sorry, but they only had iceberg.

We trust you're good. You work hard, pray hard, etc. But all of us can improve. Consider spending a long weekend with a specially gifted Pastor somewhere in the country. Ask someone to pick up the tab for the trip. You'll come back invigorated. 

Don't waste it
Your Easter Sunday attendance will be high. Don't waste it. Plan to have good follow-up on guests. Pastor, non-attending members who show up would love a personal visit or phone call from you.

Dietrich Bonhoeffer
"A pastor should not complain about his congregation, certainly never to other people, but also not to God. A congregation has not been entrusted to him in order that he should become its accuser before God and men."

Your might be a preacher if . .
- You've ever spoken for free and were worth every penny of it.
- Instead of getting "ticked off," you get "grieved in your spirit."
- You've ever wanted to "lay hands" on an elder's neck.

Seven ways NOT to Follow Up with Church Guests
By Thom Ranier

Do not ask to rub the eyebrows of a guest who visits your church. Okay, I'll get to that strange comment shortly. On the blog and the podcast, we have discussed extensively ways churches have followed up with guests in a positive and affirming manner. In this post, I share stories from church guests where the follow up was not well received. Here is what church guests told us were ways not to follow up on their visits: [read more]

Share Your Faith 
Suggestions by Dr. Kent Hunter

- Don't worry about knowing Bible passages or theology. Most people aren't interested.
- Learn to tell your story. Answer the question, "What has God done in your life?"
- Don't worry about rehearsing a smooth presentation. Natural, honest and direct sharing is what is important.
- Look for relationships. When you have a relationship, what you say has influence.
- Continue to demonstrate a caring, loving relationship with others.
- Watch for the right moment. Timing is important!
Jelly Bean Prayer

A great idea for practical and timely outreach: Ask you youth, Sunday School classes, any organization, or just a group of people to make up several hundred jelly bean bags (clear plastic). Mix the colors of the beans, tie with a ribbon with this note attached and distribute to homes around your church and give to friends and neighbors.


Red is for the blood He give.
Green is for the grass He made.
Yellow is for the sun so bright.
Orange is for the edge of night.

Black is for the sins we made.
White is for the grace He gave.
Purple is for His hour of sorrow.
Pink is for our new tomorrow.

A bag of jelly beans, colorful and sweet,
Is a prayer, is a promise, is a special treat.
May the joy of Christ's resurrection fill your
Heart and bless your life now and forever!

Happy Easter!
St. John Lutheran Church
3700 - 9th Avenue
Easter Worship: 8:00 & 10:30

Thank You For Visiting Us In Worship

Guests who worship with you need to be recognized. We have a special card to help. It's simply called "Thank You For Visiting With Us In Worship." The main message from the Pastor says:

It was a pleasure having you worship with us. Please know that we consider your attendance
a real privilege for us. It is a delight to share the good news of God's love in Jesus Christ.
Through His suffering and death on the cross
we become members of God's family and some day we'll
worship the Lord together in heaven. Please have a close 
walk with the Savior this week. We look forward to your
joining us again as soon as possible. -

Your friend in Jesus,

With Easter approaching, this is an excellent time to let your visitors know that Jesus cares about them and you do, too. You can place on an order on our website. Or you can email us and ask for Card #404, $14.95 a dozen.

Is This What Heaven Is Like?
An tombstone epitaph  

Here lies a poor woman who was always tired,
For she lived in a place where help was not hired.
Her last words on earth were, "Dear Friends, I am going
Where washing ain't done, not sweeping, nor sewing;
And everything there is exact to my wishes,
For where they don't eat, there's no washing dishes.
I'll be where loud anthems forever are ringing;
But having no voice, I'll get rid of singing.
Don't weep for me now, don't weep for me ever;
For I'm going to do nothing forever and ever."

You and your Bible class can do better than that. Churches are now placing their orders for the eight lesson, in-depth Bible study, The Many Wonders of Heaven. They will start the first Sunday after Easter. 
Student Guide is #147, $6.95. Leader's Guide is #148, $4.95. Colorful bulletin inserts, #149 free. Email us and tell us how many you want, and we'll ship them right out. No charge on the flyers.


"When we spend our energies going after 'the one'
that no one else is searching for - but whom Jesus
deeply loves and died for - God will give us more
people than we know what do do with." - Jeff Leake

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