May 2016
Church Press Newsletter
Sample Offer

We'll send you one burgundy pad, one burgundy vinyl holder, and one burgundy pen (a $6.19 value) for only $3.00 plus shipping. Ask for #505. This is for one examination set only. 

You can also order one sample blue set. Ask for #509. Click website to learn more and to order or just email us. 

To order both ask for #510 for $6. This is for one examination set only. 

A New Strategy 

"Most people who aren't attending church think of it as something that happens on Sunday morning. So when you're launching and promoting new service times, consider asking your faithful attendees to attend the nontraditional times like Saturday or Sunday evening." - Bobby Gruenewald

Opening Paragraph for the Bulletin

Colossians 3:12-17 ends with the words to "sing with gratitude in our hearts." The word "heart" connotes our wills and intentions. It doesn't say anything about whether we like the song or if it makes us feel good. It means singing with our wills to God. May God bless our worship of Him today!

How to Grow It
A note from Pastor Don

One of the greatest joys in my parish ministry was to grow my adult Bible class on Sunday mornings. 

To that end we had (1) lively Bible study topics, (2) home made goodies with coffee and tea, and . . . (3) my goal was usually achieved - to personally bring one member and one prospect to class myself each Sunday. I would then give them a warm welcome to Bible class on Sunday morning and in prayer ask the Lord to bless them and the entire class in the study we were about to start.

To do this I worked on three members and three prospects each week. Invariably I met my goal most every week. Bet you can do that, too! Go try it. It's fun and very profitable for the Kingdom.

Big Preaching Tip 
By Fred G. Zaspel

Prayerfully make a preliminary outline, determine your approach, theme, etc. It is important for the preacher to know his 'theme' (singular). Far too many sermons hit like a 12 gauge shotgun at 75 yards - generally ineffective and much too scattered to make the kill. 

A preacher should have a point to make, and then he should make it. And the listener should be able to recognize it and go home with it. And this - his point must derive from the text!
Where the People Are

One of the most important actions for a successful pastoral ministry is to spend less time in the office and more time ringing doorbells of members and non-members - that's where the people are. That's where Jesus went. That's where we should be.

For Pastor's Eyes  Only

For the first pastor who asks for them, we'll send you six sermon books by Dr. Arthur Graf (LCMS): Sermons for Special Occasions, The Apostles' Creed, Brought With A Price, Walking and Talking with God, Joybells of Life, and No Other Name. Retails for $61.70. Just email us. We'll send them free including free shipping.

For Church Secretary's
Eyes Only

Grace for the Moment by Max Lucado has sold over 2 million copies. Has a brief devotion for each day of the year. Hard cover. New. Sells for $13.99. We'll send it free (including shipping) to the first secretary (or office administrator) who emails us.

Excellent Church

Faith Lutheran Church (LCMS) in Marietta, GA, has a great website. Rev. Carl Schneider is senior pastor and is assisted by Rev. Thomas Boeck.

The home page is colorful and well organized. There are four main points: About Faith with 7 sub points, Members with 12 sub points, Quick Links with 5 sub points, and Milestones with two sub points.

The Weekly Newsletter is well done, and special attention is given to Men's Ministry and the School.

Spend some time here. Worth your while. Click Faith 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.
Throw a Kid a Birthday Party
By Ruth Meyer - A good idea for Sunday School teachers or for some neighborhood kid

I threw a birthday party yesterday. It was a pitiful affair. I made a box of confetti brownie mix in lieu of a cake, grabbed a Bob It and some Star Pop Rocks as a gift, and had the kids sign a card for the birthday boy. That was it. It was pretty meek. But in my defense it wasn't even my kid. [
read more]

Ten Commandments
for Pastors and Politics
By Thom Rainer

There are few topics that evoke as much emotion as politics. The intensity of emotions is particularly evident during presidential elections.

Pastors and church staff are not oblivious to political emotions. The purpose of this note is not that pastors and staff should abandon their convictions. It is a gentle reminder to consider what they are going to say before saying it. [read more]

Let's Pray

Dear Lord Jesus, 
my blessed and only Savior, hear my plea for help to deal with the tears and trials of life. Be my strength when I am weak. Pick me up when I fall down. Precious Jesus, give me Your compassion for the lost. Help me tell my unbelieving friends what You have done for me and for them. 

Remind me daily that I am not Home. Give me a longing to be with You and to join all the saints and angels in giving You perfect praise and service forever. I do not know when I will die. If I die before Your second coming, I want to awake in Your presence and I know that I shall! I praise You! I worship You! 'Til then! Amen!

Be An Encourager

I read about an ingenious teenager who grew tired of reading bedtime stories to his little sister. So he decided to record several of her favorite stories on tape. He gave her a tape player and plugged in the tape. "Now you can hear your stories anytime you want. Isn't that great?" he said. She looked at the machine for a moment and then replied, "No. It hasn't got a lap."

We all need a lap. We all need the closeness of relationship. We all need to know we are loved. We all need to find the encouragement that we need. Practice encouragement daily. (Hope in the Midst of Depression, p. 173, Mary Southerland).
251 pages, #302 $15.00. Click website or email us for your copy.

Welcome! Please come in. The song is Here I Am To Worship. After hearing it a man said, "I'm an ex Muslim. I love this song. Praise the King of Kings! The Lord saved me from my dead religion and Hell." Tim Hughes wrote this song in 1999 as a response to how he felt after reading Philippians 2. The themes are the life of Jesus, thankfulness, and worship. View the video, listen to or sing the words of this purposeful hymn. 

Don't Waste Your Life  
By Pastor Don Ginkel 

The word "sanctified" means "set aside by God for a holy  purpose" (John 17:19, Acts 20:32, Acts 26:18). But sometimes we Christians don't seem to get it in many areas of our lives.

Several years ago John Piper wrote an important book entitled, "Don't Waste Your Life. In it he wrote, "I'll tell you what a tragedy is. I will show you how to waste your life. Consider this story from the February 1998 Reader's Digest: A couple 'took early retirement from their jobs in the Northeast five years ago when he was 59 and she was 51. Now they live in Punta Gorda, FL, whey they cruise their 30-foot trawler, play softball and collect shells...' Picture them before Christ at the great day of judgment: 'Look, Lord. See my shells.' That is a tragedy."

1 Corinthians 12:27,29-31 says, "You are the body of Christ (that means you are not your own), and each one of you is a part of it. Are all apostles? Are all prophets? Are all teachers? Do all work miracles? Do all have the gifts of healing? Do all speak in tongues? (Does Paul want a yes or no answer to these questions? He wants a no.) But eagerly desire the greater gifts."

The word "gifts" is plural. God has given you many gifts. You may say, 
"I don't have a clue as to what my gifts are." Be in prayer and be determined to discover them, and as you discover them you are to concentrate on those gifts which (look at the last two words) are the greater or more important gifts. Look carefully at what they may be in your vocational and avocational life.

Paul is saying that we have various gifts; however, we are to be eager to discover and develop those greater gifts. I see so many people majoring in minors. They seem to be occupied with "peripheral piffle" (Don't ask me how to spell that!). There is nothing wrong with collecting sea shells, but many other activities and gifts are far more important. Jesus warmly encourages us to be faithful stewards - "Well done, good and faithful servant! You have been faithful with a few things; I will put you in charge of many things. Come and share your master's happiness!" (Matthew 25:21).

Security? Where It Is Not! Where It Is!
By Paul Tripp

Life is ultimately outside of our control. No matter how hard we work, wealth can be wiped out in an instant. An accident or a disease can take a loved one away from you. Sin can do irreparable damage to a relationship. What made us personally successful today is not guaranteed for tomorrow.

Into the mess of false security and insecurity, the Bible introduces us to the world's best security. Psalm 27:1 says, "The Lord is my light and my salvation; whom shall I fear? The Lord is the stronghold of my life; of whom shall I be afraid?"

You should feel secure today, but not because you have control or understanding and not because you're strong and competent. No, you're secure for one reason alone: God exists and He is your Father. He will never leave your side. He will never fail to provide. He will make good on everything He has promised.

Seven Questions a Pastor Should Ask a Church Before He Says "Yes"
By Thom Rainer

You have been selected to be the new pastor of a church. You have answered a plethora of questions. A few members attended your current church and listened to you preach in person. They have checked numerous references on you.

Now it's your turn. While it's common for a pastorate to ask questions, the nature of the questions often does not lend itself to a complete answer. For example, if you ask some of the church members if they are ready and willing to reach their community with the Gospel, they will likely respond with a resounding "yes." But after you become their pastor, you realize they meant that they are willing for you to do the work. They didn't lie. They just didn't tell you the whole story.

So I have devised seven questions that are more likely to get to the heart of the matter. I encourage you to ask these questions and listen carefully to their responses. It could save you a lot of heartache in the future.

1. If a big decision needs to be made in the church, who do           the members look for the blessing or approval?                         [read more]

8 Steps to Grow Your Church 
By Rick Warren

Do you realize that if your weekend attendance totals about 90 people, you're an above average church (at least in the United States and when measuring by such numbers)? If you're wondering what you need to do to grow, here are eight steps that can help you break an attendance barrier:
  1. Decide you really, really want to grow - Believe it or not, the primary barrier to church growth is desire. Do you really want to grow? If the answer is yes, then you must commit to this goal and be willing to accept changes. And the people in your congregation must also be willing to accept changes. [read more] 
Stack of Stuff

The Miracle Feather
Years ago Nadine bought a beautiful feather for us. Whenever we had too robust of a discussion, the one holding the feather could speak and the other person had to listen. It really works. We don't need to use the feather anymore, but have loaned it to other couples with the same results. They did not need it after a month or two. Works with a parent and a child, too. Order a nice feather through Amazon. Use it, and then loan it out to others. - DFG

Ann Voskamp
"There's no need to keep up with the Jonses' when you are keeping company with Jesus."

Sermon Preparation
Start early in the week. When finished go back and tweak. Get rid of needless sentences and words. Consider what you want your hearers to act on. Include a brief prayer at the end to drive home the main points.

Travis Hearn
"Excuses are dream killers. Don't trade even the smallest excuses for your God-sized dreams. Light a fire within you to go after your dreams - no more ifs, ands, or buts."

Big Question - Big Answer
"What's the most common reason people try out a church? 'Someone invited me.'"

Church Business Cards
They are vital for outreach. When your people invite someone to your Church, they should also hand the person your church business card.

The Problem with Happy Funerals
Grief is a painful yet necessary process to bring healing, to restore loved ones to former levels of function, and to find the "new normal" without the loved one. While we can and should celebrate heaven as a reality and remember the beauty of life, we must not forget that death was never a part of the original plan. And for that we should mourn. - Derek Cormier, Christianity Today, May 2016, p. 9.

Seven Personality Traits Guests Like in a Pastor 
By Thom Ranier

Initially, when you ask church guests what they like about a pastor, they will respond with a comment about the pastor's preaching. But if you go just one more level in the conversation, these church guests will also talk about the favorable personality traits of the pastor.

Most of these traits fall under the category of "relational skills." Here are some of the most common personality traits noted in exit interviews with church guests. Each of the traits is followed with a representative guest comment. [read more]

Here's An Idea That Could Help Your Men 
By David Murrow

Pastors, instruct men separately for the last five minutes of the service. Allow the women to sing or visit while you address the men in another room or outdoors. Talk to them man to man, and give them a compelling story or object lesson to cement your message in their minds.

Then let the Holy Spirit - and a woman's curiosity - go to work. As soon as they're in the car, she will ask her husband, "What did the pastor say to you guys?" The husband will tell the story or explain the object lesson. You have a husband instructing his family. The more comfortable a man becomes talking about God, the more faith will become part of everyday family life. (Why Men Hate Going to Church, pp. 198-199). For many more ideas order the book, 248 pages, #301 $15.99. Go to our website or email us.

Pastor - for a New Touch of Reality

Pick out six blocks near your church and do some canvassing door-to-door. The experience will surprise you. Go ahead. Plan now to do it. Take one block each week starting the first week in May. Put this on your calendar. Best time is late afternoon or early evening. Have some business cards in your pocket. 

Opening words at the door might be: "Hi,  I'm Pastor Smith from Christ Lutheran Church. I'm stopping by for just a few seconds to introduce myself." Then, more often than not, some very nice things will happen. Pastor, please accept this challenge for a new touch of reality. Thanks!!!!

Ten Really Weird Things Said to Pastors
By Thom Rainer

I was surprised when I asked Pastors on Twitter to share some of the more unusual comments they received. The response was huge. I've narrowed it down to the following. The parenthetical words after each comment represent my off-the-cuff commentary.
  1. "You need to change your voice." (Yes ma'am. I'll try to have that done by next week.) 
  2. "Your socks are distracting." (I understand. I'll stop wearing socks.)
  3. "We need to start attracting more normal people at church." (So, you will be leaving the church, I presume?)
  4. "I developed cancer because you don't preach from the KJV." (Major medical announcement! New carcinogen discovered!)
  5. "Your wife never compliments me about my hair or dress." (There could be a reason for that.)
  6. "If Jesus sang from the red hymnals, why can't we?" (I think you are mistaken. He sang from blue hymnals.)
  7. The toilet paper is on the wrong way in the ladies restroom. It's rolled under." (My guess is that it is still functional.)
  8. "Why don't you ever preach on Tim Tebow?" (Be patient. I will be preaching a six-week expository series on him in the fall.)
  9. "You don't look at our side of the worship center enough when you preach." (That's because you are on that side.)
  10. "You don't have ashtrays in the fellowship hall." (Yes we do. They are right next to the spittoons for your chewing tobacco.)
4 Ways to be a Better Friend - by Ann Voskamp
  1. People are the Priority: What's more of a priority than a person?
  2. Live Maskless: Bare your faults and foibles. The only way to see into another soul is to be transparent yourself.
  3. Speak Life: Share freely of your feelings because this may just free us - of the prisons of protection we've bound ourselves in.
  4. Get Together: Set an extra plate at the table. Call and ask if they would like to go for a walk or a cup of coffee. Write a letter. Pick up the phone.
Two Popular Memorials

Some times it's a challenge to offer suggestions for a meaningful memorial before or following a funeral. Some churches suggest the two items listed below (see website for more information or call 303-980-8863).
  1. Purchase the study, The Many Wonders of Heaven, for each family in the congregation. Cost is $6.95 per copy, #147.
  2. Burgundy or Blue Vinyl Holders and Attendance Pads for the sanctuary. An examination set is available for $6.00. Ask for #510.
Free Sample Cards

We'd like to send you one each of the following most popular and colorful cards.
  1. "Church Membership" certificate. Give to new members. Reminds them of their responsibilities.
  2. "Child Baptism" certificate. Summarizes blessings of Baptism and information on the newly baptized.
  3. "Adult Baptism" certificate. Similar to the above.
  4. "Sponsor" certificate. Information on newly baptized and five distinct duties of a Sponsor.
  5. "Thank You For Visiting Us In Worship" card. Send to visitors. Welcoming message. Signed by pastor. Very well received.
  6. "Encouragement/Get Well" card. Points to Jesus and the promise He makes to every believer to comfort and heal.
  7. "We Miss You" card. Send to those who have missed worship for some time. A warm and friendly card.
A $15.75 value. This is our May freebie including free shipping. Just email us with your address and ask for #262.

Rescue the perishing, care for the dying,
Snatch them in pity from sin and the grave;
Weep o'er the erring ones, lift up the fallen,
Tell them of Jesus, the mighty to save.

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