June 2016
Church Press Newsletter
The Best of the Best

Has 253 songs compiled and edited by Rev. Mike Zehnder (LCMS). Songs of praise, for communion, baptisms, weddings, funerals, anniversaries, installations and ordination.

Pew Edition, melody line, chord, lyric, 6" x 9", 480 pages. #601 $13.95.

Lead Line Edition, spiral, 9" x 9". Melody line, text, and chords, 480 pages. #602 $15.95.

Full Music Edition, 392 pages, 9" x 12". #600 $35.00.

Click website or email us.

1 Peter 5:8-9 

"Be alert and of sober mind. Your enemy the devil prowls around like a roaring lion looking for someone to devour. Resist him, standing firm in the faith, because you know that the family of believers throughout the world is undergoing the same kind of sufferings." 

When Preaching 

Do not pontificate or speak ex cathedra. We leave that to others who wish to look down on people. 

We are in the pulpit to communicate God's great Word to our dear people with suggestions on how they may put it to use in their daily lives. And we are to do it as their brother in Christ and as their dear friend.

My First Visit

Recently a 40 year old lady visited a church in Baltimore, MD. When she was asked, "What was it like when you entered the building?" she replied:

"After I entered the lobby and the service room, I saw three greeters by the main doors. No one greeted me or asked my name. From this initial experience, I felt awkward. The atmosphere did not make me feel like a part of the group." She went on to say that she would not return to the church. (May/June 2016, Outreach, p. 104).

When All Else Fails

You've been witnessing to a friend and getting no where. Ask these two questions:

1. When life is over, what do I have to lose if I am wrong? Nothing.

2. But what do you have to lose at the end of life if you are wrong? Everything!

Pursue this with the love of the Lord. Then give your friend a Gospel of John. Encourage them to read it through - then have some follow-up.
Nice Neighbors Are A Great Gift 

Recently two large branches fell down from a tree in our front yard as a result of heavy, wet snow. The next morning I noticed both branches were gone. 

I walked across the street to the prime suspect, Luan. I said, "Luan, do you know what may have happened to the two fallen branches off our tree?" He smiled and laughed. He was the man.

I went back home and picked up a bottle of nice red wine, went back across the street and said, "Luan, this is for you. You are a fabulous neighbor." He smiled and laughed again. 

Nice neighbors are a great gift! Hope you have nice neighbors and that you are one. - DFG

For Pastor's Eyes  Only

For the first pastor who asks for it, we'll send a free copy of Comeback Churches by Ed Stetzer and Mike Dodson. More than 300 declining churches share how they are now growing and are sharing the Gospel in their communities. Retails for $17.95. Hard cover. New. Just email us. We'll send it free including free shipping.

For Church Secretary's
Eyes Only

Simpler Living - Compassionate Life by Michael Schut. Not enough time? Money? Peace? Can less really mean more? New. Sells for $14.95. We'll send it free (including shipping) to the first secretary (or office administrator) who emails us.

Excellent Church

Messiah Lutheran Church (LCMS) in Lincoln, NE, has a great website. Rev. John Kunze is senior Pastor. Rev. Tom Cole is Visitation Pastor.

The Home Page is COLORFUL and well organized. Consider adopting their Home Page layout.

The Weekly Newsletter and Emails are as good as they get. They highlight 8 special ministries. Their use of pictures is excellent.

We hope you'll spend some time here. Worth your while. Click Messiah 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.
Self-Deprecating Humor - Use It

When teaching and preaching be encouraged to use a good amount of self-deprecating humor. I was recently teaching the Sunday morning Adult Bible Class at our Church, Ascension in Littleton, on Learning to Be More Content.

A few years ago I planted some tomato plants on the south side of our house. I told the neighbor boy who was about to mow my yard, "Be sure to stay away from these young tomato plants. I love tomatoes." He said, "No problem." When he finished I went out to look at the tomato plants. He had mowed them down. The class laughed.

I was was not content, so I filled a glass jar with water, placed tea bags inside, and set it out on the drive way. I love tea. About an hour later I looked out the window to see how my tea was doing. I saw the neighbor's dog walk up to the jar, smell it, and then he lifted his leg to pee not at the jar, but right in it. I couldn't believe it. Now the Class was laughing all the more. 

The point is: people love self-deprecating humor. Use it a lot. - DFG
How to Push Aside the Paper

-  Love your     wastebasket
-  Take time off with your spouse, children, and friends.
-  Jog or go for a walk.
-  Delegate more.
-  See people as priority one.
-  Do lunches away from work.
-  Handle paper only once.

If . . . 

your church has plateaued ask why that has happened. Then ask what you must do to change it into a growing congregation. Hey, it's your church.

Welcome! Please come in. The song is Come, Now Is the Time to Worship by Brian Doerksen. The invitation is to come just as you are before your God. One day every tongue will confess and every knee will bow, but the greatest treasure remains for those who choose God now. To both the believer and the unbeliever the invitation is the same: Oh, come. Oh, come. Oh come. Come, come, come. Great opening service hymn. View the video, listen to or sing the words of this hymn as you come. 

It Doesn't Pay to Be An Ignoramus!  
By Pastor Don Ginkel 

A minister had just assumed his duties as a new pastor of a church. The first Sunday morning he decided he would visit some of the Sunday School classes. He entered the first room while the lesson was in progress and heard the teacher ask one boy, "Who broke down the walls of Jericho?" "Not me, sir," said the boy. The minister turned to the teacher and asked in unbelief, "Did you hear what he said?" The teacher answered, "Yes, and if he said he didn't do it, I believe him. I really don't think he did it."

Distressed, the minister sought out the Chairman of the Board of Education and explained what happened. "I'm appalled," said the pastor. "Why, I've known both the teacher and the boy for years," said the chairman, "and I believe that if the boy said he didn't do it, he really didn't do it." By this time the minister was heartsick. At the next congregational meeting he reported this experience to those present, explaining that he thought they really had a serious problem. Thereupon the Chairman of the Board of Maintenance arose and said, "Mr. President, I make a motion that we simply pay for the damages and charge it to upkeep!"

This is the kind of Bible knowledge that we have in many congregations today by members and even by official boards and chairpersons. If they were to take a test on the very basics of Christian doctrine they would fail miserably. Lesson 2 is going to shake us up. It's a rough and difficult Lesson. All the other Lessons that follow are predicated on this particular Lesson. Let's begin. I Have Good News For You About A Bible Which Guides and Frees You."  (I Have Good News For You Leader's Guide, p. 39, by Donald F. Ginkel) 

Note: This is an extensive Leader's Guide with verse by verse commentary and numerous illustrations. 7" x 10" with spiral binding, 238 pages. #102 $16.95 ($25.00 value). To order click website or email us.

Just How Popular Is the Study Course "I Have Good News For You"?

It sells 10,000 copies a year in just the U.S. While it is used primarily for non-members to prepare them for membership in the Lutheran Church, many other congregations have added an important goal: MEMBERS! Here is the story of just two such churches.

LUTHERAN CHURCH OF THE CROSS, Kent, WA, Rev. Kirk Hulvey, Pastor. 95 average church attendance. Pastor Kirk just ordered 40 copies of I Have Good News For You. He said that he used it in high school. Both he and the Elders have been praying that God would open up the flood gates to non-members and members. They are placing GOOD NEWS Flyers (we provide them free) in the bulletins and asking members to attend and bring a friend along to their Sunday morning Adult Bible Class. 

ST. PAUL LUTHERAN CHURCH, Cumberland, WI, Rev. John Miels, Pastor. 150 average church attendance. Pastor Miels just ordered 40 copies of I Have Good News For You. He has some copies on hand. He recently lost one couple to the local Catholic Church and another couple to a very liberal congregation. He says they had no idea what they were doing. He wants his people to get back to the basics of Christianity. They are placing GOOD NEWS Flyers (we provide them free) in the bulletins and asking members to attend and bring a friend along to their Sunday morning Adult Bible Class. 

We salute both churches and their Pastors. To place your order for this important study, click website or email us. Perfect binding #101 $6.95, Spiral binding $7.95. It's important to have a good follow-up when completing this course. The most popular and important study is "Our Awesome God." 

Why You've Got to Know that You (and her) Are Priceless
By Kristen Welch (Please consider placing this in your Newsletter)

She grew up in a brothel. She was recently rescued from a living hell in the heart of Kolkata, India. 

[Can we just let the weight of those words sink deep? Children in bondage. There are thousands and thousands of girls and women still trapped right now in this life and we have to stop and acknowledge this sad truth even when it's easier to skip over it.]

In her first months of freedom, safe with one of our Fair Trade Friday partners, she chopped off her long hair so she would feel ugly. The blunt hairstyle was a harsh warning to any man who might dare touch her again. "I don't ever want a man to look at me again," she said. This is how she protected herself from being hurt again. [read more]

Ten Sentences That Make Pastors Cringe 
By Thom Rainer

Let me take you behind the scenes again in the life of a pastor. For sure, your pastor is not likely to let you know the pain these brief sentences cause. But, for most pastors, they hurt. They really hurt. Here are ten of the most common painful sentences uttered to pastors by church members:
  1. "I love you pastor, but . . . " The pastor will only hear the words after the "but." And they are usually painful.
  2. "Why didn't you visit her?" Of course, she's not a member of the church. She was in a hospital 70 miles away. And she's married to the third cousin of the church member. [read more]
Stack of Stuff

Almost Without Fail
If you want to kill a good idea at your church, form a committee. Better by far, put a responsible person in charge and tell them to get the job done.

An Observation on Preaching
Some little old ladies might like wimpy preaching, but most women don't and hardly any men do - they prefer hard preaching that includes conviction with a ton of Scripture.

"Hurt People Hurt People"
Is your critic emotionally wounded? When hurting souls hurl criticism at you, try to defuse them with understanding. Consider the source. Acknowledge whatever that person is facing. Dismiss the criticism. Love the person.

What Complaining About Your Congregation Says About You
"This week ask God to restore in you the sense of wonder and awe and gratefulness you knew when He first called you to your current congregation. And pray that you will serve them obediently and lovingly in spite of your own faults and weaknesses." - Jon Walker

Some Time
in the relatively near future, Church Press will be sold. If you are interested in possibly being a buyer, please email us.

What We Saw
When a 93-year-old woman was spotted trying to mow her lawn, two complete strangers rushed to her assistance, making for a beautiful act of kindness.

Dietrich Bonhoeffer
"Silence in the face of evil is itself evil: God will not hold us guiltless. Not to speak is to speak. Not to act is to act."

Why Consensus Is Killing Your Church 
By Brian Jones

If your church has plateaued it could be because you have tried to lead everything by consensus. There's a colossal difference between pseudo-leadership (leading everything by consensus) and biblically based, godly, unifying, strong, decisive, servant leadership. Brian breaks this down into two categories: 

The Consensus Trap In Smaller Churches
The Consensus Trap In Larger Churches [read more]

Always Keep Eternity Before Them
By Ann Vosskamp

I once heard the story of a preacher man with a PhD - whose mother died when he was two. When he was two and there were 5 kids in poor Kansas and she grabbed hold of her husband's hand and whispered her 5 last words: Always keep eternity before them. Always! Think of eternity - and live backwards from that. Don't waste a minute of your life on anything less than eternity - and that's. what. love is. Eternal, without end.

We Are Over-Stocked On A Bible Study 

Soooo, you can take 50% off. The study is A Time To Laugh . . . or Cry, Part 1, by Pastor Ginkel. Student Guide, 80 pages, #154 $5.95. For June the sale price is $3.00 each. Good application of texts in the lives of Christians today. Email us and tell us how many copies you want. A Leader's Guide is also available for $3.00. Will send Media Mail to save on shipping. Ten Lessons:

1.  In the Beginning With Adam and Eve
2.  In the Garden When Everything Went Wrong
3.  At the Flood With Noah
4.  When God Made A Promise to Abraham
5.  When Abraham Faced the Supreme Test
6.  When Jacob Received the Biggest Blessing
7.  With Joseph, the Slave, the Prisoner, and the Prime Minister
8.  When God Called Moses to Lead Israel
9.  When Israel Was Saved by the Blood of the Lamb
10.When God Gave the Law on Sinai

6 Biblical Ways to Handle Disunity
By Rick Warren

There's an unseen factor in Saddleback Church's growth that most people overlook - church unity. God blesses a unified church. Many churches have tremendous potential, but they never achieve what God desires because the members spend all their time fighting with one another.

The Bible talks more about unity of the church than it does about either heaven or hell. It's that important. Churches are made up of people, and there are no perfect people. So people get into conflict with each other. As pastors, we need to learn how to deal with those situations. Specifically, we're called to do these six things when disunity threatents our church [read more]

Six Reasons Why Most Churches Are Lousy at Follow-up
By Thom Rainer

The church of 150 in attendance averaged two first-time guests a week or 100 year. How many joined the church? Only three. The church had no follow-up in place for guests.

The church of 225 in attendance had a high attendance day of 360, with 75 guests attending that single day. How many eventually joined the church? Only two. The church had no follow-up in place for guests.

The church of 550 in attendance has had a Christmas event the past ten years that draws 1,500 people each year. That's 15,000 in ten years. How many new members can the church trace to the Christmas event? Zero. None. Nada. The church had no follow-up in place for guests.

So what's going on? Why are so many of our churches lousy at follow-up? I can point to at least six clear reasons. [read more]

From Leo Buscaglia in "Loving Each Other"


Don't allow anyone to put you on a pedestal. It's too easy to fall off.


Don't be concerned about what you can get from a relationship. Instead, concern yourself with what you can bring to it. 


Don't lose touch with the craziness in you. This, with a large dose of caring, will assure that your relationship will never be boring.


Remove price tags from people. Everyone has worth; the excitement lies in the discovery of their value. 


Perhaps it's not too bad to do some things you'd rather not if it makes another happy.


Get People Involved In Your Sermon
By Pastor Don

I like interaction between preacher and 
people during the sermon. We desire not just an intellectual interaction, but also a verbal one. Here is an example. I preached at our Church a few Sundays ago. You could use this intro with almost any text:

I need to learn whether to make this sermon simple or hard for you. To that end I will give you a short quiz. A first grade teacher asked her class old, well known proverbs. She gave the first half of the proverb and they came up with the rest. Here we go. I'll start the proverb and you finish it.

As you make your bed so shall you . . . MESS IT UP.
Better be safe than . . . PUNCH A 5TH GRADER.
You can lead a horse to water but . . . HOW?
Don't bite the hand that . . . LOOKS DIRTY.
An idle mind is . . . THE BEST WAY TO RELAX.
A penny saved is . . . NOT MUCH.
Laugh and the whole world laughs with you, cry and . . . YOU HAVE TO BLOW YOU NOSE.
Children should be seen and not . . . SPANKED OR GROUNDED.
When the blind lead the blind . . . GET OUT OF THE WAY.

We better keep the sermon simple.

Getting Closer to God (1 copy special)

A twenty lesson course by Pastor Ginkel on the basic truths of Scripture for junior confirmands, Christian Day Schools, and adults. Passages are printed out with summary thoughts, suggested passages for memorization, closing hymn, prayer, Bible reading schedule for the week, and challenging worksheet questions. 

Student Guide, 128 pages, #145 $9.50. For June a special 50% discount for one sample copy and free shipping. Just email us.

BUSY is a choice
STRESS is a choice
JOY is a choice


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