August 2016

Church Press Newsletter

After You Say "I Do"

A 97 page study guide for making the most of your marriage.

From the perspective of a couple in their marriage. Great for husbands and wives to do together or for a couples' study group. Packed with a wealth of practical ideas for enriching and enhancing their marriage. Thought-provoking questions. To order go to our website or email us. #308 $9.99

Ann Vosskamp 

"It doesn't matter if you have some big title - what matters is that you have a big heart. A big heart will outshine a big title every time."

"You don't have to agree on anything to be kind to everyone."

To Do

Grieve deeply for those who will die without having a relationship with Jesus Christ and face spending an eternity apart from Him.

Praise God for His sustaining grace, His power, and the hope of the Gospel in the midst of dark times.
A new pastor

was visiting the homes of his members. At one house it seemed obvious that someone was home, but no answer came to his repeated knocks at the door. Therefore, he took out a business card and wrote "Revelation 3:20" on the back of it and stuck it in the door.

When the offering was received the following Sunday, he found that his card had been returned. Added to it was this cryptic message, "Genesis 3:10." Reaching for his Bible to check out the reference, he broke up in laughter.

Revelation 3:20 begins, "Behold, I stand at the door and knock." Genesis 3:10 reads, "I heard your voice in the garden and I was afraid for I was naked."

Consider This 

Ask a mature and gifted layperson to open your worship service with prayer (ex corde). The Spirit of God can richly bless this in the hearts of worshipers.

Sound Matters 

"A string of words that have the same first letter, the same sound, or the same syllabic cadence is more memorable than a random collection of sounds. Here are five rules:


stand out because they all end with the same sound. - Dr. Frank Luntz, Words That Work, page 16

For Pastor's Eyes  Only

For the first pastor who asks for them, we'll send a free copy of these Bible studies: I Have Good News For You, Getting Closer to God, The Many Wonders of Heaven, Our Awesome God, A Time to Laugh or Cry Part 1 & 2, The Story of Angels, and Learning to Be More Content by Pastor Ginkel.

A $54.25 value. Just email us. We'll send them free including free shipping.

For Church Secretary's

Eyes Only

With Jesus Every Day (CPH Ralph Norden). Has an outstanding great devotion for every day of the year. New. Sells for $14.99. We'll send it free (including shipping) to the first secretary (or office administrator) who emails us.

A Church Website Worth Looking At

Our Savior Lutheran Church (LCMS) in Norfolk, NE, has an exceptional website. Rev. Lee Weander is Senior Pastor. Rev. Ryan Taylor is Associate. 

The Home Page is beautiful and  well organized. It has three categories: Discovering Our Future Together, Worship Times, and Current Sermon Series.

It lists eight columns with sub titles under each: Home, About Us, Get Connected, What's Happening, Donate Now, Youth Ministry, Children's Ministry, Sermons.

Spend some time here. Click Our 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.
For You, Pastor

"God has entrusted you to lead His people; He didn't send you to your current pastorate to assess the situation and then report back to Him on how bad and stiff-necked they would be. He already knows their hearts; He already knows them intimately and now He wants YOU to know them intimately so you can care for them like a shepherd tends his flock." - Jon Walker, Ministry Toolbox

2 Bible Class Paragraphs for Your Bulletin 

Last Sunday ____ people (insert attendance) attended Adult Bible Class. Pray that even more will attend this Sunday. We meet in the Fellowship Hall at 9:00. And refreshments will be served.

Hebrews 10:25, "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." Our Adult Bible Class is the perfect way to do this.

We meet 9:00 in the Fellowship Hall. Pastor Johnson promises to make you feel at home and that you will grow and grow and grow and you'll enjoy doing it.

To "Know" Him
By Joni Eareckson Tada

When Paul wrote Philippians 3:10, "I want to know Christ," he used the word "know" in the Old Testament sense of the word, such as when Adam "knew" Eve or Abraham "knew" Sarah. 

As intimately as a couple would know one another physically, Paul wanted to know His Lord spiritually. His was a desire to fellowship with the Lord through direct experience, not through mere head knowledge. This is how close-up and personal your spiritual fellowship with the Lord is meant to be.

Welcome! Please come in. The song is El Shaddai written by Michael Card and John Thompson using direct quotes from Scripture as their inspiration. Half the lyrics of the chorus are in the Hebrew language. The title comes from a Judaic name of God, usually translated as "God Almighty." The meaning of "Erkamka na Adonai" means "We will love You, Oh, Lord." Sung by Amy Grant. View the video, listen to or sing the words. Go full screen.

Have We Got A Proposition for You!
By Pastor Don Ginkel 

We really want you to consider using the 10 Lesson Bible study, Our Awesome God, in your Sunday morning Bible Class or in your Bible study groups during the week. Here's the proposition: We'll send you one free copy of the book ($6.95 value) including free shipping. Just email us and ask for #160. If you place an order for additional books in August, we'll include a free Leader's Guide ($6.95 value), free colorful flyers, and free shipping. Here's why you should consider this Bible study.

The concept of God by many very religious people is almost without fail only "skin deep." With our loss of the sense of the majesty of God has come the further loss of religious awe and consciousness of His divine attributes. We must begin to think of God more nearly as He is.

Just look at the LORD'S proposition in Jeremiah 9:23-24, "This is what the LORD says, 'Let not the wise man boast of his wisdom or the strong man boast of his strength or the rich man boast of his riches, but let him who boasts boast abut this: that he understands and knows Me, that I am the LORD, who exercises kindness, justice and righteousness on earth, for in these I delight' declares the LORD."

To sum up in one sentence: This study is an invitation to nurture and improve the greatest relationship you will ever have. Now! And forever! Email us for your free copy.

15 Crazy Things That Happened At Weddings
By Thom Ranier

Pastors have a plethora of stories to tell about weddings they have officiated. Unfortunately, they are often constrained from telling the stories lest their church members become offended. For that reason I gather the stories from pastors on social media and become their spokesperson. There were so many great submissions. Here are just 15. 
  1. During the vows, the bride said no.
  2. The bride and her father fought with light sabers coming down the aisle to music from Star Wars. Neither the pastor nor the groom knew what was happening.
  3. The bride fainted during the wedding. Four times.
  4. Guy in the sound booth started the wrong music during the wedding. Everyone got to hear "The Lady Is A Tramp." [read more]
The Young Messiah on DVD
Excerpts from Focus on the Family

What might Jesus have been like . . . when He was 7? That intriguing question provides the narrative foundation for The Young Messiah. He is depicted as like any other 7-year-old. He loves to laugh, run and play. He doesn't always get along with his older, adopted brother, James. He has a run-in with a bully.

All the while Jesus keeps asking his parents why He can do things no other boy can. It's a simple question with a destiny-sharping answer, one that Joseph and Mary aren't sure their son - who they know is actually God' Son - is old enough to hear just yet. There's actually little that directly contradicts Scripture's testimony about the Christ. Much of it, in fact, confirms the solid theological tenet that Jesus was and is the Son of God, born of a virgin, and destined to save all mankind. This film carries the promise of inspiring u to want to know Him more.

(Note: You can get this DVD free at your library or you can go to Amazon for a purchase. Church Press recommends your seeing it)
Switching Churches? Your Exit Doesn't Have to Be Messy 
By J. R. Briggs in Christianity Today
You can still bless others by the space you leave benind

Let me let you in on a little secret pastors usually keep to themselves: when someone leaves your church, it's excruciating. 

A few months ago, for instance, a middle-aged man in my church informed me that he had decided to pack it in. He shared several reasons why: he didn't like my teaching, felt I was not being biblical in my leadership, thought I was inaccessible to him and his needs, and insisted that the priorities of the church were not right. He went on to tell me that when I returned from my sabbatical last year, he'd hoped I would announce that I would be leaving the church to pastor elsewhere. And to cap things off, he told me there was a season where he was so angry with me that he wanted to kill me. [please read more]

Stack of Stuff

We tremble
when making any comments about this year's presidential election. Many people are very upset, even angry. Pastors do well to be cautious about what they say. Sarah Eekhoff Zylstra writes an excellent article in Christianity Today that's worth reading. It's titled: "Dobson Endorses Trump, While Evangelical Leaders Advise Voting for Lesser Evil." You should read this. Worth your time. Click Lesser Evil.

In contrast
consider Theresa Mary May, the new Prime Minister of the UK and Leader of the Conservative Party. Intelligent. Gracious. Her father was a vicar for the Church of England. Mary is an Anglican and worships regularly. She openly states that her faith "... is part of me. It is part of who I am and therefore how I approach things." Be sure you click Lesser Evil in the previous paragraph.

Questions from Neil Rosenthal
  • What are you most grateful for?
  • How would you like people to remember you?
  • What do you want to accomplish or experience before you die?
  • What do you need in order to be happy?
  • What inspires you?
  • What talents, traits or skills are you wanting to more deeply develop?
  • What makes you smile?
A pastor
told his little daughter something and she responded, "DAAADY, are you telling me the truth or are you just preaching?"

Thoughtful changes in the worship
service can greatly increase the meaning of it. Example: After a heartfelt prayer of confession of sins sing -

My Jesus, I love Thee, I know Thou art mine;
For Thee all the follies of sin I resign;
My gracious Redeemer, my Savior art Thou:
If ever I loved Thee, my Jesus 'tis now.

A good organist leading singing
at worship is great. A good pianist leading singing at worship is great. Put the two together and its fantastic!

At seminary
our homiletics prof continually reminded us: "Boys, preach the text! Exhaust it!" Pretty good advice for us today. We would add one more very important thought: "Apply the text to every day living!"

7 Benefits of Preaching Without Notes (or just a few notes)
By Brandon Hilgemann
  1. You will preach more from your heart. What would you find to be more sincere: if I wrote an apology email or if I were to look you in the eyes and tell you how sorry I am? The written word is powerful, but it cannot fully capture the heart. In the same way, your notes can get in the way of fully communicating what God has laid on your heart.
  2. Your will sound more  conversational. When you preach without notes, you will preach similar to how you talk to people. You will use more of the words that you use in normal conversation. Reading or even looking at them too often looks and feels more formal. [read more]
Why God Is Pleased With Us
By Chad Bird, an active Christian of the Lutheran confession

God is pleased with us for one reason, and one reason only: because He is pleased with His Son. And in that Son, in whom we die and rise again, the Father is tickled pink with us. God gives out a great belly laugh even when we sit around eating popcorn on the couch. He even smiles at us when we sleep. He loves how we drive to work, go to church, play basketball, read books, make love to our spouses, have babies, get old and feeble and have hair growing out of our ears. God loves all that because we're in Jesus. And whoever is in Jesus is in the Father's delight, no matter how high and holy or low and common our deeds may be."

The Five Kinds of Churches that Must Change or Die 
By Thom Rainer

Change or die. Imagine hearing those words from your physician. I hope you would be motivated to change. Eat well. Exercise. Stop smoking. You get the picture.

Okay, I have some tough news for you who are members or leaders of about 100,000 churches in America. Change or die. You read that correctly. If fact, if your church don't make substantive changes in the next few years, your church will die. So what churches are at risk? Instead of naming specific churches, I have listed them in five categories. [read more] 

8 Tips for a Personal Retreat Day
By Andrew Camp, Ministry Toolbox

What is a retreat? John Coe, a professor of mine at Seminary, defined a retreat as follows: "The setting aside of an extraordinary amount of time to do something for the sake of your soul at an intensity and duration that your ordinary lifestyle does not permit." At its core, a retreat is when we set aside time to minister to our souls through spending time in conversation with our living God. In terms of planning a personal retreat day, here are 8 suggestions: [read more]

Government: A Godly Perspective  (50% discount)

A reproducible Bible study CD. Includes Bible research by R. R. Kremer (WELS) with questions and answers. Perfect for September and October prior to the election. Six Lessons:
  • Government - Established by God
  • The United States - Designed to be Godly
  • The Christian & Civil Disobedience
  • The Christian's Role in Government
  • Mixing Church & State - Agenda or Fact?
  • An Overview of Today's Governments
Regular price $39.99. On sale for $20.00. To order just email us and ask for #259.

An Adult Coloring Book for Your Soul

Two years ago one million coloring books were sold. Last year fifteen million coloring books were sold. 

Color the Psalms
Pick up crayons, colored pencils, watercolors, or markers and allow the spirit of the psalms to wash away your stress, refresh your heart, and welcome you into the presence of God. Artist Michal Sparks created each coloring page to compliment a favorite verse from the book of Psalms. Created specifically for adults, this coloring book is an invitation to be creative while you meditate on God's Word

80 pages, 8.5" x 11", #702 $9.99. Click email to order.

"Dear Jesus, I want to be like Andrew"

"The first thing Andrew did was to find his brother Simon and tell him, 'We have found the Messiah' (that is, the Christ). And he brought him to Jesus" (John 1:41-42).

When I enter that beautiful City,
And the saved all around me appear,
I want to hear somebody tell me,
"It was you who invited me here."

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