Church & Ministry

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Posted 9/2/15 at 8:58 AM | Christian Post Guest Voices

Things a Pastor Should Never Ask a Church Member

I’m thinking of one-on-one conversations in which a pastor might ask this of the church member…. Not a good idea. Do not try this….

1. How did you vote on that issue?

2. Are you a Democrat or Republican?

3. Will you support my political candidate?

4. Why did you not support me in that project I was pushing?

5. Have you ever committed adultery (or any number of other things)?

6. Would you give me money? Would you lend me money?

7. How much money do you make? How much do you give?

8. If I will preach this sermon you’ve been asking for, will you do (something) for me?

9. Have you ever seen my wife with another man? (or any of a thousand variations on that)

10. Do you think I’m handsome? If we were not married, would you be interested in me? (or anything equally horrendous)

11. What do you think are my best assets? My strongest points? (The variations are endless: What do you like best about me? or even “How do you feel about me?”) FULL POST

Posted 9/1/15 at 10:48 AM | Christian Post Guest Voices

Why Your Good Sermon Was So Boring

Pastor, if you are like the rest of us, you’ve had this happen….

You brought a sermon on an important scriptural passage which you knew beyond a doubt was from the Lord and inspired of God. You had a great time studying and praying for this sermon, and you knew this was cutting edge stuff. So, why was the sermon itself so poorly received? Halfway through, you could sense the congregation’s collective minds wandering. How could this happen?

Clearly, the problem could be any of one thousand things. But if I may, I will share a strong conviction on the number one reason your excellent sermon was so poorly received.

You failed to lay the foundation for it.

That is, you preached the event without setting the stage and placing the context for it before the congregation. For instance….

–You preach Matthew 1:18ff and Luke 1:26ff, the Mary and Joseph event. This beloved story needs you to point out how the world had lain in darkness for centuries, with no word from God, no prophets appearing, no fresh revelation. And then the angel Gabriel showed up. Bingo! FULL POST

Posted 8/30/15 at 7:10 PM | Alex Murashko

Crowd of 45,000 at Harvest So Cal Saturday Includes Family Tailgating For Jesus

(Photo: Harvest Events)

Thirty members of the Canizalez family arrived early to Angel Stadium to BBQ hamburgers under a pop-up tent, enjoy each other’s company, and later settle-in to listen to the worship music and message by Greg Laurie at SoCal Harvest.

Sergio said he felt led by the Holy Spirit to invite his family. They carpooled from Chula Vista, just north of the Mexico border. Prior to the event, his excitement built as he prayed for those in his family that have not yet accepted Jesus.

Sergio, who attends Calvary Chapel San Diego, said he is excited to share the Lord with people and knows that time is short.

After a Facebook posting by Harvest of the story, a friend commented that one of the young family members recommitted his life to Jesus that night. This "good news" is just one of many from the 3-day Harvest So Cal event that ends Sunday evening.

Greg Laurie posted on social media about Saturday:

Tonight was one of the largest responses to an invitation in the history of our ministry.We had 45,000 people in attendance and we saw 4,670 people respond to the invitation to commit or recommit their lives to Jesus Christ.
What can I say, but to God be the Glory!

On the web:

Posted 8/28/15 at 6:43 PM | Mike Stickler

Keep the "Social" in Social Media By Mike Stickler

Mari Smith is a recognized authority on the use of social media. I recently asked her what tips she would give to ministry leaders who want to use social media to extend the reach of their ministries. Mari offered this great advice:

  • Start small. Rather than try to update a dozen social media sites every day, start with one or two—Twitter and Facebook are good places to start. And then…
  • Be consistent. This is key. To build a following, you need to post regularly and consistently. It’s better to post two tweets every day than to post five one day and none for several days. A daily Facebook post or a twice-weekly blog post can help give followers a reason to keep coming back to your site or to follow you on Twitter.
  • Link your platforms to one another. That means that on your blog page you’ll want to post a link to your Facebook fan page, and vice versa. When you update your blog, post a link on Facebook and Twitter. Link them all back to your website.
  • Use OPC—Other People’s Content. Linking to other valuable blog posts or retweeting a helpful tweet can be a great way to supplement your own content and give your followers and fans more value.
  • Use the right social media platform for your purpose. Twitter is great for quick thoughts or information. A blog is best for developing your thoughts and having dialogue with your readers.

Are there any other expert social media tips you’d offer to fellow ministry leaders? FULL POST

Posted 8/25/15 at 11:57 AM | Daniel Levite

The Kingdom Hall and Taking a Twix Moment For Life

My son and his fiancé came home for a visit a couple of weeks ago. They don’t get home often, so we try to plan out their time with us. My son probably didn’t expect me to ask him on the first day with us, “Hey, I have to meet with a Jehovah’s Witness early Saturday morning at his Kingdom Hall, want to come with me?” Probably because he knows his dad pretty well, he didn’t act surprised or miss a beat when he responded, “Sure.” I was very happy he was coming with me.

A week before, a JW friend I had been meeting with on a regular basis (Make A Schedule For Life), told me he was moving to another state. He brought another JW, Joe, with him so that Joe and I could continue meeting together. Apparently we met many months before. Although I didn’t remember meeting him, he remembered me.

My dual goals when meeting anyone new is to Make A Friend and Make A Schedule. I asked him, “How about we meet here at Starbuck’s at 8am next week?” This had been my standing time to meet with previous friends to talk about spiritual matters. He said he would prefer to meet at the Kingdom Hall since he needed to open it for others around that time on Saturday. When I meet with people, the time of day is more important than where, so I agreed. FULL POST

Posted 8/25/15 at 8:13 AM | Christian Post Guest Voices

When God's People Don't Live in the Word Bad Things Happen

“But his delight is in the law of the Lord, and in that law doth he meditate day and night” (Psalm 1:2).

The Lord never intended for His Word to collect dust on a table in your back bedroom.

People paid for your right to own a Bible in your own language with their very lives.

What are you doing about that?

Christians who own numerous Bibles which they rarely open are thumbing their noses at the saints of old who paid the ultimate price.

This hard-won treasure lies buried under the dust and detritus of your life.

The Lord’s plan calls for His people to live and breathe His word, to read it and receive it inwardly and to think about it regularly and practice it. He intended it to become part of the very marrow of their bones.

Digest it. Assimilate it. Live it. And meditate upon it continually.

He even told people to “Eat this book.”

Several times throughout biblical history, God told His faithful prophet to consume the book containing His words. (Jeremiah 15:16; Ezekiel 2:3; 3:1-3; Revelation 10:9) FULL POST

Posted 8/20/15 at 3:09 PM | Mark Ellis

Missionaries witness volcanic eruption, hail-like stones falling around them

Volcano begins to erupt

By Mark Ellis

Matt and Christine Hamb are missionaries with New Tribes Mission in the Madang region of Papua New Guinea, ministering to the Manam people group.

On July 31st, they were settling into their normal routines in what seemed like any other day in the village. Then they heard an eerie sound.

“It is common to hear rumbling noises coming from the mountain but this time it was accompanied by the desperate frightened wails of children and frenzied yelling of women,” Matt noted on their blog.

Suddenly the volcano erupted with great force, spewing molten rocks, debris, and ash 65,000 feet into the air. “Immediately panic began to strike as we realized what needed to happen,” he recounted.

Matt realized an urgent response was necessary: solar panels to cover, gutters to remove and water tanks to secure. They also needed to head to a safer area. FULL POST

Posted 8/20/15 at 1:28 PM | Alex Murashko

Megachurch Equips Leaders, Core Volunteers at First Ever Rockbridge Seminary Conference

Photo: Rockbridge Seminary
Tom Holladay speaks during Rockbridge Conference themed "Equipping Your Calling" held at Saddleback Church Irvine South on Aug. 15, 2015.

IRVINE, Calif. – Organizers of the first Rockbridge Seminary Conference say they hope other megachurches will see the benefit of hosting an event such as the one held last Saturday (August 15) aimed at equipping its core volunteers to advance into trained leadership positions. The conference featured plenary sessions and workshops which helped attendees find training to meet their specific interests.

Rockbridge Seminary partnered with Saddleback’s Irvine South location to raise awareness about the online accredited, degree-granting institution, explain the benefits of seminary education and to help show the steps towards developing servant leaders for Christian ministry. The advantage of the online seminary is that students can have learning experiences that allow them to study and practice without leaving their ministry field, according to the seminary. FULL POST

Posted 8/19/15 at 10:21 AM | Ron Edmondson

3 Questions to Consider When the Church No Longer Reflects the Community

I was coaching a group of pastors recently and asked a question I’ve encountered but never really answered. It’s a question which seems to come up frequently these days. It’s actually a great and relevant question for our times. In fact, I think it’s one many churches need to consider. It’s a common dilemma churches face today.

In church revitalization, I often encourage churches to consider whether the church can be revived. Frankly some churches cannot. Some churches have a culture which works against them. The energy, in my opinion, would be better spent elsewhere.

And, some churches have had their community leave them. The community has changed and they no longer look like their community demographically.

Now, to avoid confusion, I’m not talking spiritually. The church never reflects the community there. The church usually is counter-cultural in terms of how we reflect God’s standards In our communities. I’m strictly talking demographically. FULL POST

Posted 8/17/15 at 4:33 PM | Mark Ellis

A pastor’s wife’s loving remembrance of her husband

John and Margie McClure

By Mark Ellis

After Pastor John McClure passed away unexpectedly August 8th due to complications of a terrible ATV accident in Colorado, his wife Margie was able to share many fond memories of John and his legacy.

“What translated so vividly was John’s absolute love for people,” she says. “He loved people from all walks of life and didn’t see any difference, whether they were multimillionaires or street people.”

“When he entered a room, it was all focused on the other person,” she notes.

The public face was no different from the private one she saw day-to-day. “He loved me so much it was almost nutty,” she recalls. “I had it really good.”

Margie described John’s father, an engineer, as a “wonderful, stalwart man who loved the Lord,” but was not very demonstrative with his affections, which reflected the pattern of most men of his generation. FULL POST

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