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How Technology Equips the Church to Keep Giving Consistent Year Round

We all know that church attendance ebbs and flows throughout the year, with summer slumps and Easter and Christmas surges, but that doesn’t mean that church giving has to be as inconsistent. Rather, if approached correctly, giving can not only continue throughout typically slow months, it can even increase.

Here are five tips for using technology as a church’s best friend when it comes to tackling the issue of giving. If you haven’t already… Logged in Members, CLICK HERE to view and/or copy full text!

Stop Chirping and Fly!

John 8:36 So if the Son sets you free, you will be free indeed.  (We can have freedom in Christ!)

While pondering what to write about for today’s blog post, I couldn’t think too well because of what seemed to be a constant chirping from the garage.

Knowing that I had just mowed the lawn and had left the door open for a while, I had little doubt that a bird had flown into the garage and had now become an occupant of a place God never intended for little birdie to occupy.

Getting up quietly, I opened the door to go into the garage while the main door was still closed… quietness. No chirping was to be heard anywhere, so I came back to the desk and within a matter of minutes, you guessed it… chirp, chirp, CHIRP! CHIRP!

I opened the main garage door, and even though it sat there within a foot of freedom, all it could do was continue to chirp! I picked up a piece of cardboard to see if I could “shoosh” it out, but it just flew into the garage more. Logged in Members, CLICK HERE to view and/or copy full text!

Three Ways to Fight the Summer Slump

Three Ways to Beat the Summer Slump

Wouldn’t it be great to beat the Summer Slump?

I have a statement I use once in a while when referring to Church attendance in the Summertime, and it goes like this: “Summer – Summer here and many are not.” Perhaps a bit of sarcasm involved with the statement, yet most of us who are in ministry find it to be a fact of life… attendance in Church during the Summer tends to go down. Perhaps you’re in the minority in which attendance goes up, but rest assured, it is a minority.  This brief article is for the rest of us.  Here are Three Ways to Beat the Summer Slump.

What can we do, especially as leaders to convey the message to those we are entrusted to care for that we aren’t giving up? Below are three ideas I wanted to share, and without a doubt, there are many more! I would love to hear your thoughts on how you make things work for your Church during the Summer.

Yes, there are far more than three ways to fight the Summer Slump but these are just a few that will help. Logged in Members, CLICK HERE to view and/or copy full text!

“The Wide Spectrum of Mothering”  (Provided by Amy Young from www.Messymiddle.com)
(Great for sharing from pulpit each Mother’s Day)


To those who gave birth this year to their first child—we celebrate with you

To those who lost a child this year – we mourn with you

To those who are in the trenches with little ones every day and wear the badge of food stains – we appreciate you

To those who experienced loss through miscarriage, failed adoptions, or running away—we mourn with you

To those who walk the hard path of infertility, fraught with pokes, prods, tears, and disappointment – we walk with you. Forgive us when we say foolish things. We don’t mean to make this harder than it is.

To those who are foster moms, mentor moms, and spiritual moms – we need you

To those who have warm and close relationships with your children – we celebrate with you

To those who have disappointment, heart ache, and distance with your children – we sit with you

To those who lost their mothers this year – we grieve with you

To those who experienced abuse at the hands of your own mother – we acknowledge your experience

To those who lived through driving tests, medical tests, and the overall testing of motherhood – we are better for having you in our midst

To those who have aborted children – we remember them and you on this day

To those who are single and long to be married and mothering your own children – we mourn that life has not turned out the way you longed for it to be

To those who step-parent – we walk with you on these complex paths

To those who envisioned lavishing love on grandchildren -yet that dream is not to be, we grieve with you

To those who will have emptier nests in the upcoming year – we grieve and rejoice with you

To those who placed children up for adoption — we commend you for your selflessness and remember how you hold that child in your heart

And to those who are pregnant with new life, both expected and surprising –we anticipate with you

This Mother’s Day, we walk with you. Mothering is not for the faint of heart and we have real warriors in our midst. We remember you.

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[click_to_tweet tweet=”Pastors Wife Appreciation Month is March. Are you taking the time to appreciate your Pastor’s Wife? Why not take some time to research ways to be a blessing” quote=”Pastors Wife Appreciation Month is March. Are you taking the time to appreciate your Pastor’s Wife? Why not take some time to research ways to be a blessing”]

It seems that there was an attempt to start such a month of appreciation back in 2015 and while it seems to have faded away a bit, I think it’s still a great idea!

Perhaps I’m a bit biased because my wife is a Pastor’s wife!
My mother was a Pastor’s wife!

With the small slice of internet influence I have, I wanted to take a moment to write an article to encourage people in churches all across the world to celebrate and appreciate their Pastors Wife!

There are so many pressures in ministry life, and one might say that a Pastor’s Wife has seen her fair share of them. While we could go on and on about some of those pressures she deals with (including encouraging the Pastor), I’d like to give 4 simple ideas of how to be a blessing to her. Logged in Members, CLICK HERE to view and/or copy full text!

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Ministering to the Minister

About a month ago, we came across a graphic that was so powerful we shared it on our Facebook page and in turn, as of this writing it has 583 shares.  Evidently there something about Ministering to the Minister that struck a nerve.

Without a doubt, this graphic was one that many leaders as well as laity identified with and wanted to get the message out about the need to “minister to the ministers.”

1 Peter 5:2 (NKJV)2 Shepherd the flock of God which is among you, serving as overseers, not by compulsion but willingly, not for dishonest gain but eagerly;

While we are not the originators of the graphic, we were able to find the source of the picture as far as we know, and it is here.

The story is presented in a way to reflect well on animals, and while there is nothing wrong with that, those in ministry know it speaks of a far deeper meaning.

While the dog being comforted is not the “shepherd” of the flock, in reality, the dog does represent the shepherd who is working hard to protect and minister to the flock. I’ve even heard that the dogs watching over a flock could also be representative of deacons or elders who are doing their best in partnership with the shepherd to protect the flock.

As we know, illustrations such as this can only go so far. Within this one picture, far more than a thousand words are spoken to those who are in ministry leadership today.

Also, we realize not ALL of those entrusted with the care of the flock is in it for the right reasons and at times can be out of order themselves. For the most part, though, I have found in my experience in ministry that the vast majority of Pastors and Church Leaders have a great desire to help and protect the flock God has placed in their care.

Here are a few thoughts, and please know that I write as a Pastor with over 35 years of ministry experience, serving as a Youth Pastor, Associate Pastor and for many years now, as a Senior Pastor. Logged in Members, CLICK HERE to view and/or copy full text!

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Church Letter Writing – 4 Benefits

 

Church Letter Writing – 4 Benefits

 

The art of communication has changed dramatically over the past few decades. With the advent of email, we stopped writing letters. Then, with Facebook, blogs, and Instagram, we started posting information to all our friends and family at once, but stopped communicating with each friend or family on an individual, personal level. And Twitter shortened our communication with people to short messages, slogans, and hashtags. As the culture changed how it communicated, so have many churches. Churches used to write all kinds of church letters, be they church invitation letters, donation letters, or even Christmas cards, but fewer and fewer church letters are being sent each year and that’s unfortunate.

Please don’t misunderstand. The information revolution has done some amazing things for communication. Churches have never been able to communicate with as many people as efficiently as they can today, but in some ways we have also lost some aspects of communication. We live in an age of impersonal, non-tangible 1’s and 0’s, but the last thing the church should be is impersonal and non-tangible. Logged in Members, CLICK HERE to view and/or copy full text!

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5 Reasons to Find a Local Church

We’re just “church hopping”!

As I went through our Visitor Connect Cards following a recent Sunday Service, it was somewhat surprising to read this statement, but at least they were telling the truth.

We also have an area someone can select “looking for a church,” but that wasn’t selected because they were just “church hopping.”

What sounds like an exciting venture in checking out what other churches are doing can soon become a lonely endeavor as each and every church is critiqued (and criticized) as not being entirely up to par for a long-term relationship.

The Bible tells us in Hebrews 10:25 (NKJV) 25 not forsaking the assembling of ourselves together, as is the manner of some, but exhorting one another, and so much the more as you see the Day approaching.

What are a few good reasons for finding a local church and becoming faithful to it?

1. ACCOUNTABILITY

Perhaps this is one of the reasons people would rather not find a home church! They would prefer to just kind of “wing it” through life and hope at the end, things will turn out just fine.

We all like to believe that we don’t really need anyone else but God, but let’s face it, we need one another not only to be encouraged in times of difficulty but even to have a corrective word (in love) shared as we get off track.

The Bible also says: Proverbs 27:6 (NKJV) 6 Faithful are the wounds of a friend, But the kisses of an enemy are deceitful.

“Who would prefer a friend’s wounds to an enemy’s kisses? Anyone who considers the source. A friend who has your best interests at heart may have to give you unpleasant advice at times, but you know it is for your own good. An enemy, by contrast, may whisper sweet words and happily send you on your way to ruin. We tend to hear what we want to hear, even if an enemy is the only one who will say it. A friend’s advice, no matter how painful, is much more valuable.” Quoted from Life Application Study Bible.

2. LANDMARK MOMENTS

Another great reason to stop “church hopping” and settle into a home church is for those “landmark moments” of life.

As Joshua was leading the people into the Promised Land, he made sure that a Landmark was left behind so that future generations would hear the story of God’s faithfulness and guidance.

Joshua 4:20-22 (NKJV)
20 And those twelve stones which they took out of the Jordan, Joshua set up in Gilgal. 21 Then he spoke to the children of Israel, saying: “When your children ask their fathers in time to come, saying, ‘What are these stones?’
22 then you shall let your children know, saying, ‘Israel crossed over this Jordan on dry land’;

Having a home church makes it possible for moments such as Baby Dedications, Water Baptisms, Salvations, Weddings and Funerals to be held in a place which allows beautiful stories of God’s faithfulness to be told.

As a Pastor, I often receive phone calls from someone “looking for a church to have a wedding”. While many churches have very different policies regarding weddings and costs, etc., it’s always much less awkward when a faithfully attending couple call with such a request.

While the “landmark moments” can be remembered wherever they happened, it’s doubly exciting as families can worship together and point out where their “twelve stones” are in the church they attend.

3. DEVELOP SOLID RELATIONSHIPS

Come to the church where all the perfect people are! Well, I don’t know what church you worship at, but that’s just not the case ANYWHERE… never has been, and it never will be this side of heaven.

This is where “the rubber meets the road” so to speak. We meet someone in a church and begin to feel great connection as we might enjoy watching the same sports teams, be on the same spiritual level, have children the same ages, etc.

But then… the offense.

This is the testing time and inevitably will happen in any relationship that develops over time. It’s in those times that not only are relationships severed, but once again, the “hopping” starts as they decide to move on to another church where they “won’t’ get hurt.”

John Bevere has written a tremendous book on “The Bait of Satan” to help people get through these times of offense.

What marriage doesn’t have a few tests along the way? It’s much the same way in a church, but if people would just hold on through those times, there would be far more victories than defeats!

Take time to develop relationships and realize that things happen but rarely does it rise to the level of moving along to the next church.

4. VOLUNTEER POSSIBILITIES

It is absolutely fantastic to see people step up and volunteer during times of crisis! I’ve watched, as I’m sure you have the countless tragedies that unfold such as natural disasters and it seems people can’t do enough for their friends and even neighbors they don’t even know.

When it comes to volunteering in the church for various ministries, perhaps the urgency of the moment doesn’t seem to be there as much as it seems that simply being faithful week to week can feel like a “rut.”

There is something incredibly satisfying about reaching out with talents and gifts, and just a caring heart to be a blessing to someone else. I’ve had numerous times of going to minister in a nursing home or hospital through song or spoken word. Yet, upon leaving the building, God has found ways to minister to ME through those very people!

The local church should set the pace when it comes to volunteering not only at the church itself but within the local community. It’s exciting when a group of volunteers from the church team up to bless the local Fire Department or EMS companies with cases of water or sports drinks. Recently, we dropped off a case of Gatorade to our Fire Company and found out they had a call that very night. When they arrived back at the Station, ice cold Gatorade drinks were waiting for them.

Where would our churches be without volunteers? Stop “hopping” and get involved!

5. MORE EFFECTIVE FOR THE KINGDOM

I’m not sure who first coined the phrase “we’re better together,” but it’s an absolute fact!

Ecclesiastes 4:12 (NKJV) 12 Though one may be overpowered by another, two can withstand him. And a threefold cord is not quickly broken.

Matthew 18:19 (NKJV) 19 Again I say to you that if two of you agree on earth concerning anything that they ask, it will be done for them by My Father in heaven.

While we might feel we can handle things ourselves, it’s important to remember we can’t really be all that effective as “lone ranger Christians”.

Lone Ranger Christians

The word “synergy” comes to mind which means the following:
“the interaction or cooperation of two or more organizations, substances, or other agents to produce a combined effect greater than the sum of their separate effects.”

In other words, we will be far more effective for the Kingdom of Christ when we join together in unity and purpose than if we decide we’re the only one who knows how to get the job done correctly.

A symphony is only beautiful to listen to as each person plays the instrument they are gifted to play and does so in a way that blends with the others.

A Church filled with people functioning in their giftings together will do far more than a church filled with people “performing their own composition.”

CONCLUSION

Life will be far more fulfilling when we are thinking of being a blessing to others instead of always looking for “what’s in it for me.” Find a local church and get involved even if “they” are imperfect!

Time to STOP HOPPING!