Thursday, May 10, 2012

HungerFree: 10 surprising facts about hunger | WORLD VISION BLOG

These staggering facts about global hunger speak for themselves. Read more at HungerFree: 10 surprising facts about hunger | WORLD VISION BLOG to begin the countdown to a HungerFree world.

Going the Extra Miles | Samaritan's Purse

Look around in devotions any morning at the Samaritan's Purse international headquarters in Boone, N.C., and you’ll see a pretty diverse group. Men, women, young, old. Some came from a long way—Kenya, Ireland, Alaska, Texas, Minnesota. Others are North Carolina natives.

But we all have something in common. We felt God calling us to this ministry because we wanted to play some small part in helping meet needs around the world, and we wanted to work for an organization committed to telling people about the saving grace of Jesus Christ.

Read more @ Going the Extra Miles | Samaritan's Purse

Feedback Is Scary—But You Need It | The Resurgence

Leaders, you need feedback. But most of us aren't getting it. Why? Because feedback is scary.

Read more @ Feedback Is Scary—But You Need It | The Resurgence

8 Principles for Churches That Want to Grow | The Resurgence

When it comes to numbers, churches tend to err in one of two ways: they either discount them as unimportant or they put too much emphasis on them.

Read more @ 8 Principles for Churches That Want to Grow | The Resurgence

About the Children's Department: Dream a Little - Part Two - Get Others In On the Dreaming!

In my earlier post, Dream a Little!, I encouraged you to dream about what you'd like to do in and with your ministry if money, time, space and volunteers were not an issue. I'd like to take this thought a little farther and encourage you to dream, but when you do, let others in on the "dreaming" with you!

Read more @ About the Children's Department: Dream a Little - Part Two - Get Others In On the Dreaming!

About the Children's Department: Let's Plan a Volunteer Appreciation Dinner!

We've looked at supporting your volunteers with prayer and encouraging them by remembering birthdays, sending emails and notes and "adopting" your volunteers. All of these are fairly easy to put in place; just takes a bit of organizing.

Read more @ About the Children's Department: Let's Plan a Volunteer Appreciation Dinner!

About the Children's Department: Anything - Love = Nothing (re-run)

Do you ever listen to sermons from pastors at churches you do not attend? I like to listen to sermons from the pastors at Calvary Church, Grand Rapids, MI . . . especially when the weather gets cold and I'm stuck at home on Sundays. Recently, I listened to a sermon by Dr. Jim Samra on I Corinthians 13 - Think. Love. Live. Love Never Ends. Take 33 minutes and seven seconds to listen to this sermon . . . you will be so glad you did!

Read more @ About the Children's Department: Anything - Love = Nothing (re-run)

About the Children's Department: Summer Ministry - Let's Take Another Look at VBS!

Okay, so after we consider refocusing our Sunday school to focus on being "Summer outreach ready" what else might already be a part of our children's ministry? Well, in many, if not most, churches in this country Vacation Bible School is the main, if not only, outreach on the church calendar year.

Read more @ About the Children's Department: Summer Ministry - Let's Take Another Look at VBS!

About the Children's Department: Dream a Little!

It can be easy to get so involved with all we have to do with children's ministry . . . recruiting, training, teaching, etc . . . we find ourselves focusing on those things and don't ever take a moment to dream.

Read more @ About the Children's Department: Dream a Little!

About the Children's Department: Remember Birthdays, Send E-Mails and "Adopt" Those Volunteers!

Last week we looked at how to begin a ministry of support and encouragement for your volunteers and considered how a prayer ministry is the first place to start. Today we are going to look at two simple ways to kick off encouraging volunteers and one idea which has the potential to invigorate your volunteers and church like nothing else!

Read more @ About the Children's Department: Remember Birthdays, Send E-Mails and "Adopt" Those Volunteers!

Sunday, May 6, 2012

About the Children's Department: Put Feet to Their Faith - Summer Lunches

According to Feeding America, "Research has shown food insecurity and hunger are serious threats to children's health, growth and development. The nation's economic growth depends on the well-being of our children. As such, the existence of childhood hunger in the United States threatens future American Prosperity." Do you have hungry children in your community? Chances are you do. As I posted last week, 20 million children are able to receive a meal each school day through the National School Lunch Program, but during the summer when most children are not in school, where will these children turn to receive a meal?

Read more @ About the Children's Department: Put Feet to Their Faith - Summer Lunches

Should Your Church Be in Social Media? | Ron Edmondson

Should your church be involved with social media? I get asked that question frequently. I was recently in a church that didn’t have a website. I scolded them for that. Seriously, I don’t see how a church can expect to meet new people without a website. The majority of people these days will check out a church’s website before they ever visit the church. If there is no website…no visit.  (That speaks to the quality of the website also.)

I’m not sure I can answer that question of social media for every church though, so I will try to guide you towards a decision that’s right for your church.

Read more @ Should Your Church Be in Social Media? | Ron Edmondson

A Son Preaches His Dad's Funeral - ThomRainer.com

Pastor, Mike Glenn, said a temporary good bye to his dad this past week. I was moved by his message. It demonstrates the powerful bond and love the two men had for each other. The message reminds me how brief this life really is, and how we are to make the most of it. And it reminds me that the most important parts of our lives are the relationships we have.

Read more @ A Son Preaches His Dad's Funeral - ThomRainer.com

Church4EveryChild | Building bridges between churches and families of kids with "issues"

My guess is that most of our readers have purchased a local Entertainment book at least once. My wife and I are foodies…our usual date night is spent going out to eat. Before we had kids we’d frequent a local Italian restaurant in the Entertainment book that allowed patrons unlimited use of the card for the “buy one, get one free” dinner special. We stopped buying the book when the restaurant discontinued this very generous policy because there were no more restaurants in the book we wanted to check out. Our favorite places generally aren’t in the book. They have great food, their tables are filled and they don’t need to offer a big discount to get folks to come in.

Let’s examine how your health insurance card is designed to work like the card from the Entertainment book, and the consequences of that arrangement for families needing mental health care.

Read more @ Church4EveryChild | Building bridges between churches and families of kids with "issues"

Why Every Church Leader Needs the Gospel | The Resurgence

In a 2010 feature, “Taking a Break From the Lord’s Work,” the New York Times reported that, “members of the clergy suffer from obesity, hypertension, and depression at rates higher than most Americans.” Additionally, “their use of antidepressants has risen, while their life expectancy has fallen” and “many would change jobs if they could.”

As a pastor to pastors, this bothers me greatly.

Read more @ Why Every Church Leader Needs the Gospel | The Resurgence

Saturday, May 5, 2012

Five of the Most Difficult Challenges for Pastors - ThomRainer.com

It may be one of the most difficult jobs in the world. Indeed, it may be an impossible job to do in our own strength.

I know. Before I was LifeWay’s president or a seminary dean, I served as pastor of four churches.

I know. I have heard from countless pastors in countless churches. Their stories are similar to mine. So I asked the question: What specific part of being a pastor is the most difficult for you? In the weeks ahead, I will share a more exhaustive list. For now, let’s look at five tough challenges for pastors.

Read more @ Five of the Most Difficult Challenges for Pastors - ThomRainer.com

5 Ways to Truly Embrace Forgiveness | Ron Edmondson

Biblical forgiveness is hard. I’ve wrestled through this issue personally and with dozens of others over the years. The deeper the wound the harder it is to forgive. Those of us who have been forgiven, however, must learn to forgive. My guess is that includes you!

Read more @ 5 Ways to Truly Embrace Forgiveness | Ron Edmondson

A gift and a greater gift « The Works of God

George Will offered a great gift to families like ours when he wrote about his son with Down syndrome this past week:
He, however, with an underdeveloped entitlement mentality, has been equable about life’s sometimes careless allocation of equity. Perhaps this is partly because, given the nature of Down syndrome, neither he nor his parents have any tormenting sense of what might have been. Down syndrome did not alter the trajectory of his life; Jon was Jon from conception on.

Read more @ A gift and a greater gift « The Works of God

Prayer . . . a Wide Road and a Narrow Road Approach in Kidmin – Part 3 | Children's Ministry, Family Ministry, and Youth Ministry, and Kidmin Resources

I’ve been writing about prayer – the wide and narrow road approaches. I’ve said, “When it comes to our children’s ministries, we all know we need to pray, but there is a ‘wide road approach’ which leads to a shallow walk and a ‘narrow road approach’ which leads us to a deeper walk with God.” Today I want to consider a few ways you can help the kids in your ministry develop a narrow road type of prayer.

Read more @ Prayer . . . a Wide Road and a Narrow Road Approach in Kidmin – Part 3 | Children's Ministry, Family Ministry, and Youth Ministry, and Kidmin Resources

About the Children's Department: Summer Ministry Possibilities - "Summer Super Servers"!

I'm really "big" on "Putting Feet to Their Faith" and intentionally engaging our kids in opportunities to live what they believe! If we really want our kids to be serious about their faith and grow in their walk with Jesus, then we have to both model to and involve them in living their faith by serving others. The Summer is the perfect time to do this with older elementary age children . . . and with teams of families!

Read more @ About the Children's Department: Summer Ministry Possibilities - "Summer Super Servers"!