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Archive for the ‘Church ministry’ Category

Sixth Sunday of Eastertide-May 5

04 May

Fellowship-The Bible says the disciples were in one place, of one accord and were in prayer, seeking power from the Lord. The last Sunday before Ascension Day could be a time of fellowship over a potluck meal followed by a time of prayer that the church would be of one accord and that divisions and disagreements could be put aside to devote the church fully to demonstrating the love of God and that the members would be an example of God’s love that would attract unchurched people to the church so that the church could be able to reach those around it with the Gospel. It can be a time  when it finalizes plans for its summer outreach.

 

 

Fifth Sunday of Eastertide April 28

26 Apr

Commitment-The worship service could have a place where members can bring their survey sheets forward and place them on the alter as their offering to God. Members of the Board or a committee set up for the purpose could then review the survey sheets and direct members to areas where they may be able to serve. Most churches have a personnel committee of volunteers appointed before the annual meeting to develop a list of officers to be voted on but the church really needs a year long committee of those interested in helping people find ways to use their gifts that gets to know members and the church structure. It should be a year round work as committee members get to know people and their talents and the opportunities the church has to use those talents rather then a hurried affair by a randomly elected nominations committee charged with filling empty slots with warm bodies common in most churches. The Board may then consider those listed which have no current opportunities to see if they may provide opportunities to begin additional ministries which had not previously been offered. The church needs to take the long view of training members to be disciples by involving them in the church’s ministry rather than simply filling vacant positions. Many churches complain that they can’t get people to fill positions, but they only approach the 5-10% of their members who are already over committed. It is no wonder they get turned down. The Bible says God gave every member, talents to build up the church. The church needs to get to know the other 90-95% of members to see what talents God has given them.

 

 

Third Sunday of Eastertide-April 14

10 Apr

Showcase volunteer opportunities in church/community-This is a good time to inform the members about the vast number of volunteer opportunities that are available. A list such as the volunteer talent search survey I reproduced in my book “Rebuilding The Kingdom” under “To Preserve The Light” could be handed out and members urged to look it over, pray about how and where God would have them serve,  and consider what things they would like to be involved in. The church board could also have representatives of the various committees in the church and representatives of Christian service organizations in the community set up tables with displays in the fellowship hall and be available after church or in the afternoon or evening to talk to those who are interested in volunteering.

 

Third Sunday of Lent- Mar 3

05 Mar

God wants us to not only love those in the body of believers but unbelievers as well. God may not like what they do, but He loves them as much as He loves us. He reached out to us when we were sinners and we should do the same to those who are still sinners and do not know Him yet. Hopefully they will come to know God’s love as we extend God’s love to them and they will leave their sinful ways and accept Christ as their Savior. God did not love us based on whether we accepted Him and our love for others should not be based on their acceptance of Christ. God loves us because He created us and He loves them for the same reason. That includes even those we don’t like. Matt. 5:43-48. Jesus said, “you have heard it said, love your neighbor and hate your enemy but I say unto you, love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you so that you may be sons of your Father in heaven”. Our desire should be to be like God and God loves all people, not just those who love Him and He desires that we should do the same. It is God’s desire that none are lost and perhaps as we love our enemies and pray for them, we may lead them to desire that love also. By so doing, we may not only gain a friend, we may draw a soul into the kingdom of God. The people of the first century saw Christians love for one another and were drawn to the church.

 

 

Church Ministry-3-X

28 Feb

Facebook is becoming the fastest  and most popular means of mass communication. Yet many churches do not utilize it effectively. It provides an easy way to communicate activities with members and let others know about the church. While a good website is important to let people know about a church, they cost and that makes them hard for small churches to afford. They also do not handle current activities well because they are difficult to keep up to date. Facebook pages often tell about activities in real time, and are free, but are difficult to put extensive information on about the church so it is good to have both. When people are looking for a church to visit, they often look to see if a church has a Facebook page to let them know what is going on. Many churches do not have contact information on their Facebook page. When I am looking for information on a church, I enter the churches name and city and State in the search engine. Most search engines can not be depended on for accuracy. I recently entered the name and location of a local church to see what they were doing. It brought up a church by that name but the page had no city and State. I sent a message to the church, only to find out it was in Texas. Apparently the local church doesn’t have a Facebook page. However, without a listed location, you have no way to know. You should list a phone number  so people can call the office if they want more information, such as whether the church is handicapped accessible. It is also good to have your address and service times if people look it up when the office isn’t open. When I travel, I often look for a local church to worship,  if there is no city and State, I don’t know if it is the local church or another one.   There should also be an address so people will know where the church is. The most important thing is to keep it up to date. Websites are usually fairly constant and people don’t expect regular updates but Facebook pages that are not updated regularly leave people wondering if the church is still open. I check some Facebook pages and they haven’t been updated in a couple years and I wonder if the church is still active. Even if all you post is the current week’s sermon topic, it lets people know the church is still active. By posting the activities for the week, it helps members to check what is going on in the coming week so they can plan for it. The more you post, the more attention you will draw. When I didn’t post anything, I had very few followers but when I started posting things from other sites, I drew a few more followers. When I started writing my own posts, it really took off, but when I started posting videos I made, it started attracting even more followers.

 

 

Church Ministry-3-W

28 Feb

Welcoming Church-I often visit churches as part of my work. When I travel, I will often attend a church near the motel where I spend Saturday night. In addition, I often visit churches when I am working with a pastor to familiarize myself with the church. When I walk in, I am no different than any other person visiting the church. The people don’t know if I just moved into town and am seeking a church to attend or if I am merely passing through. The reception I get varies a great deal. Sometimes, I am warmly greeted and invited to return, but other  times I wonder if anyone noticed that I was visiting. Usually I am not familiar with the church and may have to ask directions to the sanctuary or the restrooms. That is usually a sure sign someone is a visitor because a regular attender would know where those were. If someone is visiting and looking for a church to attend, the reception they get will often determine whether they return. It is important to have people at the doors to greet people and direct visitors to where they need to go so they don’t end up wandering around aimlessly.  Those people need to be taught to provide whatever help visitors may  need. It not only makes their visit easier, it shows them that you care about them. Some way should be made to secure their information so the church can follow up. Some churches have an information center just inside the door staffed by greeters to direct people and get information on visitors. The greeters may have cards or you may put cards in the pew. If so, an announcement should be made during the opening of the service to encourage visitors to fill the cards out and give them to an usher in case they don’t notice them on their own. Once returned, the church needs to follow up. A card should be sent at the very least but a phone call is much better. Ideally, the pastor or a church leader should visit. It should be done in the first week if possible because the longer it is delayed, the least receptive the visitor will be. The church should also seek to get to know visitors to other events like VBS, Bible studies, potlucks and concerts. While people attending those events may have another church affiliation, people do attend who have no church affiliation and may be receptive to an invitation to  attend.

 

 

Church Ministry-3-V

28 Feb

Welcoming Church-Many churches grew lazy in the mid-1900’s because they had a steady source of new members to replace those who died or moved away. Most people had a church background. Many who attended as a child and dropped out after leaving home, would return after they got married and started to have kids, so they kids would get Christian training in Sunday School. In addition, those who moved into town would seek out a church of the denomination that their previous church belonged to.  There were also evangelists like Billy Graham who reached the unchurched and then sent them to a church near where they lived. As a result, the churches didn’t have to reach out to the lost and many dropped their evangelism programs. Many churches have become complacent and don’t make any attempt to reach the unchurched, in spite of the fact that the number of those with a church background is shrinking as people drop out of church and never return. Their children are now growing up with no knowledge of church and see no reason to attend. Many church complain that their church is dying because they aren’t replacing those  that die or move away, yet they make no attempt to reach the growing number of the unchurched. Christ told His disciples to go into all the world and preach the Gospel, and while some churches still have mission programs to reach the lost in foreign countries, they make no effort to reach the lost in their neighborhood.

 

 

First Sunday of Lent-Feb 18

15 Feb

 Must Grow-Many people feel that a new believer is suddenly transformed into a good and holy person when they are saved. Some even feel that baptizing them as an infant makes them a good and holy person. Yet, though the Bible talks about us being Born Again, it does not grant us instant spiritual maturity. A Christian who is Born Again needs to grow up and mature just as a new baby does. Preaching alone will not do it, just as a child doesn’t learn how to live through weekly lectures from his parents, he only learns facts. A boy learns how to be a man and how to treat a woman through watching his father and a girl learns how to be a woman and how to treat a man through watching her mother. A girl learns what a man should be by watching her father and a boy learns what a woman should be by watching his mother. We have so many problems today because kids have very little opportunity to observe their parents. Christians need to observe more mature Christians to learn how to walk with Christ but very few churches provide that opportunity anymore. Many high school graduates act very immature today because our society expects students to learn how to live by listening to lectures in school and it doesn’t happen. Many Christians still act like unbelievers because they have never had the opportunity to learn to walk with Christ.

 

 

Sixth Sunday of Epiphany-Feb 11

07 Feb

Reason For Living-The church today often fails to recognize that the elderly need a reason for living. Men who work their whole lives see their reason for living tied to their work. When they retire, they often lose that and need to find another. Without it, they often become depressed and die. The highest death rate for men is shortly after they retire because they often lose their will to live. The church needs the talents and abilities of those who retire, but often fails to utilize them. While women are more tied to family and not so tied to work and do not face the crisis at retirement that men do, they too often have talents and abilities the church could use. The church needs to consciously work to help those of all ages, but especially those who are retiring find areas for them to use their talents and abilities for God’s service and should have an ongoing committee dedicated to getting to know members and help them discover and use their talents for God.

 

 

sermon-Living the Great Commission-video

05 Feb