Saturday, August 30, 2008

Does Your Preaching Style Connect with Younger Listeners?


Pastor, I read an article by Pastor Gene Wilkes in the Spring 2008 edition of LifeWay's Let's Worship Magazine that challenged me in several ways. I've posted an excerpt here along with a link to download the full 5-page article. This is part of his explanation
  • A coach approach to preaching invites the preacher to ask rather than tell and listeners to participate rather than force them to absorb facts or daydream during a speech prepared by a preacher
  • A coach approach to preaching engages the participant at the level of his or her own issues and resources with the clear message of the biblical passage
  • Rather than the preacher making one-size-fits-all applications, he invites the listeners to customize what they have heard to their particular needs or goals
It's a big step for me to think about preaching this way, how about you?

Read the excerpt and the full article then share your comments ...

Friday, August 29, 2008

Fireproof Bible Study to Release with Fireproof Movie on DVD


I hope you and your church family have plans to see the new movie, Fireproof, when it releases in theaters on September 26, 2008.

I wanted you to know that we at LifeWay will be releasing a new resource at the same time Fireproof will release on DVD in February 2009. The Fireproof Bible Study: Live the Love Dare Member book and Kit will create a marriage-centered Bible study experience for individuals and couples.

Eight small-group sessions will be based around one or more movie clips from the motion picture Fireproof. It will utilize activities that create community, provide opportunities to dialog about real life in real marriage, explore and apply God's Word, and invite participants into a risky but redemptive journey.

The Fireproof Bible Study: Live the Love Dare Kit will include:
  • The Love Dare Journal (B&H Publishing Group) by Fireproof co-writer and director Alex Kendrick and co-writer and producer Stephen Kendrick
  • The Fireproof Bible Study: Live the Love Dare Member book by Michael Catt, Alex Kendrick, and Stephen Kendrick
  • The Fireproof Movie on DVD
  • Fireproof Teaching Clips DVD
  • CD ROM containing sermon outlines and helps for church planning and promotion
Each group session drives participants toward their weekly reading and application in The Love Dare Journal.

When members of your church family see this movie later this month they will want to find a way to use it as a ministry tool to have long term impact on the families in your community. The Fireproof Bible Study: Live the Love Dare will be an excellent biblical solution.

And, in case you missed it, I posted an excellent sermon by Michael Catt called Fireproof Your Marriage (includes complimentary PowerPoint).

And, in case you haven't seen the trailer of the Fireproof movie ...


Fireproof Teaser Trailer from Mike Stecker on Vimeo.

Tuesday, August 26, 2008

Video - Brad Waggoner discusses 'The Shape of Faith to Come'

I found this video to be very helpful. In this video, Brad Waggoner discusses 'The Shape of Faith to Come' his soon to be released book (October 2008).

In The Shape of Faith to Come, research expert Brad J. Waggoner and his team measure the beliefs and actions of 2,500 active Protestant churchgoers from across the country against seven key standards of biblical spiritual formation. You may purchase The Shape of Faith to Come here

Friday, August 22, 2008

Downoad Free Sample of 'The Shape of Faith to Come' by Brad Waggoner


In The Shape of Faith to Come, research expert Brad J. Waggoner and his team measure the beliefs and actions of twentyfive hundred active Protestant churchgoers from across the country against seven key standards of biblical spiritual formation:
  1. Learning the Truth
  2. Obeying God and Denying Self
  3. Sharing Faith
  4. Serving God and Others
  5. Exercising Biblical Faith
  6. Building Solid Relationships
  7. Seeking God
The far-from-predictable findings reveal the current state and potential forecast of spiritual formation in the United States. This book will release in mid-October but I wanted you to have a change glance at the table of contents, and read the introduction and part of the first chapter.

Download sample pages here ...

Tuesday, August 19, 2008

LifeWay Research 2008 Church Compensation Study: Pastor Raises Beat Inflation ... Barely

Saw this new article by Mark Kelly on LifeWay.com ...

Inflation didn’t eat away all of the average Southern Baptist pastor’s pay increase over the past two years, but it came close – and churches may have a more difficult time keeping staff members ahead of inflation in 2008.

That’s one finding of the SBC Church Compensation Study, a survey of 12,854 staff positions in Southern Baptist churches. The survey was conducted by LifeWay Research, in cooperation with GuideStone Financial Resources and Baptist state conventions through July 1, 2008.

The study also found that almost two-thirds of churches are partially or fully paying for their full-time senior pastor to have medical insurance and that compensation can vary significantly depending on geography, worship attendance and the pastor’s experience and education.

All the data acquired by the study has been compiled into a Web-based tool that will help churches as they begin planning staff compensation packages for their 2009 budgets.

Read the whole article including commentary by Guidestone's O. S. Hawkins and LifeWay Research's Ed Stetzer.

Thursday, August 14, 2008

How Not to Leave Destruction as Your Leave

I just read a news text update on my phone: "Russians withdraw from Georgia, leave as much destruction as possible as they go." How I hurt for the innocent people hurt by this conflict.

I thought about how we are tempted to do the same thing when we are backing out of a conflict, leaving a job after quitting or being fired, or leaving a place of ministry.

I was reminded of an article I posted by Pastor Calvin Wittman titled, "How to Leave Your Church With Grace."

If you find yourself in the position of having to leave or wanting to leave very badly and finally getting the opportunity here are a few things to consider.
  1. Recognize that the church still belongs to God and only He can make it what it should be.
  2. Forgive those who have wronged you.
  3. Let your parting words reflect the grace of God not a grudge of the flesh.
Who you really are is best seen in the midst of difficulty. As you leave, even if you are leaving under fire, make a conscious choice to leave under grace.

Read the whole article: How to Leave Your Church With Grace

Wednesday, August 13, 2008

What Causes Churches to Grow or Decline?


I posted an article yesterday by Dan Garland (Director of Pastoral Ministry and Church Consulting) as part of his Today's Bivocational Pastor e-newsletter. This excellent article deals with the results from two new studies show that church growth has more to do with internal rather than external factors.

He first reviews some of the findings in The American Church Research Project then compares them to the findings in Essential Church? Reclaiming a Generation of Dropouts by Thom Rainer and Sam Rainer.

Look at these findings and read an overview of how Thom and Sam Rainer evaluate some of these key internal factors in Essential Church.

Read What Causes Churches to Grow or Decline?

Monday, August 11, 2008

New 'Connect, Grow, Serve, Go' Knol by Bret Robbe

Bret Robbe, Director of Leadership and Adult Publishing at LifeWay just published a new knol with great information about Connect, Grow, Serve, Go.

The Connect, Grow, Serve, Go knol also includes links to two free webcourses ...
  • LifeSpan Spiritual Development Webcourse
  • Connect-Grow-Serve-Go Webcourse

Sunday, August 10, 2008

Subscribe to E-LifeWay Research Insights and get an advanced copy of Essential Church

I have this in tomorrow's edition of Pastors Today but wanted to go ahead and put it in the blog tonight. I'm really glad LifeWay Research is offering a service like this for those pastors or other church leaders that make good use of solid, current, and helpful research results.

E-LifeWay Research Insights is a twice-monthly email briefing that provides you with the facts you need to make informed ministry decisions. Stay informed, but let us do the work. Each briefing provides exclusive new research, at-a-glance summaries of research from a variety of sources, a deeper look at LifeWay Research studies, and examples of research in use. You may download a sample here ...

The $48.00 annual subscription
includes 24 issues keeping you informed throughout the year. Each issue is sent straight to your email inbox on the 1st and 15th of the month. For new subscribers, we will send a free pre-release copy of Essential Church by Thom and Sam Rainer (limited quantities).

Wednesday, August 6, 2008

Seven Reasons Speakers Flop by Mark Sanborn

Just saw a good article on Michael Zigarelli's Christianity 9 to 5 site dealing with the reasons speakers flop. It was a good reminder for me. The article is by Mark Sanborn president of Sanborn & Associates, Inc. and author of The Fred Factor

Here are the seven reasons, view the article to read his explanations ...
  1. They disregard time
  2. The have an unclear purpose
  3. The have inadequate preparation
  4. They fail to capture attention
  5. They appear pompous
  6. They are boring
  7. They use false endings

Tuesday, August 5, 2008

Four New Model Sermons with PowerPoint Template

I just posted these yesterday on the EXTRA! sermon helps page.

September 2008 - Series, A Changed Life by Steve Andrews

EXTRA! sermons are free sermon manuscripts which follow the themes of the Bible Studies for Life Curriculum Series (BSFL). During September Adults using BSFL will be looking at a unit of study called, “Short Stories, Tall Orders.” These lessons from four of Jesus’ parables in Matthew help adults know how to live in light of the kingdom of God.

See individual sermons for how they relate to the Bible study topic.

Free Download: A Changed Life Sermon Manuscripts, PowerPoint Template, and Images ZIP (1.2 MB .zip file)

Friday, August 1, 2008

PowerPoint Template for Fireproof Sermon

I just uploaded a new PowerPoint template to be used with the Fireproof Your Marriage sermon by Michael Catt. You may access the free Fireproof PowerPoint template here


I had fun working on this and hope it's useful for preaching and teaching. I created one for Facing the Giants last year and it had almost 7000 downloads.