Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Prayer Letter from My Mom for You to Share

I wish you could all meet my mom and dad. My mom e-mailed a note to my wife, my brother Chuck, his wife, and me this morning. It was encouraging and insightful so I asked her if I could post it here (she said yes).

Here's what she wrote ...
I was praying more intensely than usual for you four this morning. Some of this comes from the difficult day I had yesterday. Yesterday I found myself focusing on all that had to be done during this particular season of the year. The Bible study I did this morning helped me see what was happening. I was studying Matthew 13:1-23. It hit me that I was like the person who heard the Word and understood it then the worries of this world and seduction of wealth choked the truth of God’s Word and my life became unfruitful.

You all have much more on you than I—therefore I am committed to continue to pray that you will focus on Jesus and His Truth and not let the worries of this world and the seduction of wealth choke you.
My mother is the co-author of A Mother's Garden of Prayer and A Woman's Garden of Prayer: Cultivating Intimacy With God Through Prayer.

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

5 Enemies of Staff Unity

Today in staff meeting at Gladeville Baptist Church I began the meeting by sharing some insights from Dave Ramsey (he shared these at Catalyst '08). He discussed the unbelievable power of unity for a church staff team or any type of staff team.

He stated that few churches or organizations experience real unity and shared five enemies to unity on a church staff team ...
  1. Poor Communication
    Dave stated "when the right hand doesn't know what the left hand is doing, strife sets in"

  2. Gossip
    Ramsey said gossip is when a negative comment is discussed with anyone who can't help solve the problem

  3. Unresolved disagreements
    He said "this happens when a leader doesn't know they exist or avoids confrontation"

  4. Lack of shared purpose
    Dave said "this happens when the leader doesn't restate the goal, the vision, and the mission early and often"

  5. Sanctioned incompetence
    Ramsey defined this as "keeping an inefficient team member because we feel sorry for them"

Wednesday, November 5, 2008

Christmas Traditions as Worship and Evangelism Tools

I found this article in a past edition of Let's Worship Magazine and thought it would be very helpful for pastors or teachers as they are dealing with Christmas and the traditions around Christmas.

It's a transcript of an address to a group of ministry leaders.

Here's a quote ...
Sometimes it seems that Christmas is overlooked as an opportunity to share the good news in a way that they may be saved. Much of what we have around us and the trappings of Christmas came because those who preceded us understood that there was an opportunity in the birth of our Lord to communicate even as the shepherds communicated, that we might do what we do not giving offense to anyone, but that people might be saved. But it’s not easy.
Read Christmas Traditions as Worship and Evangelism Tools

And don't miss our Christmas and Thanksgiving Resource Index for links to other articles as well as model sermons and worship helps.

Tuesday, November 4, 2008

Fresh Ideas for Church Thanksgiving Celebrations

Consider a Lord’s Supper celebration and a simple meal.

Other ideas include a Pie Squad Party, a Wall of Thanks, and a Seeking Thanksgiving mystery van trip.

Ideas are from Diana Davis, author of 'Fresh Ideas, 1,000 Ways to Grow a Thriving and Energetic Church.'

Check out these Fresh Ideas for Church Thanksgiving Celebrations