Thursday, April 3, 2008

Cleveland Happenings

This week, the General Presbyters of the COGOP have been in Cleveland, TN from around the world for their bi-annual meeting. These meetings have been punctuated by tragedy and difficulties, but successful. At the beginning of the General Presbyters meeting, Bishop Felix Santiago, the General Presbyter of Central America suffered a heart attack and was hospitalized in Knoxville. Bishop Miguel Mojica, General Presybter of South America was hospitalized in Cleveland for a heart-related issue.

General Overseer, Bishop Randall Howard's father, Deacon Frank Howard passed away.

In the face of all these events, the meetings carried on and business has continued for thus world-wide movement. This week the BDP Committee, F&S Committee, Global Outreach Committee, Administrative Committee, and TC Board met with the General Presbyters to continue the work of the church.

Self Inventory

[From : swerve by Craig Groeschel]

For a self inventory, and introspective, ask yourself the following questions.
  • In what area of life have I lost my passion? (What can I do to get it back?)
  • If the enemy were going to “take me out,” what are my three most vulnerable points?
  • What new burden has God given me in the last year?
  • What have I unlearned that has made me closer to God?
  • What new discipline is God calling me to do?
  • What has God asked me to do that I haven’t yet done?
  • Is there something that I think about more than I think about pleasing God? (Money, possessions, ministry, family, recreation, something else.)
  • Do I have an increasing joy in serving Christ?
  • Am I handling the pain of ministry with integrity?
  • Am I still being persecuted for my faith in Christ?

The Top Seven Temptations Senior Pastors Face

[From Perry Noble dot com by Perry]

#1 - Selling Out God’s Vision In Exchange For A Paycheck

I know so many pastors who fear losing their jobs because they think if they say what God wants them to say or attempt what God wants them to attempt then they will get fired. They claim to believe in the Sovereignty of God but then cower before the “all powerful … committee!”

#2 - Trying To Please Everyone

You CAN’T do it – no matter how you preach, what you wear or who you talk to – someone is going to get angry at you. Jesus never tried to please everyone…He was faithful to His Father and His calling – we should do the same.

#3 - Thinking Working Harder Will Solve The Problem

There have been so many times I have felt like I needed to violate the 4th commandment in order to make things happen … BUT – the commandment to rest is not a mere suggestion. It’s a command!

Sometimes the godliest thing a pastor can do is walk away from the work for awhile and relax … and let God prove how HE is perfectly capable of running the world (and the church) just fine!

#4 - Sacrificing Their Family

I’ve seen so many pastors allow the church to thrust their wives into activities that they hate – but the pastor tells them to do it in order to “keep the flock happy.”

I’ve seen pastors go to the sporting events and school plays of every kid in the church – except for his own; after all, they will understand, right?

Pastors – there isn’t a church or ministry ANYWHERE that is worth the price of your family! (How do you know if you are sacrificing your family? Why not ask them?)

#5 - Not Delegating Their Weaknesses

One of the myths that pastors buy into is that they have to be “well rounded.” Let me be very upfront here – there isn’t a well rounded person on planet earth. NO ONE is good at EVERYTHING.

If you have a weakness … instead of spending all of your time trying to master it (which you never will) why not delegate it and focus on the things you actually do well. THOSE are the things that will add the most value to your church over the long haul.

#6 - Avoiding Conflict

Unresolved conflict is like cancer … if not dealt with it will grow and eventually kill an organization or ministry. If there is tension or unresolved conflict on a staff … it is the pastors job to make sure it is dealt with – not ignored! (Anyone need to have a conversation today?)

#7 - Not Spending Personal Time With God

When a pastor is not personally walking with God then He cannot expect His church to do so! Pastors, NOTHING should come in between us and our personal time with God – that is where our fire comes from! We NEED HIM … He doesn’t need us. SO … we need to spend more time seeking His face rather than merely asking Him to bless our plans.

ORU Lawsuit Moves Forward

A judge has refused to dismiss a lawsuit accusing Oral Roberts University of wrongfully terminating two professors who uncovered alleged wrongdoing by the school's former president.

Attorneys for former ORU president Richard Roberts and the school argued that professors Tim and Paulita Brooker failed to support their claims in the court filings.

In denying motions to dismiss the suit, Tulsa County Judge Rebecca Nightingale also tossed out some of the professors' allegations, including breach of contract claims. The judge also threw out libel claims against the defendants, but kept the professors' allegations of slander and defamation.

Roberts resigned as president in November amid accusations he used university funds to bankroll a lavish lifestyle at a time when the school faced more than 50 million dollars in debt. He has denied wrongdoing.


Church Resources - National Volunteer Week

A resource-packed Web site recently launched a campaign to equip churches for national volunteer month in April and for volunteer week later this month.

The site,, offers a searchable directory of nearly 3,000 volunteer opportunities in 1,800 organizations aimed at equipping churches to volunteer in their communities.’s partners include big-name Christian ministries such as the Salvation Army, World Vision, Gospel Communications, the Association of Gospel Rescue Missions, Campus Crusade’s Here’s Life Inner City, Christian Community Development Association, and the Urban Youth Worker’s Institute.

“The purpose of this campaign is to get more volunteers from churches serving out in the community with the goal placing over 1 million volunteers in the next ten years,” the Web site explained.

The campaign highlighted the discrepancy between faith-based volunteer activities within church walls and volunteer work in the community.

According to the United States Department of Labor, faith-based volunteers are the largest pool of volunteers, representing over 34.8 percent of volunteers. The value of the time donated by faith-based volunteers is $51.8 billion each year in the United States alone, according to the Corporation for National and Community Service and the Department of Labor.

But very little of this volunteering occurs outside the church. Only 7 to 15 percent of volunteering through churches help the larger community, according to Lester Salamon of the Institute for Policy Studies of Johns Hopkins University.

In response, the Web site provides resources to encourage churches to launch a community volunteer program.

Pastors can find ideas for sermons on service and justice in the sermon outline directory. They can also have their church small groups conduct Bible studies on the importance of service and justice, and then have the small groups use the Web site to find local volunteer opportunities.

The site provides the following toolkit:
  • Directory of over 40 sermon outlines, bible studies and small group materials on the importance of service and Christian social justice
  • Group volunteer opportunity search for churches and small groups that want to volunteer together
  • Church volunteer toolkit and Wiki encyclopedia on church volunteering
  • Webcast presentations to train volunteers and volunteer coordinators
  • Multimedia directory of thousands of sermons, workshops, videos and MP3s on justice topics
  • Short term missions directory with opportunities across the world

National Volunteer Month is April and National Volunteer Week is April 27 to May 3.

A Merry Heart ...

Have you ever been to the Comedy Barn?

Seminary Professor Receives Award

The Foundation for Pentecostal Scholarship (TFFPS) has conferred its "Award of Excellence" for the best article of 2008. TFFPS co-founder and president, Robert W. Graves, announced the award during the 2008 Conference of the Society for Pentecostal Studies convening at Duke University, Durham, North Carolina.

Professor Kenneth J. Archer, of the Church of God Theological Seminary, received the award for his article "A Pentecostal Way of Doing Theology: Method and Manner" (International Journal of Systematic Theology, July 2007). The article emphasizes the necessity of doing Pentecostal theology by means of an integrative methodology and in a narrative manner that flows out of Pentecostal identity. Archer argues that "Pentecostal theology must move beyond the impasse created by subsuming its identity under the rubric of 'Evangelical' in order for it to articulate a vibrant, fully orbed, mature Pentecostal theology."

Graves also announced that the Foundation conferred a $1,000 research grant to Professor Archer to pursue his project "Worshipful Witness: A Pentecostal Theology of the Five-Fold Gospel," a book-length elaboration of the award-winning article. "Worshipful Witness," according to Archer, will provide a formative Pentecostal theology for the training of ministers, the (re)shaping of Pentecostal communal identity, and the critical engaging of contemporary Pentecostal theology. The eventual monograph will enter into serious dialogue with current and diverse academic works as well as engage academic Pentecostal publications.

The Foundation for Pentecostal Scholarship was formed in 2005 with the singular goal of advancing biblical scholarship within the global Pentecostal family. "In supporting the convergence of the flame of Spirit and the flame of knowledge," commented Graves, "we hope to help advance today's move of the Holy Spirit throughout the world."

More information about the foundation is available at its Web site:

Elderly Witness

If she can do this, what can you do?

Health Stewardship

The Scripture is clear about the responsibilities of stewardship. Much has been given to us for which we are accountable. Health stewardship is an issue for all Christians, and especially the clergy.

Are you taking time to improve your health/fitness? Pastor, are you setting the example? How fit are you? ASk yourslef these questions:
  • Can I walk a mile in fifteen minutes or less?
  • Can I carry a couple of grocery bags from the supermarket to the car without difficulty?
  • Can I climb one flight of stairs and not be out of breath?
  • Is my blood pressure below 130/80? (Some more aggressive doctors—including mine—believe that number should be even lower . . . like 120/80).
  • Is my resting pulse rate seventy beats per minute or lower?