Thursday, May 8, 2008

The Best Christian Places To Work

The Best Christian Workplaces Institute (BCWI) announced the 33 Certified Best Christian Workplaces in the US for 2008 at the Christian Leadership Alliance (CLA) conference.

Parachurch & Mission:
- Apartment Life - Hurst, TX
- Coalition for Christian Outreach - Pittsburg, PA
- Crown Financial Ministries - Gainesville, GA
- EQUIP - Duluth, GA
- Joni and Friends - Agoura Hills, CA
- MOPS International - Denver, CO
- New Mission Systems Int. - For Myers, FL
- Open Doors with Brother Andrew - Santa Ana, CA
- Tacoma Rescue Mission - Tacoma, WA
Christian Schools:
- Bellevue Christian School - Bellevue, WA
- Christian Heritage Academy - Northfield, IL
- Indian Rocks Christian School - Largo, FL
- Lenawee Christian School - Adrian, MI
- Stoneybrooke Christian School - Ladera Ranch, CA
- Wheaton Academy - West Chicago, IL
Higher Education:
- Evangel University - Springfield, MO
- Huntington University - Huntington, IN
- The Master's College - Santa Clarita, CA
- The Master's Seminary - Santa Clarita, CA
- Olivet Nazarene University - Bourbonnas, IL
- Phoenix Seminary - Phoenix, AZ
- Harvest House Publishers - Eugene, OR
- Howard Books - West Monroe, LA
- Urban Ministries, Inc. - Calumet City, IL
- INJOY Stewardship Services - Duluth, GA
Service and Product:
- Alliance Defense Fund - Scottsdale, AZ
- DeMoss Group, Inc. - Duluth, GA
- Envoy Financial - Colorado Springs, CO
- Logos Research Systems Inc. - Bellingham, WA
- Samaritan Ministries Int. - Peoria, IL
- Crossroads Community - Cincinnati, OH
- Southland Christian Church - Lexington, KY

The survey, administered by the Best Christian Workplaces Institute (BCWI), involved more than 7,834 employees in 67 organizations across the US to identify great workplaces with a Christian mission and/or values.

Based on the survey, people love to work for the Best Christian Workplaces for two reasons: the cause and the culture. As one staff member said, "I get to use my skills to help thousands of the poorest children in the world ... and work at a place where people care about me." "This is a good example of why people are measurably more engaged and fulfilled in their jobs working for these Christian organizations," says Al Lopus, President of BCWI.

The Best Christian Workplaces Institute has surveyed more than 65,000 employees across North America in the past six years. BCWI is a research based organizational and human resources consulting firm based on Mercer Island, Washington.

"With the tight labor market, organizations are more concerned than ever about finding and keeping their talent. Having high levels of employee engagement not only leads to superior results but is like a magnet for attracting loyal staff," says Lopus. For more information about the survey log on to or contact Al Lopus, (206) 230-8111 or

Best Christian Workplaces Institute's purpose is to serve faith-based organizations by creating processes of discovery, facilitating organizational effectiveness and encouraging practices that build healthy workplaces.

[Source: Christian Newswire]

Why Preach?

Since the goal of preaching is that God may change lives through His Word, preaching is the ultimate tool for church growth. But how can you be effective in communication through preaching? Listed below are eight questions to ask about your preaching.

1. Who will I be preaching to?

Asking questions like, "What are their needs?", "What are their hurts?", and, "What are their interests?" will help us focus on where the people are. Why ask? Because although there are three things that always get one's attention:

- Things that threaten us.
- Things that are unusual.
- Things that we value.

"A preacher can only consistently keep people's attention by focusing on what people value."

2. What does the bible say about their needs? Since the Bible is the Book of Life, is will have the answer to peoples needs! The preacher's task is to show the Bible to be relevant for today's needs.

3. What is the most practical way to say it? Application is the central task in preaching. So, preaching must be practical enough for people to know what to do. How to make preaching more practical?

- Always aim for action.
- Tell the people why.
- Show them how.

Exhortation without explanation leads to frustration. Too often people respond to a message with the expression, "Yes, but how?" In other words, I agree with what you're saying, but "how do I do it?"

4. What is the most positive way to say it? Jesus never tried to convert anyone with anger. Although the Scriptures clearly warn of judgment, negative preaching only produces negative people.

Read the entire article here

Dealing With Critics

Every pastor and ministry leader must deal with critics. It is part of ministry in the 21st Century. The question is not if, but when. It is impossible to meet everyone's unrealistic expectations.

So, when the critic comes forward, or begins work behind the scenes, what is the leader to do? Consider the following:

#1 - The Explanation Phase

Sit down with the people that are critical of the ministry that the Lord has called you to do, and reason with them and help them to fully understand why you do ministry the way you do it.

However, most critics don’t want an explanation … they want an argument. They want the chance to shame you, to speak down to you, to tell you how right they are … and how inept you are. So, sometimes, the explanation attempt is fruitless and pointless.

#2 - The Argument Phase

Argument can involve the critic, but sometimes involves the critic and all his/her followers -- everyone who has a negative word to say about the ministry.

Be careful not to allow a “us versus them” mentality to develop.

The Apostle Paul warns in II Timothy 2:23 not to have anything to do with foolish and stupid arguments. Arguments can be both foolish and stupid.

#3 - The Anger Phase

Even ministers can allow anger to get the best of them. But, anger will control you. It will drive your decisions and will be impossible to hide. You will spend all your time trying to respond to critics rather than really listening to the Lord. Be careful, it will damage you emotionally and spiritually.

Paul warns in Ephesians 4:27 NOT to give the devil a foothold.

If you are not careful, you will end up beating up hundreds of people just because of one e-mail from a negative person. If you are a church leader, please do not allow Satan to control you through your critics. The price is too high. And, you will spend all of your time on defense rather than on offense!

#4 - The Ignore Phase

Don't read their blogs. Don't read their MySpace page. Don’t receive their e-mails. This either does one of two things to them …

First of all – it REALLY ticks them off. But then second of all, they usually go away. Seriously, if you refuse to put fuel on the fire they start, it will eventually go out.

I love what Nehemiah said in Nehemiah 6:1-4 when his critics tried to get him to take his eyes off of the work, “I am doing a great work … and I cannot come down.” That must become your rallying cry.

I will admit that it’s hard at times. But, by not getting into arguments with critics, it will set you free in a major way.

Always listen to those who love the Lord and love you. Never listen to a blogger or MySpace addict/stalker who has no life OR someone who sends you an email with a fake address. I don’t have time for them – and neither do you!

#5 - The Compassion Phase

In Luke 15 when the prodigal son comes home and the older brother doesn’t come in the house to meet him, the Father goes outside and pleads with the older brother to come in.

I think we are called to do the same. Because in that story, it would seem that the oder brother (who was the critic) was just as lost as the younger one.

Jesus dealt with this as well. He did weep over Jerusalem. But, He also turned over temple tables. There IS a time to respond in boldness. But there is also a time to respond with compassion. Because, well, people just don’t understand.

Compassion does not mean trying to explain to them, or even exchanging emails with them. But, it means praying for them (NOT the Psalm 3:7 prayer) and asking God to allow them to come into the house and celebrate what He is doing -- even if it isn’t their style.

[Based on notes from Perry Noble]

Seventh-Day Adventists Church Controversy

Dwight Hall, president of Remnant Publications, a non-profit Christian publisher, announces the release of Dr. Herbert E. Douglass' A Fork in the Road, a powerful new exposé that chronicles a significant and controversial chapter in the history of the Seventh-day Adventist Church.

A key eye-witness to the drama surrounding the publication of Seventh-day Adventists Answer Questions on Doctrine in 1957, Dr. Douglass shares his personal experience, and often provocative insights, with the backlash of the book and its continuing repercussions on church theology today. Says Dwight Hall, "Let there be no mistake: this isn't just a passive documentation of the events that followed Questions on Doctrine; it offers an important historical context from an insider's own experience in the crisis. It's a riveting read that asks and answers a lot of questions today's Adventist believers and thinkers are sure to have."

Asked why he chose to tackle the topic after 50 years, Dr. Douglass responded, "Most, if not all, of the so-called 'dissident' groups of the last 45 years are direct results of the positions espoused by Questions on Doctrine on the atonement and the incarnation. Our church needs insight now into this complex history as it seeks not only healing but also growth in the years to come."

Both informative and riveting, A Fork in the Road also shares evidence brought to light by Julius Nam and George Knight, who show the depth of criticism by those who were alarmed by the book's reformulation of Adventist theology -- even as private letters and other evidences show how an important defender of Adventist theology was left to stand alone in the outcry.

During his distinguished career, Dr. Herbert Douglass has served as a pastor, ministry president, college professor, and administrator. He is also the author of more than 13 books and numerous articles focusing on Christ, the great controversy, and the church.

(For more information about A Fork in the Road, and to order copies, contact Remnant Publications at 517- 279-1304. You may also visit Or write to Remnant Publications • 649 E. Chicago Road • Coldwater, MI 49036.)

[Source: Christian Newswire]

Russian Christians Concerned About New President

As Russia swears in Dmitry Medvedev as its newest president today, evangelical Christians throughout the historically anti-western nation are reacting with anxiety and uncertainty over the future of their ministries.

Many Christian groups worry that Medvedev, who was elected this year in what many analysts describe as a mostly lopsided, unfair, and uncontested election, will continue many of the authoritarian and repressive directives attacking religious freedom that have characterized the past eight years of the country during outgoing President Vladimir Putin’s administration.

Paul Tokarchouk of Russian Ministries, an evangelical organization based in Russia, said that it remains to be seen what kind of treatment Christian groups will receive over the next few years, though it would probably be a continuation of what Christians in the country have already experienced.

"I think the new president, Mr. Medvedev, will be more open to keep the law and keep those regulations that are already in the law and keep those regulations that are already in the constitution," he said, according to Mission Network News.

In the past, many foreign Christian groups have faced harassment and government scrutiny, Tokarchouk said.

"[The Russian government] consider as a threat, foreign Christians who would help strengthen the evangelical church and the evangelical church becomes strong and more influential and that is the threat that they see in this relationship,” he explained.

Tokarchouk emphasized, however, that Russian Ministries was at the forefront of preparing for the future through its summer ministry programs that would train and empower the gospel among young people throughout Russia.

"The number one need is for dedicated, trained, influential people from this young generation who would be willing to take the Gospel to their peers, to their society and who would be relevant,” he said.

“Our prayer is that God would use young generation leaders to reach thousands and thousands of kids,” he added.

[By Joshua Goldberg - Christian Post Reporter]