Tuesday, September 9, 2008

Prayer Rally - September 10

Cry Out America evening prayer rally to be beamed around the world from New York City on September 10.

USA (ET): 21:00 September 12 (repeated at 02:30 & 15:00 on 11th)UK (BST): 02:00, 15:00 & 21:30 11th SeptemberEurope (CET): 23:30 on 11th Sept (repeated at 15:00 on 13th)Africa (SAT): 22:30 on 11th Sept. (repeated at 14:00 on 13th).Asia (IST): 22:30 on 11th Sept. (repeated at 14:00 on 13th)Hong Kong (HKT): 01:00 on 12th Sept. (repeated at 16:30 on 13th)Australasia (EST): 22:30 on 11th Sept (repeated at 14:00 on 13th)

As America prepares to mark the 7th anniversary of the horrific terror attacks of 2001, Christians from all denominations will be gathering in New York next Wednesday evening for an important "Cry Out America" prayer rally, which will be televised LIVE on GOD TV.

Organized by the Awakening America Alliance (AAA), Cry Out America seeks to mobilize Christians in prayer against the spiritual decline of a nation where, according to current statistics, only 17% of Americans attend church and which has now become the world’s third largest missions field.

"2008 is a spiritually critical year for our nation," said AAA chairman Billy Wilson, "The current condition of America demands united and decisive action. We need more than one positive election, more than one court decision, more than one good series of sermons - we must experience a new national awakening in our generation.”

The live broadcast will act as a precursor to state-to-state prayer gatherings on September 11 when believers will unite in simultaneous nationwide prayer at their county courthouses to mark this significant day in its history with powerful intercession for every state, every county and every citizen.

“GOD TV stands with the Awakening America Alliance to unite the nation in prayer,” says the network’s co-founder and director of television, Wendy Alec. “I firmly believe America is on the brink of a great outpouring of the Holy Spirit, but this will only happen as we, the Body of Christ, humble ourselves and pray. It is therefore an immense privilege to broadcast CRY OUT AMERICA LIVE to rally believers worldwide to join together in fervent intercession for this great nation ... I believe God is calling His people to rise up, for there is a new day and a new hour of God’s glory coming to America, that has not been seen yet upon the earth.”

If you can make it, come to New York. But if you can’t, then tune in to GOD TV, set up a big screen at your home or local church and invite everyone to join together. Whatever you do, don’t miss this extraordinary event! The LIVE broadcast can be viewed on DIRECTV Channel 365 in the US, as well as online at www.god.tv/stream. If you live outside the USA, then go to http://www.god.tv/ to find the broadcast channels and times for your region.

About GOD TV

GOD TV was founded in the UK in 1995 by Christian media pioneers Rory & Wendy Alec and in 12 short years has become a global phenomenon. Today the network beams a broad cross section of cutting-edge programming, including many life-changing LIVE broadcasts, into millions of homes worldwide. The only Christian broadcaster to transmit globally from Jerusalem, GOD TV’s powerful signal is carried via multiple satellites providing free viewing to almost half a billion people 24-hours-a-day.

So, You Are Now On The Church Board

What do you do now? Consider the following (instructions for board members):

1. Don't Step Up Unless You're Ready and Willing to Step Down

One pastors said this, "As long as your leadership is good enough to help the church, you belong on the board. But if the church ever outgrows your ability to lead, you will have to step down."

Your purpose on the board is to serve the church and the pastor; not for it or him/her to serve you. For that reason, hold on loosely to your position on our board of elders. Be acutely aware that it is a privilege to serve in a church where God is working, and be appreciative to be where you are. God could have chosen anyone to serve Him, yet He picked you. Strive to live a life worthy of the calling you have received (Eph 4:1). Be determined to never stand in the way of what God is doing at the church.

2. Protect Your Pastor So He/She Can Pursue God's Vision

One day you will stand before God, and one of the things He might ask is, "Did you make it easier or harder for your pastor to fulfill the vision I gave him for the church?" A very sobering thought, and it should ground you in all your decisions as a leader.

Unfortunately, some church board members seem to believe their role is to protect the church from the pastor. They couldn't be more wrong. If God has called a pastor to a church, then the board's role is to protect the pastor so that he or she can pursue the vision.

It is rare that a pastor ever intentionally hurts a church. For every individual pastor who abuses his position, there are many thousands of board members who abuse theirs! Often it's in the name of stewardship. While stewardship is important, many board members practice stinginess and call it stewardship. God cares about people. Money itself has no value to God; he can create it or destroy it at will. It's merely a tool to be used for his purpose.

So how do you protect your pastor? Create an environment where he/she has enough room to work effectively. That means making sure he/she has the resources he/she needs to pursue the vision (2 Cor 9:6). It means allowing them to risk and occasionally fail for the sake of the Kingdom (Rom 15:1). It means providing for him/her and their family so that worries about finances don't become a distraction (Luke 10:7). It means giving them sound counsel (Prov 15:22), gently pushing back when they're wrong (Eph 4:15), and defending them against careless accusations (1 Tim 5:19). And of course it means serving when asked. Nobody in the church should tie the pastor's hands, chain his feet, and then say, "Go ahead, pastor. Run the race!"

3. Find the Role on the Board Where You Add the Most Value

Scripture makes it clear that we are to work together in the body of Christ, each of us using our gifts (1 Cor 12). People who serve on a board should keep that in mind and figure out how they can best serve the team.

One member of the board may be a true prayer warrior, another may have extensive experience in non-profit fundraising at the highest levels. Another may be an entrepreneur who founded and leads a technology company. Another may own businesses, has built commercial facilities, and understands complicated business arrangements. They all contribute according to their individual strengths.

One member may be gifted to asking penetrating questions. It comes as a result of a strength in strategic thinking.

The secretary must keep the minutes and records for the board, which will be easier if the secretary has writing experience.

What unique contribution can you make to add value to your team? It's your responsibility to figure that out.

4. Serve Somewhere in the Church in Addition to the Board

One of the dangers of serving on boards is that people can lose their way and develop a wrong attitude about leadership. Jesus washed his leaders' feet and reminded them to serve others rather than rely on their authority (Luke 25:24-26).

One of the best ways to prevent and battle a wrong attitude is to serve in areas of the church unrelated to board duties. Carry that responsibility and perspective with you always, do not carry that authority outside of the boardroom.

A ministry leader serves under the authority of the pastor. You won't always agree philosophically, and your may not be shy about offering your opinions. But at the end of the day, submit to his authority and serve as you are asked. It's dangerous for someone to lead who hasn't learned to follow. As Al Garsis says, "I can lead, and I can follow. An important aspect of leadership is knowing when to do which." As a board member, you need to figure that out.

When you serve on a board, you're really there to assist the person God has called to fulfill the vision. But that is not your ministry. You have to do your part, according to God's call on your life. That means finding somewhere you can serve effectively.

5. Lead and Serve With Eternity in Mind

For a lot of people, church is on the periphery of their lives. It's a place to engage socially, to "fill up" on Sundays, or to perform some volunteer work to make them feel better about themselves. Individuals who approach church this way have lost sight of how high the stakes are. What hangs in the balance is where people will spend eternity!

As a member of the church's board, it is your responsibility to maintain perspective. What does that mean? First, it means trying to always keep the big picture in mind. We sometimes call this maintaining a 30,000 foot view of the church. We can't afford to get caught up in petty matters or territorial disputes. We need to keep our hearts set on God, our eyes focused on the vision, and our minds engaged in thinking about what the church needs to be doing in five years, ten years, and farther into the future.

It also means you need to be praying. One of the most important things you do as a board is pray; for protection for the church and its staff, for guidance from God, for confirmation of the vision that God has given to your leader. You may or may not be naturally good at this, but work at it constantly. Honestly, if you're not willing to really go after prayer for your church, then you probably don't belong on the board.

You may feel that some of these suggestions are a bit rigid in some way, that the bar is being set very high. If so, you're right. What you do in ministry is the most important thing you will do in life; after leading and caring for your family. The Church is Christ's bride, and protecting her is an awesome responsibility and a fantastic privilege. One day, we hope to hear God tell us, "Well done, good and faithful servant." Do everything you can to lead in a way that honors God and advances His kingdom.

[By Charlie Wetzel]

Answers For Pastors

(Q) - I pastor a small church (60-70). My volunteer leaders continue to fail in following through after communicating my expectations. What do I do when there are no present replacements?

(A) - Try the following ideas:

1. Create Teams. Find the people in your church that have the MOST INFLUENCE besides you, and make them leaders over groups. Sometimes people will be more loyal to a friendship than an institution. Use these groups to get things done. A good book on this is Doing Church as a Team by Wayne Cordeiro. (http://www.enewhope.org/)

2. Motivate volunteers with perks. For instance, we need 90 people to staff our nurseries each week and that is a tough place to get volunteers. A big motivator we use is to give away a free vacation for two (approx $1000 from the budget) once a year. Each time a person worked the nursery, they could put their name in the box. At the Christmas party, we drew one name out of the box for the free vacation. If you work every week, your name is in the box 52 times. It was a great way to motivate. I have a long list of ways to motivate volunteers in our hospitality manual. It includes things like coffee rooms and free shoe shines for ushers.

3. Downsize. When companies don't have enough resources they downsize. The only way to downsize a smaller church is to downsize the programs. Many small churches are very over programmed. The same workers are rotated in and out of several programs that lack momentum and cause frustration because they are strangulating. It's better to be great at a few things, that bad at many things. Just a thought!

[Brian Cutshall - http://www.churchtrainer.com/]