Thursday, November 20, 2008

Pentecostal Press Leaders Meet

The Church of God (Pathway Press) and the Church of God of Prophecy (White Wing Publishing) jointly hosted the biannual meeting of the International Pentecostal Press Association Board of Directors on Monday and Tuesday, November 17-18, 2008. The Monday morning session was held at the Church of God International Offices, with greetings from Bishop Mark Williams, assistant general overseer, representing General Overseer Raymond F. Culpepper. The afternoon session was hosted by the Church of God of Prophecy International Offices. Tours were conducted of the headquarters of both hosting organizations.

On Tuesday morning, the delegates met at the Church of God of Prophecy International Offices, were greeted by General Overseer Randall Howard, and then made an excursion to rural Monroe County, Tennessee and Cherokee County, North Carolina, where they visited many historic sites shared by both Cleveland-based organizations. Sites visited included Barney Creek, where the Church of God formed as the Christian Union in 1886, the Shearer Schoolhouse site where the Holy Spirit baptism was first received by the group in 1896, the J. C. Murphy Home, where the first General Assembly was held in 1906, Fields of the Wood, and the grave of Richard G. Spurling, Jr., in Turtletown, Tennessee. Tour guides were Paul Holt, Heritage Ministries director for the Church of God of Prophecy, and Dr. James M. Beaty, retired missionary, historian, and professor at Lee University and the Church of God Theological Seminary.

The International Pentecostal Press Association is a fellowship of editors and writers from various Pentecostal denominations throughout the world, and receives its spiritual covering from the Pentecostal World Conference. The board of directors members are: Ken Horn, president (Assemblies of God); Clyde Hughes, first vice president (International Pentecostal Church of Christ); Virginia Chatham, second vice president (Church of God of Prophecy) Shirley Spencer, Secretary-Treasurer (International Pentecostal Holiness Church); and James E. Cossey, member at large (Church of God). The next meeting of the board of directors will be in March 2009 in Eugene, Oregon in conjunction with the annual meetings of the Pentecostal-Charismatic Churches in North America (PCCNA) and the Society for Pentecostal Studies.

Free Stuff For Church Planters


The Art of Forgiveness

Having a great deal of experience with offenses, being deeply hurt by heroes and fellow-laborers, the question always comes up; when do we confront and when do we overlook? My natural response to to confront. As a "fixer," I am immediately tempted to fix the situation. However, many times a still small voice encourages me to just overlook people and go on. When should we do which?

To answer this question, I am going to follow, roughly at least, the logic Chris Brauns uses in his excellent book Unpacking Forgiveness (I highly reccomend it).

1. Examine Yourself

Before you do anything else, you will want to examine yourself. You will want to see if there is some log in your eye that you have missed in all the fixation on the speck in your neighbor's eye (Matthew 7:3-5). You will want to examine your motives to determine why it is that you may desire confrontation (or perhaps why you desire to avoid confrontation). Are you angry and seeking revenge? Do you harbor a grudge against the person and feel like you can only ease this burden by telling him of his offense against you? Will you only feel better after you inflict guilt upon him? As you focus on your own sin and on your motives, you may find that the desire to pursue confrontation fades in the light of God's holiness and in the darkness of ungodly motives.

2. Examine Yourself Again: Are You Right?

You have now established that your motives are pure and that you are not overlooking a similar sin in your own life. Now you will want to examine yourself to ensure that you are right in this matter. Have you looked for Scriptural principles to determine if you have truly been sinned against? Is there clear violation of a Scriptural principle here, or are you dealing with a gray area? If you find that this is a gray area where there is no clear definition of right or wrong, it may well be best to simply put the matter aside.

3. Determine the Importance

If you have passed through the first two filters and still believe this is an issue worthy of confrontation, you will want to consider just how important a matter this is. Are we dealing here with a matter of preference or a matter of objective right and wrong? Is this an issue that will have long-term ramifications or something that will not much matter one way or the other? Are you making dogma out of personal preference? If, upon examination, you determine that this matter is not of great importance or that it is more about preference than anything else, just let it go.

4. Look for Patterns

There are times that we sin in a way that is out of character for us. For example, you may be consistently punctual but then, one day, show up late for an important meeting. In such a case it would probably not be worth my while addressing this offense. However, if you are constantly showing up late for even the most important meetings, this may be a matter I should address with you. It may still not be an area of sin (perhaps traffic is wildly unpredictable or you have a young child who is waking you up all night long, making it difficult for you to spring out of bed). Either way, we often do better to confront patterns of sin or offense than isolated incidents (though, obviously, with more egregious offenses we may need to confront them immediately).

5. Be Sensitive

Before approaching the person who has offended you, ensure that you are being sensitive to his or her unique situation. There may be stresses or strains in that person's life that are causing him or her to act out in ways that are atypical. In such a situation you are not excusing the person's sin but, rather, understanding that difficult times can cause even the finest Christian to act out in ways that are unusual for him. Adding the burden of confrontation may not be the wise or sensitive thing to do at that moment.

6. Seek Counsel

It may be valuable to seek the counsel of other mature Christians before pursuing confrontation. You will want to ensure that this is not simply an opportunity to gossip and vent, after which you will feel better and let the matter drop. But discreetly seeking wise counsel may be a very good way of "error-checking" your assessment of the previous steps.

If, after such an assessment of your own heart, the offender, and the offense, you still feel confrontation is necessary, you will want to pursue forgiveness and reconciliation in the way Jesus outlines in Matthew 18.

However, far more often than not, I think you will find it is wise to let the matter go. And here you will need to release your pride and outrage. You will need to be willing to let the matter well and truly drop, not telling others about it and not letting it fill your mind and outrage your heart. It is the glory of a man to overlook an offense; it is a foolish and prideful man who feels every little offense is worthy of confrontation.

[from "Culture Shift" by Dr. Albert Mohler]


(By Andy Stanley)

- Momentum = forward motion fueled by a series of wins.
- In the business world, a company that doesn’t have momentum takes quick action.
- In the church world, we put up with lack of momentum for a long time as long as we can still pay the bills.
- In the church world, momentum is not the norm. It is very disruptive, unsettling and uncomfortable.
- If you have momentum and you don’t know why — you are one stupid decision away from killing it.
- If you lack momentum, you need to understand why.
- Anything new creates momentum.
- Momentum is never triggered by tweaking something old. It is triggered by introducing something new.
- Complexity kills momentum. The process of tearing down complexity is painful, but must be done.

[from LeadingSmart by Tim Stevens]

The Impact of Hope in Strategic Plan Implementation

I had the privilege to work with several colleagues on an instrument to measure hope in organizations. It is published in the inaugural edition of the International Leadership Journal housed at Thomas Edison State College. The article is entitled: "An Instrument to Measure the Impact of Hope in Strategic Plan Implementation." by Bruce Winston, Corné Bekker, Karen Cerff, Doug Eames, Martha Helland and Delicia Garnes.


This research study presents a 13-item instrument to measure the level of hope in employees relative to their belief in the positive outcome of strategic plans. The singlefactor scale has a Cronbach alpha of .912. The premise of the research is that people may be unwilling to invest time and effort into the implementation of strategic plans if they do not have hope/faith in the success of the plans. Theoretical support comes from Vroom’s expectancy theory, means efficacy theory, Porter’s value chain, and Snyder’s hope theory. The practical application of this study lies in the notion that it may be beneficial for leaders to understand the level of employees’ hope in the success of strategic plans before implementing those plans.

For the full paper see:

[from Inner Reflections on Leadership by Corné J. Bekker]