Sunday, December 14, 2008

Today's Prayer

Dear God,

Today I pray for pastors everywhere. They face so many decisions and burdens. They have such great responsibilities and weighty decisions. They have personal family to care for as well as church family to shepherd.

I pray that as they come to you today ... and every day ... that you will refresh their spirit, enlighten their mind, and strengthen their body. I pray that you will grant them wisdom, anointing, and openness to receive the message you want to deliver through them and to deliver that message when and to whom you want it delivered.

I pray for protection and blessing for every pastor's entire family and all the leaders of the church. Please keep them safe from all harm and evil ... and lead them on to accomplish your plan for their lives, the church's future, and the Great Commission.

In Jesus' name I pray, amen.

Today's Word

(Proverbs 22:11) "God loves the pure-hearted and well-spoken; good leaders also delight in their friendship."

Stinking Thinking

- We want OUR WAY.
- We believe OUR WAY is superior to all other ways.
- We believe this is OUR CHURCH and we should be able to do as we please regardless of others.
- We believe some wrongs are unforgettable and should color are future issues.
- We believe there is no value in releasing our hurts or pain because it may be helpful to us later.
- We believe God is on OUR SIDE, after all we do love Him.
- We believe winning a church spat is spiritual.
- We believe controlling the church to our way of thinking is more important than the many unsaved people in our community.
- We believe we are doing God a favor by making a stink about silly things.

This kind of thinking is destructive to any church.

Have you ever bumped into people with any of these sentiments?

[from by billisaacs]

Cool Resources

- ChurchMetrics - A free web-based application that helps you keep tabs on attendance, giving, salvations and baptisms at your church.
- Donor Tools - Simple, inexpensive online donor management software for non-profits.
- Jarbyco - Create one of a kind mobile applications, custom-tailored for you and your audience. Text messaging application that allows you to quiz, poll and survey the congregation, message people, create audience interaction and more!
- Unifyer - Web-based application that unites online communication, online networking and dynamic media content for your church community. In other words, it is like having a custom social network for your church.
- AspireOne Media Player - The Media Player showcases all of your media organized in one place. Offered and supported by AspireOneMedia a partner of Granger Community Church and Wired Churches.

[from Planting Space by Patrick]

What Hinders Your Church?

Rick Warren, in a recent REV magazine article offered five (5) growth inhibitors which local churches and pastors must address. See if any of these are causing your church problems …

- Not bringing friends to church – Rick says while we pray, ask, motivate and encourage, our people are not generally bringing unsaved friends to church because they have a mindset that while the service meet a need in “their” life, it might not be accepted or comfortable for their unsaved friends. What to do? Rick says plan at least one service a week directly targeted at the unchurched.
- Fearing that growth with ruin the fellowship – In this regard, the fear that as the church grows must be addressed by creating “smaller” groups which will enable greater connections and reduce the fear of disconnect.
- Clinging rigidly to traditions – Rick offers that we should start viewing traditions as some kind of marker of past success. The reason the tradition exists is that it was once successful. What to do? Annually review the methods and practices of the church to determine if they still work or need revision.
- Being program oriented rather than process oriented – A host of programs is not valuable to a church unless it accomplishes some agreed upon goal. How do we know if our people are growing in Christ? Saddleback is known for the baseball diamond which offers the church, its leadership and the disciple the model to track progress. Any method can work as long as there is a way to measure progress.
- Emphasizing meetings rather than ministry – You cannot measure the health of a church if attendance is the primary tool of determining health and success. If so, then your church is meeting oriented. Encourage participation and involvement in ministries which meet community needs and enable the believer to be engaged in faith pursuits.

Do any of these have resonance with your church?

[from by billisaacs]