Monday, March 30, 2009

The IPPA Meets

INTERNATIONAL PENTECOSTAL PRESS ASSOCIATION EXECUTIVE BOARD MEETING, Eugene, OR – The IPPA held their semi-annual meeting this past week in Eugene Oregon.

This board includes:
  • Chairman Ken Horn, editor of “Today’s Pentecostal Evangel" of the AG
  • James Cossey, editor in chief of "The Church of God Evangel"
  • Shirley Spencer, Executive Editor of “Experience,” the official magazine of the Int’l Pentecostal Holiness Church
  • Virginia Chatham, Managing Editor of "The White Wing Messenger"

PCCNA Adopts New Vision Statement

The Executive Committee of the Pentecostal/Charismatic Churches of North America met last week in Eugene, Oregon in regular session.

Members of the PCCNA include the Church of God in Christ, Assemblies of God, Church of God, Int’l Pentecostal Holiness Church, the Int’l Church of the Foursquare Gospel and the Church of God of Prophecy, among others.

The PCCNA made news in a number of the leading newspapers with “The Memphis Miracle” where Black Pentecostal organizations joined with traditional white organizations for a historic demonstration of unity. It was the first such showing of unity since the Azusa Street Revival when it was said, “The Holy Ghost washed away the color-line.”

The Executive Committee hammered out a strategic vision which was passed by the larger board, centered around the acronym “POWER.” Pentecostal Celebration (Reclaiming Pentecost in our churches), Organizational Development, Widening the Witness through various forms of media, Emerging Leaders and Reconciliation and Justice are the key directions the PCCNA plans to go.

This meeting was in conjunction with the Society for Pentecostal Studies, an association of Pentecostal educators. The SPS honored Stanley Horton, an extremely humble, but thoroughly a great servant of God, theologian, and author for the Assemblies of God.

The Executive Committee of the PCCNA was elected to include:
  • Chairperson - Jeff Farmer, President, Open Bible Churches
  • Co-Chair - Jerry Macklin, 2nd Assistant President Bishop, Church of God in Christ
  • Secretary - Clyde Hughes, General Overseer, Int’l Pent. Church of Christ
  • Treasurer - Randy Howard, General Overseer, Church of God of Prophecy
  • Members-at-Large: Ron Carpenter, Int’l Pentecostal Holiness Church; Raymond Culpepper, General Overseer, Church of God; Arthur Gray, Int’l Church of the Foursquare Gospel; David Wells, Pentecostal Assemblies of Canada; Elijah Williams, United Holy Church; and George Wood, Assemblies of God.

Earl Paulk Dies

Former Atlanta megachurch pastor Earl Paulk Jr., who helped popularize "kingdom now" theology but was plagued for decades by sexual scandal, died early Sunday morning after a lengthy battle with cancer. He was 81.

Paulk, founder of what is now known as the Cathedral at Chapel Hill, was taken to the hospital on Jan. 1 with an intestinal blockage and was never released, his brother, Don Paulk, told the Atlanta Journal-Constitution on Sunday. He had previously undergone surgery for prostate cancer.

Through his books and television ministry, Paulk helped popularize "kingdom now" theology, which teaches that the church, as a manifestation of God's kingdom, should take dominion over every sector of society. But through the years numerous women alleged that Paulk coerced them to have sex with him, saying he told them certain "kingdom relationships" were not limited to traditional moral boundaries.Although he repeatedly denied the allegations, DNA testing proved in 2007 that Paulk lied about past infidelity and was the father of his nephew, D.E. Paulk, who now leads the 1,000-member congregation.

"For whatever good he may have done, my uncle had a serious problem with sexual addiction, and never owned it, and never really took any responsibility for it," Paulk's nephew, Bishop Jim Swilley, pastor of Church in the Now in Conyers, Ga., said in a blog posting Sunday. "He died in disgrace, and, unfortunately, will for the most part only be remembered for the scandals."


[I visited the church founded by Earl Paulk on several occasions. He also visited the seminary I attended for speaking engagements. He was the former pastor of Mount Paran Church of God in Atlanta. Earl Paulk's father was a life-long pastor and minister in the Church of God. Bishop Paulk held his father in high esteem and kept keep-sakes from his father's ministry in and around his office. What a shame that a man with such potential could never overcome such a weakness as his alleged indiscretions. My prayers are with the family.]

Giving Honor

Honor is a lost art in our culture.

Have you ever noticed that we seldom honor people until their funeral? And then we may not do enough, especially for pastors or retired pastors. Intuitively, ALL of us know it’s the right thing to do. Clearly, when someone exits this life we should make sure we honor their time here on earth. We should make sure we communicate gratitude for their service ... regardless of their issues (we all have issues!). Perhaps we could do more at funerals to bring honor.

But why do we wait until someone is dead to honor them?

The dead can’t hear us. They can’t receive honor. The truth is that funerals are more for the living than the dead. Why? Its makes us feel better. I understand that it’s part of the grieving process, but why wait? Why procrastinate?

Life is too short not to honor NOW!

Years ago I found out about Zig Ziglar's wall of fame in his home where he displays pictures of the people who have influenced his life the most. I added a similar thing to this Blog in the right column.

Why can't we show more honor to those who have served so faithfully among us? Is it wrong to place a portrait in an appropriate place, to install a plaque in the wall of a building, or name a building after someone?

While they can still receive it, you have a great opportunity today to SPEAK UP and honor the living.

WHO do you need to honor NOW?

[from by buddy]

Today's Quote

"When we come to the edge of the light we know, and are about to step off into the darkness of the unknown, of this we can be sure: either God will provide something solid to stand on or we will be taught to fly." - Unknown

Are you in Breakthrough mode, or Burnout mode?

Breakthrough or Burnout? Here are the 12 signs:

  1. When in breakthrough mode you can’t wait to start the day. In burnout you can’t wait for the day to end.
  2. In breakthrough mode you are ministering out of the overflow of Christ’s life in you. In burnout you are ministering purely out of your natural giftings and spiritual anointing without a fresh infilling from the Holy Spirit.
  3. In breakthrough mode you have passion to serve. In burnout you have passion for pleasure and relaxation.
  4. In breakthrough mode you are living within set boundaries that enable self-renewal. In burnout you constantly feel like you are living outside of the measure of God’s grace for service.
  5. In breakthrough mode your mind is constantly being renewed with fresh ideas, creativity, and vision to conquer. In burnout your mind and emotions are worn out and you are in maintenance mode.
  6. In breakthrough mode you are walking in the fruit of the Spirit; in burnout the fruit of the flesh.
  7. In breakthrough mode you have time for soul care. In burnout you only have time for serving others.
  8. In breakthrough mode you envision great expansion of ministry. In burnout you dream of retirement and contemplate leaving the ministry.
  9. In breakthrough mode you proactively spend time with key relationships. In burnout your time is spent reacting to relational problems.
  10. In breakthrough mode you are in faith; in burnout you are living in fear.
  11. In breakthrough mode you are refreshed in spite of your stress. In burnout mode you are depressed because of the stress.
  12. In breakthrough mode you sense clarity of vision and purpose. In burnout you experience confusion regarding your purpose.

Click here to read the complete article.

[from Agile Ministry by James Higginbotham]

Ignore Your Critics

If you find 100 comments on a blog post or 100 reviews of a new book or 100 tweets about you ... and two of them are negative, while 98 are positive ... which ones are you going to read first?

If you're a human being and you're telling the truth, the answer is pretty obvious: you want to know which misguided losers had nasty things to say and you want to know what they said. In fact, if we're being totally truthful, it's likely you're going to take what the critics had to say to heart.

That's a shame. The critics are never going to be happy with you, that's why they're critics. You might bore them by doing what they say ... but that won't turn them into fans, it will merely encourage them to go criticize someone else.

It doesn't matter what Groucho or Elvis or Britney or any other one-name performer does or did ... the critics won't be placated. Changing your act to make them happy is a fool's game.

Here's a surprising thought, though. You should ignore your fans as well.

Your fans don't want you to change, your fans want you to maintain the essence of what you bring them but add a laundry list of features. You fans want lower prices and more contributions, bigger portions and more frequent deliveries.

So, who should you listen to?

Your sneezers.

You should listen to the people who tell the most people about you. Listen to the people who thrive on sharing your good works with others. If you delight these people, you grow.

What say you? Click "comments" below.

[by Seth Godin, ]

Terrorist Groups Operating in Churches

Latest news reports are that five terrorist cell groups have been operating in many of our churches. They have been identified as: Bin Sleepin, Bin Arguin, Bin Fightin, Bin Complainin, and Bin Missin. Their leader, Osama Bin Lucifer, trained these groups to destroy the Body of Christ.

The plan is to come into the church disguised as Christians and to work within the church to discourage, disrupt, and destroy. However, there have also been reports of a sixth group.

A tiny cell known by the name Bin Prayin is actually the only effective counter terrorism force in the church. This group appears to be very weak. Unlike other terrorist cells, the Bin Prayin team does not blend in with whoever and whatever comes along. Bin Prayin does whatever is needed to uplift and encourage the Body of Christ.

We have noticed that the Bin Prayin cell group has different characteristics than the others. They have Bin Watchin, Bin Waitin, Bin Fastin, and Bin Longin for their Master, Jesus Christ to return.

Which cell group do you belong to?

Church Planting in Post-Christendom

David Fitch asks, “how are we to go on church planting when the cultural conditions of Christendom can no longer be assumed? How do we in the words of Darrell Guder “call out communities to witness to the Kingdom of God” when there are less and less cultural conditions left that make such a ‘call’ intelligible (such as even the cultural conditions which made possible the apostle Paul preaching the gospel amidst the synagogues of Hellenistic diaspora)?

“For example, what are the cultural assumptions that undergird the Neo-Reformed urban church plants as modeled by Redeemer Presbyterian in Manhattan and the Acts 29 group out of Mars Hill in Seattle?

We assume the Holy Spirit is at work in these churches and invigorating any work of God in Christ’s church. Yet God enters culture in Christ in order to become visible, he does not usurp or overwhelm culture, He enters culture (the principle of Incarnation). Cultural assumptions are important therefore.”

Read more..

[from culture, leadership, mission]

Church Planter Questions

I was doing a little research on Acts 29 and church planting. Here are 20 good questions if someone is thinking about planting:

1. Am I a Christian?
2. Am I passionately in love with Jesus?
3. Do I believe His word and does it affect my life deeply?
4. Am I Spirit-filled, Spirit-directed, Spirit-led and Spirit-controlled?
5. Am I qualified as an Elder?
6. Do I love the local church as the expression of a gospel community?
7. Am I a missionary to the city?
8. Do I have a clear vision for this new work?
9. Am I willing to pour myself out in obedience to the vision?
10. Am I healthy? Physically, emotionally, financially, relationally?
11. Am I the kind of leader many people will follow?
12. Can I preach effectively?
13. Can I guard the doctrinal door with Biblical clarity?
14. Can I architect a new work with entrepreneurial skill?
15. Am I called to plant a church at this time and in this place?
16. Have my church leaders commended me for this calling?
17. Am I a hard worker? Am I persevering?
18. Am I adaptable to new people, places and concepts?
19. Can I raise the funds needed for my family’s needs?
20. Am I humble enough to learn from others?

[Read the whole article by Scott Thomas here where he explains each question in more detail.]