Wednesday, September 16, 2009

See You At The Pole

See You at the Pole™ is a student-initiated, student organized, and student-led event. That means this is all about students meeting at their school flagpole to pray — for their school, friends teachers, government, and their nation.

See You at the Pole™ is not a demonstration, political rally, nor a stand for or against anything.
See You at the Pole™ is scheduled annually on the fourth Wednesday in September, which is September 23 in 2009. The suggested starting time is 7 a.m. If that doesn't work for your school, choose a time that will work for your school, but let everyone at your school know!

Finances and Staff Issues Worry Pastors More Than Evangelism and Outreach, a New Survey Reveals

What do megachurch pastors think about late at night when they can't sleep? Not evangelism, outreach or impacting the community, at least not much, according to a report released in July by the Leadership Network.

In a survey of 232 pastors of large churches — congregations running more than 2,000 on a typical weekend — when asked what work-related issues caused them to lie awake at night, 19 percent said "finances," and an additional 19 percent said "staff issues." Only five percent said they ever lose sleep thinking about evangelism, outreach or ways to impact the community.

Also interesting in the report, which included input from pastors in 38 states and several countries, and also derived additional responses from 208 pastors of smaller churches, was the breakdown of how work hours are spent. In what is a typical 53-hour week, five hours are spent providing pastoral care; five hours are spent in prayer and meditation; and two hours are devoted to personal evangelism. A full 19 hours each week are spent in preaching, teaching and worship. Administration and meetings eat up another nine hours.

So how do senior pastors of large churches see their role? More than 80 percent described themselves as a "preacher/teacher." Fifty percent chose the term "directional leader," and 33 percent said their key role is "visionary."

Of note in the survey was the influence of one of Foursquare's own megachurch pastors — Wayne Cordeiro, senior pastor of New Hope Christian Fellowship in Honolulu. When megachurch leaders were asked to list their most recommended books, Wayne's Leading on Empty (Bethany House) landed in the overall listing's top five most recommended volumes.

To download the entire survey, titled "Teacher First: Leadership Network's 2009 Large-Church Senior Pastor Survey," visit

[from - From the President]

Today's Quote

"Money problems are really vision problems. People give to vision, not to need. And, God supports HIS vision, not ours." Pastor Rick Warren

Financial Stewardship Tips

1. Keep Good Records - The great scientist Albert Einstein once said, "It takes a genius to see the obvious." What he meant by that is that sometimes the simplest things in life are the most powerful ... but because they are so simple, we tend to ignore them, and not let them work for us.

One of the simplest but most powerful money making ideas is this: keep a daily log of everything you spend. Go to the dollar store and buy a little notebook and carry it with you wherever you go. Write down every penny - every single penny - you spend. It's as simple as that.

If you do this, you will find something magic happening in your financial life in just a few weeks: you'll see what you spend, where, and how much can really be looked at as "necessary." It makes the flow of money through your life more real and exact. It shows you simply and clearly just where you are spending your money, on what and why. Once you know that, it becomes much easier to control your spending. Very powerful, indeed, and quite eye-opening.

For example, a person could realized through examining their notebook that they actually spent nearly $2,000 throughout the year on diet soft drinks, snacks and candy bars! Since their job only brings in $25,000 per year, they realized that 8% of their entire income was being frittered away on something entirely frivolous. The person gave up the snacks and drinks, and found they had enough money to take a vacation the following year! If you had the choice between snacks or a much needed vacation, which would you choose? Clarity that comes with this insight can help you gain much needed control of your finances.

2. Stop Credit Card Spending - otherwise known as deficit spending! We all know how much trouble Uncle Sam has been creating spending more money than our country takes in. It's called deficit spending. Well, don't fool yourself. The same rules apply to you. Using those evil little plastic cards may be the "American Way," but it's a poor way.

Today, the average credit card holder is carrying $8,000 in plastic debt!

Spending yourself into debt with a credit card is unbelievably easy, as many of you already know. The reason is psychological. When you give that clerk a credit card, it's just not the same as handing over a stack of green dollar bills. Would you as readily hand over a fistful of ten dollar bills as flip a credit card across a counter? Probably not.

Credit cards put you in the hole and keep you there. Even for people with good incomes, paying your credit card debt down to zero is amazingly difficult. And make no bones about it, credit card debt will sap your financial strength just as readily as an open vein will deplete your physical body of its very life force. Using a credit card by choice can quickly turn to using it for need. Once you get to that point, you are already in trouble.

There is no secret to freeing yourself from the credit card game. You must take out a pair of scissors today, cut your cards in half, and begin paying them back, slowly butsurely. Be careful: closing the account could affect your credit score negatively, so you may want to keep the card open - just stop using it! Be sure to always pay more than the minimum amount due, even if it is just $10 more. Once you stop adding to the debt, even small payments will eventually add up. You can get out of debt if you are patient and disciplined. Once your card debt is history, you must adopt a strict pay-as-you-go policy. Instead of buying now and paying later, save now and buy when you have the full amount.

Once again, this is not rocket science, but stopping credit-oriented consuming is one of the most powerful financial tools available to anyone today. Why not pick up this tool and use it?

3. Sell Your Junk - That's right, it's high past time for a major yard sale. Search through your house or apartment for every single item you don't need, and could sell at a flea market or yard sale.

Take an inventory. The truth is, most people are astounded by what they own - and how much money they have tied up in useless stuff. Why let it collect dust in your attic while it could collect interest in a savings account? Good question, huh?

You could easily be $500, $1,000 ... even $3,000 richer by the end of the week. As an added bonus, you'd have your place cleaned up, and you will have a fresh feeling of starting over. A garage sale is an excellent way to not only clean out your house, but it often gives a psychological boost that helps people get control of their life and money.

(by John Tesh)