Friday, November 6, 2009

15 Signs That A Church Is In Trouble

  1. When excuses are made about the way things are instead of embracing a willingness to roll up the sleeves and fix the problem.
  2. When the church becomes content with merely receiving people that come rather than actually going out and finding them … in other words, they lose their passion for evangelism!
  3. The focus of the church is to build a great church (complete with the pastors picture … and his wife’s … on everything) and not the Kingdom of God.
  4. The leadership begins to settle for the natural rather than rely on the supernatural.
  5. The church begins to view success/failure in regards to how they are viewed in the church world rather than whether or not they are actually fulfilling the Great Commission!
  6. The leaders within the church cease to be coachable.
  7. There is a loss of a sense of urgency! (Hell is no longer hot, sin is no longer wrong and the cross is no longer important!)
  8. Scripture isn’t central in every decision that is made!
  9. The church is reactive rather than proactive.
  10. The people in the church lose sight of the next generation and refuse to fund ministry simply because they don’t understand “those young people.”
  11. The goal of the church is to simply maintain the way things are … to NOT rock the boat and/or upset anyone … especially the big givers!
  12. The church is no longer willing to take steps of faith because “there is just too much to lose.”
  13. The church simply does not care about the obvious and immediate needs that exist in the community.
  14. The people learn how to depend on one man to minister to everyone rather than everyone embracing their role in the body, thus allowing the body to care for itself.
  15. When the leaders/staff refuse to go the extra mile in leading and serving because of how “inconvenient” doing so would be.

[from Perry Noble dot com by perry]

10 Signs of a Secure Leader

  1. Realizes he has nothing to prove!
  2. Works for the applause of heaven and not for the applause of men.
  3. Seeks God for direction instead of merely asking Him for permission.
  4. Doesn’t pretend that he has all the answers.
  5. Seeks to submit to the Spirit instead of constantly grieving Him.
  6. Understands that he will go insane if his goal is for everyone to understand him.
  7. Is willing to repent when he is wrong … and do whatever it takes to make things right.
  8. Puts personal preferences aside when making decisions that will impact the church.
  9. Has a sense of desperation for God … fully understanding the reality of John 15:5.
  10. Refuses to compromise the vision … even when it may be convenient to do so!

[from Perry Noble dot com by perry]

Authentic Leadership

Authenticity is an important value when speaking of church leaders. Today's church desires leaders to be real, open, honest and genuine. Today' church demands leaders to share their questions, their struggles and their stories.

We can relate to a leader who has been where we've been. Authenticity fuels connection and relevance.

Are there churches and parishioners who do not want authenticity? Are all pastors allowed to be authentic? What happens when pastors are not allowed to be authentic?

[from Agile Ministry by James Higginbotham, and Rindy Walton]

Anybody Can Start An Argument

Many times, the Pharisees and the Sadducees tried to engage Jesus in debate. Instead of taking the bait, Jesus would say something succinct and truthful to bring the dispute to a quick end.

As Heaven's ambassadors, how should we act when others try to engage us in an argument?

"It is honorable for a man to stop striving, since any fool can start a quarrel." — Proverbs 20:3

The Game Just Changed for Mobile Bible Study

The new Logos Bible Software iPhone app has totally revolutionized "Bible study on the go." There have already been more than 10,000 downloads within the first few days of release — all from a simple Twitter announcement that it was available. Seconds later, a flood of "re-tweets" and social networking word-of-mouth lit up the Internet, and that's just the beginning. So what is this incredible app that has taken off like a rocket? A whole new way to access Bible study on the go.

At its most basic level, this free download from the App Store will give you immediate access to more than 30 Bibles* from

Also, when you sign up for a free account with Logos you will gain access to about another 30 free books!

And, when you register your account with you will be able to access any free books from publishers that want to showcase new titles, or random books that we offer from time to time on free preview. You never know what might show up in your Logos Bible Software iPhone library some day. Imagine picking up your iPhone and seeing the hottest new title available in your library for free preview! One book per month, week, day? Who knows!

And, add any Logos 4 base package and watch your resources grow as much of your library is synced with your iPhone or iPod Touch; the resources are available and your favorites, bookmarks and settings are transferred from one platform to another. Walk away from your desktop or laptop and your location is saved in the books you are using so that you can pick up where you left off on your iPhone.

The Logos iPhone app is so much more than a simple Bible reader. Mobile Bible study is transformed with multiple versions of the Bible that can be read, searched, cross referenced and compared. You can set-up reading plans that are synced from your desktop or laptop so your Bible reading is always on schedule. In addition, finding a passage is as easy as typing in the reference, using the book navigator, or dragging the scrollbar to the right location.

This application was created with the desire to bring the functionality of Logos Bible Software 4 to your iPhone. In particular, the ability to dig deeper into Scripture with the Passage Guide. Enter a verse and click “Go” to receive a report linking directly to commentaries referencing your verse. The Passage Guide also provides cross references, media resources, topics, and interesting words — all linked to resources in your library.

Do an in-depth Bible Word Study from anywhere by a simple "tap and hold" on any word, in a Bible with a reverse interlinear, and a pop-up will display the English word along with all the original language information. From this pop-up, click Bible Word Study to see the definition, pronunciation, translations, and example uses of the various translations.

For more information check out some great screenshots and information, read FAQs, and check out some customer reviews at the app store!

Today's Quote

"The greatest churches in history are yet to be built. Are you prepared to be used by God? Willing to pay the price? To be hated?" - Pastor Rick Warren

Church Music Copyright

Think twice before singing that new worship song next Sunday or before using that movie clip as an illustration in your sermon. Believe it or not, even with the very best of intentions, courts have found churches financially liable for using the works of another person without permission.

Copyright is an important concept for all churches and ministries to understand in order to protect themselves, both against infringing on the rights of others and on having their own rights infringed upon. With the incredible creativity that has been flowing out of Christian ministry in the last decade, it is probable that many churches will create their own copyrightable works, and those works should be afforded every legal protection ...

read more

Church, school leaders join together to help all succeed

North Carolina Anson County's faith and education leaders are joining together with the goal of helping all students in the county achieve and succeed. At a breakfast Saturday morning at Kesler Chapel A.M.E. Zion Church in Wadesboro, about 25-30 local pastors and bishops gathered with Michael McLeod, executive director for individual and organizational accountability for the Anson County school system and also pastor of Pleasant Hill Missionary Baptist Church, to discuss ways the local faith community can help students better succeed in school. McLeod is leading the effort, along with Pastor Iris Tillman of the Church of God of Prophecy in Morven and Pastor Dannie Williamson of New Zion Missionary Baptist Church.

"Our slogan is 'All Means All,'" McLeod explained. "That means all of our students will succeed, and all of our community will be involved." In a brainstorming session, McLeod said he, Tillman and Williamson decided what better place to start than with the local churches. "We've come together to find out how we can better serve the community," Tillman said. "We're spreading throughout the county. We hope to help bring changes to the environment in our schools."

Matt Walton, pastor at First Baptist Church of Wadesboro, stated that he'd been wanting to get more involved with the local school system, but this group beat him to it. "You've answered my prayers," he said. Tillman told the audience that she has been a volunteer in the schools for more than 30 years, and is often called to schools if a parent cannot make it to discipline a child who is a member of her church. "It's one thing to sit around and talk about what needs to be done and another to do what needs to be done," Tillman said. She related stories of helping her grandson to decide not to join a gang, and how she helped a fifth-grader who was about to be kicked out of school— by having him do manual labor at her home. That child is now a senior in high school.

She also pointed out that many believe that prayer is no longer in schools, but that is not true. "If children want to pray, nobody can stop them," she said. "The doors to our schools are being opened to us to allow us to talk to kids. We, as a faith-based community, need to be involved in the school system." Tillman said that many schools in the county need volunteers to help give teachers a break during the day, volunteers to read to students, cafeteria workers and so on.

Buz Parks of the Anson Baptist Association pointed out that he foresees a wall between people wanting to help and not knowing exactly what to do. He stressed the need for an orientation for church members to get involved in volunteering. "Many are intimidated," he said. "They're afraid they're going to say or do something to embarrass themselves." Tillman, McLeod and Williamson plan to organize training sessions for volunteers and hope to get church-based volunteers and pastors into the schools early next year.

George Senter of Faith Baptist Church was surprised to learn that it's OK for pastors to visit members of their congregation in school. Tillman responded that she'd gotten parents' permission to be able to visit the children in school.

The training for volunteers will be organized soon, McLeod said. "We will have detailed job descriptions," he explained. "This [breakfast meeting] was to let you know we're coming to you. It will be systemized; this is a strategic plan." By February, he added, the community as a whole will be aware of what the faith leaders are doing.

[by Abby Cavenaugh]

President Declares November Military Family Month

President Barack Obama has declared November as Military Family Month.

The proclamation reads:

"No one pays a higher price for our freedom than members of our nation's military and their families. As sons and daughters, husbands and wives, and mothers and fathers are deployed, military families endure with exceptional resilience and courage. They provide our troops with invaluable encouragement and love, and serve our nation in their own right. During Military Family Month, we honor the families of our armed forces and thank them for their dedication to our country.

"Though only a small percentage of our nation's population, our troops bear the great responsibility of protecting our people. They, along with their families, serve us every day with courage and dignity. Ensuring that military families receive the respect they deserve and the support they have earned is a top priority for my administration.

"The strength of our nation is measured not just by our success on the battlefield, but also by our ability to support those families who have made so many sacrifices for us. Time and again, military families have shown their heart in the face of adversity. We have a solemn obligation to ensure that while our men and women in uniform discharge their duties, we do all we can to promote and preserve the well-being of their families. We must also support the families of our wounded warriors and our fallen heroes who have paid the ultimate price for the freedoms we enjoy. ...

"Now, therefore, I, Barack Obama, president of the United States of America, by virtue of the authority vested in me by the Constitution and the laws of the United States, do hereby proclaim November 2009 as Military Family Month. I call on all Americans to honor military families through private actions and public service for the tremendous contributions they make in the support of our service members and our nation."


A pastor places his order at the pet store. "I need at least 50 mice, 2,000 ants, and as many of those little silverfish, you can get."

The clerk replies, "We can probably do that, but it might take some time. Mind if I ask why you are placing such an unusual order?"

The pastor replied, "I've accepted a call to another church and the pastor's council told me to leave the parsonage the way I found it."