I was worshiping in a congregation (in the last year) that had Adventist Church on the sign, but might as well have called themselves the Announcement Church, because that’s all they did. They had one person do announcements from the front in Power Point, followed by another person who reaffirmed the previous announcements with no power point, followed by the pastor who highlighted yet some others. It easily took almost 20 minutes, probably closer to 30.
This does not happen every week, but too often to be overlooked. I personally believe, through experience and research, which guests don’t really come to church looking to find out when the next fund raising car wash is. I have also been to enough growing, healthy churches that do minimal announcements from the front to know a church can thrive with a change in this area. Here are five suggestions you can use if you want to be more sensitive to guests (and members): Continue Reading…
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Many of us have visited a church where it is common place to point out the guests. “Please stand up and tell us who you are.” The well meaning church leader is trying to make the guests feel welcomed, but it usually has the opposite affect and they may not return. Read the tips on what-not-to-do in 10 Things Every Church Should Stop Doing to First-Time Guests.
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Suicide is the leading cause of death for those dealing with serious mental illness such as depression or anxiety, with one in 10 committing suicide due to poor mental health. Many people think of religion and science as two wholly separate entities. However, studies have shown recently that prayer can actually have an effect on a person’s mental and physical health, altering moods and energy levels, as well as lowering stress levels. This toolkit can be placed in your arsenal to help you fight the battle against suicidal thoughts and actions, and get your mental health back to a healthy level through prayer.
Tips to Get Started
you are currently having thoughts of suicide or have even recently made
an attempt, it is important to have resources to turn to in case you
need extra assistance. Consider storing these tips away for those days
when you are feeling alone and need a way to cope:
“How are we going to raise $40,000 for worthy students this year?” The amount was more than double what we needed last year. Our Adventist elementary school was growing rapidly (from 16 to 40 students in two years). Our needs were growing rapidly with it. Our church of 130 had a generous history of raising about $17,000 a year outside the church budget for worthy students. We could only afford to take out $10,000 from reserves. We still needed $30,000. What could we do? Continue Reading…
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Last week during the worship service at my church on Sabbath, I was freezing. I wore my heavy winter coat during the entire service and still had goosebumps. There is a problem, in that I’m always cold and many others are always hot so it’s really difficult to please everyone, but here are some helpful tips on how to maintain the best climate control for the majority of your church. As for me, well maybe I’ll just take a blanket next week! Read More
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Pastors and their families are facing levels of stress that are simply not sustainable for a healthy life and ministry over the long-haul. Expectations are made, the bar is set high and many have a difficult time keeping up with it all. One of my new favorite quotes is this: “I will not sacrifice my family on the altar of ministry.” Here are some important recommendations on how to avoid that sacrifice.
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There was a German Village where a man and his wife learned to worship on the Sabbath. The rest of the village didn’t like it. There was pressure to conform. The men of the village came and tore the roof off of their house. The man and his wife heard their neighbors up on the roof and wondered what to do. They thought of Romans 12 where it says, “If your enemy is hungry feed him.” They made them lunch. When the men came down off the roof they were invited to sit down for lunch. The man and his wife served them graciously. After lunch, without anything being said, the men went back up and reroofed their house.
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It was my first church where I was the senior pastor and the 7th and 8th grade teacher was for a reason that I can’t now recall needed to be gone and I was asked to teach Bible and PE for a week or so. I had never had any pedagogical training but went to the elementary school to be a teacher. I quickly learned to appreciate the challenges provided by pubescent boys and girls. They were quick to give all the right answers in Bible class but when then we went to recess the Bible lessons we spoke of in class did not have any effect on behavior when it came to playing baseball. I quickly learned that the theory of Christian living in a Bible Class did not always translate into behavior on the ball field.
When I walked into the sanctuary, I darted toward my “regular” row that my family has been sitting in for years. But on this particular Sabbath, the space had already been occupied by visitors. I needed four more seats for my family, but there wasn’t enough room in that row. In fact, I couldn’t find enough seats except in the back rows of the church. So that is where my family sat, next to a woman in a her 30s, who kindly moved over a few seats to provide enough space. After church, I introduced myself to this young-adult lady.
“Is this your first time here,” I inquired. She laughed shyly and said, “I’ve been attending here for over a year.”
“Oh wow,” my wife and I responded with curiosity, because we had never seen her.
“Yes, you guys are the first people to ever welcome me,” she explained.