Only 20% of Americans regularly attend church, and only 2 in 10 millennials consider regular church attendance important. The Church no longer has the option of embracing change or leaving it to the next generation. The time is now; otherwise, we will become irrelevant. Change is never easy, but anything is possible with the Lord (see Matthew 19:26).
People search online for answers to their problems. They turn to the internet for companionship, understanding, information, anonymity, and more. We must be the voice that answers back, online, to share our message of hope and wholeness. Our digital presence may be the only exposure to the Gospel many people receive. We must recognize that the mission field is online, and just as legitimate as traditional evangelism. Continue Reading…
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We have all felt the impact of Covid-19! This pandemic has acted paradoxically, bringing people together while simultaneously causing separation! It has left leaders from all walks of life trying to cope with and adapt to the “new normal”, and for pastors, to figure out how to engage with and minister to our members through social media platforms on our personal mobile devices.
Adjusting to these new norms is a challenge for all of us. The days of coming together in person for Prayer Meeting, Sabbath School, the Divine Hour, fellowship dinners, Sabbath afternoon Bible study, AYS have now been replaced, for the foreseeable future, with technology as the “middle man.”
Within the context of this current world situation I became interested in finding ways to bring together the generations of our church family on their cell phones. Thus was born Mobile Intergenerational Bible Studies.
Small groups are an essential part of church life. They provide important fellowship connections and foster spiritual growth. In my quest to create intergenerational online small groups, I had to first of all decide which Continue Reading…
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We are all eager to get back to normal, but the reality is that the COVID-19 is changing the way we will do the digital aspects of life and ministry going into the future. How will we respond? Read More…
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On a typical Sabbath, my church’s worship space is filled with a 120 people. There is laughter over shared jokes, children comparing MineCraft tips, and swapping of ministry ideas. But these days are not typical. The chairs are empty and the space is quiet. Preaching to an empty room is a necessity, not a choice. Recognizing that this change is necessary, here are my top tips for using sermon time effectively without an in-person audience. Read More
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Pastor Phil White of the Simi Valley Seventh-day Adventist Church had a problem. In his own words, he said, “I was fat, exercise challenged, and not very happy with the road my health was taking.” His wife Jan, had similar concerns, especially when she got the results of a blood test. Phil and Jan decided they wanted to improve their chances of watching their grandchildren grow up. What they did had a spill over effect in their church.
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Pastor Jose Cortes, Associate Director for Evangelism at the North American Division, recently posted this article on his facebook page with some very helpful ideas on how we, as Christians, can handle Halloween:
Halloween seems to be the one holiday in American Christianity
that we just don’t know what to do with. We happily celebrate cultural or
historical holidays like the Fourth of July, Thanksgiving, or New Year’s Day.
We love religious holidays like Easter and Christmas. But Halloween has quite a
dark history, and we don’t know how to approach it. As Christians we can either
pretend that it doesn’t exist (even though it does) or we can seize a great
opportunity right in front of us to reach out to our neighborhoods, friends or
colleagues. Here you will find some tips on how to use this Holiday as a
1. Be present: Don’t hide out all night. Open your church, and if
families stop by, have some cider, get to know their names and where they live
in the neighborhood.
2. Think of the Parents: Consider having some hot chocolate and
pumpkin bread out for the parents who are bringing their kids around the block.
Make church’s entryway inviting so they want to come closer or inside and hang
for a bit if possible.
3. Pass out Christian goodies: Halloween is the one night of the
year when strangers literally will show up on your church or home doorsteps
looking for handouts. Why not make sure they walk away with something
meaningful? If you’re planning on handing out candy this Halloween, you could
hand out a few tasteful tracts as well.
4. Host a Light Party! How can we be the light if we are hiding in
our homes; with the lights out, not answering the door? We are to be the light,
not hiding in the dark. You can host a Light Party in your home or in your
church. Turn on all the lights in your church, hang up some bright Christmas
lights, play Christian music, and hand out candy with handwritten notes saying,
“Jesus loves you”. You can offer free hot chocolate and free prayers.
Be the brightest place on the block, not the darkest.
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If you haven’t received one yet, you probably will. Nasty emails can not only hurt, but leave us with a sense of “what do I do now.” You’re first inclination might be to respond in kind, defend yourself, or maybe even just ignore it. But what is the best thing to do? Here’s a helpful article with practical advice on 4 Rules for Responding to Nasty Emails.
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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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