Friday, December 28, 2007

Quote; Unquote . . .

Christians are now the foreigners in a post-Christian culture,

and we have got to wake up to this reality if we haven't."

Dan Kimball, They Like Jesus but Not the Church

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Wednesday, December 26, 2007

SHARE ~ Various Approaches Needed to Overcome the Law of Evangelistic Entropy

God Weeps Over Your Unsaved Business Colleague Jesus tells of the shepherd searching for the one lost sheep out of a hundred and of the father welcoming his wayward son home. Jesus also tells of the woman who searches for lost coins, each worth about a day's wage. There is an urgency to God's search for each person.

Luke 15:4:10

"Suppose one of you has a hundred sheep and loses one of them. Does he not leave the ninety-nine in the open country and go after the lost sheep until he finds it? And when he finds it, he joyfully puts it on his shoulders and goes home. Then he calls his friends and neighbors together and says, ORejoice with me; I have found my lost sheep.' I tell you that in the same way there will be more rejoicing in heaven over one sinner who repents than over ninety-nine righteous persons who do not need to repent. "Or suppose a woman has ten silver coins and loses one. Does she not light a lamp, sweep the house and search carefully until she finds it? And when she finds it, she calls her friends and neighbors together and says, ORejoice with me; I have found my lost coin.' In the same way, I tell you, there is rejoicing in the presence of the angels of God over one sinner who repents."

In business terms ...

Christians can be hindered by traditional ideas of what evangelism looks like. The average Christian thinks, It means getting out and knocking on doors. I don't know if I can do that. We would like to reach lost people, but doing so doesn't feel like us. In the New Testament, Peter was confrontational, while Paul took an intellectual approach. The blind man in John 9 took a testimonial approach, and the woman at the well, an invitational approach. So let's free ourselves up. Let's not lay guilt trips on people by acting as though if they really loved Jesus, they would do it just like us. Let's find approaches that fit the personalities God gave each of us. Evangelism naturally tends to slip more than any other biblical value. It is what I call the law of evangelistic entropy. I've been negatively surprised by how rapidly this value slips, even in people who are fired up to share their faith. A year passes, and they've slipped into comfortable Christianity.

Denominations that started with evangelism as a priority can quickly become institutionalized. Evangelism is too often relegated to a statement on the front of a bulletin instead of a value by which we live. - Mark Mittelberg

Something to Think About ...

The gospel must be preached afresh and told in new ways to every generation, since every generation has its own unique questions. The gospel must constantly be forwarded to a new address, because the recipient is repeatedly changing his place of residence. - Helmut Thielicke

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Saturday, December 22, 2007

Eight ways to build collaborative teams

Power Of Connecting logo

Eight ways to build collaborative teams

Excerpted from The Harvard Business Review
Article by Lynda Gratton and Tamara J. Erickson

The authors recommend these practices for encouraging collaboration in complex teams:
  • Invest in building and maintaining social relationships throughout your [network or partnership].
  • Model collaborative behavior.
  • Use coaching to reinforce a collaborative culture.
  • Train employees in the specific skills required for collaboration: appreciating others, engaging in purposeful conversation, productively and creatively resolving conflicts, and managing programs.
  • Support a sense of community by sponsoring events and activities.
  • Ensure that at least 20%-40% of a new team's members already know one another.
  • Change your leadership style as your team develops.
  • Assign distinct roles so team members can do their work independently.
Lynda Gratton is a professor of management practice at London Business School and a senior fellow at the Advanced Institute of Management. Tamara J. Erickson is president of the Concours Institute.

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SHARE ~ Mega-Church Secret: More Inviters Per Capita

Who is the book for and why should they read it?
[Dave and Scott] The book is for all persons interested in the megachurch phenomena. Megachurch leaders will profit from reading it because it helps them understand their own churches in a larger context. Leaders of smaller churches will enjoy reading it because it shows megachurch practices that are different from their own. Consultants, reporters and academic readers will see the important statistics and observations as critical to building their own frameworks and understandings of larger churches in the context of the entire American religious scene.

What's one thing you've learned from your experience with megachurches?
[Scott] One of the most basic and yet profoundly significant lessons from the
research for me was that these churches have attendees who are eager to invite others to church. It is absolutely clear that the churches with the larger percentage of attendees involved in inviting others are also those growing the most rapidly. These people are excited to be there because their spiritual needs are being met in relevant and practical ways, with great contemporary worship, and in a meaningful place to minister to others through their own gifts and interests.

Download a sample chapter or order the book online:

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Friday, December 21, 2007

CARE ~ More Than Care; Justice!

John Perkins
Lord, Give Us Leaders Who Can Lead Us to Justice—John Perkins

Big Idea:
Biblical leaders are more likely to emerge from the right environment.

Outline and Transcript
Audio Sermon

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CARE ~ Good Works Produce Good WIll To Share the Good News

Jan 9, 2007 Number 40 --

Good Works - Externally Focused Churches Facilitate New Ministry

===>Click headline to access . . .

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Monday, December 17, 2007

LC2C -Charleston, WV: A Christmas Story

Pastor Norm is a vital part of our local CIR and has been with us throughout the LC2C process. The networking relationships have contributed to the success. Instead of doing our regular outreach this Christmas Season ... we ... threw our support behind this outreach.
Blessings, Ron Thaxton, LC2C in Charleston, WV

Dear Friends,

I tell people that our Christmas Toy Store stretches my faith every year. But , more than that I get to see God do incredible things in the lives of people. First the statistics. We had right at 300 families representing about 740 children which is $51,800 in Christmas toys given away. In addition, we provided some gifts for some other ministries in our area that were reaching out to families during the hospital including a church in Ivydale that is doing a special program for foster children next week.

The best news of all is that 50 people made life changing commitments to Jesus Christ. Most of those were first time decisions. Among those was a lady Friday night who told her counselor that she had never heard the gospel message as a whole before in her life. We take so much for granted and forget there are so many who do not have a relationship with Jesus. Today, one of the parents we reached out to with toy store was the aunt of the six year old girl who was killed in Hamlin last week. We got to spend time with her before she went to the funeral.

I want to thank all of the many hundreds of people who have come through to be a part of the success of toy store this year. Just a week ago, I was concerned because the volunteer list was very low and we didn't even have churches scheduled to help with meals for volunteers. The last two shifts we had an abundance of volunteers and were able to minister more personally to all of the families.

One of the stories that has touched my heart the most was the story of a teenager who has been an active volunteer in toy store for many years. The teen was one of a small group of people who knew exactly where we were moneywise and the fact that we were near the bottom of the barrel on this last day as we tried to provide for the last families. He came to me before toy store with about $100 in cash and handed it to me. I asked "who is this from?" assuming someone had come in and dropped it off. "Me," he said. I know this teen and know this was a mighty sacrifice on his part. We have had larger gifts, but this one touched me deeper than the most, because I knew it came from his heart.

Thanks again to allow who volunteered, provided food and other items, prayed and gave toys or money. God has used your gifts in mighty ways.
In His Grip, Norm Cannada

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CARE ~ Getting Your Church Started

Conspiracy of Kindness
Four Weeks To A Church That Thinks Differently
Start a Conspiracy of Kindness in your community... This encouraging study is based on the model of Jesus, who followed the approach of meeting the challenges of the people at hand.

Dissecting a Kindness Project
Coffee And Hot Chocolate Giveaway
Coffee, cappuccino, and good hot chocolate are all the rage these days; so wherever the chance presents itself, bring it to people during cooler months.

World-Changing Kindness Projects
Holiday Outflow Ideas
By Tracy Larson
If there is ever a season to seize the moments to show God's love to others it is during the Christmas season. It seems as though God just opens up the airwaves to his love and kindness during this time of year.

Ask Dr. Savant
How Do I Begin Teaching My People SE?
By Dr. Savant
This month Dr. Savant fields a question from a pastor looking for the tips on introducing servant evangelism to his congregation for the first time.

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Friday, December 14, 2007

CARE ~ Helping or Hurting the Poor?

How to Help the Poor Without Hurting Them...and Ourselves by Dr. Brian Fikkert, Chalmers Center Executive Director

We’ve all been in this situation: A poorly dressed person approaches our church asking for help with buying groceries. We want to help out, but how? If we give them money, perhaps they will waste it. And if we take the time to go to the grocery store with them, what will prevent them from needing help again in about a week or two? Many of us have a sense that our efforts to help the poor often fail to bring any lasting improvement. But the situation is often worse than we may imagine: Our efforts to help... Read More >>

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Thursday, December 13, 2007

Coaching ~ Asking The Right Question Wrongly

The Five Top Asking Mistakes Coaches Make
(And How to Correct Them)

From the forthcoming book, "Coaching Questions: A Coaches Guide to Powerful Asking Skills"
By Tony Stoltzfus

From long experience as a coach trainer, here's my personal list of the top five asking mistakes coaches make.

1. Closed Questions
Our #1 offender is—closed questions! Open questions have two important benefits: they let the coachee direct the conversation (you can answ
er in many different ways) and they make the coachee think by eliciting more than one-word answers. While most people will answer the occasional closed question as if it were open, too many will shut people down.

To convert closed questions to open ones, first become aware of what you are asking. If you catch yourself before you've finished asking, you can simply restate the question. You'll know its a closed question if it can be answered with a simply "yes" or "no", like these examples:

  • "Is there a way to do that and still keep evenings for family?"
  • "Can you realistically take that on too?"
  • "Could there be any other ways to approach that?"
  • "Do you have any other options?"

If you catch yourself in the act of asking a closed question, here's a quick technique for readjusting: just start again with the word "what" or "how". Here are the closed questions above, made open:

Read full article

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Monday, December 10, 2007

CARE ~ Justice in the Burbs

The focus of Justice in the Burbs [Baker Books, 2007] by Will and Lisa Samson is on action—being the hands of Jesus wherever you live, as the subtitle says. This book, written by an award-winning Christian novelist and her husband, who’s working on his PhD in sociology, is half fiction and half non-fiction. The fictional part of the book describes a story of a husband and wife who live in the suburbs and start feeling the need to be more connected to issues of justice. The non-fictional component follows this storyline with Biblical facts and examples as to how and why the Christian couple were Biblically sound in their endeavors—and how they (and others reading the book) could do more to promote justice where they live.

This book was incredibly easy to read, with tons of great information and inspiration. And the fictional story is compelling—I cried several times at the heartache and joys the family encountered. I could see my friends and family in the faces Lisa described.

The only thing I didn’t love about the book was the last chapter. In the “Benediction”, Lisa ends the story of the husband and wife with a story of a happy family living simply. It’s a beautiful picture of love and grace, but it didn’t seem like enough to me. After ruminating on their words about justice, I wanted a vision of a world free from poverty and injustice.

But everything else about the book was beautiful, and the aspect I liked best was that Will and Lisa were providing guidance to all Christians about how to “bloom where you are planted”. This is important to me in my life and ministry because I thought at an early age that I was supposed to be a missionary. I’ve spent several summers in foreign countries evangelizing and working with churches and children’s ministries. But it never felt quite right. I kept feeling called to be at home, living in community and addressing the needs of my neighbors.

So this book is perfect for people like me who feel called into the mission field at their front door—it provides great examples, ideas, meditations, and tools that can be used in our ministries. But it’s also perfect for anyone who desires to learn more about Jesus’ heart for the poor and “least of these”.

Elizabeth Exley

Phone: 703-283-9786


Ministry: I’m currently working on my PhD in health policy, serve with a refugee ministry at our new church (Revolution) in Kansas City and an elder ministry, and run a couple of blogs ( and with my husband.

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Thursday, November 15, 2007

Leadership Network's Most Popular Resources

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Tuesday, November 13, 2007

CARE ~ Making Christmas Count

Outward Focused Living
Making This Christmas Count Where You Live
By Gail Henderson
Bathrobes and Burger King crowns have transformed my front lawn wherever I have lived for the past 25 years. Each year God orchestrates the miracle known as a ?Neighborhood Christmas pageant.?

Servant Evangelism
Planting Seeds of Love
By The Courier-Journal
This article appeared in The Courier-Journal, reported by Angie Fenton. It is a report on our good friend Robert Pittman and his allies' acts of love and hospitality on a city-wide scale, Love Louisville.

Being Missional
I See Invisible People
By Tony Vaughn
Betty is what I call one of the ?invisible people.? I came to know Betty because when people from our church would do our periodic ?kindness in action? projects, I would stop by Betty?s place.

KSI: Dissecting a Kindness Project
Watter Bottle Give Away
Giving away bottles of water is one of the easiest ways to launch Servant Evangelism where you live. This month we'll investigate what goes into a successful water give away.

Deep Thoughts
Mr. Link
By Scott Bane
One of the first people that I met when we moved into our new house, here in Florida is a self-described, "old man" named Link. Now, everyone on this street knows our names. Link told them.

World-Changing Kindness Projects
Christmas Gift-Wrapping
By 101 Ways To Reach Your Community
Check out this timely adaptation from 101 Ways To Reach Your Community, part of a 3 book series that will equip you with more than 300 ways to show God's love in practical ways.
Ask Dr. Savant
Clearing the Debris
By Dr. Savant
This month the Doctor of Outward-Focus fields a question about releasing a passion for people. His answers helps us clear the way for the love of Jesus to shine through us.

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Saturday, November 10, 2007

Coaching ~ A Definition

What's "Coaching" To You?

by Keith Webb

What you mean by the terms "coach" and "coaching" will affect how you'll coach and the results you'll get.

A few years ago I sat down and researched various definitions of coaching. Marketplace definitions from the 1980s emphasized coaching only for job performance. Those definitions shifted drastically in the 1990s to holistic personal growth and unlimited human potential.

Until two years ago, Christian definitions echoed the marketplace versions or focused on mentoring functions like guiding and teaching. (One brilliant exception is Steve Ogne's early definition that still deserves attention.)

Here's my definition of coaching:

"Coaching is an ongoing intentional conversation that empowers a person or group to fully live out God's calling."

Let's take a look at the meaning. Watch for how the definition affects the process and results of coaching.

Ongoing: Coaching is a process. It's most successful over a period of time through regular interactions. I usually coach people 60 minutes every two weeks.

Intentional Conversation: The coaching conversation is different than a friendship or mentoring or teaching conversations. Coaching uses special techniques to keep the coachee in the driver's seat reflecting on ideas, making decisions, and taking action. Every conversation is expected to produce Spirit-led discoveries, insights, and action steps.

Empowers: The overall outcome of a coaching relationship is the coachee feels empowered. She grows. She feels equipped to think through and handle situations better. And she's been doing it all throughout the coaching relationship. There's no dependency on the coach.

A Person or Group: Coaching focuses on an individual's reflection, growth, and actions. Groups can also be coached, but only on the group's goals, not each individual's growth needs.

Fully live out: To thrive and excel and live up to full potential.

God's Calling: Here's where my definition diverges from many others. I believe that a coach's job is not to help a coachee to achieve whatever he wants, instead we help him to become what God would have him become (Eph 1:4, 5), and do what God would have him do (Eph 2:10). We steward the calling, gifting, and potential that God has given each person.

How do coaches do all this? With special techniques and a lot of practice! That's why we created a professional level coaching course for Christian leaders.

What are your thoughts on this definition of coaching? Let us know at our new blog. ===>Click headline to access website . . .

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Thursday, November 01, 2007

CARE ~ RAOK, the Bridge to Sharing Winning Them with Kindness
A young mom's simple mission to transform her world.
By John W. Kennedy

Re'na Garcia is a 24-year-old wife and mother of two preschoolers, a full-time nanny to two other children, and director of student ministries at a Nashville Evangelical Covenant church. She leads a busy life, but her favorite part of the day is when she goes out to RAOK her world—as in performing "Random Acts of Kindness."

Finish this article

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SHARE ~ Roller Skares?

The irony is that while many of us are in churches and denominations that have a rich heritage and strong reputation for evangelism, in many cases, precious little is actually happening."
Mark Mittelberg, Building a Contagious Church

See the archive of the Zondervan Quote of the Day and put the widget on your site.

U.S. Churches Reach Out With Coffee and Roller Rinks
(Reuters) While many U.S. churches have a Starbucks or gymnasium in the building, a growing number of evangelicals are taking a different approach: rather than giving churchgoers good coffee or a sports league, they're offering coffee or roller-skating to the public -- and hoping newcomers will get to know God while they're there....
[Read the article]

>Timely resources for further reading, listening, & viewing:
[] The American Church in Crisis by David T. Olson (coming March 2008)
[] The Purpose Driven Church: Growth Without Compromising Your Message and Mission by Rick Warren
[] Building a Contagious Church: Increasing Your Church's Evangelistic Temperature by Mark Mittelberg
[] Breakout Churches: Discover How to Make the Leap by Thom S. Rainer
[] The Unchurched Next Door: Understanding Faith Stages as Keys to Sharing Your Faith by Thom S. Rainer
[] Surprising Insights from the Unchurched and Proven Ways to Reach Them by Thom S. Rainer
[] Who Is My Enemy?: Welcoming People the Church Rejects by Rich Nathan
[] No Perfect People Allowed: Creating a Come-as-You-Are Culture in the Church by John Burke
[] Worship Evangelism: Inviting Unbelievers into the Presence of God by Sally Morgenthaler
[] Seeker Small Groups: Engaging Spiritual Seekers in Life-Changing Discussions by Garry Poole
[] Inside the Mind of Unchurched Harry and Mary: How to Reach Friends and Family Who Avoid God and the Church by Lee Strobel
[] Inside the Soul of a New Generation: Insights and Strategies for Reaching Busters by Tim Celek, Dieter Zander, & Patrick Kampert
[] Do They Run When They See You Coming?: Reaching Out to Unchurched Teenagers by Jonathan McKee
[] Getting Students to Show Up: Practical Ideas for Any Outreach Event-from 10 to 10,000 by Jonathan McKee

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Tuesday, October 23, 2007

CARE ~ Report from Pilot City Cedar Rapids


On Saturday, the 20th we had an awesome day with a large CARE initiative from 8:00 a.m. until 12 p.m.

  1. Bless the schools:
  2. We were on the campuses of 5 schools systems
    1. Cedar Rapids – 12 locations
    2. College Community – 1 location
    3. CPU / Center Point Urbana – 3 locations
    4. Linn-Mar – 7 locations

i. One of our pastors who was also the site manager, divided some of his flowers and brought them to the school.

ii. One of our local greenhouses donated a large amount of fall flowers and bulbs for spring to one of the schools.

    1. Marion – 7 locations
    2. Total of 30 locations in the five districts
    3. We had over 340 volunteers from 27 congregations show up to bless the schools,

i. I had asked for 660 which we did not make – turned out to be a good thing although we could have put 40 more to work.

ii. The Marion district had 5 locations we could not get to for lack of help BUT they were amazed at what we did. So am I actually.

iii. The "people had a mind to work" – although smaller in number than asked for, these volunteers REALLY worked hard!

    1. I have personally spoken on Saturday and today with 2 of the five buildings and grounds managers

i. CR Schools – Tom is VERY happy and all his building engineers were appreciative of the work AND the attitudes of those serving.

· He is open to this being an annual event!

· We exceeded his expectations and actually exceeded mine.

ii. Marion – "I cannot find words to express my gratitude" We exceeded his expectations.

iii. Linn-Mar – one of the teachers told us the staff would be VERY appreciative when they came in on Monday. The B & G man said he could tell the difference from his truck as he drove by two of the schools on his way to the office this morning.

iv. College Community – no contact today as yet

v. CPU: no contact today as yet

  1. Kids Against Hunger: We had a goal of 108 people (9 lines of 12)
    1. Over 84 people showed up,
    2. Each paying $ 42.00 to cover the ingredients and the shipping costs.
    3. With 14,472 meals packaged to send to a nation that we will choose where people are starving. The food will go a missions group.
  2. Blood Drive
    1. We had a goal of 60 people.
    2. 71 showed up with 7 being 'deferred'
    3. 64 donors sending blood to an area blood bank
    4. The blood bank folks gave us a good report, many smiles.
  3. Food -Drive for local food pantries
    1. I canceled it due to lack of admin help and
    2. The Boy Scouts were having their annual food drive on Saturday also, seemed like a good thing to 'not compete.'
    3. We will work on this in November.
  4. Prayer Room
    1. The Serve The City area prayer team was alerted to the days activities via email.
    2. We had a central prayer room at The Alliance Church that was staffed from 7:30 to 1:00 pm.
    3. We had an excel spread sheet for all 30 school locations with the location and each volunteers name. Every volunteer that pre-registered had their name called out loud and were prayed for.
    4. A visual for the blood drive and a visual for the Kids Against Hunger.
  5. Injuries – I have had no reports of any injuries! With 14 chain saws going (that I know of), 26 people up on roofs, a handful on ladders painting, axes, machetes, weed whackers etc. going, no injuries. One of the pastors had his machete fly off the tree and into his leg but no skin was broken! This is a real praise the Lord.
  6. No shows: This was less than 10 that I have had reported HOWEVER, we over 20 show up that had not registered! Both of these numbers are amazing!
  7. Couldn't find us: As far as I know, we only had four people (2 couples) that could not find their work crews and went home. I have spoken by phone to one couple and written them both a letter of apology.

It was a very good day!
Charles Daugherty

===>Click headline to access Serve The City website . . .

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Monday, October 22, 2007

Changing Church Culture through Organic Community

creating a place where people naturally connect
by: Joseph R. Myers
Baker Books, 2007

From the foreword by Randy Frazee teaching pastor, Willow Creek Community Church; author, The Connecting Church and Making Room for Life:

A new reality is upon us, and change is already delinquent.

In the pit of the stomachs of most church leaders I know, there is this gnawing sense that Christian community has to be more natural, spontaneous, and life-giving. Yet most of us in ministry today have been trained to offer up models that are often overprogrammed and contrived.

Readers beware. Joe is not offering "Organic Community Kits." That is not his style. Rather, he provides a solid framework and makes us think for ourselves. He even encourages us to challenge his thinking. After years of being friends with him, I know that Joe is less interested in people thinking he is right than in good, healthy, honest dialogue taking place on the real issues of community.

===>Click headline to access a few dozen significant quotes from the book . . .

===>Click here for more information on the book . . .

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Tuesday, October 16, 2007

CARE ~ Caring Carefully for the Community

Externally focused churches pour much of what they have--funds, time and people--into the community. But these congregations don't give their resources carelessly.

With solutions to community issues becoming more complex and resources becoming more limited, churches are constantly weighing the risks and rewards of community ministry. Those church leaders must invest prayerfully, strategically, and compassionately--all the while making wise plans that yield results.

These churches have discovered the following strategies to guide them as they leverage resources to bring about community transformation===>Click headline to access article . . .

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SHARE ~ Do You Know Me?

Top 10 Things You Should Know About Unchurched People - WEB EXCLUSIVE!
If you want them to hear what you're saying, here's what you should know about the way they think! Kem Meyer, communications director at Granger Community Church (our One-to-Watch) reveals key communication clues for connecting with your unchurched guests.

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Monday, October 15, 2007

SHARE ~ CHRISTmas Parties

Thank you so much for your prayers for this last weekend. God answered! (Surprised?)
  • About 200 people stood to their feet to commit to purposefully PRAY FOR , CARE FOR, AND SHARE CHRIST WITH THEIR NEIGHBORS!
  • Then, about 100 people signed up to come to one of the THREE MODEL CHRISTMAS PARTIES next weekend! (The way we train churches is by actually hosting a full fleged party, just like the manual teaches, at a church member's home. That way, they will feel exactly what their neighbors will feel when they host a similar party in December. It is a fun, low-threat way to open the doors to redemptive friendships in your neighborhood!)
  • To listen to Becky and me speak (31 min), simply click on
  • For our resources, go to Then to Products
We would love to get your feedback after listening. We are preparing similar messages for our conferences in Peoria, IL Oct 26-28 and Garland, TX Nov 2-4. Your feed back could help us be more effective.

Thank you for praying for this new season for us of speaking and mobilising believers into the Harvest!

In the JOY of serving Jesus!
Norm & Becky Wretlind

"Hearts on Fire - Lives on Purpose"
"Equipping The Saints for Personal Evangelism"
Kingdom Building Ministries, 14485 E. Evans Ave,, Aurora, CO 80014
800-873-8957 /

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Thursday, October 04, 2007

CARE ~ How do we get permission for our care projects?

We Can't Even Get Permission...

By Dr. Savant

I am trying to start the new servant evangelism ministry in our church and am having some trouble. We would like to start with something simple, like handing out water. We are looking at places that will not effect their sales, but reach a decent amount of people. Most companies have turned us down when we ask for permission to hand out water one Saturday. Do you have any advice on getting past this?


A reoccurring issue for the Doctor to tackle: How do we get permission to do projects that will show our city the love of God in practical ways? For once and for all... YOU DON'T ASK!

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Tuesday, October 02, 2007

SHARE ~ The effectiveness of evangelism depends on it.

===>Click headline to access an article on the cultural imperative to re-examine our methods of evangelism . . .

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