Wednesday, April 25, 2007

Quote; Unquote . . .

When the church began to institutionalize
and focus on gaining influence in political arenas
and amassing wealth and respectability in global affairs,
it lost its mooring --
the central message of hope and healing
that will transform individuals and cultures."

Bob Roberts, Jr., Transformation

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Tuesday, April 17, 2007

City Impact Roundtable: Earwitness Reports

IRM Featured Cities' Conference Call Reminder

Even if you are not able to be at this week's National City Impact Roundtable in El Paso, TX, you will be able to interact with and hear the comments of several key leaders who will have attended.

We invite you to be a part of this conference next Tuesday, April 24, at 9:00 AM (Pacific Standard Time) by calling our:

New Conference Call Number
Number: 712-451-6100
Access Code:1039646#

Dennis Fuqua
International Renewal Ministries | 5511 SE Hawthorne Blvd. | Portland | OR | 97215 •

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Saturday, April 07, 2007

SHARE ~ Outrageous Outreach

Hog Heaven: Our Biker Sunday
by Clark Cothern

Our church meets in a rented high school cafetorium, averaging 120 in worship each week.

During each of our two "seeker seasons" in spring and fall, we pour lots of energy into one major "outrageous outreach"–something unusual, fun, and aimed at reaching a subcommunity within our community. This year we upped the octane level and cranked up our first ever Biker Sunday.

We realized that most of us know someone or live near someone who rides a motorcycle, and several of us actually ride a bike either for pleasure or to save money on gas. As opposed to a black tie and tails evening, this was a black leather and doo-rag afternoon. We got ready to rumble, and our people got really revved up for reaching those not yet convinced about the lordship of Jesus Christ.

After months of prayer and preparation===>Click headline to access complete article . . .

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Friday, April 06, 2007

CARE ~ Men Adopt "Widows & Orphans"

Men roll up sleeves for widows, sole mothers

By Lavinia Ngatoko in Challenge Weekly, New Zealand
Special to ASSIST News Service

AUCKLAND, NZ (ANS) -- A new and unique men's ministry to the widowed, solo parents and others with long-term needs in their churches and communities is being launched in a number of churches around New Zealand.

LONG-TERM CARE: Two men from New Commandment Men's Ministries pray with widow after working around her house.

Promise Keepers New Zealand, with New Commandment Men's Ministries in the United States, is assisting churches from Nelson through to Tokoroa, Tauranga and Auckland to get the programme going.

Herb Reese established New Commandment Men's Ministries in Broomfield, Colorado, when he realised after pastoring in a number of churches that although the Bible talks about widows, single mothers, fatherless children and other people in distress, many Christians did not know how to serve them.

He made it a priority everywhere he served to encourage men who loved Christ to assist such people. New Commandment ministries helps churches to recruit, train, organise and deploy teams of men for this purpose.

John Subritzky, communications director for Promise Keepers, says the programme is still in the beginning stages, with a few churches about to start sending out teams.

A team of about four men will give three hours of one Saturday morning a month to do chores such as cleaning carpets, windows and stoves, fixing plumbing, checking smoke detectors, lights, faulty taps and roofs and do any building work required.

All the teams must meet for prayer, Bible study and last-minute planning before going out. At the end of its visit, each team reads scripture, prays with those who have been helped and for other people in need on the block.

The thing that makes this ministry unique is that each team "adopts" a person and returns to the same person each month. So rather than becoming just another monthly project for men, the relationships built between the team and those helped and among the men on each team become powerful and compelling.

Mr Subritzky says that often when a person had gone through a crisis or traumatic ordeal such as the death of a loved one, everyone rallies around them for the first few weeks before moving on.

With this ministry, teams were permanent and their service could extend over months and years.

"You are moving away from just meeting a need to showing the love of Christ," said Mr Subritzky. "You're actually caring for them. It is great to have men's groups so mission focused."

Although the vision of the ministry need not necessarily be limited to those in the Church, Mr Subritzky says those within the Church who need help will be given priority.

The safety and security of those helped and the helpers was of primary concern and a number of policies had been recommended.

These include: No team member should go to help alone or be alone in a room with a child of any age; if budgeting or debt relief is sought, the pastor or appropriate staff person should be notified and team members are not allowed to give investment advice. Group meetings should not be skipped before going to the care receiver's home.

Churches are also encouraged to do background checks on the men who are participating.

Lavinia Ngatoko reports for Challenge Weekly, New Zealand's independent and non-denominational Christian newspaper

** You may republish this story with proper attribution.

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Monday, April 02, 2007

Changing the Culture ~ A Dangerous Prayer

Ray Pritchard
Last march a very wise friend summed up the truth this way: "Everyone wants progress. No one wants change." That one statement summarizes the problem facing almost every church in America. We all want progress. No one wants change. We all say we want to make progress in reaching the world, but no one wants things to change.

Change propels us out of our comfort zone.Change forces us out of our ruts.Change destabilizes our routine.Change challenges our priorities.Change disrupts our plans.Change causes us to ask new questions and seek new answers to old questions.Change introduces us to whole new set of problems.Change opens the door to exciting opportunities.Change stretches us in ways we don't want to be stretched.Change upsets the apple cart.Change kicks us out of the recliner.Change rearranges our daily schedule===>Click headline to access complete text . . .

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SHARE ~ Newspaper Ads: Effective?

Why Church Ads in the Newspaper Don't Work

Ministry Communications - Yvon Prehn

With the computing power available to today's churches including the ability to create your own invitation cards, postcards, websites, email newsletters, and a host of additional digital communications in every form from podcasts to U-Tube videos, church ads are probably one of the least effective ways to market your church, especially if you want to reach unchurched people. For an alternative to reaching people and growing your church, read on.

To Read The Entire Article, Click Here!

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Prayer-Care-Share Requires "Cross Cultural" Understanding

See more book notes at

Serving the World in Christlike Humility
Duane Elmer, InterVarsity, 2006, 212 pp., ISBN 0-8308-3378-1

“Servanthood is revealed in simple, everyday events. But it’s complex because servanthood is culturally defined—that is, serving must be sensitive to the cultural landscape while remaining true to the Scripture. That is both the challenge and burden of servanthood—and of this book.” (12)

“We serve people by entering into a relationship of love and mutual commitment.” (13)

“We are never more like Jesus than when we serve others.” (21) “For the life of Christ to be reproduced in us, it must be through servanthood, because that is what Christ told us and showed us.” (24) “In the kingdom, greatness is judged by service to people.” (25)

“Others can’t see our motives, only our actions, which become the basis for their impression of us.” (28)

“Humility’s face is revealed in…any gracious act offered with no thought of returned favor or desire to announce the good deed. Such deeds, born of a humble spirit, are usually unconscious because they are embedded as a lifestyle….” (30)

“Humility unites us while pride divides us.” “We can’t follow Christ as humble servants and participate in quarrelsome relationships.” (31) “Humility is a lifestyle, not isolated incidents.” (32)

“…becoming a servant is a journey—a pilgrimage. While not complicated, the steps require considerable discipline and perseverance….” “Therefore, let us intentionally, every day, ask what we have learned about how a servant looks and acts in this culture. Otherwise we may be deluded into thinking we are serving when others may not see it that way at all.” (37)

The outline of the book develops around the following rubric:
· “Serving. You can’t serve someone you do not understand….
· Understanding. You can’t understand others until you have learned…from them.
· Learning. You can’t learn important information from someone until there is trust in the relationship.
· Trust. To build trust others must know that you accept and value them as people.
· Acceptance. Before you can communicate acceptance, people must experience your openness—your ability to welcome them into your presence.
· Openness. …you are willing to step out of your comfort zone to initiate and sustain relationships in a world of cultural differences.” (38)

“Serving people is not just doing what seems good in our own culture but seeking out the knowledge of the people, learning from them, knowing their cultural values and then acting in ways that support the fabric of the culture to the degree possible. After taking these steps, we ill have served them.” (114)

“Serving without understanding creates confusion or worse.” (146)

Further Reading:
Cross-Cultural Conflict, Duane Elmer, InterVarsity Press,
Cross-Cultural Connections, Duane Elmer, InterVarsity Press
David Mays
Helping leaders fulfill their roles in the Great Commission

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