Tuesday, April 29, 2008

RESORUCE ~ Praying for Lost Family & Friends

Are You Praying for Lost Loved Ones?

Have you been praying for a lost family member or friend? Here are some tools to help you persevere and keep focused.

Paths of Gold—A Month of Prayers for a Lost Friend: Daily Desktop Prayer Reminder
by Terry Gooding

This daily desktop prayer reminder contains 30 days of Scripture-based prayers that will help you keep praying until your friend commits his or her life to Christ.
Paths of Gold: Praying the Way to Christ for Lost Friends and Family
by Terry Gooding

With five themes, 46 Scripture-based prayers, and space to record how God is moving, this pocket-sized prayer tool will keep you praying for the salvation of your loved ones.
Prayer Evangelism: Pray!®, Issue 50 - September/October 2005
by NavPress

This issue of Pray! highlights how prayer is a strategic and foundational aspect of sharing the good news of Jesus Christ with the world, and it offers insight to help you pray more effectively for the lost.

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Monday, April 21, 2008

Tips on Living an Evangelistic Life as Pastor

SermonCentral.com: Your sermon resource center

Mark Mittelberg
Adapted from the newly updated Becoming a Contagious Church

The shape of a church will be a magnification of the shape of its pastors and leaders. The values that permeate its culture are the values of the people who run it. So if you want to reshape the priorities of any organization, you’re going to have to first reshape the priorities of the men and women who guide it.
Likewise, truly contagious churches don’t grow out of programs, initiatives, curricula, or trumped-up talk about “taking this town for Christ.” Ultimately, they must grow out of the beliefs and values – the very hearts – of the people who lead them. That is why Stage 1 in the 6-Stage Process says that we must each, you and I, “LIVE an Evangelistic Life.
Paul says in Ephesians 5:1, “Be imitators of God, therefore, as dearly loved children.” He goes on to talk about loving people the way Christ did when he gave himself as a sacrifice on our behalf. In effect, Paul is saying, “Lost people matter to God; make certain they matter to you too!” This value must flow from the depths of who we are – and who we are becoming. It really is a heart issue. Jesus said in Matthew 12:34: “Out of the overflow of the heart the mouth speaks.” I’ve discovered this to be true in my own life. The condition of my heart determines the ordering of my priorities, and even the contents of my conversations.

Starting With the Heart
The key for each of us as believers, and especially for pastors, is to do everything we can to keep our hearts warm toward God and toward people, and then to express that warmth in ways that serve those with spiritual needs – and in the process live out this value in front of others in the church. If we want to build contagious churches, we must first become contagious Christians. The old saying really is true; “Speed of the leader, speed of the team.” ===>Click headline for complete article . . .

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Saturday, April 19, 2008

CITY IMPACT ~ Boston, MS: Cityreachers Renew their Passion for City Transformation

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Cityreachers Renew their Passion for City Transformation

Braintree, Mass (April 18) – More than 180 Christian leaders from across the nation came together near Boston this week for the Tenth Anniversary National City Impact Roundtable—“Mobilizing a Diverse Church for City Transformation.

Urban ministry veteran Ray Bakke gave the plenary addresses for the three-day conference in Braintree, Mass., April 14-16. He presented a message on ministry in the city through long-term, faithful witness, sharing his experiences from over 40 years of cityreaching and urban ministry in Chicago and Seattle, and of advising urban ministry practioners in locations around the world. Bakke offered a perspective of having a biblical mission for justice and mercy in tandem with a biblical mission of personal salvation. He gave both a local and global perspective to the conference, which resonated with the diverse crowd representing various ethnicities, generations, types of ministry and several denominations.

Bakke’s talks revolved around the notion of incarnational evangelism rather than missional evangelism. In incarnational evangelism, believers live in neighborhoods and revitalize them over a 10-15 year period, as opposed to the common missional approach where people have short-term evangelism or mercy missions in urban areas and then retreat to the safety of the suburbs.

Bakke’s perspective was inspiring to many. “Just the joy that I hear as Ray speaks, the joy of ministry in the city, in spite of issues and problems,” said Greg Detwiler from Boston. “We need to remember the joy, the good life, of working in the city.”

Bakke noted that for too long the attitude among evangelicals has been, “Just get ‘em saved.” For effective urban missions we need to have a bigger picture of the systems that create wealth and poverty in our cities, he said. The gospel is received more readily when real and felt needs are being addressed by those who also proclaim the good news. He said marketers seem to understand neighborhoods better than the churches do. If you walk into the supermarket, you will be introduced to what the people of the area value, he said.

“If you can read a supermarket, you can read a neighborhood,” Bakke advised.

He maintains that holistic evangelism, addressing the physical and relational needs of people along with their spiritual needs, will attract many to worship at the foot of the cross.

Chung Ha, a CIR participant from the Northfield Foundation in Amherst, Mass., was inspired by Bakke’s perspective and cultural sensitivity.

“I was fascinated by what Ray Bakke shared, especially his openness and his heart. Not only about the ethnic gap in the U.S. but other countries. How to impact other countries without offending,” said Ha, who came to the U.S from Korea. Ha expressed the benefit of interacting with other cityreachers as well.

Dr. Thomas Idiculla, from Agape Partners International, Waltham, Mass., summed up the reason so many from across the country gather for the CIR. “I want to know what is happening in other cities, learn from them, connect with them, and know what the Lord is doing,” he said.

The national CIR is all about learning from each other, according to founder Glenn Barth, who is also president of GoodCities in Minneapolis, Minn. Barth says the CIR exists to empower and resource leaders of cityreaching all over America—whether in Christian community development work, evangelism work, prayer-based work, marketplace evangelism, or other arenas. In all of these contexts, relationship-building among cityreachers is most important.

For Idiculla, who is originally from India, the CIR delivered just that. “The connections we make [here] are more lasting because people are more serious. It is not just a casual contact like some other conferences,” he said. “We had a good opportunity at the roundtables to make connections.”

Roundtable discussions were ample amid the plenary sessions, as well as special interest workshops to speak to the variety of attendees and allow strategizing and problem solving in small groups.

“Small groups are the lifeblood of any cityreach movement,” Barth said. “Intimate relationship has the most powerful social force.”

Diversity of ministries arenas is also important in cityreaching, Barth says. “The healthiest cityreaching efforts are ones with pastors and people in ministry and people actively involved in the marketplace working together,” he said.

Workshops at the CIR reflected that. One workshop, “Partnership 101” led by Phill Butler and Bill Sutherland from visionSynergy, Seattle, Wash., is an intensive training in developing effective partnerships between the church, marketplace, government, ministries and lay people.

Another workshop track involved options of 11 different tours of cityreaching efforts in Boston. Three of the tours focused on the “Quiet Revival” in Boston—the 40-year history of spiritual renewal and church growth in the region. Others included ministries in the areas of youth, the homeless, Haitian immigrants, unreached people, church planting, and college students.

Linda Clark, with the Northeast Apostolic Prayer Network and Emmanuel Gospel Center was glad for the opportunity for others to see the diversity and ministry activities going on in Boston. “We did the Boston tour and it broke a lot of myths people have of Boston [as a spiritually dry place],” she said.

The Emmanuel Gospel Center (EGC) also addressed the CIR gathering on Monday night, offering a moving presentation of the body of Christ working together with presentations from Hatian, Korean, Brazilian Portuguese EGC team members. EGC works to nurture urban churches in the Boston area and collaborates with community-based organizations to empower homeless people, provide training in financial literacy, and equip urban youth leaders.

EGC and Vision New England served as the local hosts for this National City Impact Roundtable meeting.

The event was endorsed by the Mission America Coalition City and Community Ministries division. Mission America is the U.S. Lausanne Committee for World Evangelization. It is a network of national leaders who represent denominations, ministries, and cityreaching efforts with a shared vision to collaborate in prayer, evangelism, and revival. Since its inception, leaders from 81 denominations, over 400 ministries and dozens of ministry networks have been involved in the Coalition. Mrs. Vonette Bright (Campus Crusade for Christ), Dr. Billy Graham (Billy Graham Evangelistic Association), and Dr. John Perkins (Christian Community Development Association) serve as honorary co-chairs.

Contact: Susan Brill, 715-559-1068

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Saturday, April 12, 2008

How we learn to love

See more book notes at www.davidmays.org

MasPrac 07-10-108

Practicing the Presence of People

How we learn to love

Mike Mason

Waterbrook Press, 1999, 272 pp., ISBN 1-57856-265-1

To purchase this book click here.

Mason, a writer, is the author of The Mystery of Marriage and The Gospel According to Job. Formerly a loner and nearly a monk, he almost miraculously discovered people. His series of brief meditations reflect on how we learn to love people and what that means for our relationship with God. Many insightful nuggets surface, some almost poetic. His hope: "I want people to wake up to the wonder of simply being in one another's presence." (115)

"By treating people the same way I treat God, I began to relax with them and enjoy them. Not only that, but the more I make my peace with people, the deeper grows by peace with God. The more I pay attention to people and connect with them, the richer grows my prayer life. The more I give myself to others, the more happy and fulfilled I feel." (4)

"To see other people truly, one must look not from the outside but from the inside. That is, one must enter into relationships." "Love requires getting mixed up with people." (13)

"The way we feel about people is the way we feel about God, and the way we treat people is the way we treat God." (15)

"If I want an accurate answer to the question, 'How am I doing spiritually?' I need only turn my thoughts toward the one person in my life with whom I am having the most trouble. This person represents the place in my heart where peace with God is lacking." "No one can be close to God without also being close to people." (16)

"To practice the presence of people is to choose deliberately to focus on the new creature rather than the old, to see the light in people rather than the darkness." (29) "We must help one another to see and to walk in the light." (30)

===>Click headline to access complete article . . .

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Sunday, April 06, 2008

Coaching? Mentoring? What’s the difference?

Coaching? Mentoring? What’s the difference?

Amanda Thompson, Communications Strategist South Carolina Baptist Convention

It is a hot topic in ministry today.

Perhaps the term has made its way into ministry vernacular, but what does the word “coaching” actually mean in church life?

Coaching has become popular among a church culture today that recognizes that ministry is not an isolated profession. However, the term and process differ considerably from other similar disciplines such as mentoring and consulting.

Dr. Bob Logan, CoachNet International Ministries president, began working with SC Baptist Convention staff 11 months ago to train them in coaching, create a coach training platform with certification from the South Carolina Baptist Convention and how coaching relates to their area of work. Logan draws distinctions between mentoring, consulting and coaching.

“Consultants are experts in their field who will assess a situation and make recommendations, suggestions for change. A mentor is someone who has gone before and generally pours their life into a person. Mentors have track records and are inputting stuff into another person,” he said.

Coaching, Logan states, is more nuanced.

“A coach comes along side and draws out. Coaches ask questions like ‘What’s your thinking?’ They ask powerful questions to facilitate discovery for yourself.”

Logan says a coach will make suggestions and recommendations, but the mentality is to more come along side a person while they are walking through life. A coach typically talks so little when they do speak or recommend the person being coached is very likely to listen and take the advice to heart.

“Missional coaching is the relational process of coming alongside a person or a team to help them discover what God's agenda is for their life and ministry, and then cooperating with the Holy Spirit to see that agenda become a reality,” he said.===>Click headline to access complete article . . .

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Thursday, April 03, 2008

Coaching ~ New Eyes, Not New Knowledge

In coaching the goal is not new information or knowledge. Here's why: more knowledge from the same perspective will produce the same sort of actions.

Transformation comes by increasing the coachee's perspective - helping him or her to see the same world in new ways, through new eyes.

Read the whole article here.

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Culture Change: For Fuzzy to Clear

There is no denying that culture is a powerful catalyst of organizational excellence. After all, culture is the organization's personality-it's how things are done around here. So how does this critical determinant of organizational success get established in most organizations?

Defining Your Corporate Culture

There is no denying that culture is a powerful catalyst of organizational excellence. After all, culture is the organization’s personality—it’s “how things are done around here.” Culture consists of the values, attitudes, beliefs, behaviors, and practices of the organizational members. So how does this critical determinant of organizational success get established in most organizations?

“By default,” according to Chris Edmonds, Senior Consulting Partner with The Ken Blanchard Companies.

“And if organizational cultures are created by default rather than intention,” explains Edmonds, “then it's no wonder that people don't share information. If I win and you lose and that's OK, better luck tomorrow. It's absolutely what you would expect people to do with those kinds of expectations.

“So it goes back to that default intention idea. If you've got people who aren't consistently behaving in ways that deliver high quality solutions; if you've got people who don’t share information, people who are not fun to work with, or easy to work with, or reliable; if you don't have those things appearing in your organization at the frontline day-to-day, then there is something in the organizational expectations that is making that OK.”

The good news, according to Edmonds, is that culture can be changed, but you have to move away from seeing culture as a soft and fuzzy irrelevant concept to seeing it is as vital because of the unspoken and possibly undesirable expectations that get expressed.

“You have to make sure that the expectations are clear and that people are held accountable. This helps people see how culture contributes to making sure that performance gets accomplished. You have to focus on how expectations flow down from senior management to the front lines.”===>Click headline to access complete article . . .

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