Thursday, May 29, 2008

Changing Church Culture. Two Resources

A New Kind of Church: Understanding Models of Ministry for the 21st Century

By Aubrey Malphurs

A thorough examination of what new-model churches are changing and a strategy for determining their effectiveness.


Preparing for Change Reaction: How to Introduce Change in Your Church

By Bob Whitesel

Professor and church consultant, Whitesel shows church leaders how to insure success by introducing change well.



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Tuesday, May 27, 2008

CARE ~ Prepare to Serve in a Disaster (Mezzo/Macro)

cen_logo_200x71

AWARE - READY - THERE!

Christian Emergency Network (CEN) is a communications and collaboration network mobilizing Christians and their churches to support the nation’s readiness agenda. By networking and educating Christians to be aware, ready and there before during and after disasters, CEN is preparing the church to be a source of hope, comfort and salvation during times of national crisis.

The Christian Emergency Network (CEN) rallies Christians in emergencies of all kinds. Our goal is for the network to be the first point of contact for any person facing a life-threatening situation who does not know Jesus Christ. CEN unites with thousands of Christian organizations, ministries, churches, media and millions of individuals to offer Hope to the hopeless.

The Lord says:
"I will rescue those who love me. I will protect those who trust in my name. When they call upon me, I will answer; I will be with them in trouble. I will rescue them and honor them. I will satisfy them with a long life and give them my salvation." Psalms 91:14-16

CEN ENCOURAGES CHRISTIANS TO FOLLOW A THREE-STEP READINESS AND RESPONSE PROCESS:

  1. "Be Aware" of our uncertain times from a Biblical worldview;
  2. "Be Ready " physically, emotionally and spiritually; and
  3. "Be There" responding as courageous disciples who are praying, caring and sharing Christ effectively.

It's as simple as 1-2-3.

MANY CHRISTIANS ARE INVOLVED WITH CEN BECAUSE THEY KNOW:

  • We are stronger together than we are separately - Unity
  • Greater Church readiness allows us to survive and help others - Ready
  • Timely programming geared to sharing the "Who" behind Christian response will capture the attention of a media-driven culture - Gospel
  • When tragedy occurs it is often the doorway to faith - Opportunity

Where else can you be a part of a movement like this?
Rather than "doing our own thing," CEN is uniting Christians around "God's thing."

CEN UNITES CHRISTIANS AND MINISTRIES DURING EMERGENCIES LIKE KATRINA BY COMMUNICATING NEEDS, SERVICES AND INFORMATION, SERVING THE CHURCH BODY AS SEEN BY THE EXAMPLES BELOW:

  • A Katrina victim knew to evacuate from a CEN email alert (when all other forms of communication failed)
  • A church was spared costly litigation by knowing how to shelter victims using proper protocol found in a CEN resource
  • A national CEN ministry partner distributed 4 million Gospel booklets to refugees who were asking the question, "Where is God in this?"
  • Christian media offered timely programming geared to guide their audience in volunteering and donations using CEN's Media Advisories

Whether you are a Christian family, organization, ministry, church, or media outlet in any emergency, "your part" God cannot do; "His part" you cannot do.

Know and do your part...Get Ready

"Ready Church" Report Available for Download

Networking Christians for Compassion and Care Before, During and After Disasters

It is the church that is best suited to provide immediate, on-the-ground communication and response in the first 8 hours of a disaster. On May 9, even as U.S. and UN diplomats and officials from World Vision were being kept out of the cyclone devastated region by Myanmar’s military dictatorship, an international Christian organization was sending medical backpack teams into remote areas and distributing funds through its underground network of Christian pastors. To view the full report click on the download link below.

icon Ready Church Report (603.82 kB 2008-05-18 22:12:54)



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Thursday, May 15, 2008

Dr. John Perkins on Cityreaching

Dr. John Perkins on Cityreaching


Apri's cityreaching conference call featured community development and reconciliation pioneer Dr. John Perkins. Here is an excerpt of the call. Select More Info to go to the website and download the complete transcript of the call.

Perkins said he wanted to see "a renewal in our nation, as Lincoln said, that our nation would have a new birth of freedom that would come out of the gospel of Jesus Christ, and get rid of this black church, white, or Chinese. I wish we would not limit the gospel to our homogenous behavior."

In response to a question asking what concerns he has about the church in the community, Perkins responded, "We need to build houses, but that won't do it. We need to see these people begin to walk with God. We've got to bring discipleship back to the center of what we are doing, the forgiveness of sin, bring that back and not work so much with malice in our hearts....Do more in terms of believing people can develop, give more hope."

Another question addressed the first steps toward transforming a community. "I would start by moving into the community....I would listen to the felt needs of the people," Perkins said. "I would make a stronger effort now to get poor white folks involved. Poor white folks in America, especially in Mississippi, are getting a bad deal in society....If I started over right now, I couldn't do that back in 1960, but now I would give attention there." More Info.

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Wednesday, May 14, 2008

Coaching ~ Asking Powerful Questions

Coaching Questions
A Coach's Guide to Powerful Asking Skills

By Tony Stoltzfus

I'd like to introduce you to a brand new book I've just published on coaching questions. One of the most common requests I've gotten over the years as a trainer is for more asking tools and question examples. So I've gotten together with 12 other professional coaches to create a book with dozens of valuable asking tools, models and exercises, illustrated with over 1,000 examples of penetrating coaching questions.

Coaching Questions covers the gamut from basic techniques like options and actions to advanced concepts such as challenge and reframing (Click here to view the Table of Contents). I think Coaching Questions is a book that will find a home on any coach's short list of handy references.

I've reviewed several short books that contain simple lists of questions, which seemed to me to have limited utility. In this book, I started with coaching tools and their place in the coaching conversation, then used example questions to demonstrate what you actually might ask when you are using this tool with a coachee. Click here to see a sample page of decision making tools from the book. Coaching Questions: A Coach's Guide to Powerful Asking Skills includes:

  • The top ten asking mistakes coaches make, and how to correct each one
  • Nearly 1200 examples of powerful questions from real coaching situations
  • Destiny discovery tools organized in a four-part life-purpose model that includes passion, design, experience and calling
  • Overviews of15 popular coaching niches, with a tool and examples for each
  • A schedule of training exercises to help you become a "Master of Asking"

For more info or to purchase, click here


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Thursday, May 08, 2008

CARE ~ Walk A Mile in Their Shoes

Great idea from Pilot City "Love Fox Valley' . . .



Walk a mile logo Walk a Mile in Their Shoes Festival

Love Fox Valley will celebrate,
along with Eastwood residents,
the Walk a Mile in Their Shoes Festival
on June 14, 2008 at Cowherd Park in Aurora,
from 10:00 AM till 1:00 P.M
a few Eastwood friends...
Eastwood resident - little girl Eastwood resident - little boy
Eastwood resident - teenagers


WHY THE WALK A MILE IN THEIR SHOES FESTIVAL?

This festival is to provide shoes for the children of Eastwood community and to join families in worship. There is a need to sponsor the purchase of shoes - $5 per shoe / $10 per pair. God can use you to help a young person have a great summer... let's do it!

WHY VOLUNTEER?
This is a great opportunity to show God's love, to serve along side other sisters and brothers in Christ - and to begin to build friendships with folks from the Eastwood housing community.

We are in need of volunteers to help set up, clean up, register kids, serve food, distribute shoes and oversee crafts and games. There will be approximately 150+ kids at this fest.
There will be a volunteers meeting Monday, May 19th at 7:00 PM at Ginger Creek Church. Please join us.
Call the Warehouse office (Brenda) at 630-859-0600 or Evelyn and Kurt Guerrero to confirm at 630-851-5399.
WHO IS LOVE FOX VALLEY?
Love Fox Valley is a movement of unity in the body of Christ.

Love Fox Valley is all about:
  • connecting believers, building friendships with each other and with the people of our communities.
  • communicating what God is doing in the Fox Valley as local churches work together
  • collaborating where we can serve better together
Love Fox Valley is the whole church loving God and loving our communities with a foundation of Prayer, a lifestyle of Care and a willingness to Share God's love and message in every neighborhood, workplace and school.
The local churches that are involved in the Walk A Mile In Their Shoes Festival are: Ginger Creek Community Church, Main Baptist Church, Warehouse Church, and Family & Faith Church.
Matthew 25:34-42 (New Living Translation)

"Then the King will say to those on his right, 'Come, you who are blessed by my Father, inherit the Kingdom prepared for you from the creation of the world. For I was hungry, and you fed me. I was thirsty, and you gave me a drink. I was a stranger, and you invited me into your home. I was naked, and you gave me clothing. I was sick, and you cared for me. I was in prison, and you visited me.'
"Then these righteous ones will reply, 'Lord, when did we ever see you hungry and feed you? Or thirsty and give you something to drink? Or a stranger and show you hospitality? Or naked and give you clothing? When did we ever see you sick or in prison and visit you?' "And the King will say, 'I tell you the truth, when you did it to one of the least of these my brothers and sisters, you were doing it to me!'



Walk a mile logo



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Wednesday, May 07, 2008

SHARE ~ Personal Evangelism Should Be A Lifestyle



Salvation in the Streets of Baltimore
This last weekend I was reminded that there is nothing more thrilling than leading a sinner to Jesus.
East Monument Street on downtown Baltimore’s east side is not far from the city’s gleaming Inner Harbor district. But the neighborhood I visited on Saturday is no tourist attraction. It is known for drugs, panhandlers and boarded-up apartments.

Despite the urban blight, the Rev. Lewis Lee has made sure this is not a God-forsaken place.

Lee, who is 44, visits the area at least once a week to share the gospel on the streets. He knows some of the drug dealers by name. When I found out about his ministry—and heard how many people he has prayed with in the last few years—I asked if I could go along.
“After only a few hours with Lewis Lee I was convicted that personal evangelism should be a lifestyle.”
There were six of us who accompanied Lee that day, and we were a motley crew: Four white guys, two Nigerian immigrants and Lee, who is a stocky African-American with a broad smile and a contagious laugh. All of us were eager to share our faith and pray for people’s needs.

We split up into small groups and I tagged along with Lee. He had an uncanny way of breaking the ice when we walked up to strangers.
“Hey, how y’all doin’?” he asked three people sitting on the steps in front of an apartment building. “This is Pastor Lee, and I’m Reverend Lee. He’s my brother from another mother.”

We all laughed and then Lee began his familiar spiel. “I need to ask you a question,” he told a man who was holding a cigarette in one hand and a liquor bottle in the other. “If something happened to you, God forbid, where would you spend eternity?”

We asked that blunt question to about 30 people that afternoon—including an 83-year-old woman named Ms. Irene who was not sure of her salvation even though she said she attended church. We led her in a sinner’s prayer while we stood at the intersection of Monument and Collington. Then I escorted Ms. Irene across the street so cars wouldn’t run over her.

We prayed with all kinds of folks on the sidewalks. A guy named Lesley admitted that he had an addiction and asked for God’s help to break it. A woman asked if Lee’s church could give her a ride to services on Sunday. A young Asian man named David admitted that he was a backslider and listened as I shared the story of God’s unconditional love for prodigals.

A beggar with crippled feet told me that he knew he needed salvation. I put my arm around him while we prayed the sinner’s prayer together on the steps where he begs for spare change every day. Then a lady we had prayed with 15 minutes earlier walked by and offered to take the beggar to church with her.

Most of the people we talked to were friendly and receptive—except for two angry guys who said they had no use for Jesus because they followed an Afro-centric religion. One drunken guy who prayed with my friends Danny and Brandon became instantly sober and then abandoned his 12-pack of beer on the street. By the time our team reconvened in a parking lot, at least a dozen people had given their hearts to the Lord.
Lee has been sharing the gospel in this needy neighborhood for almost two years, and he also takes teams from his church, Evangel Cathedral, to malls and bus stops in suburban areas of the city. He has recorded more than 23,000 decisions—but his mission is not about collecting names for a report. He simply believes in a literal interpretation of Luke 14:23, which commands us to “go out into the highways and along the hedges, and compel them to come in” (NASB).

I asked Lee why he thinks many Christians aren’t involved in personal evangelism. He offered three reasons:
1. Fear. Many simply have never shared their faith or don’t know how to open a conversation about it. Others don’t like to be rejected.
2. Lack of training. Many people assume they don’t have the knowledge to answer tough questions. Others are not sure about their own salvation. “How can they lead someone to Christ if they really don’t know if they are saved?” Lee asks.
3. Apathy. Says Lee: “Many Christians just come to church to be fed. The spiritual needs of other people don’t affect them.”

Ouch. Although I’ve done street ministry before and was active in personal evangelism as a college student, I’ll admit it’s been a long time since I intentionally went into any kind of neighborhood—rich, poor or middle-class—to witness. And even though I frequently go on ministry trips to foreign countries, I realized this weekend that I am shirking the Great Commission if I avoid sharing my faith in my own backyard.

After only a few hours with my brother Lewis Lee, I was convicted that soul-winning should be a lifestyle. I hope you’ll make it yours.

J. Lee Grady is editor of Charisma. If you would like to check out the Rev. Lewis Lee’s evangelism training materials, including a training video and script, log on to evangelcathedral.com/outreach-evangelism.htm. Evangel Cathedral is pastored by Bishop Michael McDermott.


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Coaching ~ Skills to Increase Impact

We welcome Bill Zipp, award-winning author and master business coach, as our guest on the May 15th conference call at 11:00 a.m. Eastern Daylight Time. Coaching is the latest craze to hit the business world and now it's coming to the church. Everywhere you go there's someone calling himself a coach!

· Is this another fad that will fade in time?

· Is it just one more way the church is becoming like the world?

· Is coaching even a biblical approach to ministry?

· Is there a set of coaching skills you can learn as a Christian leader to increase your impact with people?

· Is coaching an important tool for Christians to have in city/community transformation?

Our guest, Bill Zipp, is a committed evangelical. He has spent thousands of hours working directly with hundreds of executives in the United States and Canada, from Fortune 500® companies like Automatic Data Processing and Cisco Systems to agricultural leader Agrium, Inc. His latest book from Wiley Publishers, The Business Coaching Toolkit, was released last Fall, 2007. Bill is a professional member of the National Speakers Association and their Business Coaching Professional Experts Group. He is also a certified Franklin Covey Coach and a certified trainer with The Ken Blanchard Companies.

As an honors graduate from Western Seminary in Portland, Oregon, Bill takes a biblically-based approach to this topic, and as an experienced pastor and committed church leader, he brings a breadth of wisdom and perspective to the table. This is another call you and your leadership team can't miss.

To participate, reply to this email requesting the dial-in #.

Carolyn for MAC City/Community Ministries


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Thursday, May 01, 2008

SHARE ~ While We Were't Lookig, Culture Changed

book cover

One of the most important questions facing Christians in every age and every place is this: what values and standards are going to dominate our national culture? Most countries today are increasingly pluralistic in both race and religion. That is to say Christianity, Islam, secularism, materialism, ancient religions and modern cults are all competing for the soul of our country. Which is going to win? For Christians this is primarily an evangelistic question. Will Jesus Christ be given the honor that is due to his name? For God has highly exalted him, in order that every knee should bow to him and every tongue confess him "Lord."
p. 128 Chapter 8 IMPACT Salt and Light

Weapon For Social Change
Professor Kenneth Scott Latourette of Yale University wrote a seven-volume History of the Expansion of Christianity (London:Eyre and Spottiswoode, 1945). Some of his concluding words are as follows:
No life ever lived on this planet has been so influential in the affairs of men [as that of Christ]....From that brief life and its apparent frustration has flowed a more powerful force for the triumphal waging of man's long battle than any other ever known by the human race.
But how does social change take place? I want to suggest that Christians have six weapons in their armory.

First, there is prayer. I beg you not to dismiss this as a pious platitude. Christians believe that God hears and answers prayer. So the apostle commands us (as a priority) to pray for national leaders, so that "we may live peaceful and quiet lives" (1 Timothy 2:1-2). Yet when I visit some churches there is almost no intercession. I sometimes wonder if the slow progress toward world peace and world evangelization is due to the prayerlessness of the people of God. For example, when President Marcos of the Philippines was toppled in 1986, Filipino Christians attributed it not so much to "people power" as to "prayer power." We should take the task of public intercession more seriously than we commonly do. If local churches were to bow down before God every Sunday for ten or twenty or even thirty minutes, what might God be free to do?

Second, there is evangelism, which has an indispensable part to play in relation to social change. For Christian social responsibility depends on socially responsible Christians, and socially responsible Christians are the fruit of evangelism. It is when the Holy Spirit changes us that we begin to develop a social conscience and gain the vision and courage to change our society.

When John V. Taylor (late Bishop of Winchester) reviewed Geoffrey Moorhouse's book Calcutta (in Taylor's CMS Newsletter, no. 360 ~ May 1972), he wrote about the apparent hopelessness of that city's problems:
But invariably what tips the balance of despair to faith is the person who rises above the situation. Moorhouse's book is full of such persons (William Carey, Mother Teresa and others)....They are neither trapped in the city, nor escaped from it. They have transcended the situation. Salvation is not the same as solution; it precedes it and makes it a possibility....Personal salvation--salvation in first gear--is still the way in. It is the key to unlock the door of determinism.
The third weapon in our armory is example. Human beings are imitative by nature. So there is great power in example. A single Christian who takes an uncompromising stand for righteousness, encourages others to follow. One Christian home can influence a whole neighborhood. A dedicated Christian group (in school or college, hospital, office or factory) can change its atmosphere and its accepted values. And the local church is meant by God to be "a sign of the kingdom," a model of what human community looks like when it comes under the rule of God, an attractive alternative society. pp135 -137

The Living Church: Convictions of a Lifelong Pastor
John Stott
InterVarsity Press, Downers Grove Illinois, 2007


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