Tuesday, November 29, 2005

Just A Thought . . .

An incoming E-Newsletter had a blarring title:
Best Books: A Healthy Church Christmas List
Here are the best books for church leaders from titles published in 2005

I scrolled and scanned titles on preaching, leading, and integrity, all vital to a pastor's life and ministry, but searched in vain for a tile on prayer.

Maybe next year?

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Monday, November 28, 2005

Retreat for a Breakthough Blessing

Helping pastors fulfill ministries ...

Thank you for choosing us! We hope that you will be blessed as you learn more about Healing Promises Ministries.

The purpose of our ministry is helping pastors fulfill their ministries, with dynamic breakthrough in every area of their lives and ministries!

Acts 20:24 ... if only I may accomplish my course and the ministry which I received from the Lord Jesus, to testify to the gospel of the grace of God...

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Wednesday, November 23, 2005

Next Time You Pray For Your Congregation...

“The challenge for today’s church,” writes Presbyterian Kent Ira Groff in The Soul of Tomorrow’s Church (Nashville: Upper Room, 31), “is how not to focus on new structures but rather on infusing passion into current structures.” This is the problem for both the Protestant mainline and the evangelical megachurches.

. . . A classic nineteenth century book by E. M. Bounds, Power Through Prayer, the need quite well. Bounds wrote:

What the church needs today is not more machinery or better, not new organizations or more novel methods, but men whom the Holy Spirit can use-men of prayer. . . . The Holy Spirit does not flow through methods, but through men . . . and does not come on machinery, but on men . . . and does not anoint plans, but men-men of prayer (10).

I will begin to take heart when I see Christians gathering to talk and pray about bearing faithful witness to Jesus as a minority people in a strange land. I will be overjoyed when I hear more discussion about how our church people can be brought face-to-face with ultimate things, things that truly address deep meaning in their lives. I long for intimacy and communion with God, and love between his people. The church that feeds this hunger will attract me, even if the congregation could fit in my living room. I care not a fig for the religion of church structures. I want the basic ecclesial simplicity that Kierkegaard called “the singleness of heart.” I am cheered by the fact that I meet more and more people of like mind, both in the pulpit and the pews. There is the making of real Holy Spirit-given renewal in this holy dissatisfaction. I am persuaded that much of this will have to come from younger Christians. I have not, however, written off everyone in my own age group since God got my attention more than two decades after I had experienced a prolonged sojourn in the world of “better structures make better churches.”

---}Click the headline for the complete article by John Armstrong

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Tuesday, November 22, 2005

Ray of Light Devotionals - An "Aaron & Hur" for Pastors

Just as Moses needed the help of Aaron and Hur to enable Joshua and his army to defeat Amalek, so too must pastors partner with Aarons and Hurs to enable their members to defeat the influences in the world system.

One such (Aaron/Hur) ministry is A Ray of Light Ministries. Each week, the pastor and founder of A Ray of Light Ministries, Dr. Ray Charles, publishes a “theme for the week” with five kaleidoscopic perspectives on each workday. The devotional can be read in a minute or less. However, without going any further, let me answer the question, “why would this type of devotional benefit a pastor?” After all, there are thousands of devotionals on the web. Very simply, as a pastor you would gain insight on the thought development of your parishioners throughout the week. Each Sunday, you would also end your sermons knowing that your hands will be lifted up to enable the victory of your members in the compromising (Esau, Amalek) territory of the world system.

4 Him, Ray Chrles
E: spiritualcoach@msn.com
Web: Click headline

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Sunday, November 13, 2005

A Plea to Pray for Pastors

} Dear Pastor ... Consider making ths article available to your prayer team members ...

A Plea to Pray for Pastors
Written by Gardiner Spring

Let the thought sink deep into the heart of every church, that their minister will be such a minister as their prayers make him.

If nothing short of Omnipotent grace can make a Christian, nothing less will make a faithful and successful minister of the Gospel!

If a people are looking for rich sermons from their minister, their prayers must supply him with the needed material. If they expect powerful and successful sermons, their prayers must make him a blessing to the souls of men! }Click the headline for the complete article...

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Thursday, November 03, 2005

Sermon Pray-paration

{ Note from Phil: Dear Praying Pastor, Take a look at the 4 steps for seron preparation identified below ... Seems to me prayer is embedded in each one. What do you think? Phil }

On becoming a wise preacher
by Rick Warren

My method of sermon preparation is based on Ecclesiastes 12:9-11. It’s actually the only passage in Scripture that explains how a speaker prepares wisely.

The New American Standard Version of that verse says, In addition to being a wise man, the preacher also taught the people knowledge, and he pondered, searched out and arranged many proverbs. The preacher sought to find delightful words and to write words of truth correctly. The words of wise men are like goads, and masters of these collections are like well-driven nails. They are given by one shepherd.

Notice all the preparation involved:

He ponders - In other words, he carefully thinks about what he will say.

He searches out - He researches and he studies before he speaks.

He arranges - As he searches out truths, he categorizes them. He sets things in a logical order.

He looks for just the right words - He doesn't cut any corners by just arbitrarily picking his words.

This preacher is worth listening to because he does his homework.

As a result, Solomon says his words are like goads. A goad is a sharp stick that you use to guide animals. Think of it as an ancient, electric cattle prod. In the same way, your messages need to motivate people to do something.

Then the Bible also says his words are like well-driven nails. The best-crafted messages make a truth memorable. Like a nail, the truth is driven in and you can’t pull it out. People remember what is said.

Until next week, Rick

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Wednesday, November 02, 2005

Prayer Strategy for Ministry

Wednesday, 02 November 2005
Prayer Strategy For Ministry
By Dave Butts, National Prayer Committee

All too often we look at prayer as a 'quick fix" to a difficult situation. Have you ever said, "I've tried everything else - I might as well pray! Often we only have "time" to offer a few quick prayers hoping to bring God into the situation so that everything will be fine. . and sometimes this proves to be the case (although probably more because of God's great love for us than from the power of our prayers).

If you are involved in a work of God, and hopefully we are all active in a ministry of some sort. you need to look at prayer not as a quick petition, but rather as part of the longterm strategy for accomplishing the work that God has called you to. It involves a commitment to pray and work until you see completion. An illustration from the sports realm might be helpful. Many would liken prayer to a series of sprints while instead, we would be better served to see prayer as a long-distance runner would view the course before him.

Nehemiah saw prayer this way. in Nehemiah 1, we see that he had a difficult task ahead of him. After hearing a report of the poor condition of Jerusalem and its inhabitants he believed that God called him to travel to Jerusalem and take the lead in seeing the walls of the city rebuilt. As you look at this story, please note how prayer is an integral part of this mighty work of God... not as a quick fix. but as a continued dependence upon God for help and direction.

Click headline to read the complete article...

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Personal Prayer: Developing a strategy for successful prayer

Personal Prayer: Developing a strategy for successful prayer
by Terry C. Muck

Like the marriage relationship, our relationship with God needs constant care. Though prayer is the communication vehicle through which a relationship with God develops, many pastors struggle to maintain a consistent prayer life. Yet, prayerlessness saps the power of ministry.

Combating Prayerlessness
Weakness of the flesh attacks all of us, especially when it comes to sustaining an active prayer life. As Paul notes in Romans 8, there is no way to overcome our lower natures but by the power of the Holy Spirit. You can utilize the Comforter's power by putting into practice three common techniques :

>Set up a system of accountability for prayer. Many Christian leaders hold themselves accountable to others for regular prayer. For example, a denominational district superintendent phones one layman each day of the month as a prayer partner for that day. Another pastor has a designated person call him at a time he has set aside for prayer. He then must face this person about whether indeed he is praying or not. Another pastor has covenanted to meet twice a day with two separate groups in her parish. Meeting with others keeps our prayer lives consistent and keeps us honest.

>Provide positive and negative reinforcements for prayer. What forms of reinforcement work? One California pastor sets aside a time each morning for prayer and "will not eat a meal of physical food until I first have some spiritual food and prayer time. Food really motivates me, so I make sure I get my prayer in every morning through this means." An Arizona pastor uses stoplights as times to pray. He gains an additional benefit: he used to be frustrated at being slowed down by stoplights. Now they are a positive motivation to pray.

>Turn prayer into a physical act. The advantages of physical exercise are obvious. Many Christian leaders pray while jogging, swimming, walking, or riding bicycles. The obvious goal of all these practices is to associate prayer with something beneficial to help overcome the lethargy that can strike us all.

Click the headline and read the entire article...

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Prayer Pointers: 6 ways to squeeze prayer into your busy schedule!

Prayer Pointers: 6 ways to squeeze prayer into your busy schedule!

An article for women that can help leaders of either gender!

Click the headline to raad the article on Christianity Today . com

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