Pastor's Forum

Specialization?

It seems like different churches and pastors have different specializations or emphases in their presentation and ministry. I realize every church is called to worship, to teach, to evangelize, etc., but I see some churches being much stronger in certain areas than others. I would like to hear from other pastors how they manage the “general” responsibilities of ministry and still carry out whatever specializations they might feel called to fulfill. Read the responses

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February 2018 Update

February 2018 UpdatesJanuary is now behind us, and I had the privilege this past month of teaching in Virginia, Colorado, Florida, Texas, South Carolina, and North Carolina. I will be ministering in five locations in Canada this year, and have four overseas trips planned as well. They include:

  • England, Switzerland, Lebanon, Germany, Cyprus (April)
  • Colombia (May)
  • Austria, Turkey, Egypt (August/September)
  • Italy, France, England (October)

You Can Help! Thank you for contributing to our ongoing work.

Where Are We? Check out our itinerary.

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Are You a Spiritual Lifeguard?
Tony Cooke

Are You a Spiritual LifeguardAs a recreational swimmer, the emphasis is on you. It’s about your enjoyment and having fun. You show up when you want and you leave when you want. Poolside or beachside, you can put your earbuds in and listen to whatever music you desire. You are at liberty to drown out all of the noise that would otherwise distract you. You do what you want—whether that’s lying in the sun, going to the snack bar, or swimming leisurely. It’s all about you and what you want. The lifeguard, though, has an entirely different focus. For the lifeguard, being near the water is all about the safety and well-being of others. You don’t do what you want, when you want. You are on duty, and you are responsible for other people. You have assignments, and you work with others to make sure that all the swimmers have a safe and enjoyable experience. Read this article by Tony Cooke

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Please Remain Seated!
Lisa Cooke

Please Remain Seated!It is our privilege as beloved children of God and as followers of Christ to be seated with Christ in the realm of the heavenly places. No one can remove us from that position but we can be lured away from being mindful of such great divine favor. A funny little visual I’ve been carrying around in my heart lately is seeing my legs and feet inside Jesus’ legs and feet, with all my personal named enemies under our feet jointly. I think it’s important to be cognizant of our enemies, to identify them by name, so we can position them in our hearts and minds where they belong—beneath the feet of the King of Kings and the Lord of Lords. Those things are in subjection under His feet, which includes our feet as well. To be in subjection means to subordinate, to place or rank under. Our enemies are subordinate to Jesus and for me that takes their projected power toward us and nullifies it. I always want to judge my enemies as powerless over me because Christ has given me the victory over them through His victory. Read this article by Lisa Cooke

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In Praise of Church Boards
Walker Schurz

In Praise of Church BoardsFor many leaders, the idea of working with a board has the same emotional response as a trip to the dentist for a root canal. It is necessary, but painful. There are certainly horror stories of rogue boards that are of no help at all. If that was your experience or if you are board-shy for good reasons, I hope the thoughts in this article will encourage you to try again and determine to work with this potentially great resource. A properly selected board can add wisdom and experienced decision making to the organization. As our church grew, we found that we had never managed a staff of 60 people, built multi-million dollar buildings nor oversaw large budgets. In our history, many board members used their existing skills and knowledge to greatly reduce our learning curve. As we listened to others, we received wisdom we did not have. Read this article by Walker Schurz

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Let’s Go Fishing
Marcus Whitman

Let's Go Fishing by Marcus Whitman IIIJesus made an amazing statement in Matthew 4:19 when speaking to a couple of fishermen. He said, “Follow me, and I will make you fishers of men.” Notice He didn’t say, “I will make you holier, more spiritual, or bless you exceedingly.” He gave them a purpose for living and a new occupation. Many times as believers, we talk about the blessings of God. Don’t take me wrong; the blessings are important. However, it is more important to be “used by God than to be blessed by God.” That’s what Jesus was saying to Peter and Andrew when He said, “I am going to use you to fish for men.” Let me bring this concept into focus with another statement. We have been “blessed by God to be used by God” and “He wants to use us to go fishing for men!” When you are blessed by God, you can go out and make a difference in another person’s life. Read this article by Marcus Whitman

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Só Acaba Quando Termina
Tony Cooke

It Ain’t Over Till It’s Over by Tony CookeYogi Berra foi o autor da famosa afirmação: “O jogo só acaba quando termina.” Como um jogador e treinador de baseball, ele, sem dúvidas, viu minhas reviravoltas ao longo de sua carreira. Ele deve ter visto times que estiveram na liderança, mas que, por relaxarem muito cedo, se deixaram ser alcançados por outra equipe. Ele também deve ter testemunhado times que estavam para trás na competição, mas que, por se recusarem a desistir, lutaram para dar a “volta por cima” com uma vitória inesperada. Um versículo que, recentemente, tem falado ao meu coração envolve o sucessor de Moisés. Josué 13:1 afirma: “Quando Josué já estava bem velho, o Senhor disse: ‘Você já está muito velho, e ainda há muita terra para ser conquistada’” (NTLH). Há uma tendência natural de, após se ter alcançado um certo ponto na vida, querer alterar o curso para uma caminhada mais neutra, com base no que já se passou. Deus, entretanto, possui um plano muito mais elaborado para nós. Não importa o quanto nós pensemos que já tenhamos alcançado, se ainda respiramos e se ouvirmos atentamente, eu acho que ouviremos o Senhor nos dizer: “Ainda há muita terra para ser conquistada.” Leia este artigo por Tony Cooke

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Read all of our quotes by visiting our Quotes Page.

GRATITUDE
“Dead people receive more flowers than living ones because regret is stronger than gratitude.”
– Anne Frank

HOPE
“Do not look to your hope, but to Christ, as the source of your hope.”
– Charles Spurgeon

PREACHING
“A sermon without Christ as its beginning, middle and end is a mistake in conception and a crime in execution.”
– Charles Spurgeon

RESURRECTION
“If Christians understood and applied the resurrection and ascension of Christ, it would radically change much of the work done for God by them. Christians need not be defeated. The same power that raised Jesus from the dead works not only to save us but to assist us in our Christian life and service.”
– Elmer Towns

TRANSFORMATION
“Not only does God in his mercy take people as they are: He takes them to transform them into what he wants them to be.”
– Andrew Walls

Pastor Mike and Vicki Bang of Faith Family Church