Pastor's Forum

Easter Evaluation

I would love to hear feedback about how other churches do their Easter weekend services. What do they do that’s special, different? How many churches add extra services for that weekend? What kind of special advertising or marketing is done? How do pastors get the congregation involved in inviting guests? Are pastors generally pleased with the results they see on Easter weekend? Are there any strategies that churches have to get Easter visitors to come back on a regular basis? Based on your experience from this and previous Easter weekends, what do you plan to do different next year? Read the responses

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May News: What’s Happening at TCM?

Our travels continue to go very well, and this month (May), Lisa and I will be ministering in Alabama, Oklahoma, Colorado, Wyoming, and Washington. Our website continues to be a very effective tool for the fulfilling of our assignment to “strengthen churches and leaders.” I don’t know anything about Djibouti, Kiribati, or Seychelles, but people from places like that visit our website. Read more

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Sit a Spell
Tony Cooke

Sit a Spell by Tony CookeYou may recognize that phrase (Sit a Spell) from the theme song to the Beverly Hillbillies.You may also remember the words toward the very end of that tune:

“You’re all invited back again to this locality
To have a heapin’ helpin’ of their hospitality.
Hillbilly that is, sit a spell, take your shoes off.
Y’all come back now, y’hear?”

Even if the Lord were only interested in our labor, He is wise enough to know that we do more work and better work when we’re rested and strong. But the Lord is not just interested in what we can do for Him. He offers us rest because He cares about us. Some of the old-time preachers were known to say, “I’d rather burn out than rust out.” Wisdom teaches us that we don’t have to do either. Read this article by Tony Cooke

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Righteousness and Peace Kiss Each Other
Lisa Cooke

Righteousness and Peace Kiss Each OtherPsalm 85:10 says, “Steadfast love and faithfulness meet; righteousness and peace kiss each other.” Peace. That wonderful quality of calm and serenity that can be so difficult to maintain in the turbulent days of our lives, is linked with righteousness, not with circumstances. This is good news for those of us who seek for the peace of God to rule in our hearts (Colossians 3:15). We may not be experiencing peaceful feelings due to outward conditions or events, but we have been graced with the possibility of an internal state of peace which can remain unaffected by what goes on around it. This internal state of peace is regulated by righteousness, our right standing with God. Read this article by Lisa Cooke

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The Christian Triple Double
Jim Herring

The Christian Triple DoubleI love basketball. I love all the dazzling dunks, pinpoint passes, sensational shots, and posterizing plays. In addition to all these points of interest, occasionally a player reaches the illustrious “triple double”. In the basketball world, a triple double occurs when a player registers ten or more in three categories. For instance, on February 8th, LeBron James recorded a triple double against the Sacramento Kings. He had 21 points, 10 rebounds, and 10 assists. This does not occur often and it indicates that a player did a phenomenal job in several important statistical categories. When a player consistently reaches a triple double, it indicates he or she is an “all-around” great player. They make a significant contribution to the success of the team in several key areas. Then I began to think about that in the context of being a Christian. What makes a great “all around” Christian? What are the areas we need to have a triple double in? Read this article by Jim Herring

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To Serve or to Be Served
Tim Davidson

serve-be-servedBeing an effective leader in the church is different from the military or business world. In the military, a private has many people telling him what to do. As he receives promotion, he gains rank and soon begins to tell the ones below him what to do. Jesus says, “It shall not be so among you.” He explains that in the world, Gentile leaders exercise dominion over those who are in the ranks. In today’s world, the boss tells their staff what to do. He says if you don’t like it you can leave. God doesn’t operate this way. The fruits of your leadership, such as greatness, authority, and respect, will be a result of the measure in which you fulfill the assignment of being a servant to all those you have been assigned to lead in the Body of Christ. In the church, leaders are not assigned to tell people what to do. We don’t have authority over their lives. We must encourage one another, exhort, and love one another. If I see you are lacking or in need, I must approach you in such a way as to help you, or serve you. Read this article by Tim Davidson

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When God Puts You on Hold: What to Do When You Can’t Do What’s in Your Heart
Marvin Yoder

When God Puts You on HoldI’m sure many of you have had the experience of making a phone call and then being put on hold for a while. You wait and wait until eventually even the nice music doesn’t seem to be soothing anymore. You wonder what is going on. You resist getting frustrated. Can anyone relate? Have you ever been excited about what is in your heart, but at the same time felt boxed in, trapped, on hold, or on a plateau in life? Welcome to the crowd! The Bible is full of people who were born for a specific purpose in life, but they went through periods where everything was on hold. Nothing remotely close to their dreams was happening in their life. Sometimes it seemed as if they were going in the opposite directions of their dreams. Others faced such opposition or obstacles that, humanly speaking, it was impossible for them to experience their dreams. In the Bible you find many people who did not experience what God had for them right away, but eventually they did! Read this article by Marvin Yoder

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Read all of our quotes by visiting our Quotes Page.

CHRIST
“Christ is full of grace, life, and salvation. The human soul is full of sin, death, and damnation. Now let faith come between them. Sin, death, and damnation will then be Christ’s; and grace, life, and salvation will then be the believer’s.”
– Martin Luther

GRACE
“[Costly] grace is costly because it calls us to follow, and it is grace because it calls us to follow Jesus Christ. It is costly because it costs a man his life, and it is grace because it gives a man the only true life. It is costly because it condemns sin, and it is grace because it justifies the sinner. Above all, it is costly because it cost God the life of his Son.”
– Dietrich Bonhoeffer

HUMILITY
“Christianity is not a matter of persuading people of particular ideas, but of inviting them to share in the greatness of Christ. So pray that I may never fall into the trap of impressing people with clever speech, but instead I may learn to speak with humility, desiring only to impress people with Christ himself.“
– Ignatius of Antioch

PREACHING
“When you speak of Heaven,” he said, “let your face light up, let it be irradiated with a heavenly gleam, let your eyes shine with reflected glory. But when you speak of Hell; well, then your ordinary face will do.”
– Charles Spurgeon (speaking to students training for ministry)

SERENITY
God grant me the serenity to accept the people I cannot change, the courage to change the one I can, and the wisdom to know it’s me.
– Unknown

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