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Effective by Dave Mickelson
Posted in Articles by Others

Several years ago, I and another pastor were doing a conference on bearing fruit. In John 15 Jesus spoke of fruit: bearing fruit, bearing much fruit, bearing lasting fruit. I concluded that His intention for His body was to be effective. While doing that conference I was very supernaturally given an emphasis—or application—from each of the nine letters in the word EFFECTIVE. When I got this revelation, I spent nine weeks teaching and ministering it to our church. ... read more

Live Devotedly with Great Delight! by Lisa Cooke
Posted in Articles by Lisa Cooke

Philippians 3:14 is the rallying cry for those whose choice it is to follow God’s ways. We make the “upward call of God in Christ Jesus” our goal and with each new day pursue afresh this high calling. But let us do this with delight because we see this goal as a treasure God has made possible for us to seek. The enemy of our souls persistently tries to steal our joy, particularly in doing the will of God. ... read more

Key Thoughts from LIFT: Experiencing the Elevated Life
Posted in Articles by Tony Cooke

What does “lift” look like when it is operating in our lives? When we have yielded to the power that flows from the resurrection of Jesus Christ, we may be surprised at how pervasive and practical God’s influence in our lives can be. Resurrection power can drastically affect our overall attitude toward life and our attitude toward others. We can see hope where others see none. We envision possibilities when others have given up. Encouragement rises inside us even in the midst of discouraging circumstances. We reject pessimism, cynicism, and fatalism. We are empowered by a confidence that does not come from this world. ... read more

Setting the Right Moral Tone
Posted in Pastors' Forum

I have been amazed, as I’m sure many other pastors are, to witness the moral decline in our society over the last decades. As a pastor, I want to set the right tone in what is ministered in our congregation. For example, I know that we have many visitors and even attenders who are living together without being married, and some think absolutely nothing about it. It seems to be a social norm. I don’t want to be known for what we’re against, but what we’re for. At the same time, I want to help people move toward godly, biblical values and standards. I understand that people coming out of the world are going to have worldly perspectives, but what especially troubles me is long-standing Christians who seem just fine with ungodly standards. Two questions: (1) How do pastors minister the love of God to people, and yet still promote godliness? (2) How do pastors help mature Christians and leaders not buy-in to compromised, worldly standards? Read the responses

The Crown by Rhonda Lee Rogers
Posted in Articles by Others

Queen Elizabeth’s father, King George VI, was dying and was worried that his son in law would not support his daughter in her new role as monarch, so George took Phillip hunting to explain what his new role would be within the kingdom. The dying king told his son in law that his daughter would become queen upon his death and that SHE was the new job. ... read more

When Less Is Actually More by Ryan Lamberson
Posted in Articles by Others

Too often we continue to do more and more because we rarely stop and evaluate what ministries are still working and which aren’t. A good indicator that a ministry needs to be reevaluated is if the leadership feels like they have to increasingly work harder to motivate people to attend it or it has stopped growing for some time. ... read more

How Big Is Your Brave? by Lisa Cooke
Posted in Articles by Lisa Cooke

How big IS your brave? It’s OK if you feel this is an area you need and want to grow in. There is no condemnation in this question, it’s only meant to cause us to take a moment and examine ourselves to see where we are on the spectrum. Is your brave level lower than you want? How big do you want your brave to be? ... read more

A Global Outpouring
Posted in Articles by Tony Cooke

We must remember God’s ultimate purpose—a purpose that you and I have the privilege of participating in—we are laborers together with God! God is resolved to fill the earth with his knowledge and his glory. I am excited about the proliferation of Spirit-empowered, Spirit-anointed ministry that are on a mission to set captives free and to radically transform lives. I really believe that God will fulfill his oft-stated declaration to fill the earth with his knowledge and his glory! ... read more

What Constitutes Discipleship and Maturity?
Posted in Pastors' Forum

There are obviously various levels of commitment among people who attend church. Some attend occasionally, others consistently. As a pastor, what are the traits and characteristics you look to help promote and build into people as you move them deeper into discipleship and further in maturity? What constitutes true discipleship? What are the traits of genuine spiritual maturity? What can a pastor to do help facilitate and further such discipleship and maturity in the hearts and lives of the people? Read the responses

Chronology of End-Time Events by Dave Williams
Posted in Articles by Others

There is God-ordained order to Bible prophecy. Although we don't know the precise timing of all prophetic events, we can know the general schedule and why things are happening. Some people avoid studying prophecy because they think it is too frightening or difficult to understand. However, God gave us the Bible so we can read and understand what will happen in the future. ... read more

Watch and Pray by Lisa Cooke
Posted in Articles by Lisa Cooke

The alarm bells are going off in my spirit. I hear the words “watch and pray” over and over as a directive and a reminder. This is no time to relax and “sleep” but a time to be diligently on guard and “awake” in the spirit realm. These days we have before us are days of intensity and urgency in spiritual matters, and we need to be at our best and brightest in the service of our God. ... read more

Are We Asking the Right Question?
Posted in Articles by Tony Cooke

The Latin phrase Missio Dei is translated, “the mission of God.” The concept here is that God has been on a mission to reach and express his love to mankind, fulfilling his good pleasure in redeeming lost humanity to himself. When I sense a call upon my life to serve God, it is not centered or focused on me. Rather, it is an invitation to join him in his mission, something he was doing long before I came on the scene, and should the Lord tarry his coming, something which he will be doing long after I am gone. ... read more

The Law of Faith by Bill Anzevino
Posted in Articles by Others

God has provided us with an instruction manual for life’s situations called the Bible. Contained within the Bible are the spiritual laws of God. God’s spiritual laws are eternal, carry a higher level of authority, and surpass the earth’s physical laws. Sir Isaac Newton discovered the law of gravity in the 1600’s, but the law was there since the beginning of creation. ... read more

Ministerial Ethics by Diego Mesa
Posted in Articles by Others

Why are some churches seemingly more blessed, prosperous, and favored, or seem to experience more growth, increase, and health than others? Could it be related to ethics? Why do some churches initially thrive only to experience a decline in the future? Could it be related to ethics? Why do some churches last and some don’t? Could ethics possibly be the answer? ... read more

Prayer for the Laborer by Lisa Cooke
Posted in Articles by Lisa Cooke

Are you praying for an unsaved loved one, a prodigal, or someone who has lost their way in their Christianity? Have you ever prayed that a laborer would “cross their path,” speaking the needed wisdom into his or her life? I have prayed many times for laborers to have an influence in my loved ones’ lives, based on Matthew 9:38 that the Lord would send out laborers into His harvest. ... read more

When Weakness Turns to Strength
Posted in Articles by Tony Cooke

Scripture is full of examples of people who acknowledged their need and their dependence upon God. As long as they remembered that God was their source, and the strength they received was for his glory, all went well. Paul is a great example of this. When Paul was troubled over a messenger of Satan (which he called a thorn in the flesh), he cried out to God for help. Paul had come to the end of himself, and there he found strength from God. ... read more

Identify Your Harvest Field by Terry Roberts
Posted in Articles by Others

Dr. Howard Foltz was my missions professor at Regent University. I had several required classes in missions with him, and he, along with others changed my perspective of reaching out to the unreached. He and others helped us strategically engage the area of the Ends of the Earth. As of this writing, our local church has been actively engaged in sponsoring and helping to train leaders in over 800 new church plants among ... read more

What Does God Say About Our Bodies?
Posted in Articles by Tony Cooke

Some mistakenly think that God only cares about our spiritual well-being and the condition of our souls. In making this false assumption, they minimize or completely ignore the great significance Scripture places on God’s concern for and interest in our bodies. In New Testament times, many Greeks believed the body was evil—a type of prison from which death would bring welcome deliverance. Some concluded that since physical life on earth ... read more

Angels by Lisa Cooke
Posted in Articles by Lisa Cooke

When the Lord spoke to Moses on Mt. Sinai, one of the things He said to him was “Behold, I send an angel before you to guard you on the way and to bring you to the place that I have prepared. Pay careful attention to him and obey his voice; do not rebel against him, for he will not pardon your transgression, for My name is in him. But if you carefully obey his voice and do all that I say, then I will be an enemy to your enemies ...read more

Reminding Staff
Posted in Pastors' Forum

I am learning that some of the staff and other leaders don’t know certain things (or need to be reminded regularly of things) that I would have assumed they would be mindful of. What are two or three things that other pastors regularly emphasize or remind their staff and key leaders about? Read the responses

HeartWork: How God Can Mend Your Heart and Change Your Story by Rick Burke and Kelly Riggs
Posted in Articles by Others

The first thing you must understand is that your heart is a battle ground. Quite simply, you are under attack. Have you ever thought about what that looks like? It looks like conflict, betrayal, and heartbreak. It feels like disappointment and pain. However, once you figure out the source of that attack, you can take steps to defend yourself and the process of mending your heart can begin. The source of these attacks is your enemy. He is Satan, the father of lies (John 8:44). ... read more

Do You Know What Time It Is? by Mark Cowart
Posted in Articles by Others

In 2015, Forbes reported that the 500 richest people in the world were collectively worth 4.7 trillion dollars. Solomon’s gold reserves alone were worth right at one trillion dollars. I read once that the temple Solomon built would cost one-half trillion dollars to reconstruct in our day. He had wisdom that would take your breath away, and the Biblical principles that he wrote are more quoted than any other source in history. Solomon had more wealth, blessing, and advantage than any human being prior to him or after, but he had a bad ending in his life. ... read more

Before the Watching World by Lisa Cooke
Posted in Articles by Lisa Cooke

Psalm 31:19 “How great is the goodness you have stored up for those who fear you. You lavish it on those who come to you for protection, blessing them before the watching world” (NLT). The world needs, has always needed, to observe people who are confident in and experiencing God’s goodness.  King David was one of those people. In Psalm 27:13 (NLT) he says, “Yet I am confident I will see the Lord’s goodness while I am here in the land of the living.” David had faith that God would be good to him in the midst of all of earth’s trials and tribulations. ... read more