Free Resources

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

Necessary Networks
Posted in Articles by Tony Cooke

We were designed to be in relationship and in fellowship with others. Our journey through life was never intended to be made in isolation, cut off from others. There is truth and value in having a “personal relationship with God.” We hear that phrase often. However, we also have the privilege and the necessity of being properly connected with others as well. Someone said, “Our navel is a constant reminder that we all started life connected to another human being. We spend all of our lives trying to get reconnected to someone. ... read more

Responding to Discouragement
Posted in Pastors' Forum

What do you do when you find yourself facing discouragement? I know that praying and reading the Bible are typical responses, but how specifically do you pray, and are there particular areas of Scripture on which you focus? Also, do you have any strategies beyond Bible reading and prayer that you implement to bring yourself back into a state of encouragement? Read the responses

Preaching For Souls! by Marvin Yoder
Posted in Articles by Others

And He said to them, “Go into all the world and preach the gospel to every creature. He who believes and is baptized will be saved; but he who does not believe will be condemned” (Mark 16:15-16, NKJV). In a time when the world is growing worse in terms of evil, corruption, violence, and anti-Christian activity, there is a great need to stir the hearts of people with the message of the Gospel! ... read more

Two Sides to Receiving from God by Melanie Stone
Posted in Articles by Others

There are two sides to receiving from God. In order to receive something, someone first has to give it. Therefore, there is a giving side, and there is a receiving side. I see the giving side as the grace side, and the receiving side as the faith side. One extraordinary concept about life and living is that God has chosen for us to experience life together. When it comes to our salvation, the grace side is the God side. ... read more

Let Your Requests Be Made Known by Lisa Cooke
Posted in Articles by Lisa Cooke

The above passage is a favored Bible verse for many of God’s children. To be told that we don’t have to worry, but can tell God what we need through prayer is indeed a holy kindness. I have spent many prayer hours telling God what I need and what I think others need. I have taken God at His word and have made my requests known to Him every day of my Christianity. ...read more

Vulnerability and Leadership
Posted in Articles by Tony Cooke

Living in this world involves risk. It cannot be avoided. Helen Keller said, “Security is mostly a superstition. It does not exist in nature, nor do the children of men as a whole experience it. Avoiding danger is no safer in the long run than outright exposure. Life is either a daring adventure or nothing.” A study of Scripture reveals that Jesus and Paul both understood the risks and there were inherent in ministry and leadership, and that they wisely managed them. ... read more

Funeral Resources
Posted in Funeral Resources, Pastors' Forum

Would you please send us any material that could be helpful to other pastors relative to conducting funerals? Any tips or suggestions? Is there a helpful story or illustration that you’ve found to work well at funerals? Do you have any funeral message outlines you’d like to share (please remove names)? Whatever you send us this month, we’ll add to the “Funeral Resources” section on our website. Read the responses

Practical Skills for Effective Communication by Jimmy Patillo
Posted in Articles by Others

In a great toolbox, there are many tools. A great sermon may have many tools as well: information, explanation, illustration, application, exhortation, argumentation (I use the term loosely), quotation, celebration, etc. A master carpenter needs more tools than a hammer and a nail, and so does a master preacher. Variety keeps it interesting. I know of a minister who always had good things to say but would just preach way too long. ... read more

Anchors of Faith by Gerald Brooks
Posted in Articles by Others

All those who have accepted Jesus Christ as their Lord and Savior have been given a measure of faith. What we do next with that faith is entirely up to us. In Pastor Gerald Brooks’ most recent book, Anchors of Faith, we are taken through many examples from the Bible where someone’s faith, or lack of it, affected the situation for better or for worse. Our faith has potential. That mustard seed sized faith we are all given when we accept Christ is our responsibility to grow and nurture. Don’t let your faith stay small. Challenge it and see it flourish and become strong, hearty, and useful. ... read more

Reclaiming Wonder!
Posted in Articles by Tony Cooke

Einstein once remarked that a person who no longer pauses to wonder is as good as dead. If there was ever a group of people who should take time to stand in wonder and amazement, it is followers of the Lord Jesus, and if there is ever a time to do so, it is when we consider Jesus’ coming to the earth, the Incarnation, when God took on flesh. ...read more

Devotionals?
Posted in Pastors' Forum

I’m looking for some good daily devotionals, both for my own personal enrichment, and to be able to recommend to members of my congregation. What are some of the different devotional books or materials that other pastors have found helpful for themselves personally and for their members? I’m interested in general devotionals as well as any “specialized” devotionals that focus on helping people through specific issues or different challenging seasons of their lives. Read the responses

Post-Christianity and the Church by Jon Perrin
Posted in Articles by Others

While the previous generation valued tolerance, Millennials emphasize acceptance and support for alternative viewpoints and lifestyles. This leads many of them to deem the Church as archaic and useless – even toxic. As a matter of fact, a recent study revealed that public opinion has shifted concerning Christianity. Spiritual practices that were once considered normal Christian behavior – sharing one’s faith, abstaining from sex outside of marriage, praying out loud for a stranger in public, etc. – are increasingly viewed as extremist. ... read more

Sodom or Salem? America It’s Your Choice by Vicki Shearin
Posted in Articles by Others

It’s been fifteen years since the September 11, 2001 terror attacks on the United States. Immediately following 9/11, President George W. Bush began to emphasize that our country was in “a different kind of war.” Indeed, most of us had no idea we were in a war at all, but we suddenly realized that evil men had been plotting against us and we had been caught unaware and unprotected against an unthinkable assault. ... read more

The Church We Are Becoming by Ed Russo
Posted in Articles by Others

The church we are becoming is one where both the churched and the un-churched feel welcome when they drive onto our campus, come through our doors, and leave feeling refreshed, encouraged and empowered. We are becoming a church where hurting and broken people are brought to a sense of wholeness and restoration through unconditional love, acceptance and forgiveness. We’re becoming a people so compassionate that others are drawn from difficult situations into our environment of renewed hope. The church we are becoming is much like a family: one house with many rooms ... read more

Stars in My Eyes by Lisa Cooke
Posted in Articles by Lisa Cooke

One of the things I love to do when Tony and I visit Rocky Mountain National Park is to go into the park late at night, away from city lights, and look at the night sky with the uncountable number of stars. Those stars, even though they appear as just pinpricks of light, have always fascinated me.  ...read more

All Sizzle and No Steak
Posted in Articles by Tony Cooke

As a young assistant pastor, I was assisting in various areas of the church, including helping with the coordination of our thirty-eight cell groups. My pastor was on Dr. Cho’s church growth board, and was also in the process of obtaining a doctor of ministry degree in church growth from Fuller Theological Seminar; his concentration was on cell groups. At that time, my pastor asked me to attend a church growth conference sponsored by another church, and one of the workshops I attended was called “Taking Your City Block by Block.”...read more