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

Preaching For Souls! Marvin Yoder “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 ... 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

Vulnerability and Leadership
Posted in Articles by Tony Cooke

Vulnerability and Leadership Tony Cooke As in years past, I’ll be doing a number of leadership roundtables with Pastor Gerald Brooks around the country in the coming months. Every year we both teach new material in these meetings, and I wanted to share with you one of the lessons I ... 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

Reclaiming Wonder! 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 ... 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

Stars in My Eyes 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, ... read more

All Sizzle and No Steak
Posted in Articles by Tony Cooke

All Sizzle and No Steak Tony Cooke An online dictionary defining idioms says that “all sizzle and no steak” means, “Disappointing or anticlimactic. Having an exciting, promising, important, or aggrandizing buildup that proves to be unwarranted.[1] Another says that it refers to “A thing or person which fails to measure ... read more

Inventories and Testing
Posted in Pastors' Forum

I hear other pastors talk about giving "personality profiles" and “gift mix tests” to help determine the temperaments and the giftings of their people. I’ve also heard of these being used in providing spiritual guidance, especially in terms of helping people prepare for marriage. Has this truly been helpful to churches and the people taking these kind of inventories? If so, how? Can you tell me some of the better tests and inventory tools that are available for use in the local church? Read the responses

The Greatness Temptation by Lisa Cooke
Posted in Articles by Lisa Cooke

The Greatness Temptation Lisa Cooke Greatness. The internal itch to amount to something in life. I would guess practically every human being has this deep desire to be known for some type of accomplishment or skill, or natural beauty. We admire those who have achieved greatness in some form in ... read more

Emerging Heroes
Posted in Articles by Tony Cooke

Emerging Heroes Tony Cooke Some time ago, I read a quote by A. B. Simpson, the founder of the Christian Missionary Alliance. He said, “God is preparing his heroes; and when the opportunity comes, he can fit them into their places in a moment, and the world will wonder where ... read more

A Bible School in the Church?
Posted in Pastors' Forum

I’ve been contemplating offering our church people something more in-depth teaching-wise than what they can receive in regular services or periodic small group settings. I know that some churches offer a lay-Bible school, and some even offer certain college or university classes. What are the pros and cons of some of these types of approaches? What has worked well and what seems to be most effective in providing interested church members with more in-depth teaching and training? Read the responses

Pray for America!
Posted in Articles by Tony Cooke

When Benjamin Franklin addressed the Constitutional Convention in Philadelphia in 1787, he said: "I have lived, Sir, a long time and the longer I live, the more convincing proofs I see of this truth—that God governs in the affairs of men. And if a sparrow cannot fall to the ground without his notice, is it probable that an empire can rise without his aid? We have been assured, Sir, in the sacred writings... Read this article by Tony Cooke

A Culture of Constant Improvement
Posted in Articles by Tony Cooke

A Culture of Constant Improvement Tony Cooke Something that has continually amazed me in our travels to churches over the years is the various strengths and weaknesses of different congregations. No congregation is perfect, and every church has both strengths that are commendable as well as areas that can be ... read more

The Spirit Empowered Life by Beth Jones
Posted in Articles by Others

Andi explained to me what being “filled with the Spirit” was all about, but because I had been taught to stay away from “those people” and from “speaking in tongues,” I had to unlearn some things in order to actually learn new things. I was thirsty for all the Lord had for me and I really wanted to learn the truth, so I read all the books I could find on the subject of being filled with the Spirit and speaking in tongues. To be honest, the authors each had different opinions and all of the reading confused me! I decided to set all of the books aside, and I picked up my Bible and prayed, “Father, I am not a Bible scholar, but you know my heart, and I desire the truth. I want everything You want for me, and I don’t want anything You don’t want for me. As I read the Bible, please show me the truth. In Jesus’ Name. Amen.” I began to read the Books of Acts and 1 Corinthians and other books in the Bible that contained passages about the Holy Spirit ... read more

Your Creative Best by Lisa Cooke
Posted in Articles by Lisa Cooke

Your Creative Best Lisa Cooke I read these words today from The Message Bible: “Each of you must take responsibility for doing the creative best you can with your own life” (Gal 6:5). We have each been given a “not to be wasted” span of days on this earth to ... read more