Are you struggling with sin? Wrestling with an addiction? Uncertain of God’s love? Take a few moments to watch the following music video, “Abide with Me” by Matt Maher and be assured that God abides with you!
Chris Schoon shares some very helpful ways in which we can pray for the people who live in our communities in our worship services. He writes,
Mission unfolds in our homes and backyard gardens. Mission extends across generations and welcomes new people into our families. Mission seeks the well-being and shalom of the whole city. And this day-in, day-out mission of being God’s people includes praying for the city in which we live.
Though not prone to proof-texting, the missional church conversations in which I often find myself do have a few favorite passages that are often employed with a mic-drop emphasis. Jeremiah 29:4-7 is one of those go-to texts:
This is what the Lord Almighty, the God of Israel, says to all those I carried into exile from Jerusalem to Babylon: “Build houses and settle down; plant gardens and eat what they produce. Marry and have sons and daughters; find wives for your sons and give your daughters in marriage, so that they too may have sons and daughters. Increase in number there; do not decrease. Also, seek the peace and prosperity of the city to which I have carried you into exile. Pray to the Lord for it, because if it prospers, you too will prosper.”
In other words, we are a people in exile—and God intends to cultivate the coming kingdom right where we are. This move-into-the-neighborhood emphasis makes sense to me. Mission unfolds in our homes and backyard gardens. Mission extends across generations and welcomes new people into our families. Mission seeks the well-being and shalom of the whole city. And this day-in, day-out mission of being God’s people includes praying for the city in which we live.
I’ve been thinking a lot lately about what it means for us to pray for the city, especially in our communal worship services. I certainly don’t think we’ve figured it out yet. But here are four of the ways that we’ve experimented with praying for our city during our communal worship gatherings.
A pretty common challenge among churches has to do with the number of people in the pews on Sunday morning. In the words of a sainted mentor of mine from years ago, “there is more wood than people” meaning there is a lot more of the pew that is visible than there are people who sit in those pews. Ouch. The statistics bear that out with less people coming less often than in previous years and generations. The numbers of people leaving and the number of churches struggling or closing are sobering.
So what is the answer? How can we turn things around and “revitalize” the church? Many church members, leaders and pastors love their church with all of its quirks. But when they finally admit that the church membership is getting older, with less in attendance and less offerings to go around, they know they have to do something. But what? What can be done to turn this thing around? There are usually two approaches.
Scott Gress is called by Lutheran Counseling Services and partners with the FL-GA District of the Lutheran Church as an independent contractor. He specializes in Leadership Training, Consulting, Coaching and Coach Training. Contact Scott to continue the conversation or experience a free sample coaching session. 561-542-4472, email@example.com or scottgress.com.
The Interim: Canada’s Life and Family Newspaper (November 2018, p 6) reports,
An official Island Health report shows that Vancouver Island has a rate of assisted suicide and euthanasia five times higher than the national average.
David Robertson, Island Health’s executive medical director for medical assistance in dying, co-authored the report with Rosanne Beuthin, and they found that in the first two years of legal euthanasia, 3.6 per cent of all deaths on the island were the result of assisted suicide or euthanasia. Nationally, the average is less than one per cent. Robertson told the Victoria Times-Colonist that in the last six months, the rate is now four per cent.
A total of 504 individuals were killed by euthanasia or assisted suicide in the two years following the June 17, 2016 legalization of ‘medical assistance in dying (MAID).
The report noted that it took 15 years for the euthanasia rate to hit 3.9 per cent after the Netherlands legalized the practice.
To read the rest of the article, get a copy of The Interim (November 2018).
Fear not! The message of Christmas changes hearts and lives. After all, we serve a God who works best in weakness—even in poverty—you know, like showing up in a manger! To learn more about Lutherans For Life please visit: www.lutheransforlife.org.
Order today as quantities are limited. Click here for another Christmas bulletin insert. And, here.
If you don’t want things to change then all you need is management. If you want things to change though, you need leadership. Yet do you want the kind of leadership where things blow up? Certainly not. We want healthy change. For that, what is required is wise leadership that understands the change process and can lead it well.
Wise leaders who bring about healthy change understand what is needed, when it is needed and in what amount it is needed. They are good communicators and good leading a process through which people wrestle, participate and ultimately buy into the change process. That means that leaders also understand what people are going through and can “shepherd” them through what they are experiencing.
NOTE: Rev. Scott Gress is called by Lutheran Counseling Services and partners with the FL-GA District of the Lutheran Church as an independent contractor. He specializes in Leadership Training, Consulting, Coaching and Coach Training. Contact Scott to continue the conversation or experience a free sample coaching session. 561-542-4472, firstname.lastname@example.org or scottgress.com.
Join us in Ottawa, Burlington, Calgary, and an additional 15 cities across Canada at The Global Leadership Summit this October. Bring a team and save with discounted Group 10+ tickets. Student Scholarship and Small Non-Profit Scholarship tickets are also available starting at only $49. Hear from inspirational leaders like Craig Groeschel, Danielle Strickland, Simon Sinek and Apple’s Angela Ahrendts while meeting other leaders in your community.
For more information about The Global Leadership Summit, especially to find a location near you where you can attend, visit: Summit.
To hear a sampling of what you might hear at The Global Leadership Summit, watch the following video:
Lutheran Hour Ministries has developed a new free course in witnessing. The most recent course is: Then and Now: The Nature of Spiritual Conversations.
Spiritual conversations have changed in America in the past few decades. Navigating these changes can be challenging, but we are here to help. Introducing, Then & Now: The Nature of Spiritual Conversations. This course, which is the first of three based on our Barna research, Spiritual Conversations in the Digital Age, will equip you to explore the nature of your own spiritual conversations and encourage you to talk more about your faith. Simply click the button below to sign up for FREE.
The Coaching Leader Podcast is about coaching, leadership and leading through coaching. We interview coaches, leaders and thought leaders and present material that will help leaders make a difference for their organizations in order to live into their preferred future. The Coaching Leader Podcast is Available on iTunes, Google Play, Stitcher & Overcast. Continue to the coaching leader podcast webpage to listen now.
Episode 6:Scott Talks to Dr. Lili Agee-Finke about Coaching and Servant Leadership.
Lili has a doctorate in Education with a specialty in Servant Leadership. Listen as she shares the sometimes surprising insights into what makes a good coach and servant leader.
Episode 5: Scott Talks to Rev. Travis Guse, Strengthsfinders Coach.
Travis shares about the value of coaching and identifying your strengths to move from the pew to making a difference for the kingdom of God.
Episodes 3 & 4: An Interview with Dr. Chad Hall, President of Coach Approach Ministries
Chad shares about coaching, how it differs from other helping skills and how it can used in the church as a tool of stewardship for the body of Christ. Then he shares about coaching and leadership.
Episode 2: An Interview with Dr. Art Johnson, professor of Leadership, Organizational Development and Coaching Dr. Johnson shares from his extensive experience and wisdom about leading organizational change, personal development and what really makes a difference for people.
Episode 1: An Interview with former LCMS President Jerry Kieschnick
Together we explore his journey of ministry and the leadership lessons he learned along the way.
Lift Them Up: A James 1:27 Ministry is an organization dedicated to supporting the needs of orphans and widows in Rwanda. Kendra Willard, the Executive Director of Lift Them Up recently returned from Rwanda and reports:
During the 30 days that my team and I were working in Rwanda:
• 1200 children were fed out of the Nutrition Program in the Nyaraguru Church. The gummy vitamins -donated from Stonegate Women’s Bible Studies in Midland, TX- arrived safely and were distributed with each meal.
• My team and I traveled to and preached at multi-day Women’s Conferences at each of our 4 partner churches.
• We met with all of the Sponsored kids, got updated pictures, handed out the picture Bibles (also from SGW Bible Study groups), and got to meet some of their families.
• I got to see the Nyiramugisha Artisen craftwomen in action, making beautiful handmade jewelry.
To learn more about how you might get involved in supporting the work of Lift Them Up, you will find Lift Them Up on facebook and on the web at: Lift Them Up.