Wednesday, April 09, 2014

Lessons from the Skating Rink that the Church can Learn From.

(Inspired by a conversation I had with Evelyn Cronin)

1. Never Skate alone

2. Conversation is always Welcomed.

3. Lots of Food, Lights and seats equals delights.

4. The more people know the songs; the more they will sing along.

5. People of all ages like to try something new.

6. There are no Generation gaps on the rink. People of all ages are either skating or encouraging one another.

7. Encouragement goes a long ways.

8. Everyone knows why they are there.

9. There is always room for improvement.

10. When someone falls down - there is always someone there to help them back up.

11. Skating friends make everlasting buddies. Never Give Up!!

Why Hospital Visits are Important?

It seems to me that hospital visitation is a rare and lost art in ministry. Unless it is an extreme emergency ...not very many ministers seem to go on hospital visits anymore. (They seem to delegate it to their leaders)

Here are some reasons that hospital visits are still important in ministry:

1. There is nothing like the ministry of presence. Communicating that you care and are there for someone.

2. It is an opportunity to share Good News. Share the Scriptures. God's Word will not come back void.

3. Prayer changes everything. There is power in prayer. It gives Hope.

4. Have short visits. The person is there to get well not socialize.

5. Opportunity to meet those in the health care industry. Meeting others and encouraging them from Nurses, doctors; chaplains.

6. Opportunity to meet family; friends; and others who need Jesus.

7. Tells people outside the church and in your church you care.

8. Nothing like being Jesus' hands and feet when people need to be ministered to whether big or small.

Hospital visits seem to be a dying art but something every preacher needs to embrace more and the opportunities God opens for you.

Things I've learned about Hosting Groups at your church Facility.

1. Have a contract. Stating what the expectations are and what can and cannot be done.

2. Have a Usage Form. Similar to contract and gives the duties and fees etc.

3. Be Consistent.

4. Make sure well used. Facility is no good if empty most of the week.

5. Opportunity to reach out to the community.

6. Possible Groups: Adult Day Care (We had a group called: Grace place); Scouts (Girls/Boys); Care-a-van (Medical services); Government (We're a polling place); Gym - exercise groups - zumba, yoga etc

7. Can be an outreach as a service to people. Don't view as a project or people to automatically be coming to your church. Exposure doesn't always equate visitors but does communicate you care.

8. Be in it for the long haul. Hosting groups is an investment. It not only requires monetary and physical resources but also a mediator of sorts to go between as a rep between the groups and the church itself.

9. Be creative. We currently have a Hispanic congregation meeting in our facility and consider it an honor and opportunity to help a church that otherwise wouldn't be there.

10. Have fun. Remember the focus of ministry isn't the facilities. Buildings and the such are tools; not the goal. In Bible College they don't teach you about all the facility logistics - but be willing to learn, adapt, know the codes(Regulations) in the area etc.

Wednesday, April 02, 2014

The Returned - A Review.

So what do you do when you see a now popular TV series is entitled "Resurrection" and there are questions about it and the book its based upon? well you read the book of course.

The Returned is based upon the premise of what would happen is those who were recently deceased would come back to life again? The book paints a picture of sacrifice, love, doubts, and questions in the mix. Never solving anything. (BTW the TV series is very much different than the book btw only some familiar characters)

The Returned almost goes back to the WW2 era of an US versus Them ... (Maybe even today if political) of those who are "Living" and those Returned and rounding them up in concentration camps of sorts. The book itself is a very easy read. Lots of dialogue and probably at best a Middle School reading level. If you were expecting this book to be anything like the TV series or answer some of your questions you'll be disappointed. There might be a sequel to help on "Why the Returned?" My thoughts is Mott's book will be much a conversation piece but really doesn't help.

right now it is interesting that people are asking questions about death (Think the show Walking Dead) interested in supernatural things (Think SuperHero Movies)and loosely based bible things (Noah, Son of Man etc movies) so let's take the time to point them to the True Resurrection, way and life. That of Jesus.

who is with me?

AHA - Awakening Honesty Action - Review.

Description I've found:

Kyle Idleman has heard dozens of stories from people about their aha! moments. In this newest book, he shares the common threads from their stories, and the story of the prodigal son that will help you reconnect with the love of our heavenly Father. Drawing on Scriptural truths, he outlines three key elements (Awakening, Honesty, Action) that will draw you closer to God and change your life for good.

My thoughts:

Kyle's book is spot on. It is like the light finally comes on when no one was home. The God moment indeed changes everything. It has for me. It will for you. And then we come to our senses. This book points us to not merely listen and read but apply to our lives. My prayer is you have an "AHA" moment and be transformed and pointed to Jesus.

In this together.