March 1 Newsletter

March 1, 2019 by  
Filed under Newsletter

Under The Elmtree

In This Edition

 

*  R U A Level Five (5) Leader – Loyalty

*  Book Review-The Preacher’s Catechism

*  What Needs To Change?

*  An App for IgniteUS

*  Pastoral Placement – FIT

*  Invitation – – Reformation & Renewal

*  Whats Ahead?

*  This Date in History – 1st Witchcraft Trials

 Pastoral unity Paul speaks of in this passage is Organic

labeled

Level Five Leadership

What is a Level Five Leader? In this News Letter we are endeavoring to answer that question. Why does it matter? The short answer is this. There is a direct correlation between ministry effectiveness and the competence level of the primary leadership in a local church. Leadership is crucial in every organization and this is definitely true in the local church.

The definition of level five leadership is accomplished in five characteristics of such leaders. Here is Number #4 –

This is the fourth article in a series of five on the topic of Level Five Leadership – Loyalty. The average pastoral tenure is  3 ½  – 4 years. True loyalty is developed over time and is tested by a variety of circumstances. How loyal are you and how loyal are those you consider trusted friends?

It is often stated that most men have no, none, not one true friend. True, but tragic. The basis for loyalty is a circle of friends and fellow servants in which transparency and vulnerability abound. 

Transparency is my willingness to acknowledge with integrity the observations you make about my person and/or my ministry. Vulnerability is the courage on my part to come to you and openly express a need or deficiency that I am struggling with. Generally I tell you what you already know. Now I have authorized you to address it and help me find solutions. 

Such genuineness and “life in community’ conduct inevitably produces LOYAL co-laborers and friends of the most cherished sort. 

1 Sam. 20:16:17 David & Jonathan So Jonathan made a covenant with the house of David, saying, “May the LORD require it at the hands of David’s enemies.”Jonathan made David vow again because of his love for him, because he loved him as he loved his own life. 

2 Sam. 9:9-11 David & Mephibosheth Then the king called Saul’s servant Ziba and said to him, “All that belonged to Saul and to all his house I have given to your master’s grandson. “You and your sons and your servants shall cultivate the land for him, and you shall bring in the produce so you’re your master’s grandson  may have food; nevertheless Mephiboseth, your master’s grandson shall eat at my table regularly.” Now Ziba had fifteen sons and twenty servants. Then Ziba said to the king, “According to all that my lord the king commands his servant so your servant will do.” So Mephibosheth ate at David’s table as one of the king’s sons. 

2 Sam. 19:38-39; I Kings 2:7 The king answered, “Chimham shall cross over with me, and I will do for him what is good in your sight, and whatever you require of me, I will do for you.” All the people crossed over the Jordan and the king crossed too. The King then kissed Barziilai and blessed him, and he returned to his place. “But show kindness to the sons of BarziIlai the Gileadite, and let them be among those who eat at your table; for they assisted me when I fled from Absalom your brother. 

I Chron. 12:18, 33 Then the Spirit came upon Amasai, who was the chief of the thirty, and he said, “We are yours, O David, And with you, O son of Jesse! Peace, peace to you, and peace to him who helps you; Indeed, your God helps you!” Then David received them and made them captains of the band. 

Of Zebulun, there were 50,000 who went out in the army, who could draw up in battle formation with all kinds of weapons of war and helped David with an undivided heart. 

Do you have an undivided heart? Are you a  leader that radiates loyalty and do you model that for other leaders to imitate (Heb. 13:7)?

Book Review – The Preacher’s Catechism

Book Review – Allen, Lewis. The Preachers Catechism. Wheaton IL: Crossway, 2018, 220 pp. $22.99 ISBN # – 978-1-4335-5935-8.

I let the author provide a compelling and beneficial introduction to this treatise on preaching. Every ‘preacher’ likes to believe he is a ‘good preacher’. Perhaps that designation may be best validated by those who do or do not gather to hear what he has to say each time the flock assembles. The following quote is from the Introduction to this title and captures well the thrust of this book:

The Preachers Catechism is a book for busy preachers, young and experienced, whether bursting with enthusiasm or fighting cynicism, full time or part time. Preaching, the declaring of God’s eternal word to time bound but eternal creatures, is serious work, and it’s triumphs and disasters echo into eternity. We have the most glorious calling on earth, but it’s maybe also the hardest. Preaching really matters.

Every preacher needs to improve his preaching. We should work at our exegesis of the text of Scripture and aim to teach practically and helpfully. We must learn to present Christ in all of the Scriptures in ways that encourage faith and joy in him. We need to work hard with our choice of words and illustrations in order to serve the message we are bringing people. Preachers who don’t commit to keeping on learning will end up saying the same things in the same ways. Predictable sermons bless few, if any.

The author posits three (3) basic convictions that shape this title. He is a resident of England and not as well known in the USA. His labors make a timely and crucial contribution to the church and preaching in his native land as well as in America.  Both lands yearn for Reformation and Renewal and that will come through the church if at all and preaching will be a primary means to accomplish such transformation. Here are his three (3) convictions:

Conviction 1 – The church needs preachers who last and thrive.

Conviction 2 – Preachers must understand how preaching works, and how their own souls work.

Conviction 3 – The Westminster Shorter Catechism is an outstanding resource for the heart needs of every preacher.

The convictions mentioned above are fleshed out under four headings as follows.

Part 1 -The Glory of God and the Greatness of Preaching.

Part 2 – Jesus for Preachers

Part 3 – Loving the Word

Part 4 – Preaching with Conviction

I am a Church Consultant. I live in North Central Alabama in a primarily rural area. I have the distinct privilege of having six (6) radio programs each week. I listen to other ‘preachers’ on the station that hosts my programs. Any credible Homiletics Professor would have a stroke if he listened to what passes as preaching on most of these programs. There is precious little exegesis, a great deal of storytelling, and an abundance of opinion sharing. That my friends is not biblical preaching. I have been a pastor for 50 years and trained pastors and church leaders in a multitude of International settings. I would never claim to be the final word on preaching, but I do know what does and does not qualify for that noble description. The evidence of excellence in preaching is in part on display in those churches where people attend because they feast on the richness of God’s truth. God’s word is proclaimed with authority, excellence, and applicable value to daily living. That is God’s design.

I recently served a local church in calling a Lead pastor. Effective preaching, pulpit ministry, must be measured by objective criteria that determines whether or not the people are being transformed by what they are hearing. No genuine transformation over time is exhibit ‘A’ that the preaching is not truly the declaration of God’s revealed truth that is by design the primary means of transformation accomplished by the Holy Spirit.

All this to say I highly affirm this treatise on Preaching. I urge my fellow pastors to be catechized by purchasing and reading repeatedly and applying the contents of this title in your preaching ministry. I close with comments from the Foreword by Sinclair Ferguson which properly extol the primacy of preaching.

Some years ago, I watched a BBC documentary about a distinguished microbiologist honored by the queen for her services to medical science. She had devoted her research just studying the mutation of one particular virus. As a result of her work, the UK government had given permission for experimental medical injection procedures to be carried out on people who, because of inoperable conditions, had only a few weeks left to live. The results were remarkable-in some instances verging on the miraculous. She was also a long-standing friend and a member of the congregation I served. When I congratulated her on the documentary, I said how satisfying it must be to have devoted her career to something that has accomplished so much good. She responded in a way that spoke volumes about her priorities: What I do isn’t really all that important but what you do, that’s really important.”

Preaching, more important than making a life extending contribution to medical science? My friend thought so. So should I. So should you. My hope and prayer for the Preachers Catechism is that it will sustain, refresh, and, if necessary, recover that vision.

What Needs To Change?

Change is constant. The pace of change has accelerated rapidly in the past twenty years. This rate of change made a significant impact on the local church. Churches are notorious for lagging behind. Some of the churches in my area do not even have a phone let alone a web site. (selah) The issue is Community Connection. Do people lnpw you exist and can they reach you?

That being the case, I am developing a White Paper. The focus of this document is Reformation & Renewal. In it I provide  a series of ministry functions that must be addressed and applied if ministry is to be effective. Persistent decline is not the only option. It is possible for a declining church to change direction. That requires intentional effort applied and monitored by godly leaders.

I will post the sections of this paper in this News Letter, one in each addition. When completed I will provide this paper as  a PDF file containing all sections. My proposed completion date is April 1. I may or may not meet that time line. Stay tuned!

An App for IgniteUS

The Radio station that broadcast my radio programs has developed an APP for IgniteUS. The Beta Test began on January 15th. This APP will enable you to get to our web site and other beneficial resources with one click. There are numerous other features to make connecting with us simple and efficient. The features of this APP are basic and beneficial. There are  multiple Bible translations; ESV, NASB, etc.. Our News Letters are posted in chronological order. You may connect those on your friends list and offer them the option of connecting with IgniteUS. In this News Letter we  provide the details for you to get this App. Many THANKS to Ron Mosley, Jr. and WKUL 92.1 FM here in Cullman for developing this ministry resource..

The App is in Beta Test Mode. When the Beta Test phase is complete this will be avaialable in both Google and Apple platforms. Follow these steps to download the App.

Step 1

Step 2
  • Tap ‘Install’, and the app will then install onto your iOS device
Step 4
Open your app. You will get ‘Untrusted Enterprise Developer’ alert message, tap Cancel, and follow the instructions to proceed…..
(a) Go to Settings > General > Profiles or Profiles & Device Management
(b) You will see a profile – ONS Interactive Solutions, under ‘Enterprise App’. Tap the profile
(c) A dialog box Trust ‘iPhone Distribution – ONS Interactive Solutions’ Apps on this iPhone will appear. Tap ‘Trust’ to establish trust for this developer, and test your app
 
Step 5
You’re done! The final app will be ready in the coming weeks for the Apple Store and we will announce to you when this is complete.

Pastoral Placement

Leadership is crucial. When a church is seeking a Lead Pastor there are multiple critical areas that must be considered. Tragically the traditional approach to this process has produced brief pastoral tenures (3 1/2 years is the current average) and less than robust effectiveness. It takes about five (5) years for a pastor to earn trust and the willingness of people to embrace the changes ministry requires. Research reveals that churches that ‘go it alone’ in the call process experience a 90-95% failure rate – the man they call is not a FIT! Yet, many persist in repeating the same failed process. A positive and wise trend is to seek the services of a proven Consultant and Process. IgniteUS provides such a service. Our goal is to guide the church to a man that fits the church and the church fits the man. We help churches face reality. We provide testimonials from those who have utilized our services. Contact us @ 800 472 3764 or info@igniteus.net.

This link takes the reader to an article on FIT in the Placement Process. http://www.igniteus.net/archives/category/leadership  FIT-edness was a key theological principle in the ministry of Jonathan Edwards.

Invitation – – Reformation & Renewal

Strategic and effective modification in ministry is like losing weight. It requires more than just desire. It requires ACTION! For weight loss – cut out the snacks, eat more fruits and vegetables, eat healthy, eat less.That bathroom scale tells the Truth about your weight!

Objective Assessment tells the Truth about the true condition of ministry. The problem – very few pastors and churches are willing to submit to an Assessment process. IgniteUS provides tested and proven resources that reveal the true condition of a local church ministry. Not knowing that condition is similar to having stage four (4) cancer but refusing to seek treatment.

Thanks to the technology we enjoy we can guide you through this process via video conferencing, free conference calls, and email. The cost is minimal. The benefits are dramatic.  It is only possible to correct ministry dysfunctions when you know what they are.  Every church has some dysfunction. Objective Assessments are like that bathroom scale. They tell the TRUTH! Assessment is the first step to Reformation & Renewal. We provide information, encouragement, and equipping for effective ministry.

I recently had a conference call with one of the Pastors engaged in the Leadership Development Process we provide. He polled those attending seeking to discover the primary reason for their continued attendance. 12% stated Family. 88% said the Preaching. They have grown numerically from 70  – 270! They have over 200 people in intentional disciplemaking ministries. They are reaching people in their community. Simply wonderful and Christ honoring! Call Pastor Louis Venable to confirm – FBC Loris SC – 843 817 7842, or, labvenable@comcast.net.

I prayerfully urge you to contact me. Call me at 800 472 3764 or send me an email at info@igniteus.net. I will be happy to explain the process, the cost, (view this as an investment not merely an expenditure) the benefits, etc. when you call. Like not seeking treatment for stage four (4) cancer, not identifying and correcting dysfunction hinders effective ministry. I look forward to your call and the joy and privilege of serving you and the church you lead.

Pod Cast – THRIVE

The title of the Pod Cast is THRIVE. That is our desire for every pastor and every local church. We want you to thrive in making disciples, and developing leaders, all of which is to Glorify Jesus Christ. There is a banner on our web site – – www.igniteus.net – – just click on that banner. This Pod Cast has the potential to reach 35,000 listeners. If you listen and find benefit in the content, encourage folks in your sphere of influence to listen as well, then contact us. THANKS. I want to hear from you; info@igniteus.net or 800 472 3764.

The Pod Cast are posted every Tuesday. The ministry of IgniteUS is focused on Leadership Development in the local church. Leadership Network recently completed a survey of hundreds of pastors. They were asked to identify the area in which they most needed assistance. Leadership Development was #1 in all but one category. These posts will inform, encourage, and equip leaders in the local church. Click on the banner on our home page labeled -Thrive.

The current series of posts are focused on Level Five (5) Leadership. Are you a Level Five Leader? Do you know why this matters?

Whats Ahead?

In the next News Letter I will finish the posts on Level Five (5) Leaders.

I will be speaking at Oakwood Baptist Church in Camp Hill PA on March 02-04.

I will be speaking at Lake Catoma Baptist Church in Cullman Alabama on March 10th, AM.

In the April 1st News Letter I will share an article I am producing – a White Paper on ‘What Needs to Change’ for the Evangelical Church to be effective in reaching lost people, seeing those that are redeemed transformed, and taking the Gospel to the Nations.

Book Review of Christ Has Set US Free – Preaching & Teaching Galatiansedited by D.A. Carson and Jeff Robinson Sr.

Recommended Reading – I will list titles that provide beneficial content for ministry. Leaders are readers so apply the discipline to read/study good books.

December
This Date in History

   

1692 Sarah Goode, Sarah Osborne and Tituba are arrested for the supposed practice of witchcraft in Salem, Mass.

 

   
   

Read and respond. THANKS!!

Read my BLOG — www.thetextsays.blogspot.com.

Also on the Home Page www.igniteus.net – A Monday Morning BLOG. (Currently – “What Is Biblical Loyalty?“) New post on the 1st & 15th of each month. Comments welcome!

Home Page – Click on this link to go to our Home Page: http://www.igniteUS.net/ 

US Update

This Update is sent to you on the 1st and 15th of each month. Please send comments or questions to us at info@igniteUS.net. Or, you may go to our BLOG on the home page of our Web Site – click on Newsletter. THANKS!

February 15 News Letter

February 15, 2019 by  
Filed under Newsletter

Under The Elmtree

In This Edition

 

*  R U A Level Five (5) Leader

*  Book Review – Faithful Endurance

*  That Hideous Strength – Cultural Marxism

*  An App for IgniteUS

*  Pastoral Placement – FIT

* Tithe.ly for Ministry Support

*  Whats Ahead?

This Date in History-USS Maine Blows UP

 Pastoral unity Paul speaks of in this passage is Organic 

labeled

Level Five Leadership

 

What is a Level Five Leader? In this News Letter we are endeavoring to answer that question. Why does it matter? The short answer is this. There is a direct correlation between ministry effectiveness and the competence level of the primary leadership in a local church. Leadership is crucial in every organization and this is definitely true in the local church.

 

The definition of level five leadership is accomplished in five characteristics of such leaders. Here is Number #3 – Competence.

 

In this article we focus on Competence.

 

There exists formal research data that reveals that Incompetent Leadership is a major cause of decline in the Evangelical Church. In my work as a Church Consultant my observation and research confirm this to be true.

 

I have often been robustly criticized for including competence in the profile we developed for leaders. Well the opposite is incompetence. God does not delight in incompetence or a lack of excellence. He is worthy of the highest level of competence we can achieve. It is not something we manufacture. We depend completely upon Him and actively seek competence in the execution of ministry that will bring honor and glory to him.

 

When Solomon built the Temple, he sought and enlisted the finest craftsmen available. Paul struggled to always invest his efforts at maximum levels of dependence upon God and to maximize achievement. Competence is not self-sufficiency. On the contrary, true competence is a profound awareness of our total dependence upon God and inter-dependence on one another as we make up the Body of Christ We do well to serve with that mentality.

 

Ex. 36:1-2 Now Bezalel and Oholiab, and every skillful person in whom the LORD has put skill and understanding to know how to perform all the work in the construction of the sanctuary, shall  perform in accordance with all that the LORD has commanded.” Then Moses called Bezalel and Oholiab and every skillful person in whom the LORD had put skill, everyone whose heart stirred him, to come to the work to perform it.

 

1 Kings 7:13-14  Now King Solomon sent and brought Hiram from Tyre. He was a widow’s son from the tribe of Naphtali, and his father was a man of Tyre, a worker in bronze; and he was filled with wisdom and understanding and skill for doing any work in bronze. So he came to King Solomon and performed all his work.

 

I Cor. 9:24-27 Do you not know that those who run in a race all run, but only one receives the prize? Run in such a way that you may win. Everyone who competes in the games exercises self-control in all things. They then do it to receive a perishable wreath, but we an imperishable. Therefore I run in such a way, as not without aim; I box in such a way, as not beating the air; but I discipline my body and make it my slave, so that, after I have preached to others, I myself will not be disqualified.

 

All TRUTH is God’s TRUTH. When there is incompetence in leadership roles in the church that church will not accomplish the Great Commission. That church will not effectively make disciples. I urge my readers to honestly assess those that bear the title ‘Leader’ in the church where you worship. Do they lead with competence? Competence is measured by effectively accomplishing purpose. If not, they need to confess, repent, and seek to acquire those skills that enable them to lead with competence.

 

Book Review – Faithful Endurance

 

Book Review – Hansen, Collin. and Robinson, Jeff Sr. Editors Faithful Endurance – The Joy of Shepherding People for a Lifetime. Wheaton IL: Crossway, 2019, 150 pp. $14.99 ISBN # – 978-1-4335-6265-5. Available April 30, 2019.

 

In 20 days, I will mark the fifty (50) year anniversary since I joined the ranks of Elder/Pastor Shepherds. In that time the Lord has graciously taken me to 27 countries around the globe training pastors and church leaders. As a pastor and church Consultant I have labored with hundreds of pastor/shepherds. I have prayed with them, wept with them, and sought to encourage them. I have listened to them and been immersed in their accounts of the joys and challenges of ministry. I could say not only did I care, but, that I understand, having walked some of the same paths. The names and places are different, the struggles in each circumstance are very similar.

 

God is God, people are people, and sin is sin. Sin produces dysfunction and conflict. Elder/Pastors deal with the consequences of this reality. As John Piper properly declared, ‘Brothers we are not Professionals’. However, we do encounter both the joys and hardships of pastoral ministry. This title will equip you to grapple with them. You will do so with integrity, dignity, and competence that honors the Lord.

 

This week (01/22/2019) I met with a young pastor from TN. His question to me was, ‘What advice would you give a young pastor?’ My response was, ‘Go to a church and remain there for life.’ Doing so will require the competence and wisdom to navigate the challenges that every ministry presents. In my mail that afternoon was this title. Providence.

 

Why is this issue important? It has been reported that 5 years after men enter the pastoral ministry, 50% of them leave. 10 years after they enter, 80% of them leave. Obviously knowing the issues and how to deal with them in a godly Christ-honoring manner is vital for longevity. This title provides equipping and insight into how to navigate these turbulent waters and endure. There is JOY in serving Jesus!

 

The contributors to this treasure chest of wisdom are some well-known and some not so well-known pastors. They are Tim Keller, D. A. Carson, Bryan Chapell, and Tom Ascol. Others are Dave Harvey, Mark McCullough, John Stark, and Scott Patty.

 

A key figure in the pantheon of evangelical pastors is John MacArthur. He recently completed 50 years at Grace Community Church in California. The following is his response to a question about threats to persevering in ministry.

 

Pastoring is really an effort to be the instrument of the Spirit of God in the sanctification of God’s people to see them conform to Christ. I often think about the fact that election is purely Gods divine purpose before time, justification is a divine act in a moment, and glorification is a divine act in a moment. And in the biography of every Christian’s life, sanctification is this long, drawn out process of conformity to Christ. And the instrument of that, of course, is the word of God and the Spirit of God through the means of the shepherding of God’s people. (pp. 135-136)

 

George Barna’s research reveals that the most fruitful years of pastoral ministry are years 5 through year 14.3. The average pastoral tenure is 3.5 years. This being the case, pastors seldom reach that period when ministry is most effective. The things that drive them out are covered in this title. There is also sound counsel as to how to stay for the long haul provided by those who exhibit a pattern of significant longevity.

 

I close with two exhortations. 1 – buy this book. 2. – From Jesus himself on the issue of longevity in pastoral ministry Luke 9:62: Jesus said to him, “No one who puts his hand to the plow and looks back is fit for the kingdom of God.”

 

That Hideous Strength – Cultural Marxism

 

 

This title is timely, powerful, and presents a compelling profile of Cultural Marxism. You will learn how the tenets of that system have made inroads in the Evangelical Church. On pp. 61-72 the author provides a concise portrait of how the warp speed changes in the American Culture have been accomplished. You will be equipped for the struggle in this realm by purchasing and digesting the content of this title. I appeal for civility in exchanges on this issue.

 

Let it be clearly understood that our hope in the possibility of renewal is squarely grounded, not in our selves, not in history and the fact that it is happened before, but in the power of God demonstrated by the truth of the resurrection of Jesus. . . . This is therefore no time to hang our heads or hide our lights under any bushel for fear that we may be picked on for our refusals to fit in. We are to have no fear. We are to look up. We are to take strength from the fact that we can, because he can. (Os Guinness)

 

An App for IgniteUS

The Radio station that broadcast my radio programs has developed an APP for IgniteUS. The Beta Test began on January 15th. This APP will enable you to get to our web site and other beneficial resources with one click. There are numerous other features to make connecting with us simple and efficient. The features of this APP are basic and beneficial. There are  multiple Bible translations; ESV, NASB, etc.. Our News Letters are posted in chronological order. You may connect those on your friends list and offer them the option of connecting with IgniteUS. In the March 1st  News Letter we will provide the details for you to get this App. Many THANKS to Ron Mosley, Jr. and WKUL 92.1 FM here in Cullman for developing this ministry resource..

 

Pastoral Placement

Leadership is crucial. When a church is seeking a Lead Pastor there are multiple critical areas that must be considered. Tragically the traditional approach to this process has produced brief pastoral tenures (3 1/2 years is the current average) and less than robust effectiveness. It takes about five (5) years for a pastor to earn trust and the willingness of people to embrace the changes ministry requires. Research reveals that churches that ‘go it alone’ in the call process experience a 90-95% failure rate – the man they call is not a FIT! Yet, many persist in repeating the same failed process. A positive and wise trend is to seek the services of a proven Consultant and Process. IgniteUS provides such a service. Our goal is to guide the church to a man that fits the church and the church fits the man. We help churches face reality. We provide testimonials from those who have utilized our services. Contact us @ 800 472 3764 or info@igniteus.net.

 

**WATCH for a 9Marks article in the 9Marks Journal by Dr. David Schrock, (Calvinist Pastors and Non-Calvinist Churches: Candidating, Pastoring, and Moving On) that connects you with the FIT Process! Click on footnote #3 at the bottom of the article. FIT-edness was a key theological principle in the ministry of Jonathan Edwards.,

 

Ministry Support $$

 

We are asking each recipient of this Newsletter to give – $10 a month. These funds enable us to provide  Scholarships to Pastors & Churches.  Our process produces Leaders with Competence that God uses to bring effectiveness to ministry. Join our Support Team! Christ gets the Glory! 

People do not give to a ministry because you have needs. People give because they believe you meet needs and they want to be a significant part of meeting those needs.Leadership Development is crucial and needed.

Financial Support– There are two (2) places on our web site (www.igniteus.net) that make contributing to our ministry simple. Click on the Home Page button labeled DONATE or on the Banner Online Giving. Follow the prompts. The challenge for every 501 c-3 organization always includes fund raising. When the market crashed in 2008 IUS lost $2,000/month in support – a major factor in sustaining ministry. We are seeking an additional $2,000/month in on-going support for fiscal year 2019. This enables us to provide Scholarships for struggling churches to move from decline to effectively making disciples fully formed in the image of Christ in Character & Conduct. You can become a regular donor. THANKS to each one who gives! Appreciated!

 

Pod Cast – THRIVE

 

The title of the Pod Cast is THRIVE. That is our desire for every pastor and every local church. We want you to thrive in making disciples, and developing leaders, all of which is to Glorify Jesus Christ. There is a banner on our web site – – www.igniteus.net – – just click on that banner. This Pod Cast has the potential to reach 35,000 listeners. If you listen and find benefit in the content, encourage folks in your sphere of influence to listen as well, then contact us. THANKS. I want to hear from you; info@igniteus.net or 800 472 3764.

 

The Pod Cast are posted every Tuesday. The ministry of IgniteUS is focused on Leadership Development in the local church. Leadership Network recently completed a survey of hundreds of pastors. They were asked to identify the area in which they most needed assistance. Leadership Development was #1 in all but one category. These posts will inform, encourage, and equip leaders in the local church. Click on the banner on our home page labeled -Thrive.

 

The current series of posts are focused on Level Five (5) Leadership. Are you a Level Five Leader? Do you know why this matters?

 

Whats Ahead?

 

In the next two (2) News Letters I will finish the posts on Level Five (5) Leaders.

 

In the April 1st News Letter I will share an article I am producing on ‘What Needs to Change’ for the Evangelical Church to be effective in reaching lost people, seeing those that are redeemed transformed, and taking the Gospel to the Nations.

December
 

 

 

 

This Date in History

1898 -The U.S. battleship Maine blows up in Havana Harbor, killing 268 sailors and bringing hordes of Western cowboys and gunfighters rushing to enlist in the Spanish-American War.

IgniteUS Newsletter February 1 2019

February 5, 2019 by  
Filed under Newsletter

Under The Elmtree

In This Edition

 

*  R U A Level Five (5) Leader

*  Book Review – Reformed Systematics

*  The Atmosphere of Ministry

*  An App for IgniteUS

*  IUS Leading Transformation

*  Pastoral Placement – FIT

* Tithe.ly for Ministry Support

Pod Cast  Thrive – Are You Thriving?

This Date in History- Lizzy Wacks Mary

Pastoral unity Paul speaks of in this passage is Organic

 

 

labeled

Level Five Leadership

 

What is a Level Five Leader? In the next five (5) News Letters we will endeavor to answer that question. Why does it matter? The short answer is this. There is a direct correlation between ministry effectiveness and the competence level of the primary leadership in a local church. Leadership is crucial in every organization and this is definitely true in the local church. Here is a quote supporting this thesis from John Maxwell’s book The 21 Irrefutable Laws of Leadership, Chapter 1, p.1.

I often open my leadership conferences by explaining the Law of The Lid because it helps people understand the value of leadership. If you can get a handle on this law, you will see the incredible impact of leadership on every aspect of life. So here it is: leadership ability is the lid that determines a person’s level of effectiveness. The lower an individual’s ability to lead, the lower the lid on his potential. The higher the leader- ship, the greater the effectiveness. To give you an example, if your  leadership rates an 8, then your effectiveness can never be greater than a 7. If your leadership is only a 4, then you’re effectiveness will be no higher than a 3. Your leadership ability–for better or for worse–always determines your effectiveness and the potential impact of your organization.

 

The definition of level five leadership is accomplished in five characteristics of such leaders. Here is Number #2 – Courage

 

This is the second in a series of five. In this article we focus on Courage. Perhaps a quote from the well known exchange in the Wizard of Oz provides insight into this quality. Listen in as Dorthy challenges the Cowardly Lion.

 

Dorothy: My goodness, what a fuss you’re making! Well, naturally, when you go around picking on things weaker than you are. Why, you’re nothing but a great big coward!
Cowardly Lion: [crying] You’re right, I am a coward! I haven’t any courage at all. I even scare myself. [sobbing] Look at the circles under my eyes. I haven’t slept in weeks!
Tin Man: Why don’t you try counting sheep?
Cowardly Lion: That doesn’t do any good, I’m afraid of ’em.

 

Elder/Shepherds cannot lead effectively if they fear the sheep. Effective leadership is focused on fulfilling the purpose of the organization. For the church this purpose is making disciples. This requires courage. Decisions are shaped by that reality. In the current culture that is radical. When fear rather than courage is the dominant motivation there is dysfunction and trouble ahead.

 

Courage, real godly courage, is a rare commodity. But then, we don’t need a multitude – – just a small band of COURAGEOUS and dedicated servant leaders. They understand the task, the difficulty and the challenges. Seeing all of this they say, “What are we waiting for?”

 

God and a man or a band of men with courage is the most significant majority the world has ever known. Courage is neither reckless nor foolish. It is bold and guided by the Holy Spirit. That guidance almost always puts you in a counter-culture posture. God always delights to identify men who in times of darkness trust the light of special revelation. Trust God and press on.

 

1 Chron. 28:20 Then David said to his son Solomon, “Be strong and courageous, and act; do not fear nor be dismayed for the LORD God, my God, is with you. He will not fail you nor forsake you until all the work for the service of the house of the LORD is finished.

 

2 Chron. 15:2,8 – Asa But you, be strong and do not lose courage, for there is reward for your work.” Now when Asa heard these words and the prophecy which Azariah the son of Oded the prophet spoke, he took courage and removed the abominable idols from all the land of Judah and Benjamin and from the cities which he had captured in the hill country of Ephraim. He then restored the altar of the LORD which was in front of the porch of the LORD.

 

Ezra 10:4 “Arise! For this matter is your responsibility, but we will be with you; be courageous and act.”

 

Haggai 2:4 But now take courage, Zerubbabel,’ declares the LORD, ‘take courage also, Joshua son of Jehozadak, the high priest, and all you people of the land take courage,’ declares the LORD, ‘and work; for I am with you,’ declares the LORD of hosts.

 

Acts 23:11 But on the night immediately following, the Lord stood at his side and said, ‘Take courage; for as you have solemnly witnessed to My cause at Jerusalem, so you must witness at Rome also.”

 

Answer this question -‘Do you lead with courage, or, are you  more like the cowardly lion in the Wizard of Oz?’

 

Book Review – Reformed Systematics

 

Book Review – Beeke, Joel. and Smalley, Paul M. Reformed Systematic Theology – Revelation & God. Wheaton IL: Crossway, 2019, 1290 pp. $60.00 ISBN # – 978-1-4335-5983-9. Available March 31, 2019.

 

Systematic theology is a method of studying the Bible founded on the principle that the Scriptures reveal a single God-ordained, well-ordered, coherent, and unchanging system of doctrine. This title provides a copious collection of Sound Doctrine from a Reformed perspective. That perspective is the inheritance of the Reformation launched by Luther and other courageous and diligent scholars passed down to us for preservation and proclamation. Stand and proclaim!

 

Should anyone question the necessity or the timely importance of such a title, simply follow this link – (www.thestateoftheology.com). This is research completed by Ligonier Ministries every other year. It is published as a tool to bring correction that leads to sound doctrine. What you will discover there is a bone-chilling expose’ of profound ignorance of what the Bible actually teaches. In short, there is a desperate need for Systematic Theology in the church in the United States of America.

 

Dr. Beeke provides an overview of this and subsequent volumes in this series.

 

Like the Reformers and the Puritans, we believe that the experiential application of doctrine is paramount for doing good systematic theology. Systematic theology should minister to the whole person. Therefore, this book and it’s companion volumes aim to bring together rigorous biblical, historical, and theological scholarship with spiritual disciplines and practicality – characterized by a simple, accessible, comprehensive, Reformed and experiential approach. With this paradigm, we will explore eight themes of theology in four volumes:

 

Volume one: theology/revelation (prolegomena) and God (theology proper)

Volume two: man (anthropology) and Christ (Christology)

Volume three: the Holy Spirit (pneumatology) and salvation (soteriology) and

Volume four: the church (ecclesiology) and the last things (eschatology)

 

I recommend that my readers secure this tome. Establish a schedule in which you will complete a disciplined reading/study schedule for assimilating the content of this material in fifty-two weeks. This requires the reading/study of twenty-five pages per week. In your reading utilize the IgniteUS Learning Covenant. This tool enables you to capture salient content for application in ministry where you serve. The goal of study is acquiring ministry competence not merely another reading conquest. Contact us @ info@igniteus.net or call 800 472 3764 to receive a copy of this useful ministry tool.

 

Dr. Beeke’s relentless focus on precise exegesis and the integration of truth facilitates a strategic approach to disciplined learning. This results in more than the mere collection of knowledge. That puffs up (cf. 1Cor. 4:6). It leads to the systematic application of truth in the lives of the people you are serving. God uses this to produce transformation. IgniteUS Ministries refers to this as Applied Theology. The proper goal of disciplined study is not merely acquiring knowledge. It must result in the in-context application of that knowledge in the transformation of God’s people into the fullness of the image of Christ in character and conduct. This title equips my readers to accomplish this noble goal.

 

I found the material on the Extent, Meaning, and Implications of Inspiration on pp. 327-332 to be timely and beneficial in light of the endless challenges to the Authority of Scripture.

 

This title is not ‘Cliff Notes on the Scripture’. It is serious scholarship. It equips the man of God to function with Christ-honoring effectiveness in the office of Elder/Pastor. The discipline required to study and apply this material is its own reward.

 

The Atmosphere of Ministry

 

The following quote by Trevin Wax is a brief yet very precise and accurate description of the atmosphere of ministry in the American church. If you struggle as a Pastor wondering why there is so little genuine transformation among the people you serve, this quote provides valuable insight. Let me encourage you. Press on. Remember the exhortation of the God we serve – Hebrews 6:10–12 (ESV) 10 For God is not unjust so as to overlook your work and the love that you have shown for his name in serving the saints, as you still do. 11 And we desire each one of you to show the same earnestness to have the full assurance of hope until the end, 12 so that you may not be sluggish, but imitators of those who through faith and patience inherit the promises.

 

“Americans have reached a point where ignorance is seen as an actual virtue. To reject the advice of experts is to assert autonomy, a way for Americans to demonstrate their independence from nefarious elites.”

 

An App for IgniteUS 

The Radio station that broadcast my radio programs has developed an App for IgniteUS. I am writing this on January 10. The APP will be live 01/11/2019. The Beta Test begins February 15. I will post some guidelines in this section of our News Letter. This will enable you to get to our web site and other beneficial resources with one click. There are numerous other features to make connecting with us simple and efficient. We look forward to  this tool being available to our Transformation Partners and the faithful readers of our News Letter. More info to follow. As I learn more about this resource I will share that information here. Many THANKS to Ron Mosley, Jr. and WKUL 92.1 FM here in Cullman for developing this ministry resource.

 

.IUS Leading Transformation – IgniteUS is currently serving 

Oakwood Baptist Church – Camp Hill PA (I am serving as Interim Pastor here):

 

Graceway Baptist Church – Milton ONT. (engaged in Leadership Development)

 

Indians Springs Baptist – Kingsport TN (recently called their Lead Pastor)

 

First Baptist Church, Loris SC (strategically making disciples effectively)

 

Peoples Church, New Brunswick Canada (engaged in Renewal)

 

Wyoming Community Church, Grand Rapids MI (Grappling With Renewal)

 

February/March – Will you be next?

 

Pastoral Placement 

Leadership is crucial. When a church is seeking a Lead Pastor there are multiple critical areas that must be considered. Tragically the traditional approach to this process has produced brief pastoral tenures (3 1/2 years is the current average) and less than robust effectiveness. It takes about five (5) years for a pastor to earn trust and the willingness of people to embrace the changes ministry requires. Research reveals that churches that ‘go it alone’ in the call process experience a 90-95% failure rate – the man they call is not a FIT! Yet, many persist in repeating the same failed process. A positive and wise trend is to seek the services of a proven Consultant and Process. IgniteUS provides such a service. Our goal is to guide the church to a man that fits the church and the church fits the man. We help churches face reality. We provide testimonials from those who have utilized our services. Contact us @ 800 472 3764 or info@igniteus.net.

 

**WATCH for a 9Marks article that connects you with the FIT Process! FIT-edness was a key theological principle in the ministry of Jonathan Edwards.

 

Ministry Support $$

 

We are asking each recipient of this Newsletter to give – $10 a month. These funds enable us to provide  Scholarships to Pastors & Churches.  Our process produces Leaders with Competence that God uses to bring effectiveness to ministry. Join our Support Team! Christ gets the Glory! 

People do not give to a ministry because you have needs. People give because they believe you meet needs and they want to be a significant part of meeting those needs.Leadership Development is crucial and needed.

Financial Support– There are two (2) places on our web site (www.igniteus.net) that make contributing to our ministry simple. Click on the Home Page button labeled DONATE or on the Banner Online Giving. Follow the prompts. The challenge for every 501 c-3 organization always includes fund raising. When the market crashed in 2008 IUS lost $2,000/month in support – a major factor in sustaining ministry. We are seeking an additional $2,000/month in on-going support for fiscal year 2019. You can become a regular donor. THANKS to each one who gives! Appreciated!

 

Pod Cast – THRIVE

 

The title of the Pod Cast is THRIVE. That is our desire for every pastor and every local church. We want you to thrive in making disciples, and developing leaders, all of which is to Glorify Jesus Christ. There is a banner on our web site – – www.igniteus.net – – just click on that banner. This Pod Cast has the potential to reach 35,000 listeners. If you listen and find benefit in the content, encourage folks in your sphere of influence to listen as well, then contact us. THANKS. I want to hear from you; info@igniteus.net or 800 472 3764.

The Pod Cast are posted every Tuesday. The ministry of IgniteUS is focused on Leadership Development in the local church. Leadership Network recently completed a survey of hundreds of pastors. They were asked to identify the area in which they most needed assistance. Leadership Development was #1 in all but one category. These posts will inform, encourage, and equip leaders in the local church. Click on the banner on our home page labeled -Thrive.

The current series of posts are focused on Level Five (5) Leadership. Are you a Level Five Leader? Do you know why this matters?

December
 

 

 

 

 

 

This Date in History 1587 Queen Elizabeth I of England signs death warrant for her cousin, Mary Stuart, Queen of Scots

News Letter January 15, 2019

January 23, 2019 by  
Filed under Newsletter

Under The Elmtree

In This Edition

 

*  R U A Level Five (5) Leader?

*  Effectiveness – Not Puffed Up

*  An App for IgniteUS

*  IUS Leading Transformation

*  Pastoral Placement – FIT

* Tithe.ly for Ministry Support

Pod Cast  Thrive – Are You Thriving?

This Date in History- 588 Jerusalem Siege

 

 

 

 


Level Five Leadership

 

What is a Level Five Leader? In the next five (5) News Letters we will endeavor to answer that question. Why does it matter? The short answer is this. There is a direct correlation between ministry effectiveness and the competence level of the primary leadership in a local church. Leadership is crucial in every organization and this is definitely true in the local church. Here is a quote supporting this thesis from John Maxwell’s book The 21 Irrefutable Laws of Leadership, Chapter 1, p.1.

I often open my leadership conferences by explaining the Law of The Lid because it helps people understand the value of leadership. If you can get a handle on this law, you will see the incredible impact of leadership on every aspect of life. So here it is: leadership ability is the lid that determines a person’s level of effectiveness. The lower an individual’s ability to lead, the lower the lid on his potential. The higher the leader- ship, the greater the effectiveness. To give you an example, if your  leadership rates an 8, then your effectiveness can never be greater than a 7. If your leadership is only a 4, then you’re effectiveness will be no higher than a 3. Your leadership ability–for better or for worse–always determines your effectiveness and the potential impact of your organization.

 

The definition of level five leadership is accomplished in five characteristics or qualities of such leaders. Here is Number #1 – Surrender.

 

Early in my ministry I was frustrated by what I perceived to be a lack of commitment on the part of men. I discovered a book authored by Ed Dayton, a Christian leader with World Vision. The title was Whatever Happened to Commitment? I purchased a case and distributed them to the men I served with. Nothing changed.

 

I discovered through that sequence of events that SURRENDER not commitment is the key. Those men were as committed as they could be given the level of surrender they possessed. Only when we comprehend and practice, as Jesus said “daily death to self, to our ‘agenda'”, will we know the JOY of following Him and accomplishing His purpose for us, for the organization we serve, and for the Kingdom.

 

Luke 14:25-27 Now large crowds were going along with Him; and He turned and said to them, “If anyone comes to Me, and does not hate his own father and mother and wife and children and brothers and sisters, yes, and even his own life, he cannot be My disciple. “Whoever does not carry his own cross and come after Me cannot be My disciple.’

 

Luke 22:41-44 And He withdrew from them about a stone’s throw, and He knelt down, and began to pray, saying, “Father, if You are willing, remove this cup from Me; yet not My will, but Yours be done.” Now an angel from heaven appeared to Him, strengthening Him. And being in agony He was praying very fervently; and His sweat became like drops of blood, falling down upon the ground.

 

John 12:23-26 And Jesus answered them, saying, ‘The hour has come for the Son of Man to be glorified. “Truly, truly, I say to you, unless a grain of wheat falls into the earth and dies, it remains alone; but if it dies, it bears much fruit.  “He who loves his life loses it, and he who hates his life in this world will keep it to life eternal. “If anyone serves Me, he must follow Me; and where I am, there My servant will be also; if anyone serves Me, the Father will honor him.

 

The question every individual in a position of Leadership must answer with integrity is – Have I truly yielded unconditional surrender to Jesus as LORD? If you answer YES, Congratulations! You have taken the first step to becoming a Level Five Leader.

 

Pastoral Effectiveness – Not Puffed Up

The Apostle Paul had every reason to be proud, puffed up if you will. Yet, he specifically declares that ‘puffing up’ must not be a characteristic of a godly leader (1Cor. 4:6). thusiousthe Do not be puffed up or conceited.This word is used seven (7) times in the NT: 1Cor. 4:6, 4:18, 4:19, 1Cor. 5:2, 1Cor. 8:1, 1Cor. 13:4, and Col. 2:18.

 

Pastors and church leaders do well to heed this warning. I recently saw a statistic stating that 1 in 3 pastors exhibit narcissistic characteristics. CAUTION!

 

An App for IgniteUS

 

The Radio station that broadcast my radio programs has developed an App for IgniteUS. I am writing this on January 10. The APP will be live tomorrow, 01/11/2019. The Beta Test begins on January 15th. This will enable you to get to our web site and other beneficial resources with one click. There are numerous other features to make connecting with us simple and efficient. We look forward to  this tool being available to our Transformation Partners and the faithful readers of our News Letter. More info to follow. As I learn more about this resource I will share that information here. Many THANKS to Ron Mosley, Jr. and WKUL 92.1 FM here in Cullman for developing this ministry resource.

 

IUS Leading Transformation – IgniteUS is currently serving

Oakwood Baptist Church – Camp Hill PA (I am serving as Interim Pastor here):

 

Graceway Baptist Church – Milton ONT. (engaged in Leadership Development)

 

Indians Springs Baptist – Kingsport TN (recently called their Lead Pastor)

 

First Baptist Church, Loris SC (strategically reaching their community)

 

Peoples Church, New Brunswick Canada (engaged in Renewal)

 

Wyoming Community Church, Grand Rapids MI (Grappling With Renewal)

 

January/February – Will you be next?

 

Pastoral Placement

Leadership is crucial. When a church is seeking a Lead Pastor there are multiple critical areas that must be considered. Tragically the traditional approach to this process has produced brief pastoral tenures (3 1/2 years is the current average) and less than robust effectiveness. It takes about five (5) years for a pastor to earn trust and the willingness of people to embrace the changes ministry requires. Research reveals that churches that ‘go it alone’ in the call process experience a 90-95% failure rate – the man they call is not a FIT! Yet, many persist in repeating the same failed process. A positive and wise trend is to seek the services of a proven Consultant and Process. IgniteUS provides such a service. Our goal is to guide the church to a man that fits the church and the church fits the man. We help churches face reality. We provide testimonials from those who have utilized our services. Contact us @ 800 472 3764 or info@igniteus.net.

**WATCH for a 9Marks article that connects you with the FIT Process! FIT-edness was a key theological principle in the ministry of Jonathan Edwards.

 

Ministry Support $$

 

We are asking each recipient of this Newsletter to give – $10 a month. These funds enable us to provide  Scholarships to Pastors & Churches.  Our process produces Leaders with Competence that God uses to bring effectiveness to ministry. Join our Support Team! Christ gets the Glory! 

People do not give to a ministry because you have needs. People give because they believe you meet needs and they want to be a significant part of meeting those needs.Leadership Development is crucial and needed.

 

Financial Support– There are two (2) places on our web site (www.igniteus.net) that make contributing to our ministry simple. Click on the Home Page button labeled DONATE or on the Banner Online Giving. Follow the prompts. The challenge for every 501 c-3 organization always includes fund raising. When the market crashed in 2008 IUS lost $2,000/month in support – a major factor in susteaining ministry. We are seeking an additional $1,500/month in on-going support for fiscal year 2019. You can become a regular donor. THANKS to each one who gives! Appreciated!

 

Pod Cast – THRIVE

 

The title of the Pod Cast is THRIVE. That is our desire for every pastor and every local church. We want you to thrive in making disciples, and developing leaders, all of which is to Glorify Jesus Christ. There is a banner on our web site – – www.igniteus.net – – just click on that banner. This Pod Cast has the potential to reach 35,000 listeners. If you listen and find benefit in the content, encourage folks in your sphere of influence to listen as well, then contact us. THANKS. I want to hear from you; info@igniteus.net or 800 472 3764.

The Pod Cast are posted every Tuesday. The ministry of IgniteUS is focused on Leadership Development in the local church. Leadership Network recently completed a survey of hundreds of pastors. They were asked to identify the area in which they most needed assistance. Leadership Development was #1 in all but one category. These posts will inform, encourage, and equip leaders in the local church. Click on the banner on our home page labeled -Thrive.

The current series of posts are focused on Level Five (5) Leadership. Are you a Level Five Leader? Do you know why this matters?

 

 

 

 

 

This Date in History 588 BCNebuchadrezzar II of Babylon lays siege to Jerusalem under Zedekiah’s reign. The siege lasts until July 23, 586 BC.

Read and respond. THANKS!!Read my BLOG — www.thetextsays.blogspot.com.

Also on the Home Page www.igniteus.net – A Monday Morning BLOG. (Currently – “What Are YOU Meant To DO?“) New post on the 1st & 15th of each month. Comments welcome!

Home Page – Click on this link to go to our Home Page: http://www.igniteUS.net/

US Update

This Update is sent to you on the 1st and 15th of each month. Please send comments or questions to us at info@igniteUS.net. Or, you may go to our BLOG on the home page of our Web Site – click on Newsletter. THANKS!

 

January 1 2019

January 3, 2019 by  
Filed under Newsletter

Under The Elmtree

In This Edition

 

*  Courage In Conflict

*  Organic Unity

*  Bible Reading Plans

*  Effectiveness – Steadfast & Immovable

*  An App for IgniteUS

*  IUS Leading Transformation

*  Pastoral Placement – FIT

* Tithe.ly for Ministry Support

Pod Cast  Thrive – Are You Thriving?

This Date in History – The Julian Calendar

Pastoral unity Paul speaks of in this passage is Organic

 

 

 

labeled

Courage In Conflict

 

Jesus made it clear, to follow him, to obey his word and be a true disciple, would produce suffering (John 15:20). This is now displayed in living color on the world’s stage. The Chinese Government is cracking down on the House Churches in China. They have closed some churches. They have arrested key Pastors and church leaders.

 

This kind of treatment has been the norm for centuries in may places around the globe. I suggest it may well be a reality soon right here in ‘River City’, the USA. Here is an excerpt from the letter Pastor Wang Yi wrote upon his arrest. I provide the link to his entire letter and I urge my readers to read this and to pray for him and for our brothers and sisters in China.

 

For all hideous realities, unrighteous politics, and arbitrary laws manifest the cross of Jesus Christ, the only means by which every Chinese person must be saved. They also manifest the fact that true hope and a perfect society will never be found in the transformation of any earthly institution or culture but only in our sins being freely forgiven by Christ and in the hope of eternal life.

 

As a pastor, my firm belief in the gospel, my teaching, and my rebuking of all evil proceeds from Christ’s command in the gospel and from the unfathomable love of that glorious King. Every man’s life is extremely short, and God fervently commands the church to lead and call any man to repentance who is willing to repent. Christ is eager and willing to forgive all who turn from their sins. This is the goal of all the efforts of the church in China—to testify to the world about our Christ, to testify to the Middle Kingdom about the Kingdom of Heaven, to testify to earthly, momentary lives about heavenly, eternal life. This is also the pastoral calling that I have received.

 

For this reason, I accept and respect the fact that this Communist regime has been allowed by God to rule temporarily. As the Lord’s servant John Calvin said, wicked rulers are the judgment of God on a wicked people, the goal being to urge God’s people to repent and turn again toward Him. For this reason, I am joyfully willing to submit myself to their enforcement of the law as though submitting to the discipline and training of the Lord.

 

At the same time, I believe that this Communist regime’s persecution against the church is a greatly wicked, unlawful action. As a pastor of a Christian church, I must denounce this wickedness openly and severely. The calling that I have received requires me to use non-violent methods to disobey those human laws that disobey the Bible and God. My Savior Christ also requires me to joyfully bear all costs for disobeying wicked laws

https://www.theaquilareport.com/my-declaration-of-faithful-disobedience-pastor-wang-yi/.

Recommended Resource – A Christian Manifesto by Francis Schaeffer. Chapters 7 & 8

 

Organic Unity 

Ephesians 4:3 (ESV) eager to maintain the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace.

 

The unity the Apostle Paul speaks of in this passage is Organic, not Organizational. Organic Unity, because it is Doctrinal in content and nature, leads to Organizational unity. Sound or Healthy Doctrine is a bedrock component of the local church. A church that has Sound Doctrine, and Practices what that doctrine requires, will know God’s blessing. This is inherent in the charge Paul gave to Titus (Titus 1:9). I submit that the dysfunction and decline in the Evangelical Church in America is a direct result of Unsound or Unhealthy doctrinal practices. God has never and does not now accept culturally contrived substitutes. That is known as syncretism, accommodation to the culture. It destroyed Israel and it is doing grave damage to the Evangelical Church.

 

Bible Reading Plans

 

https://www.ligonier.org/blog/bible-reading-plans/

 

Pastoral Effectiveness – Steadfast & Immovable

 

The Apostle Paul faced multiple challenges to his ministry (2Cor. 11:23-29). Pastoral ministry continues to present ever increasing obstacles to the faithful exercise of orthodox ministry. The testimony of Pastor Wang Yi posted above serves as ‘Exhibit A’. The longevity of pastoral service requires the diligent exercise of these qualities – – steadfastness and immovability.

 

edraios – to be settled or steadfast (1Cor. 7:37, 1Cor. 15:58, Col. 1:23)

 

ametakineitos – immovable (1Cor. 15:58)

 

There are statistics regarding pastoral longevity that show 50% of men that enter ministry are gone after 5 years. 80% are gone after 10 years. The future of pastoral ministry will require both of the qualities listed above. Are YOU prepared to serve accordingly? cf. Lk. 9:62!

 

An App for IgniteUS

 

The Radio station that broadcast my radio programs is developing an App for IgniteUS. The completion of this project and the Beta Test date is January 15th. This will enable you to get to our web site with one click. Numerous other features to make connecting with us simple and efficient. We look forward to  this tool being available to our Transformation Partners and the faithful readers of our News Letter. More info to follow.

 

.IUS Leading Transformation – IgniteUS is currently serving 

Oakwood Baptist Church – Camp Hill PA (I am serving as Interim Pastor here):

 

Graceway Baptist Church – Milton ONT. (engaged in Leadership Development)

 

Indians Springs Baptist – Kingsport TN (recently called their Lead Pastor)

 

First Baptist Church, Loris SC (strategically reaching their community)

 

Peoples Church, New Brunswick Canada (engaged in Renewal)

 

Wyoming Community Church, Grand Rapids MI (Pursuing Renewal)

 

January/February – Will you be next?

 

Pastoral Placement 

Leadership is crucial. When a church is seeking a Lead Pastor there are multiple critical areas that must be considered. Tragically the traditional approach to this process has produced brief pastoral tenures (3 1/2 years is the current average) and less than robust effectiveness. It takes about five (5) years for a pastor to earn trust and the willingness of people to embrace the changes ministry requires. Research reveals that churches that ‘go it alone’ in the call process experience a 90-95% failure rate – the man they call is not a FIT! Yet, many persist in repeating the same failed process. A positive and wise trend is to seek the services of a proven Consultant and Process. IgniteUS provides such a service. Our goal is to guide the church to a man that fits the church and the church fits the man. We help churches face reality. We provide testimonials from those who have utilized our services. Contact us @ 800 472 3764 or info@igniteus.net.

**WATCH for a 9Marks article that connects you with the FIT Process!

 

Ministry Support $$

 

We are asking each recipient of this Newsletter to give – $10 a month. These funds enable us to provide  Scholarships to Pastors & Churches. This past month we received $1,200+ in response to this challenge. Join that Team! Christ gets the Glory!  On our Home Page (www.igniteus.net) click on the banner labeled Online Giving and follow the prompts.

People do not give to a ministry because you have needs. People give because they believe you meet needs and they want to be a significant part of meeting those needs.

Year End Giving – There are two (2) places on our web site (www.igniteus.net) that make contributing to our ministry simple. Click on the Home Page button labeled DONATE or on the Banner Online Giving. Follow the prompts. To date the LORD has raised funds  that assist churches engaged in the Transformation Process. THANKS to each one who gives! Appreciated!

 

Pod Cast – THRIVE

 

The title of the Pod Cast is THRIVE. That is our desire for every pastor and every local church. We want you to thrive in making disciples, and developing leaders, all of which is to Glorify Jesus Christ. There is a banner on our web site – – www.igniteus.net – – just click on that banner. This Pod Cast has the potential to reach 35,000 listeners. If you listen and find benefit in the content, encourage folks in your sphere of influence to listen as well, then contact us. THANKS. I want to hear from you; info@igniteus.net or 800 472 3764.

The Pod Cast are posted every Tuesday. The ministry of IgniteUS is focused on Leadership Development in the local church. Leadership Network recently completed a survey of hundreds of pastors. They were asked to identify the area in which they most needed assistance. Leadership Development was #1 in all but one category. These posts will inform, encourage, and equip leaders in the local church. Click on the banner on our home page labeled -Thrive.

December
 

 

 

 

 

 

This Date in History

45 BC The Julian calendar takes effect for the first time

Read and respond. THANKS!!Read my BLOG — www.thetextsays.blogspot.com.

Also on the Home Page www.igniteus.net – A Monday Morning BLOG. (Currently – “Leadership Under Stress“) New post on the 1st & 15th of each month. Comments welcome!

Home Page – Click on this link to go to our Home Page: http://www.igniteUS.net/

December 15

December 26, 2018 by  
Filed under Newsletter

Under The Elmtree

In This Edition

 

*  The Tipping Point

*  An App for IgniteUS

*  Pastoral Effectiveness

*  Pastoral Placement – FIT

* Tithe.ly for Ministry Support

Pod Cast  Thrive – Are You Thriving?

This Date in History – Bill of Rights

 

 

 

labeled

The Tipping Point

 

Has the church you lead reached the Tipping Point? Are you aware of what The Tipping Point is? Ten years ago I wrote an article titled  Critical Mass. That article focuses on the same issue as the article that follows written by Thom Rainer. There is a point in the decline of a local church (all churches have some dysfunctions) beyond which that church will not survive. This is an appeal to every Pastor to honestly assess the true condition of the church you lead. The vast majority of churches have a myopic and inaccurate understanding of their TRUE condition. We provide a tool called Basic Assessment. Complete this instrument and you will have a clear picture as to whether or not your church is at or has already passed The Tipping Point.

 

American Churches Are at a Tipping Point

 

Tipping Point (noun)the critical point in a situation, process, or system beyond which a significant and often unstoppable effect or change takes place.

 

If current trajectories continue, American churches will pass a tipping point. Our congregations (Rainer is writing as a Southern Baptist – tcf) will begin a likely unstoppable path toward decline that will rival many European churches of the past century. If there is not a significant movement of revitalization, there will be an accelerated rate of decline and death.

 

The good news is that many leaders are not denying this reality. They are seeking God and responding obediently. Church revitalization has become a real and powerful theme. As I indicated in my book, Scrappy Church, more and more churches are moving in incredible and positive directions.

 

How will God move in our churches? How will we respond? While I will not address those two paramount questions in this particular article, I do want us to see the three specific areas of the tipping point: theological, attitudinal, and actionable.

 

The Theological Tipping Point

 

If a church does not have a solid biblical and theological foundation, all other issues are moot. In some congregations, there is slippage on the doctrine of exclusivity, the biblical truth that Christ is the only way of salvation (John 14:6). In other congregations, leaders and members are questioning the absolute authority of Scripture. That issue is as old as creation when the serpent questioned God’s Word, “Did God really say . . .?” (Genesis 3:1).

 

We can’t even begin to deal with other tipping points until we have resolved the issues of truth and fidelity to Scripture. The slippery slope of questioning God’s authority leads to the decline and death of churches.

 

The Attitudinal Tipping Point

 

At some point in the recent history of the Church, particularly North American churches, becoming a part of a local congregation became a consumer-driven activity. Too many church members want, even demand, their own preferences and desires. In some congregations, we are more likely to hear a member fight over his or her own worship style preference than ask how he or she might truly serve the body of Christ.

 

Read 1 Corinthians 12. Becoming a member of the body of Christ means we serve others for the greater good of the body. The needs of others come before our preferences and desires. Paul admonished the local congregation in Philippi: “Do nothing out of selfish ambition or conceit, but in humility consider others as more important than yourselves” (Philippians 2:3). That doesn’t sound like some of our church business meetings.

 

The Actionable Tipping Point

 

There are many presumably Bible-believing churches that like the idea of evangelism more than doing evangelism. Frankly, I deal with evangelical church leaders and members every day who profess unwavering fidelity to Scripture but haven’t intentionally had a gospel conversation in recent memory.

 

We are so busy with church activities that we neglect active obedience of the Great Commission. We can be passionate about the placement of the offertory in the worship service but never invite people to come to those worship services. We can complain when the pastor doesn’t visit members sufficiently, but never visit the hurting and lost ourselves.

 

A church leader recently asked me why I thought his church was not growing. I asked him what his church did every single week to reach, invite, and serve the community. His silence was his own answer. Many of us conservative Christians would rather fight each other than fight against the gates of hell.

 

It Is Time

 

Still, I am not discouraged. The tipping point is not inevitable. Our obedience may have waned, but God’s power has not. Many church leaders and members are recommitting themselves to a renewed and vibrant mission. Many of their churches are seeking and seeing revitalization.

 

It is time.

 

The question is this – – “Will the church you lead be one of those that faces the facts, invests in Intercessory Prayer, and joins the band of courageous Leaders that seeks God’s grace in Transformation, Reformation & Renewal? You can. Call  800 472 3764 or info@igniteus.net.

An App for IgniteUS

 

The Radio station that broadcast my radio programs is developing an App for IgniteUS. The completion of this project and the Beta Test date is January 15th. This will enable you to get to our web site with one click. Numerous other features to make connecting with us simple and efficient. We look forward to  this tool being available to our Transformation Partners and the faithful readers of our News Letter. More info to follow.

 

Pastoral Effectiveness

 

Do you shrink from declaring the whole counsel of God? The Apostle Paul declared that he did not shrink, Acts 20:27.

 

Acts 20:27 (ESV) for I did not shrink from declaring to you the whole counsel of God.

 

That word is hupestielamein from hupostellow. It is used four (4) times in the NT. Acts 20:20, Acts 20:27, Gal. 2:12, and Heb. 10:38.

 

Given the condition of the Evangelical Church in America I fear that there is a great deal of ‘shrinking’ going on. Make sure you are not one of those that is shrinking!

 

.IUS Leading Transformation – IgniteUS is currently serving:

 

Graceway Baptist Church – Milton ONT. (engaged in Leadership Development)

 

Indians Springs Baptist – Kingsport TN (recently called their Lead Pastor)

 

First Baptist Church, Loris SC (strategically reaching their community)

 

Peoples Church, New Brunswick Canada (engaged in Renewal)

 

Wyoming Community Church, Grand Rapids MI (Investigating Renewal)

 

Oakwood Baptist, Camp Hill PA (investing in Reformation & Renewal)

 

December/January – Will you be next?

 

Pastoral Placement

Leadership is crucial. When a church is seeking a Lead Pastor there are multiple critical areas that must be considered. Tragically the traditional approach to this process has produced brief pastoral tenures (3 1/2 years is the current average) and less than robust effectiveness. It takes about five (5) years for a pastor to earn trust and the willingness of people to embrace the changes ministry requires. Research reveals that churches that ‘go it alone’ in the call process experience a 90-95% failure rate – the man they call is not a FIT! Yet, many persist in repeating the same failed process. A positive and wise trend is to seek the services of a proven Consultant and Process. IgniteUS provides such a service. Our goal is to guide the church to a man that fits the church and the church fits the man. We help churches face reality. We provide testimonials from those who have utilized our services. Contact us @ 800 472 3764 or info@igniteus.net.

 

Ministry Support $$

 

We are asking each recipient of this Newsletter to give – $10 a month. These funds enable us to provide  Scholarships to Pastors & Churches. This past month we received $1,200+ in response to this challenge. Join that Team! Christ gets the Glory!  On our Home Page (www.igniteus.net) click on the banner labeled Online Giving and follow the prompts.

People do not give to a ministry because you have needs. People give because they believe you meet needs and they want to be a significant part of meeting those needs.

Year End Giving – There are two (2) places on our web site (www.igniteus.net) that make contributing to our ministry simple. Click on the Home Page button labeled DONATE or on the Banner Online Giving. Follow the prompts. To date the LORD has raised funds  that assist churches engaged in the Transformation Process. THANKS to each one who gives! Appreciated!

 

Pod Cast – THRIVE

 

The title of the Pod Cast is THRIVE. That is our desire for every pastor and every local church. We want you to thrive in making disciples, and developing leaders, all of which is to Glorify Jesus Christ. There is a banner on our web site – – www.igniteus.net – – just click on that banner. This Pod Cast has the potential to reach 35,000 listeners. If you listen and find benefit in the content, encourage folks in your sphere of influence to listen as well, then contact us. THANKS. I want to hear from you; info@igniteus.net or 800 472 3764.

The Pod Cast are posted every Tuesday. The ministry of IgniteUS is focused on Leadership Development in the local church. Leadership Network recently completed a survey of hundreds of pastors. They were asked to identify the area in which they most needed assistance. Leadership Development was #1 in all but one category. These posts will inform, encourage, and equip leaders in the local church. Click on the banner on our home page labeled -Thrive.

December
 

 

 

 

 

This Date in History

  • 1791 U.S. Bill of Rights becomes law

    The first 10 amendments to the Constitution of the United States are known as the Bill of Rights. They became law after Virginia ratified the amendments.

Read and respond. THANKS!!Read my BLOG — www.thetextsays.blogspot.com.

Also on the Home Page www.igniteus.net – A Monday Morning BLOG. (Currently – “5 Traits of Highly Effective Leaders!“) New post on the 1st & 15th of each month. Comments welcome!

Home Page – Click on this link to go to our Home Page: http://www.igniteUS.net/

US Update

This Update is sent to you on the 1st and 15th of each month. Please send comments or questions to us at info@igniteUS.net. Or, you may go to our BLOG on the home page of our Web Site – click on Newsletter. THANKS!

Is Seminary Necessary??

August 15, 2018 by  
Filed under Newsletter

Under The Elmtree

In This Edition

 

* Seminary – Competence – Pastorate

* Leading Transformation

* Pastoral Placement – FIT

*Tithe.ly for Ministry Support

* Pod Cast  Thrive – Leadership Is

* This Date in History –

Some men tell me they

 

 

 

labeled

Seminary – Competence – Pastorate

You just suffered a major Myocardial Infarction. It is life threatening. You choose as your physician: a) your neighbor who has a 10th grade education and is unemployed, b) the guy down the street that repairs cars in his back yard, or, c) the very best Cardiologist in your state.

My assumption is you chose c. Why? Because your life depends on his competence and expertise in treating patients suffering heart anomalies.

Your company is facing a complicated legal issue through no fault of your own. It involves millions of dollars. You will secure Legal Service from: a) the UPS Driver that delivers packages to your house, b) the guy that runs the coffee shop where you stop every morning, c) the finest Legal Team in the Mid-West.

My assumption is you chose c. Why? Because the longevity and continued existence of your company depends on the skill, training, and competence of that Law Firm and their team of Attorneys that will represent you.

So, should those who Pastor/Shepherd a congregation in the church be any less competent and highly skilled than the Cardiologist or Attorneys?

The focus of this issue of the News Letter is addressing this question – – ‘Is a Seminary Education required to pastor in today’s culture?’ Well, the answer to that question is ‘Yes’ & ‘No’! Let me explain and PLEASE do not jump to any conclusions or let your prejudiced opinion answer the question. I will close this article with my personal testimony on the impact Seminary has had for44 years on my life and ministry.

There have been several men that had no Seminary Training and enjoyed great success and effectiveness in ministry; Bunyan who wrote Pilgrim’s Progress, Charles Haddon Spurgeon who led the Metropolitan Tabernacle, and Martin Lloyd-Jones who served for 50 years at Westminster in London. They are the exception. Such success without the equipping that Seminary provides is extremely rare.

Let me clarify right here. There is a vast difference between a Seminary Education and a Seminary Degree. There are many men with degrees that never accomplished  Seminary Education. They managed to go through the process without embracing the opportunity to immerse themselves in the incredible value and benefit of learning the original languages, church history, homiletics, hermeneutics, etc. The people you serve are the beneficiaries of your competence and diligence in applying what you learned.

Here are several pluses or advantages that a Seminary Education provides for pastoral ministry. You will appreciate these much more AFTER you have been in the battle for a few years. Mark it down, it is a battle, it is spiritual warfare!

1) Confidence Pastoral ministry is literally the care and feeding of God’s chosen people. The text of Scripture provides a clear warning to those who wear the mantle of Pastor/Shepherd.(James 3:1). Every time you mount the sacred desk to declare the unchanging TRUTH of the Gospel you will be exceedingly thankful for the CONFIDENCE that a Seminary education well executed provides for you. With proper humility, you know as you speak that you are accurately with precision in context representing what the text says!

2) Competence There is great joy in knowing that you are executing the care and feeding of God’s people with precision and excellence. Like a skilled surgeon, you apply the tools of exegesis and hermeneutics with precision. You witness the transformation God produces through your ministry in the people you serve. Making disciples is accomplished by the accurate declaration of God’s revealed TRUTH as applied by the Holy Spirit = Transformation.

3) Tenacity Seminaries report that five (5) years after graduation, 50% of the graduates are no longer in ministry. That is a stunning statistic. Possessing the tools that seminary provides and unconditional surrender to Jesus as Lord makes longevity in ministry possible. Peterson framed this as ‘A Long Obedience in the Same Direction.’. I recently served a Pastor who is completing 68 years in the same church! That men is real Tenacity.

My Testimony on Seminary Education

I was 27 years old with two children when I began my undergraduate studies. After 1 year I determined that a Seminary Education was imperative. That was in 1970. Our culture today is far more complex and challenging. The competence that a Seminary Education provides equips a man to face head on those challenges. My education opened a multitude of ministry opportunities to me. God has taken me to 27 countries training pastors and church leaders. I added to my Seminary training Church Consultant Certification which was granted me in large part because of my education and International experience. I currently write Book Reviews for Crossway Publications. My Seminary Education has equipped with the tools to do that. God has granted me the joy of six radio programs a week in which I promote the Reformation and Renewal of the church. Our children and grandchildren have been influenced by my education. Modeling influences as little else can. Our eldest son is an Attorney and serves as Chief Counsel for the Inspector General in the Security Exchange Commission in Wash D.C. He is 53 years old. He is pursuing an M.Div. at Southern Seminary.

God granted me the privilege of having 20 Pastoral Interns over the 49 years of pastoral ministry. Today they serve as Military Chaplains, Missionaries, Pastors, Hospice Chaplains, etc. My Seminary Education in part made this possible and it is a great way to multiply your Kingdom impact.

Some men tell me that ‘I did not have the opportunity to attend Seminary’. Really? Let me close by saying the incredible multitude of options that exist today to get a Seminary Education is simply stunning. Obviously a resident program is best, but, you can accomplish an M.Div. via on line instruction. Knowing the original languages is a strategic advantage in pastoral ministry. You know with accuracy and precision in context what God’s Word declares. The people you serve trust that you are properly representing God’s Truth. Sell everything you have and pursue such an education (Matt. 13:46). You will never regret acquiring the skills and competence such an education provides. Soon enough my pilgrimage will be over and I delight in what God has graciously permitted me to do for the Kingdom and the King! Seminary Education contributed significantly to that endeavor. Pastor, encourage the men under your ministry that God calls into pastoral ministry to get the very best Seminary Education possible. You serve the King & the Kingdom well by doing so. (Consider www.expositors.org). The fee is $200/hour and you get an M.Div. with both languages in 4 years.

ResourceSome Pastors and Teachers by Sinclair Ferguson. Read Chapter 35, pp. 685-696. The Preacher As Theologian. Rich fare for your soul!

The link takes my readers to an article by Dr. Jason Allen, President of Midwestern Seminary in Kansas City MO. He affirms what I have said in this article. Read & Heed!

https://www.challies.com/articles/is-seminary-really-necessary/

 

Leading Transformation

The decline of the American Church is an indisputable reality as this post documents. Many pastors and church leaders are profoundly aware of this decline. The quandary they wrestle with is ‘what must we do to address and correct this persistent impotence?’

When you have a cavity, you go to the Dentist. When you have a foot injury, you go to a Podiatric Surgeon. Such actions are reasonable and lead to a favorable resolution to your problem.

The IgniteUS Transformation Process provides abundant resources that bring exegetically supported correction to the existing dysfunctions in ministry. Each church presents distinct challenges. Our Process is tailored to the church you are leading. We have helped many pastors and churches go from decline to robust effectiveness in making disciples (Call Pastor Louis Venable in Loris, SC – 843 817 7842). Individual people and the church as a body are transformed. The Process begins with an objective Assessment that enables you to know the true condition of the church you serve. This makes it possible to effectively address the causes of decline.

We come alongside of any church that has a high view of Christ and a high view of Scripture. There is. a very modest monthly fee depending on the level of Consultation you desire. Continuous decline is not the only option. Give me a call to investigate this process for implementation where you serve.. I have an article titled Measuring What Matters Most that will facilitate genuine Transformation  I will send this to all who make such a request You will be very glad that you called. (800 472 3764 or info@igniteus.net).

 

Pastoral Placement

Leadership is crucial. When a church is seeking a Lead Pastor there are multiple critical areas that must be considered. Tragically the traditional approach to this process has produced brief pastoral tenures (3 1/2 years is the current average) and less than robust effectiveness. It takes about five (5) years for a pastor to earn trust and the willingness of people to embrace the changes ministry requires. A positive and wise trend is to seek the services of a proven Consultant and Process. IgniteUS provides such a service. Our goal is to guide the church to a man that fits the church and the church fits the man. We provide testimonials from those who have utilized our services. Contact us @ 800 472 3764 or info@igniteus.net.

 

Ministry Support $$

We are asking you to give – $10 a month. These funds enable us to provide  Scholarships to Pastors & Churches. Christ gets the Glory!  On our Home Page (www.igniteus.net) click on the banner labeled Online Giving and follow the prompts.

People do not give to a ministry because you have needs. People give because they believe you meet needs and they want to be a significant part of helping meet those needs.

THANKS to each one who gives! Appreciated!

 

Pod Cast – THRIVE

 

The title of the Pod Cast is THRIVE. That is our desire for every pastor and every local church. We want you to thrive in making disciples, and developing leaders, all of which is to Glorify Jesus Christ. There is a banner on our web site – – www.igniteus.net – – just click on that banner. This Pod Cast has the potential to reach 35,000 listeners. If you listen and find benefit in the content, encourage folks in your sphere of influence to listen as well, then contact us. THANKS. I want to hear from you; info@igniteus.net or 800 472 3764.

The Pod Cast are posted every Tuesday. On July 17 I began a series titled “Leadership Is”. The ministry of IgniteUS is focused on Leadership Development and Intentional Disciple Making in the local church. These posts will inform, encourage, and equip leaders in the local church. Click on the banner on our home page labeled -Thrive.

Ent.
 

 

 

 

 

 

This Date in History

1620 Mayflower sets sail from Southampton, England, with 102 Pilgrims

Read and respond. THANKS!!Read my BLOG — www.thetextsays.blogspot.com.

Also on the Home Page www.igniteus.net – A Monday Morning BLOG. (Currently – “Why Go To Seminary“) New post on the 1st & 15th of each month. Comments welcome!

Home Page – Click on this link to go to our Home Page: http://www.igniteUS.net/

US Update

This Update is sent to you on the 1st and 15th of each month. Please send comments or questions to us at info@igniteUS.net. Or, you may go to our BLOG on the home page of our Web Site – click on Newsletter. THANKS!

News Letter August 1, 2018

August 4, 2018 by  
Filed under Newsletter

Under The Elmtree

In This Edition

 

* Persistent Decline & Persistent Denial

* Leading Transformation

* Pastoral Placement – FIT

*Tithe.ly for Ministry Support

* Pod Cast  Thrive – Leadership Is

* This Date in History- Jerusalem Falls

 

 

 

 

labeled

Persistent Decline & Persistent Denial

 

The OT Prophets voiced a powerful, accurate and persistent message. That message declared the aberrant, wayward, and disobedient conduct of God’s people. They ‘sounded the trumpet’, calling people to repentance. Repentance is a change of heart that also results in a discernible and radical change of direction – TURN AROUND. They not only ignored the message, they killed the prophet messengers (Acts 7:52).

There was a time, about 15 years ago, when so called leaders in the church denied the reality of decline and loss of spiritual power and effectiveness. That is no longer possible unless of course you have had a frontal lobotomy. The evidence of decline and loss of disciple making fruitfulness is overwhelming. The history of the church in America has been to measure effectiveness by numbers; attendance, offerings, baptisms, etc. Now that flawed metric also reveals persistent decline. Those using this reprehensible metric have been hoisted on their own petard.

The article that follows is from the Aquila Report dated July 24, 2018. It describes the consequences of denial in the state of Minnesota. However, the profile that emerges may be legitimately applied to most so called evangelical churches in all 50 states in the USA. This despicable portrait developed in spite of gracious, accurate, and persistent warnings that the decay in the church was rotting her very soul.

Paul declared to the church at Ephesus (Acts 20:31) that for 3 years he had admonished them with tears. That is my testimony as well. Since 2001 IUS has pleaded with Pastors and local church Leaders (selah) to abandon the flawed metric of numbers and focus on the NT objective of the genuine transformation of true believers. That message has fallen on deaf ears. The News Letter of July 15 provided a plethora of resources to accomplish an honest Assessment of the true status of ministry in a local church. How many engaged this profile? There is no greater JOY than leading a church to become robustly effective in making disciple in obedience to the Great Commission. Join that initiative. You will be thankful in time and eternity.

So, Minnesota is not the only state in which the church is impotent. Denominational Leaders in the SBC (2008)  and United Methodist (UM June 2016) predicted dire consequences if the ministry models being applied did not change. The United Methodist will be bankrupt by 2030 and will not exist by 2050. The SBC will close 40% of the existing (44,000) churches by 2030; (many of them need to close – they have not been true “Churches” for many years. They have no connection with the communities in which they exist). The SBC has been on an unbroken 65 year decline, but, their eyes are blind and their ears are deaf (Ezek. 12:2). That my dear reader is not the picture of a healthy Christ honoring Church!

FYI I spoke this week with a local pastor. They typically have 30-32 people attend on Sunday Morning. I inquired – “How are you doing?” His response = ‘Well attendance is down, but, we are holding our own!’ Of the few that do attend, the majority of them are 65+ years of age. I leave my readers to see where this is headed. I plead with my readers to pray earnestly and often for the American Church and for her Pastors. Thank You!

Article on Minnesota

Minnesota’s mainline Christian denominations face unprecedented declines, altering communities and traditions celebrated for generations.

When La Salle Lutheran locks its doors in August, it will become the latest casualty among fragile Minnesota churches either closing, merging or praying for a miracle. Steep drops in church attendance, aging congregations, and cultural shifts away from organized religion have left most of Minnesota’s mainline Christian denominations facing unprecedented declines.

La Salle, Minn. — For 100 years, Lutherans in this farming community on the Minnesota prairie have come to one church to share life’s milestones.

They have been baptized, confirmed and married at La Salle Lutheran. Their grandparents, parents and siblings lie in the church cemetery next door.

But the old friends who gathered here early one recent Sunday never imagined that they would one day be marking the death of their own church.

When La Salle Lutheran locks its doors in August, it will become the latest casualty among fragile Minnesota churches either closing, merging or praying for a miracle. Steep drops in church attendance, aging congregations, and cultural shifts away from organized religion have left most of Minnesota’s mainline Christian denominations facing unprecedented declines.

“Sunday used to be set aside for church: that’s what families did,” said Donna Schultz, 74, a church member since grade school at La Salle, in southwest Minnesota. “Now our children have moved away. The grand kids have volleyball, dance on weekends. People are busy with other things.

“I’m really going to miss this,” she added quietly, gesturing to her friends in the lobby. “We’re like family.”

The rising toll is evident in rural, urban and suburban churches across the state.

St. Paul’s On the Hill Episcopal Church on prestigious Summit Avenue was recently sold to a developer after more than a century of religious service. Bethany Lutheran Church in the Longfellow neighborhood of Minneapolis held its “holy closure” ceremony last fall. St. Michael Catholic Church in West St. Paul celebrated its last mass 18 months ago.

Mainline Protestant churches have been hit the hardest. The Evangelical Lutheran Church in America (ELCA) in Minnesota has lost almost 200,000 members since 2000 and about 150 churches. A third of the remaining 1,050 churches have fewer than 50 members. The United Methodist Church, the second largest Protestant denomination in Minnesota, has shuttered 65 churches since 2000.

Catholic membership statewide has held steady, but the number of churches fell from 720 in 2000 to 639 last year, according to official Catholic directories. The Archdiocese of St. Paul and Minneapolis, which closed 21 churches in 2010 and merged several dozen others, is again looking at ways to consolidate church staffing and programs.

The closings and mergers are leaving a void in communities where churches frequently house child care, senior programs, food shelves, tutoring and other services.

The Link

This link take my readers to an article I captured from the Birmingham News. The article is originally from the Washington Post. Please read this in it’s entirety. This article is a bit lengthy but it does provide insight. It provides a tragically accurate portrait of many SBC churches in AL. The church profiled called a former truck driver as pastor with apparently no formal education to  lead them. His ‘call to ministry’ was an ’emotional moment’ in his past. While intended to make Christians look like buffoons, the article does provide a portrait of many SBC churches in AL. This informs you of how to pray for the church, IUS, and myself. Thanks for your prayers.

https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/national/wp/2018/07/21/feature/god-trump-and-the-meaning-of-morality/?noredirect=on&utm_term=.03fd0f7b674e

 

Leading Transformation

 

The decline of the American Church is an indisputable reality as this post documents. Many pastors and church leaders are profoundly aware of this decline. The quandary they wrestle with is ‘what must we do to address and correct this persistent impotence?’

 

When you have a cavity, you go to the Dentist. When you have a foot injury, you go to a Podiatric Surgeon. Such actions are reasonable and lead to a favorable resolution to your problem.

 

The IgniteUS Transformation Process provides abundant resources that bring exegetically supported correction to the existing dysfunctions in ministry. Each church presents distinct challenges. Our Process is tailored to the church you are leading. We have helped many pastors and churches go from decline to robust effectiveness in making disciples (Call Pastor Louis Venable in Loris, SC – 843 817 7842). Individual people and the church as a body are transformed. The Process begins with an objective Assessment that enables you to know the true condition of the church you serve. This makes it possible to effectively address the causes of decline.

 

We will come alongside of any church that has a high view of Christ and a high view of Scripture. There is. a very modest monthly fee depending on the level of Consultation you desire. Continuous decline is not the only option. Give me a call to investigate this process for implementation where you serve.. I have an article titled Measuring What Matters Most that will facilitate genuine Transformation  I will send this to all who make such a request You will be very glad that you called. (800 472 3764 or info@igniteus.net).

 

Pastoral Placement 

Leadership is crucial. When a church is seeking a Lead Pastor there are multiple critical areas that must be considered. Tragically the traditional approach to this process has produced brief pastoral tenures (3 1/2 years is the current average) and less than robust effectiveness. It takes about five (5) years for a pastor to earn trust and the willingness of people to embrace the changes ministry requires. A positive and wise trend is to seek the services of a proven Consultant and Process. IgniteUS provides such a service. Our goal is to guide the church to a man that fits the church and the church fits the man. We provide testimonials from those who have utilized our services. Contact us @ 800 472 3764 or info@igniteus.net.

 

Ministry Support $$

 

We are asking you to give – $10 a month. These funds enable us to provide  Scholarships to Pastors & Churches. Christ gets the Glory!  On our Home Page (www.igniteus.net) click on the banner labeled Online Giving and follow the prompts.

People do not give to a ministry because you have needs. People give because they believe you meet needs and they want to be a significant part of helping meet those needs.

THANKS to each one who gives! Appreciated!

Pod Cast – THRIVE 

The title of the Pod Cast is THRIVE. That is our desire for every pastor and every local church. We want you to thrive in making disciples, and developing leaders, all of which is to Glorify Jesus Christ. There is a banner on our web site – – www.igniteus.net – – just click on that banner. This Pod Cast has the potential to reach 35,000 listeners. If you listen and find benefit in the content, encourage folks in your sphere of influence to listen as well, then contact us. THANKS. I want to hear from you; info@igniteus.net or 800 472 3764.

The Pod Cast are posted every Tuesday. On July 17 I began a series titled “Leadership Is”. The ministry of IgniteUS is focused on Leadership Development in the local church. These posts will inform, encourage, and equip leaders in the local church. Click on the banner on our home page labeled -Thrive.

Ent.
 

 

 

 

 

 

This Date in History

1834 Slavery abolished throughout the British Empire – Slavery Abolition Act 1833 comes into effect

Read and respond. THANKS!!Read my BLOG — www.thetextsays.blogspot.com.

Also on the Home Page www.igniteus.net – A Monday Morning BLOG. (Currently – “Change or DIE!“) New post on the 1st & 15th of each month. Comments welcome!

Home Page – Click on this link to go to our Home Page: http://www.igniteUS.net/

June 15 News Letter

June 19, 2018 by  
Filed under Newsletter

 

 

 

 

 

 

This Date in History

1607 – Colonists in North America completed James Fort in Jamestown, VA. (I have a very informative Power Point on this Fort. Contact me!)

BLOG – Who Shares the Gospel?

Read and respond. THANKS!!

Read my BLOG — www.thetextsays.blogspot.com.

Also on the Home Page www.igniteus.net – A Monday Morning BLOG. (Currently – “Who Shares the Gospel?“) New post on the 1st & 15th of each month. Comments welcome!

Home Page – Click on this link to go to our Home Page: http://www.igniteUS.net/

US Update

This Update is sent to you on the 1st and 15th of each month. Please send comments or questions to us at info@igniteUS.net. Or, you may go to our BLOG on the home page of our Web Site – click on Newsletter. THANKS!

News Letter June 1 2018

June 14, 2018 by  
Filed under Newsletter

Under The Elmtree

In This Edition

 

* The Judgment Of God

* Leading Transformation

* Seminary @ Expositors.Org

* Pastoral Placement – FIT

*Tithe.ly for Ministry Support

* Book Review – ‘Unhitched’? – Nope

* Pod Cast – – Thrive

* This Date in History – Harbor Closed

* BLOG – The Judgment of God

 

 

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The Judgment of God

 

The past several weeks (May 1 – May 25) have been an absolute blur of indictments on the Evangelical Church in America and the Southern Baptist Convention specifically. The link following this paragraph is an article addressing this circumstance written by Dr. Al Mohler. The SBC is not alone in the American Church scene to which God’s judgment may be rightly applied. Read Dr. Mohler’s post first.

https://albertmohler.com/2018/05/23/wrath-god-poured-humiliation-southern-baptist-convention/?mc_cid=45b3897781&mc_eid=d299093093

 

The three words that describe our conduct considered in this article merit God’s Judgment. There are many more Covenant violations we are guilty of as we express daily the sin nature imputed to us as a result of Adam’s willful disobedience. Pray for Repentance, Reformation and Renewal.

 

In Isaiah 53 there are numerous words in the English language that express sin; iniquity, transgression, transgressions, etc. These terms in the original Masoretic Text of the OT convey a much more graphic portrayal of our sin. When you read this article and comprehend the messages conveyed by these words, you will readily understand why the church and sinners deserve God’s Judgment!

 

I included the original language in this article but IContact will not accept them so the best I can do is a transliteration of the words. In most cases I cite lexical sources so the reader may do further research if desired. The sins delineated in this article surely merit God’s judgment.

 

Word #1 – Isaiah 53:5 (avone) (used 215 times in the OT) But he was wounded for our transgressions; he was crushed for our iniquities; upon him was the chastisement that brought us peace, and with his stripes we are healed.

 

Isaiah 21:3  – (avone), to bend or twist, used 215 times in the OT = crooked perverse behavior. Used as a Portrait of the anguish of a woman in labor.

 

Isaiah 21:3 Therefore my loins are filled with anguish; pangs have seized me, like the pangs of a woman in labor; I am bowed down so that I cannot hear; I am dismayed so that I cannot see.

 

Someone distressed, bent double; NKJV – distressed

 

The parent verb, (avone), means ‘bend, twist’, making the noun mean ‘crooked behavior, perversion.’ In the total vocabulary of sinfulness, it is the “internal” word – strictly, therefore, the warped human nature from which all wrongdoing derives. . . . (J. Alec Motyer, Stricken for The Transgression of My People, Chapter 10, From Heaven He Came And Sought Her, p.257) This word gives clear expression to our twisted conduct and motives, the consequences and resulting guilt of our deeds.

 

That which is injustice, false and idolatrous – LOGOS7 word studies

 

The remarkable ambivalence between the meanings “sin as an act” and “penalty” shows that in the thought of the OT sin and its penalty are not radically separate notions as we tend to think of them.  Rather in the OT the action of a man and what happens to him are presupposed to be directly related in one process within the basic divine order (TWOT, Vol.II, p. 651)

 

…the total man, the whole sum of human life and being, is perverted; that all the faculties of man are more or less twisted out of shape by sin; that each man, from the whole is turned from God rather than toward God; so that the whole nature of man, as it now exists, is warped and twisted by sin. (E.C. Dargan, SBC 1900 ish)

 

Man is both in mind and heart, in purpose and in deed apart from God, lost and straying. (Dargan as quoted in By His Grace and For His Glory, Nettles, p.210)

 

?Have you ever confessed your ‘iniquity’ (crookedness) to the LORD and sought His forgiveness for your warped sinful nature?

 

Word #2 – Isaiah 53:8  (pasha) Used 90 times in the OT The fundamental idea of the root word is a breach of relationships, civil or religious, between two parties. It expresses the ‘casting off’ of allegiance’. The verbal form indicates a casting off of allegiance, a rebellion against rulers (TWOT, Vol. II, p.741) Sin is rebellion against the reign of Jesus Christ in your life.

 

Israel was accused of rebelling against her divine king and the established Covenant between them.

 

Isaiah 48:8  You have never heard, you have never known, from of old your ear has not been opened. For I knew that you would surely deal treacherously, and that from before birth you were called a rebel.

 

Hosea 8:1  Set the trumpet to your lips! One like a vulture is over the house of the LORD, because they have transgressed my covenant and rebelled against my law.

 

Acts of transgression, going beyond the limits of God’s laws, have the impact on inner attitudes which create deceitfulness or a distorted love for this “independence” from God.

 

Amos 4:4  “Come to Bethel, and transgress (rebel, break away from legitimate authority); to Gilgal, and multiply transgression; bring your sacrifices every morning, your tithes every three days.

 

No matter how much we make an excuse for the fallen nature which prompts actual sin, the fact remains that in cases far too numerous to recall, a choice was presented to us and we chose the path of deliberate, conscious, willful rebellion. We sinned because we wanted to!!!

 

?Have you ever confessed your ‘rebellion’ to the LORD and sought His forgiveness for your wicked rebel nature?

 

Word #3 – Isaiah 53:12 – (katah) (used 34 times in the OT) This word focuses on the fact of sin as a short-coming, missing the mark.

 

In the moral use of this word, ‘sin’ is the specific matter we find that we have to confess – whether thought, word or deed, inward imagination or outward act. We have “missed,” fallen short of the Lord’s command.

 

Judges 20:16  Among all these were 700 chosen men who were left-handed; every one could sling a stone at a hair and not miss.

 

One of our grandsons took up archery in High School. Each shooter fires 30 arrows at the target from increasing distances resulting in a total possible score of 300. Our grandson scored about 210 in the beginning. He progressed and qualified for the National Championship held in Nashville which we attended. He shot 289. The young man that won that competition shot 299. But – that still misses the mark of 300.

 

The fall rendered all of us poor marksman. We consistently miss the mark.

 

?Have you ever confessed your ‘missing the mark’ to the LORD and sought His forgiveness for your failure?

 

Summary & Application

The Fall rendered us all:

1. (avone) crooked, twisted, idolators

2.  (pasha) rebels, we rebel against the reign of Christ in our lives

3.  (katah) poor marksman, we miss the mark consistently

 

What is God’s standard?

 

Matthew 5:48 –You therefore must be perfect, as your heavenly Father is perfect.

 

?? How can a crooked, rebellious, poor marksman live up to, accomplish this perfection?

 

Acts 4:12 And there is salvation in no one else, for there is no other name under heaven given among men by which we must be saved.”

 

Luke 9:23  And he said to all, “If anyone would come after me, let him deny himself and take up his cross daily and follow me.

 

Leading Transformation 

The decline of the American Church is an indisputable reality. Many pastors and church leaders are profoundly aware of this decline. The quandary they wrestle with is ‘what must we do to address and correct this persistent reality?’

 

When you have a cavity, you go to the Dentist. When you have a foot injury, you go to a Podiatric Surgeon. Such actions are reasonable and lead to a favorable resolution to your problem.

 

The IgniteUS Transformation Process provides abundant resources that bring exegetically supported correction to the existing dysfunctions in ministry. Each church presents distinct challenges. Our Process is tailored to the church you are leading. We have helped many pastors and churches go from decline to robust effectiveness in making disciples. Individual people and the church as a body are transformed. The Process begins with an objective Assessment that enables you to know the true condition of the church you serve. This makes it possible to effectively address the causes of decline.

 

We will come alongside of any church that has a high view of Christ and a high view of Scripture. There is no long term contract. There is. a very modest monthly fee. .Continuous decline is not the only option. Give me a call to investigate this process for implementation where you serve.. I have an article titled Measuring What Matters Most that will facilitate genuine Transformation that I will send to all who make such a request You will be very glad that you called. (800 472 3764 or info@igniteus.net).

 

Pastoral Placement 

Leadership is crucial. When a church is seeking a Lead Pastor there are multiple critical areas that must be considered. Tragically the traditional approach to this process has produced brief pastoral tenures (3 1/2 years is the current average) and less than robust effectiveness. A positive trend is to seek the services of a proven Consultant and Process. IgniteUS provides such a service. Our goal is to guide the church to a man that fits the church and the church fits the man. Contact us @ 800 472 3764 or info@igniteus.net.

 

Ministry Support $$

 

We are asking you to give – $10 a month. These funds enable us to provide  Scholarships to Pastors & Churches. Christ gets the Glory!  On our Home Page (www.igniteus.net) click on the banner labeled Online Giving and follow the prompts. THANKS to each one who gives! Appreciated!

 

Book Review –

Book Review – Motyer, Alec. 6 Ways The Old Testament Speaks Today – An Interactive Guide. Wheaton IL: Crossway, 2018, 240 pp. $19.99 ISBN # – 978-1-4335-5851-1. Available May 31, 2018.

Recently Andy Stanley stated that the church, specifically pastors in their preaching ministry, need to ‘unhitch’ from the Old Testament. This comment unleashed a flurry of criticism. To be fair, this comment was in the third message in a series of three. He insists that if taken in context of the three (3) messages, not to worry.

 

I’m not so sure. There are no new heresies, just new heretics. Marcion was perhaps the first to promote the bifurcation of the Old Testament from the New. He lived from 85 – 160 AD. He was excommunicated from the church in 144 AD for cause. His specific comment on this issue was:

 

. . . we need to distinguish between the “stern law-giving Creator God of the Old Testament and the good merciful God of the New Testament.”

 

I will accept Pastor Stanley’s explanation regarding the context of this comment. Having taken the high ground and being gracious, I will state that such a comment at the very least is profoundly unwise and he should expect the furor that followed. Now we turn to the content of Motyer’s treatment of the Old Testament.

 

This is the second edition of this title. It was first published in 1994 under the title A Scenic Route through The Old Testament. From the Introduction:

 

Actually, it is a rather spectacular piece of countryside, full of interest, and wonderfully speaking directly to us, our situations, and our needs. Did you ever notice a striking thing Steven said in his speech in Acts 7:38, that Moses “received the living oracles to give to us” – the vital word of God itself relevant to each successive generation right up to “us”? Paul insisted on the same truth in Romans 15:4: “For whatever was written in former days was written for our instruction.”

 

And when we turn to the highest authority of all, the Lord Jesus Christ, what do we find? Well, if we had asked him, “why do you keep quoting the Old Testament? “He would have replied, “the old what?” And when we explained, he would have corrected us: “you mean the word of God (Mark 7:13), the Scriptures, (John 5:39)” –  nothing old about that as far as Jesus was concerned, for it is actually the applicable truth of God by which he was content to plan his life and accept his cross (Matthew 26:53-54). The big word he used was “The Law” (Luke 10:26), a word that actually means “the Teaching”, and “the living directions of a caring parent to a beloved child (“instruction,” Prov. 4:1) in the case of our Lord, his heavenly Father’s voice in his ear. Should we not prize –  and go all out to understand – what was so precious to our Savior?

 

The author presents the very beneficial text and readings in six headings as follows:

I.               The Voice of History pp. 15-36

II.               The Voice of Religion pp. 37-54

III.              The Voice of Worship pp. 55-76

IV.              The Voice of Prophecy pp. 77-100

V.                The Voice of Wisdom pp. 101-120

VI.               The Voice of God pp. 121-142

 

There is then an Appendix that supplies ‘daily readings’ in each of these subject areas; pp. 143-208. I suggest that a pastor will be encouraged and equipped in his study of the Old Testament by purchasing and applying this material in his sermon preparation and personal study. This material will be very beneficial in establishing biblical literacy in the lives of the people a pastor serves.

 

In closing it would be profoundly foolish and heretical to discard the rich history and background of our faith by ignoring the Old Testament. Read it. Study it. Apply the Truths recorded in it to inform, encourage and equip God’s people. This title is a wonderful tool any pastor may use in that glorious task.

 

A testimonial regarding the value of this title in the life and ministry of a pastor.

I have lost count of the number of times I have read this book. Priceless wisdom and exquisite summaries of Old Testament genres, with the added bonus of Motyer’s wit and wisdom, make this a book a treasure in deed. ”

Derek Thomas – Senior Minister, First Presbyterian Church – Columbia, South Carolina

Pastor Tom Fillinger

 

Expositors Seminary

 

Expositors Seminary is truly cutting edge in the Theological Training & Equipping of men for ministry. Those that attend and complete the required courses receive a full M.Div. in four (4) years complete with both languages. Students attend Tuesday AM through Wednesday at 2PM. The cost is $200/hour. The men attending are able to continue their current ministry and do not need to relocate their families. They have 9 campuses around the country housed in local churches. They have the most current technology which facilitates the instruction. Dr. George Zemek is the Academic Dean and one of the Professors.

 

I encourage you to go to their web site and examine what they offer. Their web site is www.expositors.org.

 

Pod Cast – THRIVE

 

The title of the Pod Cast is THRIVE. That is our desire for every pastor and every local church. We want you to thrive in making disciples, and developing leaders, all of which is to Glorify Jesus Christ. There is a banner on our web site – – www.ignitues.net – – just click on that banner. This Pod Cast has the potential to reach 35,000 listeners. If you listen and find benefit in the content, encourage folks in your sphere of influence to listen as well, then contact us. THANKS. I want to hear from you; info@igniteus.net or 800 472 3764.

 

 

 

 

 

 

This Date in History

1774 – The British government ordered the Port of Boston closed.

BLOG – The Judgment of God

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