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





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


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




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.







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/

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