How To Thrive in Winter Ministry

Winter can be tough on a church if the pastor and people are not prepared.  Make the most out of your ministry during this Winter!

One of the benefits of serving God in New England is that we get to experience all four seasons.  Spring, Summer, Fall, and Winter all have their pros and cons.  New Englanders usually have strong feelings about which ones they like and dislike.  Nevertheless, we are privileged to experience them in all of their glory. Each season presents its own challenges to ministry.  We won’t list them all here.  In this article, we will focus on ministry in the Winter.

If you want to have a fruitful ministry in New England, you must make peace with Winter.  That’s easier for some people than others.  If you grew up in the northern United States, you are probably accustomed to cold weather, snow accumulation, and winter storms. Some people even enjoy Winter!  However, if you have never lived or ministered up North, you are in for a treat.  Many well-intentioned preachers have moved to New England believing that God wanted them to serve here, only to quit because of the Winter.  Either God never called them to New England, or they left God’s will because they didn’t consider how to serve God successfully during the cold winter months.  I don’t make that statement as a criticism but as a fact.

I grew up in Southern Indiana.  Typically, we had cold winters with snow accumulation each year.  When I went to Bible College near Chicago, I knew I had a lot to learn.  I was a country boy trying to acclimate to city life.  That was a huge adjustment!  I was soon to learn that  I also wasn’t prepared for the change in weather.  I was used to the cold and snow, but I wasn’t ready for the amount of wind in the Windy City.  The first winter I was there the frigid air seemed to cut right through my usual winter clothing.  I was cold!  I had to learn how to dress differently in order to survive.  Likewise, the lake effect snow was different than my previous experience.  I had to modify my thinking and lifestyle to succeed.

I had friends in college from warmer climates that had an even more difficult time adjusting to the weather.  Some were from states that an inch or two of snow would shut everything down.  A few of them had never even seen snow!  A few of them gave up and went home.  Most of them adapted and had successful ministries in college because they learned to embrace the difficulties of the Winter season.

Truthfully, many of the successful churches in New England today are pastored by men that grew up in different parts of our country.  God called them here, and they’ve stayed.  God has used them to do much good for His Kingdom.  I believe that God will continue calling men to New England.  We need to keep them here once they come.

I’m sure someone is reading this article thinking it is unnecessary.  Don’t underestimate the challenges of the Winter season.  Even life-long New Englanders get discouraged.  Life feels different when the sun goes down at 4:30 pm, it’s biting cold, and you don’t feel well because you are fighting off (more…)

The Paradox of Our Time

This much-used essay seems to get more relevant as time passes…

We have taller buildings but shorter tempers; wider freeways but narrower viewpoints; we spend more but have less; we buy more but enjoy it less; we have bigger houses and smaller families; more conveniences, yet less time; we have more degrees but less sense; more knowledge but less judgement; more experts, yet more problems; we have more gadgets but less satisfaction; more medicine, yet less wellness; we take more vitamins but see fewer results. We drink too much; smoke too much; spend too recklessly; laugh too little; drive too fast; get too angry quickly; stay up too late; get up too tired; read too seldom; watch TV too much and pray too seldom.

We have multiplied our possessions, but reduced our values; we fly in faster planes to arrive there quicker, to do less and return sooner; we sign more contracts only to realize fewer profits; we talk too much; love too seldom and lie too often. We’ve learned how to make a living, but not a life; we’ve added years to life, not life to years. We’ve been all the way to the moon and back, but have trouble crossing the street to meet the new neighbor. We’ve conquered outer space, but not inner space; we’ve done larger things, but not better things; we’ve cleaned up the air, but polluted the soul; we’ve split the atom, but not our prejudice; we write more, but learn less; plan more, but accomplish less; we make faster planes, but longer lines; we learned to rush, but not to wait; we have more weapons, but less peace; higher incomes, but lower morals; more parties, but less fun; more food, but less appeasement; more acquaintances, but fewer friends; more effort, but less success. We build more computers to hold more information, to produce more copies than ever, but have less communication; drive smaller cars that have bigger problems; build larger factories that produce less. We’ve become long on quantity, but short on quality.

These are the times of fast foods and slow digestion; tall men, but short character; steep in profits, but shallow relationships. These are times of world peace, but domestic warfare; more leisure and less fun; higher postage, but slower mail; more kinds of food, but less nutrition. These are days of two incomes, but more divorces; these are times of fancier houses, but broken homes. These are days of quick trips, disposable diapers, cartridge living, throw-away morality, one-night stands, overweight bodies and pills that do everything from cheer, to prevent, quiet or kill. It is a time when there is much in the show window and nothing in the stock room. Indeed, these are the times!

It is said that this essay appeared under the title “The Paradox of Our Age” in Words Aptly Spoken, Dr. Bob Moorehead’s 1995 collection of prayers, homilies, and monologues used in his sermons and radio broadcasts.

Set S.M.A.R.T.E.R. Goals That Almost Achieve Themselves

Powerful goals that help you accomplish your dreams

Have you ever set a goal that you didn’t reach? We all have. Many. Many. Times. Don’t give up! Goals work if you learn how to set them properly and follow through on them faithfully. Use this checklist to create powerful goals that will boost your confidence and enrich your life.

Most people use the term “goal” loosely. They call dreams, desires, and wishes goals.

  • Lose weight.
  • Have a better marriage.
  • Be a better parent.
  • Be closer to God.

This mistake creates a self-destructive loop of dashed hopes and continuing mediocrity. New Year’s resolutions are a great example of this trend. A University of Scranton study suggested that only 8% of people who make New Year’s Resolutions achieve them. The statistics on resolutions get worse from there.

  • Many stick with them for less than a week.
  • Less than half keep them for more than six months.
  • Can be listed up to 10x without success.

According to StatisticBrain.com,  this image shows the top ten New Year’s resolutions of 2017. (more…)

Set Your Life In Order Stewardship Kit Offer

Do you ever feel overwhelmed by life’s responsibilities? Do you feel like you are failing in a vital area? Would you like to finally get control of your schedule and finances? Then it’s time to get your life in order! Be more productive in every area of your life with the Biblical principles shared in this Stewardship Kit.

We are stewards of the gifts and blessings of God. One day we must give an account to our Lord of how we used our resources and opportunities. These Bible lessons will enable you to have the best year of your life and give you the tools to live as a wise steward.

In today’s busy world, you will not be successful by accident.  There have never been more things competing for your time, talent, and treasure.  Responsibilities and distractions are at an all-time high in the digital age.  If you aren’t careful, the things that matter most will not get the attention they need.  Relationships will suffer, and your quality of life will decrease if you don’t live on purpose.

You can order your life in such a way that will enable you to be productive and fulfilled while you accomplish your goals, build meaningful relationships, and make an eternal difference.  But you must decide to live on purpose by Biblical principles if you are to please God and accomplish your purpose.

  • What values do you live by?
  • What are your priorities?
  • When does saying “no” actually mean “yes” to things that honestly matter?
  • How do you create a sustainable schedule built around your most important roles and responsibilities?
  • What four types of giving should you practice regularly?
  • Why is accountability essential to being a good steward?
  • What are the Biblical goals I should set this year?
  • Why should God trust me with wealth?
  • How do I build a stable and structured life?
  • How can I finally conquer my finances with a budget?
  • What is the Bible way to be productive and get things done?
  • Why is consistency one of the most important attributes of success?
  • How do you protect yourself from burnout while helping others?
  • Why is now the time to let God remake your life?
  • How do you overcome when you feel like a failure?
  • What five simple changes can radically change your health?
  • What does your giving reveal about your attitude towards life & God?

Answer these important questions and more as you complete the Set Your Life In Order Stewardship Kit.  It includes over 12 hours of instruction with helpful worksheets.

For years, I have spent every January teaching Biblical principles of Stewardship.  I have combined 17 of the most important lessons with corresponding documents into the SET YOUR LIFE IN ORDER Stewardship Kit. These lessons have been learned through Bible study and life experience.

I have always been (more…)

The True Meaning of Christmas

95% of Americans celebrate Christmas, but many have forgotten what it’s all about. Do you know the true meaning of Christmas?

I love Christmas! I enjoy the red and green decorations, the fun music, the anticipation of gifts, and extra time with family. However, the meaning of Christmas is so easily lost by the commercialization and busyness of the season.

Do you know the meaning of Christmas?

  • Christmas is not about Santa!
  • Christmas is not about Mary!
  • Christmas is not about money!
  • Christmas is not about gifts!
  • Christmas is not about vacation!

CHRISTMAS IS ABOUT (more…)