Wednesday, October 28, 2015

Do You Agree With This List?

What if I gave you a list of ten things that any church could do that would bring almost immediate renewal and a larger audience for the Gospel?

Would you be interested in the list?

Most would be.

So here is one such list from one of the top Christian leaders* in America:

  1. Simplify your structure by putting the authority to make most decisions related to the practice of ministry in the hands of those with responsibility. Translation: let your leaders lead.
  2. Call/hire young, have singer who are young, program young. Why? You attract who you have lead worship, and most churches are growing old.
  3. Become more contemporary in terms of music and graphics, d├ęcor and topics, website and signage. It's 2015. Really. You can check.
  4. Stop preaching and start communicating practical truth. There's a difference.
  5. Shift the outreach focus away from the already convinced toward those who are not.  It's called the Great Commission.
  6. Prioritize your Sunday morning children's ministry in terms of money and staffing, square footage and resources. Do you really not know, after all this time, that the children's ministry is your most important ministry for outreach and growth?
  7. "It's the weekend, stupid."
  8. Help everyone find their spiritual gifts and then help them channel those gifts toward ministry.
  9. Target men. Get the man, you tend to get the family.
  10. Proclaim the full counsel of God without compromise or dilution. All you get with a watered-down message is a watered-down church. And a watered-down church has nothing to offer the world it does not already have.

Now, what I just shared with you that the vast majority of churches already know this list.  Not only do they know the list, they would agree with most if not all of it.

But they refuse to act on it.

It's true.

And the reason tends to be the same, in church after church, around the world: they don't want to change.

Which brings up another list.

It's the list of the seven last words of the church:

"We never did it that way before."


Sources:  Adapted from James Emery White, The Church in an Age of Crisis: 25 New Realities Facing Christianity (Baker).

Monday, October 26, 2015

Bake Rake & Take Community Service

St. Mark staff, students, families, and friends are partnering for a community service opportunity where all can serve our neighbors around our Green Bay site (1167 Kenwood, GB).

Bake:  We are asking families to donate homemade (or similar purchased) breads by Wednesday, November 4th.  You may bake or purchase (pumpkin, banana, apple, cinnamon, etc.)  Please label all breads (NO NUTS PLEASE) and be sure to wrap them well.  Breads may be brought to the church or school.  Preschool, Kindergarten, and 1st grade students will be decorating cards to include with the bread inviting neighbors to church services as well as sign up to have their lawn raked. All bread will be delivered by 2nd, 3rd, 7th, & 8th grade students on Thursday, November 5th.

Rake: Team up with students from our school and rake the lawns of elderly and disabled people around our Green Bay site.  Meet at the Green Bay site at 9am on Friday, Nov 13.  If you can't commit to a morning time slot to help, then meet at the Green Bay site at 3:30pm on Friday, Nov 13 for phase II of our raking project.  Be willing to commit to a 2 hour time commitment.

Take: Team up with students to collect donations to our food pantry from our neighbors who wish to participate.  Meet at the Green Bay site at 9am on Friday, Nov 13.  Be willing to commit to a 2 hour time commitment.

Sign up for the Rake and Take portion of this event is at http://stmarkdepere.com/serve.  Thank you!

Wednesday, October 14, 2015

Two HUGE EVENTS in October!

OCTOBER NEWSLETTER

October brings the cascade of Fall colors, the aroma of brat-filled tailgating and the fashion challenge of hunter orange camouflage!  October also brings TWO MAJOR events in keeping with the GROW & GO vision.




The most dangerous lies are the ones you never notice. They can twist your thinking in ways you'd never expect and can leave you with a life you never imagined. Your ability to recognize them can spell the difference between happiness and the loss of all you hold dear.  Do you see them?
The Twisted series will expose some common ways God's truth gets twisted and how we can recognize and overcome it.  Each one has the potential to destroy your relationships, cloud your decisions, and distort your perception of Jesus.  Starts October 24th!



St. Mark is please to offer a parenting seminar to our community entitled "Love and Logic.  Here is a little about what will be presented:

We are passionate about the real hope Love and Logic provides for parents and teachers.
We are a family business guided by the belief that nothing is worthwhile if it doesn’t improve lives.
We provide a loving, balanced approach that is neither permissive nor punitive.
We show adults how to discipline kids without losing their love and respect.
We focus on helping children develop personal responsibility, self-control and good decision making skills.
Unlike some approaches we don’t use complicated reward or punishment systems only focused on short-term compliance.
Instead, we focus on nurturing long-term relationships and reinforcing good character.
Sunday, October 25th @10:30a
St. Mark – De Pere   in the Hillside Room



GROW & GO
 “To establish a dynamic Christian congregation that is an inspirational magnet for every member of our community providing an opportunity to GROW a meaningful personal relationship with Jesus and then to GO make a difference now and for eternity.”    

THE THREE PILLARS OF THE GROW & GO VISION
Offer compelling worship
Grow healthy adults
Intentionally serve others in Jesus’ name

Wednesday, October 7, 2015

Set a Bible 'Trap' for Teens

National Bible Week, observed in November, probably isn’t on your teens’ radar. But is the Bible? Surveys show that Americans of all ages revere God’s Word yet don’t really read it. The solution is to set a “trap” that gets young people magnetized to Scripture. Parents can adapt the strategy with these steps:

· Begin with yourself. Admit when your relationship with God seems dry, and use Scripture as a path out of that desert.

· Equip kids with the “how.” Use a teen-friendly Bible (and version like the NIV), as well as a journal. Choose a good starting point and read in small chunks.

· Create opportunities to explore “what.” Discuss how words and concepts tie into the bigger story God is telling.

· Help teenagers find time to read. Begin with a commitment to read every day for five minutes. It takes about 21 days to start a habit.

· Make use of opportunities to foster Christian friendships. Dig deeper with resources such as "The Way" student ministry. Hang out with friends in a casual atmosphere. More info on the web or facebook page  

· Raise the bar. Give teenagers an epic challenge, such as reading the Bible in one year. Never underestimate the power of high expectations!

Want more Parenting pointers? 

  • Check out ParentLink, a free resource we provide monthly at St. Mark.
  • Sign-up for the Love & Logic Parenting Seminar. All parents who want to raise faithful and motivated children are invited to the Love & Logic Parenting Seminar on Sunday, October 25. This seminar will be held from 10:30 AM-1:00PM at the De Pere site in the Hillside Room. Lunch and child care provided! Registration is open now for $5.00 per person at this address. We hope you can join us.