Do you ever get tired of praying for the same people? Do you ever seem to run out of people to pray for? Do you ever find yourself going through the motions in your prayer life? Maybe you don't… but I do! Here is a helpful pattern I learned from Professor Rich Gurgel at the Wisconsin Lutheran Seminary. You might want to adjust a few things to make it your own… as I have. I have found it to be very, very helpful.
Monday - wife, sons, future daughters-in-law, daughter-in-law family, grandchildren and future spouses, plus three more generations.
Tuesday - all congregations God has blessed my family to be served by and/or to serve in, synod leaders, world/home missionaries, area pastors, congregational leaders, government officials national, state, local.
Wednesday - my extended family, siblings, spouses, nieces\nephews, personal friends, difficult people
Thursday - my wife's extended family - same details as Wednesday.
Friday - our country, it's government, it's culture, economy, local business, for enemies, the suffering and poor and those who help them both inside and outside the congregation.
Saturday - blessings on weekend worship services, focus on Jesus' mission, lost and spiritually hurting, remembrance of those departed.
Please let my know how this works for you! See you this weekend!
Thursday, January 21, 2016
Sharing faith is done best in the context of caring relationships. Consider these examples...
John 1:40-51 Andrew brought his brother Simon to Jesus; Philip invited his friend Nathaniel to “come and see.”
Mark 2:13-17 Levi invited tax collectors and “sinners” to eat with Jesus.
Mark 5:19 Jesus told the man he healed of demon-possession to go and tell his family about the Lord’s power and mercy.
John 4:1-42 Many Samaritans believed because of a woman’s testimony.
Acts 10:24-44 Cornelius called together his relatives and close friends to hear the Word of God from Peter.
Here are four ways to share confidently.
1. Accept people in Christian love. Acceptance doesn't mean condoning sin. It just means understanding their deeper need for Jesus and loving them in spite of their faults. That's how Jesus treats us. How can this practice of Christian love lead to sharing Jesus with someone?
2. Be interested in people who need Jesus. “You can make more friends in two months by becoming interested in other people than you can in two years by trying to get other people interested in you.” (Dale Carnegie)
How? Volunteer for community projects/organizations/groups. Make connection with people who have similar interests with you. If the only people you know are active Christians, what can you do to get to know people who need Jesus?
3. Help people in their everyday needs. Our actions testify to the power of God’s love working in our lives. A kind word, a helpful deed, an unexpected gift are ways that we can let our faith show and generate curiosity about “what makes us tick.”
Be alert to "times of transition" in the lives of people you know. These are spans of time in
which a person's or family's normal, everyday life is disrupted by some event that puts them into
an unfamiliar, and therefore often frightening, situation. What are some examples of such times of transition? Why might people be somewhat more willing to listen to the message of the Bible at such times?
4. Commit yourself to the Lord in prayer. Ask him to help you be more confident about sharing your faith. Pray for the knowledge you need for speaking about Jesus as the world’s Savior. Pray that Christ give you a deep concern for the souls of all people, but especially for the ones that you know personally. Ask God for the privilege of being used by him to reach out with the gospel to those people who need Jesus. Then get ready for the Lord to answer your prayer. Who can you pray for today?
Wednesday, January 13, 2016
A: Generations agree that fully developed adulthood starts at 28. And because millennials are in limbo between adolescence and adulthood, they’ve been an easy target for misplaced blame. One of the factors that determined whether or not millennials gave up on Christianity was determining if the church was a safe place. When you create a healthy environment for younger generations to explore their feelings and ask intellectual questions, you help them see the church as a place where they want to be.
-- author and generational expert Haydn Shaw
Your input needed: What do you believe St. Mark needs to do that it is not doing or do better to reach Millennials (18-35 yrs) with the Gospel? (firstname.lastname@example.org)
Riverside Childcare info: http://www.riversidechildren.com/
2016 - A Year of Opportunities
Continued Growth – We continue to experience God’s great blessings of growth. Our efforts to counsel, disciple and equip our partners are being hindered by the need of additional staff. So, we are exploring the possibility of calling another pastor/staff minister to better serve our congregation.
Improved Communication - We continue to improve communication by expanding the ways we make information available to you. For example, the Scripture readings for the worship service are now displayed in the FIVE2 announcements before each service. Prayer requests are now available on our web site and on our St. Mark app, underneath the “Announcements” menu. Our Church Library listings are under the “Resources” menu. (www.stmarkdepere.com)
Also, our current financial statements can be found in the Ministry Governing Board (MGB) meeting minutes, located in the kiosk in the partner information center at De Pere and in the narthex at Green Bay.
Summer Vicar – We’d like to call a summer Vicar who would serve from May 15th to August 15th, 2016. St. Mark will once again have the opportunity to directly influence a future pastor, provide a great role model for our people and keep St. Mark young and connected to worker training.
Director of Digital Engagement – We want to hire a person or service who will create all our videos and artwork that we need for our worship, communication and education. This person or service will have oversight of all social media with an emphasis on expanding our online worship presence and media promotions.
Worship Services & Schedules – We’ll be exploring changes in schedules and service formats to better meet the needs of our congregation and community as well as utilize our resources and staff better.
Expanding Christian Counseling – We will be exploring setting up another Living Hope Christian Counseling office at Green Bay. We could offer the Green Bay community a licensed, Christian counseling option. This will be a wonderful resource for our St. Mark school families, teachers and students. We will also establish an Elementary School Guidance and Counseling curriculum to better serve our families.
Facilties Updates – We will be continuing to look at upgrading our facilities in Green Bay and De Pere. This could include things like upgrading bathrooms, replacing doors, updating lighting, upgrading seating options and adding window shades.
Please note that Sommerville Inc. has graciously offered St. Mark some options to consider for the De Pere worship center, which is now 14 years old. The options include new carpeting and floor tile, a beautifully textured front altar wall, dimmable lights for better worship and an expanded altar area with greater emphasis on the Cross and the Word. There will be opportunities for your input and insights as we continue to improve things at St. Mark.
The new year – 2016 – fast approaches. What opportunities will present themselves? What new discoveries will you make? What new ministry adventures will you undertake?
Wednesday, January 6, 2016
Dave Ramsey - Financial Peace University
This life-changing class is taught by Dave Ramsey and the FPU teaching team on video and will be coordinated by Ryan Slack and Sean Riesenberg at St Mark Lutheran Church in De Pere, WI. It helps attendees achieve their financial goals by showing them how to eliminate debt, save for the future, and give like never before. This class is strongly recommended for anyone looking for financial peace.
Class is starting soon.