RESOURCES FOR CHURCHES

Every October, pastor appreciation month, thousands of churches throughout the United States and other countries find special ways to honor and express gratitude for pastors.

Pastors come in all shapes and sizes. No two are exactly alike. Some are more highly educated than your medical doctor, lawyer, teacher, governor or president. Some of our most effective pastors, however, did not have the opportunity for higher education. These pastors have spent many years in self-directed study.

Some of the best educated pastors I have known, and I have known thousands of them, were not graduated from college or even high school, but they spent years and hours each day in reading, serious Bible study, attending conferences, learning from others and relying on superb mentors to rise to the top of their profession and calling.

Many older ministers were not enrolled in a church pension plan early in their ministry and so their pension may be very small along with small social security checks. Most have retired and no longer pastor churches after the age of 75. Prices continue to rise and income remains where it has been.

At the opposite end of the spectrum are younger pastors who may have just completed their training and have large debts hanging over their heads. They often begin their pastoral careers with a large debt and small salary.

If you are actively involved with a church, there is the pastor, the older former pastors who are now retired and other pastoral staff members. Many ministers will rejoice and be glad if you remember to express your appreciation to them in some way or in many ways. St. Paul wrote, “And He Himself gave some to be apostles, some prophets, some evangelists, and some pastors and teachers . . .” (Ephesians 4:11-12).

One church I know well, and others will follow, is presenting pastors with gift cards, gifts of food, money for clothes, funds to be put into an educational fund for their children, money for vacation expenses or an invitation to have a meal at a parishioner’s house. All these gifts will be appreciated and so will a brief thank you note.

These are a few of the things pastors appreciate. Younger pastors with small children need this kind of help and even a few free baby-sitting days by adults.

The older minister, a former pastor, the pastor who is ill and he and his wife do not have the same work-energy they had when they were in their fifties, sixties and early seventies will need and deeply appreciate all the things you do to express your appreciation.

Think about it and you will come up with numerous ways to express your appreciation for a minister who has been important in your life and to your family.

I am what I am largely because of the influence of pastors and other ministers. I appreciate what they did for me. Enjoy letting your pastor know he or she is deeply appreciated.

Written and used with permission by Bill Ellis and ASSIST News Service.

Children’s Ministries

The purpose of the Missionary Church Children’s Ministries is “to establish in every Missionary Church a children’s ministry committed to winning, building, and equipping children for Jesus Christ and enabling parents/care-givers to teach God’s Word in daily living.” (Deut. 6:6-7)

We believe that the biblical purpose of children’s ministry is to reach and disciple children for Jesus Christ. “To reach,” means to evangelize. It isn’t simply inviting unchurched children to an activity planned for Christians, but rather, the planning of specific programs geared to attract unsaved children to a clear presentation of the gospel. “To disciple” is to minister to a child at his/her own level of spiritual interest with the intent of moving him/her to the next level.

An important, and often neglected, role of children’s ministry is the equipping of children for ministry. Frequently children’s ministry is viewed as something done by adults to children. A vital element of discipleship is equipping people to serve. Children have the ability to minister to other people at various levels. Children can learn responsibility, become involved in service, and begin to reach their peers for Jesus Christ.

An effective children’s ministry also plays a vital role in enabling parents/caregivers to fulfill their responsibility as God’s primary resource for reaching and discipling children. As the church enables and cooperates with parents/caregivers, biblical concepts and principles can effectively be reinforced in daily living.

Let’s Explore Our Faith is a children’s catechism. This publication has been updated and may be downloaded. You have permission to duplicate lessons as needed.

Click to Download (You will need Adobe Acrobat to access the following lessons.)

Let’s Explore Our Faith:

Glossary of Key Words

Lesson 1: God and His Word

Lesson 2: What is God Like?

Lesson 2: (Cards)

Lesson 3: God the Father

Lesson 4: God the Son

Lesson 5: God the Holy Spirit

Lesson 6: Man: Created and Fallen

Lesson 7: Man: Redeemed

Lesson 8: Bible Study

Lesson 9: Prayer

Lesson 10: The Church

Lesson 11: The Missionary Church – My Church

Lesson 12: The Return of Christ

Lesson 12: (Overheads) When Will the Rapture Happen?

Youth Ministries

Purpose – Our desire as a denominational youth team is to… Ignite a passion in Missionary Church Youth Ministries that enables students to MEET Jesus (Win), KNOW Jesus (Build) and SERVE just like Jesus (Equip).

Our Plan  – In order to see this purpose statement become a reality we embarked on these plan of action areas:

Promote Purpose – by championing the cause of purposeful youth ministry as expressed in our purpose statement.

Provide Training – by facilitating the regular training of adult and student youth leaders with strategic principle-based instruction on building a ministry with a Great Commission passion.

Prompt Networking – by encouraging regionalized (district) networking of youth workers for the purpose of support, accountability to our purpose statement and expanded ministry to students through networked outreaches.

Produce Models and Multipliers – by identifying and investing in individuals and ministries who are Makers of Disciplemakers

Bible Quizzing… is a program of competition centered on knowledge of a book or books of the Bible. The purpose of Bible Quizzing is: (a) to learn God’s Word; (b) to develop Christian character; (c) to participate in good Christian competition; (d) to develop group unity through the Holy Spirit to accomplish a goal; (e) to use a fun way of studying the Bible daily; (f) to meet other youth who are quizzers; (g) to travel to many tournaments, conventions, etc; (h) to compete in order to bring honor and glory to Christ; (i) to help people grow spiritually; (j) to help people become more disciplined; and (k) to equip people to reach others for Christ. For further information, contact Kevin Schreck. Visit quizcoach.com for more information.

Women’s Ministries

It shall be the function of Women’s Ministries to assist in the home and overseas missionary activities of the denomination; to aid in the organizing and conducting of district, regional, and local ministries for spiritual edification and the promotion of such work as may be mutually agreed upon; to direct the efforts of the organization in keeping with the policies of the denomination and to correlate them with the respective departments.

A council, consisting of the denominational Women’s Ministries director and the regional and district Women’s Ministries directors, shall coordinate and give general direction to the activities of the organization. It shall serve as a policy-making and advisory body, basic policy to be subject to the approval of the Ministry Leadership Council. The council shall effect its own organization and it may devise bylaws governing its procedures subject to the approval of the Ministry Leadership Council.

A Women’s Ministries Director shall be appointed by the director of U.S. Ministries upon the recommendation of the Women’s Ministries Council. The appointment shall be for two years.

A report of the Women’s Ministries Council shall be given to each General Conference.

Men’s Ministries

In fulfillment to the Great Commission (Matthew 28:18-20), the purpose of Missionary Men International shall be to establish in every Missionary Church a ministry committed to winning, building, and equipping men for Jesus Christ; and to give active support to the home and foreign work of the denomination in keeping with the objectives and policies of the denomination and in correlation with respective divisions and departments.

Beyond the local outreach ministry of each MMI group, Church Multiplication and Theological Extension by Extension (TEE) are supported through prayer, encouragement, and financial contributions. Men’s groups are often a part of a WP USA Volunteer Service (WPVS) project. They also participate in other effective men’s ministries such as Promise Keepers and National Coalition of Men’s Ministries.

Pray Magazine is worth the subscription price. It is published by The Navigators, Box 35004, Colorado Springs, CO 80935-3504.

Some sites to check out:

Growing a Healthy Church … seminars are designed to teach leaders how to create a healthy church environment as well as balanced focus on winning, building and equipping disciples. For further information and costs, contact Dan Riemenschneider at (260) 747-2027.

Natural Church Development … Based on a study of 1,000 churches on five continents, Christian Schwarz identifies 8 essential qualities for church health. We offer this diagnostic tool to provide an assessment for the local church. For further information and costs, contact Dan Riemenschneider at (260) 747-2027.

Finding God’s Purpose for the Church
Written by Dwight Smith and Robert Mountford, this material is Bible-based in doctrine, practical in its application and prepared to enable leaders to mobilize existing churches and plant new ones.

The training kit includes 3 DVDs containing 20 video sessions; a CD with a leader’s guide, Powerpoint slides and supplemental materials and one participant’s workbook. The price is $99. Order from Church Services at 888-275-9094.

Additional workbooks may be purchased for $25 each or in packets of 5 for $110 or packets of 10 for $200.

For 25 years classic Sonlife has taught the Life of Christ developmentally, believing that Jesus modeled how to create a movement of multiplying disciples.  Looking at Jesus’ life from the perspective of a leader trying to “walk as Jesus walked” (I Jn 2:6) and “do what Jesus did” (John 14:12), we have analyzed what Jesus did the first year, second year, and third year in creating a movement of multiplying disciples.  Identifying 5 phases in the development of healthy ministry, we have identified critical priorities Jesus lived by in building a movement of multiplying disciples.  Believing that Jesus disciples may have been in their late teens or early 20’s, we have committed ourselves to training next generation leaders in developing disciple making ministries.

1. Articles of incorporation
The most authoritative legal document a church has.

2. Corporate annual reports
A simple form that takes only a few minutes to complete. In many states, incorporated churches are required to file this annually with the secretary of state.

3. Constitution or bylaws
A church’s rules of internal administration.

4. Financial records
Reviewed regularly by the church board, insuring that appropriate safeguards are in place and asking questions about anything they don’t understand or that seems irregular.

5. List of members
Review it periodically to be sure it is up to date.

6. Minutes of membership and board meetings
Records should be kept of all meetings in which decisions are made on behalf of the church.

7. Insurance policies
Church treasurers/administrators must know how much coverage the church has.

8. Tax records
These include payroll tax forms, housing allowance designations for your pastors, contribution records, and any other forms you have filed with federal, state and local governments.

9. Employment records
These include applications for employment, reference checks and other documents relating to your employees.

10. Deeds
Can you locate the deed to your church properties.

  • Hurricanes, tornados, floods, earthquakes and… whatever brings calamity and crisis calls God’s people to get involved, to do something!
  • If you and/or your church wants to connect with calamity in the name of Christ go to Hope Crisis Response Network.

Foundations… is an adult catechism that has been revised. Both the student worksheets and the teacher’s manual may be downloaded. These materials are provided in Rich Text Format (RTF) so you may include information about your local church in the studies.

Click to Download
Student’s Workbook
Teacher’s manual
Overheads (Adobe Acrobat)

Fundamentos Español
Fundamentos Estudiantes
Fundamentos Maestro
Fundamentos Transparencias (Adobe Acrobat)

Let’s Explore Our Faith … is a children’s catechism. You will need Adobe Acrobat in order to access the following lessons. You have permission to duplicate lessons as needed.

Glossary of Key Words

Lesson 1: God and His Word

Lesson 2: What is God Like?

Lesson 2: (Cards)

Lesson 3: God the Father

Lesson 4: God the Son

Lesson 5: God the Holy Spirit

Lesson 6: Man: Created and Fallen

Lesson 7: Man: Redeemed

Lesson 8: Bible Study

Lesson 9: Prayer

Lesson 10: The Church

Lesson 11: The Missionary Church – My Church

Lesson 12: The Return of Christ

Lesson 12: (Overheads) When Will the Rapture Happen?

The Word, Revival, and Evangelism: Historical Origins of the Missionary Church

… is a video presentation of the history of the Missionary Church up to the merger in 1969. Dr. Dennis Engbrecht, Senior Vice President at Bethel College, does an excellent job in communicating significant events and circumstances that have shaped our denomination. It is an excellent resource for membership classes and individuals. It helps one to know who we are and from where we have come. The video is available from Support Ministries at (260) 747-2027. The cost is $10.00.

Finding God’s Purpose for the Church

Written by Dwight Smith and Robert Mountford, this material is Bible-based in doctrine, practical in its application and prepared to enable leaders to mobilize existing churches and plant new ones.

The training kit includes 3 DVDs containing 20 video sessions; a CD with a leader’s guide, Powerpoint slides and supplemental materials and one participant’s workbook. The price is $99. Order from Church Services at 888-275-9094.

Additional workbooks may be purchased for $25 each or in packets of 5 for $110 or packets of 10 for $200.

The Kesler Circulating Library

The Kesler Circulating Library is an opportunity to access theological materials at Vanderbilt, including its Zimmerman Judaica Collection. The
website contains all the information necessary to become a member and allows members to submit loan requests online. There is no fee.

Reducing the Risk II Kit

You can take simple steps to reduce the likelihood of child sexual abuse occurring within your church. Christian Ministry Resources has published a resource, Reducing the Risk II, that tells you how.

Reducing the Risk II teaches you how to screen staff and volunteers, train ministry workers and respond to allegations of abuse. It also explains the need for a prevention program and the church’s legal vulnerability if these issues are unaddressed.

The Reducing the Risk II kit retails for $49.95. Through Brotherhood Mutual, you can receive the kit for $17.25, plus $4 shipping and handling. The kit contains a training manual, reference book, and DVD

To order, download the form, complete it, and mail it with your check to:

Brotherhood Mutual Insurance Company
Attn: Reducing the Risk II
6400 Brotherhood Way
Fort Wayne, IN 46825

Discipleship “Engines”

In the book, Simple Church, Thom Rainer described a process to get back on mission with what God has called the church to be. The four words he used for this process can be applied to the disciplemaking process as well:

Clarity. To “make disciples” we have to understand what one looks like. 1 John 2:6 tells us to “walk as Jesus walked.” Clarity is defining what a disciple needs to know (Head), the attitudes of a disciple (Heart), and what a disciple is to do (Hands).Ultimately it is obeying everything Jesus commanded.

Movement. As we work with people in the church we will find four groups: pre-Christians (those who have not accepted Jesus yet), new believers, growing believers and multipliers (able to make disciples who make disciples). Our goal is to move everyone towards obeying Jesus to be a multiplier. Movement is defining the linkages to help people mature to become a multiplier.

Alignment. Often, church programs are a confusing collection of differing visions, purposes, and values. The result is often stunted growth as momentum is lost moving from one program to another. Alignment is ensuring that everything done in and through the church is designed to help make disciples and move people towards being a multiplier.

Focus. There are many seminars and books available to pastors all calling for the church to use their program or approach. When clarity, movement and alignment are present the challenge is to say no to those programs and approaches that do not help the church move forward. Focus helps the church stay on mission.

Take a look at this document for resources for helping you create a discipling culture:

Creating a Discipleship Engine

Summary of three books that describe possible Discipleship Engines:

Discipleship Resources