Saturday, November 29, 2014

Article: Dear parents with Children in Church

Jamie Bruesehoff, writes an article for parents with children encouraging them to persevere in worship....this is also a good an article for everyone in the can read the article 

Wednesday, November 19, 2014

Article: Sermon Structures

David Schmitt at Concordia Theology discusses that preparing a sermon can be a messy activity. Meditating on the Scriptural text, the world around you, and the work of God in the lives of his people produces a vast array of ideas and experiences. For example, one week a preacher may gather together a line from a hymn, a scene from a recent movie, a metaphor of the gospel, an exegetical insight, a conversation after bible class, a controversy in the news, and a child’s drawing left in the pew. Any of these ideas might make it into the sermon. All of them cannot. So the preacher needs to be selective about what he includes and purposeful about when he includes it as he shapes the experience of the sermon. How does a preacher do that?  By using a sermon structure.

A sermon structure is the purposeful ordering of ideas and experiences in the sermon.  It helps the preacher identify what material will be included in the sermon and organize that material into purposeful proclamation. Historically, preachers have found that certain structures work well for communicating to God’s people. This website provides you an overview of those structures, both in theory and in practice.
The structures are divided into three categories:  thematic structures, textual structures, and dynamic structures. Thematic structures arise from the teaching of the sermon. The preacher identifies a main teaching and then divides that teaching into points for the hearers that follow one another in a logical order. Textual structures arise from the text of the sermon. They may follow the text in a verse-by-verse fashion, move from the text to application, or incorporate the genre of the text in preaching. Dynamic structures arise from the experience of the hearers. They identify the experiences of one’s hearers, their cultural and spiritual modes of knowing, and use them in service to the proclamation of the gospel.
Each structure has strengths and weaknesses in respect to the tapestry of preaching and, therefore, preachers choose their sermon structure wisely. For example, a verse-by-verse structure can work well in communicating the meaning of a text (i.e., textual exposition) but may cause the hearers to be unsure of the primary teaching of the sermon (i.e., theological confession) or to lose sight of the work of Christ in their lives (i.e., evangelical proclamation). In contrast, a thematic structure of definition can work well in defining one main thought for the hearers (i.e, theological confession) and applying it to their lives (i.e., hearer interpretation), but may overlook much of the text (i.e, textual exposition) or not relate this teaching to God’s gracious work in Christ (i.e., evangelical proclamation).
Knowing the strengths and weaknesses of various sermon structures enables the preacher to use them wisely. The more familiar a preacher is with various sermon structures, the greater ability he will have to choose the structure that fits his preaching situation. This website is an introduction to various sermon structures and hopes to foster variety of form and faithfulness in proclamation.

Table of Contents

Monday, November 17, 2014

Book: Ministry in disaster settings

Ministry in Disaster Settings: Lessons from the Edge studies the issues for clergy and church leaders during disasters. 
It is based on interviews with a number of ministry agents who cared for their communities during and after major tragedies. The book seeks to understand what were the issues for them, including how they were affected, if and how they were cared for, and what lessons the church can learn in doing this work and caring for the carers. this is a valuable resource to all people involved in ministry, chaplaincy and caring for pastors and other religious helpers. 

Part One is a series of Case Studies of individual ministers and chaplains involved in: 

  • The Granville Train Disaster; 
  • The Kempsey Bus Crash; 
  • The Port Arthur Massacre 
  • the Thredbo Ski Resort Landslide. 

Part Two examines the nature of ministry "on the edge" and its affect on ministry agents. 
Part Three is Biblical and Theological Reflections on Ministry in Crisis times. 
Part Four consists of lessons for ministry on the edge; for pastors and their carers.

Friday, November 14, 2014

Article: Choosing leaders: Character, Competence and Committment

Many congregations and churches are in a position of selecting leaders....lay and paid leaders.   

The following article from Ivey Business Journal highlights that when it comes to selecting and assessing CEOs, other C-suite level executives or board members, the most important criteria for boards to consider are competencies, commitment and character. This article focuses on the most difficult of these criteria to assess – leadership character – and suggests the eleven key dimensions of character that directors should consider in their governance roles.


Wednesday, November 12, 2014

Small Group/Life Group Video studies first lesson free from over 140 bible studies

Zondervan offers the entire first lesson for over 140 their DVD based group Bible studies. No more guessing on the content, instead you get the full video experience by being able to see and evaluate the complete first lesson of each multi-lesson Bible study.
Each video is easy to share with your friends, small group or Bible study. Just hit the "share" button under the video and send it via email, Facebook, or Twitter.
Zondervan video-based group Bible studies are available on DVD. These video Bible studies feature a variety of topics from many authors, and are available wherever small group resources and curriculum are sold including, and many others

Visit the playlist page
or click the video below

2014 New Years eve and New Years day ideas

New years eve is a great opportunity to spend time with God and other Christians, reflecting on the year gone and preparing of the year ahead
Following are some suggestions that may help you in your New Years eve and day planning.

New Years Eve worship service with stations

LifeWay suggestions for New Years Eve

United Church of Christ Watch Night Service

African American Lectionary Watch Night Service

Textweek suggestions

Reformed worship ideas

Messiah Lutheran Church - Worship ideas you can use

Creative Youth Ideas

Skit Guys videos

Bible Readings recommended by the Lutheran Church of Australia
31 Dec 14 New Year’s Eve
Jeremiah 24:1-7 The vision of the two baskets of figs
Psalm 102:24-28
1 Peter 1:22-25 We are born anew by the word of God
Luke 13:6-9 The parable of the unfruitful fig tree

1 Jan 15 New Year’s Day
Ecclesiastes 3:1-13 For everything there is a time
Psalm 8
Revelation 21:1-6a A new heaven and a new earth
Matthew 25:31-46 The last judgment

Monday, November 10, 2014

Article: 7 lies Christian parents believe

Callie Grant in an article in the Relevant Magazine discusses that properly leading a child means clearing the air of our own misperceptions. Here are seven myths that block effective Christian parenting.
Read the article at

Newsletter: In Every Place Witnessing Newsletter

In every place is a newsletter that offers news, information, inspiration and encouragement for personal Christian witnessing.  The newsletter evolved from follow up email communications sent to participants of Witness Workshops conducted in various Districts during 2012/13. 

This edition of the newsletter includes:

  • Biblical reasons for witnessing
  • Encouragement
  • Prayer
  • Six Witnessing principles
  • Proven Gospel outlines
  • Excuses given for not witnessng

Web Site: Living in the next phase - ministry to and by older Christians

Living in the next phase vision is to see third (55-75 year old's) and fourth (75 plus year old's) age people nurtured in their faith, reaching out to their peers with the Gospel and exercising their spiritual gifts and godly wisdom in a vital ministry within the church.
Influenced strongly by Psal 92:12-14....The righteous will flourish ... they will still bear fruit in old age, they will stay fresh and green ...

The web site includes:

  • Events
  • Articles
  • Recommended Reading
  • Newsletter
  • Recommended Education
  • DVDs

DVD of their 2014 conference
Session 1: A Biblical Approach to Aging (Bishop Peter Jensen)
Session 2: Living in the Next Phase (Rev. Dr Andrew Cameron)
Session 3: Understanding the Global Generations Mindsets and Implications for Mission/Ministry to the Aging Baby Boomers (Mark McCrindle social researcher)

Workshop 3: Forever Young: Physical, Mental, Emotional and Spiritual Challenges of Aging Well Convener: Jill McGilvray, Speaker: Dr Andrew Cole
Growing Older in a Youth Obsessed World 
Living Well in the Next Phase
• Creation
• The Visit
• Our Mortality—Thanatology
• Palliative Care
• Beyond Death—1 Cor. 15
• Jesus—The Way, Truth & Life
Who Cares for the Carer?
• Who is a Carer?
• Care for the Carers: Carer Wellbeing
• Spread the Word of God
Empowering over 55s for Ministry
• Identifying Opportunities for ministry with seniors in the local church
• Recruiting, Preparing & Maintaining teams for seniors ministry
• Discovering and using your Spiritual Gifts in ministry
Sharing the gospel with Over 55s
Session 1: Preparing Our Gospel…
Session 2: Preparing Ourselves
Session 3: Preparing for God’s People..
Growing a Dynamic Ministry to Over 55s
Session 1:- Our Identity in Christ
Session 2:- Our Part in Christ’s mission
Session 3:- Vintage Christians
Enjoying Your Best Years: Staying Young While Growing Older
Session 1: Saying Young while growing older
Session 2: Ageing Well to enjoy our best years
The Best is Yet to Come
Biblical foundation and principles of Ministry to Older Adults
Designing a Ministry to Older Adults

Visit Living in the next Phase

Saturday, November 08, 2014

Book: Seeing God as Father: The Fullness of Sonship Explored by Noel Due

Noel Due, the regional resourcing pastor for the Lutheran Church of Queensland, along with Daniel Bush and Steve Brown, explore what it means for God to be our Father.
There book is helpful if your reality and vitality of God’s fatherhood is outside your experience.   The wonderful news is that God isn’t like your father, no matter how good or bad he’s been. To call God “Father” isn’t an analogy; he’s not like a father—he is the one and only Father, of whom all earthly fathers and mothers are but poor reflections. In the face of Jesus you see him as he really is and he’s poured out his Spirit so that he’ll be your “Abba.” His purpose is to lead into your true destiny, the liberty of sonship.
Chapters include:
Seeing God as Father

  • God the Father:  all in all
  • Filled with fullness
  • Father's Plan
  • The Lord in our midst
  • The Father's Cross
  • Freed to rest
  • Being in the Spirit
  • Waking in the Spirit
  • Confident Access
  • Joyful Mission
  • Perfecting Sons and Daughters
  • The United Family

Article: Wondered into anyone's heart lately?

Doug Pollock, the author of the book Irresistible Evangelism highlights that many of our evangelistic efforts can build walls, perpetuating the us v them standoff...but then discusses there are ways to wonder into someone's heart....and you just find these ways help someone wonder their way to the article Wondered into anyone's heart lately?    The article is available here.

Tuesday, November 04, 2014

Advent Devotions: Life on the Jesse Tree

Life on the Jesse Tree is a Series of Advent Devotions from the Royal Redeemer Worshipping Community
The tradition of the Jesse Tree dates back to the Middle Ages. The Church of that day began to explore the lineage of Christ and the family tree listed in Matthew 1 and Luke 3. As they explored the stories of those in this family line, they saw that each and every one of them ultimately pointed to the coming of this baby born in a manger in Bethlehem.
Life on the Jesse Tree is a series of 25 daily devotionals written by the staff of Royal Redeemer Lutheran Church and School along with key Bible references.
To download a copy of these Advent Devotions visit:

Outlook and Google Lectionary Calendars: Year B

Year B Lectionary Calendars for Outlook and other electronic calendars are available from:

Lutheran Church of Australia - Year B

Click on the RCL entry for the bible readings
An ical format for importing into Outlook is available here
You can view this calendar here

Lutheran Church Missouri Synod - 
Concordia Publishing House
One Year and Year B Calendars are available here

Evangelical Lutheran Church in America - 
Augsburg Fortress
Known as the Little Red Book is available here

Wisconsin Evangelical Lutheran Synod  - 
Common Worship
Google Calendar is available here

Narrative Lectionary
ical format for importing into Outlook is available here
You can view this calendar here

Share Life: Outreach lessons from Jesus

Share Life is an outreach resource produced by Concordia Publishing House

Share Life Devotional and Share Life Flipbook

In share life we discover how Jesus shows us how to live out our faith in small ways.
Each lesson walks readers through a Gospel of John narrative
Includes practical ideas to put into action immediately
Do you ever get tongue-tied talking about your faith? All of us struggle sometimes to find the right words. If you truly desire to make an emotional connection, focus on personal interactions instead.
Share Life! resources encourage Christians to focus on things we do rather than words we say, so that others may see the love of Christ in us. Show people the abundant life you have in Jesus instead of telling them about it. After all, actions speak louder than words.

Book: Builder ministry for the 21st Century

Builder Ministry for the 21st Century is intended to promote productive discussion among ministers and church leaders who are concerned about the future of their congregations and church bodies. Author David Luecke says "the bottom-line message of this book is that Lutherans, Episcopalians, and Presbyterians need to become better at promoting and sharing personal spiritual experiences. Instead of assuming the spiritual goods of life in Christ, they need to be more effective at delivering the spiritual goods."  

Chapter 1 notes how the overlap between a congregation's loyal church community and the larger social community is disappearing.
Chapter 2 shows how churches that stayed with their roots in European state protected church bodies have a valuable heritage of stressing the objective truths about God, sin, Christ and salvation.
Chapter 3 focuses on the inherited shepherd model of ministry, with its strengths and weaknesses.
Chapter 4 describes the builder model of ministry that is oriented to building up the fellowship of Christ's body in a particular location.
Chapter 5 presents the fellowship builder's box of tools.
Chapter 6 discusses how to cultivate the soil for the Holy Spirit's work in a congregation.
Chapter 7 explores the place of personal spiritual experience and feelings in church life together.
Chapter 8 highlights how church bodies develop their own customs and cultures for living out their faith.
Chapter 9 distinguishes between a congregation's formal organization in service to its basic identity as an informal fellowship.
Chapter 10 develops the role of oversight in church leadership.
Chapter 11 focuses on a transition process


CD: Traditional hymns sung by children

Concordia Publishing House has produced 2 cd's of traditional hymns sung by children with piano accompaniment...

Hymns of Faith includes:
1.  You Are the Way; Through You Alone
2.  O Jesus So Sweet, O Jesus So Mild
3.  O Christ, Our Hope, Our Hearts' Desire
4.  O Jesus, King Most Wonderful
5.  Oh, How Great is Your Compassion
6.  Drawn to the Cross, Which Thou Hast Blessed
7.  Just As I Am, Without One Plea
8.  Lord, 'Tis Not That I Did Choose Thee
9.  I Know My Faith is Founded
10. Jesus Loves Me
11. The Church's One Foundation
12. A Mighty Fortress Is Our God
13. Lore of Our Life
14. O Little Flock, Fear Not the Foe
15. Jerusalem the Golden
16. For All The Saints
17. The Lord's My Shepherd, I'll Not Want
18. Savior, Like a Shepherd Lead Us
19. If God Himself Be for Me
20. O God, our Help in Ages Past
21. If Thou But Trust in God to Guide Thee
22. Take My Life and Let it Be
23. Lord Jesus Christ, the Children's Friend
24. Stay With Us
25. God Himself is Present

Hymns of the Church Year includes:
1. The Advent of Our King
2. O Bride of Christ, Rejoice
3. Lo! He Comes with Clouds Descending
4. Come, Though Long-Expected Jesus
5. Prepare the Royal Highway
6. On Jordan’s Bank the Baptist’s Cry 
7. See amid the Winter’s Snow
8. Joy to the World
9. From God the Father, Virgin-Born
10. In His Temple Now Behold Him
11. Within the Father’s House
12. O Wondrous Type! O Vision Fair
13. 'Tis Good, Lord, to Be Here
14. O Lord, throughout These Forty Days
15. On My Heart Imprint Your Image
16. My Son Is Love Unknown
17. Glory Be to Jesus
18. Jesus Christ Is Risen Today
19. The Strife Is O’er, the Battle Done
20. He’s Risen, He’s Risen
21. Make Songs of Joy
22. Come, You Faithful, Raise the Strain

Monday, November 03, 2014

Advent: alternative tunes for Advent hymns

Rev Thomas Weitzel has compiled a list of alternative tunes for some of the Advent hymns appearing in Lutheran hymnals...


Book: The Self-Donation of God: A Contemporary Lutheran approach to Christ and His Benefits

In The Self-Donation of God, Jack Kilcrease argues that the speech-act of promise is always an act of self-donation. A person who unilaterally promises to another is bound to take a particular series of actions to fulfill that promise. Being that creation is grounded in God's promising speech, the divine-human relationship is fundamentally one of divine self-donation and human receptivity. Sin disrupts this relationship and therefore redemption is constituted by a reassertion of divine promise of salvation in the face of the condemnation of the law (Gen 3:15). As a new and effective word of grace, the promise of a savior begins the process of redemption within which God speaks forth a new narrative of creation. In this new narrative, God gives himself in an even deeper manner to humanity. By donating himself through a promise, first to the protological humanity and then to Israel, he binds himself to them. At the end of this history of self-binding, God in Christ enters into the condemnation of the law, neutralizes it in the cross, and brings about a new creation through his omnipotent word of promise actualized in the resurrection.

Reviews Amazon Reviews

Lutheran Deaconess Association

The Lutheran Deaconess Association prepares and supports women and men for ministries of service and advances the church's service mission.  They also encourage and support all Christians' service and provide resources for you.  
The Lutheran Deaconess Association has consecrated over 760 deaconesses since 1919. They have served throughout the world in roles such as parish staff, missionaries, social workers, lawyers, nurses, teachers, administrators, and more!  Today, the Lutheran Deaconess Association educates women and men for wide-reaching ministries both in the church and in the community.
God calls every Christian to service or, in Greek, diakonia.  As Jesus took a towel and washed the feet of His disciples, God calls each of us to share His love by serving others. The towel and basin are symbols of this service.

Their web page includes:
Information about Diaconal Ministry
Diaconal Formation including exploring your ministry
plus more

Visit for more information

Saturday, November 01, 2014

Conference: Unearthing Gospel Gold - Crossings

Come, be strengthened in your ability to relate Scripture to life in a way that is relevant and joyful, using the Crossings Method. Beginners will have an opportunity to learn how to use this method, sometimes called the “Six-Step Method.” This is the method which is used in text studies which are e-published weekly by Crossings, available online at

We will explore together the implications of using a self-consciously law-gospel method for relating the Word of God to culture and life. Speakers, all of them members of the Crossings Community, will discuss how the Crossings Method has helped them. Pastors will talk about how they use it in their preaching, and lay people will tell what it means for them.

Conference sessions include:

  • Worship
  • “Unearthing Gospel Gold”
  • Using the Crossings Six-step method to reach a thorough hearing of a scriptural text 
  • Crossing Contemporary Culture
  • Cartoons 
  • Using the Six-Step Method for Preaching
  • “How I Learned to Trust the Crossings Method”

Date:  25 to 27 January 2015

The conference fee of $200 includes tuition, meals, and housing. Tuition is free for all seminary students and first-call pastors. 50% off for first-time attendees!

For more details visit the Conference Page