Note: This is the second of a three-part series about Christian marriages.
There is nothing wrong with having a marriage class, seminar or retreat. We have them all. But a healthy marriage ministry will focus on strengthening marriages, not just fixing marriage problems.
I began to teach a weekly “couples class.” The title alone immediately attracted singles and the divorced. We found that the classic marriage class is designed to fix the problem marriages. I wanted more than that. So we send struggling marriages to the marriage class in hopes that they will get better, graduate and then get back to work for the church.
The very title “marriage class,” along with the predictable subject matter, often defines “healthy marriages” according to a series of dos and don’ts, steps and conditions and understanding one another's differences. After that, there is just getting through life with a new set of tools.
There is something about the holiday season that amplifies our feelings. When we are having a good year, we see God’s joy and blessing around every corner.
But then there are the years of loss. This season, there will be people in your church who are grieving deeply. In fact, that person might be you.
Grief has many causes; from the loss of a loved one to the loss of a job. The holiday season seems to also bring out the loss of dreams, and desperation of what might never be.
In this article, I won’t be able to help you make people feel better. Grief is a deep valley that must be traversed at different times of life. However, you should find some new tools here that will help you love the people you walk with in tangible ways and give you the insight to share God’s perspective.
There are a few marquee ministries the mainstream media covers—if only critically. Yet there are some major ministries doing significant things around the world.
Of course it is well known to my Charisma readers, but outside Christian circles few have heard of the International School of Ministry (ISOM) headed by Berin Gilfillan, shown here with me at NRB in Nashville last winter. Dr. Berin Gilfillan is the CEO & founder of ISOM. Formerly the television producer for Reinhard Bonnke, Gilifillan was trained at Regent University and Fuller Theological Seminary. His ministry is based in Redlands, CA.
It is well known to our readers because about three times every year, ISOM places an ad on the back page of Charisma or Ministry Today. When I learned of their exponential worldwide growth, from a few hundred training schools in 2000 to more than 15,000 training sites today in 142 nations, I wanted to find out more. Berin told me each year he adds about 1,000 new ISOM schools “and we have found no better place to expose our vision than these two Charisma Media publications.”
Every Man Ministries and Kenny Luck have created a pair of Sleeping Giant programs to activate vibrant men’s ministry. Centered around supporting the vision of the local church, the Sleeping Giant Total Solution uses state-of-the-art technology via the definitive EveryManMinistries.com website to offer continuous strategy, video sessions, networking and engagement for churches of all sizes and denominations.
Every Man Ministries, founded by best-selling author and Men’s expert Kenny Luck, developed the Sleeping Giant model after over a decade of research and work with ministries across the globe. Now, this proven method of moving men from the Crowd to the Core is available to all churches, ministries and small groups with the launch of two separate web-based programs: Sleeping Giant Core and Sleeping Giant Flex.
Sleeping Giant Core is a one-year program filled with strategy, content and coaching designed to help pastors move men from simply being a part of the crowd into the core leadership that revolutionizes the health of their church and community for years to come. Developed and tested inside churches of all denominations and sizes, the Sleeping Giant Core offers churches a plan to launch, cultivate, sustain and renew their men’s community to engage with the vision of the pastor, without increasing the salary budget.
Hell has unleashed a coordinated assault against spiritual leaders. Are you willing to provide extra prayer covering to protect them?
I wasn't feeling especially spiritual--I was just trying to decide which carpet color I liked best. But God had other plans for me that afternoon.
Jerry, a stout 60-year-old flooring salesman, had come into my office to show me some carpet for our church. We had never met, so we chatted briefly about his business.
After a quick orientation on material and pricing options, I dove into the bulky sample books he had plunked down on my desk. I think I was considering the virtues of a soft geometric pattern when I looked up and was caught completely by surprise:
Frank Pastore, a Christian radio host and author of the 2010 memoir Shattered: Struck Down, But Not Destroyed, died Dec. 17—nearly a month after suffering serious head injuries from a motorcycle crash in Duarte, Calif. Pastore, 55, had been in a coma since the Nov. 19 accident.
"I just lost my beautiful husband," Pastore's wife, Gina Pastore, told the Inland Daily Bulletin. "But it's comforting to know he's home with the Lord now. People are calling in [to his radio show] and crying and mourning with us.
"I want to thank so many people for their outpouring of love and support," she added. "That's really helped to sustain our family during this difficult time."