The Beginning and the End

AndyThe Board of CBAmerica (of which I am now a functioning member) recently went through the process of updating our Mission Statement.  What we agreed upon was: “CBAmerica champions Great Commission fulfillment through its regional networks.”  At the national level we saw this focus carried out through our eight regional church networks and, likewise, through our network of chaplains.  We came to the realization that we didn’t have eight regional networks, but nine, including chaplaincy.

In a similarly comprehensive way we crafted our new Vision Statement: “Gospel-centered congregations transforming every community.”  Like churches, many chaplains lead and develop groups of believers in military units, chapels, prisons, hospitals and other unique settings.

Then we settled on three Values: Congregational Health, Congregational Multiplication and Leadership Development, all focused on reproducing disciples, leaders and congregations.  This fits well with the variety of chaplaincy ministries, most of which have strong components of evangelism and discipleship.  

So, back to the title of this article, the “Beginning and the End.”  It comes from the Book of Revelation where it is found three times:

“I am the Alpha and the Omega, the First and the Last, the Beginning and the End. Blessed are those who wash their robes, that they may have the right to the tree of life and may go through the gates into the city.”  (Revelation 22:13-14 (NIV)

CBAmerica chaplaincy champions Great Commission fulfillment through the ministry of its 160 chaplains serving in paid and volunteer positions, in hospitals, prisons, hospices, police and fire departments, and among veterans groups, wounded warriors, motor clubs and other specialized ministries, across the US, and on military bases, posts, camps stations, and ships literally around the world.  A wide variety of contexts, but all fulfilling the Great Commission.

This report of our newest military chaplain Lt. Roy Fondren, assigned to the Marines, highlights how the newer generation approaches outreach.

But outreach and evangelism are not simply for the young and healthy.  “Retired” hospice chaplain, Jim McMillan, who planned to take it easy in a Florida retirement community, found a new ministry in an old, familiar setting. Both of these chaplains epitomize the Mission, Vision and Values of CBAmerica.  No one is too young or too old for the Gospel!

If you are interested in pursuing a ministry in chaplaincy, check out our website at www.cbamerica.org/chaplaincy for more stories from chaplains.  There you will see that our focus is Gospel ministry, “Beginning to the End!”

Finally, here is a link to the brochure of CBAmerica’s Director of Chaplaincy, “Ecclesiastical Endorsement: What it is, What it is not, How Long it takes.”

 

Chaplain for Life: Rev. Jim McMillan

 

Hospice ChaplainI recall an interview where Evangelist, Billy Graham was asked when he would retire.  The essence of his brief reply was, “Well, I don’t find the word ‘retirement’ in the Bible.”  As I write this, Rev. Graham is still actively reaching others for Christ well into his 90s.

So is Rev. Jim McMillan, CBAmerica chaplain, who retired from hospice ministry on April 30, 2014.  After moving to Florida, Chaplain Jim, like Rev. Graham, found that he couldn’t just sit around and “enjoy a well-earned retirement,” while people were dying and going to a Christ-less eternity. Instead, he looked around and found a new ministry he could pursue; serving as interim chaplain with Cornerstone Hospice.  Jim tried to use the new CBAmerica web-based electronic chaplain ministry report, but it wouldn’t work for him (Has that ever happened to you?).  Not to be deterred from reporting in, he printed his report, and mailed it the “old fashioned way.”  What Jim shared warmed my heart. “I had the privilege of baptizing a patient who had wanted baptism, but no one was available to do so.”  I understand Jim discovered that therapeutic whirlpools have a good secondary religious purpose.  “It was a God-appointment.”  Who better than a seasoned chaplain to recognize God’s hand!  ” I also was able to help a retired West Point grad reconnect with his faith shortly before his death.”  Jim’s words remind me of Romans 4:14: “How, then, can they call on the one they have not believed in? And how can they believe in the one of whom they have not heard? And how can they hear without someone preaching to them?”  Chaplain Jim inspires me.

He closed his ministry report requesting prayer for: “Continued opportunities as I serve as a spiritual care volunteer.”  Will you join me and pray for Chaplain Jim, and the dozen or so hospice chaplains ministering under CBAmerica?  Pray that they would be alert and available to the Spirit’s leading to hearts ready for the Gospel.

If you sense God’s call into professional or volunteer hospice chaplaincy, and would like information on how to secure an “Endorsement” for this or other chaplaincy ministries, click this link to CBAmerica’s Director of Chaplaincy for a brochure, “Ecclesiastical Endorsement: What it is, What it is not, How Long it takes.”  

Andy Meverden
Director of Chaplaincy
CBAmerica
O: 720-283-3030
C: 303-263-6175
3686 Stagecoach Rd, Unit F
Longmont, CO 80504-5660

Officer on Deck!: Oh Wait, It’s Just the New Chaplain!

Roy F

That’s probably what the Chief Petty Officer called out, as the strapping new officer with five rows of ribbons entered the building.  From a distance, the color and prominence of his 14 awards indicated that an experienced officer was approaching.  But as he got closer, the Chief relaxed when he saw the silver cross on his lapel opposite his rank.  I’m sure Chaplain Roy Fondren, a former US Marine line officer, now dressed in the Navy tan uniform, stuck out his hand and offered a firm handshake and a broad smile.  I can imagine everyone in the office watching as he was led to his office at his new, first assignment at Naval Air Station at Whiting Field in Milton, Florida.  Roy, his wife, Megan (herself for former Marine Staff Sergeant with 12 years active duty) and children, settled into their new lodging, as Chaplain Roy familiarized himself with his new assignment.  When asked to share his greatest blessing in his first ministry report, Roy wrote:

“Being used to lead three people to Christ. One in a counseling session and two at Chapel. In addition to the salvations, just the simple fact that when people come into my office, in a sense, they walk into the Gospel Den!  Because, by God’s grace, there’s NO WAY they’re going to leave without getting the Gospel message during their counseling! The big fear is Chaplain’s not being able to say “Jesus” at the end of a public prayer…but you know what, the day-to-day interactions and Light Shining of Christ I do is more effective than a singular prayer for a retirement that ends in Jesus name…when reality is, most people are just thinking about refreshments after the prayer. The GOSPEL IS GETTING OUT!!”

When asked what his prayer concerns were, his response was equally enthusiastic: “My ability to not be swallowed in Ministry. Meaning, I LOVE THIS STUFF, yet with 2400 people on this base and two Chaplains, the work is ABUNDANT!  So, it’s hard to NOT work late hours…which reduces family time.  So my prayer request would be for a healthy balance.”

In his first few weeks he was able to perform: “4 Worship Services, 1 Bible Study, and report 3 people receiving Christ.”  Oh wait, but that’s not all, when I replied to his report with affirmation and a word of caution with regards to balance between ministry and family, he almost immediately responded back to me:

“SIR!!  NO LIE!!!  ANOTHER Fella JUST came to Christ via Individual Counseling! PLUS, I connected him IMMEDIATELY to a local church here for discipleship!  This stuff…is hard to articulate!  I’m dumbfounded!   I’M CRAZY JUICED to be used by Him for the change of lives in our military folks!!  That is 7 salvations in the last 8 weeks, OH MY GOODNESS!!  Yes, Satan is Pi**ed and I’m glad!  I am diligently hungry to keep the Armor on while GOING HARD for the Gospel!  I have a similar prayer of yours but I’ll disclaim (I’m going to copy yours now)…God bless you sir!!”

Rejoice with, and pray for Chaplain Roy and Megan Fondren, as they start their chaplain career on a high note of praise, along with the other 12 CBAmerica Navy Chaplains on bases, hospitals, and vessels at sea. They are part of the 96 military and 65 civilian chaplains serving under CBAmerica endorsement.

For more information on CBAmerica Chaplaincy, including what’s entailed to become an endorsed chaplain, federal or civilian, contact Chaplain Andy Meverden at chapandy@cbmarica.org and visit www.cbamerica.org/chaplaincy for more info and chaplain stories.

NOTE: Chaplaincy is not for the feint-hearted, but sometimes, like Chaplain Roy, you just have to jump and shout for joy!

Oikos Seminar September 24

OikosWe are excited to announce that something new is on the horizon with “OIKOS” and we can’t wait to tell you about it.  We are going to “let the cat out of the bag” on Thursday, September 24th at 10:30 am (Eastern) during a FREE Online Training by Tom Mercer.

REGISTER NOW!

Tom introduces The NEW Oikos Strategy for Church Growth and will teach us the 7-Steps to turning your members into promoters to assist your church in growing exponentially. These steps will give your congregation the tools needed to become raving promoters of the gospel and your church.

His guest Chad Thibodeaux, President of RadiusImpact Consulting will be on hand to give us some insight on how churches that are plateaued and declining can see an increase in attendance, giving, and salvations this fall and holiday season as well.

FREE BONUSES:

BONUS #1: Just for signing up we are going to give you Tom and Chad’s eBook, “The Common Sense Guide to World Change.”  This resource will explain the principle that brought 95% of all believers to Christ and give you a tool to assist people in creating their “God story.”

BONUS #2: Be sure to show up on time on September 24th as you will receive an assessment tool that you can use to evaluate your membership and learn whether they are merely “consumers” or “promoters.”

During the webinar there are 2 other “Surprise Bonuses” we are going to roll out as well because we want to adequately resource you and your church to reach more people.  Can you tell we are excited??  We hope you are as well!

This is a FREE Webinar so feel free to invite your entire staff and ministry team to join us.

REGISTER NOW!

After registering, you will receive a confirmation email containing information about joining the webinar.

Make it a great day and we’ll see you on September 24th at 10:30 am Eastern Time.

Stan Rieb and the entire RMCN Team

Instant In Season and Out of Season

Deployment

 

Two CBAmerica chaplains just received word of last-minute deployments to the same dangerous part of the world.

Chaplain Tim Miller, who pastors a church in New York State, and is a member of his State’s Army National Guard, has been tasked to fill in for a chaplain who is physically unable to deploy.  Tim and his wife, Jami, have a heart for ministry. They met overseas, married, and have jointly ministered to the military ever since.  Pray for Jami, herself a Staff Sergeant in the New York Air Guard, and their two daughters, who will miss their daddy for about a year.  Pray also for the church who will be giving up their pastor.  Pray for a suitable interim pastor.

Chaplain Matt Hebebrand, recently transferred with his expecting wife, Julia, and their three other children, got orders to deploy, soon!  Thankfully, the move was smooth and his family is finding Ft Polk, “not as bad as people made it sound like.”  Pray for Matt as he will be doing “team-building” on the fly.  He asks that “God’s favor would rest on me with all those who I am called to minister.”  Matt’s biggest concern is that Julia is due to deliver while he’s away.

I wrote Matt that there’s never a good time to have a baby; and there’s never a good time to deploy; but to deploy when you’re having a baby, is a double whammy!

Put yourself in their shoes; as husband, dad, pastor leaving your church and family…and not for a week or two, but over a year.  How would you want others to pray for you?  That’s a good starting place.  Join me in daily prayer over the next couple months for these two chaplains and their families.  Not only for their separation, safety and survival, but for strong, healthy Spirit-directed ministry at home and abroad.

Andy Meverden

Director of Chaplaincy

 

The Same-Sex Marriage Ruling

AndyBy Andy Merverden, Director of Chaplaincy

I wanted to update you on info I gleaned from the Alliance Defending Freedom (ADF) conference my wife, Myra, and I attended last week in Southern California.

The June 26 decision of the Supreme Court of the United States (SCOTUS) on same-sex marriage was expected by some, but a disappointment to many.  I was personally discouraged and at a loss for words.  After spending four days with some of America’s most brilliant Christian Attorneys of the ADF, I came away with valuable information, inspiration and hope.  Among other things, I’ve decided to throw away all my disparaging lawyer jokes!  Let me share why, and what I learned.

  1. This is Not the Worst it’s ever been with regard to Government Encroachment on Freedom of Religion and Freedom of Speech:  During the years leading up to WWI, the Wilson administration imprisoned 6,000 US citizens who spoke out against its policies.  A couple of mysterious deaths also occurred.  Attorney David French, of the ACLJ, described his own personal mistreatment by college professors and students in the 70’s and 80’s over the abortion debate at Harvard Law School, pre and post Roe v. Wade.
  2. The Supreme Court, like other Branches of Government, Sometimes Gets it Wrong: Whether it be the Dred Scott decision, Roe v. Wade, or this one, the ruling majority of Justices occasionally gets it wrong.  Thankfully, there is a constitutional process to overturn or revoke such bad decisions.  The 14th Amendment is the response to one.
  3. Visionary Christian Leaders Saw this Coming:  In 1994, Christian leaders, including Bill Bright, James Dobson, D. James Kennedy, and others, foresaw government encroachment on the First Amendment: Freedom of Religion, Speech, the Press, Assembly & Redress of Grievances.  As a result, they formed the Alliance Defending Freedom (ADF).  Today 2600 allied attorneys have given over 1 million legal hours – pro bono – defending  Freedom of Religion and Speech, worldwide.   During breaks and lunches, I spoke Portuguese with visiting allied attorneys from Brazil and Portugal, and Italian with attorneys from my mother’s country of origin.  Yes, I am a polyglot.
  4. Chaplain Alliance for Religious Liberty (CALL) was founded with help of ADF in 2011:  CBAmerica chaplaincy, under recently retired endorser, Dr. Al Russell, was a founding member of CALL.  Today, I sit on the executive committee in Al’s place.  CALL has been actively defending religious freedom, not only for Christians, but Sikhs, Buddhists, and other non-Christian individuals and groups, primarily in US Military. CALL also has allied attorneys able to work in all sectors of society.
  5. The Recent SCOTUS Decision not only was a vast Overreach to include Same-sex Couples, but opens the Door to Polygamous, Polyandrous and other Challenges:  The saddest thing I learned is that many radical supporters of this agenda are actually working toward the destruction of marriage and the legalization of intergenerational sex.  The SCOTUS decision was based on the “right” of consenting adults to have their emotional and sexual needs met, over the needs of children to be raised by their biological parents.  This shift began with the enactment of “no-fault divorce” which originated in Russia and was first adopted by California in 1969.  It will continue, unless checked.
  6. Many So-called Christian Churches and Organizations that have Acquiesced to the Gay, Lesbian, Bi-Sexual, and Transgender (GLBT) Agenda, have declined in Membership:  If not reversed, the Episcopal Church in America is trending toward extinction by 2037.  Some large churches who have caved to the GLBT agenda have lost membership.
  7. All Christian Organizations that Have Stood Firm Have Grown:  Intervarsity Christian Fellowship (IVCF) was kicked out of 50 colleges and universities over its conservative Christian doctrinal position, but is now stronger and on more campuses than ever!  One presenter demonstrated that, historically, the Church has grown more in times of chaos than peace. He emphasized the need to follow the strategy outlined in Micah 6:8, “Seek justice, love mercy and walk humbly with your God.”
  8. Despair is Incompatible with the Christian Faith: “Christians have not the right to despair, because despair is a sin. And Christians have not reason to despair, quite simply because Christ has risen!” (Rev. John Neuhaus)
  9. Three Good Reasons to Be Hopeful:
    1. Conflict Creates Opportunity to Stand for the Truth:  If it hadn’t been for US Government overreach, we wouldn’t have the Hobby Lobby victory. (Looks like the Little Sisters of the Poor case might go to the SCOTUS as well). Egyptian Bishop Athanasius stood and fought Arian heresy, defending Trinitarian doctrine in the 4th Century.  He was known as “Athanasius Contra Mundum” (Latin for “Athanasius Against the World!”).
    2. Religious Liberty Is Winning!: Last six of SCOTUS decisions ruled in favor of Religious Liberty.  ADF represented many of these cases.
    3. Christians Should Not Be Fearful, But Believe:  In Mark 5, when Jarius learned of his daughter’s death, and was told to stop bothering Jesus for healing, He said to Jarius, “Don’t be afraid, just believe.” 

At every morning devotional, and in each session (just about every one given by a Christian attorney), I was challenged to stand firm, be hopeful, believe and continue sharing the Gospel.

As chaplains in the Federal, State and Civilian sectors, we minister in a religiously pluralistic environment.  Most of the time, we don’t get to choose whom we serve.  Rear Admiral Margaret Kibben, the US Navy Chief of Chaplains said in a recent Armed Forces Chaplains Board (AFCB) teleconference, “The art of chaplaincy is negotiating the waters of counselees, regardless of religious or sexual orientation.  We love them by ensuring they are cared for, even if we cannot affirm their behavior, and need to refer them to another appropriate counselor or caregiver to meet their need.”  In the same teleconference, Chaplain (Maj Gen) Howard Stendahl, US Air Force Chief of Chaplains, reiterated, “We treat everyone with dignity and respect.”

Still, the sands are shifting.  The cultural battle is raging.  Some opponents of traditional marriage are out to pick a fight.  The new CALL attorney, Daniel Briggs, USAFR, JAG, recommended that chaplains provide potential counselees with an information/release form on the chaplain’s Christian counseling perspective.  Here is the link to a sample form.  It will need to be adapted to your specific service and circumstances, should you choose to implement it.  I also recommend that you have organizational legal review.

Here are some helpful resources on the homosexual marriage issue:

  • Alliance Defending Freedom: Download the “Protecting Your Ministry, A Legal Guide for Churches, Christian Schools, and Christian Ministries” handbook at http://www.alliancedefendingfreedom.org/church.  The ADF Website a great source of information.
  • SAME-SEX MARRIAGE: A Thoughtful Approach to God’s Design for Marriage, by Sean McDowell & John Stonestreet, BakerBooks.
  • Restoring All Things: God’s Audacious Plan to Change the World Through Everyday People, by Warren C. Smith & John Stonestreet, BakerBooks.
  • Truth Overruled: The Future of Marriage and Religious Freedom. Pre-order on Amazon.
  • Chaplain Alliance: PURSUING a nation where all chaplains, and those whom they serve, freely exercise their God-given and constitutionally protected religious liberties without fear of reprisal.  Good place for the latest in Military Chaplaincy religious issues.

 

Thanks For The Great Years!

Al and CarolJeremiah 29: 11 tells us that God has a great plan for our lives, one that gives us hope and a future. This has been my life verse for the last 51 years.

There is a popular TV show called “Dirty Jobs.” There should be one called “Greatest Jobs.” I would be the first to send in a resume telling about my 21 years as Director of Chaplaincy for CBAmerica. We have the greatest chaplains.

It has been an absolute joy to serve our chaplains and their families and visit the many churches that support chaplaincy financially and pray for this ministry. I loved being in homes and offices with you, spending time eating together with your families and playing with your pets. It was exciting to see the hand of God at work in your lives and meet some of the people whose lives had been changed through your ministries.

There were many changes at CBAmerica over my years there but as I look back I thank the Lord for placing me in that leadership role. My life is so much richer now. Carol and I have been richly blessed by our chaplains and churches in many ways.

CBAmerica went way beyond our expectations with their retirement party for us at Seaside, Oregon back in March. Thanks to all who came and participated in that event. We have wonderful memories of our years with you, our chaplains. We were able to visit many States, Installations and overseas countries. I have been to every State and now that we are retired we can visit more Family Campgrounds and relax.

 

ElioWe had originally wanted to get an Elio car to pull behind our motor home and were told it would begin to be produced now, but they have new prototypes and it will be at least a year before production begins. We were in line with number 11,293. As we thought and prayed, we decided not to wait another year but look for something else more suitable. In the Elio, seating was tandem with Carol sitting behind me and there was very little trunk space -no room for our small dog to ride along with us. Many of you donated to this project and we are very grateful for your loving gifts. The cost of the Elio was $6,800.

As we looked for another alternative, I was able to find a SMART CAR made by Mercedes with side by side seating for two and room for the dog. The cost was basically the same.

admin-ajaxI found this little car online in Norman, OK. It is a 2013 and only has 1,063 miles on it. It comes with a 4 year, 50,000 mile warranty. Carol and I used air miles and flew one way to pick it up June 29th. We put 1,200 miles on it coming home from Oklahoma.

It drives great, fits on our trailer, in our garage and we can hold hands while driving. We are so thankful to all who had a part in making this a reality for us. We are so blessed!

 

Keep us in your prayers as we adjust to medical issues and enjoy the years God will continue to give us.

This has been a good year. I will have finished 51 years in ministry (not done yet, want to do some teaching), celebrated 50 years married to Carol, my high school sweetheart, June 26th, finished a PhD in Leadership in February, had my fourth pacemaker implanted June 24th and retired June 30. It was once said, “Come grow old with me, the best is yet to come.” With God as our guide we will march on until he takes us home.

The Psalmist says in Psalm 16:5, 6: ” The Lord is my chosen portion and my cup; you hold my lot. The lines have fallen for me in pleasant places; indeed, I have a beautiful inheritance” and again in verse 11 “You make known to me the path of life; in your presence there is fullness of joy; at your right hand are pleasures forevermore.”

Keep us on your Christmas Card list and we will do the same. Love and support Andy Meverden and his wife Myra as you did us. God Bless!

Al and Carol Russell

Warrior-Chaplain Retires

West.Retire2Though June 15 was his “last day on the job” as senior pastor of the USA Army White Sands Missile Range New Mexico Protestant Chapel, Chaplain (Lieutenant Colonel) Brad West, and his wife, Susan have their sights set on “what’s next?”

I had the joy of taking the West Family out to dinner, the evening before Brad’s retirement ceremony on June 4, with their daughter, Natalie, her husband and son.  I listened to stories of family travels, the challenges of separations due to Brad’s several deployments, plus discussion of hopes and excitement of the future.  It was a fun time of “pre-celebrating” the ending of a fruitful 23-year military career, and launch into next phase of life and ministry.  The love and levity of the mealtime gathering spoke volumes of the flexibility and commitment this family had to one another and to their chaplain husband, father and grandfather.

The next day, I drove 60 miles due west of Ft. Bliss, Texas to the 500-seat chapel where Chaplain Brad and Susan had ministered the past two-plus years.  I arrived early enough to present them with a framed painting of the Lamb of God set in the frame of the Cross.  On the reverse side was a Certificate of Recognition and Appreciation presented by the Board of CBAmerica for their many years of faithful and fruitful ministry service.  (See photo).

Then I found myself a seat near the rear of the chapel, as I had to leave before the end of ceremony to catch my plane home. (White Sands is not the end of the world, but you can see it from there!).  People began to arrive for the 3:30pm ceremony.  Among the first were the Commanding General and Command Sergeant Major of the Installation.  Normally, the “Garrison Commander” (a colonel) conducts such ceremonies, and when unable, the next in command steps in.  But not this time.  Today, another active member of the Protestant Chapel would officially “retire” Chaplain West, the Commanding General, himself.

While I waited, I would soon learn why.  People of all types began to filter in, Soldiers in uniform, some with their families, found their seats in what looked like their usual Sunday seats.  Civilians, workers and supervisors, recognized by their dress came in with teenagers, children, and a few infants and toddlers.  It struck me that it looked much like a civilian church, with people of all ages and stages of life.

One man came up to greet me, he must have been a chapel usher, and when he didn’t recognize me, I explained that I was Chaplain Brad’s endorsing agent (director of chaplaincy) for CBAmerica.  When I said that, he moved me to the side.  He looked me in the eyes and said, “I want you and your denomination to know something; Chaplain Brad saved my marriage.”  With teary eyes he briefly shared how early on Chaplain Brad detected a problem and challenged him to “man up” and be the head of his family.

Walking off, another person greeted me and asked if I knew how and why Chaplain West was assigned to the White Sands chapel.  Shaking my head, he explained that he had been serving on Ft. Bliss, and hour east, when the Army chaplain assigned to White Sands died by suicide.  My mental file searched back to a story about an Army chaplain who died by his own hand, and I realized it was Brad’s predecessor.  Army leadership were aware of the devastating impact on the chapel congregation, and looked for the right shepherd to come and gather and heal the stricken flock of believers.  Though not an assignment many would anticipate, Chaplain Brad West was the shepherd needed.

I sat down.  The ceremony began, the National Anthem played, and the incoming chaplain prayed, before the Commanding General (from memory) rehearsed Brad and Susan’s entire military career.  A believer himself, he quoted Scripture, and referenced his time under the preaching and pastoral care of one of the “Army’s finest chaplains.”  Following this 25 minute tribute, the chapel was called to attention, and Chaplain (Lieutenant Colonel) Bradley A. West was awarded the Legion of Merit for his outstanding decades of military service, including the rebuilding of the White Sands Protestant Chapel.

I slipped out and raced back over the white sands to the El Paso airport.  Boarding my plane, I belted in and pondered what I had just seen and heard.  I thanked God for allowing CBAmerica to endorse and field effective, godly chaplains like Brad West; and prayed that he and Susan would find new opportunities for ministry in the Northwest CB Region where they plan to settle near Bend, Oregon.

I encourage readers to send congratulatory emails to Brad and Susan at Bradley.allen.west1@gmail.com.  NWCB Churches interested in utilizing Chaplain West’s family life, counseling and pastoral skills are encouraged to contact him directly after July.

Report submitted by Andy Meverden, Director of Chaplaincy, CBAmerica.

2015 Men’s Roundup – Sept 11-13

Brochure-SquareMen’s Roundup is a Christian men’s conference and camping retreat held in a forested mountaintop setting at Camp Tadmor in Lebanon, Oregon where men are encouraged to believe, obey, connect, and lead. Roundup features an inspiring primary speaker, well-known guest artists and musicians, biblical teachers leading action workshop breakout sessions, great food, and opportunities for guys to worship, learn, grow, and connect with other guys. Roundup is also a wonderful opportunity to appreciate God’s beautiful creation, hang out with friends, and break a sweat in the Roundup Race or other sports competitions and outdoor recreation activities.

Go Here For More Information

First Things First

hoyt0615Dr. Bill Hoyt
Regional Consultant & Coach Growing Healthy Churches June 2015

George was a top salesman for Logical Solutions, a software programming and services company. His peers recognized his effectiveness and respected him as a salesman and co-worker. George’s Achilles heel was a bad memory. He had a well-earned reputation for being forgetful. His co-workers found his forgetfulness amusing, but it drove his supervisor nuts.

One noon-time, as George was heading out for lunch, his supervisor asked him to pick up a copy of The Wall Street Journal on his way back from lunch. As the door closed behind George his supervisor looked at the others and said, “Ten bucks says he forgets the newspaper.”

About an hour later George burst through the door, whooping, hollering and waving his arms in the air. He shouted to all within earshot, “You aren’t going to believe this, but I just ran into old man Benson. When I started here he was our largest account. It was a huge blow when he moved his business over to Digitec. We got to talking and I learned he was very unhappy with Digitec. Used my tablet, logged on to our website and right then and there he placed a $350,000 order for services over the next six months.”

George’s fellow-workers hooted and hollered, giving George high-fives and pats on the back. When the celebration died down, his supervisor, who had been strangely silent up to that point, looked at everyone, threw his hands up in the air and exclaimed, “See, I told you. He forgot the newspaper!”

The story reminds us of how easy it is to lose sight of our priorities. In my working with churches I often find the biggest hindrance to their ministry effectiveness is that they lost sight of the priorities. Indeed, one the most important roles for leaders is to help keep “the main thing, the main thing.”

So what are the “universal” priorities that all churches should keep in their sights? What are the “first things” that are essential for a church to keep first if it is to be healthy and effective?

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