The Story

There is a new way to get into the bible. It’s called the Story and it’s written by Max Lucado and Randy Frazee. The idea is to deliver the story of the bible in chronological order.  There is :

The Story, NIV: The Bible as One Continuing Story of God and His People (Kind of the original)

The Story, NIV with DVD: Small Group Kit

The Story Adult Curriculum Participant’s Guide: Getting to the Heart of God’s Story

The Story for Children, a Storybook Bible

The Story for Little Ones: Discover the Bible in Pictures

The Story Trading Cards: For Elementary: Grades 3 and up

Here is a video

Community Outreach the Game

[easyazon-cta align=”none” asin=”B0002V0IEU” height=”43″ key=”amazon-us-tall-light” locale=”us” width=”120″]At Westminster Presbyterian Church, Survivor- and Hunger Games-themed competitions have proved surprisingly successful in inspiring congregants to get involved in outreach efforts, including collecting food donations for the community.

Each summer since 2009, Pastor Karen Dumey has divided the 65-member congregation in Cape Girardeau, Mo., up into two teams.

The first year, the competition theme was based off of Survivor, the popular television reality game show in which contestants isolated in the wilderness compete for cash and other prizes. Last summer, the competition was based off The Hunger Games–a blockbuster film about a televised fight to the death in a dystopian future.

In this church contest, team members earn points by bringing food and medical items to donate to the local food pantry, inviting a guest to church, volunteering at the church or community organizations and even attending church on Sunday mornings.

“Every year we’ve had an increasing amount of food donated to the food pantry,” says Jeanie Dale, a 42-year-old child therapist and church member. “So it’s really neat to see and it’s really inspiring.”

For such a small church, Dumey says she was impressed that members donated more than 1,100 cans of food and other items last summer.

“The congregation just loves competing against each other,” Dumey says. “The payoff is at the end of the summer the losing team has to provide lunch to the winning team.”

During the slow summer months when many members go on vacation, Dumey says the competition helps keep attendance up too.

“A good, friendly competition can bring out some really good things in folks,” Sale says. “It’s good-spirited, it’s good fun and when it gets down to the wire each week and they announce the scores, you can see people bringing in two or three crates of canned goods they bought at a local store–just trying to put their team over the top.”

Originally posted here

Bible Mini-Series Coming 3.3.13

There is a mini-series coming March 3rd on the History channel. This provides a great opportunity to invite people to see the bible come to life with some pretty cool special effects. Check out this video.

For two hours every Sunday night for five weeks, from March 3rd through Easter Sunday on March 31st, The History Channel will be airing the epic Bible miniseries produced by Mark Burnett (Survivor, The Voice, The Apprentice) and Roma Downey (Touched By An Angel).

If you want to own a copy, the DVD is available The Bible: The Epic Miniseries

There is now a book based on the mini series called A Story of God and All of Us: A Novel Based on the Epic TV Miniseries “The Bible”

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Outreach magazine has a “Bible Viewing Party” invitation kit that you might want to check out.

For more information check out bibleminiseries.com

Beware of Christians

My wife and I stumbled across a movie on Netflix that would make a very nice ice breaker for youth groups. It’s called “Beware of Christians.”

The movie starts of with a quote:

“The single biggest cause of Atheism today is Christians who acknowledge Jesus with their lips and deny him by their lifestyle – Brennan Manning.”

When I first saw the opening, I thought it was a movie to bash Christianity. Instead it goes through topics such as Materialism, Church, Sex, Alcohol, and other topics that are PRIME for the 18-25 year old crowd. This wasn’t Oscar material, but both my wife and I called a few youth leaders and said, “You should probably buy this video and show it to your group.” It just seems like its a good ice breaker. I could see people watching the movie and then having discussions.

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Here is a trailer:

People Are Leaving Smaller Churches For Mega Churches

In a recent article by Thom Rainer in Outreach Magazine, he explained how Mega Churches have been growing over the last 40+ years.

Mega Church Growth

He states, “There continues to be a shift of members and attendees from smaller churches to larger churches, particularly megachurches. ” He points out that being a Megachurch may not solve your problem as sustaining that size can be a problem. Of the ten largest churches in 1969, none are in the top ten today.

You need to be the church you want to attract. Consequently, the average age of a megachurch pastor continues to decline. Indeed there are 25 megachurch pastors whose ages range from 30 to 37. The average age of the pastors of the largest 100 churches in America is 47.

Megachurch leaders have a growing interest in groups as the church mechanism for assimilation, evangelism, fellowship, ministry, and more in-depth teaching. This means you need leaders who can run these meetings without letting them become a haven of gossip.

Thom Rainer is the author of the book Breakout Churches: Discover How to Make the Leap

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