Network News - April 28, 2017

As we come up on May and June, we have many people to honor: Moms, Dads, and Grads (Not to mention Memorial Day honoring fallen soldiers, but that will be in another newsletter). We want to give you some ideas that may help you as you approach these great opportunities to speak about family and futures. And maybe these ideas will spark your own creativity. Please share with us what you're church is doing for these special days and these special people.

One of the challenges we face as the Church today is being able to honor people while being sensitive to the needs of the whole congregation. The other day we were in the park inviting the community to our DadFest coming up in June. One little girl with her mother cried out, "Dad!" and ran over by a tree and cried. I could only say, "Sorry" to the mom. She was very kind. I don't know their story, and I don't know whether they are grieving the loss of a father and husband through death or divorce or if no father was ever in the picture. All I know is this sweet little girl came back to me a few minutes later and asked if she and her mom could come to the event if she didn't have a dad. Of course, I told her everyone is welcome and that the event will have fun activities for everyone.

I also think about the years that I dreaded Mother's Day because we were not able to have children. Even as a minister's wife, I sometimes missed church on Mother's Day. I didn't want to, but it was so painful. God chose to bless us with four children years later and brought us through three miscarriages too. So, as we approach this time, I have a desire to be sensitive to others' pain, but I still want to honor mothers and fathers and families that are seeking to make a difference in this world by raising children who love the Lord and love others.

Having lost my mom a few years ago, we also recognize that this time of year is also a time of remembering and grieving.

So, how do we bless the whole congregation, while still enjoying celebrating family? Here are a few articles that may help:
Baptist Press offers Fresh Ideas for Mother's Day  (even though the article is a few years old, it has some really nice ideas)
"No pressue, pastor, but how will this Mother's Day be different from last year's celebration? How can your church esteem mothers, yet point the worship service toward God? It's time to get creative. New a few fresh ideas?"

These come from one blog called The Messy Middle by Amy Young:
An Open Letter to Pastors {A Non-Mom Speaks about Mother's Day}
Another Open Letter to Pastors for Mother's Day {Beyond the Surface of Mothering}
10 Ideas for Pastors on Mother's Day
An Open Letter to Pastors {A Non-Mom Speaks on Father's Day} offers some creative ideas and a video for purchase:
They offer some other videos and resources for Father's Day too: always offer many choices for every occasion:


For graduates, from Youth Specialties, Helping Seniors Transition

Let’s be real… Sometimes graduation can be a youth pastor’s best friend. On occasion there are certain students who need to graduate and move on and they just need other people to love them for a while! Most of the time however, the graduation of our students is a bittersweet time of nostalgia and thanksgiving. More and more I find graduation to be less of a time of reflection upon our students and more of a time of reflection on the ministry itself. We might start asking ourselves questions like:

  • Did our ministry with them empower them to own and live their faith?
  • Did we provide ample opportunities for them to lead?
  • Did our students become more in touch with their spiritual gifts?
  • Did we surround them with winsome, fun, God-loving volunteers?
  • Did they know we cared about them beyond an occasional “like” on a social media photo?
  • Did we teach them to value Jesus enough to make life-long, God-honoring decisions?
  • Did we have a faith worth “catching”?

For our ministry, stretching our contact time with our upperclassmen is key to helping answer “yes” to all the questions above. A great question to ask is, “How are our ministries inviting our upperclassmen to want to remain with us into their junior and senior year?” Here are a few things we discovered.

Leadership opportunities

Serve. Seniors need to serve. Our ministries cannot continually equip students with knowledge and no outlet to serve. I suspect one reason youth ministries struggle to sustain our juniors and seniors is that we have not provided opportunities for our students to express outwardly all that has been poured in. Our seniors are invited to take part in our middle school and children’s ministries. They serve in leadership on retreats and events by planning games, leading worship, giving talks, leading Sunday school, and leading small groups. This culture of service among our upperclassmen benefits all ministry areas of our church and it prepares them to seek out opportunities to lead once they arrive on campus.

Read the full article here.

Some practical worship ideas for honoring graduates:
From MinistryMatters:   
From LifeWay:  

We'll hopefully have many guests visit our churches during this time of year. Here is a great article to think through in preparation for that: What Makes Your Church Your Church? from

What makes your church your church? The distinctive elements within your building that tell the story of who you are as a faith community? These are the questions that Kevin Miller, recent executive director of resource development at Christianity Today and now senior pastor at Church of the Savior in Wheaton, Illinois, explores in the video series, “Telling Your Church’s Unique Story.”

Miller shares insights he gleaned from leading his previous church through a major adaptive reuse building project. After winning an auction for an abandoned plastics factory, his church had to decide how to transform an industrial steel and glass structure into ministry space that would resonate with their Anglican congregation.

Miller covers the process his church underwent in determining their church's story and how they could use this new space to convey their mission, vision, and values. His church’s building project helped him discern three key elements that must be considered to clearly communicate your church’s unique story within its physical space.

1. Loves

Like every church, Church of the Resurrection loves many things: for example, the performing arts, children’s ministry, and leading people back to Christ. According to Miller, though, for Church of the Resurrection, worship is probably their greatest love. During their building process, extra money went into designing a spectacular worship center while creating functional children’s areas, lobby spaces, and other office and classroom areas of the church. By investing in one key space—the sanctuary—Church of the Resurrection tells the story of a worship-centric church.

2. Location

Understanding the significance of a church’s location is every bit as important, if not more so, then the built space itself. For example, Church of the Resurrection is an Anglican church based in the suburbs of Chicago. The church’s steel and glass structure fits well within the context of Chicago architecture, but initially it felt at odds with the traditional liturgical culture of the Anglican Church.

Ultimately, Church of the Resurrection opted to embrace both realities—their church’s alignment with Chicago architecture, and interior design elements, especially in the sanctuary, that help to create the liturgical, sacred feel associated with Anglican churches.

According to Miller, every church needs to determine the context in which they are located and the spiritual needs of the congregation. What worked at that church wouldn’t be the right solution for another church in a different location.

Read the rest here.

6 Questions Newcomers Are Asking about Your Church from Outreach Magazine

Of all the people who drop out of church, our studies indicate that a whopping 82 percent leave in their first year. Like a new baby entering the world, that first year is critical to the survival of the new believer and new member.

Further study indicates that people do not leave at random times throughout that first year. Rather, we see two definite “spikes” at which time an inordinate number of newcomers simply stop coming. We interviewed 36 people who had stopped attending after six months, then another 36 who had stopped attending after a year. “What happened?” we asked. “Could you tell us your story?”

As they talked, we listened for common themes and discovered certain questions newcomers are asking in the first 12 months of their church involvement. Often, they are not even aware of their actual concerns. But in these “post-mortem” conversations, the issues became readily apparent.

Read the article here.

And one last article regarding guests: Shepherd Your Flock: Hospitality Matters in Kids Ministry 

I recently returned from a trip to China. I was amazed at the hospitality the local people offered our group in a variety of contexts. Whether we were visiting area schools or village homes, there was always an ever-present anticipation of our needs that exceeded our expectations. As I’ve pondered this experience, it’s made me realize the importance of hospitality in the work we do as KidMin leaders. I’d like to challenge us all to heavily lean in when it comes to making the families we serve feel welcome, safe, and comfortable while they are under our care. Here are a few ideas that come to mind:

Implement a Welcome Team
Over-communicate with Parents
Follow Up Often
Be Aware of Needs

Read the full article here.

Job & Ministry Opportunities
Summer Internship in Tahoe
One opportunity has opened up for summer 2017, starting around June 10.  Act immediately to apply! You will lead Bible stories, learning activities, crafts, and recreational games. Each month you'll receive a $500 stipend. You will also receive round trip airfare, housing, food money, and local ministry related transportation. You'll live less than a mile from beautiful Lake Tahoe.
Teacher qualifications
To work in the preschool program, you must be studying, or have a degree in: Early Childhood, Child Life, Child Development, or Human Development and Family studies. You will need 12 semester hours in any combination of these types of classes to qualify as a preschool intern.
In order to work with school age children, you must have completed, with a passing grade, 12 semester hours in any combination of the of the following types of classes: art, music, dance, theater, physical education, indoor and outdoor recreation, psychology, sociology, nursing, and human development.
Contact: Debbie Wohler Reasoner, Internship Coordinator
530-583-2925 (home office) Pacific Standard Time
530-448-9359 (cell) Pacific Standard Time
or check our website
Apply online at

Youth Leader Internship
First Baptist Church of Winters (FBCW) is seeking a Youth Leader Intern.
The job requires about 15 hours of work each week, offers a competitive salary along with a generous budget for Youth activities. The youth group consists of 10-20 students at the Wednesday, Friday, and Sunday gatherings.
For more information, contact the church at 530-795-2821 or or you can contact SRBN.

Education Internship
Education internship with stipend, housing, and airfare at Lake Tahoe, California
August 9 through December 22, 2017
4 Preschool interns and 4 School age interns needed.
We are looking for energetic, diligent, and happy people to join our team. We need leaders who possess strong character, are teachable, and who have a heart for working with children.
We will train you and invest in your life. All our lead staff have been either summer or semester staff. You will work with a team of eight other college students.
For more information, contact Debbie Wohler at 530-583-2925 or 530448-9359 or
Apply at:

Youth Director
New Hope Community Church (NHCC) in South Sacramento is searching for a part time (20 hr/wk) youth director. The position will report directly to the senior pastor and offers a competitive salary and some flexibility of work hours. The intent is to grow the position to full time and eventually a pastoral position. Some Bible college or seminary study is a plus, and candidate must be a self-starter.
For a full job description and other information, please contact NHCC board of deacons:
Board of Deacons
New Hope Community Church
1821 Meadowview Road
Sacramento, CA  95832

Bi-Vocational Pastor
Mt. Pleasant Baptist Church is in Northern California east of the city of Lincoln.  Led by the Spirit we seek to be a light house to our community desiring to reach our community for Christ. 
We believe in the fundamentals of the Christian faith, lean toward Calvinist doctrine, and believe in the eternal security of the believer.  We are a loving, praying church and support mission work throughout the world.  We seek to be a church for all age groups. 
We are seeking a bi-vocational pastor to lead our church.  The salary, days, and hours are negotiable. If you feel led by God to lead our church, please send your resume to Curt Simpson at
Mt. Pleasant Baptist Church
2384 Garden Bar Road
Lincoln, CA 95648


Free online seminar for pastors any time: Preach Better Sermons Conference

28-29 Prayerwalking Seminar
"Unleash the Power of Prayer in Your Community"
led by Jerry McCullah
El Camino Baptist Church
Friday: 6-9 pm  (Dinner at 6 pm)
Saturday: 9-Noon
This is a free seminar, and dinner is provided
email to let them know how many will be attending

1-5   Women in White Workshop and Concert
New Testament Baptist Church, North Highlands
$20 for adults, $10 for children 17 and under
Register by downloading the registration form.

5-7  Father Son Retreat
Jenness Park Christian Camp
Bonus day - May 4th
$55 per person

7  CBU Choir and Orchestra Concert
First Baptist Church of Fair Oaks
4401 San Juan Avenue, Fair Oaks
6 pm

11-22 Kenya Mission Trip
International Commission
Contact Sonia Burnell at; 916-784-2372

12-13  Prayer Revival Weekend
Country Oaks Baptist Church
9717 Bond Road, Elk Grove
Friday: 7 pm
Saturday: 9 am - 12:30 pm
Child care provided

19-21 Ministers' Wives Retreat 2017
Jenness Park Christian Camp
$179 thorugh April 15 (after 4/15, the cost is $200)

20   Act Now: Addressing Health Issues in African American Communities
New Love Ministries
6412 Tupelo Drive, Suite H, Citrus Heights

21-28 Associational Missions Emphasis (AME)
Week of Prayer and Mission Emphasis

3      By All Means Youth on Mission 2017
1B Hispana el Calvarios/Calvary Baptist Church
1321 Hudson Street, Redwood City
register online

18-22 Middle & High School Camp Session 1
Camp Alta

27-29 Hope Renewed/Purpose Driven 2017
Pastor/Church Leader Event, So. Cal. 

9-12 Kids Camp, 4-6 grades, $155 

13-15 Kids Camp, 1-3 grades $140 

16-20 Middle/High School Wilderness Camp
Session 2, Camp Alta, $225 

23-27 Middle/High School Wilderness Camp
Session 3, Camp Alta, $225 

7-10 Special Ministries Camp
18 & older, $280, (volunteers free) 

10-11 Global Leadership Summit simulcast



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