The CE National office in Winona Lake, Indiana, will be closed from noon on Friday, December 23, and will reopen at 8 a.m. Monday, January 3rd. Have a wonderful Christmas and New Year’s celebration.
“For unto you is born this day in the City of David, a savior who is Christ the Lord.” While we all can get wrapped up in “the season”—parties, gift buying, special events, decorations, and more… let’s celebrate and remember what this holiday is all about—the birth of Jesus.
God became flesh and dwelt among us. What an incredible reality!
From your friends at CE National: Merry Christmas! What an incredible time of the year to rejoice in the fact that the God of the universe provided a way for us, as fallen individuals, to have a personal relationship with Him. Now THAT is worth celebrating! And we pray that as you go through this “most wonderful time of the year” you take advantage of the opportunities to show and share the love of Jesus with those around you who still need to know Him. We pray that you have a merry and blessed Christmas as you are ON MISSION for Jesus!
CE National appreciates very much those who pray for the ministry going on at the Urban Hope Training Center in Philadelphia. Here are several ways you can pray over the next few weeks.
- Pray for the addicted and homeless in and around the Urban Hope community.
- Pray that Urban Hope, as a church, will know how to love them and show them Christ.
- Pray for the community as death is hitting hard. Pray that believers will be lights in their hurting families. Pray that people will be drawn from the darkness to the light.
- Pray for those struggling with loneliness, sadness, and depression as they are missing loved ones during this season.
- Thank you for interceding on behalf of Urban Hope’s Youth Sunday Celebration Service this past week.
- One aunt, four moms, one dad, and a grandpa came to watch their loved ones lead the service
- Four teens (ages 14-17) were led by four young adults (who graduated from high school last year) as they shared parts of their testimonies.
- Praise God for raising up a new generation of community and church leaders.
- Pray for the upcoming Christmas Eve Service, December 24th.
- Pray for the kid’s group, Salt and Light, as they will be sharing truth with black light puppets.
- Pray the kids’ families will come and be transformed by the truths of Christmas (Christ coming to be God with us).
- Pray for many others to come from the community.
To find out more about Urban Hope visit urbanhope.net.
Pastors Knute Larson, Jeff Bogue, and Jim Brown talk about how pastors can hire better staff members, but also when the right time might be to let a staff member or volunteer go.
Pastorpedia is a ministry of CE National, a church effectiveness ministry. To receive an email when each Pastorpedia video is available, sign-up for ON MISSION Insights at cenational.org/omi_signup.
To read more helpful articles for pastors and church leaders, visit cenational.org/omi.
The three experienced pastors in these videos are: Jeff Bogue, of Grace Church, in several locations in the greater-Akron area of Ohio; Jim Brown, of Grace Community Church in Goshen, Indiana, a church known for its strong growth, family and men’s ministries, and community response teams; and Knute Larson, a coach of pastors, who previously led The Chapel in Akron for 26 years.
Ed Short, CE National church consultant, is available to help you launch your ministry into a more thriving atmosphere. Visit cenational.org/candc to find out more.
Jim Brown has been the lead pastor of Grace Community Church in Goshen, Indiana for 20 years and is a veteran to the Momentum main stage. With a heart for orphans and lost people, he has led multiple teams on mission trips to China, Vietnam, Cambodia, Thailand and Iraq. Jim is the founder of Fight Club 414, an international ministry that calls men to follow hard after Jesus.
We’re excited to have Jim speak at Momentum Youth Conference again this summer and we know that students and leaders will be challenged as he speaks to our theme, The Comeback.
Visit buildmomentum.org to find out more about Momentum Youth Conference.
Jim Brown is also one of three pastors who contributes to Pastorpedia — a CE National monthly publication that includes both a video and an article to read. CE National is Momentum’s parent organization. Check out Pastorpedia at cenational.org/pastorpedia.
At some point during high school, CE National encourages every student to consider spending part of one summer on some type of ministry experience. Operation Barnabas provides character building, discipleship training, equipping and many “hands on” opportunities to serve others. Now is the perfect time for students to be thinking about applying for Operation Barnabas 2017, June 18 – July 11. To find out more about OB 2017 and download an application, visit operationbarnabas.net. The application deadline is January 31.
Merry Christmas from the Lending Library! Stop by the library and check out a few family-friendly resources for Christmas. We have audio books and DVD’s for those long car rides or if you plan to stay closer to home, pick out a good book!
Here are a few suggestions:
The Christmas Blessing – DVD
In the sequel to the Christmas Shoes, Nathan Andrews is all grown up. As a young doctor, Nathan finds himself questioning his career choice, so he goes to his hometown to soul-search and reconnect with his father. Once home, a blossoming romance with teacher Megan Sullivan and a fast friendship with her student Charlie Bennett teach Nathan to live life in the moment and embrace the time he has with friends and family.
The Case for Christmas – a book by Lee Strobel
Who was in the manger that first Christmas morning? Some say he would become a great moral leader. Others, a social critic. Still others view Jesus as a profound philosopher, a rabbi, a feminist, a prophet, and more. Many are convinced he was the divine Son of God. Who was he really and how can you know for sure? Consulting experts on the Bible, archaeology, and messianic prophecy, Lee Stobel searches out the true identity of the child in the manger. Join him as he asks the tough, pointed questions you’d expect from an award-winning legal journalist. If Jesus really was God in the flesh, then there ought to be credible evidence, including eyewitness evidence.. can the biographies of Jesus be trusted? Scientific evidence… What does archaeology reveal? Profile evidence… Did Jesus fulfill the attributes of God? Fingerprint evidence… Did Jesus uniquely match the identity of the Messiah?
The CE National
Lending Library is open until 5 p.m. on Friday, December 23rd and will reopen on Tuesday, January 3rd, 2017. No resources will be due during that time.
Visit cenational.org/library for these titles and more.
Last Sunday, December 11, Urban Hope Community Church invited community leaders, police, teachers, firefighters, and principals to a special service to honor the important role they play in the community. Urban Hope’s desire is that their community leaders come to know Christ and they know that the church appreciates their hard work. Several community leaders came for the service and stayed to enjoy lunch in the church’s basement.
Urban Hope is praising God for…
- at least 10 new adults that came to Community Appreciation Sunday.
- at least 15 parents who joined them for family Sunday at Kingdom Kids.
- for youth who are growing in their walk with Christ and learning to use their stories, talents, and abilities for His name sake.
- that the families that came to Community Appreciation Sunday would come to church again.
- that Urban Hope would know how to follow up with them.
- that they ultimately would surrender to Jesus as King of their lives.
- Pray that these families will come to our Christmas Eve Service.
- Pray that the kids would continue to be lights in their homes.
- Pray that we would faithfully visit the children and their families during the Kingdom Kids break.
This Sunday is Youth Sunday at Urban Hope. Please pray…
- for the youth as they will be leading the service.
- that their families come and hear of Christ and the awesome transformational work He is doing in their young people’s lives.
- that God would draw these parents to himself.
- that Urban Hope Community church will better learn how to support and encourage their youth, as they listen to their stories.
Find out more about Urban Hope at urbanhope.net.
At the end of each year, there are gracious families and individuals who remember the ministry of CE National with special financial gifts. We praise the Lord for them!
We need to communicate that for gifts to qualify for 2016 giving, CE National must either receive the gift or have the envelope postmarked in 2016. Gifts received with a 2017 postmark must be credited to 2017 giving.
If you are interested in giving a special gift for this Church Effectiveness ministry, click here.
With a twice-weekly column appearing in hundreds of newspapers, Cal Thomas is one of the most widely read and one of the most highly regarded voices on the American political scene. He is a Fox News contributor and a member of USA Today’s Board of Contributors.
A graduate of American University, Thomas is a veteran of broadcast and print journalism. He has worked for NBC News in Washington, D.C. and hosted his own program on CNBC that was nominated for a Cable ACE Award in 1995. In 2011, Thomas received the William F. Buckley, Jr. Award for Media Excellence from the Media Research Center. His latest book, What Works: Common Sense Solutions for a Stronger America, was published in 2014 on the 30th anniversary of his syndicated column.
He and his wife, Ray, have four adult children and eleven grandchildren. They reside in the Washington, DC area.
Cal Thomas will be the keynote speaker at the Heritage event in Lancaster County, Pennsylvania, on April, 28, 2017, at Shady Maple Smörgåsbord in East Earl, Pennsylvania. Cal will be joined by Karen Knight, doing a dramatic presentation from her Women of Faith series on the life of Julia Ward Howe, author of “Mine Eyes Have Seen the Glory,”
and The Men of Grace Quartet from Telford, Pa.
Cost is $30 per person for the program and lunch. Doors open at the banquet entrance to the Smörgåsbord at 8:00 AM. The program begins at 9:15 and concludes at 1:30. An optional opportunity to see the 3 PM showing of Jonah at the Sight and Sound Theater is available at a discounted rate of $54 per person. Registration is now open at cenational.org/heritage. Paper registration will be available with brochures after the first of the year.
Now is the perfect time for high school students to think about next summer and consider applying for Operation Barnabas 2017!
At some point during high school, CE National encourages every student to consider spending part of one summer on some type of ministry experience. Operation Barnabas provides character building, discipleship training, equipping and many “hands on” opportunities to serve others.
To find out more about Operation Barnabas 2017 and download an application, visit operationbarnabas.net. The application deadline for the 2017 OB team is January 31.
“You were taught, with regard to your former way of life, to put off your old self, which is being corrupted by its deceitful desires; to be made new in the attitude of your minds; and to put on the new self, created to be like God in true righteousness and holiness.” Ephesians 4: 22-24 (NIV)
These verses relate to a COMEBACK–how we are to relate to our past wrong: how to look at forgiveness, how we handle our past, and how we come back to live for God. The key to change is training our minds how to think and act–and to put on a NEW relationship that leads to holiness.
Putting off the old patterns of our lives. How we respond to our sins and others who have sinned against us.
Changing the way we THINK… Be transformed by the renewing of our minds.
Living an entirely new life… Not defaulting to the old…but holy living.
ONE is about every believer impacting one person for Christ. Each believer should be focusing on developing a relationship with one person, reaching that person, teaching that person, and releasing that person to multiply his/her efforts into the lives of others by making disciples.
Hear Ed Lewis talk more about ONE, find resources to help, read testimonies, and let CE National know about your commitment to join the initiative on the ONE website at one.cenational.org.
The Urban Hope Training Center talks about the impact of the Thanksgiving meals.
Thank you so much for your prayers and financial gifts over Thanksgiving as we distributed 270 Thanksgiving meals to families in our community. We want to let you know that 270 households in Philadelphia say, “Thank you, and God bless you,” for making their Thanksgiving a day to abundantly thank God for His provision.
Families that received the meals also received a DVD that explains the Gospel. Pray that God’s Spirit would be at work in the hearts of family members who do not know Christ as Savior. Thank you for partnering with us as we seek to proclaim the name of Jesus and share his love with the people of Kensington
See pictures and read more about it on this PDF.
Community Appreciation Sunday is when Urban Hope Community Church seeks to encourage and support community leaders, police, teachers, firefighters, and principals who serve in their community. Urban Hope’s desire is that their community leaders come to know Christ and they know that the church appreciates their hard work. Here are ways you can specifically pray for Community Appreciation Sunday.
- Pray for the many guests who will be there from William Cramp Elementary (a neighborhood school)
- Ask God to touch their hearts in a way that shows them that “doing good” doesn’t make them right with God.
- Pray especially for Principal Logan. She loves our church. Pray that Sunday would be the day of her salvation.
- Pray that William, the community coordinator, would become hungry for God’s truth.
- Pray that police officers and fireman would come, feel honored, and be touched by the truth of Christ.
- Pray that other school principals and teachers (from Stetson Middle School, Edison High School, and other schools) would come and be both encouraged by what God is doing in our neighborhood and challenged by the gospel.
- Pray that new people from the neighborhood would come.
- Pray that the raffles would be won by God ordained people.
- Pray that we, who know Christ, will be outgoing and ready to serve.
- Pray meal prep and other behind the scenes preparation will go smoothly.
Momentum Youth Conference is offering an internship with great opportunity to grow in spiritual formation, be a part of the planning process for the conference, and help Momentum be effective for youth ministries. Do you know anyone college age or older who may be a good fit for this position?
Get ready for the #bestweekofsummer. Registration opens February 1 and we can’t wait to have you on board for Momentum 2017. It’s going to be an amazing week! Find out more at buildmomentum.org.
Earlier this week, The National Institute had its annual Christmas party for the youth ministry majors and minors in its program. A nice group of students assembled for a mid-morning breakfast (thanks Judy Fisher!) and enjoyed eating, holiday games, a reading of the Christmas story in Luke 2, ornament making, and of course the presentation of their Christmas gift.
This year, each student was given a TNI baseball style t-shirt. (We used to think that they really liked them because they all wore them the next day. We have since figured out that they wore it the next day because it was one of the only clean things left in their wardrobe!)
While students have a great deal to accomplish in the next week before the end of the semester, it is always good to take a special time and celebrate the birth of the Lord Jesus. Would you take a moment and pray for these students, some 70+ of them, that they would be able to finish their school work well, be active in ministry, and also be able to enjoy this special time of the year?
For more information about The National Institute, the youth ministry major overseen by CE National for Grace College, visit thenationalinstitute.net.
Merry Christmas from The National Institute for the Development of Ministries to Youth!
At CE National we have developed a church-wide campaign designed to disciple Christ-followers in the “How To” of following Christ daily. The outflow of a congregation of believers who live ON MISSION is an incredibly effective and healthy ministry. Download the full campaign here.
This Church-wide campaign spans a six week time-frame. Included materials are:
- Six ON MISSION Preaching Manuscripts complete with clearly defined biblical text, illustrations and applications. These message outlines come adaptable for your personal teaching notes and style. Weekly themes are:
- How to live ON MISSION
- Passionately Pursuing Christ
- Experiencing Life Change in Character, Action and Priority
- Lovingly Serving Others
- Compassionately Seeking the Lost
- Choosing Daily Radical Commitment
- Six corresponding PowerPoint Presentations
- Six corresponding Small Group Lessons with interaction questions
- A Personal Commitment Evaluation Tool: Allowing individuals to peer into and evaluate their levels of commitment to the key areas of Living On Mission
- 70 Post-Campaign Daily Challenges for you to distribute through Social Media for the seventy days post-campaign. These daily reminders to live ON MISSION are vital to the ongoing impact of the On Mission discipleship series.