Friday, December 19, 2008

Caoching candidates

The response to my earlier blog about wanting bivocational ministers to coach had a large response. I needed five candidates and received multiple times that number of volunteers. I want to thank everyone who applied, and I will be making a decision soon who I will choose. Although I do not believe it will be a problem, I am hoping to hear a definite answer regarding the acceptance of the DMin project that will focus on coaching bivocational ministers. The DMin director has sent me an e-mail saying he likes the idea, but I have not had my proposal officially approved yet. After Christmas I will make the final decision regarding which five candidates to choose whether or not I have received official approval. Thanks to everyone who volunteered!

Thursday, December 18, 2008

The gift of thankfulness

Like many of you, this is a very busy time of the year for me. In addition to Christmas shopping and preparing for the festivities of the season I've been very busy with a lot of ministry activities. I sent in my DMin thesis proposal this week and hope to hear soon that I can proceed with that project. I have a class the first week of January with six textbooks that I'm trying to read. Campbellsville University asked me to join some other folks in reviewing nearly 100 applications for a leadership scholarship they offer incoming students. Just as I concluded that task I received the author's proofs for my next book with a request that I review them and make any changes by December 29. This will be the last chance to get everything right before the book goes to the printer. Tonight I'm meeting with the leadership of a conflicted church in an effort to help them through this difficult time.

This morning I wrote out checks for some bills and set them aside to take to the mail box later. As I turned to my next task I suddenly felt overwhelmed with gratitude. Like most average Americans 2008 has been financially challenging for us. Our retirement accounts have taken about a 30% loss this year. My wife and I have drastically cut our spending trying to pay down some debt. We look for bargains when we do shop, and we're trying to make things last just a little bit longer before replacing them.

But as I thought about the checks I had just written I also thought about the thousands of people who have lost their jobs this year. I thought about the thousands whose homes have been lost in foreclosure and the many who have filed bankruptcy. Our bills are paid, we have a warm house in which to live, and a full pantry of food. I placed those bills in front of me, laid my hands on them, and just thanked God for His blessings.

Yesterday I was loading the dishwasher and running some water in the sink to rinse off some dishes. As I looked at that water I thought about the people all over the world who spend part of each day trying to find clean water to drink and often cannot. I was using more water rinsing off those dishes than some people have to use all day. It nearly overwhelmed me, and I stopped and gave God thanks for allowing me the privilege of being born in a country with clean, fresh water, a country that permits me to worship as I choose, and a country that allows me to do just about anything with my life that I want to.

As you run around this last week before Christmas trying to find the right gift for someone, I encourage you to stop and think about all the ways in which your life has been blessed. Perhaps the most important gift we could give this year would be the gift of thankfulness to God. I know I don't pause often enough to just thank Him for the blessings I have come to take for granted. The gift of thankfulness won't cost you anything to give, but I do believe it would please God to receive it.

May you have a very blessed Christmas!

Tuesday, December 2, 2008

Online certificate program

For several months I have talked about an online program being developed by Campbellsville University especially suited for bivocational ministers. I am happy to announce today that the program is now available. It is a 27 hour course that leads to a Certificate in Christian Ministry. Each class will cost $500.00 for a total cost for the program of $4,500.00. This is an excellent bargain for an education today. The program is accredited and students who complete this program and then decide to pursue a degree can receive credits for these classes. The program offers a nice blend of theological study and practical ministry skills.

For more information and a listing of the courses required please contact either David Sandifer, Director of Heartland Bivocational Ministry Center at Campbellsville University at or John Hurtgen, Dean of the School of Theology, at If you have been looking for a program that would provide you with the training you've been wanting and would fit into your busy schedule, you really should check out this opportunity.

Monday, December 1, 2008

Free coaching

I am writing my DMin thesis on "Coaching Bivocational Ministers for Greater Ministry Effectiveness." Part of this paper will focus on a coaching relationship I have with five bivocational ministers, and I need some volunteers who want to be coached. There will be no charge for the coaching. Your only expense will be for the calls you make to me for each coaching session and a small fee you will need to pay to take a spiritual gifts and temperment analysis. I will not reveal your names or the cities in which you live in order to preserve confidentiality. I will include in my paper some of the issues that we discussed, and you will be asked to write a brief paper on how the coaching did or did not help you.

This is a wonderful opportunity for a person who wants a coach to help him or her work through some issues or to help set some goals for your life and/or ministry. Each person will receive six coaching sessions over a three month period starting in January.

If you are interested, please respond to this post and tell me a little about yourself and your ministry. I look forward to hearing from you.