You can sign up all of your teachers by emailing me their email addresses: firstname.lastname@example.org
Prominent Minister And Wife Touch Lives With Marriage and Family Ministry
Helping to curb the divorce rate in America and strengthen the family is the goal of Marriage and Family Matters. Through hands on, interactive marriage/family conferences, a strong web presence, materials to strengthen marriages, and other proven methods, MFM seeks to help others move beyond what has become the norm for today’s society. While the family goes further from the values that shaped our nation, J.B. Collingsworth, and his wife Shugie are helping families with words of challenge and encouragement. The Collingsworths have a planned strategy and keen insight for how churches can help reduce the divorce rate starting at the grass roots level. “Divorce and family break up is rampant. The church functions because of the family unit, and we must have a plan that truly works”, Collingsworth said. He is former Assistant Pastor at the First Baptist Church/Orlando, who with his wife, launched this new marriage and family ministry after serving for thirteen at the mega church--First Baptist of Orlando.
Dr. Walt Larimore, Vice President of Focus on the Family spoke at the launching of MARRIAGE & FAMILY MATTERS in Orlando, Florida in 2002. Dr. James Dobson sent greetings to the Collingsworths, and asked Walt to convey this message: “JB AND SHUGIE---WELCOME TO THE FIGHT FOR THE FAMILY !”.
Collingsworth and his wife, Shugie, moved to the Dallas-Ft. Worth Metroplex after launching MARRIAGE AND FAMILY MATTERS. This ministry is an endeavor aimed at helping individuals, churches, and secular organizations fight the escalating divorce rate and decline of the family unit by providing Biblical answers for issues affecting modern couples. They not only go in to speak, they meet with the staff and their spouses and challenge them to have strong marriages, and meet with local pastors to share the approach with them and show them how it can be done.
The Collingsworths have become one of the most influential duos in the arena of couples ministry and are widely recognized for the development of one of the finest and most comprehensive preparation for marriage classes available. As in-demand leaders of marriage and family conferences throughout the United States they have ministered to several thousand couples, and have amassed an extensive network of resources. From pre-marriage training to marriages in crisis, MARRIAGE AND FAMILY MATTERS (MFM) will make resources – in all media formats available to those in the business of helping couples build and maintain stronger marriages.
Working alongside churches of all denominations, Collingsworth contends that many churches lack proper tools and resources to adequately prepare couples for marriage, and are not equipped to meet couples at their point of need when in crisis mode---two of the most important issues in building and maintaining a strong marriage. “Counseling helps, but there are also other compelling avenues than can be taken to ensure lasting marriages”, he says. Mr. and Mrs. Collingsworth are helping pastors and churches to design plans for their own communities so they can truly make a difference.
MFM has an exhaustive web presence under development as well as printed material, plans for the lobbying of legislatures to enact laws requiring pre-marriage training, as well as conferences, seminars, and consultations with churches across the U.S. MFM has incredible support from their National Advisory Board…
THE MARRIAGE AND FAMILY MATTERS NATIONAL ADVISORY BOARD INCLUDES:
NOTE OF INTEREST: Many remember Mr. Collingsworth as the man who helped lead PGA golfer Payne Stewart to faith in Christ, and preached his memorial service which was viewed around the world, touching millions of lives and seeing many come to faith in Christ.
Contact: Public Relations Coordinator--817.498.6222
I just left Hyde Park Baptist in Austin. What a great church. I had heard about this church back in college days. It was often lifted up as a sterling example of a church that did consistently solid ministry over a long period of time. At 2700 average Sunday School attendance, they would be one of the largest Sunday Schools in the nation. An unlike many churches in mid-town locations (inside the inner loop) they keep the place busting at the seams. Their only problem is where to park the cars.
While at Hyde Park, I was reminded of a very usable idea that could have wide application in a variety of settings. It is called the Power Lunch. Power Lunch - you just have to love that name.
Power Lunch 101
Power lunch could be. . .
You get the idea. There could be a wide variety of the application of this concept. I am most enamored by the idea of a Sunday School class doing this studying a John Maxwell book and presenting a positive presentation of the gospel.
Allow me to explain why I think this is such a powerful idea. It has to do with the four quadrants.
We typically think of only two categories: #1 and #4. We think in terms of lost people who are not in church and our efforts to lead them to Christ and the church. That is a worthy thing, but it is only half the picture.
We also have quadrant #2. These are sometimes called backslidden or inactive members. We are commanded to go after these people. Consider these words of Ezekiel: “My sheep wandered over all the mountains and on every high hill. They were scattered over the whole earth, and no one searched or looked for them.” Ezekiel 34:6 (NIV) The clear implication is somebody should have searched for them. One of the best ways to do this is through giving Friday nights to Jesus and inviting every member and every prospect to every fellowship every month. I am fond of saying, “Don't invite them to class; instead invite them to the party." As I like to say, people who are opposed to the gospel are not opposed to ice cream.
But, for this discussion today, I would like us to focus our attention on quadrant #3 and see how it relates to power lunches.
One application of quadrant #3 is that we need to ask our own people when they came to a saving knowledge of Christ. I am thinking of a man that plays in our band at my church. He had been coming to our church for several years, which is why I was so surprised to hear his story. He and his wife got to talking one day, "Bob, when did you actually place your faith in Christ and become a Christian?" "I don't know that I have," he replied. "Wouldn't you like to?" We did, and a few weeks later we baptized him. There are probably people who attend your church regularly that have never gotten around to accept the A-B-C's of the faith:
We need to rehearse these things from our pulpits and in our small groups on a regular basis, but we need to do one other thing. It has to do with Power Lunches.
There are many "Christian" denominations that hardly ever, if ever, say anything about the need to be saved. Some, in fact, are opposed to the whole notion. Many of these churches preach a gospel of do good, be kind and live the golden rule, but never say anything about the fact that we are far from God and need to place our faith in Christ.
When I was on church staff and we were involved in an aggressive visitation program for a time, we actually had the pastor of another church in town call our pastor and say, "How dare you tell our church member they need to be saved!" They had visited our church, we visited them, presented the gospel as we would to anyone else. Her pastor was deeply offended by that.
How do we reach people who are far from God but in church every week? They will never come to your church and hear the gospel, because they are in church every week. How will we reach them? Let's talk about Power Lunches.
A Power Lunch is a gathering of believers and non-believers who meet for lunch and to discuss a topic. The topic could be pure evangelism. It could be discipleship. It could be need-oriented teaching like "How to Win over Worry." It could be more business related topics like, "How to Manage Your Time."
A Power Lunch is an opportunity to share the gospel with people who are far from God. Whether they go to church or not, we can share Christ with them. Whether the topic is John 3.16 or John Maxwell 3.16 we can share Christ.
A Power Lunch is an opportunity to provide additional Bible Study, fellowship and prayer time.
A Power Lunch is non-threatening.
A Power Lunch can be a simple gathering of half a dozen believers and their friends meeting at a local restaurant.
A Power Lunch may help you reach people for Christ and double your group every two years or less.
How much do I love this NEW book? Well, I have it on order with Amazon but I found it at a Barnes and Noble on the road. I couldn't resist. I will find someone to give the other copy to. Much of the information I got on loneliness comes from this book. You will love this book!
How to Break Growth Barriers
A lot of pastors take a church of 50 and move it to 75. Then they take a church of 125 and move to 150. The church they left goes back to 50. They move on to a church of 200, leaving the previous church to sink back down to 125 and so forth.
Not so First Baptist Church Maryville, IL. Pastor Fred Winters has lead the church through two total relocations from around 30 in attendance to over 600. If I were a denominational worker, I would be asking Fred to come to my association and share his six principles for breaking growth barriers. If I were a pastor in the St. Louis area, I would be buying his lunch and picking his brain. He has done it and I believe he can communicate it in a humble, winsome, practical fashion.
America's foremost authority on Sunday school can train your church, at your own pace, at your own convenience! Now you can provide your least effective teachers with this training they need to be successful in the classroom. Even your best teachers will benefit greatly from this practical resource designed to meet the need of the Sunday school worker. These 12 videotaped lessons will prepare all your teachers by equipping them with proven, effective, teaching methods that will encourage and inspire them to better service.
Includes: planning and promotional materials, student worktext, and 12 videotaped lessons featuring Dr. Elmer Towns.
DR. ELMER TOWNS
Includes: video worknotes, 3 survey forms, 4 questionnaires, pastor's checklist, promotional materials, and videocassette.
Tape 1: Learner 38 min.