Fisher of Men

10 Things Any Church Can Do to Grow

Here are 10 things that ANY church – no matter its size or budget, worship style or denomination – can do to help ensure it will grow numerically. I honestly can’t envision a scenario where any of these 10 could not be pursued and, if they haven’t yet been pursued, wouldn’t result in increased growth. 1. Prioritize Children. Your children’s ministry is arguably the greatest growth engine you can invest in to reach families. Period. 2. Get a Website. There is no excuse for a church to not have a website. They are so easy to create, so cheap to sustain and absolutely the way people will first explore your church. 3. Be Friendly. I don’t mean friendly to people you know, or friendly to people you like, or friendly to people who are like you. I mean friendly to all people. 4. Pursue Excellence...

The Power of a Discerning Spirit – In Touch – November 18

November 18 The Power of a Discerning Spirit Hebrews 5:11-14 In a world filled with endless sources of information and opinions, believers need to develop a discerning spirit. Otherwise, how will we know what is true? Much of what we see and hear is based on a worldly perspective that is influenced by Satan, the Father of Lies. Deception is found even in the religious realm: cults mix lies with enough truth to make some people consider them legitimate Christian institutions. The only way believers can guard against deception is to ground themselves in God’s Word. The more time you spend filling your mind with the Lord’s thoughts, the more discerning you will be. However, just knowing biblical truth isn’t enough. You must put what you learn into practice so that it becomes...

What Does God Love? – Crosswalk the Devotional – November 17

What Does God Love? by Debbie Holloway I will praise you, O Lord my God, with all my heart; I will glorify your name forever. For great is your love toward me; you have delivered me from the depths of the grave (Psalms 86:12). There is a very famous passage in Proverbs detailing what God hates. Indeed, throughout the Bible God never shows reluctance to speak against behaviors he finds detestable. This should come as no surprise to us, being that he is holy and man has amassed a large amount of sinful tendencies since he first came into the world. But what does God love? While avoiding the “bad” list – is there a “good” list toward which we can be working? Let’s dissect Proverbs 6:16 to discern the things which God loves. God hates “haughty eyes....

3 Reasons to Meet with God in Secret – Your Daily Bible Verse – November 16

BIBLE VERSE OF THE DAY: “But you, when you pray, go into your closet, and when you have shut your door, pray to your Father who is in secret, and your Father who sees in secret will reward you openly.” – Matthew 6:6 3 Reasons to Meet with God in Secret by Shane Heilman, The Psalms Project Jesus is clear that we are to set aside time for God to privately communicate with him. Here are 3 reasons from Shane Heilman to have a secret place to spend time with God: 1. Intentionality We go places with specific purposes in mind. When we go to work, we’re there to work. When we go to the gym, we’re there to work out. When we go to our secret place with God, we should be there to spend time with him, and for no other reason. Going to a specific place for a specific purpose produces th...

Mommy Guilt – iBelieve Truth: A Devotional for Women – November 15

Mommy Guilt By: Julie Zine Coleman “Therefore there is now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus, for the law of the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus has set you free from the law of sin and death.” – Romans 8:1-2 When you are a mother, guilt is a state of being. I am personally plagued with guilt every time I stop and think about my effectiveness as a mother. There are a thousand things I would do differently if I were to relive the years of raising my children. I would pray for them more often. Spend more one-on-one time with them. Make them do more chores. The list goes on forever. A working mother has an extra portion of guilt. Trying to maintain a teaching career while raising a family was definitely a challenge. Sometimes my children got the short end of the stic...

Why Does God Refer to Himself in the Plural in Genesis 1:26 and 3:22?

As Christians, we believe in one God, so why does he refer to himself in the plural in verses such as Genesis 1:26 and Genesis 3:22? Some Jewish commentators have suggested that when God said, “Let us make man in our image”, he was also speaking to the angels, but that’s not likely the case in this narrative.  Furthermore, in Genesis 1:26 and Genesis 3:22, God uses the name “Elohim” in reference to himself. This has a plural meaning. So, if our God is one (Deuteronomy 6:4), how does this compute? Why would a singular God refer to himself in the plural? And what does this mean for us today? In the Beginning Was the Trinity Even in the first chapter of the Bible, we see the Trinity at play. By Trinity, we mean that although our God is one, three persons make up the Godhead: Go...

This Will Preach

According to the Pew Research Center analysis of the National Survey of Family Growth, marriage is declining while living together outside of marriage is rising. Probably not a surprising headline. But coupled with this is how most Americans now find it acceptable for unmarried couples to live together, even if they have no plans to get married. Only a very narrow majority believe there are societal benefits in marriage. The report also explored the experiences of adults who are married and those who are living with a partner, and found that married adults express higher levels of relationship satisfaction and trust in their partner than those who are cohabiting. Here, in more detail, were the three most significant findings: 1. A larger share of adults have cohabited than have been marrie...

When You Feel There’s Just Not Enough Time – Girlfriends in God – November 14, 2019

November 14, 2019When You Feel There’s Just Not Enough TimeSharon Jaynes Today’s Truth “In Him we live and move and have our being,” (Acts 17:28 NIV). Friend to Friend “I just never have enough time to spend with the Lord,” Amanda cried. “I work forty plus hours a week, commute ninety minutes both ways, oversee elderly parents’ affairs, and take care of my five-year-old son. I’m either on the road, at my desk or taking care of someone else’s needs. And on top of that, I never feel like I’m doing any of it well. What does God want from me in the middle of all this madness? How can I carve out time for Him? I feel like I’m constantly failing Him!” Amanda is not alone. I’ve been right there with her. Haven’t you? We live in a physical realm and our new, born-again spirits will never be comple...

Can I Walk with God Alone?

Can I walk with God alone? It is important to recognize just what is meant by this question. At its heart is the concept of walking with God; to be in an active and growing relationship with God. Can I have that relationship with God apart from being in a community of believers? In other words, is it possible to be a Lone Ranger type of Christian? Why Would This Question Even Come Up? There are a couple of reasons why someone might ask this question. The first is because they are living in isolation from other believers. There are places in the world that are hostile to faith in Christ. Or that faith is not practiced. And in those cases, the one who comes to faith will find themselves unable to join with other believers. Will they be unable to effectively walk with God? The other reason is...

The Importance of Laying (It) Down – iBelieve Truth: A Devotional for Women – November 13

  The Importance of Laying (It) DownBy: Lia Martin While Jesus was in one of the towns, a man came along who was covered with leprosy. When he saw Jesus, he fell with his face to the ground and begged him, “Lord, if you are willing, you can make me clean.” – Luke 5:12 Throughout the Bible we encounter real people who for their own unique reasons are ‘lying face down,’ or ‘falling to the ground’ or surrendering to some version of full-on worship or humility. Little did they know God was accomplishing some very important work in these moments, tying them all together into a story that restores even today.   Thanks to so many before us who were willing to lay it down, lie prostrate, or surrender…you and I can always know that our desire to fall flat sometimes is...

Just Come… And Pray – Girlfriends in God – November 12, 2019

November 12,  2019Just Come … And PrayMary Southerland Today’s Truth My sheep listen to my voice; I know them, and they follow me (John 10:27). Friend to Friend Prayer really is so simple. We try to complicate it, and if I do say so myself, we manage to do a fairly good job of it. Everyone prays when in crisis. When the house is on fire, the kids are driving you nuts, the job is in jeopardy, the health challenge is serious, the finances are failing – it is amazing how even the ungodly will resort to prayer. It is built into our very being to cry out to God when we are desperate. But is that all prayer is? Is talking with God only for desperate people in desperate moments? I really do want to know God’s will for my life. I desperately need His wisdom to get through every day. I ju...

What Is the Shroud of Turin?

Above Photo: The face of the Shroud man as it appears to the naked eye and as a photographic negative ( positive.) Shroud Photographs ©1978 Barrie M. Schwortz Collection, STERA, Inc The Shroud of Turin is a rectangular linen cloth comprised of flax measuring 14.6 feet long and 3.5 feet wide. It bears a faint yellowed image of a bearded, crucified man with bloodstains that match the wounds suffered by Jesus of Nazareth as recorded in all four gospel narratives. Since 1578 the Shroud has resided in Turin, Italy, thus the name, the Shroud of Turin. The holy relic is housed in the Cathedral of St. John the Baptist. Millions of Christians from all denominations believe that the Shroud is the authentic burial cloth used to wrap Jesus after his death on the cross, and found by his disciples in th...