Monday, November 03, 2008

2008-2009 Pastoral Covenant Groups Launch

This fall 126 Pastoral Covenant Groups from 20 states and regions are launching another one-year process of pastoral development and renewal. An estimated 1000 Church of God pastors will be participating.

A number of groups have already conducted their covenant-making retreats. One participating pastor stated to his group, "I didn't trust you guys before, but now I do. I trust everyone of you."

Another pastor left revival services at this own church just to be at his group's retreat, stating,

"I need this! You don't get this at Campmeeting or Prayer Conference where we sit down and talk about ministry at a deeper level."

Draw Near and the Center for Pentecostal Leadership and Care invite you to pray throughout this coming year for the sustaining of this Pastoral Covenant Group initiative.

Thursday, September 25, 2008

Training Southwest Hispanic Pastors

From September 28th through October 2nd I will be on the road (and in the air) training facilitators for Pastoral Covenant Groups in the Southwest Hispanic region (California). Dr. Milton Carter will be joining me in the work. Both of us would greatly appreciate your prayers.

Saturday, September 13, 2008

Training DelMarVa-DC Pastoral Facilitators

A Facilitator Training Retreat will be conducted September 15-17 in Lancaster, Pennsylvania for pastoral facilitators serving in the DelMarVa-DC region. Dr. Randy Turpin and Dr. Milton Carter will function as trainers for this event.

This fall these trained facilitators will launch their own Pastoral Covenant Groups with a covenant-making retreat. Over the next year DelMarVa's groups will work together for the purpose of cultivating and sustaining pastoral excellence.

For more information on this Pastoral Covenant Group initiative, see

Thursday, August 14, 2008

August and September Training Schedule

New students are on their way to the Church of God Theological Seminary; Pastoral Covenant Group facilitators are being trained in twenty-two states and regions; and Covenant Making Retreats are already being scheduled for pastors across America.

All of these happenings add up to a very busy time here at the seminary's Center for Pentecostal Leadership and Care. We are gearing up for the following training events:

August 21, 2008
New Student Orientation Retreat
Cohutta, Georgia

August 25-27, 2008
Eastern North Carolina Facilitator Training Retreat
Salter Path, North Carolina

September 8-10, 2008
West Virginia Facilitator Training Retreat
Fayetteville, West Virginia

As always, we cherish your prayers as we continue to serve the renewal and development needs of Christian leaders.

Saturday, July 12, 2008

July Training Schedule

In the month of July (2008), our team is scheduled to train Pastoral Covenant Group facilitators in several states and regions:
July 14-16, 2008
Mid-America Facilitator Training Retreat
West Harrison, Indiana
(Facilitators from Indiana, Northern Ohio, and Southern Ohio)

July 21-23, 2008
Florida Facilitator Training Retreat
Clearwater Beach, Florida
We cherish your prayers for our ongoing ministry toward pastoral development and renewal.

Monday, June 30, 2008

Focus and Clarity

1 Peter 4:7 says, "The end of all things is near. Therefore be clear minded and self-controlled so that you can pray."

Here Peter elevates the indispensable role of prayer as we approach the end of the age.

Pray-ers, let us always keep the end in view. Our ultimate destination should motivate every aspect of our lives. We cannot afford to become absent-minded regarding the eternal implications of our life-mission.

We have been given the Spirit of a sound disciplined mind (2 Timothy 1:7), and we have been enabled by the Spirit to be self-controlled (Galatians 5:23). May we by faith access these resources of the Spirit so that we will in fact be clear-minded and self-controlled.

May we keep in step with the slightest promptings of the Spirit (Galatians 5:16). In doing so we will have the focus and clarity required of twenty-first century prayer warriors.

Monday, June 09, 2008

Jim Cymbala on "The House of Prayer"

I would like to share with you a powerful message delivered by Jim Cymbala calling the church to embrace its identity as a "House of Prayer."

Saturday, April 12, 2008

Upcoming Special Events

I will be conducting prayer ministry training seminars and other ministry/ leadership events at the following locations over the next several months:
  • Charleston, WV - Prayer Ministry Training. Davis Creek Church of God with Pastor David E. Wall. April 17-20, 2008.
  • Baltimore, MD - Special Services. Church Location to be Announced. Hosted by Pastor Oliver Subryan. May 18, 2008.
  • Knoxville, TN - Prayer Ministry Training. Christ the Rock Church of God with Pastor Steve Gardner. June 6-7, 2008.
If you live near the location of any of these events, you are invited to participate.

Saturday, March 15, 2008

JRT Books and Resources

JRT Books and Resources is an online bookstore that has been set up to provide a convenient way for our readers and supporters to access items that we recommend.

If you are looking for an item but don't see it in our collection, you may be use the "Search" feature. Should you need further assistance in finding a resource, email us. We may be able to locate it for you.

To access the bookstore, go to

Thursday, March 13, 2008

Consultation at New River Ranch

On Tuesday, March 4th I had the opportunity to conduct a consultation at New River Ranch (Fayetteville, WV) with a group of pastor-facilitators who are leading Pastoral Covenant Groups in West Virginia.

These leaders are part of a nationwide pastoral development and renewal initiative administered by the Center for Pentecostal Leadership and Care--a ministry of the Church of God Theological Seminary.

Sunday, February 24, 2008

To Make Christ Known

What is the Christian church supposed to be doing?

Here at the beginning of the 21st century, the North American church appears to be struggling for its sense of purpose. It is time to return to Jesus’ basic mandate to His followers. [Complete Article]

Tuesday, February 19, 2008

Online Course Announced

I have just received word that my online course, Developing Congregational Prayer Ministries, will be offered through the Church of God Theological Seminary this summer (June 3 - August 31, 2008).

Details are available in the Course Syllabus.

This graduate-level course was designed for individuals who already have a college degree; however, a limited number of qualified applicants may enroll as special students (not requiring a college degree). For application and enrollment information, call the Church of God Theological Seminary toll free, 1-800-228-9126.

Wednesday, February 13, 2008

Presentations of Conference Teachings

Here are a few video recordings and PowerPoint presentations of the teachings I delivered at the recent 2008 Equippers Conference in Michigan. The videos are not actual recordings of the live sessions, but in these clips I do cover the same material. On a few points, I actually go beyond what I was able to deliver in the series of live presentations:

Cultivating a Culture of Prayer in the Local ChurchDeveloping Congregational Prayer MinistriesSpirit-Enabled Prayer Ministry

Monday, February 04, 2008

"Friends of God" and "Friends of the Bridegroom"

Last year J. D. Simmons and I released a series of training booklets designed to address some of the heart issues essential to faithful and effective service in local church leadership:
  • Friends of God: Growing in Life's Most Essential Relationship. This booklet is a study that elevates the priority of our relationship with God. It is out of our relationship with God that we are enabled to properly discern God's vision for His Church. Readers will also learn how to cultivate a deeper relationship with God through the practice of spiritual disciplines.
  • Friends of the Bridegroom: Partnering with Christ in His Devotion to the Church. Through the imagery of the bridal paradigm, leaders are encouraged to relate and minister to the Church on the basis of Christ’s affections for her. Biblical guidance is offered for cultivating healthy relationships with church constituents. The authors promote an approach to ministry that intentionally draws upon the power of the Holy Spirit.
  • A third booklet in the series, Are You Ready for Church Leadership?, was written by Randy Dye. This booklet speaks of the joy of serving, essential relational keys, the embracing of the pastor’s vision, and what it means to be an armor bearer. The writer also calls for adequately honoring, respecting and providing for the pastor and his family. He closes with a frank, yet affirming, message directed to pastors.
All three booklets are available through Life Worth Living Ministries.

Sunday, February 03, 2008

Beyond Goal Setting

Many pastors set goals only to find themselves frustrated months later with their lack of progress in reaching them. The Pastoral Covenant Group (PCG) process initiated by the Church of God Theological Seminary provides a way for pastors to break through barriers that prevent projected goals from becoming fulfilled goals.

In addition to the relational benefit of the PCG, pastors are also (1) identifying personal and ministry development needs, (2) setting goals to address those needs, (3) crafting plans to reach stated goals, and (4) making covenant to support and resource one another in their development.

Participants for 2007-2008 have reported that they are in pursuit of goals in a broad range of areas, such as the following:
  • Community outreach
  • Evangelism and church growth
  • Staff development
  • Church administration
  • Leading change
  • Family ministry
  • Doctrinal fidelity
  • Preparing for retirement
  • Spiritual vitality
  • Stewardship
  • Team ministry
  • Dealing with stress
  • Worship and prayer ministries
  • Assimilating newcomers
  • Increasing biblical knowledge
  • Cultural issues and challenges
  • Ministry to blended families
  • Building programs
  • Conflict ministry
  • Congregational health
  • Counseling
  • Continuing education
  • Financial issues
  • Technology and ministry
  • Personal health
  • Spouses in ministry
To date in this year's project, 89 covenant-making retreats have been conducted, and an estimated 800 project participants are following a covenant-based plan in their pursuit of pastoral excellence.

For more information about this Pastoral Covenant Group initiative, visit the website for the Center for Pentecostal Leadership and Care--a ministry of the Church of God Theological Seminary.

Tuesday, January 22, 2008

Prophetic Directives for 2008

J. Lee Grady, editor of Charisma Magazine, summarizes eight prophetic directives for 2008:
1. We must have personal revival.
2. We must embrace humility.
3. We are experiencing gracious judgment.
4. We must balance the prosperity message.
5. It's time to get back to evangelism.
6. We must root out racism in the church.
Holiness is not an option.
8. God is calling us to transform society.
For the complete article, visit Faith News.

Friday, January 18, 2008

Culture of Generosity

Once in awhile I will hear a sermon that I never want to forget. This past Sunday I heard such a message delivered by the senior pastor of City Church of Chattanooga--Pastor Michael Chapman. This message is part of a series of sermons entitled, "Culture of Generosity." Here it is:

(Posted by permission of Dr. Michael Chapman)