Sunday, October 23, 2016

The top 10 signs you're too old to trick or treat

10. You keep knocking on your own front door.

9. You're the only Power Ranger in the neighborhood with a walker.

8. You get winded from knocking on the door.

7. You have to have another kid chew the candy for you.

6. You ask for high fiber candy only.

5. When someone drops a candy bar in your bag, you lose your balance and fall over.

4. People say, "Great Keith Richards mask!" and you're not wearing a mask.

3. When the door opens you yell, "Trick or..." and can't remember the rest.

2. You have to carefully choose a costume that won't dislodge your hairpiece.

1. You keep having to go home to pee.

* Thanks Mikey's Funnies

Six crazy kids wielding knives as they carve pumpkins. What could possibly go wrong, right?

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Sunday, October 16, 2016

Pastor Appreciation is for Youth Pastors too!

When it comes to Pastor Appreciation Month, do you only think of senior pastors?

I hope not!

I hope you also think of those pastors who work in the most strategic mission field in America...

Youth Pastors!  

This video explains why...

If video doesn't appear, go here.

So how do you go about appreciating the youth pastor in your life?

I'm so glad you asked.

Sunday, October 09, 2016

That intersection of church and learning..

A pastor was giving the children’s message one Sunday morning during the regular church service. For this part of the service he gathered all the children around him and gave a brief lesson before dismissing them for children’s church.

On this particular Sunday, he was using squirrels for an object lesson on industry and preparation. He started out by saying, “I’m going to describe something and I want you to raise your hand when you know what it is.” 

The children nodded eagerly. 

“This thing lives in trees [pause] and eats nuts [pause]…” No hands went up. 

“And it is gray [pause] and has a long bushy tail [pause]…” The children were looking at each other, but still no hands raised. 

“And it jumps from branch to branch [pause] and chatters and flips its tail when it is excited [pause]…” Nothing but confused looks and not one hand raised.

Finally one little boy tentatively put his hand up. The pastor breathed a sigh of relief and called on him. “Well,” said the little boy, “I know the answer is Jesus… but it sure sounds like a squirrel to me!”

This story is funny and charming on a number of levels. 

But it's also sort of sad at the same time. 


It says something about the way we approach teaching in ministry. 

Think about it.

Are we only teaching for students to regurgitate knowledge back to us? Is that really what teaching is all about?

I don't think so.

Surely, we can do better. But how?

I contend that the best way to strengthen Sunday school, small groups, student ministry, children's ministry, men's ministry, women's ministry, Adult Bible Fellowship groups, Vacation Bible School, etc., is to strengthen the teacher.

And the best way to strengthen the teacher is to sit at the feet of the greatest teacher in this history of the world—Jesus!
In The Teaching Genius of Jesus, you'll explore how you can become a P-E-A-C-H of a teacher...
* Preparation
* Engagement
* Authenticity
* Challenge
* Heart

BONUS: Each chapter ends with an application section filled with practical, biblical discussion questions you can use in your next teachers' meeting. PLUS, you get a FREE bonus chapter titled, "Re-Egineering Your Christian Education Ministry" that includes sample exit goals for each age group in the church.

How YOU Should Use this Book

2. Have them read a chapter at home and encourage them to make notes in the book as they read.

3. Come together as a group... 
    a. Have them share their notes, insights, and stories in pairs.
    b. Then lead them through the discussion questions at the end of 
         the chapter for personal and group application.
    c. Ask them to pair up and pray for each other.

4. Over the coming months, work through each chapter of the book (P-E-A-C-H) as outlined above.

You've known for a long time that the volunteers who serve in ministry with you need this kind of encouragement and equipping.

What are you waiting for?

What could God do in and through your ministry if volunteer teachers and small group leaders read, processed, and applied  The Teaching Genius of Jesus?

There's only one way to find out.

Sunday, October 02, 2016

FREE Audio: Why and How to Encourage Your Pastor(s)

It's October.

It's Pastor Appreciation Month.

Of course the problem here is the word "month."

Really? We're only going to encourage our pastors for a month? The other eleven months we can suck the life out of them?

We can do better. Way better.

If you'd like to be an encouragement to your pastor(s) all year long—and God knows your pastor(s) REALLY need it all year long—then this FREE audio is for you.

If you REALLY REALLY want to encourage your pastor(s), then please share this FREE audio with people in your church/ministry.

Here's another crazy idea: You could gather with a small group of friends from church and slowly walk through the above booklet—seeking to apply what you learn—together.

You're thinking: "Yeah, someone should start that group."

Is that someone you?

Here's WHY you should do it...

Because most of us have a set of expectations for our pastor(s) (some biblical and some not so biblical). But I'd bet you've never seriously studied what the Bible says about what God expects from you concerning your pastor(s).

That seems strangely one way to me. Especially when I know so many pastors who are deeply discouraged and desperately in need of encouragement.

Dream with me for a minute:
Imagine a small group of friends meeting together to discover and put into practice seven biblical ways to encourage their pastor(s). When's the last time you've heard of a group like that? Let's be honest. Most of the time we hear about a small group of people who gather to complain about their pastor(s).

With God's help, you can change this.

It all starts with one person who cares enough to do something.

Is that person you?

What are you waiting for?
* For the FREE audio, GO HERE.
* To order this printed booklet, GO HERE.
* To get this on iBooks, GO HERE.
* For Kindle, Nook, and other non-printable e-readers, GO HERE.

Sunday, September 25, 2016

Sunday morning used to be...

If video doesn't appear, go here.

Thank God what Sunday morning used to be is no longer what Sunday morning is today!

Here's WHY my Sunday mornings are different now.

Sunday, September 18, 2016

If God allows me to grow old, here's how I want to live...

I was at our ridiculously small—okay, I'll just say it—podunk—post office. (Which I love!) I was dropping off our latest missionary prayer letter. A few days earlier, a small team of our friends and family generously helped us apply labels and stamps to envelopes and now, here I was with an overflowing bin of prayer letters ready to be mailed to our friends around the country.

Once I got through the door, I found myself waiting in line behind a little old lady. I'm not kidding. She was little, old, and a lady. For quite a while, it was just the little old lady and me standing there facing the same direction. No postal worker in sight. Then I heard a voice from the back room: "I'll be right with you in moment." That's when I decided to put my big box of mail on the floor.

The little old lady heard me, turned around, took a look at me, and then looked down at the big pile of mail. I'd guess she was in her 80s or maybe even in her 90s. She said, "You've got a lot to mail today." I smiled and agreed. Then she politely nodded and turned around.

The two of us continued to wait together. Quietly. Patiently. Still no sign of the postal worker.

Finally, the little old lady turned around again and earnestly said, "Did you know if you repent and receive Jesus Christ as your Savior, you can become a Christian?"

I got goosebumps. The hair on the back of my neck stood up. I LOVE that this little old lady was trying to share the Gospel of Jesus with me. Think about it. When is that last time someone tried to share Jesus with you? It's so rare. And there's something about her being a little old lady that makes this all the more charming, wonderful, and instructive for me.

I stepped in front on my large box of envelopes and said with a smile, "When I was 15-years-old, I heard the story of Jesus. I repented and put my trust in Jesus." Her eyes lit up and a great big smile came over her face. I continued, "This big box of letters I'm mailing today are our prayer letters. I'm a missionary."

She looked me right in the eyes and said so matter-of-factly that it shook me, "Aren't we all?"

* Here's why she's right.

* Here's how YOU—as a follower of Jesus—can practically and daily embrace your God-given identity as a missionary.

* Here's a FREE audio that dispels the reasons you don't believe you're a missionary.

* Here's training that can equip you to live like a missionary—no matter what you do for a living.

* Here are some practical next-step resources for living like the missionary God designed you to be.

Thanks for stopping by for this Psalm 71:18 Moment...
"Now that I am old and gray, do not abandon me, O God, Let me proclaim your power to this new generation, your mighty miracles to all who come after me."
—Psalms 71:18

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Sunday, September 11, 2016

Stories of YOUR ripple effect...

Check out below how God is multiplying YOUR prayer and $ investment via us as Cadre missionaries! From our hearts to yours, thank YOU for investing in disciplemaking.

The best way to view this ministry update is to go hereYou can also click on any image below to enlarge for reading.
Would you please pray for us? We are disciplemaking missionaries with Cadre MinistriesWe need you. About 2 times a month, I'd like to send you a short email with details about how you can say a quick prayer for us. If you are willing to say a quick prayer for us 2 times a month, please email me and put "prayer team" in the subject line. We'd be glad to pray for you too.
When YOU pray and $ partner with Cadre, it's like throwing a penny (or three) into a calm pond. Because we, as Cadre missionaries, focus our energies on making disciples who make disciples—who then make more disciples, your investment ripples throughout this generation and the generations to come. Think of it as making disciplemakers. Only Heaven will be able to reveal the eternal impact YOU are having through Cadre for His glory.

For up-to-date ways you can pray for us, go here.

Sunday, September 04, 2016

God and three pennies...

As a young, faith-filled woman, Mother Teresa of Calcutta told her superiors, "I have three pennies and dream from God to build an orphanage."

Her superiors chided her, "You can't build an orphanage with three pennies.... With three pennies, you can't do anything."

"I know," she said with a sly smile, "but with God and three pennies I can do anything."

Cadre officially started 14 years ago with zero pennies and a God-size dream to see every follower of Jesus participate in changing the world one heart at a time like Jesus did through disciplemaking.

September 2016 marks the 14th birthday/anniversary of Cadre Ministries!

For 14 years, God and YOU have made it possible for us, as Cadre missionaries, to multiply Jesus-like disciplemaking here and around the world.

From our hearts to yours, Thank you.

And look at what God is doing!

If you love Cadre missionaries and our disciplemaking mission, we invite you to be God's wind in our sails.

In honor of our 14th birthday, would you please prayerfully consider donating a special gift of $14?

Those of you who know us know that we don't often ask for financial support like this. However, on our 14th anniversary as a ministry, we need your $ help, so we're asking God's people—like you—to join us in this disciplemaking adventure.

We'd love to see 500 of our friends respond with a special gift of $14. That would bless Cadre with $7,000 much needed dollars.

Will YOU be one of our 500?

If you've never financially supported Cadre Ministries before, this would be a great first step. If you're already a $ partner with God and Cadre, then please prayerfully consider an additional $14.

In a ministry like ours, every dollar makes a huge difference. Each gift—no matter the size—is a huge encouragement, much needed, and greatly appreciated.

Because Cadre seeks to make disciplemakers, only Heaven will reveal the full impact of your partnership.

We are your Cadre missionaries. Thank you for celebrating 14 years of Jesus-like disciplemaking with us and to God be the glory!

Bill Allison, Executive Director, for the Cadre team.
To donate $14 securely and immediately online, go here.
* Mail a check: Cadre Ministries, PO Box 278, Sycamore, IL 60178

Other giving options...
To give more than $14 securely and immediately online, go here.
To support a Cadre missionary on a monthly basis, go here.
* For questions and more info, please call Rennie at 815.501.3132.

Cadre Ministries is a recognized 501(c)3 not-for-profit ministry and all gifts are tax deductible.

We need YOU to join our prayer team!
We are missionaries with Cadre Ministries. About 2 times a month, I'd like to send you a short email with details about how you can say a quick prayer for us. If you are willing to say a quick prayer for us 2 times a month, please email me and put "prayer team" in the subject line. THANKS!

[The story about Mother Teresa was taken from Jesus is the Question by Martin B. Coppenhaver.]

Sunday, August 28, 2016

Because it's funny AND true...

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Sunday, August 21, 2016

How You Can Become a Trainer with Cadre

We often get asked questions like, "How can I become a trainer of Cadre training experiences?"

Nothing excites us more! This gets to the very heart and soul of what we, as disciplemaking missionaries with Cadre Ministries, are all about.

So let's explore how YOU can become a trainer/multiplier with Cadre...

Step 1 Experience It
You cannot pass on that which you do not own. In order to own and internalize the Christo-centric disciplemaking values of a Cadre training experience, you must first experience it—not by yourself—but together with some friends and/or family.

Step 2 Live It
Begin to immediately live what you learned from #1 in your everyday life with a few others others. This is where the Cadre training manuals and living guides come in so handy!

Step 3 Spread It
Now that you're aspiring to live out what you've experienced in #1 and #2 with a few others—help them share it with others. Have them start with their spouse, children, friends, pastor(s), neighbors, ministry leaders, volunteers, students, elders, etc. (Hint: Use the training manual and the living guide you received at the training in Step #1 to help them share what they're learning and living with others!)

So, what's your next step?
1. Experience It.
Bring Cadre to your church/ministry OR see if Cadre training is happening near youNote: We have no trainers who haven't first experienced our training as learners.

2. Live It.
Take a slow, steady walk through Cadre's living guides with a few othersNote: If you participate in a Cadre training experience, but after the training you don't take a slow walk through the accompanying living guide with a few friends/family, then you've missed the point.

3. Spread It
Help your friends and family share with their friends and familyNote: Your disciplemaking role here is to help the friends/family in your relational sphere of influence live out steps #1-#3 with others in their relational sphere of influence.

If you aspire to a disciplemaking way of life as described above AND you want to be encouraged and equipped to help others—so they can help others, please contact Cadre so we can figure out how best to walk alongside you as a disciplemaking friend. We don't care if you're a paid ministry leader or a volunteer ministry leader. If you aspire to live and share this way of life, contact us.
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Sunday, August 14, 2016

On my continued love affair with the great people of Wisconsin...

If video doesn't appear, go here.

Information about how you can bring your group here.

Because this is happening January 6-8, 2017—AND—it's in Green Bay, WI, I expect this to be true.

I thank God that He's given me a long and fun history of love and friendship with youth leaders in WI.

All that said, would you please pray RIGHT NOW for God to use this conference to bring students to himself in a powerful, personal, and life-changing way?

[That's right. I didn't even mention anything about the Green Bay Packers in this post. That's probably because the Packers have humiliated Da Bears for a while now. And let's face: I'm really in love with the great people of Wisconsin.]

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Sunday, August 07, 2016

Jesus and Pokemon

Click image to enlarge for viewing and reading...
Okay. Everybody take a deep breath. 

I'm just have some fun here.

I'm trying to make you smile—even just a little.

But I also hope to give you pause. 

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Let me encourage you and make you think 1x a week with a virtual Cup O' Joe with Bill in your email inbox. 
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