Archives For Diana Davis

Dad“The glory of children is their fathers.” Proverbs 17:6b ESV

Billy Graham once said, “A good father is one of the most unsung, unpraised, unnoticed, and yet one of the most valuable assets in our society.” Don’t let that happen at your house! How can a mom help her children honor Dad on Father’s Day?

Help your children show love for Dad with a well-planned, poignant Father’s Day gift or love demonstration. Try one of these starter ideas:

High school or college son or daughter:

  • Write a long, heartfelt, hand-written letter to Dad, listing things you admire about him. Be very specific.
  • Find two photos of you and Dad—one with you as a baby or small kid, and one of you this year with him. Put it in a dual frame.
  • Take Dad to lunch—just the two of you—your treat! Be intentional about sharing your heart and goals. Take a selfie with him, and proudly post it on Instagram or FaceBook.

Middle school daughter or son:

  • Use one of many free word search websites to easily make a personalized word search game about your dad. First, list lots of descriptive words—traits you admire, nicknames, hobbies, favorite things, and words…

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When a first-time guest completes a guest registration card at your church, what happens next? The most common answer to that question: absolutely nothing. No, it’s not an intentional oversight, but without an ongoing, immediate follow-up plan, your church may miss the opportunity to reach guests for Christ and include them in your church family.

Need fresh ideas? Tweak some of these to fit your unique church:

  • First-Time-Guest Online Survey. People love to give an opinion! Create a brief survey on your church website. (See a sample survey at dianadavis.org) Carefully study survey responses.
  • Same Day Contact. A specially trained volunteer can make a brief phone call to each guest on the Sunday afternoon they visit your church.
  • Email + Snail Mail. Assign volunteers to send a swift, personal email or handwritten card to each first-time guest.
  • Small Group Personal Invitation. Provide contact info to an appropriate small group or Sunday School class for each family member. A member of that small group may offer to meet the guest at a specific door to escort them to class.
  • A Personal Touch. Examples: An Indiana church…

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SingleA stunning fact you may not know: According to U. S. Census data, more than one-fourth of all adults have never been married (27%). Another six percent are widowed and twelve percent divorced or separated.

Most churches minister well to those 56% of adults who are married. But, do we also acknowledge the great value and importance of that “invisible” enormous multitude of unmarried adults?

I interviewed several unmarried Christian friends, and discovered ten tips for loving and ministering to single adults who are members or guests at church.

  • See each single adult as a valued individual, ready to meet God and serve Him, with or without a boyfriend or girlfriend, fiancé, spouse or three kids in tow.
  • Train greeters at church. Comments such as “Are you here alone?” or “Is it just you?” may indicate that he or she is incomplete.
  • Acknowledge single adults as full-fledged members, not just as sideline people. Plug them into leadership and ministry roles to fit their spiritual gifts. Encourage them to serve on important church committees, projects, and men or women’s ministry teams.
  • Involve singles in small groups. Many singles enjoy a small group with similar marital status and life…

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GiftsAs your church honors your pastor on Pastor Appreciation Day, why not add an extra touch? Demonstrate your love for the pastor’s wife. Yes, many ministry wives may prefer not to be called onstage and pinned with a corsage, so I’ve gathered a few simple, low-key ways that your church, class, or even an individual can show love. Try one!

Love Notes Flash Mob – Distribute a card to all women of the church with a challenge to overwhelm your church’s “first lady” with notes of appreciation, prayers and compliments. Provide contact info so they can send a note this week by mail, email, text, Facebook or personal delivery.

Here’s Proof! Make a sign with big letters: “We love our pastor’s wife!” Take lots of photos of people holding the sign—individuals, couples, groups, kids, teens, peripheral members, leaders, guests. Encourage smiles and fun poses, and carefully list names to label the photos. Create an impressive photo display.

Unforgettable Bouquet – Each woman is asked to bring a single flower from her garden or florist. Bring extras for those who forget. The deacon chairman’s wife presents the minister’s wife with a lovely vase, then one…

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PulpitThe entire church is waiting expectantly. When your church is in transition—seeking a new pastor or other ministry staff member—there are a few things any member can do:

Get Busy about God’s Work

  • Personally demonstrate faithfulness. This is not a time to relinquish church responsibilities or slack off in tithing or attendance. Your commitment is to God, not to a pastor.
  • Some churches grow during a transition time! Invite friends. Share your faith often. (Try NAMB’s free phone app, Life Conversations Guide.) Plan the largest, most evangelistic Vacation Bible School ever. Grow your small group. Your future pastor will be impressed.
  • Every member of the body of Christ, working together, is God’s plan for His church. God’s call on your life isn’t on hold. If you’ve become complacent, find a place of service.

Encourage the Pastor Search Team

  • Pray faithfully for the committee, and mail an occasional prayer note to them. Show great support, but don’t slow their progress by probing for information. They are very aware of the urgency and gravity of their assignment, and will provide periodic updates to the entire church.
  • Consider ways you can personally help individual team members when they meet or travel….

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Exhausted

The pastor, church leaders and members are wrung-out-exhausted after all the extra preparations for Easter Sunday. Some planned Good Friday service, egg hunt, breakfast, sunrise event. Extra effort was put into greeters and music and invitation counselors. One church painted their entire interior. It was all worth the effort. God was honored.

People came. In droves! New people. Missing members. Strangers. Many of them don’t really go to church often, but they came on Easter. Maybe it was for grandma or the kids, but God tickled something in their hearts to entice them to worship Him on Easter Sunday.

They could have ignored the guest card, but for some reason, many guests completed it. Deep down, they knew it might trigger some type of follow up.

So now they wait.

You’re exhausted…They’re waiting.

When we exert huge effort to make Easter special but fail to do immediate follow-up, it’s like planning a grand party but forgetting to attend. The critical work begins now!

Here are three simple follow-up tips you can still accomplish before Sunday.

#1 – Send an email. On Saturday, write a brief, personal email to every guest or rare attender who came. Send a copy…

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Wedding

It’s that time of year—weddings, weddings everywhere! If your church is serious about ministering to young adults, here’s a fresh idea: Plan an 8-week seminar, titled “It Takes Three”, for engaged or newlywed couples every spring and fall.

The class meets during your church’s Sunday School or small group hour, in an attractive, easy-to-find room of the church. A consistent leadership team hosts, mentors, promotes and plans the seminar, but the Bible teacher changes weekly.

Prayerfully select eight church members to prepare and present a relevant Bible class about an assigned topic, such as communication, intimacy, commitment, parenting and praying together. Instructors are respected couples or individuals. Their purpose is to teach God’s basic principles for marriage, using Bible, multiple handouts and visuals, current technology and personal testimony.

Get the word out. Announce dates at least six months ahead, and preregister church members and attenders who are engaged or newly married. Challenge all church members to invite potential participants. Publicize with a printed brochure, e-invitations, Facebook event page, and Twitter, and offer online registration. Place brochures in local florists, bakeries and wedding shops. Research engagement announcements and mail a personal invitation. Rent a booth…

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Giving Coffee

Your God is awesome. Your church is wonderful. Yet guests who visit your church don’t often return. No true connection was made.

A parking lot greeter in our church expressed that concern: “We’ve got to figure out how to actually connect every guest with another person. Our flippant hellos or glad-you-cames just aren’t adequate.”

Why not challenge every member of your church to use these seven tips to connect with guests:

1)     Make a personal commitment to intentionally “connect” with one guest every Sunday. Ask God to make you aware of visitors. Be diligently alert—in the parking lot, foyer, nursery, hallway, worship service—to notice them. If you accidentally welcome someone who isn’t a guest, no problem. You’ve found a new friend.

2)     Once you’ve found a possible newcomer, pray for God’s guidance. Smile, greet the guest warmly, and introduce yourself. Pay careful attention to his name. Repeat it. Write it down. You will want to call him by name next Sunday when he returns.

3)     Chat casually and purposefully. You may ask, “Is this your first time to worship here?” Ask nonintrusive questions such as, “Did you just move to town?” or “What brought you…

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Old Sunday School

When a church begins new small groups or Sunday School classes, eternity is impacted. New hands are put to the task. Easy entry points are established. Members are more likely to invite lost friends. Peripheral members become involved. And Christians joyfully rediscover the outreach purpose of the church.

Imagine what would happen if your church began lots of new classes this year. Need some fresh ideas?

  • Life changes offer opportunities for new classes. Provide a small group for expectant parents or engaged couples. (They will evolve into new parents and newlyweds classes.)  How about a class for recent retirees or college students? If your youngest adult class has aged a bit, add a new class for younger adults.
  • Your church ministries may provide opportunities for new small groups. Example: a church with weekday childcare could invite those parents for a new class.
  • Consider establishing a new small group for each decade of adults. Fresh new classes attract newcomers and others who do not currently attend. Provide a list of new members who aren’t active in a small group, as well as recent guests and uninvolved church members. Advertise the new class in your…

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A Christmas Eve service can be one of your church’s most meaningful moments, and one of its largest outreach events of the year. Use these two secrets for planning a meaningful community-wide event to honor Jesus’ birth.

Secret #1: Early Prep

  • Carefully plan a top-quality program of worship. Forty-five minutes or an hour is ideal. Establish a minute-by-minute timetable for program participants so every second counts. Make it relaxed, yet power-packed.
  • Prepare fabulous music, and include some traditional carols. The Pastor’s sermon is strategic, but may be different than usual. And pass-it-on candle lighting never goes out of style.
  • As early as possible, ask for a commitment from your choice vocal and instrumental musicians, your media team and reliable leaders for greeters and fellowship reception.
  • Preplan unique exterior lighting to attract guests that night—a high, giant star, searchlight or laser lights.
  • Purchase needed supplies early, such as individual candles and paper guards, or jingle bells for kids.
  • Offer at least two service times to enable more families to make it a tradition.
  • Prepare guest cards and handouts ahead. A “Celebrate Jesus All Year” handout can invite guests to return, listing worship…

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Spontaneous BaptismsWhen a new believer is baptized, it’s a momentous event. A life’s been changed for eternity! Try these fresh ideas to make baptism a true celebration:

  • Smile. Express true joy. Baptism is a holy ordinance, but it’s also a joyful event. I love it when the church breaks into spontaneous cheers or applause.
  • Get personal. One church invites their entire small congregation to walk to the front and gather around the baptistry. It’s very touching (and makes great photos!) Some churches invite family or friends to stand during baptism.
  • Invite everyone. Create a Facebook event. Provide printed invitations so the new Christian can invite everyone he or she knows. Make an e-invitation they can forward to friends using NAMB’s www.baptismcelebration.org or the website www.evite.com. Put a notice on the church website. Remind their Sunday School class to attend.
  • Assign members with Décor talent to update paint color, art, towels, hair dryer, etc. to assure the baptism dressing area is nice enough for a new “child of the King.”
  • Prepare mementos. Take a quality photo to post to the church website so they can forward it to friends. Present a photo and…

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Here’s a simple way to evaluate how guests see your church building. Take the “5-Spot Test.”

CasualCoffeeStop at five specific places around your church site for five minutes and answer five questions.

Spot #1: Church parking lot. Just before worship, park in a guest space.

  1. How easy is it to find a parking space?
  2. From here, how enticing is the building’s appearance and landscape?
  3. Is the parking lot well kept?
  4. Is the church sign current and attractive?
  5. Is the main entrance inviting?

Spot #2:  Main Church Entrance. Walk inside at the most obvious entry.

  1. Is the front door clean, attractive, well maintained?
  2. What’s your first impression? Consider décor, lighting, music.
  3. Is the entry area perfectly clean?
  4. Does signage direct guests to childcare, restrooms, worship center?
  5. Are wall displays and printed materials attractive, positive, current?

Spot #3:  Back row panoramic. Sit on the third row from the rear, left side.

  1. Is your view unobstructed? Can you hear well?
  2. What is the overall atmosphere of the worship center?
  3. Are pew envelopes, books, pens or clipboards neat and current?
  4. Are seats, ceilings, walls and floors in perfect condition?
  5. Does worship center reflect careful consideration of décor, upkeep,…

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