An electronic newsletter written for leadership in the Church of God in Virginia. Resources, Recommendations, and Reminders...
March 2014


Leading with Understanding

In 1 Chronicles 12:32 the Bible identifies the sons of Issachar as men “...who had an understanding of the times, to know what Israel ought to do.”

The 200 sons of Issachar were one part of a group of men who are described as “mighty men of valor.”  They were men who “understood the times and knew what Israel should do.”

The word “understanding” used in verse 32 comes from a Hebrew word that means, “to have insight or to act with prudence.”  This word reflects the presence of intelligence and wisdom, even cunning and skill.  They had the ability to analyze a situation and know how to respond in an appropriate way.

Michael Slaughter in his book, On the Edge says, “Great leaders have always been able to read the times and speak the language of the culture.  God acts in specific times, cultures, and places.”

One of the purposes of E-Lead is to make available to you relevant ministry resources, which will give insight into this culture so you can lead with understanding. 

We must not be ignorant of the culture, nor intimidated by it.  We are called to influence it!  Leaders who have “understanding” are influencers. 

Thanks for your partnership.  Together we are building the Kingdom of God and influencing the world!

Bishop Corder

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How to Resurrect a Dying or Plateaued Church  by Brian Moss

Article Excerpt:

Before I came to my current church, they had been on a 15 year plateau followed by a near death experience due to a leadership conflict. What was left was a building with about 100 seats, four Sunday school rooms and an average attendance of about 35. It was a real fixer upper if you know what I mean.

I started as a bi-vocational pastor, which they really liked since they couldn’t actually afford a full time pastor.  We didn’t rocket to thousands by dressing cool and throwing in a band. We were a very traditional congregation that longed to see God come to life in our church. The only problem was, we didn’t know how to do this.

As I reflect back and try to understand how our church was transformed I never land on any specific programs, strategies or methods that were the secret. I have found that it was a culmination of several factors over time. For what it’s worth, here’s a few of my suggestions for resurrecting a plateaued or dying church:


One of the very first things I did was to gather the core couples together on a weekend retreat. We went to a small bed and breakfast and there we simply dreamed, prayed and bound our hearts together. I remember that Saturday morning as we talked about reaching new people, with tears in my eyes, saying, “Guys, I have no idea how we will reach them, but if we will focus on the what, God will show us the how.”


The second thing I did was I loaded up a van with my core leaders (there were about 12) and took them to a one day seminar on “The Purpose Driven Church.” We felt like we were drinking from a fire hydrant, but at least the water was refreshing! We huddled up right after the seminar and I told them, “I don’t know how to do everything we just heard in that seminar, but I’m willing to give my life to learn it. Who’s with me?” They unanimously agreed to do whatever it takes to become a healthy reaching church.

Churches plateau and decline due to missional drift. No church ever drifted that kept the main thing the main thing. Too often plateaued churches focus on growing the church numerically before they correct the drift philosophically. If you focus on growth before depth you’ll be tempted to adopt gimmicks, quick fixes and copycat tactics. Don’t change anything until your core leaders are thoroughly committed to the biblical purposes of the church. “Many are the plans in a person’s heart, but it is the LORD’s purpose that prevails.” (Proverbs 19:21, NIV)


Our church was hidden in the woods at the end of a dead-end road completely surrounded by an upper-income housing development. Our congregation was comprised of medium income families. We tried for months to reach the families in the homes surrounding our church. It was a complete failure. Finally, we decided to try reaching people like us. We learned the hard way that you reach who you are, not who you want. The good news is that when you decide to become laser focused on your target, you get better at reaching them. We finally put a stake in the ground and declared that we would focus on reaching average income young families with children.

Fourteen years and 1,300 baptisms later, God has truly transformed our church. We are not a mega-church and we are certainly not the coolest church, but we are a healthy church.


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33 Leadership Quotes And Lessons From Louis Giglio  By Brian Dodd

Article Excerpt:

(12 of) 33 Leadership Quotes And Lessons From Louie Giglio:

  1. God is bigger than what we think He is.  We don’t have a clue.
  2. The globe is too small for the God we worship.
  3. Worship happens with or without you. Worship happens wherever God is present.
  4. People are lost and God cares.
  5. Most people say, ‘I think I’m going to Heaven.’  Think is a very dangerous word when you are talking about Heaven.
  6. Sin doesn’t make us BAD… Sin makes us DEAD.
  7. You and I are worse than we think… God gave us 10 rules. Are We Following Them?
  8. Nothing can separate us from the love of God! Nothing good you do. Nothing bad you do.
  9. I started understanding the cross (while Dr. Stanley was preaching) and it started gripping me.  What was weird is it wasn’t gripping anyone else in our group.
  10. It pulled me into seeing Jesus crushed for me.  I was 19 years old….What I saw stopped me in my tracks.  Seeing Jesus crushed on the cross for me.
  11. Jesus was crushed by grace.  Somehow it was the most horrible and beautiful thing I have ever seen and it took my breath away.
  12. You will know when you have seen Jesus and seen the cross when you understand it’s not THE cross but YOUR cross.
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Why, unlike Donald Miller, I will never leave the church By Geoff Surratt

Article Excerpt:

Donald Miller wrote a blog post and a follow-up on why he seldom attends church. He says that church no longer appeals to him, that he has "graduated from" church.  He isn’t against church, he’s glad it works for a lot of people, but it is no longer a necessary ingredient in his growing walk with God.

Unlike Donald Miller I will never leave, or graduate, from the local church. I don’t attend because I have to or because I am paid to, I attend because I believe God calls me to. I can’t speak to Miller’s thought process or church experience, we’ve never met.  I can only explain why I’ve come to a completely different conclusion about church.

I believe the local church is a family. Sometimes when the family gets together it is very fulfilling and fun, other times it is boring and feels like a waste of time. But I don’t attend family meetings because I enjoy them or gain from them; I attend because I am a part of the family. A mistake we made in the past 30 years is believing that church is about the individual; it’s not. Church is about the family, it’s about our Father, our Brother, our siblings. I wouldn’t quit my family, I won’t quit my church.

I believe the local church, as dysfunctional and frustrating as it can be, is God’s chosen method of dealing with man. While God can and does deal with individuals, it is almost always in context of their relationship to the family. 1 Corinthians, 2 Corinthians, Colossians, Philippians, Galatians and Ephesians were all written to churches about church relationships. 1 & 2 Timothy and Titus were written to church leaders about how to properly shepherd church relationships. Paul spent his entire ministry establishing churches and dealing with the messes that ensued. It is impossible to understand most of the New Testament without the lens of belonging to a local church.

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Adrenaline vs. the Holy Spirit By Brady Boyd

Our American ministry landscape is filled with strong, competent, visionary pastors and leaders who have an unending passion to build and equip the local church and subsequently the Kingdom of God. There is no shortage of ideas, dreams, plans, strategies, and innovations. What is missing or what is being missed, in some cases, is a sustainable fuel source.

It is hard for many Type A, driver personalities to distinguish between competitive adrenaline and the empowerment of the Holy Spirit. Most of the leaders of “successful” ministries were once either competitive athletes or high academic achievers who were driven to succeed by sometimes-overworked adrenal glands. I was doing some research on this topic for a message to pastors at our upcoming New Life Leadership Conference. Here are some of my findings:

You may be experiencing adrenal fatigue if you regularly notice one or more of the following:

  1. You feel tired for no reason.
  2. You have trouble getting up in the morning, even when you go to bed at a reasonable hour.
  3. You are feeling rundown or overwhelmed.
  4. You have difficulty bouncing back from stress or illness.
  5. You crave salty and sweet snacks.
  6. You feel more awake, alert, and energetic after 6 P.M. than you do all day.

This sounds like a lot of pastors and church leaders, doesn’t it? I wonder how many of us are running on the wrong batteries. Our bodies will simply stop working if we continue to abuse our adrenaline glands with unnecessary stress. That is a medical fact.

There is good news, though.

If we will lean solely on the Holy Spirit to empower us for ministry, we can all cross the finish line with our bodies, our marriages, and our families in thriving, good health.

There are some signs that point to an unhealthy dependence on adrenaline:

  1. We long for the applause of the crowds, and therefore, we crave the attention of the stage. Can we sit in the audience and let others teach and speak without a compulsion to take over?
  2. We have to be super excited about every Sunday gathering, as if it were the spiritual Super Bowl. Every. Single. Week.
  3. We cannot take a day off without feeling some guilt, and missing a Sunday is almost unthinkable. We really believe the church cannot survive without us being there.
Adrenaline is available in only limited quantities, but the Holy Spirit is like a well that overflows and never runs dry. Let’s all take a long look at what is fueling our mission and our work. Let’s lean into the right source so we don’t run out of steam just as we head down the home stretch.


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This month's resource is a free eBook: The Weapon of Prayer by E.M. Bounds from 
".....Prayer is the genius and mainspring of life. We pray as we live; we live as we pray. Life will never be finer than the quality of the closet. The mercury of life will rise only by the warmth of the closet. Persistent non-praying eventually will depress life below zero." --E. M. Bounds


**For best results highlight link and "right-click" in order to 'save as' or 'save link as' to download PDF.**

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