An electronic newsletter written for leadership in the Church of God in Virginia. Resources, Recommendations, and Reminders...
December 2013


Leadership & Giving

The month of December is characterized by Christmas and giving, specifically giving gifts.  As Christians, we understand that Christmas is the celebration of when God gave the greatest gift of all—the gift of His Son to the world.  Jesus really is the reason for the season!

God is a giver.  Leaders are characterized by many different traits, but one of the most important is giving.  We are never more like God than when we give.  Godly leaders are givers!  The nature of leadership is that you are constantly giving, primarily of yourself.  That is one of the reasons Jesus said that the greatest leaders are servants.

The greatest gifts are not the ones with the highest monetary value; the greatest gifts are those that add value to others.  The value of a gift is not in what it cost, but in its contribution to someone’s life. Leaders understand this principle.

The greatest gifts cannot be purchased; they are intangible.  As a leader, you are constantly giving of yourself.  That’s what God did at Christmas—He gave of Himself.  Godly leaders are not only givers, they are also gifts of God to the church (see Ephesians 4:11-12).

As ministers, leaders, and partners in building the Kingdom, you are valuable to the Church of God in Virginia.  I appreciate you, your ministry, and our partnership.

Bishop Corder

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Pastors & the Church


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7 Reasons Why Great Leaders Are Desperately Needed  By Brian Dodd

Article Excerpt:

How much is a great leader truly worth?  What is the impact on a church when it has a great pastor with the gift of leadership?  How successful can a business become with a strong point leader?  And what difference can a coach with superior competency and leadership skills make on a sports team?  The answer to all of these questions is it's simply immeasurable.

Through the first five weeks of the NFL season, the New Orleans Saints are undefeated.  The return of head coach Sean Payton has obviously been dramatic.  Under his leadership, the Saints had a record of 62-34 from 2006-11.  Last year during his suspension, the team’s record slipped to 7-9.

In the September 16th edition of Sports Illustrated, Tim Layden looked at Payton’s impact on the team’s fast start.  As I read the article, I gleaned 7 Reasons Why Great Leaders Are Desperately Needed:

  1. Great Leaders Are Desperately Needed Because They Give Others Confidence – Wide receiver Marques Colston attributes last year’s losing record to the absence of Payton.  He said simply, “We didn’t have our leader.”
  2. Great Leaders Are Desperately Needed Because They Provide Clarity – After beating the Atlanta Falcons in Payton’s emotional first game back, Drew Brees said,”Everything else doesn’t mean a thing if you don’t win the game.”
  3. Great Leaders Are Desperately Needed Because They Change Culture – Right tackle Zach Strief said, “Since Coach Payton came here, the culture changed around this franchise.  A 7-9 record was no longer acceptable around here.”
  4. Great Leaders Are Desperately Needed Because They Point To A Brighter Tomorrow – Wide receiver Lance Moore stresses that upon Payton’s return he told the team, “The past is the past.”  Moore then added, “Last year was tough for everybody.  But he wanted us to put that behind us.”
  5. Great Leaders Are Desperately Needed Because They Help Us Reach Our Potential - Payton immediately raised the work ethic and level of intensity on the Saints.  Strief said, “Back then (Payton’s arrival in 2006), Coach Payton was trying to get us to believe in being physical and outworking people.  Gradually, we had gotten away from that.  So we went back.”
  6. Great Leaders Are Desperately Needed Because They Bring A Sense Of Urgency – Prior to the Falcons game, Payton said in his pre-game speech, “Don’t turn the ball over.  Hold on to it.  And if you’re holding the ball, you’re holding the hopes and dreams of the whole team.”
  7. Great Leaders Are Desperately Needed Because They Bring A Proper Perspective – After Payton won his first game back from the suspension, many wanted to compare the game to winning the first game after Katrina.  Payton brought everyone back to reality.  He said, “Today, it got loud near the end.  In 2006 (after Katrina), that game was different.”

Confidence, Clarity, A Changing Culture, A Brighter Tomorrow, Urgency, Perspective and Met Potential.  These 7 Reasons Are Why Leaders Are So Desperately Needed.  If you provide these 7 things, you may just be a great leader yourself.  I hope you are.


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7 Healthy Ways to Deal with Conflict   By Ron Edmondson

Article Excerpt:
I once had conflict with a leader in a church I pastored. We had always been close. I felt I was more than his pastor. He was my friend, but I could tell something was strange about our relationship. I’ve never been afraid of healthy conflict, so I called him and asked for a meeting.

It turned out he’d misunderstood something I said. When we were able to discuss the issue, we got on the same page, and our relationship was restored completely. We’re still good friends today.

Whenever people [are] involved, there will be conflict. Normal relationships, even healthy relationships, encounter conflict occasionally. We are often surprised when conflict develops among believers, but because a church is made up of people, conflict is inevitable at times.

The Bible doesn’t shy away from conflict. We aren’t sheltered from the real messiness of people’s lives. The Bible shares with us the good, bad and ugly of biblical characters, even when they are in the midst of disruptive conflict. Here are seven practical ways to effectively navigate through conflict.
  • View conflict differently. Most of us tend to avoid conflict, but if we want to have healthy relationships, we must learn to deal with conflict effectively. In fact, if conflict is handled well, it often can be used for an ultimate good.
  • Examine yourself. We should always look at the “plank” in our own eye before we consider what others have done to offend us. People are more likely to respect your position if they know you are humble enough to consider what you may have contributed to the conflict.
  • Understand the conflict. As in my opening story, many conflicts develop because of misunderstandings. Put yourself in the other person’s shoes and consider their viewpoint in the conflict before you address the issue with them.
  • Find the right time and place to confront the conflict. When emotions are high, it’s not the best time to deal with conflict. Personal conflict should never be handled in a public setting. Carefully think through where and when you address the situation. Pray for this meeting and ask God to direct the conversation and season your words with His presence.
  • Stick to the issue at hand. Try not to be distracted by side issues, innuendos, excuses or blame casting that tends to complicate issues. Also, do not sugarcoat the conflict in false kindness.
  • Work toward a solution. Never waste conflict, but use it to make relationships better. There are issues that have biblical or moral consequences or truths attached to them. On these non-negotiable issues, sometimes we simply have to stand our ground. Even these times should be handled with meekness and kindness, but grounded in truth.
  • Grant forgiveness. As believers, we are called to forgive as we’ve been forgiven. We should never hold a grudge or seek revenge, even when we can’t resolve the conflict.
  • Conflict is a part of relationships. The more intentional we are at allowing conflict to promote and maintain healthy relationships, the greater our success will be in dealing with conflict. Rather than viewing all conflict as a painful part of life, let’s begin to see it as another way God builds stronger, God-honoring relationships.

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Pentecostals: The Sequel By Grant McClung

Article Excerpt:

After 100 years of modern renewal history, we Pentecostals and our charismatic cousins have been probed and described from every possible angle—theological, sociological, historical, phenomenological, psychological, and more. We've been called a revitalization movement, a movement of social transformation, a millenarian movement, and a movement of racial integration. No doubt a Google search for "Pentecostal" would yield even more labels.

They now talk about us (and even to us!) on CNN and in the halls of Harvard. So it is predictable, especially during this centennial year of the Azusa Street revival, that everyone from theologians to historians to sociologists to the media are seeking to impose their preferred definitions on global charismatic Christianity.

Yet, ultimately, it is up to us to determine for what we will be most known. From the inception of the Pentecostal movement, our mission has always been missions. As we prepare to step into our second century, we must decide whether we will continue to be distinguished by missions in the future.

Global Expansion

With more than 580 million adherents (growing by 19 million per year and 54,000 per day), the Pentecostal/charismatic movement has become, in just 100 years, the fastest growing and most globally diverse expression of worldwide Christianity.

The mind-boggling research by David Barrett and Todd Johnson reveals some surprising statistics about the movement:
  1. Pentecostals comprise 3 major streams and 59 diverse categories of worldwide Christianity.
  2. Pentecostals can be found within all 150 non-charismatic Christian traditions.
  3. Pentecostals come from 9,000 ethnolinguistic cultures and speak 8,000 languages.
  4. Pentecostalism is more urban than rural, more female than male, more majority world (66%) than Western world (34%), more poor (87%) than affluent (13%), more family-related than individualist, and more young than old.
  5. Pentecostals are an active presence in 80% of the world's 3,300 largest metropolises.
Barrett and Johnson conclude that "the sheer magnitude and diversity of the numbers involved beggar the imagination." Given this kind of international diversity, are there any clues about what Pentecostalism's central mission may be in tomorrow's world?

Seven Prayers

As Pentecostals today look ahead and dream great dreams about the future of our movement, I believe we must also hold tightly to our class-free, missionary-minded past.

So instead of predictions, I'll offer prayers. Rather than making projections, I'll make pleas. Here is how I am praying for my Pentecostal and charismatic family, and for my sisters and brothers in the international body of Christ.

1. That we may keep Christ and his commission at the center.

2. That we maintain the dual dynamics of Word (exegesis) and Spirit (experience) as necessary equipping for mission.

3. That we lift up holiness of character and turn from the carnal display of human charisma.

4. That we get the life-giving, socially transforming gospel of Jesus Christ out of our sanctuaries and into the streets.

5. That we humble ourselves and acknowledge all partners in the harvest.

6. That the Azusa Street centennial will not only be a cause for celebration, but also a time for solemn reflection.

7. That we will be more excited about the glory of God than about our own accomplishments and growth.

It has been said that we look to the past not to restore it, but in order to discover landmarks. The Azusa Street revival is a unique and powerful landmark, but the spirit of the Azusa Street experience is always beyond, to the ends of the earth. It is there we shall be his witnesses when the Holy Spirit comes upon us..

(Read the entire essay linked at the Source:

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This month's resource is a free eBook: Simple Ways To Be Missional -Updated by a compilation of contributors with Verge Network (Source: . 

What it's About: Use this free resource, Simple Ways To Be Missional, with your small group, staff team, or Missional Community to begin to take simple steps towards engaging
others with gospel intentionality.

Whether you’re a church planter, small group leader, disciple-maker, Missional Community leader, or pastor, this guide is full of ideas that will help you multiply
the gospel in your context.


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