The Wisdom of God


“All Scripture is God-breathed and is useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting and training in righteousness, so that the man of God may be thoroughly equipped for every good work.”
2 Timothy 3:16-17

We live in a world where everyone has their own source of truth. I believe that there are 6 main sources of truth that most people look to. First, some people believe that truth is what they have been taught, whether by their parents, schools, books, or people they look up to. Second, some people believe truth is what the media tells them based on what they see on television or read on the internet. Third, some believe that truth is found in one’s own personal experiences and how they have observed things as they happen in their own lives. Fourth, some believe that truth is relative to one’s circumstances. Fifth, some believe that truth is only what we can prove scientifically. And sixth, some believe that truth is found in the Bible.

So which is it? Is there only one source of truth or are there many sources of truth?

First of all, logic tells us that there can only be one truth. Something is either true or it is not true. It can’t be both true and false at the same time. Therefore, that means that there is an absolute truth.  The first 5 sources mentioned above are not really sources of truth, but rather are man’s ways of confirming a truth by what we see, read or experience in our world. They do not explain the source of that truth but only what we as humans discover about ourselves and our world.

For many years people thought the earth was flat until we learned that the earth was round.  The truth is that the earth was always round, we just did not know it or accept it until someone proved it to be true. The same can be said of other things that we now know about our world and people that are true, such as gravity or that people are capable of horrible evil.  However, there are still many other things in our world today that we may think are true, but we do not know yet if they are really true, such as stress causes cancer or that human activity affects climate change. This is because there may be errors in textbooks, inaccurate media reporting, insufficient data or experiences, and varying circumstances that make something being true difficult to determine.

So that leaves only the Bible as the source of truth, because it did not come from man but from God, the Creator of all things.

According to the Bible, it was God who created the world (Genesis 1:1) and us (Genesis 1:27). It says He is responsible for all creation (John 1:3) and that He has dominion over all things (Psalm 22:28). It also says that God speaks the truth and declares what is right (Isaiah 45:19). Consequently, he has established what is true by His own Hand. Just as a computer operates according to the way it was designed and built to work, so human beings and the world work according to God’s design and intention. Throughout history there has never been another more reliable or proven explanation of how we came to exist, how the world works, and why we act or function the way that we do.  Ignoring God and His Word does not change what He did or said.

To determine whether something is true or not we simply need to go to God and ask Him or search His Word for the answer. Looking for truth in other sources will never yield answers that are not already found in God or the Bible. I believe that the definition of science is discovering what God already knows. Though scientists may try to find truth through experimentation, observation and study, ultimately those methods only serve to confirm the truth of what God has already created or designed. As a result, scientists will never discover anything that contradicts God’s Word.

And here is where the wisdom of God comes in. In His wisdom God has already given us the Truth. He told us how everything was created, why everything was created, and how He has designed everything to function. It’s all there in the pages of His Holy Word, the Bible. It is not hidden from us nor is it difficult to find. He even sent His own Son Jesus Christ into the world to show us His Truth (John 14:6). Jesus also said if we follow His teaching (from the Bible) then we will know the truth (John 8:32).

So if we want to know the truth we simply need to follow Jesus, read the Bible, search it for the truth, and ask God to give us His wisdom as Solomon did in 1 Kings 3:9. And just as He gave Solomon wisdom, God says He will give us His wisdom as well if we just ask Him for it (James 1:5). And while we may not always understand or comprehend the truth from His Word, just like the early humans who thought the earth was flat, God will reveal His Truth to us in time and according to His purposes (Amos 4:13).

So it ultimately comes down to whether a person accepts God and the Bible as the source of all truth. If we ignore God and search for truth in the intellect of man, the media, or our own experiences or circumstances, we will never find it, and we will remain lost in darkness. But if we ask God and search His truth as written in the Bible, we will find the knowledge, wisdom and truth that we so desperately seek.

As I survey the landscape of America and the world with all of its problems, conflicts, and frustrations, the answers and truth we seek are right there in front of us because God has given it to us. It is ironic to me that the one thing that can solve the issues we face is the one thing many people reject or refuse to consider. Consequently, until we turn to God and His Word, we will remain in darkness and continue to struggle to find the truth that will bring us the answers and peace that we seek for ourselves or our world.

Lord, give us Your wisdom, and help us to lead others to You, Your Word, and the Truth through Your son Jesus! Amen.

Barry signature

Building Successful Teams

teamwork“Two are better than one, because they have a good return for their work.  If one falls down, his friend can help him up.  But pity the man who falls and has no one to help him up!  Also, if two lie down together, they will keep warm.  But how can one keep warm alone?  Though one may be overpowered, two can defend themselves. A cord of three strands is not quickly broken.”

Ecclesiastes 4:9-12

We all enjoy watching individuals achieve success in sports, business or entertainment through hard work, dedication and perseverance. It’s often called the American way because of our nation’s culture of self-reliance and rugged individualism. And that’s not necessarily a bad thing. We marvel at the accomplishments of people like Michael Phelps (swimming), Bill Gates (business), and Tom Hanks (movies) for what they have achieved in their respective fields.

But I think in many ways we have a greater appreciation for team success, watching several individuals work together to achieve a common goal, whether it’s in sports, business or the entertainment industry. That’s probably why we like watching television shows with ensemble casts or team sports in America. And people watch and celebrate team championships more than almost anything else, whether it’s the World Series, Super Bowl, or the World Cup. There’s just something about teams competing and succeeding that draws our attention and admiration. We value and enjoy seeing people work together, combining their different skills, personalities and experiences in ways that produce success. As Proverbs 15:22 says, “Plans fail for lack of counsel, but with many advisers they succeed.”

The same thing is true for the Christian Church. In order to achieve ministry success, pastors and church leaders will often need to build teams from among their members to work together for the common good of the church (ref. 1 Corinthians 12:7). Churches frequently use teams to oversee ministries, lead worship, develop future plans, or build facilities, just to name a few. Jesus built teams among his disciples and they rarely did anything individually. Teams also enable a church to distribute the workload to more than one person and generate a collaboration of ideas. This is important because each member brings different skills, gifts, and experiences to the church that when combined provide greater opportunity for the best outcome. It is also common that future church leaders will often emerge from within teams.

Churches and ministries should use teams for a variety of purposes, including strategic planning, budgeting, ministry oversight, adding staff, researching new ministry opportunities, or to analyze ministry problems and come up with solutions.  Teams are most effective when the purpose is broad, the project is large, or the objectives impact many people, because they ensure that many perspectives and ideas are considered and discussed. Teams are not as effective when the project scope is narrow or requires specific technical skills.

When building teams it is important to have a clear vision and set of goals with defined outputs and deadlines. It is also crucial to designate a team leader.  The success of any project will depend heavily upon the skill of its leader. Team leaders should select people with differing skills and backgrounds to enable differing ideas and solutions, and to assign each team member specific roles and activities so that everyone on the team participates and is committed to the project. The goal of the team leader is to manage the team like a sports team coach, getting everyone to use their individual skills to work together to produce the best outcome.

In my own personal life I have experienced the greatest joys and successes when working on teams, whether it was a business project, a basketball team, a short term mission trip, or serving on a church board. Close personal bonds are developed, different contributions are celebrated, and achievements are more satisfying. I would guess that many of you would say the same thing.

So when you are faced with a big project, problem or opportunity in your ministry, I would encourage you to build a team to tackle it. You will increase participation in the ministry, develop tighter relationships among your members, and create the possibility for greater ministry success!

(From Chapter 6 of our Management for Church Leaders™ Training Manual, Volume #2.)

No Doubt About It!


“Stop doubting and believe!”
John 20:27

I have heard some Christians say that they have doubts when it comes to their faith.  They say they don’t understand why God does what He does or doesn’t do, or that some things from His Word just don’t make any sense to them in our world anymore. Some will even argue that since we can never fully know God or fully understand His Word from the Bible that it is alright to have our doubts about them.

But is it OK for Christians to say they have doubts about God, Jesus, or the Bible’s truth?

I strongly believe that the answer to that question is NO! The Christian faith is predicated on the existence of God, the resurrection of Jesus Christ, and that the Bible is God’s Word and Truth. When a person publicly or privately declares that they acknowledge Jesus Christ as the Son of God and place their trust and faith in Him alone for salvation, they are stating that they believe these things to be true. That’s when belief becomes reality and they become a Christian and a follower of Jesus Christ. So a person cannot call themselves a Christian if they are no longer sure who God is, what Jesus did on the cross, or that God’s Word is His truth.

We are told by Jesus to believe and have faith.  When the disciples saw Jesus walking on the Sea of Galilee Peter got out of the boat and started walking on the water to him. However, when he took his eyes off of Jesus he began to sink. Jesus reached out his hand and caught him and said to him, “you of little faith, why did you doubt?” (Matthew 14:31)   Jesus also confronted doubt in the person of Thomas, one of his disciples. After Jesus had risen Thomas demanded proof. He said to Thomas when he doubted to “stop doubting and believe” (John 20:27). He went even further by declaring that unlike Thomas and the disciples, “blessed are those who have not seen and yet have believed!” (John 20:29)

So to say as Christians that we have doubts is the same as saying we don’t believe anymore. We either believe (and have faith) or we don’t.  If we look at a thesaurus we will find that doubt is the opposite of belief. We cannot both believe and doubt the same thing.

I think many Christians who say they have doubts really mean that they don’t understand God’s Word or His ways and struggle to reconcile that with their daily lives. That’s not doubt, that’s just our lack of understanding of His Word and His nature because He says “My ways are higher than your ways.” (Isaiah 55:9). We don’t know what God knows. That’s why the Bible says in Proverbs 2:6 that “the Lord gives wisdom, and from His mouth comes knowledge and understanding.”  Additionally, Proverbs 3:5 says we should “trust in the Lord with all our heart and lean not on our own understanding.”  That means that must put our trust in God and His Word and not doubt Him or His truth.  To doubt Him is to deny Him. Furthermore, James 1:6-8 says that we as Christians must “believe and not doubt, because he who doubts is like a wave of the sea, blown and tossed by the wind. That man should not think he will receive anything from the Lord. He is a double-minded man, unstable in all he does.”

The absolute essence of the Christian faith is to wholeheartedly believe and trust in God, His Son, and His Word. That’s where the Christian faith begins. We must be confident in these truths and not doubt them!

So let’s encourage one another in our faith because there’s no doubt about it!

Managing Your Life


“And we pray this in order that you may live a life worthy of the Lord and may please Him in every way; bearing fruit in every good work, growing in the knowledge of God.”

Colossians 1:10

Usually as pastors or church leaders we spend most our time trying to manage the people and resources of our ministry. We constantly think about how to lead others, train others, or develop them into leaders as well. Consequently, we often forget to manage the one person who also needs help – ourselves!

God has given each of us one life to live.  How we live that life is a measure of our love for God and what He has done for us through Jesus Christ.  There is so much that God wants to do in and through each of us, if we simply let Him.  But so often the cares and worries of this world enter into our lives and either distract us from His desires or strip us of His joy.  Even ministry workers can get so busy being busy that they can lose sight of the blessings God wants to give them or the opportunities he puts before them.  Sometimes we are so preoccupied with ministry work that we neglect our families, our health and even our responsibilities.  As important as ministry work is, it does not negate our responsibility to care and provide for our families, or take care of ourselves.  We are doing ministry when we fulfill these responsibilities.  Therefore, we must strive to keep our lives in balance and to honor God in everything we do, not just our ministry calling.

There are 4 basic areas of our lives that we must keep in the proper balance. They include God, family, work and ministry. Of course, our first priority as Christians is God, and His presence must exist in the other 3 areas of our lives if we are to stay in balance. We don’t just put God first in our lives, we must put Him everywhere in our lives. All areas of our lives need to be submitted to God if we are to call ourselves Christian and be followers of Jesus Christ!

The issue then becomes one of prioritizing the other 3 areas of family, work and ministry. If we are parents as well as church leaders, then our next priority must be our family. God put us in charge of specific people (spouse and children) and we must take care of them first. The Apostle Paul said in 1 Timothy 3:5 that “If anyone does not know how to manage his own family, how can he take care of God’s church?” So it is clear that family must come first for pastors and church leaders. Failure to meet the needs of our family is neglecting our primary responsibility.  Leaders must never put work or ministry above their families.

For pastors and some church leaders, work and ministry are the same thing.  It is for me as President of FaithLife Ministries. But for those of you who have a secular job, I believe that it should come before ministry. Why? Because work is the way you meet the needs of your family, which is your first priority. Without work your family would suffer. If you only do ministry and do not provide for your family, the Apostle Paul also says that this person is worse than an unbeliever (“If anyone does not provide for his relatives, and especially for his immediate family, he has denied the faith and is worse than an unbeliever.” –  1 Timothy 5:8Therefore, our work should always come before ministry.

Although ministry should come after family and work, it does not mean that we should abandon it or minimize it. It simply means we have to keep our  priorities in the right order and seek to find the proper balance among them. That balance will differ for each of us and also sometimes in various seasons of life. That balance is not static, but shifts according to our circumstances and the needs at the time. If we manage our time and lives properly it can be done. Finding the proper balance will lead to less stress, better health, more effectiveness, and a life that truly honors God in all that we do.

So the next inevitable question is how do we find that balance? I would suggest the following:

1. Keep specific work hours as much as possible. Limit your work or ministry time to what is essential.
2. Make time for family events.  Be present at birthdays, school functions and kids activities.
3. Take time off as needed to rest and recharge. Take a class and learn something new, read a book, or take a vacation.
4. Eat well 3 times a day. Keep to a healthy routine that is appropriate for your culture.
5. Get a good night’s sleep. Fatigue can lead to poor decision making and illness.
6. Get physical exercise. Play sports, walk or swim. Your body needs it to function properly.

The balance we need in our lives is different for each of us. It depends upon the nature of our family, work and ministry. And that balance can change depending on your circumstances or season of life. I encourage you to find the balance that works best for you in your particular situation. If you are not in balance, you will notice more stress, more fatigue, and less effectiveness. However, when your life is in balance then you will experience the kind of life that Jesus calls abundant in John 10:10!

Barry signature

My Holy Land Experience


“We live by faith, not by sight.” – 1 Corinthians 5:7

I recently had the opportunity to make my first visit to Israel and the Holy Land.  It had long been a goal of mine to get to the Holy Land and to visit the sites where Jesus was born, where he ministered and taught, where he suffered and died on the cross, and where he was raised from the dead. I had envisioned a place where history would come alive right before my eyes and where I would be emotionally moved by what I was seeing. I was anticipating a spiritual experience beyond anything I had ever felt before!

However, as I toured Israel and visited such sites as Bethlehem, Capernaum and Jerusalem, I did not experience what I had anticipated I would. Rather, I was surprised at my lack of an emotional connection to the historical aspects of the Holy Land. I suspect it was because many of the sites did not look anything like what I thought they would. I think that there were several reasons for that.

First, much of what I thought I would see was based on portrayals of the areas in movies. Hollywood tries to recreate the geography and setting but often tends to create movie sets that are more like our preconceived ideas than what actually existed at the time. Second, the Scriptures don’t always provide a detailed description of the geography so we each envision or imagine what the area must have looked like in our own minds. That may or may not be accurate. Third, what existed 2,000 years ago is not what we see today.  Areas have been built over and the original locations look vastly different than they might have back when Jesus lived. Finally, tour guides usually tell you one of three things about a particular site – it is believed to be the actual site based on some evidence, it is probably the actual site given what is known about an event, or it may be the actual site but they really have no proof that it is. Very few of the sites I visited have enough solid evidence to prove that’s where a specific event took place. So for these reasons the sites that I visited did not meet my expectations of what I thought I would see and therefore it was difficult to make an emotional connection. It’s not like going to Pearl Harbor in Hawaii and seeing the USS Arizona still under water where it sank in 1941!

Nevertheless, we do know that Jesus was born in Bethlehem and that city exists today where it was back then. Capernaum, where Jesus ministered and taught a great deal, is also where it was. And Jerusalem too is in the same location and we know that Jesus was judged there, suffered there, crucified there, and was buried there. And while the actual locations of these events in these cities may not be known with absolute certainty, they ARE where these things took place in history. And while I did not connect emotionally with the specific sites I visited as I had expected, I did reflect considerably on their meaning in history. As I visited these places I thought about Jesus, what He did, and what it must have been like back then (according to Scripture), and as a result I felt a deeper spiritual connection with Him!  It was not the sites themselves that impacted me, but rather the realization and consideration of what took place there that did! Visiting the Holy Land most assuredly affirmed my faith and belief in Jesus’ life, death and resurrection!

One of the things I did witness quite frequently were the large numbers of people who were visiting these spots and touching them as if the sites themselves could convey a special spiritual power because Jesus had been there. To me, I saw that as idolatry.  We worship a living God, not historical places or relics from the past. Our God lives and reigns in us and through us and we don’t need to visit the Holy Land to feel His presence or be filled with the power of His Holy Spirit. That comes from God, and faith in Jesus, and is available to anyone who calls on His name! Focusing on physical things only distracts us from spiritual things.

So, was visiting the Holy Land a disappointment? Was it unnecessary? Was it meaningless? Absolutely not!  As a matter of fact, I would still highly recommend it for every Christian. Being in the Holy Land allows us to consider very deeply what Jesus has done for us. Walking in Jerusalem, Bethlehem and Capernaum enabled me to connect with the Bible and what it says and to reflect on what really matters in life. And that is Faith. Faith does not come from visiting the Holy Land. “Faith comes from hearing the message, and the message is heard through the Word of Christ.”Romans 10:17 But visiting the Holy Land can serve to strengthen our belief in Jesus and what He did for us!

And so I thank God for the opportunity to visit His Holy Land, and for the chance to reflect more deeply on what Jesus did for me and for every human being that has ever lived. History is just history. But faith in Jesus is living and active, and visiting the Holy Land has affirmed and strengthened my faith in Him who alone is God!

Barry signature

Leadership Character


“Now the overseer must be above reproach, the husband of but one wife, temperate, self-controlled, respectable, hospitable, able to teach, not given to drunkenness, not violent but gentle, not quarrelsome, not a lover of money.” 
1 Timothy 3:2-3

With this being an election year, the American people are looking for a leader. But what exactly is a leader? A leader is someone who not only is effective in positively influencing others, but who also demonstrates the character of a leader. People want  leaders they can trust to do what they say.  One’s character is what makes trust possible.   This is true for all leaders, whether they are political, business or church leaders.

I believe that there are 5 basic characteristics of a leader:

First, they must have integrity. It means they say what they mean and do what they say. Too often leaders lose credibility because they do not follow through on their commitments.

Second, they must have wisdom. This is more than knowledge and reflects a leader’s ability to analyze information and make positive and correct choices and decisions. Leaders lose influence when they make poor decisions or bad choices.

Third, they must have humility. Leaders must put the needs of others above themselves. Nobody likes a self-serving leader. Leaders lose support when they focus on their goals instead of the needs of their followers.

Fourth, they must encourage others. Leadership is not about the leader, but it is about the followers. Leaders who serve and encourage their followers are more successful than those who don’t. Leaders lose followers when they focus on themselves.

Fifth, they must empower others. Leaders who won’t delegate or develop other leaders restrict their own potential and that of others. Leaders lose momentum and growth when they don’t tap into the capabilities of others.

The conduct of a leader is also reflective of their character. There are 7 ways a leader ought to conduct themselves according to 1 Timothy 3:2-3 above:

1. Be above reproach – no one doubts their character
2. Be self-controlled – they are disciplined
3. Be respectable – people look up to them
4. Be hospitable – they are open and welcoming
5. Be able to teach – they instruct and educate others
6. Be gentle – they respect others and are not harsh with their words
7. Be a servant – they focus on people, not money

These qualities from the Bible define the conduct of a true leader. We must always endeavor to look for them when following leaders or electing them.

Barry signature

American Perception of Christians

Looking Glass

“No one can serve two masters. Either you will hate the one and love the other, or he will be devoted to the one and despise the other.”

Matthew 6:24

In America today it seems that Christians and Christianity are under a relentless attack.  The ACLU has been fighting for years to have the Ten Commandments and any other Biblical or Christian symbols removed from public display. Christians are sued for not baking cakes for gay weddings. In Houston, the mayor tried to demand that local pastors turn over their sermons to her for review for potential hate speech. And many Americans feel that Christians have no right to express their religious beliefs politically.

Christians today are perceived as bigoted, out of touch, homophobic, intolerant and a danger to society.  A recent Barna Research report found that the majority of Americans see some Christian activities as extremism, such as handing out tracts or praying in public (Five Ways Christianity is Increasingly Viewed as Extremist, February 23, 2016 release, These are very recent trends and it would have been hard to imagine this happening even 10 years ago.

But this is the America we now live in.  Our nation has not only turned its back on God (as I wrote in my book About Face),  but it is now looking to destroy or marginalize any aspect of Christian values or beliefs in our society. Today, Christians are the enemy!

How did this happen? Where did all of this anti-Christian sentiment come from? What did we do to deserve such a backlash from our own countrymen and women?

I believe that the answer to that question can be found in two reasons.

First, our society has become more socialist.  Many Americans have come to believe that capitalism does not work anymore.  President Obama declared this in Kansas back in 2011. The government has grown much larger in the past 10 years and many Americans are looking to the government for answers and help. As a result, we are seeing more people on government support programs and calling for free healthcare and free college educations.  One candidate for President, Congressmen Bernie Sanders, is a self acknowledged Socialist and is campaigning on all of these issues. And there are many Americans who are supporting him for President, especially young people! These Americans want the “state” or government to run and control our society and economy.

Why does this matter? Because Christianity is the enemy of the State! Christianity places God above man, and therefore our allegiance to God above allegiance to the state. The state cannot tolerate this because it must make everyone stay in line with the secular program. No exceptions are allowed.  History show us what happens when the state gets this kind of control – it produces the Soviet Union, Nazi Germany, and North Korea, just to name a few.  Anytime we give more power to the state we will lose more of our freedom. The two go hand in hand. So as more Americans call for more government action and put their faith in the State, it is inevitable that Christianity, and Christians, will be viewed as the enemy!

Second, our society has become more accepting of individual rights with virtually no limitations. That includes the right to have sex with whomever one chooses regardless of the dangers or consequences, the right to have free healthcare, the right to marry anyone or anything, and the right to kill innocent babies for their own convenience. All of these behaviors are against God’s Word. When Christians stand up and call some of these behaviors sinful, harmful, or evil, they are viciously attacked in the media, on social media, and in political activities.

Why does the culture respond this way? Because Christian values (and God) are a threat to them doing whatever pleases them regardless of the dangers to society or others. Again it is placing man’s desires above God’s desires. And these two desires will always be in conflict. The Apostle Paul wrote in Galatians 5:17, “For the sinful nature desires what is contrary to the Spirit, and the Spirit what is contrary to the sinful nature. They are in conflict with one another so that you do not do what you want.” In other words, they are mutually exclusive. You cannot have both! So one must be eliminated. So for Americans who only seek man’s ways, God’s way’s will always be a threat to them and they must not be allowed at all!

I don’t believe that the Christian Church has changed much at all in the past 10-20 years, at least not in their teaching or presentation of the gospel. What has changed is the attitude of many Americans towards Christians, the Church, and Christianity due to the 2 factors mentioned above. Many Americans have developed what God calls a hardened heart.

But we should not really be surprised about this. It just means that we now have to work that much harder to overcome this “hardness of heart” in our culture today by continuing to share our faith and the gospel despite the resistance. We must also recognize that it will be the Holy Spirit working in us and through us as we seek to influence America with the Word of God that will bring about any change.

I want to encourage you with the words of the Lord to Joshua in Joshua 1:9, “Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous.  Do not be terrified; do not be discouraged; for the Lord your God will be with you wherever you go.”

So let us not worry about how we are perceived by anyone other than God. Let us continue to “fight the good fight, finish the race, and keep the faith” (1 Timothy 4:7) and leave the results up to Him!

Barry signature

FaithLife Has Moved!


FaithLife Ministries announces the move of its ministry offices to Cumming, GA effective February 17th, 2016.  Our new mailing address is as follows:

6170 Crescent Landing Dr.

Cumming, GA  30028

All of our other contact information remains the same. Please use this new address for all correspondence and donations by mail.

Thank you!

Barry Voss, President

FaithLife Celebrates 15th Anniversary


Today, January 22, 2016, FaithLife Ministries celebrates its 15th anniversary of ministry. We are amazed at what God has done in and through us these past 15 years, where he has led us, and how He has provided for us and used us to minister to church leaders around the world! This was never our plan, but God indeed had a plan for us! It reminds me of Proverbs 19:21 where it says, “Many are the plans in a man’s heart, but it is the Lord’s purpose that prevails.”

When we began this ministry in 2001, we simply had a vision to take Americans to the mission field to experience the joy of serving our brothers and sisters in other nations. God has blessed America, and Americans, and we have so much to offer the Body of Christ in other parts of the globe. God has blessed us with education and financial resources, two resources in short supply in many nations. We just wanted to be obedient to God’s command to share what we have with others less fortunate (Hebrews 13:16“And do not forget to share with others, for with such sacrifices God is pleased.”)

But little did we know what God had in mind! We have seen this ministry grow quite rapidly in the past 5 years, primarily when we followed God’s leading to establish a global trainer network. This has enabled others around the world to join us in this mission and vision, and thus multiply our efforts and our resources. Today, our training has reached 48 nations and we have 49 Trainers in 25 nations involved in our network teaching others what we have taught them! Wow! We are now halfway to our goal & vision of seeing our training reach 100 nations.

Additionally, so many of you have contributed your financial resources to help us train and equip these leaders. And others have gone with us to help us train them. We could never have done this on our own. There is power when God’s people work together for the benefit of others! Thank you so much for your partnership with us in this ministry!

God is so good and we praise, thank and acknowledge Him as the source and reason for whatever has been accomplished in this ministry! As it says in 1 Peter 4:11, “If anyone serves, he should do it with the strength God provides, so that in all things God may be praised through Jesus Christ.”

To God alone be the glory!!


Managing Information


“Wise men store up knowledge.”

Proverbs 10:14

One of the most overlooked resources of the church is information. This may be information on church members, or information about its ministries, activities or available resources.  There is also a wealth of information available from outside sources to help churches do the ministry they are called to and it is important to know where that information is or how to access it.  Church information must be collected and stored by the church, especially information on its members and their activities or giftedness, etc.  These will not be available unless it is gathered. Other information may be available on the internet or at a library or bookstore.

With the advent of the internet the amount of information available to us is enormous. With one click or one google search we can find out the answer to virtually any question we might ask.  The internet also enables us to find information very quickly but we must be discerning about its accuracy.  The point is, we have information at our fingertips today that we did not have 25 years ago.

However, in order to access or assess the information we need to plan or make decisions in a timely and accurate fashion, we must have it readily available or know where it is to be able to use it.  This is the process of managing information.  A computer or smart cell phone comes in very handy for doing this, but you don’t need a computer to store or manage information.  Paper files and other methods can be just as effective.

Why is managing information so important you might ask? Well, the Bible says in Proverbs 13:16 that “every prudent man acts out of knowledge.” Having knowledge is essential for making better decisions, developing strategic plans, and assessing the ministry opportunities that a church may have. Not having accurate or timely information could lead to poor planning, wasted time, and misuse of the valuable church resources that God provides us with.

There are a few principles of managing information that are helpful to know:

1. Collect and store only the information you will need or use. This would be information about your church members or activities that are necessary for decision making, planning or running the church. Avoid gathering information that is nice to know but not useful.
2. Update information on a regular basis.  Information ages very rapidly so it must be kept up to date. When was the last time your mailing address, work location, email address or cell phone number changed? For many people one of them has changed within the past year. Have a process in place to update information each year.
3. Protect personal information. Do not publish or print personal information (address, phone number, offerings, etc.) without permission from the individual.
4. Store information so that it can be accessed easily.  Use a computer or file system that is organized and cataloged. Remember to bookmark useful websites and save reports and documents to your computer or file for quick access.
5. Have a plan for using the information. Don’t just collect information but know the purpose, the process, and who is responsible for collecting it.
6. Manage the information.  Make sure information is being collected, stored and updated.  Do not assume that it is. Evaluate your data needs every year.

Finally, it is a good idea to give someone the responsibility for managing your church’s information.  This will ensure proper management and maintenance of this valuable church resource.

If you are interested in learning more about Managing Information, or our other Management for Church Leaders training topics, please visit our website or contact us at 770-492-4903.