Friday, April 30, 2010

Has Noah's ark been found?

At last, the article I've been waiting all week to read. Life and Land blog responds to this week's reports that Noah's Ark has been discovered on Mount Ararat. Once again, Bill Crouse and Gordon Franz offer a good dose of common sense and caution.

Their conclusion: "At this point we are skeptical of the claims but would rejoice in the end if they proved to be true...For the person in the pew, we caution you to not get too excited about something that is at best, unsubstantiated; and at worst, a fraud perpetrated by the Kurdish guide."

Related posts:

Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Free album from Page CXVI

This week, you can download for free the entire Hymns I album by the band Page CXVI ('one-sixteen'). Songs include:
  • Come Thou Fount
  • In Christ Alone
  • My Jesus I Love Thee
  • When I Survey The Wonderful Cross
  • Nothing But the Blood
  • Solid Rock
  • Joy

Their brand new Hymns II album is also on sale now through their website. The first album was good, but I think I like the second album even better. "How Great Thou Art" has long been one of my favorite songs, and their arrangement beautifully complements the lyrics. Other songs on the second album include:
  • Praise to the Lord
  • Jesus I Am Resting, Resting
  • Rock of Ages
  • Abide With Me
  • Battle Hymn of the Republic
  • Doxology

We're very privileged to have this band playing at our Spring Concert in just a couple weeks, on May 14! If you're in the Yucca Valley or Palm Springs area, we invite you to join us for a great night of music and worship.

Saturday, April 24, 2010

Stunning eruption photos

Check out these photos of the Eyjafjallajokull volcano eruption against a backdrop of the Northern Lights. Breathtaking. What an amazing world God has created.

Friday, April 23, 2010

The riches of God's grace

After a wonderful time of music and testimony last Sunday morning by Robert Barley, our church continued our study in the book of 1 Corinthians. In chapter 1:4-9, Paul continues his greeting to the church with a prayer of thanksgiving.
This may seem odd for a church with so many problems, yet Paul sees great reason to give praise to God.

Not one to dish out cheap compliments, Paul is genuinely thankful for this church. Why? Because in spite of their many faults, God's grace is shining through them. His grace manifested itself in three ways:
  1. Past Grace (1 Cor. 1:4, 6). Paul's testimony of the death and resurrection of Jesus were confirmed by the impact and change that occurred in their lives. We have been privileged to see this recently in the life of some of our church attenders as well.
  2. Present Grace (1 Cor. 1:5, 7). At the very moment of salvation, they were endowed and enriched with spiritual gifts. But sometimes those strengths can turn into weaknesses. The church had a tendency to abuse these gifts (chs. 12-14), but Paul was still thankful they were "not lacking in any gift."
  3. Future Grace (1 Cor. 1:7-8). Paul ends his prayer by looking ahead at the great future that the Corinthians and each of us can have in Jesus Christ. He will return! We will be with Him! He will defeat sin and death! And we will be changed into His image!
Questions for thought and discussion:
  • When we meet someone with 'glaring faults' like Corinth, what is our usual reaction?
  • How did Paul respond in this letter?
  • What gift(s) has the Lord given you to use in His church?
  • How could those strengths turn into weaknesses?
  • Who is someone that bothers, disappoints, or offends you? Write down their name.
  • List five ways God has shown His grace in and through them.
  • Pray for them, and that you will be an instrument of grace in their life
Sunday's sermon is available for free download from our podcast site.

Photo credit: bhermans

Thursday, April 22, 2010

Sermon prep in Logos 4

Marty McCullah just brought this great post to my attention. It gives a one-hour video tutorial on how to use Logos Bible Software in your Bible Study or sermon prep. Very helpful!

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Page CXVI new hymn album

Here's an exciting update from the Page CXVI band. (We'll be hosting them at our Spring Concert on May 14, 2010. Hope you can join us!)
We are 1 week away from the release of the new Hymns Album!

This will be the 1st of 4 new Page CXVI hymn albums released over the next 2 years. We are already well into the recording process for the rest of the albums and can’t wait to spread the hymns to churches around the world.

You will be able to purchase the new album on April 27th and pre-order physical copies that will be sent out May 4th. Wholesale orders for your churches bookstore will also be available at a discounted rate through the website as well. All downloads will include the official chord charts with correct CCLI numbers for each song.

If you have friends who have not heard of Page CXVI they will have a chance to download the first hymns album for one week starting April 27th.

Drum roll please. And now for the song list for the new album...

1. How Great Thou Art
2. Praise To The Lord
3. Jesus I Am Resting, Resting
4. Rock Of Ages
5. Abide With Me
6. Battle Hymn Of The Republic
7. Doxology

A big thanks to those who have helped us with this project:

Producer/Engineer - David Wilton
Engineer - Chris Coleman
Mixing Engineer - Jason Lehning
Mastering - Jim DeMain/Yes Master
Twitter - @PageCXVI

Monday, April 19, 2010

Our dove family

We've enjoyed an up-close and personal view of a dove family outside our kitchen window this spring... 

Wed., March 24. Daddy and Mama doves have built a nest in the planter outside our kitchen window.

Fri., March 26. Mama settles in to her new home.

Tue., April 13. Look closely, and you can see a baby dove in the nest with eyes still closed.

Mon., April 19. A proud mama with one of her chicks.

 Mon., April 19. Mama feeds her babies.

Final notes for E for E class

About 90 of us last Saturday at the Equipped for Excellence Conference got a crash course in How to Study and Interpret the Bible. It was a lot of fun! There's just no way to do justice to the whole field of  hermeneutics in four hours, but I do hope my seminar and the 'tools' we learned were helpful. I could not have asked for a more attentive, encouraging, and thoughtful class. These people were eager to learn!

We didn't get through the last few pages of our handout, so I have included the material with answers below. At the bottom of this post, you'll also see how I outlined and preached 1 Corinthians 1:1-9. This will  give you an example of how the Teaching tool was applied in my own ministry in the very passage that we studied together.

Thanks again for all who attended!


The ‘So What?’ tool

• Once we have ascertained the meaning of a passage within its historical, grammatical, and literary context, and have used all the appropriate tools of interpretation to learn the author’s purpose, we are finally ready to ask “So What?” Bible Study is never just for more head knowledge. Now we need to meditate on and apply God’s Word! Ezra sets a wonderful example for us:

Ezra 7:10 (NASB) 10 For Ezra had set his heart to study the law of the Lord and to practice it, and to teach His statutes and ordinances in Israel.

“The great purpose of the Bible…[is] to produce a spiritual effect in the life of the man that reads it…All the historical, doctrinal, and practical truth of the Bible is for one purpose: to promote the spiritual prosperity of man. The Bible is not an end; it is a means. Its purpose is first of all to make us wise unto salvation, and secondly to benefit us in our Christian life through doctrine, reproof, correction, and instruction in righteousness (2 Tim. 3:15-17). The end result is that we might be men of God completely equipped in good works.”(Bernard Ramm, Protestant Biblical Interpretation, p. 96)

• While there is only one correct interpretation, there are many applications. Now it’s time to invite God’s Spirit to bring many different applications to mind. Ask these questions:
  • Are there any specific commands? What are we to do or not do? Does anything in the Bible limit the original application? What are common obstacles we face? What are common excuses we use?
  • Are there any general principles and behavior? Who are we to be or not be? Where else does the Bible teach this? What would be a specific example of this? What are common obstacles we face? What are common excuses we use? What does this teach us about our beliefs, our habits, our priorities, our attitude, our emotions, and our desires?
  • Are there any examples to imitate or avoid? What would I have done in their shoes?
  • Are there any biblical symbols that give us a fresh way of seeing something abstract?
  • What are the key doctrines, and what actions that should flow out of them? Where else does the Bible teach this? How do these doctrines contrast with modern psychology?
  • What divine promises are present, and how do they teach us what God rewards and punishes?
  • Are there any songs or prayers present? What do they teach us about what we should desire, and how we should worship?

• Narrow down to 1 or 2 main applications.

• Try re-writing the passage in different ways: 1st person; emphasis; contrast; modern lingo

• Consider different areas of your life and different backgrounds of students in your class: child, adult, new Christian, growing Christian, nominal Christian, mature Christian, ignorant unbeliever, skeptic, self-righteous, worldly, from heaven, from God, different occupations - student, blue collar, white collar, homemaker, parent, middle age, retiree

• Try role-playing a situation where this would apply.

• Ask how should I specifically implement change in the next week?

• Practice: Using the questions above, what are some applications of 1 Corinthians 1:1-9?

The Teaching tool

• Teaching is both science and art. What you say and how you say it depends on your gifts, age and maturity of your class, amount of time given to teach, etc.

• When teaching a class or small group, the inductive Bible Study approach is usually best, with heavy interaction from the class. Lead your students on a journey of discovery. Try making up questions to guide you through the text. Six kinds of questions to use:

  • Observation questions
  • Meaning or interpretation questions
  • Doctrine development questions
  • Timeless principle
  • Application questions
  • Implementation questions

• See the series “Preparing and Teaching Bible Studies” by Jack Hughes.

• When preaching a sermon, follow this order:
  • Study your passage using the appropriate Bible Study tools we have learned
  • Write out the main thought of the passage in one sentence
  • Determine the central thought of your sermon
  • Create your outline
  • Write out your preaching notes or manuscript
  • Add your introduction, conclusion, and illustrations

Our tool "workshop" where we practiced using all our Bible Study tools on Saturday was 1 Corinthians 1:1-9. Here are my two outlines and two sermons on this passage, so you can see and hear the final fruit of my own personal Bible study, sermon preparation, and actual delivery:

"Saints in Sin City" (1 Cor. 1:1-3)
  1. The church of Corinth (vv. 1-2)
  2. A message of hope (vv. 2-3)

     Here's the audio:

 "The Riches of God's Grace" (1 Cor. 1:4-9)
  1. God's past grace: salvation (vv. 4, 6)
  2. God's present grace: spiritual gifts (vv. 5, 7)
  3. God's future grace: participants in the return of Christ (vv. 7-8)

     Here's the audio:

Again, I invite everyone who attended the class to keep in touch.
You can email me at: desertpastor at gmail dot com.

Friday, April 16, 2010

The Bible -- a book like no other book

The 2010 Equipped for Excellence conference is only one day away! As mentioned in my previous post, I will be teaching one of the seminars on "How to Study & Interpret the Bible."

The Bible is a book like no other book. It is both human and divine.

Because it is a human book, we should expect to use common sense and all our mental faculties to understand it. It should be read and studied within its literary, historical-grammatical context, like any other piece of literature. It was written for the average Joe to understand. We do not need some mystical experience or computer logorith to discover hidden meanings. The truth is written plainly on the pages, if only we will exert the effort to find it.

The U.S. statesman Daniel Webster was right when he said,
"I believe that the Bible is understood and received in the plain obvious meaning of its passages, since I cannot persuade myself that a book that is intended for the instruction and conversion of the whole world should cover its meaning in any such mystery and doubt that none but critics and philosophers discover it."
At the same time, the Bible is also a divine book. We have a moral duty to handle it accurately (2 Tim. 2:15), and only through the anointing of God's Spirit can we interpret it properly (1 Jn. 2:27). Paul reminds us, "a natural man does not accept the things of the Spirit of God, for they are foolishness to him; and he cannot understand them, because they are spiritually appraised" (1 Cor. 2:14).

What a gift God has given us in His Word! We should tremble every time we open it, and hang on every printed word.

I invite you to join me this Saturday, as we learn a set of 'tools' that will help us more accurately study and interpret the Bible, for the glory of God and for the joy of our souls.

Thursday, April 15, 2010

Saints in sin city

Last Sunday, our church began a new journey through the Book of 1 Corinthians. And in a way, the Apostle Paul picks up right where the Apostle John left off in his Gospel. The recurring theme of John was "Believe in Christ!" (John 20:31), and in 1 Corinthians, we see what the fruit of that belief should look like.

In fact, the struggle of the Corinthians could be summed up by Jesus' own prayer in John 17:15-18, "I do not ask You to take them out of the world, but to keep them from the evil one. They are not of the world, even as I am not of the world. Sanctify them in the truth; Your word is truth. As You sent Me into the world, I also have sent them into the world." Paul writes 1 Corinthians to a church struggling to be in the world, yet not of the world. To carry out Christ's mission in the world without becoming totally corrupted by it.
  1. The church of Corinth (1 Cor. 1:1-2). We began with some historical background on the city of Corinth. This was a wealthy city, located at a major crossroads of both land and sea. It was full of idolatry and immorality, to such a degree that to "Corinthianize" has become a byword for every kind of lewdness and debauchery. The Corinthians were saved from this lifestyle (1 Cor. 6:9-11), but as we will see in coming weeks, they were losing their battle against sin. In our increasingly post-Christian world, the culture is beginning to look more and more like Corinth. We must be wary that our church does not look more and more like the the Corinthian church. 
  2. A message of hope (1 Cor. 1:2-3). Found within Paul's greeting is an incredible message of hope. Despite their grievous sins, Paul does not write off this church, but views them as "sanctified in Christ Jesus, saints by calling." Just like the people of Israel were to be a holy nation, set apart from the pagan nations, so the church is called to be holy and set apart from the world. God is a holy God, and we are to reflect the holiness of the One who saved us. This is already our present position through the gospel (Heb. 10:10). But it is also what we are to become in our behavior (1 Pet. 1:15-16).
Questions for thought and discussion:
  • Have I trusted in Jesus Christ alone for eternal life? Can it truly be said that I am "sanctified in Christ Jesus?"
  • What does it mean to be "sanctified" and a "saint"? Do these words accurately describe my life? 
  • What corrupting influences fight against my holiness?
  • How could 1 Corinthians 1:2 bring hope to someone who feels so guilty that they are beyond Christ's reach?
  • Paul says that all who "call on the name of our Lord Jesus Christ" are saints by calling. What do you think this phrase means? Cf. Acts 2:21 and Romans 10:12.
  • Paul writes this letter to encourage and admonish his fellow Christians in Corinth. In a day when writing letters has fallen out of style, is there someone I need to take time to write or call and encourage in holiness?
Sunday's sermon is now available for free download on our podcast.

Photo credit: Todd Bolen

Monday, April 12, 2010

Quick survey: how long do you prepare?

If you are a Sunday School teacher or small group leader, could you take this quick survey for me? On average, how much time do you spend each week preparing for your lesson?

I will be teaching a seminar at Equipped for Excellence this Saturday, April 17, called "How to Study and Interpret the Bible." I would like to know how much time teachers spend on average, so I can recommend how to split that time up into the different stages of lesson prep.

After you take the survey, you can see the results of what others have said.

Saturday, April 10, 2010

Spring concert - May 14

On Friday, May 14, First Southern Baptist will host a spring concert featuring the band Page CXVI ("one-sixteen"). The night will include free food, music, prizes, chalk art, and a bounce house. It's an outdoor event for the whole family.

Page CXVI is a project to make the great hymns of the faith more accessible and known again. You can listen and download their first Hymns album here. A second album is just about to be released, and I expect some of their new songs will be played at our concert.

Help us spread the word by sharing this post with others, or forwarding it to a friend. We also have a big stack of postcard invitations at the church that you are welcome to take from. Help us reach as many people in our community as possible, and then join us Friday, May 14 for a night to remember.

You can now RSVP on our Facebook event page.

Here's one sample song by Page CXVI:

Friday, April 9, 2010

Book review: Dig Deeper

Dig Deeper is truly a gem. It's one of the best introductions to biblical interpretation I've ever read. Written in a fresh, readable style, the authors cover an amazing amount of territory in a very short book.

In the introduction, the authors write, "We want to help you to dig deeper to find hidden riches in the Bible...Pastors and scholars are a gift from God, and we should be grateful for their help. But we shouldn't be content to leave it entirely to the experts...This book is based on the idea of a toolkit...a set of practical tools to help you get to the bottom of any Bible passage." They then proceed with 16 different tools, from the Author's Purpose tool (most important), to the Vocabulary tool; from the Structure tool, to the "So What?" tool.

I've heard many people say, "I try to read the Bible, but it's so hard to understand!" This book could radically improve your Bible study and devotional life. It moves at a rapid pace while not missing weighty concepts. It gives a broad sample of biblical texts and warns of common interpretive errors. One of its greatest strengths is a short exercise at the end of each chapter, and then a brief example of how all the tools work together at the end of the book.

There are two areas that would have made this book even better. First, the authors should have included a full chapter on history and cultural background. They could have called it the "culture tool." Re-creating the original setting, manners, customs, geography, archaeology, etc. are all a vital part of fully understanding a passage. Secondly, I have to respectfully disagree with their approach to prophecy (p. 107 and 122). They represent a classic covenantal position which misses the unconditional nature of the Abrahamic covenant and departs from the same literal hermeneutic they recommend elsewhere.

But with these 16 practical tools in hand, you can finally dig deeper into God's Word. Read it. Study it. Enjoy it. And let God radically change your life.

Wednesday, April 7, 2010

Raised for our justification

According to a 2007 poll by George Barna, 75% of Americans believe in the literal resurrection of Jesus Christ. What amazes me is not that 1/4 of Americans deny the resurrection (we would expect there to be skeptics today, just as there were in the time of Christ), but that 3/4 of Americans say they believe in the resurrection, and yet it makes no difference in most of their lives! For example, I noticed far more media hype about the iPad last week than the empty tomb of Jesus.

But if the tomb really was empty, it should radically alter our lives. Why does Easter matter? Because in Romans 4:25, Paul says that Christ was "raised for our justification." Without Easter, there is no justification. With Easter, we have the opportunity to be justified of sin. Last Sunday, I posed three questions about justification:
  1. What is it? 'Justification' is an idea completely unique to Christianity. It is a legal term that means to acquit or pardon. It speaks not only of absolving guilt, but of being declared righteous by God. In the book of Romans, it serves as a bridge between the early chapters of condemnation (Rom. 1:18; 3:10, 23) and the later chapters of reconciliation (Rom. 5:11; 8:1). Justification is not something we can earn by works, but something we receive through faith. 
  2. What does it look like? In Romans chapter 4, Paul gives us a model of justification by faith. He points us to Abraham, the "father of a multitude." For many years, Abraham waited on God to fulfill his promises (Gen. 12:1-3), and even when he was old and "as good as dead," he did not waver in unbelief (Rom. 4:19). Because he trusted in God despite his circumstances, "it was credited to him as righteousness" (Rom. 4:22). In other words, God justified him by faith.
  3. What difference does it make? These things were not written merely for Abraham, but for us as well (Rom. 4:23-24). We have committed a heinous crime (sin). There is a heavy sentence for that crime (eternal death). But God has punished His Son in our place (the cross), and now declares us righteous through faith (justification). It is not enough to intellectually believe in the facts of Christ's death and resurrection, but to humble ourselves before God for our sin, and to look to the cross as our only means of pardon.
Questions for thought and discussion:
  • What does it mean to be 'justified'?
  • How do you think Abraham must have felt to wait 25 years for God to keep His promise?
  • Read Genesis 21:1-5. Did God eventually give Abraham a son?
  • Read Romans 3:24 and Romans 5:1. What is the only way a person can be justified? 
  • According to Romans 5:1, what is the result of our being justified?
  • Have you trusted in Christ -- not merely in your head, but in your heart?
  • Write a prayer to God, thanking Him for His amazing work of raising Christ for our justification
Sunday's sermon has been uploaded to our podcast site and is available for free download.

    Monday, April 5, 2010

    Rick Warren and the Desiring God Conference

    Last week, it was announced that Rick Warren will be one of the speakers at the 2010 Desiring God Conference. Tim Challies has an excellent post today on the concerns over this decision. His conclusion:
    I believe [Piper] has shown a lapse of discernment in inviting Rick Warren to his conference and onto his platform. And that's the thing about platforms--once built, they need to be nurtured, preserved and protected. John Piper must know that he is massively influential; this endorsement of Rick Warren ultimately strengthens Warren's platform and weakens his own.

    ...Warren's critics have not always been fair to him and yet neither have they been without justifiable and significant concerns. His ministry is in so many ways antithetical to Piper's. It surprises me and maybe disappoints me a little bit that he has been invited to share that platform.

    I recommend Challies' whole article to understand how he arrives at his conclusion. You may also want to read his original book review of The Purpose Driven Life.

    While Piper's decision probably was a "lapse in discernment," there is no sense in us pulling our hair out and separating from Piper or unleashing more vitriol into the blogosphere.

    I suspect that if the Apostle Paul were alive today, he would neither endorse Rick Warren nor spend a lot of time attacking him. Rather, he would probably say something like he did to the Philippians:

    "Some, to be sure, are preaching Christ even from envy and strife [or, we might add, social concerns and evangelistic pragmatism] ... What then? Only that in every way, whether in pretense or in truth, Christ is proclaimed; and in this I rejoice" (Phil. 1:15, 18).

    Friday, April 2, 2010

    A lamb led forth

    He was oppressed and He was afflicted, yet He did not open His mouth; Like a lamb that is led to slaughter, and like a sheep that is silent before its shearers, so He did not open His mouth.  (Isaiah 53:7)

    Every year at Passover time, a thousand remaining Samaritans gather on Mount Gerizim for the Samaritan Passover. Their custom looks much like it would have two thousand years ago, when the Jews brought their sacrificial animals to the altar in Jerusalem to atone for sin.

    I had the privilege of witnessing the Samaritan Passover ten years ago, during my study time in Israel. With my own eyes and ears, I witnessed the lambs being led in, the spilling of blood, and the loss of life. It was an unforgettable experience. 

    Why did God command such a gory practice in the Old Testament? Because of this timeless principle: the price for sin is death. And as the author of Hebrews says, "Without the shedding of blood, there is no forgiveness" (Heb. 9:22). Ultimately, the Son of God Himself would come to earth, take the form of a man, and be slain for our forgiveness. All the sacrifices of the Old Testament pointed to His death on the cross. So on this Good Friday, let us praise the Lamb of God, who took away the sins of the world!

    Here's a short story I wrote ten years ago as I watched the helpless sheep and considered the Passover event from their perspective...


    ...My front left leg has been tied to this fence all morning. What I would do to reach that luscious patch of grass over there! It seems so close, yet so far away. Oh well. Such is the life of a sheep. Maybe I should sleep for a while until my Master comes to feed me...

    ...The sun hangs high overhead, and my stomach burns with the pangs of hunger. I've spent the last few hours just standing here alone in the courtyard, watching, waiting, listening, squinting through the blinding rays of the sun. An occassional beetle crawls by, or a fly pesters my face, but nothing out of the ordinary. I sure wish I could return to my flock, my family. Just one week ago, we grazed leisurely along the pastures of Mt. Gerizim. I wonder why were we brought into the city...

    ...It's mid-afternoon. At last, my weary body can find relief in the shade! But still, no water. Still, no food. Where could my Master be?! I've noticed some people gathering nearby, and there's a distinct scent of excitement in the air. I wonder what's going on. Oh, how I love surprises!...

    ...Many more people have arrived now, including some bothersome children. I wish these kids would just leave me alone! Half a dozen of them have kept pestering me for at least an hour -- jumping, yelling, and stomping, just beyond the reach of my shackles to ensure their own safety. What pitiful creatures. Meanwhile, the men seem to be gathering large olive branches and throwing them into nearby pits...

    ...It's late afternoon, and the men just finished pouring gasoline into the pits. Now they are throwing matches in... Whoa! look at those giant flames! What on earth is going on?! Could I be in danger, standing here in the corner of the courtyard?...

    ...Dusk is imminent. Many more people, robed in white, are flooding the courtyard. Great billows of smoke belch out of the fire pits, nearly suffocating me. As if the hunger and thirst weren't enough, my eyes are now stinging unbearably. A cacophony of human voices crescendo in song, and faintly in the distance, I hear the desperate cry of other sheep... But wait! Who is that approaching?! ... Master!! He's come to deliver me from this grevious nightmare!

    ...No, Master! There must be some mistake! Why have you brought me to the edge of the flame? Why do you trap me tightly between your legs? And why do you hold a dagger in your hand?!...

    Thursday, April 1, 2010

    Equipped for Excellence 2010

    On Saturday, April 17, the Inland Empire Southern Baptist Association will be hosting their annual Equipped for Excellence conference. This is one of the best discipleship conferences in the country for Sunday School and Small Group training.

    This year, I have the privilege of teaching a seminar entitled, "How to Study and Interpret the Bible." In four and a half hours, you'll get a crash course in biblical interpretation (hermeneutics) and even get to practice in class what you are learning. The class is designed to help people of all levels, whether you are just doing personal devotional reading or preparing an in-depth Bible Study.

    This is just one of many other options. Full conference details are below. Be sure to register by next Monday, April 5, to get your early bird discount!

    When: April 17, 2010 – 8:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m.

    Where: Magnolia Avenue Baptist Church and California Baptist University in Riverside , California (map). (Carpooling will be available from First Southern Yucca Valley)

    Cost: $40 per person if your registration is postmarked by April 5th. $45 per person if form is postmarked after April 5th. The registration fee includes a continental breakfast, lunch on site by IN-N-OUT BURGER, and five hours of quality Sunday School instruction! Please note that conferees can also have lunch at the Alumni Dining Commons at CBU!

    Keynote Speaker: Pastor Calvin R. Wittman of Applewood Baptist Church in Wheat Ridge , Colorado

    Conferences Available: Below you’ll find a list of all the conferences offered, or you can view a Word document with the full descriptions.


    Training Potential Sunday School Workers (Tom Belew)


    Babies and 1 & 2 year olds (Lynae Dacus)
    Three-Year Olds through Pre-K (Landry Holmes)
    Kindergarten (Ann Iorg)
    Using Visuals in Teaching (Lorie Honeycutt)
    Working With Special Ed (Pamela Robinson)


    Younger Children (Carol Bohrer)
    Middle Children (Karen Massingill)
    Older Children (Judy Latham)
    Using Visuals in Teaching (Lorie Honeycutt)
    Strengthening Your Children’s Ministry (Cathy Hopkins)
    Guiding Children’s Behavior in Sunday School (Cheri Dempsay)
    Working With Special Ed (Pamela Robinson)


    Junior High (Cheryl Belew)
    Senior High (Mike Lovato)
    Strengthening Your Youth Ministry (Daryl Watts)
    Youth Outreach and Ministry (Mike Kell)
    Youth Developmental Characteristics and Teaching Methodology (Rob Signs)
    Using Visuals in Teaching (Lorie Honeycutt)
    Working With Special Ed (Pamela Robinson)


    Single Adults (Rick Brady)
    Young Adults (Jason Hayes)
    Middle Adults (Alan Raughton)
    Retired Adults (David Apple)
    Care Group Leaders (Janice Holcomb)
    Using Visuals in Teaching (Lorie Honeycutt)
    Working With Special Ed (Pamela Robinson)


    Small Group Ministry for New Church Starts (Don Overstreet)
    Enlistment and Training of Small Group Leaders ( Orlando Alonso)
    Dealing with Problems in Your Small Group Ministry (Neil Christopher)


    Pastor’s Conference (Calvin R. Wittman)
    Outreach (Tim Holcomb)
    Assimilating New Members (Randy McWhorter)
    Pastors & Sunday School Directors (small Sunday Schools) (Larry Vowell)
    General Officers (George Yates)
    Strengthening Your Children’s Ministry (Cathy Hopkins)
    Strengthening Your Youth Ministry (Daryl Watts)
    Youth Outreach and Ministry (Mike Kell)
    Youth Developmental Characteristics and Teaching Methodology (Rob Signs)


    Using Visuals in Teaching (Lorie Honeycutt)
    How to Study and Interpret the Bible ( Stephen Jones )
    The Bible’s Most Fascinating People (R. P. Nettelhorst)
    Valuing Volunteers (Katherine Gooden)
    Care Group Leaders (Janice Holcomb)
    Working with Special Ed (Pamela Robinson)
    Guiding Children’s Behavior in Sunday School (Cheri Dempsay)
    Leadership in the Transformational Church (Bruce Raley)
    Biblical World View (Greg Harris)
    The Genesis of Creation (Bill Peters)
    500 Lost Years (Richard Mobley)
    Making Disciples in Your Adult Sunday School Class (Roger Byrd)
    Developing a Strategy Plan for Your Church (Mike McGuffee)
    Using Technology in Your Church (Bobby Gilstrap)
    The Bad Economy: Your Best Friend (Bruce Hitchcock)

    New Blog

    Today I'm closing up shop and launching a new blog called Pinch of Clay. You can visit it by clicking here . Please stop by and...