Church Planting, Evangelism, Family, Leadership, Missions, Personal Development

Praying for People According to the Names of God

praying-for-people

In the Old Testament God revealed Himself by various names.  Those names reveal His character and His desire to meet the needs of mankind.  When we pray for people we can pray for them according to the names of God:

  • He is my Righteousness, Jeremiah 23:6
  • He is my Peace, Judges 6:24
  • He is my Banner going into war, Exodus 17:15
  • He is my Provider, Genesis 22:14
  • He is my Shepherd, Psalm 23:1
  • He is my Healer, Exodus 15:26
  • He is our Holiness, Leviticus 20:8

We pray by asking questions:

  1. Is there any kind of evil going on in your house – bad character by your children, spouse or parents?  Because my god is a God who wants to establish righteousness in our lives.
  2. Does your house/family/life have peace?  My God wants our lives and families to be filled with peace.  Let’s pray right now asking God’s peace to fill your life.
  3. Is there any demonic disturbances in your life?  Dreams?  Presence of evil?  Fear?  Our God is a God of power who wants to drive out all demonic power in our lives.
  4. How is your finances?  Do you lack?  Do you have financial problems?  Our God is a God who provides for His children.  He knows your situation and wants to help you.
  5. Do you face any big decisions or don’t know what to do in a situation?  If so, our God is a God who shepherds His people and guides them to the right places.  We can ask our God to guide you in the decisions and situation you face.
  6. Is there any sickness in your life or family?  Our God is a god who heals.  He wants to show His power in your life and give you good health and heal you.
  7. Do you have any sinful issues that are binding you?  Bad habits that are affecting you spiritually, emotionally or physically?  Anybody in your household?  Our God is a holy God.  He wants our lives to be holy.  We can pray for you about this.

When you are visiting house to house or when you meet someone for an altar call or in any situation you can use these points to pray for them.

  1. Ask the question.
  2. Listen to their answer.
  3. Tell them about the power and love of our God to solve that problem.
  4. Pray with them.

 

 

 

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Church Planting, Evangelism, Leadership, Missions

Ten Church Growth Principles to Help Your Church Reach and Release People

Ocean Waves 2Following are Church Growth Principles I followed  (1 Corinthians 3:10-15) in the beginning years at New Life Fellowship Phnom Penh

Pastor Eric Dooley laid a firm foundation in New Life Fellowship during 1994-1997; that foundation is still firm, valid and strong.  When Pastor Eric Dooley turned New Life Fellowship over to me in 1997 I knew what to do to help the church grow to the next level.  I knew because I had been involved in a church growing from about 200 to 1,700 and we had studied church growth principles for years.  At this point these principles are part of who I am and I think about them and try to apply them unconsciously.  I share them with you for our benefit and hope to share them in a seminar form someday to help local churches in Cambodia grow in number.  When I turned the church over to Pastor Jesse, Jesse took the church to a new level using his wisdom and keys from the Word of God.

Below are 10 Principles that I systematically put into place during the years that I was senior pastor of the Phnom Penh Church.

Principle 1:  True Converts

Explained:      I wanted to avoid Cambodians just joining our religion or following our customs but no heart change.  I wanted them to truly love God and commit to serving him the rest of their life with no turning back.

Goal:               Not just follow outward activities such as attend a class, attend a meeting, help or even read the Bible or be water baptized.  I wanted them to have a transformation in their inner heart that will last until the day they die.

Process:          We preached the Bad News first to help them have a strong desire to want the Good News.  People must first understand that they are hopeless sinners before they will want God’s salvation and will remain true to him.

Principle 2:  Clear Path to Make Disciples

Explained:      I wanted to have the Word of God and basic truths and principles to help them grow taught to new converts in a systematic way so as not to miss any key point.  I wanted to create the culture for them to study certain classes and then teach them to others.

Goal:               Study through the Knowing God Book (true conversion); Foundations Book (Foundations of the Faith); and Family of God Book (Church Life) and teach the lessons to others.

Process:          In the beginning there was not a culture to study like this.  In fact it was difficult to get them to come to a Sunday church meeting for an hour and a half, but then we added a one hour class before the Sunday church meeting.  At first hardly anyone attended and attendance was inconsistent.  But we persisted and now it is our culture – someone comes into the church and they just know they’re supposed to take these classes.  These classes are the doorway to other ministry in the church.  The lessons were written with the intent of being simple and reproducible so anyone who has completed the class could easily teach it to someone else.

Principle 3:  Small Groups for Fellowship and Discipleship

Explained:      I understood that people do not make friends or become disciples in the Sunday church meeting.  The Sunday church meeting is for casting vision, the Holy Spirit to  move in a dynamic way and for celebration.  Discipleship and friendship occurs in small groups.

Goal:               Everybody to become part of a small group.

Process:          As I recall, we started one small group with Eric leading it and one with me.  We meet with leaders and they met with others.  Personal invitation is the best way for people to join a group.  We made a simple meeting schedule for them to follow.  The groups were to grow and members were to become small group leaders themselves.

Principle 4:  Constant Emphasis on Evangelism

Explained:      I understood the principle that Christians seem to lose their passion to reach the lost after 2-3 years of being a Christian. They like to fellowship with other Christians instead.  Also, only about 10% of the church are bold to share their faith.  I realize that I and the leaders must continually declare the vision to evangelize in every way and at all times.  We must not quit but find ways to emphasize this in every meeting and provide opportunities.

Goal:               Everybody is passionate about sharing their faith in Christ or at least passionate about leading Cambodia to Christ and willing to invite people to evangelistic and church activities.

Process:          In prayer meetings, sermons, altar calls, testimonies we remind the church members to reach their lost friends, neighbors, workmates and classmates.  We provide training in evangelism and church activities to bring their friends.  We provided evangelistic tracts they could use as well.

Principle 5:  Family Atmosphere as committed brothers and sisters

Explained:      When Eric turned the church over to me I felt we had a group of young men becoming disciples, but we were not yet a family.  A family cares for one another, sacrifices for one another and stays faithful to one another.

Goal:               Church members are committed to the local church as something important to them because they have friends whom they consider like family.

Process:          I felt the key to this was eating together and having fun together.  Therefore, we began to have regular meals together and to places to have fun as a group.  I tried to arrange activities so they could get to know one another to become friends.

Principle 6:  Big Events with Strategic Follow Up

Explained:      Big Events such as holiday activities, concerts, crusades, special-interest meetings can help a church get a name in the community and can help push the church over the growth barrier, but there must be organized follow up after the event.

Goal:               Have regular Big Events with follow up.

Process:          We would take advantage of Cambodian public holidays as well as international holidays like Valentine’s Day and Christmas.  We would organize, advertise and try to do follow up.  However, in those days no one had cell phones, street addresses were not consistent and I discovered that Cambodians often went by one name at home and another name among friends!  It was very, very difficult to follow up!

Principle 7:  Mindset to Multiply Yourself and Release Christians to Ministry

Explained:      Most people leave church because they have nothing to do in the church (it has not become their church) or they have no friends or they get out of the habit as a result of a significant life change.  My mindset was to teach Cambodians everything I know and teach them how to do everything I know how to do, thereby multiplying myself to some degree.  We tried to model this, teach it and provide opportunities.  If you play an instrument, teach someone else.  If you speak English or use a computer, teach someone else.  If you know how to pray, teach the Bible, etc., teach someone else to do it.  It’s in this way we multiplied musicians, preachers, teachers and all kinds of ministries.

Goal:               Everybody should be teaching someone else what they know how to do.  Everyone should be teaching and everyone should be learning.

Process:          I modeled this in making disciples and training leaders in every way and encouraged the disciples and leaders I was training to do the same.

Principle 8:  Feeding God’s Flock at Balanced Spiritual Diet from the Word of God

Explained:      During the course of a year the pastor must teach truths from the Bible that are useful for every area of the Christian life.  Pastors have a tendency to teach primarily the things they like.  We need to plan well-balanced teaching from month to month and we need to teach in a series of sermons, with the former sermon reviewing the previous sermon to remind the listeners that we are on a journey through the Word of God on that subject.

Goal:               Plan a preaching schedule for 52 weeks of the year.

Process:          We must determine where our church is at spiritually at this time and where we want to lead them during this year.  Make a list of all the important subjects (skills and knowledge) that are necessary for a Christian to grow to maturity (do the same for what leaders need) and make a schedule for each month – four sermons each month on the same subject but differnet aspects of that subject).

Principle 9:  Preaching Practical Sermons that are Useful for Their Life

Explained:      Many pastors preach sermons and teach lessons that are about Bible history or Bible knowledge but they are not useful for the everyday life of the people in their church.  Also, they teach without passion and do not show the church members how to apply what the Bible says about that subject to their lives every day.

Goal:               Preach sermons that will help Christian grow and tell them how to apply the Word of God in every area of their life.

Process:          I believe a short sermon is better than a long one.  Most church members don’t remember our sermons anyway.  Make a clear introduction with a story and just 3 or 4 points then a conclusion.  I like to ask myself these two questions when I finish preparing the lesson:  1) What do I want them to know as a result of this lesson?  2) What do I want them to do as a result of this lesson?  If I can’t answer those two questions in two clear sentences then I don’t know what the main point of my sermon is and those who hear me won’t know either.  I try to tell them clearly how to apply this.  Also, I give an opportunity for them to respond to the Word of God through the sermon by praying, declaring the Word of God, laying hands on them or providing some other kind of opportunity for them to show they will obey and apply the Word of God.

Principle 10:  Releasing Church Members to do the work of the Ministry before

                        they are fully trained

Explained:      It’s not necessary for a church member to be fully trained before we release them to ministry.  It’s not necessary for them to go to a Bible School before they are released to ministry.  Jesus trained his disciples and leaders as they were working together. He showed them how to do it by modeling it for them.  He released them, then they reported back and Jesus corrected or encouraged them according to their results.  We want men and women who are trained.  We don’t want to release them too soon and we don’t want to release them too late. We try to find the middle ground.

Goal:               Be willing to release Christians to help in a ministry or lead a ministry before they are fully equipped, but make sure you follow up with them and guide them.

Process:          We would do ministry together.  I would explain what I’m doing – how and why.  I would let them help and watch them.  I would allow them to do it and report back to me.  We have regular meetings for reporting and follow up. I used the principle of “Low Experience and Motivation needs High Supervision.  High Experience and High Motivation needs Low Supervision.  When they were new I gave a lot of supervision and guidance.  As they gained experience and strong motivation I didn’t supervise them as much.

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Uncategorized

No Sacrifice Too Great!

Wheat Harvest 1Cynde and I arrived safely in Cambodia after a seven-week visit to the United States.  Probably the best we’ve had, as we spent almost all of the time with family and friends – hardly any work!  In fact, yesterday Cynde spent 5 hours catching up on her emails!  This morning I finished my 60-minute bicycle ride from 5:30 AM – 6:30 AM listening to the live recording of New Life Fellowship’s Life Band.  You can download the English Version of  “Jesus” on iTunes.

“Weather Bug” said yesterday at 6 PM the temperature was 85 degrees  F (29 c), “feels like 95 degrees (35 c).  70% humidity.  Thanks Weatherbug for telling me why I’ve been sweating since 6 am!

This morning I take my 250 cc motorcycle to Samrong Yong, about an hour SE of Phnom Penh to visit a pastor and check out his new kindergarten.  I’m taking my raincoat as it poured yesterday.  If it rains I’ll pull off to the side and engage a Cambodian in conversation.  Maybe I’ll get to explain the Good News of the One Creator God to them for the first time!  After that I have lunch with the pastor and two other nearby pastors – all converts through and part of New Life Fellowship of Churches Cambodia.  They’ll  cook a delicious Cambodian lunch for me and they’ll share what God is doing through their ministries and I’ll offer any advice I can as a pastor myself and spiritual father.  After that I’ll visit one of our premier churches nearby and the director of our Takeo Fellowship of Churches to discuss our Takeo Region creating strategic plans and goals for 2015 at their next regional meeting.  Their plans and goals will determine how we in Phnom Penh can help them.

This Friday I make the long drive up to Poi Pet (8 hours).  The road is not that great, but I’ve driven on worse.  I’m taking a young missionary from the Republic of Texas who has been working with us along with me – Zach Parish.  Eight hours of fellowship, sharing and mentoring.  What an opportunity!  When we arrive in Poi Pet my priority is to spend time with Pastor Vearia and his wife Lekhena and their two children to encourage him and advise him in any way I can. I’ll also tag along on their weekend outreaches to several villages within the city of Poi Pet, join the Youth Meeting on Saturday night and preach Sunday morning and Sunday night.  I hope to spend all day Monday with them and return to Phnom Penh Tuesday morning.

In about two weeks I’ll make the long trip to Rith-Sen Victory Village, Strung Treng Province, 6 km from the Laotian Border.  I’ll pick up one of our pastors in Kratie province along the way and take him with me.  I cringe at the thought of the long trip on absolutely terrible roads.  Nevertheless, I’m looking forward to the trip to lend support to a young man and his wife who moved from Poi Pet to become the lead man for a plantation.  He is not a pastor nor really even a Christian leader, but he has a passion to reach his “sphere of influence” with the Gospel that sets them free.  This is the same passion that drives all of our New Life Fellowship of Church pastors and leaders.

It’s hot in Cambodia.  The roads are terrible…but the harvest is ripe!  There is no sacrifice to great for me to spend my life to help establish the Kingdom of God in the Kingdom of Cambodia.  Let me say that again: THERE IS NO SACRIFICE TOO BIG FOR ANY OF US TO DO WHAT GOD HAS CALLED US TO DO.  I count it a privilege to be alive to serve God’s purposes in my generation.

Cynde and I spent 5 years in Yuba City, California – a break after 12 years in Cambodia.  When my son, Jesse McCaul, called us and asked us to return and help him I remember riding my bicycle along the country roads among the rice fields of Yuba City and praying.  I had made a list of what we needed to return:  A laptop computer, a smart phone, a car, a motorcycle, access to internet at our home and several other items.  As I was riding and praying I felt the Lord ask me, “So you need all of this to do what I’ve called you to do?  And if you don’t have all of this you won’t go?” I stopped my bicycle, got down on my knees and cried and asked forgiveness and told God, “Lord, I’ll do whatever You want me to do, regardless of the resources I have or don’t have.”  This is the same prayer I prayed in 1994 – “Lord, I’ll go anywhere and do anything you want me to do.”  Less than a year later I was in Cambodia with my wife and four children.

God has given me everything I thought I needed and more!  I thank God every day for Patricia King and XP Ministries who purchased a beautiful Toyota 4-wheel drive for me to make these trips.  I thank God every day for people who financially support me and Cynde to represent the God of the Universe in Cambodia and elsewhere (we were just invited this past week to help plant a church in Sri Lanka next year).  I thank God daily for the people who contribute financially to the ministry of New Life Fellowship of Churches to we can continue to evangelize, make disciples, train leaders and plant more churches in Cambodia and send Cambodians as missionaries to other countries.

Please pray for us in the following ways:

  1. Cynde and I have wisdom to impart to those who look to us as mentors, advisors and spiritual father and mother.
  2. A new release of the prophetic, words of wisdom and words of knowledge and healing through us.
  3. Wisdom and guidance as we are now in the mode of budgeting and planning for 2015.

As we come to the end of this year, please consider making a special contribution to New Life Fellowship of Churches:

  • Our Phnom Penh-based staff are coming to an end to our budget for traveling to provincial villages to support our leaders.
  • Sponsorship for more Children at Risk.
  • I have several more books I need to write, get translated and published to benefit Christians and leaders in Cambodia.

My prayer is that you, too, will not consider anything too great a sacrifice to reach your sphere of influence for the Kingdom of God.

Blessings,

Chuck and Cynde McCaul

Phnom Penh, Cambodia

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Personal Development, Uncategorized

A New Blog: Embracing Your Destiny

I’m not the most technologically savy person and thus for some reason I cannot access any of my old Word Press Blogs so I have to start over.  I’ve also changed my primary private email address to charles.edward.mccaul@gmail.com.  You can keep an eye on this site for personal thoughts from me, insights into life issues that I’ve discovered and articles that have encouraged or inspired me which I want to pass on to others in hopes it will be an encouragement to them as well.

My primary Life Message is this:  God has a plan for you!  He has a destiny!  I believe this with all my heart and it comes out in almost everything I do.  I believe that each of us was created for a purpose and our life brings us through mountains and valleys over the years, but if we respond correctly they can turn out for our good and to further us a long on our journey of discovering all that God has for us.  This is my hope and prayer for you – that you will become all that God has called you to become and do all that God has called you to do.  You can put that on my tombstone!

Below are a couple Bible verses that have encouraged me over the years:

Psalm 139:13-18

13 For you created my inmost being;
    you knit me together in my mother’s womb.
14 I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made;
    your works are wonderful,
    I know that full well.
15 My frame was not hidden from you
    when I was made in the secret place,
    when I was woven together in the depths of the earth.
16 Your eyes saw my unformed body;
    all the days ordained for me were written in your book
    before one of them came to be.
17 How precious to me are your thoughts,[a] God!
    How vast is the sum of them!
18 Were I to count them,
    they would outnumber the grains of sand—
    when I awake, I am still with you.

Romans 8:28

28 And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who[a] have been called according to his purpose.

 

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