NEO Team Update


18
Jan 2018
NEO Team Update 1-18-18

This Update Includes -Service planned to seek racial healing and reconciliation -A pastor and spouse celebrating 50 years of marriage! -Winter retreat for youth -Ignite Service for spiritual renewal -Affordable training for those who work with children A year and a half ago, Unite My City hosted a breakfast for pastors which was designed to start the conversation regarding racial reconciliation.  Tulsa Hills Pastor, Jim Thornton, met another Pastor there by the name of Marcus Howard.  During that breakfast, their hearts just connected and they began meeting together. Since then, they have shared a combined service last June and have continued to foster this relationship.  Last October, Pastor Jim sensed God’s leading to have a combined service with about 4 other churches.  The purpose – seeking God’s healing for our churches and community. NEO District Event February 18 A survey of over 800 Nazarene clergy entitled, “A Study of......

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04
Jan 2018
NEO Team Update 1-4-18

A Challenge for the New Year I just finished reading Tod Bolsinger’s excellent book, Canoeing the Mountains, Christian Leadership in Uncharted Territory (thanks for the great birthday gift, Marla). I expect I will be sharing several insights from this book for several months. Let me share today two paragraphs from the last chapter that seem so appropriate for NEO church leaders (the primary readers of this newsletter) as we begin 2018: Leadership into uncharted territory requires and results in transformation of the whole organization, starting with the leaders.  If we want the organization and communities we serve to thrive, focus on what God needs to do in you, change in you, makeover in you so he can use you in his mission. Focus on how you need to grow in technical competence, relational congruence and adaptive capacity, and especially focus on what you need to leave behind, let go......

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18
Dec 2017
NEO Team Update 12-14-17

May your Christmas be blessed with peace, joy, hope and love! From your NEO District Office Staff, Dr. Dave and Gloria McKellips, Marla Shepherd and Sharon Gunter On the way home from church, a little girl asked her Mom, “Mommy, the pastor said that God is bigger than we are, is that true?” The mother affirmed that it was true. “He also said that God lives in us, is that true?,” asked the child. Her mom answered, “Yes, that’s right.” A bit puzzled, the little girl then asked, “Well, if God is bigger than us and lives in us, won’t He show-through?” That’s a question that only you and I can answer. Does He show-through in you? New Year’s Eve Party is at Tulsa Central RSVP by January 5th NEO November Statistics    ...

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04
Dec 2017
NEO Team Update 12-4-17

December, Organic Outreach and Your Church ​December is here, which means Christmas is directly ahead. What a great season to carry the momentum and enthusiasm forward from our Organic Outreach Rally! More people attend Church at Christmas and Easter than at any other time of the year. Whether you joined us for the Organic Outreach Rally in October or not, as Christians, we should be examining how we engage with those who otherwise never set foot in a church. Walt Bennett, Executive Director of Organic Outreach, suggests the following: – For those in this category who actually have a relationship with Jesus Christ, but are not seeing the purpose in coming together in Christian Community (and most likely not seeing their purpose in living out a Christian life through all the days in-between), prepare your congregation to welcome them warmly with grace and love and create an experience that leaves......

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06
Nov 2017
NEO Team Update 11-6-17

Spiritual Conversations   Last week I watched again Kevin Harney’s teaching on “Engaging in Spiritual Conversations.” Harney believes spiritual conversations don’t have to be forced and uncomfortable. God wants our faith to overflow into our daily interactions in organic, natural ways.   Tim Keller, pastor of an influential church in New York City, says, “We could do a far better job of patiently listening. And we should not talk until we can represent the skeptic’s viewpoint with empathy so that a skeptic friend says, ‘Yes, that is my hang up; I couldn’t have put it better myself.’ Only then should we try to recommend the Christian faith to them.”   Keller echoes the conventional evangelical wisdom: “You can’t argue someone into the kingdom.” Both common sense and research confirm this is true. But it doesn’t stop people from trying! From Facebook to family gatherings, our disagreements regularly erupt into......

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02
Nov 2017
NEO Team Update 11-2-17

This is the way we roll in Northeast Oklahoma… Every person waking up each morning praying, “God, if you can use me anyway today, I’m available!” God can use us wherever he has planted us, whether in an office in Muskogee, a school in Miami or a battlefield around the world. I read this week a story of an Iraqi Interpreter assigned to the Army’s 82nd Airborne division in 2007. There he met Sgt. Scott Young. Abbas Hameed writes, “ I realized there was something different about him. He had a book in his knee pocket all the time. Every time we had a break, I observed him reading, and I was intrigued. Scott told me it was the Bible, and I started to read it every day for myself. I kept going back to Scott to ask questions about what I was reading.” A few months later, Abbas......

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16
Oct 2017
NEO Team Update 10-16-17

Celebrate Clergy Appreciation Month Throughout the month of October, churches around the world will show their appreciation for clergy and pastoral staff members in a variety of ways. These men and women can be celebrated through personal notes or gifts, by groups like a Sunday school class, or in larger settings with the entire congregation. Here are some ideas: Share a video explaining what you appreciate about your pastor using #lovemynazpastor. Organize a prayer calendar so each pastor is prayed for every day of the month. Create a slideshow presentation of pastors in action during the past year. Set it to music and play it as a pre-service video. Give clergy families a night out to a local restaurant or gift certificate for an overnight get-away. Invite children to create artwork for the pastors. Choose a day and have people text pastors hourly with a heartfelt message explaining how the pastors have positively impacted members.......

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05
Oct 2017
NEO Team Update 10-5-17

Dear NEO Family, The two days we have been anticipating and praying for are now here! Join us this Sunday, 5–7pm and Monday, 9am–3pm. Rise up O Church of God! Organic Outreach for ORDINARY PEOPLE We want to share our faith, but we don’t want it to feel awkward, uncomfortable, or unnatural…. for them or us! Organic Outreach for Ordinary People will help you shape a personal approach to passing on the good news of Jesus in natural ways. This is not a system or a program. Discover ordinary ways to communicate God’s love and the message of salvation – naturally. Sunday, October, 8, 5–7 pm, with Pastor Kevin Harney live at Tulsa Central. The event is free but we will take an offering to help with expenses. All pastors, staff, and board members are asked to join us for this event to equip and inspire us in this priority area of......

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28
Sep 2017
NEO Team Update 9-28-17

Dear NEO Family, I have been reading an outstanding book, Five Practices of Fruitful Congregations, by Robert Schnase. The five practices he highlights are: Radical hospitality; Passionate worship; Intentional faith development; Risk-taking mission and service; and Extravagant generosity. Regarding the fourth quality – Risk-taking mission and service – Schnase writes: “Service, offering oneself in the deliberate effort to improve the conditions of others, is rooted in more than three thousand years of faith tradition. Nothing is more central to faith identity and to the church’s mission than transforming the lives and conditions of people by offering oneself in God’s name. Nearly every page of Scripture show people serving God by serving others.” It has been heart-warming to see that service and generosity on display following the hurricanes that have rocked our country the past six weeks. As soon as a storm passes, Nazarenes and other tribes have been on......

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28
Aug 2017
NEO Team Update 8/28/17

Dear NEO family, It is hard to fathom the devastation that is taking place in South Texas. We all have family or friends in the area and we are praying and communicating with them as possible. My son, David, and his wife, Elaine, live three miles west of downtown Houston. David was out of town when the storm hit and has not been able to get back. Elaine and their dog, Lincoln, are safe, but like everyone in the area, are wondering what the next few days will hold. As you would expect, several Nazarene churches have storm or flooding damage and many of our brothers and sisters have flooded homes. NEO Nazarenes are asking ourselves what we can do now to help and wondering what will be needed a week, a month and even a year from now. I know God’s people will reach out and help in......

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