Promise 5: Proper Perspective

May 23, 2020By PK ManagerDevotional, PK Men's Study Bible No Comments

Promise 5: Changemaking

A Promise Keeper understands that Jesus calls him to be His hands and feet, serving others with integrity. He purposely lifts up the leadership of the church and his nation in prayer.

 

So it was not you who sent me here, but God. He has made me a father to Pharaoh, and lord of all his house and ruler over all the land of Egypt. – Genesis 45:8

What a perspective! Joseph defined his whole life by the fact that God had placed him in his situation for ministry. Even though Joseph had experienced many tough times and had been in situations that would have made any man bitter, he chose to see these things as God’s sovereign hand at work. Joseph believed that through these events God was placing him where he could best be used as God’s instrument.

Think about the many roles that you fill in life—husband, father, employee, brother, son. God has placed you there to minister. Your church is his place of training; through its ministry and outreach, you can be a modern-day Joseph.

This devotional is reprinted from the Promise Keepers Study Bible.

20 Ways to Encourage Your Pastor

May 21, 2020By PK ManagerDevotional No Comments

 

Peter Drucker, a leading authority on management, once made a profound observation on what he believed were the four most difficult jobs in America today: The President of the United States, a university president, a hospital administrator, and a pastor of a local church.

Does this surprise you? Many people might respond, “You’ve got to be kidding!” A few people may even think a pastor’s job is one of the easiest.

Maybe something else will surprise you—pastors may soon be an endangered species! Every year thousands of pastors are leaving the church and terminating their ministries. Exhausted and emotionally threadbare, many are leaving either because they are discouraged or because they have fallen into a baited trap of the enemy. It is a fact that there are fewer churches today than in 1900 . . . and even fewer men to lead them.

Pastor appreciation

Why is this so? Especially now? Isn’t a preacher supposed to get his strokes from God and not look to receive them from men? Well, I have a hunch that the enemy of God, the devil, has created an incredible climate of skepticism and cynicism toward those who represent God. Satan is constantly hurling feelings of unappreciation at the man who has poured his life into others.

So with all the negative press printed about preachers over this past year, I have decided to use the power of the press too, and press you to some positive action for your pastor. The need for action is a 2000-year-old problem—look at what Paul writes: “But we request of you, brethren, that you appreciate those who diligently labor among you, and have charge over you in the Lord and give you instruction, and that you esteem them very highly in love because of their work” (1 Thessalonians 5:12-13).

I want to encourage you with is a list of ways on how to appreciate and esteem your pastor.

    • Surprise him and his wife by taking them out to a nice place to eat. Talk with them about something other than your problems.
    • Schedule a Sunday (well in advance) when the laymen take the Sunday services and give him a long weekend away with his wife (Friday ’til Monday)—arrange babysitters, too.
    • Find out from his secretary what books or periodicals he’s been wanting for his library; order a few and sneak them in after he’s gone.
    • Over lunch, ask him how many free evenings he has each week to be with his family. If it isn’t enough considering the age of his children and the needs of his wife, engage in some straight talk about the pace he keeps.
    • Perk him with a two-week study time at a seminary during early January or in the summer. No major corporation in existence spends less on the continued training, education, and care for their staff than does the church.
    • Force him and his family to take a one-month authentic sabbatical at least once every 3 years. No ministry. No giving. Just pure fun with the family, refreshing time off to read and re-vitalize his relationship with Christ.
    • Give him and his wife free sessions with a financial planning consultant, who will help him budget and anticipate college education for children and retirement.
    • Write him a hand-written note of appreciation for who he is and how God has used him in your life. Be specific; avoid broad generalizations.
    • Pray for him daily. Then call him and tell him you’re doing just that and ask him for his prayer requests—pray for his wife, too.
    • Offer to meet him at his house on his day off to help fix things around the place. Some ministers are all thumbs when it comes to working with their hands … (like me). Others are too busy to take the time!
    • Occasionally send him a clever cartoon or joke that mirrors a point he made in a sermon—just so he’ll know that you’re listening!
    • Do a “This is Your Life” program at church one Sunday evening—don’t roast him, but refuel his spirit with testimonies and a fun time. He’ll be embarrassed, but that’s okay! It is biblical to receive rewards on this side of eternity (see Mark 10:28-31).
    • Find out what problem in the church that, if solved, would move the church forward in the coming year. Then, roll up your sleeves and offer to help the leadership solve it.
    • Help him get some exercise by either meeting him 3 or 4 times a week at a health club or jogging with him in the morning.
    • Clean his car while he’s at the church office one day. (One of the pastors at our church even told me where he leaves his keys!)
    • Call and express appreciation to the pastor who started you on your spiritual pilgrimage, or who helped you at a critical time in your life. Be specific about how he helped you.
    • Let him know that you appreciate the load he carries: the pressure of caring for sheep, the pace of a growing ministry and the daily sacrifices he makes for ministry. Communicate that you understand he does more than just show up and preach.
    • If you’re an elder or deacon, then why not schedule annual job performance evaluations, walk through his year and express appreciation for a job well done. How about a bonus if he’s really been effective … and a raise! After all, just think how much a raise encourages you.
    • Go to your pastor and ask him where you can assume a position of responsibility. As one pastor put it, “A position in the church where I can learn the fellowship of Christ’s suffering—you only suffer for what you care about and you can only prove you care by taking responsibility” (See Philippians 3:10-11).
    • And don’t forget your pastor’s wife. She makes many sacrifices too in giving up her husband to ministry opportunities. Send her notes of appreciation, flowers or a gift certificate. Express gratitude for the part she plays in the teamwork of pastoring your local church.

Why not take some time right now to consider how you can esteem your pastor? Then do it.

This post is shared courtesy of our ministry partner, FamilyLife, and first appeared on their blog.

The Passing of Ravi Zacharias

May 20, 2020By Nicole StarkNews No Comments

COLORADO SPRINGS, COLO. — The leadership of Promise Keepers releases the following
statements in response to the passing of noted Christian apologist and scholar Ravi Zacharias.

Ken Harrison, CEO of Promise Keepers:

“Our global community has lost a great communicator of truth with the passing of Ravi Zacharias. His absence leaves us all wanting.

“Promise Keepers has long enjoyed a firm relationship with Ravi Zacharias and his ministry. We grieve with his family and those who understand and experienced the immense impact and consequential nature of his gift: The ability to clearly and concisely explain the great love of God in terms people can grasp and absorb.”

Vance Day, president of Promise Keepers:

“There have been few in the past century who possessed such an ability to explain the gospel in a manner that attracted a global audience. PK will miss brother Ravi immensely.

“Ravi’s ability to logically break down the core questions of life, and the answers to those questions, touched the lives of millions.”

Senator James Lankford, member of the board of directors of Promise Keepers:

“Ravi was a mental and spiritual giant who taught multiple generations to think and reason in their faith. He did not hesitate to love those who confronted him or to deal with their hard questions because he knew our gracious God could handle our struggles and our pain.

“He left a legacy of well-equipped leaders behind, something that every Christians should aspire to do. ‘Precious in the sight of the Lord is the death of his faithful servants’”

The National Senior Sendoff!

May 14, 2020By PK ManagerNews

High school seniors and their families can celebrate simultaneously across the nation in an inspirational, God-centered, one-night event…The National Senior Sendoff!

The National Senior Sendoff will give families an opportunity to commission their high school senior for the journey ahead during this global pandemic.

High school graduation is a milestone. It’s a moment to celebrate 12 years of hard work and close out a pivotal chapter in a young person’s life. Due to circumstances surrounding the COVID-19 pandemic, the Class of 2020 will be the first class prohibited from celebrating graduation together. Promise Keepers is a proud partner of the National Senior Sendoff, a virtual event led by Greg Stier of Dare 2 Share ministries with the goal of helping graduated seniors feel honored and encouraged.

Greg Stier, a speaker at PK 2020 and father of a high school senior, is leading a collaboration with Faith Christian Academy, interlinc, and multiple ministry partners to create a virtual graduation event worth remembering.

Join us! Help us encourage the hearts of graduating high school seniors. Share this event with the graduating seniors in your life and be sure to join the virtual event to celebrate their accomplishments.

The National Senior Sendoff will be held May 28th, 6:00 – 7:00 pm MDT at NationalSeniorSendoff.com.

Gabrielle Odom, a high school senior from Minnetonka High School, will offer a senior address at the National Senior Sendoff. Greg Stier will deliver the keynote address. The evening will also include encouraging remarks from multiple Christian musicians, artists, and professional athletes. Grammy Award winning Christian music artist TobyMac will also make an appearance.

“I know the Class of 2020 has looked forward to a prom, spring sports, and graduation. Everything’s changed. But where there’s change and hard times, there is God and He is going to get us through this,” Mac said.

The National Senior Sendoff will end with a time of prayer that will allow the families of seniors to commission them (“send them off”) for the mission God has for them.  

Partners of the National Senior Sendoff include Dare 2 Share, Faith Christian Academy, interlinc, Campus Alliance, Professional Athletes Outreach, Sports Spectrum, Promise Keepers, Claim Your Campus, Every Student Sent, Student Leadership University, Go2020, and Winter Jam.

 

Promise Keepers 2020 Event Goes Virtual and Moves AT&T Stadium Event to 2021

May 7, 2020By PK ManagerNews

“Moving our stadium event to 2021 and switching to a Global Digital Experience this year will result in MORE ministry to MORE men in MORE places.

— Vance Day, President, Promise Keepers

In a world fractured by division and despair, PK is still calling men to stand strong!  We are living in unprecedented times and now more than ever, we need men who love God, love their families, and know their identity, purpose and destiny in Christ!

Today we genuinely believe God is giving us an extraordinary opportunity to stand strong, stay the course and redefine our future.  

Vance Day, President of Promise Keepers, has made an official announcement to redefine the 2020 and 2021 PK national men’s events: “Our mission has not changed… we want to see men transformed worldwide through a powerful encounter with Jesus Christ. However, in the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic, three things have become clear.”

First, according to the officials we’ve contacted in Texas, it is highly unlikely that 80,000 men will be allowed to gather at AT&T Stadium this summer.
Dr. Anthony Fauci, the leading public health expert on President Trump’s Coronavirus Task Force, even said this week that it might be very difficult for major sports in the United States to return to action this year.

Second, men still need the encouragement, edification, and fellowship that Promise Keepers provides, more now than ever before.
COVID-19 isn’t the only pandemic right now. There is a pandemic of fear, anxiety, and depression. There is a pandemic of uncertainty, unemployment, and financial upheaval. These pandemics are creating unprecedented pressure upon men, their marriages, and their families.

Third, God specializes in turning what looks to be a setback into a setup for even greater victory.
Moving our stadium event to 2021 and switching to a global virtual event this year will result in MORE ministry to MORE men in MORE places. It will allow us to do a state-of-the-art virtual experience on July 31 and August 1, and open up the opportunity to host dozens of webinars and Facebook Live events with hundreds of amazing speakers all through the summer. Moving to virtual gives us an “online stadium” with limitless attendance, viewable by men from around the planet.

As we’ve watched this unfold, we believe God is doing something big. Now He has opened the door for thousands more men to join us by tuning in worldwide from their local churches or small groups. The net result will be MORE ministry to men this summer and MORE momentum as we build toward our live event in AT&T Stadium in 2021.

Because you are important to us, we have been in communication with the City of Arlington and the local hotels. Due to the situation with COVID-19 they are able to transfer your reservations to next year. We are also working with AT&T Stadium to reserve new dates next July for the Promise Keepers Conference. We will send additional emails once the details are finalized so that you may transfer any travel arrangements to those dates. Airlines are making accommodations to rebook flights due to the COVID-19 situation. Promise Keepers was not involved in the booking of flights and hotels so you will need to contact them directly (however you booked). Additional information about hotel and airline policies will be listed on our website, to assist you.

Finally, we genuinely trust that God’s plans are good and we believe He is the one who is redefining our future.  As Paul says in Ephesians 3:20, “By his mighty power at work within us is able to do far more than we would ever dare to ask or even dream of—infinitely beyond our highest prayers, desires, thoughts, or hopes.”

On behalf of the Promise Keepers Leadership Team, we look forward to grabbing hold of this new opportunity to gather virtually in 2020 at our global event, and re-gather in-person at AT&T Stadium in 2021!

Current ticket holders will receive

 Access to our 2020 Virtual Conference
 Premiere access to the Promise Keepers App
  A subscription to special virtual events now through July 2021
 Upgraded access to the 2021 Conference in Arlington, Texas for you
PLUS 1 extra ticket

Churches who have purchased bulk tickets have special options available. The tickets you purchased will automatically be transferred to the 2021 in-stadium event, plus you will receive digital tickets to this year’s virtual event and Promise Keepers will waive the Simulcast hosting fee if you choose to simulcast the event.

Thank you for standing strong with us.

Ken Harrison, CEO of Promise Keepers 

“As the leadership and board of Promise Keepers contemplated how best to minister to men during this time of unprecedented need, we heeded the admonition of the Word to seek wise counsel (Proverbs 15:22). We prayed and deliberated long and hard about this, and sought out people with wisdom in medicine, events, and finances. The consensus of these experts is to focus on reaching men through virtual events this summer and move the event to 2021. And as we poured over their recommendations in prayer, we became certain that God was calling us to this strategy.

For over a year, we’ve been hard at work building a ministry that could not only host a world-class event that could challenge men for a day, but could also connect and disciple them everywhere, every day. Because of this, we are able to stand in the gap and minister to men in this unprecedented time.”

Chad Hennings, a member of Promise Keepers’ board of directors 

“As we sought the Lord about how to maximize our effectiveness in ministering to men this summer, we wanted to make sure that those who purchased tickets for the 2020 AT&T stadium would receive more value — not less. Not only will their ticket fully transfer to the 2021 event, they’ll receive special seating, be able to participate in the 2020 Virtual Event and all of the associated webinars and Facebook Live experiences, and be able to participate in exclusive insider updates.”

Hotel Reschedule Policies and Process

The following hotels can transfer existing 2020 reservations to 2021.  The following hotels will transfer current reservations to the corresponding dates next year (we are tentatively working with July 16 and 17, 2021 as the conference dates and will communicate when this information is official shortly).

  • Crowne Plaza
  • Courtyard by Marriott
  • Homewood Suites
  • Comfort Suites

The following hotels can transfer current reservations to next year, however, due to a limitation in the scheduling software, they cannot be moved to 2021 until July 16th of this year. Therefore, we recommend you wait until Friday July 17th, 2020, to call the hotel to confirm the transfer of your reservation for 2021. 

  • DoubleTree
  • Hilton Garden Inn South 

Unfortunately, the following hotels are not able to transfer current reservations. This is primarily due to the limitations of their internal systems but also, in some cases, the expiration date of credit cards used to make the reservation. Therefore, you will need to call the hotel and cancel your reservation and book new dates for Promise Keepers 2021 on July 16th and July 17th, 2021. Your card was not charged to hold the reservation so there is no penalty to cancel the 2020 dates and book new reservations for the 2021 dates. 

  • Hilton Arlington
  • Four Points by Sheraton
  • Sheraton Arlington Hotel
  • Holiday Inn Arlington
  • Aloft Arlington
  • Towneplace Suites
  • Howard Johnson
  • Hilton Garden Inn Dallas/Arlington

In all cases, we encourage you to confirm your hotel reservation and communicate directly with the hotels.  In the event the credit card used to book your original reservation expires prior to July 2021, your reservation will automatically be cancelled (and not transferred).  

If you booked through a reservation site (Expedia, etc.) you will need to contact them to reschedule or cancel your accommodations.

American Airlines

American has extended its offer to waive change fees for customers who have summer travel through Sept. 30, 2020. The offer is available for any of American’s fares, and customers will have until Dec. 31, 2021, for future travel. Fare rules may apply depending on the ticket. Any ticket purchased on or before April 7, 2020, for travel through Sept. 30, 2020, will not incur change fees prior to travel. Customers must pay any fare difference, if applicable, at time of ticketing of the new fare.

All AAdvantage® award tickets are included in this offer. Customers are allowed to change their origin and destination cities as part of this new offer. Travel must be completed by Dec. 31, 2021.

For more information please go to the American Airlines website.

Delta Airlines

“We’re extending change fee waivers to include existing bookings or canceled travel through September 2020. Customers who have travel booked between now and September 30 as of April 17, 2020, or canceled travel from flights between March 2020 through September 2020 now have the flexibility to travel until September 30, 2022.

Whether customers have been affected by recent schedule adjustments or want additional reassurance about upcoming travel, we’re now extending the ability to plan, re-book and travel with us for up to two years – giving Delta customers some extra breathing room.”

For more information please go to the Delta website.

United Airlines

“For tickets issued March 3 through March 31, 2020, customers will be permitted to change free of charge to a flight of equal or lesser value for travel up to 24 months from the original ticket issue date. For tickets issued between April 1, 2020, and May 31, 2020, customers will be permitted to change free of charge to a flight of equal or lesser value for travel up to 12 months from the original ticket issue date. If the new flight is priced higher, the customer may change for no fee but must pay the fare difference. If the new flight is priced lower, the customer may change for free but no residual value will be given.

Cancellations: If the customer decides to cancel the flight they booked before March 31, 2020, they can retain the value of the ticket to be applied to a new ticket without fee for travel up to 24 months from the original ticket issue date. If the customer decides to cancel the flight they booked between April 1, 2020, and May 31, 2020, they can retain the value of the ticket to be applied to a new ticket without fee for travel up to 12 months from the original ticket issue date.”

For more information please go to the United website.

Southwest Airlines

Southwest Airlines’ policy allows travelers to change or cancel their travel plans without penalty, so there is no need to worry about change fees if you are canceling an upcoming flight. However, please be aware that a fare difference may apply. Nonrefundable tickets can be used within one year of the original travel date. 

JetBlue

“Due to the ongoing coronavirus situation, we are waiving change/cancel fees for customers traveling through January 4, 2021. Customers may rebook their flights for travel through January 4, 2021 online in the Manage Trips section of jetblue.com or contact us prior to the departure time of their originally scheduled flight. Fare difference may apply. Original travel must be booked on or before May 31, 2020.”

For more information please go to the JetBlue website.

Alaska Airlines

Passengers who book with Alaska Airlines through May 31 for travel until April 30, 2021 are eligible to rebook their travel for zero penalty within one year of their original travel date, according to the airline’s website.

For more information please go to the Alaska website.

To our friends who have booked with other carriers, please check with the airlines to see if they will waive your change fees to rebook for 2021. In these trying times, most airlines will work with you.

Real Men Honor Their Wives and Mothers on Mother’s Day and Every Day

May 7, 2020By PK ManagerWomen

“She is clothed with strength and dignity; she can laugh at the days to come. She speaks with wisdom, and faithful instruction is on her tongue. She watches over the affairs of her household and does not eat the bread of idleness. Her children arise and call her blessed; her husband also, and he praises her” (Proverbs 31:25-28 NIV).

Mother’s Day is a great time for us to stop and honor our mothers and the mother of our children. As fathers it is important that we model for our children the importance of honoring their mother. Our mothers mean so much to all of us. Abraham Lincoln once said, “He is not poor who has had a godly mother.”

Nobody can multitask like a mother. Regardless of her professional occupation, the momma bear is a multitasker that is always focused on the family. Think about her example, support, humor, counsel, humility, hospitality, wisdom, patience, sacrifices, faith, hope, and love. “God couldn’t be everywhere, so He made mothers.” While not theologically accurate, this old Jewish saying describes beautifully the significant role mothers have in our lives. Motherhood is one of God’s greatest gifts to humanity. A loving, committed mother is an indispensable person in our development.

Mother’s Day is an important day for fathers because our children are always watching us. Little boys learn how to treat their future wives by watching their fathers. Little girls learn how they should be treated by a future husband by watching their fathers. When our children are grown, they likely will not remember anything that we said or did any year on Mother’s Day. However, they will remember the feeling in the air. Was there a feeling of love and honor or was there a feeling of resentment and bitterness?

Our children will notice if our actions on Mother’s Day were consistent with the rest of the year. Each day, not just on Mother’s Day, husbands are to, “love your wives, just as Christ loved the church and gave himself up for her” (Ephesians 5:25).

Mothers are also designed by God to nurture, and they do it exceptionally well. When the apostle Paul was describing his love for the church at Thessalonica, he used the metaphor of a mother’s love to describe how deeply he cared for them. He reminded them that he was like a “gentle” mother who “tenderly cares for her own children” (1 Thessalonians 2:7). Also, when God described His love for Israel, He did so with a motherhood metaphor. He told Israel that He would comfort them like a mother comforts her children (Isaiah 66:13).

Men, God has blessed us all with mothers. Regardless if yours is alive or gone on to glory, give her special honor this day and offer prayers of thanksgiving for her role in your life.

Todd Shupe is a Men’s Ministry Specialist under the direction of the General Commission of United Methodist Men and is concurrently in training to become a Lay Minister under the Louisiana Conference of the United Methodist Church. He enjoys writing inspirational Christian blogs at toddshupe.com and todd-shupe.com.

This post originally appeared in Gulf South Men.