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Articles by David A. Wheeler

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More Than Turkey and Dressing

As we approach Thanksgiving, you might be wondering, "What can I do? How can I demonstrate the love of Christ during this season?" Here are a few suggestions:

• One pastor told how his congregation purchased certificates from a local grocery chain for $30 apiece which entitled the recipients to a free Thanksgiving meal. They hand delivered approximately fifty certificates to local needy families expressing that in a season of thankfulness, Christ is everything!

• Another pastor shared how they adopted women from a local battered women's shelter and provided them with a safe haven to experience Christ's love.

• A church might ask permission from the local hospital to take coffee, sweets, and goodies to the hospital waiting room. Church members should be ready to listen, love, and share!

• While some churches may provide volunteers to feed at homeless shelters, one church leader explained that they actually picked up...

In recent days it seems that Halloween has become such a "dark" celebration. However, while that is the unfortunate nature of the holiday, it doesn't mean that churches must miss an excellent opportunity to proclaim the Gospel. Here are a few ideas.

Some churches sponsor the popular Christian "reality houses," in which a dramatic, real-life presentation of the Gospel is acted out. Other churches host "harvest celebrations." These festive nights present an exciting, carnival-like atmosphere where costumed children can enjoy various attractions. In the parking lot they might find the pastor sitting in the dunking booth, or they can slide on the inflatable slide and jump around in the "moonwalk." Inside, Sunday School classes sponsor various booths where children can participate in games and activities, complete with prizes. If a church is too small to host the event by itself, it could partner with other churches. Often, local merchants wil...

One of my favorite questions to ask people at conferences is whether or not they like to fish. A usual response is for about 40 percent of the hands to go up immediately. After a brief moment, I always ask another probing question: "How many of you like to catch fish?" After some laughter, about 70 percent of the hands go into the air with much more zeal!

This raises a great point: most people want to reap the benefits of their labor. Therefore, when fishing, we would like to catch fish as often as possible! In other words, we prefer fishing in stocked ponds over community swimming pools! For a fisherman, the attraction is obvious.

Jesus had a few things to say about fishing. In fact, wasn't His initial call to Simon Peter and Andrew an invitation to go fishing? In Matthew 4:19, Jesus simply stated, "Follow Me, and I will make you fishers of men."

So, where are these ponds where we can "fish for men?" Well, with the start...