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Showing posts from September, 2009

The Priority to Ministry - Prayer

What are our priorities?

It would seem that we may be the most "stressed out" generation ever. Living life in the fast lane is not a pleasant way, nor the most effective way to serve the Lord. Too often, we equate busyness with ministry, thinking the more busy we are, the more effect we are. In fact, nothing could be further from the truth.

Hilary of Tours shared in the final analysis that our rushing around in the ministry is, "irreligiosa sollicitudo pro Deo." Or, "a blasphemous anxiety to do God's work for Him." Or as I would interpret it, "we are just too busy."

Eugene Peterson wrote in his book, The Comtemplative Pastor: Returning to the Art of Spiritual Direction that there are two reasons why pastors are so busy (and I might add this goes for all christians, not just pastors).

1. I am busy because I am vain. I want to appear important. Significant.

2. I am busy because I am lazy. I indolently let others decide what I will do inste…

October is Pastor Appreciation Month

PLEASE BE SURE TO SHARE YOUR APPRECIATION FOR YOUR PASTORWANTED: Minister for local church“Must have experience as shepherd, CEO, office manager, educator, salesman, diplomat, referee, writer, theologian, politician, motivational speaker, Boy Scout leader, psychologist, social worker, funeral director, wedding consultant, master of ceremonies, church planter, missionary. Helpful but not essential: landscape manager, interior decorator, musician, minor league athlete, stand-up comedian.Should have answers to life’s tough questions about suffering, dying, God’s sovereignty. Must hold firm convictions on every topic, but not allowed to ruffle anyone’s feathers. Must think as deeply as C.S. Lewis, preach as passionately as C.H. Spurgeon, listen as sensitively as James Dobson.Sweet disposition required at all times, even when attacked or simply having a bad day. Must have wisdom and experience of age but energy and glow of youth. Required to attend every potluck dinner, y…

Pastoral Appointment - Lebanon, Tennessee

I am pleased to announce the appointment of Bishop Richard A. Neal, Sr., to the Lebanon Church of God of Prophecy.

Pastor Richard and Pat Neal are no strangers to the people of Tennessee, having served as the Campground Managers of Camp Hickory Hills, and pastorates in various locations, most recently at Erin, Tennessee.

Please join me in prayer for Brother and Sister Neal, and the congregations of Erin and Lebanon as each go through this time of transition.

ICM Continues

Debra and I are so blessed to be attending the International Children's Ministries Institute in Ridgecrest, North Carolina. We are also thrilled to have 20 other leaders from Tennessee attending the event with us.

Special thanks to Kim Batson, State Children's Ministries Director for helping to encourage and promote this event. I believe we will see a great harvest in Tennessee as our people return to their fields of labor tomorrow.

Also, special thanks to the Pastors who encouraged their leaders to attend.

Welcome to our World.

We are pleased to welcome Landon Timothy Farmer to the world. He weighs in at 7 pounds and 9 ounces, born at Williamson County Medical Center in Franklin, Tennessee.
Landon's proud parents are Tim and Kimberly Farmer, State Youth Director for Tennessee. We are happy they are following the new outreach motto....."Win one or have one."

Nashville Area Pastoral Fellowship Dinner

Tonight, pastors and their companion from the Middle Tennessee part of the state gathered in Lebanon, Tennessee for a time of fellowship and good food. As always the spirit of unity and mutual appreciation was present, and we had a great time being together.
The pastoral leadership in Tennessee are among the best anywhere, and we are privileged to be with such wonderful people.

West Tennessee Pastoral Fellowship Dinner

Last night, Debra and I made the trip to Jackson, Tennessee to fellowship with the pastors and their companion. There was a great turnout from the areas under the supervision of Bishop Clayton Mahan and Robbie Wier.
A special thanks to the wonderful leadership in the Western part of Tennessee. Our churches are blessed to have such capable ministers serving our congregations there.

Rearranging God’s House

Several years ago when serving as the Senior Pastor of a local congregation, one of the members of the church offered to babysit our children while Debra and I took a much-needed night off. We enjoyed the evening together and actually felt the stress of being a pastor fade…that was until we returned home.Upon entrance into the living room, we noticed something had changed. Well, it wasn’t just “something” that changed but the arrangement of the entire living room. The sofa and chairs were moved, the entertainment center was moved and even the pictures on the wall had been rearranged. It seems that the “blessed sister” of the congregation, while babysitting our children took it upon herself to change everything in our home. Now, I know the house belonged to the church because it was a parsonage, but their house was our home. I couldn’t believe my eyes, but more than that, I couldn’t believe the audacity this church member had to come into our home and turn it upside down. I’m s…

The Answer

This week I had the privilege of receiving the manuscript of a book to be published by a spiritual giant. The author offered to accept my thoughts to be added to the publication, which was a real honor to me personally. The book was a fascinating read which I couldn’t put down. It detailed the questions, the struggles and the affirmations of faith from a man who is known and loved by thousands of believers around the world. I have to admit that after reading the first one fourth of the manuscript, I found myself examining my own heart and some of my philosophies of ministry that have been developed over a thirty-year period of ministry. The manuscript actually drove me back to my favorite book (the Bible) to discover truths that I actually learned as a child, but that in the “hustle and bustle” of life may have relegated to another part of my mind than the part that faces daily struggles.I found myself staring off into the distance outside my office window, remembering the truths…

Children's Ministries Leadership Intensive

In pursuit of our core values, Debra and I joined people from multiple states and nations at the Lifeway-Ridgecrest Conference Center for the International Children's Ministries Leadership Intensive.

We had 20 local church Childrens Ministries Leaders from Tennessee in attendance.

Our own state director has been teaching and doing a wonderful job and we are so proud of her.

Dickson Area Pastor's Fellowship

This evening, Debra and I shared a meal and fellowship with our pastoral leadership in the Dickson area. Special thanks to Bishop Gary Riley for making the arrangements for our meal at the Farmer's Market. The food was great but the fellowship was even better.

What a blessing it is for us to share together with such a wonderful group of people.

Cleveland Area Pastor/Companion

On Monday evening, Debra and I had the privilege of sharing a meal and fellowship with the wonderful pastors and companions of the Cleveland/Chattanooga area of our church.Bishop A.J. Coalter assisted me in the preparation for the meeting and the fellowship was sweet and wonderful.  The support and promises of prayer from our pastors and their companions continues to amaze me as we travel from area-to-area, and we will be forever grateful for the expressions of love that continually flow to us.We now look forward to the final meetings of the fall with our pastor/companions, as we gather with the Dickson area tomorrow night, then with West Tennessee at the first of the next week and ending with the Nashville area pastors after that.Tennessee is privileged to have such caring, loving shepherds among us.  May God bless you as we continue to serve together.

Omega Generation - International Youth Ministries Update

From our International Ministries Team --

Hey Omega Generation –

The hotel has alerted us that they still have rooms available and would like for us to keep filling them out. So, keep sending those applications in if you want to stay at the Resort!

Also, we have updated the website with important conference information. Check it out at

As always, drop us a line or give us a call if you have questions or need help registering at 423-559-5304 or 423-559-5306!


Busy Sunday

Today, I preached twice at the Lebanon church and was so thankful for the Presence of the Lord. Debra has been in Oregon since Friday and I've been using the past couple of days to catch up on work in the office. Debra will return tomorrow morning (overnight flight) from Hood River where she was teaching in a Ladies Retreat.

Tomorrow night, we meet with the pastors/companions in the Cleveland area for a time of fellowship. I appreciate your prayers as we continue to travel the state and do the work of the Lord. God is so good to us.

Very special prayer request

I received the following message this morning on our Facebook account, please join us in prayer.

"Bro McKinley, we are the Stockdale's from Big Sandy, I am asking you that you and Sis. McKinley please pray for our 8 year old grandson. JT .

He was taken to St Judes in Memphis last night and has was told that he has leukemia.

He was fine whenever I took him to school yesterday morning. Around 10 am he suddenly begin having sever leg cramps.

Took him to clinic and now he's in Memphis. Please keep us in your prayers

Kathy Lee Stockdale"

Durkee Road Church (Cleveland)

I am pleased to announce the appointment of Pastor Rick Brogden to the Durkee Road (Cleveland) church effective October 1, 2009. Pastor Brogden and his family will be coming to us from the State of Tennessee. Please join me in pray for this new pastoral family and for the church.

McMinnville - West Riverside

Effective immediately, Dr. Jimmy Barrett has been appointed to serve as the Senior Pastor of the congregation at the McMinnville, West Riverside Church of God of Prophecy. I trust you will all join me in prayer for Brother and Sister Barrett


Bishop Alvin Jones has agreed to serve as pastor of the Adamsville Church of God of Prophecy. We are pleased to make the announcement. This is effective immediately, and I ask that you join me in prayer for Brother and Sister Jones.


Effectively immediately, Milton and Karen Gordon have been appointed to serve our Waverly church. They bring years of experience to the local congregation. Please join me in prayer for the Gordons and the Waverly church.

A Study of Integrity

This past week, I've spent quite a bit of time in a character study of Joseph. This has been a fascinating study into the basics of spiritual formation. Joseph was the son of Jacob and Rachel (Gen 30:22-24) who seemed to be the favored child of his father (37.3) which put him in a terrible spot with his brothers (33:3-11). Because of his dreams, he was despised by them (37:5-10) and eventually sold into bondage. (37:12-28).

When studying Joseph's life, it's easy to see why he was such a special man, one who was favored by his father and elevated by God, despite the circumstances in his life. There are seven points to his story that are highlighted between Genesis 39: 2 and Genesis 50. I would like to share them with you today.


1. Godly Influence (Gen 39:2-3)

In the last few months, I've noticed that one of the most important lessons to be learned is that a Godly influence is everything. The Scriptures are filled with examples of Godly influenc…

Speaking the truth

The recent issue of Christianity Today (September 2009) features an article on "Word Pollution" that intrigued me. In fact, I turned straight to the article written by Marilyn Chandler McEntyre, a Fellow at the Gaede Institute for the Liberal Arts, Westmont College.
While I may not totally agree with everything in the article, there was a statement that stood out to me. McEntyre writes, "It is hard to tell the truth these days, because of the varieties of untruth are so many, so pervasive, and so well disguised. Lies are hard to identify when they come in the form of apparently innocuous imprecisions socially acceptable slippages, hyperboles posing as enthusiasm, or well-placed propaganda."
In a world filled with broken promises and twisted truth, the people of God should be those who, "Speak the truth to one another; render in your gates judgments that are true and make for peace." (Zechariah 8:16 ESV) Paul wrote it this way, "But speaking the t…