This! Destined to be Dog-eared…

unnamed-7Allen Webster says More than 20 years in the making, (this book) seems destined for a rare shelf-life of a generation or more in church libraries across the brotherhood. More importantly, I foresee worn and marked copies on elders’ nightstands and in preachers’ studies. 

Each year at Polishing the Pulpit Glenn Colley’s real-life scenarios are the most popular elders’ classes. These give shepherds the opportunity to discuss difficult situations using “rubber bullets” instead of the “live rounds” they must use in making decisions back home.

This book gives God’s men the opportunity to prepare ahead of time for challenges and to find solutions when the heat is on. Churches across the land will find their elders making better decisions. I highly recommend Awake at Night.” 

Alan Highers says “This is a practical book. It has grown out of actual sessions with elders who share their problems and difficulties. There are suggested solutions and recommended procedures for dealing with a wide variety of real situations that elders encounter. This is a virtual ‘handbook’ for an eldership. I know of no other book like it. There are many worthwhile books discussing the qualifications and duties of elders, but there is little in print to help elders in handling sensitive issues that arise within a congregation. This book fulfills that need.”

But I say—“Just get it!” For many years I’ve been languishing about leadership; the famine we’re in for lack of elders who are willing to do the hard things that are required for leading the church through an era of cultural relativism and ignorance of the scriptures in the body, itself. I’ve been encouraging mothers to do all we can to bring up our boys to be elders; to put backbones in them for the battles that are inevitably facing our congregations in the twenty-first century church. We need to be raising our girls to be the helpers, encouragers and comforters of these up-and-coming men of God. We simply have to make it our aim…our project, if you will…to put the qualities in our children that will make them ready for some difficult engagements with the devil’s forces in the next generation, should our God choose to let our world continue.

This book is the most “real” thing I’ve seen for preparing church leaders. Over the years, my husband has collected real, but anonymous problems elders have faced in recent times, for the purpose of an elders’ workshop session he conducts annually at Polishing the Pulpit (http://polishingthepulpit.com). The scenarios chosen for the book are designed to prepare and challenge today’s Christian men to lead God’s people with wisdom and courage. They include situations involving divorce and remarriage, other moral issues, doctrinal questions and sin in the lives of elders, themselves. While this is not necessarily a “happy” book, it’s a book filled with hope. It’s a bold attempt to transform the problems elders face today into teaching tools for tomorrow’s leaders. The “solutions” given in the book are both scriptural and practical.

I know the editor of this volume is my husband, but I’m really not promoting him. I want this book to fall into the hands of current elders who need resolve to stand against sin and division. I hope it falls into the hands of others who are already determined. They’re praying and working and loving and leading their flocks and are worthy of double honor and our encouragement. I hope it falls into the hands of young fathers who are already planning and preparing to take the reins of leadership when their turns come, because great leaders don’t just “happen” when old leaders die. I hope it falls into the hands of your sons and mine as we work to develop leadership skills in them—skills that will bless the kingdom. 

One lady left Huntsville last weekend with enough copies on hand so that each of her elders could have one. Do you know elders who are struggling, young men who can be tomorrow’s leaders, men who could present this material to the men of your congregation? The governance of the church has been perfectly designed by God. It’s up to us, though—mere humans— to develop qualified men who are up to the challenge of this greatest office to which mortals attain. I believe when we give this book to our elders, fathers, preachers and sons, we give strength to our congregations.

You can order here: http://thecolleyhouse.org

Sister to Sister: Oh Shepherd, Where Art Thou?

Headed-to-the-OfficeWhere? Where were the brave men in the church in Memphis, Tennessee who should have stood up and said, “We cannot bypass the expressed Will of God in First Timothy 2 by sanctioning the leadership of women in prayer and song in our worship? We simply cannot allow this to happen.”

Where were elders in Franklin, Tennessee during the years of digression that culminated in the hiring of the first woman pulpit intern at that church? Were there some who fought, at least for a time?

Where are elders in churches where groups of worshippers are clamoring for change; advocating the use of instruments in worship, the taking of communion on various days of the week, and  special religious observances on Easter and Christmas? Where are the shepherds?

Where are the bishops today when young couples are finding their way to divorce courts, young singles among us are openly living in fornication, and millennials are falling away in percentages that are taking our breath away? Are they going after them?

Some are. But in far too many churches, shepherds are not keeping the vigil. False teachers are allowed to bring heresy in and leaders allow Christians to scratch their heads and observe “Well, this is different than anything I’ve heard,” without coming before the people and refuting plain contradictions of the Word. So often, they fail to mark those who are causing division and, thus, churches divide and the Cause of Jesus suffers as communities see brethren who are splintering churches.

But, Cindy Colley, are you just ranting? This is a women’s blog and the sisters to whom you write cannot lead churches (except those churches you’re taking about which digress)!

There is something you can do. I would LOVE, through this blog to make a difference in the future of a congregation. What if we could do it through a book? I think we can. I want to encourage you to take a copy of “Headed to the Office” to your elders and respectfully ask them to let your boys take a quarter and study how to become faithful elders. What if you wrote your elders a note that  simply asked them to consider it?…

Dear Brothers,

Thanks for all the time spent in working to make our congregation pleasing to God. Thanks for protecting our souls. I hope you can take the time to look over this material. I’m praying for sound elders one day to take your places in shepherding this church. I think a quarter or two in a class of young men with this material could make a difference in getting there. Thanks for considering this! 

If your congregation is doing Lads to Leaders, your boys can enroll in the program through LADS. The material is here: http://l2l.mybigcommerce.com/curriculum/. But even if you’re not in the LADS program, this study is needed and may be the early intervention that gives your congregation the stamina to one day withstand the devil in a mighty way. I would encourage you to go order one copy…just one…to pass along to your elders. I’m convinced it’s a tiny investment that could keep congregations strong through what threatens to be an era of persecution.

Again, you can order from Lads to Leaders (not necessary to be a participating congregation) at the above link or, alternately, you can order from The Colley House at http://thecolleyhouse.org/store#!/~/category/id=3290179&offset=0&sort=normal. Nine dollars. Not much to invest in strong shepherds for the next generation in your congregation.

PS. An added benefit that we have seen is that men grow when they teach this material to boys. Some classes even include dads and mentors and it puts the church on a fast track to having strong qualified elders. I’m praying about this tool today. I’m praying for strong churches when today’s teens take the reins. They have huge potential handed to them by God and by an environment of available resources. We should challenge them to put  this potential to work in the only institution on earth that commutes over to the timeless side.

 

Do You Have What We Need?

About a month ago, the West Huntsville church, where I am a member, was blessed to see four new men become shepherds. This means we now have seven of the most capable, good-hearted, and diligent men I have ever known to lead this great church. I cannot thank God enough, ever, that I get to be part of this moment in this church’s history. This is not a board of directors. These are men who take seriously the role of pastor, bishop, elder. presbyter and shepherd. These are men who are in living rooms to discuss souls. These are men who are leaving the deacon work to the deacons and are making the tough decisions about the present and future spiritual condition of a congregation of God’s people. These are men who will come after you if you wander away…and, yes, men who have the courage to lead in discipline as First Corinthians five enjoins. These are men who are loved by the flock, but who are willing to do unpopular things in obedience to the Lord. I love the security of knowing they are watching for my soul.

I’m talking about these men:

Click Here

That’s right. These are the seven little boys who grew up to be shepherds of the people of God at West Huntsville in 2013. Mothers, can I get you to see your little boys in a different light? Can I get you to look at their grins and see the “way” they can have with those who need encouragement? Can I get you to see their amazing energy one day harnessed up in the work of the kingdom? Can I get you to look at those dirty little hands and see big hands holding the Word in front of a congregation of the Lord’s people? Can I get you to listen to those simple prayers at your table and imagine that voice praying about lost souls for which he will give an account? Can I get you to look at him as he sleeps and pray that he will be one of those men who is willing to lose sleep one day because he cares so deeply about the unity of the body? Can I get you to be happiest at the soccer field, not because he wins, but because he learns some hard lessons about losing, about re-grouping and about getting along as a team–lessons that will help him be a great leader for God? When he cries about that broken toy, Mom, can I get you to imagine his tears one day being shed because of broken people? Can I get you to just embrace him tightly while you plant this dream in your heart and pray daily to transfer it into his?

See, what the church needs today is not primarily bigger and better facilities, bigger congregations, more talent, more programs, or more money. What the church needs today is more courageous leaders. more Calebs, more Joshuas, more Josephs and Daniels. We need men who are willing to do the hard things to keep the body faithfully united in Truth. We need men who are soft enough to cry about lost souls, yet tough enough to do what God says to do to keep the body pure. What we need, mothers, is your little boys. Can we have them?

Headed to the Office by Glenn Colley

Spend just thirteen weeks investing in future elders in the body of Christ. This study, great for guys classes or individual study, is designed to make our young men want to be church leaders and to give them practical tools to develop the characteristics of elders listed in Titus 1 and I Timothy 3. Rich in scripture, sound in faith, and practical in application, this book will help grow leadership for your congregation’s future. We can’t afford to continue the dearth of great leaders we’ve begun to experience. Let’s be ready when this generation of elders is ready to pass the torch. Great discussion starters and projects to make spiritual maturity and leadership a natural part of the teen years. Great for guys aged 10-20.

Price: $8.95

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