VMC Thinking Ahead E-Update  August 2012
VMC Thinking Ahead e-update
As you gear up for the fall, here are some resources recommended by leaders in the VMC network to help invigorate your ministry. Thanks to all who contributed suggestions!
NOTE: VMC staff have not reviewed all of these resources. You may find some that you disagree with or that challenge your way of thinking.

The Great Giveaway: Reclaiming the Mission of the Church From Big business, Parachurch Organizations, Psychotherapy, Consumer Capitalism and Other Modern Maladies by David Fitch.
Recommended by: Geoff K. Chapman, Senior Pastor/University Chapel

9 Marks: Building Healthy Churches  (e-journal)
9Marks is a ministry dedicated to equipping church leaders with a biblical vision and practical resources.
Recommended by Ben Peltz, Youth Leader/Auburn Chapel

Not Your Parents’ Offering Plate: A New Vision for Financial Stewardship
by J. Clif Christopher
Christopher, a former pastor and long-time church fundraising consultant, provides a detailed overview of financial challenges facing churches, and suggestions about how to adapt to the new reality. He argues that thriving churches have high expectations for members in all areas of discipleship and stewardship. This includes: calling people to tithe, preaching four times a year on various aspects of spirituality and money, having Christian financial planning classes to encourage more generous giving and to help members who are in financial jeopardy.
This short, challenging book is useful reading for pastors and volunteer leaders in any church.
Recommended by Mike Strathdee, M.A., CFP/Mennonite Foundation of Canada

Renovation of the Church: What Happens When a Seeker Church Discovers Spiritual Formation by Kent Carlson and Mike Leuken
“Mentored by Dallas Willard, this is a story of a church that migrated from a Willowcreek Model to a Spiritual Formation model to a missional model. I appreciate their honesty as a congregation trying to balance proclamation and discipleship.This is a good read for church leaders who have used the REVEAL Spiritual Life Survey with their congregation and tried to respond to its diagnosis.”
Recommended by Bob Cameron, Senior Pastor/Downtown Windsor Community Collaborative

Speaking of Dying: Recovering the Church’s Voice in the Face of Death by Craddock, Goldsmith and Goldsmith
“Fascinating. ”
Recommended by James Bekkers, Pastor of Community Life/North Park Community Church

Church Planting Movements by David Garrison
Recommended by MoveIn

The 21 Most Powerful Minutes in a Leaders Day: Revitalize Your Spirit and Empower Your Leadership by John C. Maxwell
Recommended by Jabesmar A. Guimarães/Brazilian Missionary

And: The Gathered and Scattered Church by Hugh Halter
Recommended by Nathan Bryant, Executive Director/Grace Brethren Canada

Church Unique: How Missional Leaders Cast Vision, Capture Culture, and Create Movement by Will Mancini
“I appreciate Mancini's emphasis on looking for the distinctive character in each congregation while also focusing on the common mission of all churches.“
Recommended by Bob Cameron, Senior Pastor/Downtown Windsor Community Collaborative

Exponential: How You and Your Friends Can Start a Missional Church Movement by Dave Ferguson
Recommended by Nathan Bryant, Executive Director/Grace Brethren Canada

Missional Renaissance:Changing the Scorecard for the Church by Reggie McNeal
Recommended by Nathan Bryant, Executive Director/Grace Brethren Canada

Not a Fan: Becoming a Completely Committed Follower of Jesus by Kyle Idleman
Recommended by Sue Grieves, The Bridge Community Church

The Meaning of Marriage: Facing the Complexities of Commitment with the Wisdom of God by Timothy Keller
Recommended by Sue Grieves, The Bridge Community Church

Spirit Rising: Tapping into the Power of the Holy Spirit by Jim Cymbala
Recommended by Jannie & Bob Van Noppen, Pine Grove Bible Church

Spiritual Friendship: The Art of Being Friends with God and a Few Others by Norm Allen
Recommended by Bruce Beacham, ForestView Church

The Bottom Billion: Why the Poorest Countries Are Failing and What Can Be Done About It by Paul Collier
Recommended by MoveIn

The Beggar's Garden by Michael Christie
“Nine fictional short stories about persons living in downtown Vancouver. The author  (a Giller prize winner) captures the mind and condition of each person, maintaining their dignity. Helpful in raising my compassion and understanding for the common characters found in each urban city. Not a ‘Christian’ book.”
Recommended by Bob Cameron, Senior Pastor/Downtown Windsor Community Collaborative

I Dared to Call Him Father:The Miraculous Story of a Muslim Woman's Encounter with God   by Bilquis Sheikh
Recommended by MoveIn

Jesus Film
DVDs available with 16 language options for outreach to new immigrants
Recommended by The Jesus Network (and available to order from them)

More than Dreams
DVD testimonies of Muslims who have come to Christ
Recommended by The Jesus Network (and available to order from them)

The Politically Incorrect Guide to Islam (And the Crusades) by Robert Spencer
"If a believer is fully aware that God's Word directs us to 'love our enemies' and 'pray for those who persecute you' then this book can be a very helpful education to the history and roots of the present Islamic threat in the world...reading this book has reinforced my understanding of how desperate is the need for God's believing people to "go into all the world and preach the Gospel.I deplore the email postings, etc. that purport to be supportive of democratic values, etc. yet are really a kind of hate-message against Muslims. God loves all people. Jesus died to provide a redemptive base for all people. We are to love whom God loves - and seeing the larger picture of the Quran worldview (which apparently most 'ordinary' Muslims don't know) can only equip us to extend an  educated compassion and willingness to share Christ 'while it is day.'"
Recommended by Ed Hughes/Believers' Bible Chapel

www.dougfields.com  (Blog focused on Marriage, Family, Youth Ministry, and Leadership)
www.whyismarko.com (Blog focused on Youth Ministry. Thoughts from Mark Oestricher former  President of Youth Specialities.)
www.studentministry.org (Conversations among youthworkers curated by Tim Schmoyer.)

“My top recommendations for resources for understanding teen culture and philosophy of ministry.”
Recommended by PJ Wong,Youth & Young Adult Ministries/Lincoln Road Chapel

Celebrating Pastors Recovery groups will be held in Ottawa and the Waterloo Region of Ontario this fall, These groups are safe places for available for Pastors, spouses and church leaders to find help and healing for their hurts, habits, and hang-ups. See http://cprpastors.com/
Recommended by Deb Jones, Eastern Canada Director/Celebrate Recovery

Inexpensive Software and Computer Products

Recommended by Stephen Saint , IT Consultant Squanto Information Systems

Microsoft Security Essentials is the only, free for non-personal use, antivirus software that we are aware of at this time. Up to 10 installations are allowed. If you need more than 10 licenses then we recommend AVG.
Significant discounts available on Microsoft Office products if you are a registered charity. Eg. MS Office 2010 Professional is around $100.
    Dell offers best resale prices. Call Michael Ho at Dell (800-387-5752 ext. 4172429) for a quote. Initial purchase must be 5 licenses of any of the products available. If you only need one MS Office license, you can purchase that license plus 4 Windows 2008 Client Access Licenses ($7 each). After 2 years you will need to purchase another 5 licenses (but previously purchased licenses do not expire.)
Significant charitable discounts available. Eg. Adobe Design Suite Standard CS6 (Photoshop, InDesign, Illustrator, Acrobat) for $436 rather than retail of $1300. Our preferred reseller is Softchoice.com. Contact Justin De Guzman (416-588-9002 x2174) for a quote.
     You can download a free PDF creator from primopdf.com. They also have a paid version which allows you to edit PDF documents
On a tight budget? Consider refurbished off-lease computers and monitors from Dell dfsdirect.ca.  If you have relatively high labour costs then it may be less expensive, in the long run, to buy new.
     We strongly recommend major brands (like HP and Dell) versus buying a "white box"made at local computer shop or in your neighbours garage. The Dell Vostro line of desktops and laptops is good for churches and small businesses. No charitable discounts available (due to little mark-up on hardware). Call Michael Ho at Dell (800-387-5752 ext. 4172429) for a quote.

Save as much as 25% ordering open box Apple systems through apple.ca  Save even more with refurbs .

While there are several free products available for photo editing and organizing our current favourite is Google's Picasa which can be downloaded for free from http://picasa.google.ca/intl/en/

Need Help?

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