Stocking Stuffers for Your Church Year End

There’s nothing better than the celebrating the Christmas season with our church family! There’s also something about the new year that also is inspiring as we envision the great things that God has for our congregations in the new year. As wonderful as this time of year is, it also requires some important administrative tasks to keep us on track. Do you (like me) fall behind on our Hub reports? Maybe catching up on them will also inspire you as you review what God has done through the church in last few months? Are your giving records up to date? Making sure you’ve maintained good records will encourage you as you see how generous people are and how faithful God has been.

For many of us, its important that we not only make time to pray about where God is leading us but also about how we can best facilitate and “ad-minister” that vision.  These resources will help prepare us for the new year.

Church Council Resources:

Did you know that Foursquare has training videos and forms you can use to equip your church council? Check them out here:

Free Operational Training Resources:

Life Church (based in Edmond OK) is passionate about equipping churches. They not only are the developers of YouVersion Bible app, but many other apps and resources that are free to use (you will need to create an account). I especially like some of the resources they have to optimize church operations. Check them out here: 

Planning Tips (Calendar and Budgeting):

Once again, I’ve found some really helpful thought on these matter from my friend Karl Vaters (formerly the senior pastor at Cornerstone Church (AoG) in Westminster CA) on his blog, “Pivot” hosted at Christianity Today.  Here are two of my favorites because they are so practical for my setting:

Planning and Calendaring: 


(BTW, I’ve found that in our context, a budget review every quarter is really helpful. Our January council meeting will set the budget for Q2 - April-June. This allows us to be responsive to the income trends and have some planning/prep time as well).

Praying with you for a grace covered, favor-filled year!


We know that the holiday season is a prime opportunity to connect with our community.  Often our outreach energy is directed towards events that ask them (the community) to come to us (the church). What are some things that we can participate in that allow us to go meet those in the community who can also use our help? Here’s a couple of things to get the ideas flowing…And if you have a good idea to share about what your church does, please leave it in the comments!

Angel Tree Outreach by Prison Fellowship

Angel Tree is a program of Prison Fellowship that connects parents in prison with their children through the delivery of Christmas gifts. In most cases, local church volunteers purchase and deliver gifts and the Gospel to children in the name of their prisoner-parent. Many churches make an annual commitment to this highly rewarding program, and recognize it as a way to care for some of the most overlooked members of our communities, continuing to connect with these families through the year.

Comfort In a Box (also on Facebook)

Founded by Foursquare pastor Michelle Hoefflin, Comfort In A Box is an organization that provides a little “Comfort” for each mom during her stay at one of the Southern California Ronald McDonald Houses. Each box of comfort contains a blanket, a pair of slippers and a bottle of all natural lavender lotion. The Ronald McDonald Houses provide a safe, welcoming and warm home-away-from-home for families with seriously ill children receiving treatment at a nearby medical facility. Churches can host a “Box Party” supplying and assembling the items and readying them for delivery. Churches can also participate in the delivery of the boxes to the appreciative caregivers.

Family Assistance Ministries Thanksgiving Dinner

FAM is one of many organizations that provides a Thanksgiving meal (along with one to go) to those who would go without in South Orange County, CA. This outreach not only serves those who are hungry, but also those who have no one to share the day with.

These are just a couple of examples. I hope you’ll post some ideas that might inspire others of us to take and extra step to connect with our community. It can be as simple as asking, “what is the need in our community?" Are there elderly folks who find themselves isolated and lonely in the holidays? Are there families who have a member chronically ill or facing a consuming challenge such as chemotherapy for cancer or dialysis? Maybe there are foster care kids in your areas that need to experience an expression of God’s love? Jesus came to us. Let’s live that way this holiday season by going out to our communities, and not simply settle for asking them to come to us.


"We believe that divine healing is the power of the Lord Jesus Christ to heal the sick and the afflicted in answer to believing prayer…” 

This is the opening statement for Article 14 in the Declaration of Faith for the Foursquare Church. Even more significant is that healing is one of four cornerstones our foundational ministry convictions. Yet, in the ever changing challenges we face doing ministry in our culture we are rediscovering a need for healing for the whole person: the soul, as well as the spirit and the body. 

Christy Wimber, leader in the Vineyard movement, said in a recent interview on The 700 Club (1), “We’ve been talking about physical healing for so many years, and have seen God do remarkable things, but theres 1 in 4 who are struggling with mental health in our culture (2). Which means that in our healing prayer meetings or our church services, if we’re not acknowledging that we’re basically missing the people sitting in the seats.”

Effective churches have always been quick to adapt to the needs of the culture around them. Studies show that when people are struggling with mental illness, the first place they call is the church. Let’s be ready to provide the kind of care to our communities that the church has always responded to.

Video: Pastor Training Video: Anxiety Disorders

In this simple, 10 minute video, licensed mental health counselor Kristen Kansiewicz provides an oversight of the different kinds of anxiety disorder that we may encounter and offers suggestions on how we can respond.   

Article: Five Tips For Making Your Church Emotionally Safe

Kristen Kansiewicz, LMHC, offers some simple suggestions for making sure our church is a place for people to find hope and healing.

Resource: Hope For Mental Health - Ministry Starter Kit from Saddleback Church

The Hope for Mental Health Ministry ( extends the radical friendship of Jesus by providing transforming love, support, and hope through the local church, as we journey alongside people living with mental illness and their families in a holistic way.  -

(1) Interview with Christy Wimber’s interview on The 700 Club regarding the impact of mental health in our community and churches: 

(2) Actual statistics are 19% of adults, 44.7 million people in the US. The percentage is highest among young adults 18-25.From National Institute for Mental Health, online at


This week we learned of a 30-something lead pastor who took his own life as a result of a battle with depression (1). He leaves behind a heartbroken wife, 3 young boys, and a large congregation that is reeling in the wake of this tragedy. His wife posted her thoughts about her husband in a blog post (2), saying, "I am so sorry you were so scared, I am so sorry you felt so alone, I am so sorry you felt misunderstood,I am so sorry you felt betrayed and deeply hurt by the words and actions of others,I am so sorry you were fighting a dark spiritual war virtually alone, I am so sorry you were unable to fully get the help and support you needed.

I would imagine that at one time or another we’ve all experienced the feelings identified by this grieving wife. Paul Kuzma, Director of Foursquare’s Center For Spiritual Renewal East in Christiansburg VA (3) works with leaders who are living in the shadow caused by depression. Paul himself has been diagnosed with anxiety and depression, and identifies with the personal pain leaders experience. Paul suggests the following books as a point of information and self-identification:

Book: Coping with Depression in the Ministry and Other Helping Professions by Archibald Hart

Dr Hart offers a good overview of the stages of depression, along with identifying some of the hazards of ministry that easily cause depression.

Book: A Pastor’s Guide for the Shadow of Depression by Gary Lovejoy

Dr Lovejoy helps pastors identify the markers of depression as well as assertive ways to address the critical issues that may be it’s cause. 

More important that the information is the willingness of a leader to be vulnerable and reach out for help. YOU ARE NOT ALONE! Feel free to email me - - or Paul Kuzma - (Request appointment online) and we’ll get you in contact with someone who will journey with you through the “valley of the shadow.” Don’t allow a heart broken loved-one to have to say about any of us that we were “unable to fully get the help and support (we) needed.”

Jeff Hamilton





NEXT MONTH IN IMPROVEMENT: Resources to help you church develop a mental health ministry

How to become an MVP

For many pastors, preaching is a passion. The discipleship provided from the pulpit on Sunday mornings is the most visible aspect of the church’s ministry. It would make sense that the preaching offered in our churches should always be improving and getting better. 

It begins with the basics. NBA MVP Steph Curry has a 20 minute routine that he performs before each game. It focuses on dribbling and shooting. Many of the drills he does are drill taught to children who are just learning how to play (see it here - Mike Trout, generally regarded as the the best player in baseball for the last 5 years, hasn’t been taking pre-game batting practice on the field at all this year, opting instead for hitting balls off a tee and soft toss in the underground batting cages ( Both of their routines focus on bringing things back to the basics, keeping things simple, and a belief that repetition creates success.

What are the basics for preaching? It begins with prayer, our daily meeting with Jesus. It’s also being in the Word, so that we can receive a word to encourage and equip the people of God. Yet, beyond that daily spiritual work, what the basics of being a good communicator? These resources may help you improve your skill to an MVP (most valuable preacher) level.

Book: Communicating For a Change by Andy Stanley and Lane Jones 

In Communicating for a Change, Andy Stanley and Lane Jones offer a unique strategy for communicators seeking to deliver captivating and practical messages. In this highly creative presentation, the authors unpack seven concepts that will empower you to engage and impact your audiences in a way that leaves them wanting more.

Book: The Big Idea: Focus the Message, Multiply the Impact by Dave Ferguson

Leaders don’t often see the concepts from Sunday’s message applied in people’s lives to help the accomplish Jesus’ mission. Why? Because people’s heads are swimming with too many little ideas, far more than they can ever apply.The Big Idea can help you creatively present one laser-focused theme each week to be discussed in families and small groups.

Video: "TED's secret to great public speaking" by Chris Anderson

Chris Anderson is the Curator of TED, a nonprofit devoted to sharing valuable ideas, primarily through the medium of 'TED Talks' -- short talks that are offered free online to a global audience. In this video, Chris shares the four most important key to making a presentation that is not only memorable, but actionable.

Video“How to create an awesome slide presentation” by Pat Flynn

Creating great slides doesn't have to be difficult, and with a few simple rules and some guidelines to follow, the impact of your message will be multiplied and more memorable.


Counseling resources to save you time!

I promise to save you time!

Can I give you a gift of 12 more hours today to use any way you want? Asked another way: Could I lessen your “counseling load” by 50% or more?  If you are a pastor that has to counsel others, be they leaders, pre-marrieds, marrieds or general church member, this Improvement Article is for you!  

I have two resources that have saved me 50% and more in my time of counseling.  

SYMBIS Assessment

What used to take me 10 sessions in a pre-marital meetings with a couple, now takes me  4 sessions with this tool.  Log on to  and choose to become a SYMBIS facilitator for a one time fee of $200.  You will get 3 hours of on line training to read and interpret assessments.  Once trained this is how it works:  A couple gives you their names, gender and email for both bride and groom.  You log on to your personal account with SYMBIS (Saving Your Marriage Before It Starts.) and send the couple an invite.  They pay $30 (total per couple) to take individual assessments and can be finished in a matter of minutes.  A detailed 15 page assessment is then immediately sent to you. You walk the couple through the findings.

TOWNSEND AND CLOUDʻS One Week Intensive (OWI) 

The One Week Intensive for Counselors is a one week training workshop for psychologists, therapists, counselors, pastoral caregivers, and those in helping roles. For over 20 years, Christian clinical psychologists Drs. Cloud and Townsend have used their biblical nature of the growth model to help millions to resolve depressions, anxiety disorders, addictions, character disorders, trauma issues, relational struggles, family dysfunctions and career problems.

There is no other training I know like this.  In a short time, I learned to diagnose and identify particular issues using the growth model, and experienced true healing for myself through relationships and structure. I now use this in EVERY one of my counseling sessions and feel confident to walk many to health and long-term restoration.  In this training, diagnosis and ability to treat from a biblical view has been fruitful and time saving (50% or more).  Check out the testimonies.

Next workshop March 25-29, 2019. 

Want more info? Call or write me:  Kiha Pimental, 808 561-5967,  

Improving ministry through rest

We’ve all been educated on the significance of Sabbath, but the practice of self-care is a difficult spiritual discipline to implement. To quote Pete Scazzaro (The Emotionally Healthy Leader) - "The overall health of any church or ministry depends primarily on the emotional and spiritual health of its leadership. In fact, the key to successful spiritual leadership has much more to do with the leader's internal life than with the leaders expertise, gifts, or experience.” Creating space for solitude and silence, along with reflection and refreshment, is crucial to the leaders’ personal well-being. This month’s “improvement” section provides information about personal pastoral retreats.


PASTORS’ SABBATICAL RETREAT | Pacific Southwest District

Pastor Sabbatical Retreats (PSRs) create intentional space to relax and listen to God, alone and together, with a few other pastor couples. PSRs gather at a relaxing, executive level retreat spot that is inspiring and conducive to tuning into God’s voice through gently-guided sessions of silence and solitude, along with some marital and group work. There are times of worship and always plenty of laughter and fun. They are 4 days / 3 nights, begin at lunch on the first day (after morning travel) and end after lunch on the fourth day.  The costs of the retreat vary based on locations, but are supplimented by the district. The next date is TBA. 

For more information -

SILENT RETREAT | Unhurried Living (

The author of An Unhurried Life and An Unhurried Leader, Alan Fadling and his wife Gem guide leaders through a 3 day / 2 night experience of solitude, silence, and prayer.It is designed to help leaders step out of the life in the fast lane and learn the rhythms of Jesus. This experience helps to recalibrate leaders to lead others form a deep, abiding connection with the Lord. The next retreat will be June 20-22 at Prince of Peace Abbey in Oceanside CA. Cost is $349.

For more information -


A simple internet search for “pastoral retreats” produces numerous results. There are some locations that allow for pastoral leaders to getaway for counseling and care, personal sabbaths and study. The Christian Hospitality Network ( is a resource that provides links to accommodations and pastoral care retreats in the US and around the world. Some are free and others at a significant discounted rate. Some facilitate a specific program while others are self-directed (lodging only). A few that are located within our district boundaries are listed below. The facilities listed below are examples of what is available, not endorsements by the District. 



Shepherd’s Canyon Retreat offers seven carefully designed days of individual, couple, and group Christian counseling. The emphasis is upon Christian professional church workers including, but not limited to Pastors, Missionaries, church staff, etc, and their spouses.



Pepeekeo Point Resort is a place of rest for those serving ther Lord; a place to receive new strength, hope, and direction, and a place to help others continue with the Lord's work.  The Pepeekeo Point Resort, located only 10 miles north of Downtown Hilo on the Hamakua Coast. The resort grounds are comprised of roughly three acres with direct ocean frontage. Rates and reservations are made via phone only - (808) 964-8508.

Improvement through reading

Its said that “leaders are readers.” I often like to ask peers what they are reading, and why they are reading what they are reading. In this month’s IMPROVEMENT section, we get to meet three leaders, serving in different roles in different places. Find out what books (other than the Scripture) have had the most influence in these three leader’s lives, and why they recommend them.

(Click the images for more information)


Jessica Schultz

Campus Pastor - Grace North, Anthem AZ |


"Pilgrims Progress” by John Bunyan

As a child who grew up in church, I can't identify the moment I gave my heart to Jesus. I do know that when I was in third grade my dad offered me a reward system for reading challenging works. The first assignment was a full version of The Pilgrims Progress. For the first time, I had deep understanding of my need for Jesus and the struggle I faced as a lost person without Him.  I found myself confronting my own inner “Christian” and committing to a journey of following Christ. This book confirmed by commitment as a disciple of Jesus Christ. 


"The Spirit of the Disciplines” by Dallas Willard

This book consistently calls me back to the basics. When I have overcomplicated my routines before the Lord or slipped into a dry, performance driven rut, this reminds me of value of spiritual disciplines. As a person who resists practices that feel “religious”, it is easy to devalue the practice spiritual disciplines. This book broke that cycle in my life. 


"Reaching Out: The Three Movements of the Spiritual Life” by Henri J. Nouwen

Even as a “people person" I find myself lonely and isolated. This book reminds me reaching in to maintain personal health, Reaching out to others to grow in relational health and reaching up to the God as my source of health and strength.



Brandon Ahu

Assistant Pastor - Metro Church, Honolulu HI |


"Strengthening the Soul of Your Leadership: Seeking God in the Crucible of Ministry" by Ruth Haley Barton

Hardship and difficulties in ministry are plenty.  But the spiritual disciplines that help us to pursue God and persevere are invaluable to continue serving him.  

Hardship and difficulties in ministry are plenty.  But the spiritual disciplines that help us to pursue God and persevere are invaluable to continue serving him.  



"The Emotionally Healthy Church" by Pete Scazerro

Knowing the bible is great, but if we are not living balanced lives than we are still immature.  This book challenged me to look at other aspects of my life and leadership, especially in the area of emotional maturity.  



"The Ascent of a Leader" by Bill Thrall, Bruce McNicol, and Ken McElrath

If it is true that we lead out of who we are, then character counts for much more than we realize.  This book presents two very different ladders of success and challenged me to examine which I am climbing.  Relationships of grace are paramount to developing character as a leader.  



Joe Hogan

Associate Pastor - Cornerstone Church, Anaheim CA |


“Carpe Diem” by Tony Campolo

First book that comes to my mind that helped me to take risk and embrace everyday with passion and purpose.  I had a few bible studies with Tony Campolo in the early years of my ministry and have a few stories of my own that looking back now were started listening to Tony’s stories. 



“The Divine Mentor” by Wayne Cordeiro

Working in young adult ministries over these past 20 years, Wayne’s book has been a must read for all my interns.  No greater mentors and relationship to cultivate than the men and women of the scripture’s.  A common ingredient for success of great leaders is the ability for them to seek after mentors.  Wayne helps those looking for mentors to find it in the scriptures themselves.  I have passed around my copy so often I’d like to get it back.   


“Crazy Love” by Francis Chan

Francis has raised the bar of what it means to put love into action.  People are to follow us as we follow Christ.  Crazy Love has helped me to focus on one thing.  Not just study the teachings of Jesus Christ but to follow through with them.  You will not read the bible the same, since it’s not a book just to be studied but lived out.

Equipped to Serve


I love church resources that are developed by people in the church who have a passion to use their gift to further equip the church. Here are some websites (with additional resources) that are developed by non-pastoral local church leaders to help equip others who serve in roles similar to their own. I subscribe to each of these site’s emails. They also offer cost effective training resources:

James Wassam is a 20 year professional in the sound mixing and systems installer. He also believes that the technical ministry volunteers are important to the ministry of the congregation and wants to equip them with quality tools to help them grow in their craft, skill, and spirit. The newsletter produced by Great Church Sound is very practical and easy to understand. The site also offers training videos ($) and features the book authored by James. The monthly blog is great too. Sign up for the newsletter here:

These guys offer all kinds of products and tutorials. I personally use their Pads products. But the best thing in my opinion is their “Vlogs” (video blogs); one is about the practical side of leading worship (gear, staying “relevant”, production) and the other is about leadership (conducting auditions, team preparation and rehearsals, etc). They also provide tutorials on playing curretn, popular worship songs. Good stuff here. 

ECFA certifies churches and ministries for financial integrity and is a leading provider of free, practical resources for churches on financial management, governance, and stewardship.They have partnered with Life Church to provide practical policy and practices guidelines ( Their “ChurchPulse” newsletter is also a great source for resources. Sign up here: 

Information and Inspiration

Two things are key to improving: information and inspiration -  we have to know what to do, and be motivated to do it. This month’s IMPROVEMENT tools will do both.

Attend: HIM Conference 2018 (Hawaiian Island Ministries)
Listen: Church Leaders Podcast
Watch: 2018 Leadership Summit w/ Wayne Cordeiro


Attend: HIM Conference 2018 (Hawaiian Island Ministries)

HIM is the largest annual gathering of Christians in Hawaii, celebrating 35 years of ministry in 2018. Join us as we worship, pray, learn, love, grow together across denominations, cultures, generations and differences as the beloved Body of Christ. General sessions speakers include Francis Chan, Margaret Feinberg, John Ortberg, Mike Pilavachi. PSW Assistant District Supervisor Kiha Pimental, Brandon Ahu from Metro Christian Church,  and Anchor Church Lead Pastor Carl Moore and Youth Pastor Anuhea Akamine are among the workshop presenters. March 15-17 in Honolulu HI.  For more information and to register, visit

Listen: Church Leaders Podcast

A podcast is essentially a radio show that you can get on the internet, so you can listen any time you want. ChurchLeaders (, is an essential resource for the pastoral leader featuring articles, news, videos and more. CL’s podcast presents ground-breaking conversations with today's top ministry leaders designed to help you lead better. Listen on your computer, on on your iPod/iPhone.

Watch: 2018 Leadership Summit w/ Wayne Cordeiro

New Hope Las Vegas recently hosted their 2018 Leadership Summit with guest speaker Wayne Cordeiro. Pastor Wayne is the founding pastor of New Hope Oahu Christian Fellowship and has authored 12 books, including Doing Church as a Team and The Dream Releasers. Pastor Kent Miyoshi has graciously made the video of the Summit available to our PSW pastors. View the conference videos online at our district website -

Tools for Improving

We all want to improve. Sometimes to get better, we need education and information. At other times, a new tool is what is required to take the next step. Whatever it is that you need to improve, we hope to provide you with some resources that will at least spark an idea and at best be a solution that you’ve been looking for. This month we feature three resources:

Data: “Are Young People Really Leaving Christianity?” by J Warner Wallace. 
Blog: "Pivot: Innovative Leadership from a Small Church Perspective" by Karl Vaters
Tool: Aplos Accounting Software



Data: “Are Young People Really Leaving Christianity?” by J Warner Wallace.

J Warner Wallace, former detective for the Torrance (CA) Police Department and author of “Cold Case Christianity,” summarizes the results multiple studies and research projects on the subjects related to the spiritual views of teens and young adults. A very helpful tool to get an overview of the subject and to find additional resources that dig deeper into the the topic. 



Blog: "Pivot: Innovative Leadership from a Small Church Perspective" by Karl Vaters

Pivot is a Christianity Today blog by pastor and author Karl Vaters. He writes about church health and innovative leadership from the perspective of small church. Karl has served as the senior pastor of Cornerstone (Assembly of God) in Fountain Valley for over 25 years. His experience of leading a small, healthy church led him to write “The Grasshopper Myth.” This weekly blog encourages, challenges, and resources leaders of small congregations.



Tool: Aplos Accounting Software

Aplos Accounting is a simple, online accounting software that allows a church to confidently manage their books. Simple to learn and user friendly, Aplos is a cloud based application that is specifically designed for churches and non-profits. It features true fund accounting, integrated budgeting tools, customized reporting, and more. Foursquare is working with Aplos to become a preferred service provider and offers discounts to Foursquare churches.