5 Reasons To Pray Every Day, (Part 2)

I began last week sharing with you the summary points of a presentation I had the privilege of hearing a few years ago from Dr. David Cho, pastor of the world’s largest church.

Five reasons why Dr. Cho said he prays every day:

Last week’s first two reasons:

1.  To Have Fellowship With God.

2.  Because Ministry Involves Warring Against Spiritual Forces.

This week I want to share reasons three through five:

3.  The Only Way To Stay Filled (Full) of The Spirit Is Through Prayer.

This point is self explanatory, but in Ephesians 5:18 the idea of being filled with the Spirit is that we are continually being filled so that we stay – full.

4.  The Only Way To Receive Rhema is Through Prayer

Of course we know the “logos” is the written word of God and a “rhema” is a personal word of God.

Dr. Cho shared dramatic incidences where on numerous occasions God gave him personal revelations about particular needs as he would preach the Word.

It is in prayer we learn to identify and become sensitive to the voice of God.  We learn how to “listen to hear” the voice of God in prayer.  God is still speaking.  Prayer is a dialog not a monolog.

5.  Through Prayer, You Can Influence A Nation

Dr. Cho shared that during a time of political upheaval he was asked to organize a prayer meeting in the town plaza.  As a result of the prayer meeting where six thousand people met to pray, peace came to the city.

Prayer is our greatest tool and weapon for national and political change!

Two Prayer Principles:

  • When we intercede, God intervenes.
  • When we intercede, God gets involved in what we are praying for and about.

The practical application of these principles had profound impact on my prayer life personally.  These five reasons can also be called the Five Benefits of Praying Every Day.

Here is a people and behavior principle:  Whenever you want to increase someone’s commitment to something, show them the benefit of doing whatever it is you want them to do.

As you read these five reasons/benefits of everyday prayer, one of the results is it motivates us to pray.

Thanks for your partnership in prayer and ministry.  Together we are building the Kingdom of God in Virginia.

Bishop Corder

5 Reasons To Pray Every Day, (Part 1)

Recently I had the opportunity to speak at a National Day of Prayer  event here in Roanoke.

At that event I shared about the privilege I had several years ago to hear Dr. David Yonggi Cho speak at a conference.  He is the founding pastor of the world’s largest church in Seoul Korea.  (750,000 members).

Dr. Cho spoke for three hours and fifteen minutes primarily on the subject of prayer.  He is one of the few men who has the credentials to speak that long on that subject.  He is a practitioner of prayer, not a theorist.  Prayer is the “foundation” of  his church and cell groups are the supporting “structure.”

In 1973 they established “Prayer Mountain” where on any given day three thousand people come to fast and pray.  They also have a daily early morning prayer service and weekly, all night prayer meetings.

Dr. Cho led the 10:00 a.m. Wednesday prayer service at his church before he left to speak at the conference I am referring to.  There were over twenty thousand people in attendance for that morning prayer meeting.

During his message at the conference he gave five reasons he prays every day.  I want to share with you in summary from those five reasons:

1.  To Have Fellowship With God

From Genesis to Revelation we see God desiring fellowship with His creation.  In Genesis (chapter 3), you read about God’s fellowship with Adam.  In Revelation (chapter 3), we see God standing at the door of the Laodicean Church knocking, wanting them to open so he can come in and have fellowship with them.

The story of Christ and the message of the gospel is all about the relationship and the fellowship between God and man being restored.

Dr. Cho said that prayer is the primary way we fellowship with God.  We cannot maintain our relationship with God without the fellowship of prayer.

2.  Because Ministry Involves Warring Against Spiritual Forces (Powers and Principalities)

During this presentation Dr. Cho recounted his experiences with spiritual warfare and the demonic.

One story in particular stood out in his testimony.  In the city where he started the church the pagan religious leaders said they would give him permission to start his church if in thirty days his God would heal a particular paralytic.  He began to pray; long story short – God healed the individual.  He started his church and the rest is history.

He said America is filled with the occult and the demonic.  We must pray if we are going to succeed in our ministry and calling.  On a personal note, I will restate the obvious:  There will always be a battle when we are building the Kingdom of God and doing the will of God.  But we are fighting from victory NOT for victory!

Next week, Part 2:  the final three reasons why Dr. Cho prays every day.

Thanks for your partnership in prayer and in ministry.

Bishop Corder

5 Trends for the American Church

In a recent article by Thom Ranier, the President and CEO of Lifeway Christian Resources, he outlined 5 major future trends for the church in America.  They are:

1.  Our nation will see the emergence of the largest generational mission field in more than a century.

The Millennial Generation, those born between 1980 and 2000, will have a very low Christian representation.  it is estimated that only 15 percent are Christian.  With a population of nearly 80 million, that means that nearly 70 million are NOT Christian.

2.  The dominant attitude of the Millennials toward Christianity will be largely indifferent.

Only 13 percent of this group rank any type of spiritual matter as important to their lives. They are not angry at churches or Christians.  They simply ignore Christians because they do not deem them as meaningful or relevant.

3.  Senior adult ministries in churches will experience steep declines.

As the Baby Boomer Generation moves into their older years, they will resist any suggestion that they are senior adults, no matter how senior they may be.  Since many churches are generally slow to adapt to new realities or change, if they do senior adult ministry the way they have always done it, they will be headed for failure.

4.  The Baby Boomer Generation will become more receptive to the Gospel.

Research seems to indicate that Baby Boomers will actually become more interested in spiritual matters in general and Christianity specifically.  The Baby Boomers have tried it all and found no joy.  They may likely turn to the HOPE of the Gospel.

5.  Family will be a key value for both of these (Boomers and Millennials) generations.

For Millennials,  family is their most important value.  Nearly eight out of ten ranked family as the important issue of their lives.  They indicated that they had healthy relationships with their parents, who for the most part, are Baby Boomers.  Churches that reach both of these generations will make significant changes to become the type of churches that foster healthy family relationships.

These trends may become reality.  This is important because these two generations (Millennials and Baby Boomers) are the two largest generations in American history.

If we are discerning and obedient as Christians and church leaders, these trends may lead to significant opportunities.  Lets pray, partner together, and follow the Holy Spirit as He lead us.

Blessings,

Bishop Corder

A Summer of Ministry – Virginia Update

It has been several weeks since my last blog, so this will be a general update of ministry events and highlights so far during the summer.

Youth Camps

One of the productive and life changing ministries of the Church of God in Virginia is our summer youth camp program.  We are in our second week (0f four) of youth camp.  Each day as I drive onto the campus, I am reminded of the blessing of having a place that Virginia COG youth can come to receive ministry.

Over this four week period hundreds of youth will be ministered to, many will accept Christ, others will make a renewal of spiritual commitment, and many will be Spirit baptized; but all will be impacted for the Kingdom’s sake.

I am already hearing testimonies of how lives are being changed.  I appreciate our State Director, Chris Music; the Youth Board; and all the staff for excellence in ministry.

Summer Camp Meeting

The summer camp meeting was held in two locations: Roanoke and Richmond.

Both meetings were a significant time of fellowship, worship, and ministry.  Dr. Oliver McMahan did an outstanding job teaching the Word.  Bishop Tim Nuckles preached two powerful messages. And Virginia pastors, Bishop Wayne Powell and Bishop Wayne Daniels both preached very anointed and timely messages.

We had different night speakers in Roanoke and Pastor Tim Olfield was the night speaker in Richmond.  Each evening speaker edified, challenged, and blessed those in attendance.

We had outstanding attendance in the Roanoke meeting which was highlighted by our 100 Year Celebration Tuesday night.  Danny Murray and the Voices of Lee  did an excellent job leading us in worship.  Our General Overseer, Dr. Raymond Culpepper  preached a powerful message.

Centennial Library Collection

There are two items that make up this collection:

1.  A Digital Library containing:

  • 4 gigabytes of archived photos and multimedia files.
  • Over 300 editions of The Virginian dating back to 1960.
  • All six volumes of the Heritage collection.
  • Video clips that feature vintage youth camp and camp meeting footage.

2.  A Sermon Library containing 5 CDs of the following sermons:

  • 1977 Camp Meeting – Dr. Wade Horton
  • 1988 Prayer Conference – Dr. Ray Hughes
  • 1997 Camp Meeting – Rev. Bill Lee
  • 2007  Camp Meeting – Dr. Tim Hill
  • 2011 Camp Meeting – Dr. Raymond Culpepper

These products are still available for $30.00 each or $50.00 for the set.  I want to encourage you to purchase these two items that highlight the ministry of the Church of God in Virginia.

Finally, there is one up-coming event I want to tell you about:

Hispanic Camp Meeting

We are hosting the first annual Hispanic Camp Meeting August 26th and 27th.  This meeting will be held at the Alfa Y Omega Church in Chesterfield (Richmond), Virginia.  Dr. Carlos Moran, the International Hispanic Director will be the evening speaker.

I know this blog may have seemed like a commercial but it gives you an overview and an insight to a small portion of what our ministry partnership is doing and accomplishing.

What makes Virginia special is its people.  I appreciate you and believe in you.  Thank you for your ministry partnership.

Bishop Corder

P.S. Next week’s blog will deal with 5 Major Trends for the American Church.

Camp Meeting – Celebrating 100 Years of Ministry

One of the ministry highlights for our state is Summer Camp Meeting.  To better serve our ministry partners and church members, we are hosting two Camp Meetings this year.

The first Camp Meeting will be held in Roanoke at the state campground under the Tabernacle, June 12th – 14th and the second in Richmond at Victory Tabernacle, June 15th – 17th.

Our Summer Camp Meeting Ministry is one of the few ministries that encompasses all four of our strategies for building the Kingdom of God in Virginia.

Our ministry strategy is fulfilled through our Camp Meeting ministry:

  • Evangelizing the Lost – Lost and unsaved people still attend Camp Meeting. There is a dynamic of the corporate anointing that draws the lost to Christ when the people of God come together.  That is one reason why throughout the years many ministries have used corporate venues to host evangelistic meetings.  Also it is in this setting that backsliders are restored in their relationship to Christ.
  • Equipping the Saints – Teaching/preaching the Word are vital aspects of our Camp Meeting ministry.  This year we are including each morning, a Bible study to equip those in attendance.  I have heard testimonies many times over the years that in a Camp Meeting Bible study God spoke a word that impacted the lives and ministries of those in attendance.
  • Encouraging one another – There is nothing more edifying than to be with hundreds of other believers gathered for the purpose of fellowship, worship, and the ministry of the Word.  The “corporate anointing”  that is present in that setting literally brings heaven to earth.
  • Empowering of the Spirit –  It was in a Camp Meeting setting that I was baptized in the Holy Spirit.  The environment of a Camp Meeting is conducive to creating desire and receptivity to the in-filling of the Holy Spirit.  It is also in this setting that many receive a “re-filling” and a renewed anointing of the Holy Spirit.

There will also be a special “Centennial Celebration Service” on June 14th in Roanoke.

Voices of Lee will be with us leading in worship and highlighting the music of the decades over the last 100 years.  Joining Voices will be a mass choir and a special video presentation.  In addition our General Overseer, Dr. Raymond F. Culpepper will be preaching.

I want to encourage you to do three things as it relates to Camp Meeting:

  1. Pray – ask and believe with me for a week of powerful ministry.
  2. Participate – make plans and adjust your schedule to attend as many services as possible.
  3. Promote – tell your peers and bring others with you to the Camp Meeting in your area.  Many people you know and are in partnership with need the ministry of Camp Meeting.

I look forward to seeing you as we celebrate our past and anticipate our future together.

Together we are building the Kingdom of God in Virginia!

Leadership and Encouragement – Part 3

Recently I purchased a book simply because of a quote on the front cover, “If you do not learn how to encourage yourself, you cannot fulfill your destiny.”

That quote is a valid principle of life and leadership.  Probably the clearest example of this principle is found in the life of David in 1 Samuel 30:1-8.

David and his men returned home to Ziklag after a military campaign to find that while they were away the Amalikites had burned the citystolen their finances, and taken their wives and children captive.

The scripture says in 1 Samuel 30, verse 4 that David and his men, “wept until they could not weep anymore.”  David was beyond discouraged and his men were so distraught that they contemplated stoning him.

The turning point in the whole story in verse 6b, “But David encouraged himself in the Lord his God.”

I want to focus on what David did as a leader that day to “to encourage himself in the Lord his God.”  There are principles and practices in this story that can help us as leaders to learn how to encourage ourselves.

David had no one else, so David, “encouraged HIMSELF in the Lord His God.”  Here is the first principle: Self-encouragement begins with you.  I know that would seem to be a self-evident principle. While that may be true, it is not an often practiced principle.

As a leader, there are times when we are emotionally and physically depleted, circumstances are not encouraging, and those closest to us seem to turn against us.  (Thank God no one has actually wanted to stone us.)  It is in those occasions and how we decide to respond that determines our destiny!

David did NOT decide to NOT be discouraged he DID decide to WORSHIP!  I am not suggesting that self-encouragement is simply a positive attitude or a Pollyanna approach to life.  I am stating that David realized he had to get a different perspective on his situation.

David made a decision to do something about his situation.  That decision began with him.  Based on past experience he knew that when he got into the presence of God, his perspective changed.

Leaders lead, make decisions, based on what they know, NOT on how they feel!  David knew from past experience what he needed to do in his present situation.

The First Principle:  Self-encouragement begins with yourself.

The First Practice: Decide to do something; decide to act like a leader.

I believe in you!  Together we are building the Kingdom of God in Virginia.


Virginia Vision, Mission, and Ministry Strategy 2010-2012

Dear Virginia Ministry Partner:

The vision and strategy for the Church of God in Virginia in 2010-2012 is built on the eight core values/commitments that have been the foundation of our ministry historically.

Our mission/vision is to build the Kingdom of God in Virginia through ministry partnerships.  The bible says in Ecclesiastes 4:9, “Two are better than one for they have good reward for their labor.”   This scripture gives us insight into one of the greatest principles of ministry: partnership.

Dr. John Maxwell a well known leadership expert says, “Partnership enables you to meet the challenges of ministry with greater strength, tap into more resources and reap greater victory for the Kingdom of God.” 

Partnership is a powerful kingdom principle that multiplies our ministry potential.  The Church of God in Virginia is one church that meets in over 200 locations throughout the state.  The calling to build the Kingdom of God is too great for any one congregation but, through the power of partnership we can accomplish our goal.

Our partnership is centered on a simple ministry strategy of: evangelizing, equipping, encouraging, and empowering.  This strategy gives us continuity yet allows for diversity of ministry.  Each local congregation is able to fulfill its kingdom task within the framework of their individual gifting.

Our core values and commitments have not changed.  We continue to be committed to: prayer, Pentecostal worship, world evangelization, church planting, leadership development, care, interdependence and communication.   These values are ties that bind us together and make our partnership powerful.

Wendy and I are honored to have this opportunity to partner with you to build the Kingdom of God and the Church of God in Virginia.

Blessings,