Chapel Services

PrayerFINAL

 

Chapels are the heart of the campus time in worship and the Word. Planned carefully, their pattern may help you think about your preaching themes. After sitting down with Bryan Rouanzoin, Associate Director of Chapel and Discipleship, to discuss this, here is their approach.

 

Who I Am In Christ (identity), and Who We Are In Christ (community), are the core themes for the two eight-week blocks of Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursday Chapel services this fall.These themes form a good base to start a college semester, and are two on the eight themes to be presented during a four-year program.

 

Given those themes, how are they to be preached and taught?

 

In a student survey, some clear preferences emerged:

  • Students want ongoing connection with primary chapel speakers, rather than a majority of outside voices.
  • They want biblical preaching rather than organizational promotion (being “preached to” rather than “promoted at!”).

 

We organized a Chapel Planning team: staff and faculty members from across the campus, whose areas of expertise include pastoral leadership, worship, and aesthetics; and also mental health and multi-cultural programming.  Each of these men and women has a passion to see our students worship God, know Jesus and learn to hear the voice and leading of the Spirit.

 

One of the primary changes that emerged from this team was a shift to primarily on-campus chapel preachers.  This allows students to become familiar with preaching styles and grow in relationship as their professors or staff members journey with our students through scripture.

 

The primary speakers this fall include:

President Mike Beals

Bill Dogterom, A/G minister and Religion professor

Jon Allbaugh, Dean of Spiritual Formation

Doug Hutchinson, Director of the Counseling Center

Bryan Rouanzoin, Associate Director of Chapel and Discipleship

… Also, about one third of our scheduled speakers are women.

 

In addition, we will host occasional off-campus speakers, being strategic about how many are invited and how they are connected to the student body. Local pastors, such as Karl Vaters, Chris Harrell and Scott Rachels, who are known and respected by students, get priority as well.

 

Local campus life provides a good source as well, with departments such as Music, Communication, Athletics, and student speakers given opportunity to lead.

 

The Chapel schedule also includes an in-depth Monday night verse-by-verse Bible study called “Excavate,” led by Bill Dogterom, and the popular, “Shine,” a Wed 9:30pm worship service.

 

Click here to check out who will be featured in Chapel this semester.
May lives be changed as students meet with God!

 

For further conversation, contact Bryan at Bryan.Rouanzoin@vanguard.edu

GPSLadyFINAL

Adults Learning Today

 

Andrew Stenhouse, Director of Graduate and Professional Studies at Vanguard University, wrote our featured article this month. We asked him to tell us how adults are learning these days, and help us think about best discipleship teaching practices in that light. He writes this –

 

Adult learners are primarily driven by three things:
relevance, immediacy and convenience.

 

Relevancy

We file all kinds of data in our minds. And like filing cabinets, our brains get full and unorganized. Many adults have learned to function on a “need-to-know” basis. They focus on obtaining and retaining information if certain they will need to retrieve it at some point. In other words, they don’t want to waste time on information that has no relevance. In higher education, career advancement is the number one reason adults attend college.

What they learn has to have relevance. I have often said that when teaching adults, “If it doesn’t matter to them, they won’t bother to learn it.”

 

GPSManFINALImmediacy

It’s not just the kids who have grown accustomed to instant access to information. We all have quickly learned to download and watch movies and read books the moment we get the urge. While we all agree that there is nothing quite like the smell of a bookstore and the touch of actual paper, we turn to our Kindle for an immediate and less expensive option. Likewise, while we all know there is nothing like an IMAX with surround sound, we often turn to Netflix for an immediate and less expensive experience.

Adults expect to learn the same way – fast. This is why learning on YouTube is outpacing college and universities worldwide.

 

Convenience

Along with everything else on-demand, we now have life-on-demand. We have grown accustomed to life-work integration replacing life-work balance. The majority of adults understand that the great divide between personal life and professional life has become pretty thin. Today we parent our kids while we’re at work via text and Facebook, and we work the same way while away from our jobs. We parent from work and work from home. The question for adult learners today is not when we learn but how we learn. The when is a given – now.

We need convenience to fit our now-oriented schedules that are no longer static, but are now dynamic. We scroll through our phones and tablets while in the stands at a soccer game, waiting in the doctor’s office, or catching some downtime between kid’s events.

 

In short, we learn what we need, when and how we want.

Contact Andrew at AStenhouse@vanguard.edu for further information.

Dorm-DeskFINAL

“And God Rested.” Do You?

 

Terry Zeigler, Ed.D., ATC Professor of Kinesiology and Health Center Director at Vanguard University, writes this month. Terry attends Newport Mesa Church; her father-in-law, Virgil, is a retired AG minister.

 

We work to serve our churches and God’s people. When crunch time comes, we push through fatigue to work long hours, and choose to sacrifice free time, family time, and rest time.

All of this “serving” takes a toll on both mental and physical health. Too much work and not enough rest can result in:

 

Physiological

  • Decreased immune system resulting in more frequent illness/disease
  • Fatigue/lack of energy
  • Indigestion; increased stomach acid leading to ulcers and stomach upset
  • Increased muscle tension resulting in neck and back pain
  • Increased headaches
  • Insomnia/sleep disturbances

 

Mental

  • Anxiety
  • Depression
  • Decreased concentration/attention span
  • Irritability
  • Nervous habits

 

Recreation and leisure are important contributors to wellness and a better quality of life. They provide a means for your body to mentally and physically heal and recover from the fatigue of demanding output.

“Time out” allows you to “re-create” yourself by reducing and eliminating the stress hormones that can accumulate in your body from constant work. Research has shown that chronic stress can actually damage your body at the molecular level leading to an increased risk of illness, disease, and early aging.

This is summer in SoCal when God’s people tend to take time off, vacation, and rest. Rather than packing your summer schedule full, try being intentional about scheduling daily, weekly, and annual rest, leisure, and re-creation time. Then hit it hard in the fall. Adapt to the rhythm of the year.

God rested. How about you?

 

Rest = Recovery = Better Quality of Life and Ministry

 

Contact Terry for further conversation at TZeigler@vanguard.edu

 

Trish Fisher

‘Marketing’ Your Message

Trish Fisher

Trish Fisher is an Associate Professor of Marketing in the Department of Business and Management at Vanguard University and is Chair of the Business Degree Program for working adults. Trish shares her practical suggestions for maximizing the use of the Sunday sermon message.

 

It’s Saturday night and you’re in your office, going over your Sunday sermon one more time. You’ve spent hours praying about the sermon series, researching the text, and thinking through relevant images, stories, and anecdotes to help bring your points to life in a meaningful way. While the message you have so prayerfully developed is powerful and the goal is to reach and share this Good News with as many people as possible, too often your work ends up as a one-Sunday message reaching only those hearers gathered at your church building.

Maybe a simple marketing approach can help accomplish the greater goal: to reach more people.
(After all, you’ve already done the work.)

 

I know—marketing is that discipline that often seems to create a divide among people. They either value and appreciate its benefits, or they think it’s salesmanship at its worst, just a broad array of strategies designed to manipulate people into buying things they don’t really need or want. But marketing at its core is about reaching people with a message, and meeting consumer needs and wants—and our greatest need is to hear and respond to that Message (and that Savior!) through whom the Holy Spirit will transform us into people whose needs and wants align with God’s eternal desires for us. (And Paul, for that matter, knew something about reaching people with a message: “But how can people call for help if they don’t know who to trust? And how can they know who to trust if they haven’t heard of the One who can be trusted? And how can they hear if nobody tells them?” (Romans 10:14, The Message)

What might the apostle Paul have done had he lived in a digital age? Would he not have embraced the opportunity to reach many more with communication and promotion vehicles such as instagram, snapchat, twitter, and blogs? Paul was willing to pay any price to reach people with the gospel; as a marketer I like to think Paul would have been so zealous in his evangelistic goals that he would have been open-minded to innovative ways to broaden the reach of his messages.

 

Here are a few marketing tools and strategies discussed in current marketing texts and promoted by various bloggers and church websites. Consider these as options that might help you use your Sunday message in additional ways to reach a broader segment of all those who need and want to hear the Good News:

  • Take a few paragraphs from the sermon, add an introductory sentence and closing though, and use it as a future blog
  • Transcribe and reprint the sermon audio version in the church newsletter
  • Upload both the audio and print versions to the church website
  • Take a few key sentences and use them over several weeks on Twitter
  • Use the content of a sermon series as the basis for Bible study lessons and discussions or a teaching class or a weekend retreat
  • Take a few key points from the sermon and send out on a post card or direct mailer to a particular zip code near the church
  • Take a sermon series and turn it into chapters in a book—get published!
  • Make audio copies of the sermon and give it to visitors; get a list of new house sales in the area and deliver a welcome basket that includes a sermon cd/reprint
  • Email the written sermon (and link to the audio version on the church website) to the church database; encourage church members to forward the sermon link to their Facebook friends with an invitation to read/listen and then call to discuss ( keep track of Facebook’s changing policies as to how many people it reaches)
  • Video the sermon, upload to You Tube, put the link on the church website, email the link
  • Use some parts of the sermon as an email devotional
  • Engage in an online discussion on the sermon message

 

There was a time when the preacher could reach only as many as could immediately hear his/her voice, but today we gladly utilize the airwaves around the world to reach people everywhere. There was a time when Paul’s written instruction could reach only people within earshot of someone reading from the scrolls he had written to the churches; the Church was quick to utilize Gutenberg’s printing press to reach a far broader audience. God knows the other side is marketing like crazy to reach the masses today; may God help us to be wise in the ways we use current marketing tools and strategies.

For those of you who have been called to the mighty task of preaching, and teaching, and evangelizing, and working to “encourage one another and build one another up, just as you are doing”, (1 Thessalonians 5:11) know that you are appreciated!

For further conversation, contact Trish Fisher, MBA at tfisher@vanguard.edu

 

A Missionary’s Perspective

By Dr. Doug Petersen, Professor of World Missions and Intercultural Studies at Vanguard University

 

Alba Quezada


In April 2014, the Assemblies of God turned 100 years old!
Over the past 3 issues, we presented a look at our impact
as seen by an anthropologist, a theologian, and a missionary,
all Vanguard University professors with a lifetime in our fellowship.

 

Dr. Doug Petersen, the Margaret S. Smith Distinguished Professor of World Missions and Intercultural Studies, writes this -

 

From its origins in the Azusa Street Revival in Los Angeles in 1906, the Pentecostal movement has exploded from humble beginnings into a global phenomenon. According to the Pew Research Center’s Study on Global Christianity classical Pentecostals now number 280 million of which one of every four (24%) or 66.5 million are Assemblies of God believers. Of the world’s five major geographical regions, the highest proportion of AG members live in Latin America (30 million), Africa (18 million), and Asia Pacific (6 million). Together these three regions account for more than 80% of all Assemblies of God believers in the world. Almost one out of every 100 people in the world are AG!

It wasn’t always like this. When the Assemblies of God first formed in 1914, there were only about 300 present. Like the expansion of the early church in the book of Acts, this movement has crossed geographic, social, cultural, economic, and linguistic barriers to encompass every nook and cranny of the planet.

As a missionary for several decades, across Latin America, I got to see individual experience become a mass movement. And here is what I have seen:

When people find the Lord, they are transformed.

  • They leave behind destructive dysfunctional behaviors like drinking, gambling, and running around.
  • Holiness and a strict moral code stand out as the major characteristics of their new life.
  • They save money, work hard, and make sure their own children get an education.
  • Women are treated with respect.
  • They care for the poor, because they know about poverty.

At the core of their being is a set of beliefs and practices which springs from the transforming spiritual experience of conversion followed, sometimes immediately, by a distinctive second work of the Spirit, usually evidenced by speaking in tongues, known as Spirit baptism or “being filled with the Spirit,” equipping them with an enduement of spiritual power to be active participants in God’s mighty works. And participants they are! They share with everyone they meet — on the buses, in the subways, at work – that Jesus Christ has changed their lives and that he can do the same for them.

100 years ago they claimed they had found “power to proclaim.”

100 years of history shows they found it.

 

For further conversation (he loves to talk about these ideas!) -
contact Dr. Doug Petersen at dpetersen@vanguard.edu

 

Photo from 2014 Hands Across the Border (HATB) – Vanguard University student Alba Quezada

A Theologian’s Perspective

By Dr. Frank Macchia, Professor of Systematic Theology at Vanguard University

 Theologian Perspective

This month, the Assemblies of God will be 100 years old!
Over the next 3 issues, we will present a look at our impact as seen by an
anthropologist,
a theologian, and a missionary, all Vanguard University professors with a life-time in our fellowship.

 

Frank Macchia, Ph.D., Professor of Systematic Theology, writes this –

 

Each family of churches is gifted in unique ways to edify the larger body of Christ. Here is what I think we contributed to the flow of Christian history:

 

1)   Filled with the Spirit: Historically, the Spirit was neglected in the theology of the West due to the tendency over time to subordinate the Spirit in the developing theology of the Trinity and to dualistically separate creation (the realm of the Spirit’s work) from God. Pentecostalism moved against these trends by accenting the presence and power of the Spirit to raise up the church and to energize it for world mission.

 

2)   Healing: In response to the neglect of the Spirit in the history of the church, the Pentecostals also highlighted wholeness in body as well as soul. Salvation is not just of the soul, as an escape from the body or from material life. It is the transformation of our lives and communities.

 

3)   Spiritual gifts: In response to overly hierarchical and juridical notions of the church, the Pentecostals advocated the charismatic structure of the church. This is an emphasis on the church as a “gift-evoking fellowship” where everyone is uniquely gifted to edify the whole and where signs of the age to come grab hold of us in the here and now.

 

4)   Racial diversity and gender inclusiveness: In response to the cultural hierarchies of the world, the Pentecostals stressed the all-inclusive reach of the Spirit in the world. The Pentecostals at Azusa Street not only allowed racial diversity and female involvement in ministry, they celebrated this as crucial to the revival of Pentecost in the latter days. And they did so at a time when such was rare in the church.

 

To continue this discussion – contact Dr. Frank Macchia at fmacchia@vanguard.edu

 

Next month we will conclude with a missionary’s comments.

An Anthropologist’s Perspective

By Dr. Vince Gil, Professor of Medical Anthropology at Vanguard University

Classroom

In April 2014, the Assemblies of God will be 100 years old!
Over the next 3 issues, we will present a look at our impact as seen by an anthropologist,
a theologian, and a missionary, all Vanguard University professors with a life-time in our fellowship.

 

Vince Gil, Ph.D., Professor of Medical Anthropology, writes this -

From the Hot Springs, Arkansas 1914 days forward, the Assemblies of God ushered in an era of evangelical, Pentecostal communitarianism reminiscent of the church in Acts 15: Men, women, brethren of all races and ethnic profiles feeling that the most important aspect of their ‘community’ was that they were all the same in God’s eyes, all called to be evangelists and indwellers of the Holy Spirit.

To me as a social scientist, one of the A/G’s greatest accomplishments from early on has been the tearing down of ethnic, and in particular gender barriers – from that which existed at the time. A re- definition of ‘eligibility’, first for God’s service, but as well towards and for each other. This change laid a solid foundation for the future: We now have significant numbers of women and ethnic groups as part of the ministerial and servant fellowship. At last count there were 21 Ethnic Fellowships registered nation-wide. On the gender side, however, we still need to see more elected females as Presbyters…

Finally, since this space is limited to a short commentary, I see the Assemblies of God global outreach – its missional component and its now well established trend to cultivate ‘local leadership’ as an important cultural element: Respecting cultures while addressing spiritual and social needs of communities world-wide. This is the backbone of collaborative, socioculturally appropriate evangelism, us doing God’s work together.

 

To explore these issues more fully, contact Dr. Vince Gil at vgil@vanguard.edu

Designing Worship for Men

By Dr. James Melton, Chair of the Department of Music at Vanguard University

 Worship

 

“Dad, what is going on?”  I was with my son in a train station in Germany, and the sound of men singing was almost deafening! It was a group of soldiers celebrating their weekend leave from military duty.  The next day, in another train station, we heard literally thousands of competing soccer fans singing their team’s fight songs at the top of their lungs!  Last year, while ministering in an open church in China, we experienced hundreds of men raising their hands and boldly singing the gospel hymn, “Onward Christian Soldiers!”  It seems that men not singing together heartily today is more of an American cultural phenomenon than a world-wide one.  (Just watch a world cup soccer game and observe the men singing with abandon, Ole-Ole-Ole!)  There is something moving and even “magical” about men singing together!

 

A life-changing, “Aha!” worship moment came for me several years ago during a men’s event at the LA coliseum, as thousands of men sang, “Be Thou My Vision,” and “How Great Thou Art.”  That sound still lingers in my ears!

 

This type of experience is rarely heard or seen in our weekly worship.  More and more, I am hearing from men that they are not singing at all in the contemporary church today.  Potential worshippers stand passively as the band rocks out, stage lights flash, and the lyrics scroll across the screens, but all one can usually hear is the worship leader and amplified instruments (generally backed up vocally by a couple of female vocalists).  What’s up front gets total focus, the congregation is essentially ignored. When the dimmed house lights amid stage lighting dominates the experience, the leaders on “stage” cannot even see the faces of their congregation!  It is sad, though a little amusing, when a leader has to put his hand over his eyes to try and see his own congregation. (It would serve a pastor or worship leader well to get away from the front, and spend a service watching their congregation.  You might be surprised, especially at the low percentage of men singing.)

 

What is wrong? and what will fix it?

1)   They don’t know the songs.  We can focus so much on teaching the latest new song, that the songs of the past (and the saints who’ve gone before us) are overlooked.  I recommend teaching new songs, but slowly and carefully with attention to theology as well as “sing-ability.”  Men want to sing songs they know, those with which they can resonate. You can’t learn and worship at the same time.

2)   They can’t sing the songs. Often our songs are pitched too high for the men (and often the average women) to sing comfortably.  Many songs are taken straight from the latest worship CD or studio to the worship service, and often don’t work practically.  The melody is often in the upper registers, even for tenors, so men that are baritones or basses just “drop out.”  Often, the rhythms may be too difficult for the average guy to pick up as well.

3)   They can’t hear themselves sing. Men like to be part of a team, and a larger experience.  Often, the sound re-enforcement decibel is so powerful they can’t hear their own voices – so they stop singing.

4)   The songs selected (and lyrics projected for all to see) do not fit a masculine mentality. It seems that many of the “hit” worship songs are often feminine in vocabulary, character and tone.  Tender expressions of passionate love for Jesus will generally be sung with more enjoyment and feeling by the women than the men.  Yes, men desire intimacy (and we can always grow in this area), but current modern worship songs display an abundance of intimate language. Women will generally be more comfortable “running to his arms.” Guys can do a little of this, but a little “adoration” goes a long way. It seems a little cliché, but guys generally don’t roll well with, “Jesus is my boy-friend” vocabulary in our songs.

 

So what can be done?

 

1) Pay attention to style and rhythm. Seek to include songs and hymns in worship time that inspire movement, and that men can “march to” or “clap with.” Waltzing and swaying has its place, but God gave man testosterone, and men sometimes want to roar, clap, and stomp a little!

2) Avoid excessive length and repetition.  Endless repetition turns guys off, and the participation factor wanes. Most men instinctively want to start somewhere and end somewhere.  We need a sense of progress, completeness, and logic for going from A to B. For instance, the verses of “Amazing Grace” start with salvation, end in heaven, and look at life in between. Likewise, in the salvation history so apparent and well-written in the Getty’s, “In Christ Alone.”  In contrast, many modern songs are less connected “shotgun” expressions of praise, leaving men less mentally and spiritually involved.

3) Pay attention to vocabulary—We are what we sing! Believe it or not, your men do want to grow in their faith and expression. The vocabulary they proclaim in worship to the King of Kings and Lord of Lords is vitally important. There is a reason the great hymns of our faith have stood the test of time from generation to generation.

4) Spend more time in your deliberate design of worship, and intentionally focus on men. Most worship events have more women than men in attendance, and unless we plan consciously otherwise, we automatically default to what works with the majority. Often, just defaulting to the expected past “norm” will leave many men unengaged. If we plan and lead so as to get guys singing, women will adjust more easily, and will participate as well.

5)   Turn down the volume of your sound system, and seek to sing with a greater variety of accompaniment (Try guitar or keyboard without full band and drums once in a while.)  Let your men (and entire congregation) win the sound battle, being able to hear their own voices, and watch their confidence, and singing become stronger and stronger!

 

Rise up, O men of God! Have done with lesser things;

Give Heart and mind and soul and strength to serve the King of Kings.

Rise up, O men of God! The church for you does wait,

Her strength unequal to her task; Rise up and make her great!”

Hymn by Aaron Williams, 1731-1776

 

 

For further thought and some practical study tools, check out http:churchformen.com, and David Murrow’s short book, “Why Men Hate Going to Church.

 

Contact Dr. James Melton at jmelton@vanguard.edu