The Glory Has Departed

Lutheran book boxes sent to three African seminaries -
a third one has been sent now.

Norma Boeckler, Artist-in-Residence

The Lutheran Library Publishing Ministry

Bethany Lutheran Worship on
Ustream - Sunday, 10 AM Central Daylight Time.
Wednesdays Romans 1-5 in Greek

Saved worship files and Greek lessons are at the live worship link.

which works as too.

Luther's Sermons, Lenker Series
Book of Concord Selections
Martin Chemnitz Press Books

Norma A. Boeckler Author's Page

Pastor Gregory L. Jackson's Author's Page

I exhort therefore, that, first of all, supplications, prayers, intercessions, and giving of thanks, be made for all men; For kings, and for all that are in authority; that we may lead a quiet and peaceable life in all godliness and honesty. For this is good and acceptable in the sight of God our Saviour; Who will have all men to be saved, and to come unto the knowledge of the truth. 1 Timothy 2:1-4

Thursday, March 31, 2016

Community Church of Joy in Glendale, Arizona - Now Merged with Pentecostal Dream City Church.
This Is Not from The Onion

The Schuller empire collapsed and he resigned from the congregation he founded.
Walt Kallestad turned an ELCA congregation into LCMC and now it is Pentecostal.
Both are examples of entertainment style Church Growth - or they were.
WELS and Missouri are pursuing this fad down the sewer drain.

Community Church of Joy now Dream City Church-Glendale

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Posted: Thursday, March 3, 2016 12:00 am
Feb. 28, Community Church of Joy (CCOJ), 21000 N. 75th Ave. in Glendale, began its first worship services as a campus of Dream City Church (formerly Phoenix First Assembly). This is an unprecedented moment for both churches and the community at large as two different denominations, both with similar visions for reaching the Valley for Jesus Christ, came together as one.
CCOJ, under the leadership of Senior Pastor Walt Kallestad for 38 years, will now be led under its new name by Pastor Luke Barnett and Interim Campus Pastor Steve Valkenaar. In addition, worship service times at the Glendale campus will change to a 9 a.m. traditional service and an 11 a.m. contemporary service, coordinating start times with its other campuses.
A meet-and-greet open house was held Feb. 28 for Dream City Church members and the community to come see the Glendale campus and meet some of its staff.
Dream City Church has been one of the largest and most influential churches in Arizona for 93 years. In November 2015, Dream City opened its first satellite campus in Scottsdale at 28700 N. Pima Road.
To learn more, visit, or call the Phoenix campus at 602-867-7117, or the Glendale campus at 623-561-0500.
Napoleon Hill is one of those deep thinkers
admired by Church Growth people.

Interesting Blog Piece
By Chaplain Mike
This week, as we’ve been discussing the church, I have read two intriguing stories of megachurches that began and grew explosively using an attractional, seeker-oriented philosophy of ministry, but then decided that approach was contrary to Jesus’ call to discipleship. So they closed down the “show,” re-ordered their priorities, revamped their programs, and began stressing spiritual formation and missional living.
Give them credit for trying to move away from the evangelical megachurch circus.
The first is a 2008 article in Leadership called, “Showtime” No More!” by Pastor Walt Kallestad of Community Church of Joy in Phoenix.
The second is the book, Renovation of the Church: What Happens When a Seeker Church Discovers Spiritual Formation, by Kent Carlson and Mike Lueken, co-pastors of Oak Hills Church in Folsom, California.
I found hope in reading these stories. Both are worth your time. Both contain many points and emphases that evangelical churches (in the U.S. in particular) need to hear. Both show what happens when church leaders actually take seriously the prophetic voices of people like Dallas Willard, Robert Webber, and Eugene Peterson, writers we have commended here on IM.
Both also raise some questions in my mind.
In 1978, a young Lutheran pastor named Walt Kallestad was assigned to a small church in Glendale, Arizona. Over time, that little congregation of 200 grew exponentially into a megachurch with 12,000 people in attendance. And so Community Church of Joy became something of an oxymoron: a Lutheran megachurch (there are fewer than a dozen in the U.S.).
It all started when Pastor Kallestad attended a conference that included church leaders like Bill Hybels and Rick Warren and learned about designing ministries for those who had been turned off by traditional churches. A natural evangelist, Kallestad ate it up and became committed to an approach he called, “entertainment evangelism”: “The only way to capture people’s attention is entertainment, I thought. If I want people to listen to my message, I’ve got to present it in a way that grabs their attention long enough for me to communicate the gospel.” 
So our church strategy revolved around the gravitational force of entertainment for evangelism. We hired the best musicians we could afford; we used marketing principles and programming specialists—for the gospel’s sake. Attendance skyrocketed. More people meant more staff, more programs, more facilities, more land, and of course the need for more money. We became a program-driven church attracting consumers looking for the latest and greatest religious presentations.
However, after years of running the “show,” Kallestad became personally burned out and disillusioned by the results. He had built a great church organization, but the church was not producing disciples.
Our church was a great organization. But something was missing. We weren’t accomplishing our mission; we weren’t creating transformed, empowered disciples.
We’d put all our energies into dispensing religious goods and services. But our people weren’t touching our community. If our church, with its sheer number of people, was populated with disciples, we would be feeding the hungry, building meaningful relationships with neighbors, and transforming our community. But we were neither salt nor light.
After pouring more than 25 years of my life into this church, I knew we weren’t developing disciples who were taking up their crosses to follow Jesus. We’d produced consumers—like Pac- Man, gobbling up religious experiences, navigating a maze but going nowhere in particular.
Too many were observing the show but not meeting God. They meandered in and out of relationships but weren’t in real community. They sought their spiritual fix but didn’t give themselves fully to Christ.
After a heart attack served as a wake-up call, Walt Kallestad took a sabbatical to seek God and visit churches where God was moving and people’s lives being transformed. When he came back and observed his own congregation, he saw a marked difference and knew something had to change. In fact, radical changes were in order. “We didn’t need to tweak our methodology, we needed a modelectomy.”
They let their hired musicians go and began using volunteers. They stopped encouraging people to remain anonymous spectators and began challenging them to get involved in the life of the fellowship. Instead of having all “ministry” revolve around the organization, they released people to start their own ministries in the community. They moved from a high control/low accountability style of leadership to low control/high accountability.
They lost thousands of people in the process, but Kallestad thinks they are moving in the right direction.
[GJ - Suppressing laughter - definitely a new direction.]

Church website article:
DREAM CITY CHURCH (Formerly Phoenix First Assembly) is a church nestled within the Shadow Mountain Preserve, shining God’s light and impacting a city. From its early beginnings as a tent meeting to its 72-acre Phoenix campus, 20-acre Scottsdale campus, and its newest campus in Glendale, Dream City Church progressively lives out its mission to lead people into a fully-devoted relationship with Jesus Christ by loving people, cultivating community, and inspiring hope.  
The waves of the Pentecostal Movement of the early Twentieth Century were still rippling when the church held its first service in 1923. In the first quarter of the century, America saw unprecedented economic prosperity and freedom, marked by a renewed awareness of ideals and social changes that still define our culture today. The invention and wide-spread use of automobiles, telephones, and motion pictures connected people and ideas as never before, women won the right to vote, and the world was recovering from the effects of the First World War. In the midst of this changing world, the Church experienced rapid growth. 
Nearly a century later, Dream City Church carries on this tradition of rebirth and renewal by continuing to reach people with innovative programs and teachings. Illustrated sermons, theatrical productions, and creative drama and media deliver the gospel message to an ever-changing culture in a way that is fresh and relevant, while pioneering outreach ministries extend the love and influence of Christ to a community in need.   
With a full-time staff of 70, including 12 pastors, Dream City Church is one of the most active and fruitful churches in the Phoenix metropolitan area. It has experienced a new wave of explosive growth in recent decades under the leadership and vision of Pastors Tommy Barnett and Luke Barnett. In November, 2015, the church became the Valley's newest multi-site mega church with the opening of its Scottsdale campus, and then in February, 2016, Dream City Church merged with Community Church of Joy in Glendale, AZ, a union that expanded Dream City Church's reach into the West Valley and took an unprecedented step toward a movement that will break down denominational walls to reach more people for Christ.
Dream City Church extends a helping hand to the community with a demonstrated dedication to meet the physical and spiritual needs of tens of thousands of individuals and families each month.
Seven wheel-chair accessible buses bring special needs people to Sunday services each week and a special needs Sunday school delivers sound biblical teaching while providing physical assistance and compassion to individuals with developmental and physical disabilities. The annual Season of Compassion from November to December provides Thanksgiving dinners and bicycles to families in need, care center gift bags to the elderly and disabled, and an opening night performance of Celebration of Christmas is presented exclusively to special needs individuals.
Mom’s Pantry, Dream City Church’s food distribution center, provides essential nutrition to families in need. Emergency supplemental food-aid is provided to over 30,000 people each year. Angela’s Treasures, a retail thrift boutique, provides employment and job training to single parents, and thousands of articles of clothing are donated to low income families each year.
Founded in 2006 by Pastor Tommy Barnett, the Phoenix Dream Center serves over 40,000 people each month with a range of programs to renovate lives and infiltrate the love of Jesus throughout the inner city. Each week 110 street and nursing home outreaches provide food and clothing to people in need. A comprehensive Christian-based life recovery program provides a home to 300 people every night and offers education, life coaching and Christian counseling to those recovering from substance abuse addiction or suffering from the effects of mental illness and emotional trauma resulting from emotional, physical, or sexual abuse.
The Phoenix Dream Center’s Hope Wing provides secure refuge and counseling for victims of sexual exploitation of all forms. Women in the program are taught to live healthy, independent lives through Christian spiritual guidance, legal aid, counseling and education. The Dream Center’s Foster Care Relief Program provides services to young adults who have aged out of foster care, supporting their transition into independent living.
- See more at: