KICK-OFF YOUR CHAMPIONSHIP SEASON

Seahawks vs Packers

Today marks the ‘Kick-Off’ of the new NFL season. Excitement is in the air! It’s a brand new season. The Super Bowl Champion Seattle Seahawks have already faced-off against the talented and very hungry Green Bay Packers. What are the expectations for the new season? Will QB Russell Wilson and the Seahawks repeat as Super Bowl Champs? That is the question.

Also, for many students, teachers, and administrators, this week is the beginning of a new school year filled with many new expectations. And pretty soon, the green leaves of summer will give way to the reds and gold of autumn. And, so, like the new NFL and other seasons, new seasons come into our lives, as well. (Ecclesiastes 3:1-8)

How can we prepare ourselves, so that our new seasons will be truly Championship Seasons? What can we expect in our new seasons?  How can we best be successful, seize new opportunities, and share in the excitement that new seasons bring?

First, there is one thing we know, that every new season, definitely, brings – CHANGE! The Seattle Seahawks will be facing totally new offenses and defenses this year. All those new changes will make it much more difficult for them to repeat as champions. The Seahawks will have to make adjustments, and deal with the uncertainties that accompany change. As we enter the new seasons of our lives, we, too, face the uncertainties of change. And uncertainty, the unknown, very often elicits anxiety and/or fear.

However, the Bible reassures us, “Be strong and courageous. Do not be terrified because of them, for the LORD your God goes with you; He will never leave you nor forsake you.” ~ Deuteronomy 31:6. Have faith and trust in God, and He will see you through whatever uncertainties your new season brings. (See 2 Corinthians 5:7.) You don’t have to be stressed out nor anxious as you enter your new season. The LORD your God goes with you!

Secondly, a new season brings new challenges. Last year’s game plan is not going to work, if the Seattle plans to repeat. They’re going to, definitely, need a new game plan to meet the new challenges of the new season. To meet the challenges of our new seasons, we need wisdom – new strategies and game plans. James 1:5 tells us, “If any of you lacks wisdom, he should ask God, who gives generously to all without finding fault, and it will be given to him.” We have to pray, and ask God for the wisdom  we need to meet all our challenges, and He will supply us with the wisdom, the winning strategies and game plans we need to succeed in our new seasons. (See Philippians 4:19.)

Finally, a new season reveals new champions! Will the Seahawks get new Super Bowl rings at the end of this new season? Or will a new champion be crowned? What are the chances of you becoming a champion in your new season? Through your own strength, it may be difficult, and even appear impossible. But the Bible says, “Humble yourselves before the LORD and He will lift you.” ~ James 4:10. “Jesus looked at them and said, ‘With man this is impossible, but with God all things are possible.” ~ Matthew 19:26.

So, as you enter the new season of your life, go in with great expectations. Enter with a champion’s attitude, “I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me.” ~ Philippians 4:13. Yes, in your new season, you, most definitely, can be a champion in Christ, if you truly believe. “…In all these things we are more than conquerors through Him that loved us.” ~ Romans 8:3

Have a Fantastic Championship Season!

Until next time, remember, you can do all things through Christ Jesus,

Be Blessed!

Kenneth Lillard 

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Happy 100th Anniversary Hampton University Ministers’ Conference

HUMC 2014 2

This week Hampton University hosts its Annual Hampton University Ministers’ Conference (HUMC)! This year’s centenary theme is, appropriately,  “Honoring Our Past, Anticipating Our Future.”

Begun in 1914, HUMC is one of the oldest gatherings of black clergy in America. Interdenominational and intergenerational, HUMC has grown from 40 attendees at its inception, to over 7,000 in 2013. This year’s attendance is expected to top that figure.

Former attendees and speakers at this dynamic, week-long conference have included Civil Rights Icon Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., Theologian Dr. Howard Thurman, and Bishop T. D. Jakes, who is slated to be this year’s keynote speaker.

People have been tweeting at #HUMC2014, and posting FB, IG, and other social media updates from this phenomenal conference all week long. The Hampton University Ministers’ Conference (HUMC) continues to be a theological, spiritual, and educational jewel.

For more information on HUMC 2014 please see the following links:

100 Years of Glorious History From the Hampton University Ministers’ Conference [Photos] – HuffingtonPost

Hampton University Ministers’ Conference (1914-2014) – minconf.hamptonu.edu

Hampton Ministers’ Conference Celebrates 100th Anniversary – newsone.com

Hampton University Ministers’ Conference Kicks Off Celebration of 100 Years – Black Christian News

Hampton University Ministers’ Conference to Feature T. D. Jakes – ebony.com

Megachurch Pastor Bishop T. D. Jakes Addresses HU Conference – Daily Press

Why The Hampton Ministers’ Conference Still Matters – Suzan Johnson Cook/ HuffingtonPost.com

Btw, for a real taste of the Conference, IG (Instagram) has pics and video at #HUMC2014!

What are your thoughts on the role of digital technology and social media at ministerial conferences? Did you attend the Hampton University Ministers’ Conference 2014? If so, what did you think of it? Please share your thoughts, photos, and videos with our readers. Appreciate you!

Until next time, remember, you can do all things thru Christ Jesus!

Be Blessed

Kenneth Lillard

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Resurrection Sunday 2014 and Social Media

                                                  Happy Easter 2014!

He Is Risen

Through his death, burial, and resurrection, Jesus paid the penalty for our sins, thus purchasing for all who believe in him, eternal life, in Christ Jesus. WOW! I mean, just think about that for a moment. What an incredible blessing. And this is the awesome gift of grace that we celebrate this Resurrection Sunday 2014!  

“Jesus said to her, ‘I am the resurrection and the life. He who believes in me will live, even though he dies; and whoever lives and believes in me will never die.” ~ John 11:25-26

As we celebrate Resurrection Sunday 2014, we’re certainly mindful of the fact that Easter is the highest attended church service of the year! Many church members will bring guests to church with them, and many non-churched people will often choose Easter Sunday as the one day in the year they will attend a church service. Consequently, many churches have developed social media plans to encourage and invite others to participate in their Easter Week activities and services.

The following are some great ways social media is being used by church communicators, and others, to share Resurrection Sunday 2014:

How is your church using social media to encourage others to participate in Resurrection Sunday 2014 activities and services?

Praying You Have A Blessed Easter 2014!

Until next time, remember, you can do all things through Christ Jesus!

Be Blessed,

Kenneth Lillard

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It’s Time To Close The Digital Divide!

Digital divide

Today, the term ‘inequality’ is everywhere – on TV, in newspapers and magazines, and more and more frequently, online. But the area of  ‘inequality’ that’s not getting enough attention is the ‘digital divide’!

The digital divide is an economic inequality between individuals and groups, in terms of who has access to, use of, and knowledge of computers, information and communications technologies.  It refers to inequalities between individuals, households, businesses, and geographic areas at different socioeconomic and other demographic levels.

Who has access to high speed internet, desktop computers, laptops, smart phones, tablets such as iPads, electronic book readers, MP3 players, Xboxes or PlayStations? Studies show that individuals and groups at higher economic levels have much greater access to these technologies than those at lower economic levels.

And this matters, a lot, because those with greater access have  enhanced advantages and opportunities for acquiring information, education, economic resources, and services (including online medicine where patients at home will be able to speak with their doctors, and thus gain access to lower-cost, higher-quality care).

This all translates into  enhanced advantages in achieving cultural and social capital, as well as mass economic gains due to dramatic increases in terms of productivity. And it, definitely, has implications for churches, congregations, and ministries in poorer communities, which would lag behind others in possessing and employing digital technology to spread the gospel, joining in online religious and social conversations, accessing resources, and enhancing internal communications.

One of the most important social, economic, and ethical questions facing us today is this: How can the incredible benefits of the internet, and information and communications technologies be made available to a broader range of individuals and groups, especially churches and ministries in disadvantaged communities? What if churches in poorer communities partnered and collaborated with more ‘technology rich’ churches and ministries for their mutual benefit? What type of impact would that have?

It’s, definitely, time to close this ‘digital divide’ so that everyone can benefit from the tremendous possibilities and benefits of these rapidly evolving digital technologies, which are so important to communications, information, and to one’s ability to succeed in a myriad of fields in today’s digital world.

Let’s make sure no one gets left behind!

For more information on the ‘digital divide’, and on effective ways to addressing it, see the following:

Has the digital divide affected you? What examples can you give, or suggestions can you make, for helping to close the digital divide?

Until next time, remember, you can do all things thru Christ Jesus!

Be Blessed,

Kenneth Lillard

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Merry Christmas 2013 And Happy New Year 2014!

Merry Christmas 3

Can you believe it’s Christmas Eve 2013? Yes, it is! It’s a time to rejoice and show love for family, loved-ones, and friends. It’s a very special season of gift-giving, and great expectancy when miracles, both big and small, can and often do happen!

Most of all, let us remember the real reason for the season. Christmas is the time to celebrate the birth of Christ, and his timeless message of love, peace, and joy to all the world. (See YouVersion Christmas devotional reading plans.)

Oh, and while you’re enjoying the sights, sounds, and joy of this Holiday Season, don’t forget the less fortunate members of our families and communities. Reach out to them, so they may have a Merry Christmas, too!

Wishing You and Your Family the Very Best this Christmas Holiday Season! And Have A Very Happy, Blessed and Prosperous New Year 2014!

How are you celebrating the Christmas Season?

Have you written out your goals and plans for 2014? It’s not too early to start!

Until next time, remember, you can do all things thru Christ Jesus! Be Blessed, Kenneth Lillard

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So Much To Be Thankful For – Happy Thanksgiving!

Happy Thanksgiving 2013

Happy Thanksgiving 2013 to You and Your Family

Thanksgiving 2013 is Thursday, the 28th of November! And I think most of us can honestly say that we have been truly blessed, and have so very much to be thankful for.

As we celebrate Thanksgiving 2013 let us, however, remember the less fortunate neighbors in our communities.

Below you will find a continuation of the list of Turkey Giveaways and free Thanksgiving Dinners that we began in last week’s blog post on kennethlillard.com, Happy Thanksgiving 2013!

Please feel free to add to this list any turkey giveaways or free Thanksgiving meals you may know of, so that everyone may enjoy a Happy Thanksgiving 2013!

Happy Thanksgiving 2013! May God Bless You Richly! 

Free Thanksgiving Dinners and Giveaways in Flint on Tap for the Public This Week - Mlive.com

Free Thanksgiving Meals to be Served Up in Portage, Paw Paw and Elsewhere in Kalamazoo Area – Mlive

Free Thanksgiving Meals Available at South Side Locales – DNAinfo Chicago

Free Thanksgiving Meals Offered – Allentown City/ Lancaster County, PA – Examiner.com

Free Thanksgiving Meals in Myrtle Beach Area – activerain.com

Give Or Receive This Thanksgiving/ Muncie, Indiana – The Star Press

Grace Church Offering Thanksgiving Dinners/ Mt. Washington – South Pittsburg Reporter

Community Groups Set Table for Thanksgiving Cheer – Sentinel And Enterprise

Free Thanksgiving Dinners Offered Throughout Community – WCTV.TV

58th Annual Goodwill Industries Thanksgiving Dinner and Family Action Fair – HealthCare Access

Free Community Thanksgiving Dinner MD Events - Events.MDpennysaver.com

All Invited to Community Thanksgiving – Times-Herald.com

Free Thanksgiving Meals – Indystar.com

Thanksgiving Goal: Turkey @ Every Table – Capital Area Food Bank

DC Councilmember Jim Graham to Give Away Turkeys – WP Post Local

Until next time, remember, you can do all things thru Christ Jesus!

Be Blessed

Kenneth Lillard

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Facebook and Today’s Church

Facebook

Is your church on Facebook?

Chances are many of your church members already are on Facebook – posting updates, commenting on messages, ‘liking’ posts, and otherwise engaging with others online. You may well be reading this post on Facebook right now. And while many may feel Facebook is a complete and total waste of time, there are actually many very good reasons for you to be on Facebook, as evidenced by the many churches and ministries that are already there.

There are over 1 Billion, with a B, people on Facebook today! It is the world’s most popular social networking platform. Facebook is where the people are. Digital technology has empowered everyday people to connect and interact online, and they are doing so at a rapidly increasing rate.  Facebook has emerged as the most popular social network on the planet, and it’s still growing.  Having a presence on FB is a great way for your church to connect with the very people you’re trying to reach.

Being on Facebook is a great way to introduce people to your church. In fact, Facebook, for many, has replaced the Yellow Pages as the go-to source for seeking out churches to visit in new communities.

For pastors, a personal Facebook page provides a great opportunity to be an ‘online shepherd’, and to stay connected with your congregation  beyond the Sunday service. By establishing a Facebook Church Page you can conduct vital outreach beyond the four walls of your church and immediate community. It enables you to share your church’s message with many people who otherwise may never hear of you. From your Church’s FB page you can also direct others to your church’s website, where they can access more specific information about your ministry’s vision and mission.

While many may complain about the negative things some people post on Facebook, by being online, you can serve as an example of a positive role model of good online behavior and character.  Finally, your intentional presence online can help to fulfill the Great Commission, Jesus’ final instructions to the disciples while still physically here.

My recent book, SOCIAL MEDIA and MINISTRY Sharing the Gospel in the Digital Age, points out ’100 Ways to Use Facebook to Help Grow a Ministry’ (Amazon, Barnes & Noble, and iTunes). In addition, here are some links to more information on how Facebook might benefit your church:

Btw, to stay up-to-the-minute on the latest developments in ‘church social media’ be sure to check out SOCIAL MEDIA and MINISTRY NEWS for daily updates.

How is your church positively using your Facebook to share Christ’s gospel?

Until next time, remember, you can do all things thru Christ Jesus!

Be Blessed,

Kenneth Lillard

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