THEALABAMA. But the angel said to them, Do not be afraid. I bring you good news that will cause great joy for all people. MESSENGER.

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But the angel said

to them, “Do not be

afraid. I bring you

good news that will

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ds@adcag.org

One of today's church's great needs is leadership, but not just any leadership—leadership by the book. The book I'm talking about is the Bible.

There are tens of thousands of titles on the subject of leadership from as many authors. The search for answering the question: How do I lead is sought by "want to be" leaders all the time. 

John Maxwell summed it up by saying, "Everything rises and falls on leadership." 

George Barna has written several books detailing the challenges faced by today's church. In one of those, he warned, "Despite the activity coming from thousands of congregations, the Church in America is losing influence and adherents faster than any other major institution in the nation." Then he predicted one of two outcomes for our nation within the next few years: either "massive spiritual revival" or "total moral anarchy." It all depends, he said, on whether the church can rouse itself to respond to our nation's moral crisis. How does the church "ROUSE" itself? It takes LEADERSHIP! 

The church needs leadership. I'm talking about leadership that guides the church to her God-given purpose. Where do we find this kind of leadership?

The Bible wasn't written in a Hi-Tech culture's context. It wasn't written in a corporate culture's context. Listen, the Bible was written in a world defined by farmers and sheepherders.  

If we desire to define leadership by the Bible, we have to go to its context. God chose the title for leading the church, and he didn't choose king, general, prophet, or prince. He chose shepherd, and that's because this is the style of leadership, He desires for pastors to model. Ephesians 4:11 tells us the Jesus gave "pastors" to the church. The Greek word there for pastor also means "shepherd."

Human beings were created and wired—to be led, NOT driven. The Bible refers to us as sheep. Our churches are occupied by sheep, and sheep need a shepherd.

Jesus is the greatest leader that ever walked the face of this planet. He called himself a shepherd in John 10, and in 1 Peter 5, we are reminded to "Be shepherds of God's flock that is under your care...." Today's church needs shepherds, not CEOs. 

The psalmist writes that God chose David his servant and took him from the sheep pens; from tending the sheep, he brought him to be the shepherd of his people Jacob, of Israel his inheritance. And David shepherded them with integrity of heart; with skillful hands, he led them (Psalm 78:70–72). That word for "skillful hands" speaks of wisdom and understanding like the "men of Issachar."

We are called to a calling—not a career. A career is what you get paid for, and a calling is what you're made for. Be what you were made for—be a shepherd.

.

Ken Draughon

ALABAMA NETWORK SUPERINTENDENT

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MICHAEL D. SHARP, D.MIN.

NETWORK SECRETARY-TREASURER

msharp@adcag.org

ADVENT—PREPARING FOR CHRIST’S COMING

Every year many American Chris0ans complain about the corrup0ng busyness and materialism of Christmas. For decades Americans have redefined the “Christmas season” as beginning the Friday a?er Thanksgiving (a modern American holiday) when our shopping frenzy begins. We equate Christmas Season with the Christmas shopping season. We’ve been corrupted by our materialis0c culture. The best an0dote for this has been around for over 1,600 years: The season of the Chris0an Year that immediately precedes Christmas, the season known as Advent.

Advent comes from the La0n word “adventus” or “coming.” Ancient Chris0ans knew that Christ’s redemp0ve work had changed everything, including how we mark 0me itself. Now God’s people would mark their year independently of secular calendars. In our Chris0an Year we would celebrate the redeeming acts of Jesus Christ. This would guide our lives, our worship, our discipleship. Every year the founda0onal doctrines of our Faith would be taught during, and by, these seasons. Throughout the year we would re-live the life of Jesus. Therefore, the year begins with Advent, preparing our hearts to celebrate Christ’s First Coming.

Advent begins four Sundays before Christmas Day and ends with Christmas Eve. During these four Sundays and the surrounding days, the preaching, teaching, and devo0ons tell us of Christ’s First and Second Advents. Through God’s Word, our worship, and our medita0ons we remember God’s promises to Israel to come as Savior and deliver them from cap0vity. We remember Christ’s promises to come again someday to deliver Chris0ans and judge the na0ons. We prepare our hearts to celebrate Christ’s birth, and to meet him when he comes again. Advent is a 0me of remembrance, repentance, longing, and hope.

Advent embeds Christmas, and us, in the only proper context. Advent provides the best possible means for preparing to celebrate Christ’s birth acceptably. Advent is a powerful an0dote to the busyness and greed that pollute the weeks leading up to Christmas. We take a long look back through the history of God’s People, examine our hearts, reflect on our desperate need for God’s interven0on, repent of sin, long for Christ to come, and hope steadfastly. Finally, we rejoice with great joy at the birth of Jesus Christ. All of this rejects and resists what our culture ac0vely promotes in the weeks leading to Christmas.

Advent requires us to look deeply into God’s Word, in both Testaments, and find there the glorious prophecies of all that God’s Messiah was to be and do in his First and Second Comings. Each year we cycle through different passages learning how central Jesus is to all of Scripture and all of redemp0on history. Advent reminds us that we’re an ancient-future pilgrim people with an ancient-ancient-future faith, stretching back through Christ into Israel, and forward through Christ into the eternal New Crea0on. Advent hymns like “O Come, O Come Emmanuel” join our longing with ancient Israel’s and with Chris0ans’ through the ages. Each week a new candle is lit in the Advent wreath reminding us that God’s Light once came, and is coming again, into this present darkness.

It is tragic that a few early evangelicals kept only Easter Sunday and Christmas Day and rejected the rest of the Chris0an Year. Tearing these two days out of their contexts, out of the holy seasons surrounding them destroyed much of their power to form us as Chris0ans. The celebra0on of many American Chris0ans became shallow, rootless, and truncated. Christmas was cut off from deep Scripture and history, stripped of much beauty and power, defined by culture instead of by Christ. We lost a richness that can only be restored by marking 0me “in Christ” once more. Thankfully, many evangelicals are relearning the beauty of Advent itself, and the tremendous depth it adds to the celebra0on of the Christmas Season that follows from Christmas Day un0l Epiphany.

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As other networks do, we want to express our appreciation to you for stewarding your credentials well and renewing early. If you renew your credentials BY NOVEMBER 30 you will be eligible for a $500.00 gift card to be given to one of the ministers selected at random who entered by that date. If you renew BY DECEMBER 11 you will be eligible for a $250.00 gift card to be given in the same manner. Early renewal is a great blessing to the Network and National Offices and could be a blessing to you as well. Last year’s participation was excellent, and renewals were noticeably earlier! Please remember that your Network tithes and your General Council dues need to be current when you renew your credentials or your renewal cannot be processed.

When ministers holding credentials at the License level allow their credentials to lapse for more than three months, their required two year tenure for holding License credentials before upgrading to Ordained begins all over again at the time their License credentials are reinstated.

In other words, if you let your License credentials lapse for more than three months (past March 31) you lose all of the tenure time you’ve already accumulated since receiving License level credentials. After you apply for reinstatement of your License credentials and the General Secretary’s office acts favorably to reinstate your credentials, the calculation of your two year License tenure begins all over

again at the point in time that the General Secretary’s office actually reinstates your License

credentials. Please remember this, and please help us to pass this information along to all Licensed ministers!

All credentialed ministers – Certified, Licensed, and Ordained – should also remember that lapsing will cost a minister more time, more work, and more money when reinstating. The renewal season begins on November 1 and ends on December 31. Since General Council and Network offices are

closed the last week of the year, Springfield and this Network Office strongly encourages all renewals to be submitted by December 15. Failure to renew means that as of January 1 you have lapsed your

credentials and you are no longer an Assemblies of God minister. After December 31 there IS A $50.00 late fee when you renew, and after January 15 you cannot renew: You must apply for reinstatement at a cost of $125.00. After March 31 a background and credit check must also be done for all reinstatement applications. Any background or credit issues that have arisen since the minister first obtained credentials will have to be addressed according to General Council guidelines before the minister can be reinstated. Finally, lapsing for more than seven years requires all of the above as well as taking and passing all three of the newest credential exams in order to be reinstated.

We hope that this information delivered proactively will be beneficial in your understanding of these particular General Council credentialing requirements.

Michael D. Sharp, D.Min. Network Secretary-Treasurer ALSOM Director

FROM THE NETWORK SECRETARY-TREASURER’S OFFICE

REMINDERS FOR ALL MINISTERS REGARDING OUR MINISTERIAL CREDENTIALS

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Steven A. Mason District Youth Director

Alabama Youth Ministries

www.alabamayouthministries.com Email: dydsec@adcag.org

2 0 2 0 T o p S p e e d T h e L i g h t

J a n u a r y - S e p t e m b e r

Phenix City First Assembly $25,500.00 Vincent Revival Center $15,464.14 Montgomery First Assembly $11,275.19

Jackson First Assembly $9,902.92 Lifechurch, Birmingham $8,463.00

Crossroads, Albertville $8,241.25 Robertsdale First Assembly $5,393.25 Clearwater, Wagarville $5,000.00 Sunshine Assembly, Clanton $4,940.00 CenterPointe Assembly, Mobile $4,401.00

2 0 2 0 T o p Y o u t h G r o u p O f f e r i n g s

J a n u a r y - S e p t e m b e r

Pinedale Assembly, Clanton $600 Atmore First Assembly $500

Montgomery First Assembly $400 Jackson First $300

Hartselle First Assembly $250 Evangel Church, Montgomery $225

Crossroads, Albertville $200 Tuscaloosa First Assembly $160 Robertsdale First Assembly $135

Dothan First Assembly $115

March 5-6 // Youth Convention-The Rock Church, Huntsville

March 19 // STL Grand Club Banquet-Montgomery

April 16-17 // Fine Arts Festival-Kingwood, Alabaster

May 31-June 10 // Foreign AIM-Costa Rica

July 19-24 // Stateside AIM-New York City

August 2-6 // National Fine Arts Festival-Orlando

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GCWC COST: $75 Per Person

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The Psychology of Decision Making

We all make decisions. We make decisions that affect ourselves, those around us, and poten7ally many others. Our decision making must be taken as a serious process, especially for those in the ministry.

God knew that our “decision making” and “how we influence others” would be serious and heavy responsibili7es. An example is James 3:1 when James shares how those who teach will be judged more strictly. Teaching is a series of decisions involving what to teach and how to present it. We make personal decisions, and we also lead others in decision making that constantly changes the course of people’s futures and determines the effec7veness of our ministry.

When making decisions we as human beings tend to come to our conclusions based on

preconceived ideas or prejudices. We also tend to use a process of simplifica7on called heuris7cs. Heuris7cs is a process of making simplifying assump7ons and accep7ng limits to data or informa7on in order to make it easier and faster to come to a decision, especially in the quick-paced lives we live today. For example, one may think all Chevy products are good and thus automa7cally decide that a Chevy truck is beQer than a Ford truck without having to do the process of inves7ga7on and research. We thus at 7mes make quick decisions based on trying to simplify or speed up the process and neglect needed research or current upda7ng of fact. Our decisions tend to be formulated based on four main areas: our frame of reference, how we use informa7on, how well we can hold judgment un7l we have all the facts, and how we assess our previous decisions. By frame of reference, I submit we make decisions based on how we frame the problem. Do we start with a nega7ve premise or a biased aUtude? Can we use informa7on or data in a neutral, unbiased way or do we tend to neglect informa7on that may not support our desired outcome? Do we make judgments prior to a decision based on previous experiences, hurts or pain that may not be relevant to the current decision?

Finally, our decisions are influenced by our ability to rightly assess the effec7veness of prior decisions. Are we able to come to the conclusion that our previous decision wasn’t effec7ve if the facts bear that out, or can we see the need to consider a beQer way, rather than hunkering down in our familiar comfort zone? Since we must make our decisions based on Biblical principle rather than what our emo7ons may be telling us, it is important that we ask ourselves these per7nent ques7ons.

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STUDY BIBLES REVIEWED

Excellent Tools for Studying God’s Word,

Excellent Christmas Gifts for Pastors, Teachers, All Bible Readers

The most convenient way to always have good, scholarly help with us when we read or study the Bible is in the form of a study Bible. Many kinds are available. Some are outstanding, others are a waste of money. Study Bibles with notes wri>en by a single author should generally be avoided. They are more likely to contain errors or eccentric ideas than are study Bibles produced by teams of good scholars. Some study Bibles are highly specialized, like the Full Life Study Bible, or the ApologeCcs Study Bible. Such Bibles are designed for a niche market, may be fine for poinCng out a parCcular emphasis in Scripture, but are not helpful beyond a narrow, someCmes parochial view. Such a study Bible oEen misleads the reader into thinking that its single-minded focus provides the best or the only correct perspecCve on a doctrine or on parCcular passages. Please always remember that one of the more comprehensive study Bibles is needed for genuine and general study.

This review profiles the five best, most important study Bibles available today. Even if one of these

works is not available in your favorite translaCon (NKJV, NIV, etc.), it will sCll be an excellent addiCon to your Bible study aids. All of these translaCons, and the study Bibles, are evangelical, orthodox, and trustworthy. Any of these would make an excellent giE for a pastor, leader, or lay person.

The Cultural Backgrounds Study Bible, edited by John Walton and Craig Keener. Grand Rapids:

Zondervan, 2016, 2,400 pages.

Overall, this is the best study Bible available today for entering into and understanding the world of the Bible, and understanding the Bible in its original contexts. This outstanding study

Bible is designed to help readers enter into and understand the ancient cultural contexts within which every book of the Bible was wri>en. Seeing the ancient text with ancient eyes is essenCal if we are to get at what the biblical authors intended to say and what the first readers and listeners would have understood the Bible to mean. This excellent work contains over 300 arCcles on key cultural context topics. It provides over 400 full-color pictures, art, charts, diagrams, and Cme-lines, covering all aspects of the cultural se]ng and influences of every biblical book and passage. The individual notes for each verse provide sCll more detailed cultural contextual informaCon, opening the reader’s mind to see the scene as the biblical authors and recipients saw it and lived it. It is a one-of-a-kind resource, and always adds cultural insights and texture to your study. The Old Testament editor, John Walton, is one of the foremost OT scholars in the world today. Craig Keener, who edited all of the New Testament contribuCons, is one of the most respected New Testament scholars alive today. Keener is also a Pentecostal, and a graduate of the Assemblies of God Theological Seminary.

The Literary Study Bible, edited by Leland Ryken and Philip Ryken. Wheaton: Crossway Bibles,

2007, 1913 pages.

This is the best study Bible available today for simply teaching you how to read the Bible and enriching your daily Bible reading. It is unique among study Bibles, for it focuses carefully

on the literary characterisCcs of the biblical text. God not only inspired the words of Scripture, he also inspired the biblical writers’ choice of literary form, or genre. Knowing which kind of

literature you are reading is the necessary first step to correctly understanding God’s Word. Is

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Literary aspects of every passage. It guides the reader deeper into and more carefully through the biblical text

itself than other study Bibles. This is an outstanding guide to reading God’s story. You will easily and

permanently acquire new reading skills that will last for a lifeAme of Bible study. (Philip Ryken taught me at

Beeson Divinity School and is now president of Wheaton College.)

The Archaeological Study Bible, edited by Walter C. Kaiser, Jr. and Duane A. GarreI. Grand

Rapids: Zondervan, 2005, 2,306 pages.

This excellent work contains over 500 arAcles and scores of full-color drawings, charts, photographs, and Ame-lines, covering five categories: Archaeological Sites, Cultural and Historic Notes, Ancient Peoples, Lands and Rulers, Reliability of the Bible, and Ancient Texts and ArAfacts. It provides a panoramic and detailed look at these topics as they relate to each biblical book. The focus is on the historical, religious, and geographical seYng of each passage and book as revealed by archaeology. The book is full-color throughout, easy to read and to follow. It provides an accurate, in-depth, historical context for the enAre Bible, deepening our understanding of Scripture. This outstanding work is a pleasure to read, and hard to put down. It is a one-of-a-kind study aid and always adds historical texture to your study.

The ESV Study Bible, edited by Lane Dennis and Wayne Grudem. Wheaton: Crossway Bibles,

2008, 2,752 pages.

This completely new study Bible was wriIen by conservaAve, evangelical scholars and based on the essenAally “literal” English Standard Version translaAon. It is an exhausAve, in-depth work, addressing every biblical passage. There are over 240 all-new full-color maps and drawings, 200-plus charts, 80,000 cross-references, an extensive concordance, numerous arAcles on major doctrines, salvaAon history, world religions, history, archaeology, the Biblical canon, the reliability of the Scripture, an overview of biblical theology, and much more. It’s extensive introducAons to each biblical book, and verse-by-verse notes, rival or exceed all previous study Bibles. On debatable passages, all viewpoints are presented. This study Bible provides a wealth of reliable informaAon from the world’s best scholars to add great depth and breadth your study.

The NIV Study Bible. Grand Rapids: Zondervan, 2011, 2,560 pages.

The NIV translaEon remains the best-selling translaEon in the world. The NIV Study Bible remains the most popular study Bible available today. The NIV was translated by a group of the

excellent biblical scholars, and this study Bible was created in the same way. Assemblies of God and other Pentecostal scholars were represented on both the translaAon teams and the study Bible teams. There are many pages of full-color maps, as well as in-text charts, diagrams, Amelines, and illustraAons. The excellent study notes include introducAons, outlines, and background informaAon for every book of the Bible. The chapters, verses, and notes oden have a defined icon to easily idenAfy the primary topic of the passage. The verse-by-verse notes provide textual explanaAons per verse, and viable possible meanings when the meaning is unclear. There is an in-line verse reference column, as well as the NIV concordance, and subject and study note indexes. Everyday millions of pastors and readers use this outstanding study Bible. The NIV Study Bible remains the one that I use the most oden.

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Two schedule options will be offered for the Spring 2021 Semester to accommodate for the course changes which have been made by the General Council. They feel the new course arrangement will better prepare

candidates for the exam content given at the end of the Certified and License level.

Follow this course listing if you began taking ALSOM courses prior to August 2020.

Class Month Level 1 Courses

(Certified) Level 2 Courses (Licensed) Level 3 Courses (Ordained) January THE 142

A/G History, Missions, and Governance

THE 211 Intro to Theology: A Pentecostal Perspective

THE 311 Prayer and Worship

February BIB 114

Christ in the Synoptic Gospels BIB 212 New Testament Survey BIB 318 The Pentateuch March THE 114 Introduction to Pentecostal Doctrine BIB 214 Old Testament Survey BIB 313 The Corinthian Correspondence April BIB 115

Acts: The Work of the Holy Spirit

BIB 215 Romans: Justification by Faith

BIB 322 The Poetic Books

May BIB 117

Prison Epistles Introduction to HomileticsMIN 223 Preaching in the MIN 325 Contemporary World Follow this course listing if you began taking ALSOM courses August 2020 or after.

Class Month Level 1 Courses

(Certified) Level 2 Courses(Licensed) Level 3 Courses(Ordained)

January THE 142

A/G History, Missions, and Governance

MIN 123 The Local Church in

Evangelism

THE 311 Prayer and Worship

February BIB 114

Christ in the Synoptic Gospels

BIB 115

Acts: The Work of the Holy Spirit BIB 318 The Pentateuch March THE 114 Introduction to Pentecostal Doctrine BIB 117 Prison Epistles BIB 313 The Corinthian Correspondence April BIB 212 New Testament Survey BIB 215 Romans: Justification by Faith BIB 322 The Poetic Books

May BIB 214

Old Testament Survey

MIN 223

Introduction to Homiletics Preaching in the MIN 325 Contemporary World

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We are excited to announce that the month of December has been designated as a make up

month for our students who may have missed a course or need to retake a course. The

courses will be posted for purchase on November 20, 2020. The course will open to you on

December 1, 2020 and must be completed by December 31, 2020. Please note that our office

will be closed December 24

th

– January 1

st

. You are encouraged to complete your course prior

to December 24

th

if possible as there will not be anyone available to answer questions or assist

with IT concerns during the time our office is closed. The courses which will be available

during December are listed below. The courses will be available for purchase at

https://alsom.e360connect.com/

. Remember you will access the course at

https://alsom.edvance360.com/

after purchase.

Level 1 Courses

(Certified) Level 2 Courses (Licensed) Level 3 Courses (Ordained) THE 114 Introduction to Pentecostal Doctrine BIB 214 Old Testament Survey BIB 313

The Corinthian Correspondence BIB 115

Acts: The Work of the Holy Spirit

BIB 215 Romans: Justification by Faith

BIB 322 The Poetic Books BIB 117

Prison Epistles Introduction to Homiletics MIN 223 Preaching in the Contemporary MIN 325 World

BIB 121

Introduction to Hermeneutics Eschatology THE 245 Church Administration, Finance MIN 327 and Law

MIN 123 The Local Church in

Evangelism

MIN 251

Effective Leadership Pastoral Ministry MIN 381 MIN 181

Relationships and Ethics in Ministry

MIN 281

Conflict Management for Church Leaders

MIN 171

A Spirit Empowered Church: An Acts 2 Ministry Model

MIN 261

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Southeastern University is a Christ-centered institution of higher learning. We are committed to providing a Christian college education designed to equip the next generation to go into the world as influential servant leaders in their careers and their communities.

Southeastern University, 1000 Longfellow Blvd., Lakeland, FL 33801 phone: 800.500.8760

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DATA CHANGES

NEW MINISTERS/UPGRADE CERTIFIED MINISTER FORREST K GREEN TRANSFERRED IN AUSTIN YOUNG (L) DECEASED NEAL MILLER V.R. MONEY PASTORAL CHANGES

ORCHARD ASSEMBLIES OF GOD, MOBILE GREG DOSS

LIFE CHURCH OF THE AG, RAINBOW CITY JOHN MOONEY

Remembering those…

Rev. Neal Miller

We are sad to announce that on October 8, 2020 we had to say goodbye to Neal Miller of Maineville, Ohio. Family and friends can light a candle as a loving gesture for their loved one. Leave a sympathy message to the family in the guestbook on this memorial page of Neal Miller to show support.

He was predeceased by : his parents, Jacob Miller and Hazel Miller; and his cousin Robert Adkins. He is survived by : his wife Sandra Miller; and his cousin Rose Ann Krebs. He is also survived by many nieces, nephews, extended family, and friends.

…who await us.

ALABAMA MINISTRY NETWORK OF THE ASSEMBLIES OF GOD

EXECUTIVE OFFICERS Kenneth Draughon Network Superintendent John A. Loper, Jr. Assistant Superintendent Michael D. Sharp Network Secretary-Treasurer GENERAL PRESBYTERS Kenneth Draughon Murray Kelley George Sawyer NETWORK OFFICERS Vint Norris

Network Christian Education Director

Steven Mason

Network Youth Ministries Director

David Strahan

Network Missions/Men’s Director

Cynthia Draughon

Network Women’s Ministries Director

Rev. V.R. Money

Rev. V. R. Money age 82, a resident of Elba, Alabama passed away Tuesday, October 27, 2020 at Medical Center Enterprise. Rev. Money is survived by his Wife - Shirley Jean Money, Elba, AL, Daughter - Kathy (Carlton) Carr, Enterprise, AL, Son - Ronnie (Kim) Money, Troy, AL, and Son - Tommy (Ammy) Money also Troy, Alabama. He also leaves behind seven grandchildren, and ten great grandchildren.

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Alabama Ministry Network

of the Assemblies of God

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