Six Tools for Mining Gold From Sermons

How to hear from God even if the sermon is uninspiring (three of three)

Have you agonized through a bad sermon? Does God use inexperienced or poor communicators to preach his Word? What can you do when your pastor is having an off day and the sermon doesn’t speak to you?  On different occasions, we have all heard a preacher speak and say very little of value. Here is the third installment of a three-part resource article that might make the difference between enjoying a sermon and simply tolerating it.Preacher with hat and bible

Everyone has personal interest and hobbies that excite them. It’s hard to hide your passions. And it only takes a few moments to learn who a person is and what they like. Each person has a different set of natural desires and the combinations of passions are as endless as there are different individuals. The variety of passions for life is what makes people interesting. Our passions fuel our actions.

Six Tools for Mining Gold From Sermons

How to hear from God even if the sermon is uninspiring (two of three)

One Sunday morning I left my sermon notes on my desk at home. That wasn’t the worst part. I didn’t realize my sermon notes were missing until, in the middle of the service, I stood at the pulpit and began preaching! Initially, I hesitated to preach. What was I to say? How can I remember the content of the sermon?Preacher with hat and bible

As an additional blow to my ego, after the sermon, more people mentioned to me that today’s sermon was my best. What had happened? Without my notes, I was forced to stick closely to the biblical text. I couldn’t remember every point I wanted to make, but I could remember the basic outline because it followed the text. The main point of the text was preached, I gave a few illustrations, focused on God’s redemptive actions, and closed with thoughts on knowing how God engages our lives and how his saving power directs us in glorifying him. I had escaped my worst preaching fear–preaching impromptu.

Six Tools for Mining Gold From Sermons

How to hear from God even if the sermon is uninspiring (one of three)

The sermon is regularly the highlight of a worship service. Worship services are designed around the sermon’s content and theme. We attend hoping to hear a good message and leave inspired. If the sermon was good then the worship service was worth attending. If the sermon was bad, well hopefully, it wasn’t a total waste of time.Street preacher with hat and bible

Good sermons are important because people are looking for direction for the coming week. They come to church hoping to hear from God through the message. They want to find meaning and purpose in either the past week’s events or the coming week’s activities. Unfortunately, it’s possible to leave the church finding little or no direction, challenge, or motivation. We didn’t or couldn’t connect with the sermon. It didn’t make an impact.

Great Christmas Gifts

Christmas Gifts That Encourage Spiritual Growth

Are you looking to give a Christmas gift this year that will have a lasting impact?

Below are a few recommendations for books I have found helpful in ministry.

They’re organized by who would use them (men, women, youth, pastor, etc.).

Hope this helps you find the perfect gift for those you want to encourage in ministry.


Christmas List for 2018

Free Retreats for Pastors

Two great vacation destinations for pastors and their families

FREE Retreats for Pastoral


Are you on a tight vacation budget? Do you enjoy relaxing in a Christian environment either in the woods or at the beach? My family and I have found two great places to vacation that offer to active pastors and their families accommodations that are perfect get-aways. I just spent four days and three nights at a beautiful Christian retreat center in Williamsburg, VA and thought other pastors and their families would like to know about two very kind offers to pastors serving a church.

Williamsburg Christian Retreat Center   

My family and I stayed in a cabin that was one of the most spacious, clean, and enjoyable camping experiences we have had. The location was close to all the attractions in the historic section of Williamsburg, VA (20 minutes away). The grounds are beautiful with lots to do including a pool in season. On the 300 acre property, there were plenty of easy hiking trails through their private woods.

The Williamsburg Christian Retreat Center offers to pastors and their families two free nights in either their 22 site RV campgrounds (they also have a tent village next to the pool), in the cabins we stayed in that sleeps seven (which are very nice and modern), or in the Oakwood Lodge (which includes a room for four or a room with a kitchenette that sleeps two). If you want to stay for more than two days, like we did, they only charge 50% of the regular room rate per night. When meals are served in the beautiful dining room those meals are also discounted 50%.

Retreat OfficeThey also offer pastor’s a personal rest and renewal retreat for up to four nights in the Oakwood Lodge. This is an excellent place to be refreshed, be alone with the Lord, or catch up on some future studies. Linens and towels are provided and some rooms have a kitchenette if you don’t want to enjoy the meals in the dining room.

Give them a call at 1-866-566-WCRC or look them up at  Here are directions to their Retreat Center: Exit Interstate 64 on #227 and go north on Route 30 for just under a mile. Turn left on Route 601 (also called Barnes Road). Travel one mile and you will find the entrance on the right. Drive down a gray gravel driveway for about a half mile and the office/dining room will be on your left. Their address for your GPS is 9275 Barnes Road, Toano, VA 23168. Tell them Jim Klukow recommended their camping ministry to you. ENJOY!


Myrtle Beach Christian Retreat

Here’s another great free stay for active pastors. It’s called Myrtle Beach Christian Retreat. This is a year-round Retreat Center. The Retreat Center is located about two blocks from the beach and is a wonderful place to take your family. The food is good, the location is excellent and the accommodations are relaxing. This Retreat Center has been serving churches for over 65 years and with reasonable prices.Court Yard

Rev Henry and his wife Lynn Brock are Executive Directors who have hearts for encouraging pastors, so they offer pastors and their families a once a year get away. From August to around the end of May a pastor and his immediate family can reserve a room for up to five days and four nights (Monday through Friday) for free. The one exception is during spring break when the Center is booked solid with youth groups.

The rooms are basic (bring all your own linens) and the four-acre campus is tightly packed with buildings (after all it is beach property). They have a great 250 seat main conference center and an Olympic sized pool. The walk to the beach is wonderful. They even allowed us to use one of their golf carts to drive to the beach access. My kids thought that was pretty cool that I drove them to the beach in a golf cart. This Retreat Center is only minutes away from lots of fun things to do and places to eat in Myrtle Beach, SC.

If you want a simple and relaxing time at the beach this is the place to be. There was a youth group at the Center while we stayed there, but we didn’t notice any additional noise or congestion in the dining hall. The staff was very accommodating and it’s always nice to vacation with others Christians.

You can reach Rev. or Mrs. Brock or one of their staff at 843-272-6649 or find them on the web at For your GPS here is the address: 4105 Poinsett St. North Myrtle Beach, SC 29582. Hope you enjoy this great spot as much as my family did. Again, let them know that Jim Klukow recommended their ministry to you.

And, if you are planning a retreat for youth or adults these two locations are perfect!

If you have found a great place for ministers to stay for free please send me that contact and I will visit and write a review.  For ministers on a tight vacation budget, kind people like the Williamsburg Christian Retreat Center and the Myrtle Beach Christian Retreat staff can’t be beaten. They were truly a blessing to me and my faour families.

Image Libraries for Christian Ministries

(Pay-per-use and Free)

Image Libraries for Christian Ministries

With the advent of high-definition motion and still pictures, the Church has developed a need for high-quality graphic-based communicational images for brochures, banners, booklets, worship slides, web page graphics, sermon titles, and a host of other visual applications. Church media directors, as well as other church staff (secretaries, pastors, teachers, and ministry leaders), need good quick resources for visual support material to complement their biblical content and ministries.

Below is an annotated list of image libraries for ministries (many of them I use). There are two categories. One is pay-per-use libraries and the other category has varying levels of free material. Each category is further broken into General and Christian Oriented. My top general picks are in bold to help you search for the “perfect image.”

Church Calendar

Aligning Christian and Social Holidays into an Annual Church Calendar

Developing an Annual Church Calendar

Whether you are a new pastor, associate pastor, or a seasoned pastor, developing an annual Church calendar has become part of leading a congregation in the development of its ministry plan.

More and more churches are using annual calendar planning sessions to map out the implementation of its vision for the coming year. There also appears more interest in learning about the historic Church calendar than in the recent past. To base ministry planning around a twelve-month structure that considers historic Christian traditions and practices are becoming more popular each year as church leaders find that it saves them time in the long run. Even solo pastors of smaller congregations find it advantageous to make an annual ministry plan for the churches they serve.

For all aspects of ministry, developing an effective and useful calendar is essential. This is where worship service themes, sermon topics and series, special music, communion, and other dynamics used in worship are coordinated. Much time coordinating events, promotions, and other ministry support activities are served by a well-planned calendar.

I take one or two days each year to get away and focus on developing an annual Church calendar. Once the calendar is complete I present it the Elders for any changes they wish to make and then we vote to approve it as a tool to implement the ministry vision for that year. One side benefit of having an annual Church calendar pre-approved is that all of the activities in that schedule also are approved upon the Elder’s approval.