What’s Behind the Digital Library?

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You’ve probably heard the news that the CRC is launching a Digital Library and 20 percent discount exclusively for CRC churches and members. You may wonder, “How will the Digital Library benefit me and my church?” or “Why a digital library?”

The idea for the Digital Library came about in conversations about how best to match the needs of local churches with the resources that exist in our denomination. And since we have the capability of offering Faith Alive’s resources digitally, and our objective is to maximize ministry, providing these resources in the form of a digital library just makes sense.

When I worked in local ministry, I wasn’t aware of all of the resources available to me, and I know many CRC churches and members are in the same boat. It wasn’t until I began my current position at the denomination that I really got a sense of everything our denomination has to offer to support churches in doing ministry. The Digital Library will provide a unique opportunity for churches to connect to hundreds of resources that are available to them.

I also believe the Digital Library will provide more direct contact between members of the CRC and those creating resources. It not only will connect members and churches with the resources already available, but will create an opportunity for feedback and dialogue about what other resources churches need. The Digital Library will allow us to see what resources are actually being used by churches. This communication is important, and will help us better equip churches in doing ministry.

This pilot project is really the leading edge of changes taking place in the denomination. The new ministry plan, Our Journey 2020, describes ways the denomination can assist churches in maximizing ministry. We’d like our denominational agencies and ministries to develop ways of connecting churches with appropriate services and resources. The launch of the Digital Library is a reflection of that vision, and will help churches connect to their communities, develop leaders, collaborate more effectively, and more.

So far, the reaction to the Digital Library has been overwhelmingly positive. When I attended a classis meeting a few weeks ago, we announced the launch of the Digital Library followed by showing the new Our Calling video. The presentation was met with applause. We had been keeping the Digital Library under wraps as we worked out the details, and were thrilled when we could finally share the news. We’ve received great feedback from churches and members, which has been exciting to see. You can read some of the feedback here.

Overall, I see the Digital Library and discount as an exciting way to both maximize ministry and be good stewards. And even though it’s described as a one-year pilot project, I fully expect it to continue far beyond that. The Digital Library represents a big shift in how we as a denomination equip our churches and members to grow in faith and impact lives for Christ.

To spread the word and sign up for the Digital Library, visit crcna.org/Library.

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