In the spirit of the 12 days of Christmas, I challenged myself to think of 12 reasons to love Muslims. Here goes and we will see if I can do it.
10. Getting Involved in Global MissionsThis post definitely has staying power! Written in 2009, it provides a comprehensive list of ways to get involved in missions, overseas and in North America. You'll also find links to helpful resources.
Why not start the New Year with a fresh slate when it comes to promoting your missionaries? If it's been awhile since your church updated its website or newsletter listings, now is a great time to make sure everything is still accurate. If you have done this recently, why not use the checklist below to consider additional ways in which you might let your congregation know about the missionaries they support?
In his book, Journeys of the Muslim Nation and the Christian Church, David Shenk describes three meetings experienced by a Christian college group in Israel and the West Bank.“First, they met with a Hamas leader. He explained the theology of Islamic jihad. He stated that in the present circumstances violent confrontation with Israel was the only alternative, that jihad was necessary.
Advent is upon us. The lands of Israel, Assyria, and Egypt were the lands where Jesus was born, was a refugee, and did identify as his home. As we remember his first coming, and watch these countries come into and out of the news, let us not forget to pray for them.
"Friends, this world is not your home, so don’t make yourselves cozy in it." 1 Peter 2:11 (The Message)
Joel Hogan worked as a Christian Reformed World Missions missionary for seven years in Tacloban, a city of about 200,000 people on Leyte island, which was in the eye of Typhoon Haiyan that hit the Philippines last Friday. In fact, he lived on a road leading from a Christian Reformed Church in the Philippines (CRCP) congregation near the water and the airport.
People tend to fear what they don't know. Knowledge reduces fear and allows people to take a step of faith and engage the stranger in their midst. Many Muslims have immigrated to North America and have become our neighbors. Do you have a basic understanding about what Muslims actually believe or practice? And where would you start to witness to your faith...
I walked out of the train station and heard the familiar strains of French and English being spoken, sometimes both languages used interchangeably. Montreal has a large population of Muslims and our denomination is committed to reaching out to Muslims.
Last weekend I had the privilege of meeting with representatives from five churches currently involved in global partnerships through World Renew, five churches that are thinking about getting involved, and seven international staff. It was amazing to hear about what God is doing in the various churches here in North America and in churches overseas. What diversity!
"Exploring Cultural Intelligence" will be presented by Pennylyn Dykstra-Pruim (designer and facilitator of the “Building Your Cultural Intelligence” workshop) on October 30. This free, one-hour webinar will outline the key skill areas of cultural intelligence and explore how Cultural...
SEC volunteer coordinator “Jan” (we can’t use her real name because she is currently serving in a closed country) launched the Skype club concept in March 2012, and has already started 12 international clubs. Hundreds of international English language learners are asking to be included in a Spotlight English Club. “We are limited only by the lack of volunteers available to lead these Skype clubs,” Jan says.And that’s one reason she is requesting what she calls “couch potato ministry volunteers.”
“With the erosion of organizational loyalty, many see dwindling motivation for younger generations to support missions unless a direct connection between church and missionary can be established. Detachment, even distrust, describes younger generations’ attitudes about institutions, and it becomes evident in the offering plate. Donors want to know ‘how my money is being spent.’ Motivation for giving seems to be shifting. These factors will make it increasingly difficult for denominations to fund missionary salaries from large pooled accounts.”
This article in the online Banner caught my attention: Leadership The Color of Love.
The author writes, "How does a church balance the call to minister locally and at the same time not neglect the Great Commission’s mandate to go to the ends of the earth? In our church the answer lies...
World Renew believes that God calls Christians everywhere to love their neighbors and to care for those in need. As many North Americans have discovered, when they respond to this call they are as blessed as those they serve. By working through local churches to equip Christians like Yan, they experience the blessing of serving others.
As we share the hope we have (1 Peter 3:15), we have to speak of more than sin; we have to speak about shame. After recently preaching on this subject in a church in Canada, I was struck that I had hit a cord with my listeners. We in the West are also struggling with shame. Anyone who has struggled with a mental illness, or the family members of such a person, has dealt with shame. Recent cases in the news of cyber bullying have led to suicides due to shame. To live in the shadow of suicide is to live with shame. A Professor commented that young people are leaving the church because they have issues with shame that the church is not addressing.
With the start of a new school year, your mission committee might be looking for some new and interesting ways to promote missions within your congregation. In addition to the excellent missions education resources available from Christian Reformed World Missions, you may want to check out the following websites.
So something I have been thinking about recently related to the sustainability of the way I live and simplicity is that it is hard to say no to free stuff.
When I tell people in the CRC what I do for a living, I tend to get the same question in response: Why? And I get it. I recently took a position developing a new project for the denomination: LEAP. I understand the skepticism I encounter. Does the CRC need another program to solve problems that are certainly not programmatic? No, we really don’t.
I’ve noticed a disturbing trend online and in the church in general; it’s the controversial issues that get all the attention. I know this isn’t new. I grew up in the 90s, and even though I was in grade school I remember hearing about our church potentially leaving the denomination over the women in office issue.
During this anniversary year the history and current ministry of Christian Reformed World Missions will be celebrated in a variety of ways. At www.crwm.org/125 you can see a painting, order a book, read stories, watch videos and learn about events that will be happening in...
The topic of the insider movement is one of the most heated controversies in the area of ministry to Muslims. An insider is a Muslim who converts to Christianity, but who remains in the Mosque for a period of time.
New church starts are crafting their culture. One of the most significant roles any new congregation will address is the formation of their DNA. For missional churches, the essence of their culture will be incarnational.
Steve Van Zanen, Director for Missions Education & Engagement for Christian Reformed World Missions, has been researching what churches identify as needing from missions agencies. Through a survey of a random sampling of Christian Reformed pastors, the following were identified as the most important resources and services that CRC congregations most need in order to engage in international missions more effectively.
When you pastor a congregation of only 26 people, six new members is a pretty big cause for celebration.