Facilitated by Others
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Clinical Pastoral Education (CPE) Distance Learning Collaborative

The Clinical Pastoral Education program is offered to pastors from both CRC and RCA churches in communities throughout the United States and Canada. Read more about it here.

ChaplaincyLeadership Development
Blog
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"Green Shirts" Experience

What stood out to me most is how World Renew strives to help the people who are most vulnerable – many of the families we learned about could not afford home insurance or were not able to qualify for assistance from the government.

Community EngagementLeadership DevelopmentBiblical Justice
Discussion Topic
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One Thing I Learned in Ministry This Past Year

Before we switch ministry gears to summer, or even (gasp!) fall, can we take a minute to look around and look back? What's one thing you learned this past year?

Leadership Development
Blog
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Poetry and Leadership

Where do we turn to when life perplexes us, when there doesn’t seem to be any clear answers, when we have come to the end of our thinking as leaders? Is it not the poetical books of the Bible? 

Leadership Development
Blog
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Matthew's Super Messiah

Reading the gospel of Matthew took away some of my innocent look on how the Bible was compiled. I didn’t realize it was so messy, like digging into a family tree.

Leadership Development
Discussion Topic
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Leadership and Loss

Loss comes to us when key people move away, when we realize a dream has died, or when we face health challenges. The book "Broken Hallelujahs" suggests three ways of dealing with loss. 

Leadership Development
Blog
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Palestine Soup

In Jesus’ world we find a religious, political and cultural soup mix. The broth is a potent mix of Roman, Greek and Jewish cultures. Did God use this culture to make the most of the gospel for Jesus sake?

Leadership Development
Blog
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Apocryphal Stories, The Maccabees and Susanna

I felt sorry for these people who believed that they had to live and die this way. They seemed to have traded the "living for God" for living and dying to uphold their interpretation of the law of God.

Leadership Development
Blog
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Leading in an Age of Distraction

A recent church service left me completely exhausted. Too often I have the same feeling at the end of a working day. How can one lead well in the midst of the noise and distraction? 

Leadership Development
Blog
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Psalm 90 and Moses' Honesty Before God

Moses longs to be taught by God (humble) and dares to tell God how to behave (arrogant). He was himself before God and yet was called a man of God. Moses’ life shows these are not mutually exclusive.

Leadership Development
Blog
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Mulholland, Moses and the Maccabees

Our personality is no longer an excuse nor a hindrance, but instead, it is a vehicle in the process of being conformed to the image of Christ.

Leadership Development
Blog
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Leadership: Toe in, Toe Out

Leadership was that scary monster under the bed for me. Thinking about telling others what to do would wake me up at night in a sweat. So how could a guy like me accept leadership?

Leadership Development
Image
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Leadership in Your Community Infographic

Check out this infographic (from Wake Forest) that provides strong traits on what it takes to be an influence not only in the church, but in the community as well.

Leadership Development
Book or eBook
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What I Read this Summer - Strengthening the Soul of Your Leadership

I just finished what has got to be the best book on leadership I have read yet. Instead of a list of strategies, it was about how our relationship with God strengthens our own soul for leadership.

Leadership Development
Webinar Recording
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Healthy Boundaries in Ministry Relationships (Webinar Recording)

This webinar explores how healthy boundaries enhance ministry, how power dynamics influence ministry relationships, and how to avoid some of the common pitfalls.

Leadership DevelopmentSafe Church
Blog
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Well Done, Good and Faithful Servant

As leaders in the church we can often feel under-thanked. How might we instead develop an 'attitude of gratitude' as we serve those we've been called to lead?

Leadership Development
Do It Yourself
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How Christian Leaders Can Survive Being Ground in the Ministry Mill

The very real stresses and strains of Christian leadership and ministry life can feel like being crushed and ground. Discover healthy ways of coping and gain insight into recovering from ministry leadership burnout.

Leadership Development
Brochure or Pamphlet
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The Marks of a Spiritual Leader

According to 1 Timothy 3:2, anyone who aspires to the office of overseer in the church should be able to teach. John Piper identifies eight traits of good teaching that can provide a focus for developing this biblically mandated skill in our church leaders.

Leadership Development
Article
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How is Your EIQ (Emotional Intelligence Quotient)?

This article by Jim Merhaut describes why emotional intelligence (EIQ) can be a better predictor of leadership success than IQ. It includes a link to an EIQ test that includes practical ideas for boosting your EIQ to make you a more effective leader.

Leadership Development
Book or eBook
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Leading With a Limp

Dan Allender argues that the best leaders live paradoxical lives, where they lead with power because of their weakness, find success through acknowledging their failures and lose their life, so that they might save it.

Leadership Development
Book or eBook
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Strength Finders 2.0

A highly-insightful, practical, personal and economical online strengths assessment tool, partnered with comprehensive 'unpacking' support through the accompanying book and website.

Leadership Development
Book or eBook
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An Eight-Week Guide to Incarnational Community

"Making it look easy takes a lot of practice" say Matt Smay and Hugh Halter about incarnational life and missional community. "A workbook alone won't get the job done...It also includes learning to take personal responsibility for your own calling."

Faith NurtureLeadership Development
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Hi Jeanette,

Thanks for taking time to give comments.  It was good to meet you last year at our first Women in Leadership gathering!

I appreciate the time and effort of First CRC of Toronto to develop resources to celebrate the 20th anniversary of the ordination of women. I'm in the process of organizing a planning team to work on the 25th anniversary and these resources will be a good place to start.  They will be helpful.

Also, we now have a Leadership Development Advisory Team that will meet for the first time next week.  This eight member team will help shape our work (vision, mission, values and goals). 

I agree with your suggestions for a good place to start. 

Please join in praying for the advisory and planning teams, Synod 2018 and the work of this office.  I desire more than anything the Spirit's wisdom, guidance and power.  Again, thank you and blessings.

 

 

In this morning's quiet time, I used Canoeing the Mountain as a resource for prayer. I found this quote on p. 71 and it spoke to my desire, "...remember again that the goal of the expedition was not to build a family - it was to find a route to the Pacific Ocean.  Similarly, the goal of the Christian faith is not simply to become more loving community but to be a community of people who participate in God's mission to heal the world by reestablishing his loving reign on earth as it is in heaven."

I love the emphasis on God's mission and his loving reign!  This is good theology.....let us pray.

Thank you for reaching out again. It’s continues to be important for women to feel supported in leadership, the CRC and at Synod. You are helping with this. 

First CRC of Toronto developed a few resources to celebrate the 20th anniversary of the ordination of women. I will email them to you and anyone else interested. We found them helpful.

As for a few other ideas:

- name goals for increase the stats in the CRC in regards to women in leadership positions and work to making them a reality 

- start planning for our 25th anniversary of the ordination of women

- keep writing on the topic

- continue being more vocal about injustices 

-... and this is just a start. 

 

Bonnie, thanks for participating!  I also like this quote. As we're making plans and shaping a ministry for leadership development: Women's and Racial Ethnic Ministry, we'll be reaching to the margins in our local churches, ministries and denomination. This is a long and intentional process as we envision our future in serving God's kingdom.

 

I liked this quote, "The future is here. It's at the margins" (Or something close to that). The idea is that we need to look to the margins for leadership as we head into the future. That includes seeking leaders who are women, who are people of color, who have suffered injustice and/or ridicule, who are hurting, who are deemed powerless and poor. These are people Jesus loves, whom he has chosen for his kingdom work, and from whom we have so much to learn.

Hi Ben,

Thanks for taking time to share in the discussion a few of your top takeaways. These are good and also a reminder to me, and likely others, the good "practical nuggets" in this book.  

I don't have access to my book right now, but I want to look at p. 98 again.  So often, we'll reach for quick fixes in trying to eliminate the anxiety.

Blessings as you continue to serve in God's kingdom!

Denise Posie

 

 

Hi Denise,

I recently read this book for a class that I took and could identify with the metaphor of "leading off the map" as a missionary, church planter, and church planter trainer in Mexico.

One concept that is sticking with me is the idea of making "blue zone" decisions instead of "red zone" decisions. Things can often look very different once everyone has "cooled off" a bit.

I also enjoyed this quote and am trying to live it: “When a leader and a people together resist the anxiety that would lead to throwing in the towel or relying on the quick fix…this enables them to gain the just-in-time experience necessary to keep the expedition going” (98).

Thanks!

Rev. Ben Meyer

Resonate Global Mission

Guadalajara, Mexico

Hi Linda,

I happen to be in LA the day before SheLeads so I went to the host site in Pasadena on Saturday. It was a very good event for me because I heard a new idea or perspective about shared leadership, challenges for women in the pastorate and testimonies of God's faithfulness.  The networking, host site and worship were also wonderful.  We are likely to host it again at Calvin Seminary.  I really liked being in Pasadena.  If you weren't able to go, I hope it's available now from Missio Alliance.  We have a debriefing next week to talk about the GR site.  Blessings

 

Linda Grace, I am so glad you want to attend! Here's the link to the national conference. Scroll all the way to the bottom of the page to find the regional venues. I hope you can find one that's close to you. Blessings! Sharon Smith http://www.missioalliance.org/sheleads/

Linda Grace, I so hope you can attend one! Here is a link to the national website. Scroll down to the bottom of the page to see the different regional venues. I hope one will work for you!  http://www.missioalliance.org/sheleads/

Sharon Smith

Greetings! I would love to attend a video streaming session but cannot figure out where they are held! I live north of Seattle. Thank you. Linda Grace

Honestly, it was hard to choose just one part because it was all "Inspiring"! The things that immediately came to mind are these: ~ Even though Liz Curtis Higgs was not listed as one of the original speakers, she was a gift from God for me. Listening to her speak was exactly what I needed to be refreshed. Her personal story, the Gospel story and her delivery brought tears to my eyes and hysterical laughter! Thank you, Liz! ~ The breakout session on "Praying Like Jesus" was meaningful because of the emphasis on memorizing and praying the Psalms. Kevin Adams' sharing of stories and encouraging group participation made it interesting and memorable. It created a desire in me to follow through with some of the suggestions. ~ The music, worship and singing were like a little glimpse of heaven as we sang songs in different languages and tempos. It was evidence and a reminder that we believers are part of the larger, global body of Christ!

Josh - Yours may not be the turnaround story you mentioned, but in many ways it is a more important story to tell. And it certainly takes more courage to write! To be faithful, we must remove the stigma associated with closing a church. If not, we'll have churches hanging on past when they should, and that prevents us from responding to how God is calling us next. Thank you for sharing this. Your honesty and wisdom in this reflection is the kind of leadership we need from pastors, and from all of us. Judging from the pageviews and the comments here, your words have struck a chord and have already had a significant impact.

Besides the fresh spiritual insights from the main speakers(gathering)and the breakout sessions , the venue was a good choice and an experience in itself; the Communion at the end of Inspire sealed our love, unity and commitment to move on with God in the CRC. Inspire 2017 is one of the best things in the life of the CRC. It was a rekindling experience indeed. Thanks. Rev. Bulus A. Gani, CRC- Nigeria.

Joshua, thank you for sharing this part of your life. My experience was a "near death" situation. I did not do the last service but I probably would be the last full time pastor unless the Lord does a miracle. At some point, the journey felt like being led to the cross to be crucified. Though surrounded by some who cared for me, it felt very lonely.  I found comfort in the word of the Lord to the people of Israel "So do not fear, for I am with you; do not be dismayed, for I am your God. I will strengthen you and help you; I will uphold you with my righteous right hand" (Isaiah 41:10). May you be comforted too.

 

What was my favourite part? ALL OF IT. Really!

In order... Workshop 4 to Cass Community. WOW!!! Powerful work going on that could be replicated in a few ways.

Food and fellowship... great spaces to eat and meet new and old friends. Lots of time to do so.

Reflective, engaging, inspiring worship... thanks Melody and the team.

The space in which we were in... enhanced community.

I appreciate you sharing this. A smaller church needs a pastor to love them. A church that is dying still needs a shepherd. It takes someone of courage and great leadership skills to take a call to such a church for the glory of God. I would hope that churches looking for a pastor would see the amazing leadership and pastoral skills needed to be a pastor of such churches. We have to stop making things so "man-centered." I fear some search committees are about glory be to man.

Can one can do all right leadership stuff and the church can still close?

--the pastor can preach the Gospel every Sunday

--the pastor can show how the Gospel every week changes your life and addresses what you are going through

--the pastor can make changes at the council level so the council actually talks about ministry rather than status quo.

--the church can do Gospel-centered outreach in the community

--the church can do music with quality

--you can do your best to contextualize the Gospel like explained in Center Church by Tim Keller

I am convinced the church can STILL close down. We can't always blame the culture, but the culture is hostile. Read the book How (Not) to be Secular by James Smith. The deck is stacked against the church, and our culture's worldview is more at odds with a biblical worldview than ever. 

Maybe the church has shot itself in the foot over and over again—it would be extremely hard for even the most gifted of pastors entering into that situation. 

Its not the pastor’s fault or simply lack of leadership skills. Its not even the quality of the preaching all the time. 

I hope pastors stop guilting themselves and find the their righteousness is in Christ. What those pastors did for Christ will last for all eternity.

Josh - As one who walks the road less traveled, let me first say Thank you!   Those of us who have led a church through the process of closing have much more to offer than many realize.  Sadly, there is great fear that somehow those who have participated in the closing of a church are now tainted.  The place God has called us to and we willingly walked into is a place that only those who have been there can begin to understand.  After Parchment CRC completed its ministry it took me nearly 4 years to receive a call.  I gave up counting rejections... some were honest enough to say my participation in the death of a church was the deciding factor.  

To those of you who carry this grief, who walk with this fear and wrestle with all that closing the doors of a church entails - the PEACE of Christ to you!  

To those of you who know the pain that comes when a church has completed its ministry - Your grief is legitimate, the pain is real, and there is grace sufficient for it even when it doesn't feel like it. My prayer for you is that the God of all comfort will reveal Himself to you in the midst of your grief and give you the hope you need for each moment as you continue to Love God, Love Others, and Build His Kingdom.  Thank you for being willing to follow God's call into the most difficult place - the valley of the shadow of death.  The awesome thing about our God is that He really does make dry bones come alive.  Be still.  Wait. Hold one another as the waves of grief ebb and flow... and trust... that the One who called you to this place is faithful.  He will make a way where it seems there is no way. It's what He's best at. (-:  

Know that prayers are paving the way! 

Thanks for your honesty here, Josh. The fear is real for many of us in low-membership congregations as well, and this sheds light on a topic that many, I believe, are afraid to look at. May God bless you as you continue as a Minister of the Word.

Hi Tricia, thanks for reading this update on Women in Leadership and making a comment.  I would love to connect with you to get to know about your journey and also what we can expect in the future regarding women gatherings.  My email address is dposie@crcna.org.  Please send your contact information and I will either call or send an email, whichever you prefer. Please pray for this work. We truly need God's guidance. I look forward to hearing from you!

I'll pray with you!

We are facing with the same difficulties here in Hungary - I want to be your brother in your distress! May Our Lord keep you and your family!

Hi Josh, The loss of your congregation and church is a very real loss.  I was a part of the closing of a small Christian school.  It was very painful and I too experienced grief in that loss.  When I was passed up for teaching position after teaching position I was certain God had just forgotten about me.  Very dejected and depressed.  I will be praying for you in the challenges you are faced with and for God's presence and guidance to be real to you.

I would love to know of future meetings, events, opportunities when women leaders in the church get together.  I am a woman working to heed God's call into ministry, and I know I need the continuing support of other women on the same road I am.  Is there an email list being compiled or other plans for women getting together?

Josh, thanks for sharing your deepest thoughts and experience of closing a church. I know your experience is real and honest! Thank you! 

Thanks much for sharing.  I get some of Joshua's pain.  We served a church for 13 years which decided to disband at the end of 2016.   That brought grief on multiple levels, even on the question of where we could worship with shalom after the final worship service.    I do think the CRC needs to face the reality that more churches are closing.  And lumping everything under an article 17 does not help the Pastor.  When my article 17 was announced in the online Banner and explained as as a pastor being separated from his ministry, a friend contacted me right away in support because he had assumed something else.

Thank you for writing this. Your transparency opens the door for powerful conversation. I will be praying for peace in the middle of the unknowns. May God be with you. 

This event has been prayed over a lot! I'm excited to see how God will work in response.

Before seminary I was doing ministry in a non-denominational, organic, young and hip group with zero budget and no ties to a building. I was living the dream that a lot of anti-seminary, anti-denominational, anti-institutional seminarians and pastors think they want. And there were some great things about it - but it wasn't nearly the dream that people like to think. I was so thankful when God called me to attend CTS! I came in with the attitude of wanting to get to know God better and understand His community of children - the Church. I was seeking for a greater filling with Christ, and I found that. The time I spent in seminary were some of the best years of my life, digging deeper into my relationships with God and with His Church everyday. I got to sit at the feet of people, past and present, who have been recognized as deeply knowledgeable, passionate, and wise about God. Yes, there is an academic structure and rigor to it all, but every relationship comes to a point where it takes an organized and intentional effort to grow. When I hear someone talk down about the importance of a seminary education I end up wondering how serious they really are developing their relationship with Jesus.

Glad I'm going - now I'm even more excited!

Jeanne Kallemeyn - CRCNA Pastor Church Resources

Thanks Kathy.  I've fixed that error.  Sorry for the mistake.

Just to clarify your records, Maple Ridge CRC is in Classis BCNW.

I am inspired by this article. It conveys what I know to be true and my experience in leadership. The metaphors of "a journey" and "marathon" are right on.  Listening and making room for people who have different perspectives, cultures and experiences are critical in Christian leadership.

When I read articles in the CRCNA on leadership, I try to see myself , an African American woman who did not grow up in the CRCNA, and others like me in what is being said. This article is transparent and relational. 

I especially like, "As a white male; I need to keep before me the need (if I am going to be a good leader) to seek out the voices of others who will bring wisdom and insights that I would miss—if I am not deliberate to listen and learn from them. If we really see value in a chorus of witnesses, we need to be willing to seek those voices out to be part of that choir. For me, this mean that I must seek the counsel of women, Canadians, African Americans, Brazilians, Chinese, Koreans, Latinos/Latinas and the list goes on.  (I have a lot to learn.)"

A key question is really, "What do we value?"

Thank you. Have a blessed time as you continue the Reformation Tour.

Hi Mark,

I like Boer's idea of spheres of leadership and the church as the body in which all parts are servant leaders without a hierarchical structure. Hope I have opportunity to read it and continue learning about leadership. Thank you.

posted in: Foolish Development

Amen! 

posted in: Foolish Development

Craig -- I just LOVE your passion and succinct messaging!  I couldn't agree more!  It's the sharing of our faith, our personal stories, our willingness to be vulnerable, our heart for others, and the connecting we do that turns us into a church!  It's how we reflect Christ!  Those are all the things HE TAUGHT us!  Yes, it is certainly IN the mix, and some of the sessions will focus on this more than others, but I couldn't agree more!  We, as a team, will go back, with your comments in mind, and revisit the sessions to make sure this will be an emphasis!  I hope you will join us and encourage such behavior as well!

God wants nothing more than for us to represent HIM well in His church!  Praying we can do this as we plan, as we execute, and as we prepare to gather together.  Our prayer is that we can all humble ourselves to each other and BE CHRIST to others as well.  Thank you for your heart and message to chew on!  ~Paula 

I'm sure that this will be included somewhere in this mix but it needs to be talked about specifically, that It's All About Relationships!  We are so good at developing programs, ministries, and even strategies but it all comes down to relationships.  What should be a natural and expected aspect of life has been thrown by the wayside.  The older generation no longer knows the children and vice-versa.  We skitter around from one practice, one meeting, one game, etc.  We send out emails, texts, Facebook messages and consider that our social interaction.  Meanwhile I hear complaints about how church used to be our family and how we used to invite people over but not any more.  I don't care what you are talking about (evangelism, worship, Bible studies, outreach, etc.) it is all about developing and growing relationships and we need to stop for a moment and talk about how we can nurture that.  When I look at my life it was relationships that grew my faith the most and when I hear from those who don't attend church anymore the repeated response is that they don't feel connected.  It doesn't have to do with style of worship, lack of ministries, or anything else.  It is simply because we don't take time to build relationships.  Like I said, I expect and hope that this will be included is some of what has been listed but it can't be a little spice that we throw into the mix.  It is the whole recipe.

Dan -- Thanks for your heart and passion for those that might have areas of accessibility issues.  We have been working closely with Mark Stephenson and his team!  Our goal is that this event will be barrier free and that we can encourage the churches to have the same goal.  We will have specific breakout sessions on ideas/perspectives/reasons for creating environments for ALL of God's people.  We will also have sessions on inclusive behaviors and messaging that would invite and embrace those that are different than us as well... not just physical, emotional, and accessibility conditions.  We are hoping to change the lens by which we see things from how can we help them to possibly how can they help us... be better!  Thanks for the reminder, the passion, and the heart!  God is certainly smiling!

And... I will take a look at the language of our breakout sessions to make sure we are communicating clearly what each session will cover!  Perhaps when the website goes live, the "summary" of each session will give a better idea of the content you'll find in the session.

Thanks again Dan!  Look forward to seeing you at Inspire 2017!  ~Paula

Terry -- Thanks for your thoughts!  YES!  We are hoping for lots of gathering for churches/leaders/volunteers to share stories.  We have a few breakout sessions designed to ignite those conversations.  However, we are hoping that ALL the sessions (no matter what the topic) ignite conversations with the attendees.  We are praying for new relationships to be birthed, new partnerships to form, new ideas to bubble up, and LOTS of mutual support for ministries happening in very different areas.  I hope you'll come and help spark those conversations.  With 2000 attendees planned, we are not going to be able to BUILD those small groups, but we are creating time and space for them to pop up!

Conversation, energy, and the Spirit of God will be driving this event!  We're anxious to see God at work!  I hope you are planning to come and join in!  In the meantime, please continue to pray -- for the attendees, the presenters/facilitators, and the continued planning.  We all want to honor GOD at this event!  ~Paula

Angela -- Love... that you are looking for this!  We too, have thought this to be a vital part of Inspire 2017!  Although we are not using a specific book to drive the sessions, we have a number of sessions planned for reminding us of our connection with God!  We have a session on discernment of the Holy Spirit's call, one on healthy habits of connecting with God, and another planned to help folks find renewal with God when you are tired and worn.  In addition, we will have a prayer room, a specific prayer walk, and lots of sticky spaces to have partners in ministry pour into each other WITH God!

Thanks for your interest in conversations at Inspire 2017!  Please continue to pray -- for the planning, for the presenters/facilitators, and for the attendees as they prepare to come!  ~Paula

I do not see anything in the plans that highlights the inclusion and belonging of people with disabilities. With 1 in 5 households including someone who lives with a disabling condition, and with the CRc having historically led the way in prioritizing persons with disabilities, this is suprising. I would recommend the following:

- Joint presentations by Mark Stephenson and Terry DeYoung what their office does for CRC churches

- Presentation on the importance of including people with disabilities

- Discussion/panel/presentation on starting a disability team in your church

How about having a session where everyone gathers in small groups of churches (a half-dozen or so) to tell stories, share ministry ideas, and pray for one another?

I looked through your list of topics and almost all of them are about DOING something in the kingdom of God. Not necessarily wrong but what about learning to listen with discernment to what God is doing in the church and following what he is up to. We are using the book "Pursuing God's Will" by Ruth Haley Barton as the basis for spiritual practices that build up leadership discernment. More information about personal spiritual practices are found in Soul Leadership and Sacred Rythms. I believe learning to be in God's presence and being transformed into the image of Christ for the sake of others is crucial for healthy leadership that discerns where God is at work and follows Him there. What about some workshops on spiritual practices like silence and solitude, scripture reading for transformation not information, retreats, fasting, prayer, listening to consolation and desolation to name a few.

 Wonderful!  and hurrah for Mr. Merton, but the leadership of the CRC fails to see Christ in LGBT people and so do many people in the pew, particularly in pews south of the Canada U.S. border. The last Synod drove the nail in the coffin.  I appreciate Mr. Brouwer for posting this.   I hasten to add, sexual orientation is not the only kind of person in whom Christians fail to see the Christ.    

Christ's sumary of all  laws and prophecies into the  one word of LOVE  is a stumbling block for many  Christians.  As long as churches are obsessed with their "Absolute Truth'  and unattainable purity, they will continue to remove the splinters from the neighbour's eyes but because they have a beam in their own eyes they cannot see Christ or see LOVE!   May the Holy Spirit do her work and change hearts and lives and teach them to LOVE!

I hear, more and more, the "narrative of fear" as an explanation for people not stepping up to a challenge, and/or not helping out and have come to wonder whether this is really a misnomer for something else. There is a "meta-narrative that runs deeper in our post modern world, i.e. "disengagement" from institutions and community life that has been evolving over the last 20-30 years that is likely at odds with the vision of communal life set out in scripture. 

Are there really that many fearful/inadequate people out there? It is troubling in today's society and churches to find that many people consider themselves inadequate in engaging in social institutions, etc. when they operate quite "competently" in the work and family world, skills that can be carried over to the former. Yet, having seen the results of a recent Building Blocks of Faith Formation survey, only confirms the inadequacy explanation for not engaging. Think we need to dig deeper.

Question: Is "fear" a mask "cover-up" for something else?

Question: Why is it that in today's church, rather than volunteer, the preference is to hire/pay someone else to do the task?

 

Amen - a modern summary and pointing to why "the priesthood of all believers" is such a critical part of the Reformation and continues to be important. Thanks Keith.

It's great to read about these assignments again from your view point Joe. Thanks for sharing.

How very timely Mark. Thanks.

posted in: Leadership and Loss

First off: Awesome use of the Apocrypha.

Second: Great question at the end of this article, which actually illuminates our culture in the light of the Gospel. Generally, ‘Conservative Chrsitianity’ minimizes scriptural mercy and ‘Progressive Christianity’ minimizes scriptural holiness. To side with either of these truncated philosophies is to live only half a Gospel, usually in the hope of gaining some power or control over how the Kingdom is maintained or expanded.

Jesus’ absolute love of God and neighbor calls us to place our entire outcome in his hands – whether we can see the outcome or not. We can learn a great lesson for our personal life and public culture by being so satisfied with the obedience we are called to live that ‘power’ and ‘control’ – winning – looks cheap in comparison.

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Cary Holbert
Kimberly Chimienti
Gwyneth Zylstra