First off I want to say a special thanks to Ruth Kelder for her excellent work guiding the Small Groups Network. I look forward to her continued involvement in the forums and discussions. Thanks Ruth!
I'm the new kid on the block here at the CRC Network. I am thrilled to be a part of the team for the next six months especially here in the Small Groups department. I thought I'd use my first official blog post to introduce myself so you know I'm not some flake who just happened along.
You can see more in my profile, but here is a bit about me. I am the pastor at Alamosa Christian Reformed Church in Alamosa, Colorado. After twenty two years in full-time ministry as a Youth and Worship Pastor and then church planter, I returned to Calvin Theological Seminary at the age of 43 to get my MDiv degree. I graduated in '09 and took a call to Alamosa where my wife and I are thoroughly enjoying the ministry and of course our beloved mountains.
My wife Freda and I are empty nesters now. Our oldest son married last summer and both he and our youngest (studying at Calvin) live in the Grand Rapids, MI area. Our middle son lives in Grand Junction, CO. Thankfully they are all employed. Freda is a Special Ed teacher in Del Norte, CO where she teaches children with severe needs. She has some very interesting stories to tell. We are all transplanted Canadians for the past twelve years having come to the USA in 1999 to team up with Rev. Ken Nydam to plant New Life Church in Grand Junction, CO. My good friend Rev. Ken VanderHorst is now the pastor at New Life.
My love for and involvement in small groups began already when I attended Reformed Bible College (now Kuyper College) for my undergrad '84. I took a course in Small Group Dynamics that sparked my excitement. From there I gathered a team to start small groups in the first church I served as Director of Youth, Education and Evangelism in Peterborough, Ontario, Canada. In those days they were called Cell Groups inspired by Lymen Coleman of Serendipity Ministries. It was all the rage in the late '80s especially in the CRC. And it was a good rage, I might add.
I have seen many changed lives through small groups including my own. Since those early years I've always been in one or more small groups. I am fully convinced of the church's need for small groups in developing disciples of Jesus Christ. I spend my time developing , coaching and training small group leaders along with my other pastoral responsibilities.
When I'm not doing that, I homebrew a few times a year, enjoy the mountains, golf and play lots of music with other folks in the community and at jam sessions.
I am looking forward to some great interaction with you all. Feel free to suggest topics and articles you are interested in seeing covered here. I'll be happy to find or write something that may be of help to everyone.
I'm excited for the possibilities of this network.
Have a blessed Christmas!