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Come AsUR, But Don’t Stay as You Are

“The ‘As You Are Initiative’ is mobilizing thousands of willing Christ-followers just like you to start, growing and multiplying ‘come as you are’ leaders to lead ‘come as you are' churches. Is the CRC ready to be part of such a movement?

Church Planting
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Can You Say, "Yes?"

My sense is that we live in a "no" culture. We find all kinds of ways to either say "no" or to slow a process down so much that it feels like a "no."

Church Planting
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What Counts?

The attendance and membership of some CRC churches grew by more than 20% in a recent five year period. But, if we dig a little bit deeper into the statistics, maybe we’ll find that we’re missing something important.

Church Planting
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Growing Churches Part 2

Today’s entry continues with the factors that led to growth in CRC and RCA churches.The church was at a point where it was ready to take risks and to make changes.

Church Planting
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Growing Churches

Though this five-year span has not been easy in North America, with the downturn of the economy directly affecting our churches and their members, there were 42 CRC churches and over 30 RCA churches who showed significant growth.

Church Planting
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It's Beginning to Look a Lot Like...Books Part 2

More Books for under the Tree . Perhaps it is an occupational hazard of being a minister, but around this time of year a lot of family and friends decide to give books as the perfect Christmas present.  In the spirit of that giving and perhaps to enhance your asking here are seven more books that I’ve found helpful from a number of different genres. 

Church Planting
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Alpha Cities: How Willing Are We to Work Together?

Premise: the vast majority of our church planting resources need to be invested in planting churches in Alpha Cities. If this premise is true then we need a way in the CRC to come together and discern how to create a church planting movement that focuses on Alpha Cities.

Church Planting
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Only the Lonely

What did it feel like? It felt like being hungry, I suppose, in a place where being hungry is shameful, and where one has no money and everyone else is full. It felt, at least sometimes, difficult and embarrassing and important to conceal.

Church Planting
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What Money Can't Buy

Advertising encourages people to want things and to satisfy their desires. Education encourages people to reflect critically on their desires, to restrain or to elevate them.

Church Planting
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Changing Realities

In the face of changing demographics in America, many African Americans find themselves becoming a minority-minority, or shrinking minority.  For instance, in the west where I live, Asian and Latino populations are increasing dramatically as a result of immigration and soaring birth rates.  The U.S. black population has shrunk from about 17% to 12% as we enter the second decade of the third millennium. The white population has shrunk to 72% while the Latino/Hispanic population has risen to over 16%.

Church Planting
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Theology in the African American Church

African American theology had  its earliest roots in an experience of pain and suffering. Mourning freedom and agonizing over loss of identity and opportunity were a huge part of the Southern African American experience. But, with civil rights and a more socially engaged African American population in the North and the West, black theology has evolved into more of a need for empowerment and survival.

Church Planting
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Bubble Churches

One African American Church planter in Atlanta has an interesting expansion strategy for church planting in African American communities.  He envisions planting “bubble churches” in well educated and well resourced corners of the community and then hiving off need based churches that are highly subsidized by the parent church in order to create a sustainable church planting movement.

Church Planting
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The 50th Summer Since "I have a dream"...

As of 2013, no one could simply say, “I am going to plant an African American church” with the implied presumption that one size fits all.  The dream of freedom, employment, opportunities, education and mobility has created many strong sub cultures within the overall African American community. 

Church Planting
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Heal What?

As I study the book of Luke there are continuing moments of surprise. Some of the surprises come from words that I have read many times before, but failed to catch their meaning or nuance. 

Church Planting
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What Language are You Using?

A couple of  years ago in an article entitled, To The Praise of his Glory” in the Review and Expositor  the author wrote, “Paul mentions ‘redemption,’ the great metaphor of emancipation taken from the slave market in Ephesians 1. The costliness of this act is spelled out in the term "through his (Jesus') blood," a reference to his life poured out.

Church Planting
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Did He Really Say, "I Will Make You Fishers of Men?"

And when he had finished speaking, he said to Simon, “Put out into the deep and let down your nets for a catch.” And Simon answered, “Master, we toiled all night and took nothing! But at your word I will let down the nets.”  And when they had done this, they enclosed a large number of fish, and their nets were breaking. They signaled to their partners in the other boat to come and help them. And they came and filled both the boats, so that they began to sink. —Luke 5

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An Atheist's View of the Bible

"[T]he Bible is a masterpiece. The Bible is one of the greatest works produced in the world. Those people who only have the Bible actually are set up for life. Not only do they have a spiritual vision given to them but artistic fulfillment. They don't even recognize just the pleasure of dealing with this epic poetry and drama. Everything is in the Bible."  — Atheist, Camille Paglia

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Should we Plant More Churches?

Tim Keller and Planting More Churches in the CRC -- Recently Tim Keller of Redeemer Presbyterian in NYC spoke with a number of reporters at the Ethics and Public Policy Center. Today’s blog post lifts out one part of his talk on the place of church planting. 

Church Planting

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