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Whatever Happened to Family/Household Visits?

Article 65 of the Church Order went through an interesting editing process in recent years. The article addresses the age old custom of “Family Visiting” in the Christian Reformed Church. It formerly read, “The minister of the Word and elders shall conduct annual home visitation”. Presently it reads, “whenever possible..."

Elders
Webinar Recording
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Called to Be an Elder? Now What?

Now you are ordained by the church to provide spiritual oversight to the body of Christ. What does that involve? How can I serve in an office that I feel "unqualified" for? Together we will explore the nature of spiritual leadership in the church.

Elders
Blog
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Introducing Your New Elder Guide

The Christian Reformed Church during my ministry has gone through many changes in how it worships, functions, and reaches out to the community. Change is a good thing...

Elders
Blog
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A Grateful Goodbye

Today, I retire from writing this blog. The regular writing and posting has been demanding. And yet the simple exercise of writing a few words has forced me to give attention to passing thoughts and deepen my reflections. For this I am grateful. That some took time to read these thoughts humbles me. 

Elders
Webinar Recording
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Children at the Lord's Table

This webinar was recorded on: Wed, 04/25/2012 Is your congregation reflecting on Synod's decision to welcome children to the Lord's Supper? Join us to explore the roles of the pastor, elders, and parents in this significant process - and equip your congregation to move forward with joy.

EldersFaith NurtureWorship
Blog
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Habits in a Disruptive Culture

Good daily habits are harder to maintain in a disruptive culture.  The daily habit of Prayer and scripture reading at the table ... The weekly habit of church attendance ...Yet good habits are essential for the good Kingdom orientated life. 

Elders
Blog
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The Foolishness of God

When looking for solutions to problems, the cross and the resurrection aren’t the pragmatic solutions we are looking for.   It does not put food on our table, get our loved ones out of the hospital, pay our bills or get us to work on time...  And yet, God sent Jesus into the world to the cross

Elders
Blog
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Children and the Lord's Supper [WEBINAR]

If your congregation is like many we’re in conversation with, you’re seriously considering Synod 2010’s decision to welcome baptized children to participate in the sacrament of communion. But with change comes challenge—along with the need to replace old processes and practices with new ones. That’s the challenge we’d like to address

EldersSunday SchoolChildren's Ministry
Blog
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Prayer Summit - Each Church Send One

On April 16-18, a first-ever Prayer Summit for our denomination will take place in Los Angeles, Calif. By way of the “Each Church Send One!” campaign, I am inviting — and strongly encouraging — your congregation to send at least one person to this event. 

EldersPastors
Blog
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The Journey of Three Lands and Two Rivers

There is a journey of renewed identity that some churches experience. They remember fondly the fruitfulness in their land of the past. Then they cross the first holy river into the desert where, through prayer and holy conversation, they climb the jagged mountains to discover renewed vision. They cross deep valleys

EldersPastors
Blog
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The Elder as Community Developer

You won’t find Community Developer in the ordination form.  Yet as I listen to cultural critics, spiritual directors and numerous other thoughtful people about personal growth there is a persistent reference to role of community.   

Elders
Blog
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Consider Faith Alive First

I’m writing to ask for your help with an issue that affects all Christian Reformed churches. Faith Alive, as you know, is the publishing ministry of the CRC. But like many denominational publishers, Faith Alive is facing significant financial headwinds in today’s tough economic times.

EldersPastorsSunday SchoolChildren's Ministry
Blog
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Discipleship and Circles of Support

Recently I read about Circles of Support and Accountability that helped many sexual offenders as they transitioned out of prison and into our neighbourhoods. It got me thinking not just about this particular engagement as a way of serving Christ in the neighbourhood, but more generally about discipleship. 

Elders
Blog
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Psalms, Elders and Pastoral Care

It occurred to me that perhaps one way of training elders (and pastors) in the work of pastoral care is to encourage the memorizations of the psalms. And then I wondered:  if we had a program of training for elders, which psalms should be memorized?

Elders
Blog
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A Covenant Engagement

Family and friendship ties may help us keep somewhat informed about life in other congregations, but these informal relationships are inadequate. The quality and depth of the relationships require deeper conversation and shared life.  This happens by taking seriously the

Elders
Blog
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Elders and Accountability

How many visits have we made?  Have we prioritized our efforts well? Are there particular issues that we need to address? What are some key issues for the spiritual formation of our members that we ought to highlight? How can we help each other fulfill our responsibilities? 

Elders
Blog
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Christmas, Occupy Wall Street, and Christian Formation

Spiritual formation never happens in a vacuum.  It always happens when the call of the gospel challenges our habits of thinking and our way of living.  Tension alerts us and invites us to pay attention.  Amid the tension we can speak words that encourage new faithfulness.  

Elders
Blog
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Who Do You Say That I Am?

If a person is trustworthy, we give trust easily. If a person is unreliable, we learn not to count on that person. If a person is vindictive, we become wary. So it ought not be a surprise that our understanding of God – the attributes and images we carry around in our head – make a difference in ...

Elders
Blog
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Grace Among the Weeds

It is hard to imagine that weeds are a sign of grace, yet that’s what the Parable of the Weeds and Wheat is suggesting  (Matthew 13).  Everyday I drive by fields (now harvested) of various grains. The farmers I know prefer fields without weeds. Jesus words are striking...

Elders
Blog
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Getting Rid of a Minister

The title may seem a bit crass -- and actually it is -- but that is precisely the question that I am asked most often as a stated clerk by elders: "How do we get rid of our minister?" I vividly recall the conversation from the chair of council who actually began our phone conversation with that question. I quickly learned that he was the one having difficulty with his pastor and he simply wanted him 'gone'.

EldersPastors
Blog
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Gratitude and Christian Formation

Every Thanksgiving Day – Canadian thanksgiving just passed - becomes on occasion for a preacher to reflect deeply on the very act of gratitude. This year was no different. If we want to help people grow in the life with God, practices of gratitude are a...

Elders

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