For most churches, the thought of not having a "coffee" gathering time after worship would be unthinkable. And yet, how often do we ask how effective this time is in forming the faith of all who attend?
I wonder if we in the CRC are called to be somewhere along that seven-mile stretch of uncertainty concerning homosexuality; I believe that I am.
No matter what we experience, no matter how bad or pitiable or shocking, it seems to me that believers always know that God himself stands somehow between us and sheer, unbearable horror.
By now we’re starting to adapt to the rhythm of life in Nicaragua and I think I speak for several of us when I say that the days seem to be slipping through our fingers and we want to stay longer.
Carlos and Sharla Martinez (Directors of FIT) explained to us the adoption process, what the families involved go through, and what their role is in supporting families as they welcome new children into their lives.
Today’s agenda was dominated by three events: a presentation by Alcides (Paola’s dad), a stunning trip to Volcan Masaya, and a trip to the University of Nicaragua.
Mondays are a bore. But this was not the case at all today! I'm still reflecting on our visit to Tesoros de Dios (a school for children with Disabilities), House of Hope, and a fair wage coffee company.
I think I want black and white answers to the questions that can plague me. But as I get older, as I do ministry and hear stories from God’s children around this world, I have a different perspective.
Before we came to Nicaragua, we prayed that God would reveal Himself and the work He was doing there. I think I can speak for the group when I say that God exceeded our expectations.
I don’t think that any of us knew that the moment we stepped outside the airport in Nicaragua, we would fall in love. And I’m not talking about falling in love with another person, or even the country of Nicaragua.
Recently I had a conversation with someone who, upon hearing me describe all the work that goes into creating pedagogically, theologically sound children’s ministry curriculum said, “I had no idea. You should tell people that!” And so I am.
I was struck dumb, my mind racing. What had I done or said to evoke such a question? I don’t remember how the conversation concluded. But I do remember its impact on me.
For most of the morning, half of the youth group had been planting cannabis, aka marijuana. The leaders from both churches were mortified and the experience taught everyone an important lesson.
Short-term mission trips are difficult. They can also be rich and rewarding, with the potential for long-term impact. To equip your team, check out the new, free, downloadable resource called Changed for Life.
The Banner recently published a question about infant baptism versus dedication. The response pointed to Synod 2012's call to "refrain from rituals of infant or child dedication." Your thoughts?
During our morning worship, anyone could offer to read a Psalm and describe how the passage had significantly shaped his or her life. Imagine the impact of these testimonies on the community.
Since the release of the God Loves Me storybooks last October, grandparents have been sharing stories about the impact of the books. If you’d like your heart warmed today, read on.
I know from experience how difficult it is to prepare and deliver those kinds of sermons. I’d suggest three approaches for preachers and their support communities to strengthen such intergenerational preaching.
In a very different and much more subtle way, the court also experienced a different story of faith formation: the formation of the grieving community. It’s not my place to describe what they are going through, but I am deeply struck by two things...
What does a life-giving, ministry strengthening debrief look like? A good debrief is where iron can sharpen iron for the sake of ministry effectiveness. An effective debrief...
Some of the best conversations with children at church happen when I join them at the activity table. There’s something about sitting side-by-side as we draw, color, cut or paste that sparks conversation.
Two years ago I heard a young woman say, “I long to be part of a church that smells like Jesus.” Her longing forced me to stand in front of the mirror of self-reflection.
For many years, I struggled to teach myself how to play guitar. After getting stuck, I took more lessons and my learning picked up. This is much like discipleship in the church today.
Is there a sermon that completely opened your eyes to see things in a new way? Or, is there a sermon that spoke deeply into a struggle you've faced most of your life? I'd love to hear about it!
As I thought about what to write, my mind turned to the time I thought I was going to die. After my diagnosis, I bought the book Dying Well, which described 5 things dying people need to say.