New church starts are crafting their culture. One of the most significant roles any new congregation will address is the formation of their DNA. For missional churches, the essence of their culture will be incarnational.
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What Does Your Church Most Need in Order to Engage in International Missions More Effectively? Weigh In!
Through a survey of a random sampling of Christian Reformed pastors, the following were identified as the most important resources and services that CRC congregations most need in order to engage in international missions more effectively.
When you pastor a congregation of only 26 people, six new members is a pretty big cause for celebration.
By studying the Bible, I hope to deepen my faith in God. By studying the Quran, I hope to better understand the religious experience of my Muslim friends, so that I can share with them my understanding of truth as it is found in the Bible.
An excerpt from the Sea to Sea devotional about riding through Shiprock — a good reminder to all of us to shine in the darkness!
From time to time I receive emails from concerned church members over controversial Bible translations. The translations in question are seven Wycliffe/SIL projects in Muslim contexts. At the center of this controversy are the names God the Father and Son of God, which we call divine familial terms.
What might our Lord most desire Christians from the West to learn from believers in Nigeria? Here is a sampling of their responses.
“We help Christians and Muslims; what matters is the need, not the background of the person,” explained Pastor Jihad.
“We are partnering locally with Latter Rain Ministries (Pastored by Bishop Reginald Blackmon) to share the gospel in Fort Wayne, why don’t we partner with a CRC church in El Potrero, Honduras to share the gospel of Jesus Christ globally?” Pastor Jim Halstead challenged the Community CRC church family.
Much of my work involves helping churches discover their unique gifts and talents that they can contribute to the work of World Renew. How much easier is it to relate to churches in developing countries when you DON'T have all the financial resources or answers?
Owning the task does not mean that missionaries are abandoned — quite the opposite. When a missions team works with their missionaries to discover a common purpose, the partnership and commitment to the task deepen. To use a sports metaphor, the church shifts from merely cheering on the sidelines to being a part of the global team.
Cultural Intelligence is a crucial skill not just for short term mission teams, but for everyone in today's society.
As the CRCNA undertakes more of an active role in inter-religious dialogue in North America, we can learn a lot from our Christian and Muslim friends in Egypt. Egypt has a long history of Christian-Muslim interaction, and in the end, most Egyptians, whether Muslim or Christian, see themselves as Egyptians first.
When I was asked to join the steering committee for the 2008 Sea to Sea ride, I was skeptical. Hundreds of middle to upper income white folks taking the summer off of work to ride bicycles that cost more than some people make in a year was going to “end the cycle of poverty?”
It’s one thing to do things for people, or give things to people... but it’s a tremendously people-building thing to work with people to build self-reliance!
At World Renew we talk a lot about asset based community development; that is, discovering the assets that God has already placed in a community rather than focusing on perceived needs. This approach works with churches, too! What hidden assets might be in your church, just waiting to be deployed for missions?
Over the past decade or so of working with churches, I've noticed a curious tendency for leaders to think of things in either/or terms. For example, "should we invest in local outreach OR global missions?" "Should we reach out to get new members OR should we take care of our own members?" My answer to many of these questions is, "yes."
There’s lots of talk these days about church as institute vs church as organism. Conceptually I understand the difference, but in practice, I suspect it’s not so easy to separate the two. Which leads me to a bigger question, what exactly is “church?”
"There are so many things happening in this congregation in the last three months that the community is abuzz about who the new donor in town could be. But there is no donor—the people have just been woken up by the Gospel of Jesus Christ!"
This reflection from Zach and Sharon Segaar-King, missionaries in Haiti with Christian Reformed World Missions, was written on the third anniversary of the Haiti earthquake. I wonder, what can we in North America learn from this?