Do we really assign Deacons, Elders, and Pastors their Biblical roles? How well do our members know what the function of each office really is?
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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'.
How familiar are you with The Mediation Process? Should every Pastor be trained in Mediation? I believe it is a process that allows us to settle disagreements with understanding, compassion and many times wholeness in what was once a broken relationship.
Confession of sin is part of the healing process. It's important to note that this does not mean that a particular sin was the cause of sickness. It does mean that when we come before the Lord with a request on our lips we also prepare to enter into the presence of God. Coming before the Lord is not a “right,” but a gift of the Lord.
I have heard the suggestion that celebrating the Lord’s Supper too often may make it less meaningful. However, if more frequent partaking threatens the meaningfulness of the Lord’s Supper, how come no one worries about the frequency (weekly, often twice!) of preaching?
We have discipleship classes where we teach people the basics of the Christian faith. We have new member classes that teach the fundamentals of faith. However, the more I study the art of discipleship the more I realize that formal education is just a part of what we are called to do when Jesus tells us to make disciples...
If we desire to reach the next generation we need to show how the gospel literally affects everything. If we simply spout out doctrine, creeds, confessions, and our Reformed roots without answering the why this matters question it does us no good. We are living in a generation that is biblically and theologically illiterate and they need help...
Renewal in congregations is usually intentional. It’s often messy too. Some people feel threatened while others are overly eager. And often leaders give up. It is hard work — even though it is holy ... What questions do you have about the journey of church renewal?
I believe the mood of the CRCNA today is anxious ... the presence of the entire framework through which we’ve interpreted the value of the gospel has changed and in many ways we need to work to understand the gospel anew within our present cultural-values framework.
When the CRCNA wants to speak on “issues” such as race relations, justice, etc., voices of caution and concern are always raised about whether the church may speak on issues such as these which are not within the church’s realm of expertise or responsibility.
One of the blessings of being President of Calvin Theological Seminary is the privilege of connecting with a number of people and places. I'd like to highlight one stop. It was at Third CRC in Denver that I saw a number of baby pictures hanging on the walls.