From the perspective of the early church, we need to ask 5 hard-hitting questions in order to properly evaluate our youth group.
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I was ordained as a ministry associate from 2006-2008. I served Covenant CRC, St. Catharines as a Ministry Director from September 4, 1999 to June 20, 2008. I sustained my classical examination at Classis Niagara in May 2006 and was official ordained in a Sunday morning worship service on June 25, 2006. June 20, 2008 was my last day serving in ministry at Covenant Church as I resigned from my ministry position there without yet knowing where He was calling me to serve Him next.
What is the first image that comes into your mind when you hear the word "Mission?"Do you picture a rescue mission for homeless people in a decaying neighborhood, or a 19th century missionary in a pith helmet and khaki shorts? Perhaps you think of a mission statement which your church labored to produce and now is struggling to implement (or has forgotten about).
I have never written a blogpost before and had to be told what it was. I'm still not sure. But what I am sure about is that I believe this idea of "Network" is a pretty good one. So I'll learn what it takes to be a guide for this "Pastors" section. I won't be alone, I hope. I am looking forward to other colleagues, interested persons, perhaps aspiring pastors to help make this little website helpful, informative and participatory for our callings as pastors.
Twitter experienced a boom last year. A big boom. It started 2009 with well under 10 million unique visits a month, and ended with over 60 million. It's an understatement to say that more and more people are starting to use Twitter.
I have learned a lot from Mark Charles. Mark is a veteran blogger and a long-time CRC member, who writes very thoughtful pieces on cross-cultural exchanges, especially for members of the church, from his home in Window Rock, Arizona. This piece is the fruit of Mark’s trip to Siberia for a gathering about culturally relevant worship practices. I especially like Mark’s honesty about the unsettling quality of encountering worship practices that are new to us.
What if you could find five people in your congregation, perhaps each representing a different decade (one child, one teen, one thirty-something, one fifty-something, one-eighty something)to tell you what single Psalm verse best expresses the praise and thanks that they personally long to offer God. The results are likely to be inspiring. Someone might choose a verse from Psalm 150, another a verse from Psalm 30, another a verse from Psalm 63.
Meditating on Luke 9:50 this morning. Jesus said, “Whoever is not against you is for you.” Sometimes advocacy gets wearisome. It seems like one has to keep pushing constantly to see movement in inclusion of people with disabilities in churches, society, and other people’s lives. My temptation over time is to see most people as being against the work that Disability Concerns stands for. But Jesus pulls me up short on that temptation. “No,” he says, “Whoever is not against you is for you.” That turns the tide. Since most people are not against inclusion, they must be for it.
It is the question Jesus asked Peter. It is the question every member asks the elder.
When we become an elder, the tasks of the office loom before us. We will have to attend meetings, engage in church management, arrange visits with members, and take on leadership responsibilities. If you are a first time elder, these responsibilities can be overwhelming.
In our just in time culture, just in time learning has come to work of elders. Very few churches have a program of preparation in which people are enrolled prior to their call to be an elder. Which means most elders start the work of eldership feeling unprepared for the challenge of the work. Learning needs to happen on many fronts. Just by reading this, you are seeking information and encouragement for the challenges you face.
Each church within the CRC denomination has a different approach on how a Youth Worker/Pastor/Director reports to his or her superior. Take a look at this insightful article by Dr. Syd Hielema as he shares his experience when he was a Youth Pastor at Newmarket CRC.
You may have noticed an exchange in the "How is it?" suggestions section about the absence of local mission from this site. If not, I hope you take a look and offer your thoughts. At the risk of oversimplification I'll venture a few thoughts on the relation of local and global mission as a former pastor and a former missionary...
Most people with disabilities that I know don't want to be pitied. But neither do they want to be reverenced as if they were paragons of virtue or models of triumph of the human spirit. Way too many journalists who feature stories about people living with disabilities frame their stories in the "reverence" light. "Here's Joe who lives with X disability, but look at all he has done! What determination. What spirit. What an example for all of us!" If I lived with a disability...
So I began to wonder what have been some of the best questions in the context of the elder’s work in the congregation. Leading the congregation in good conversations that create fresh consideration of the way we seek to live our lives faithful to God is vital to our call.
In church council we are always concerned about vision in the life of the church. We are also concerned about building unity in our common life. This book addresses both. His vision is summarized as “engaging God, God’s people, community, and mission to the world”.
The privacy concerns that accompanied the announcement of Google Buzz illustrate the importance of scrutinizing every option, feature, and aspect with a rollout on your website. Even though your church won't announce anything that will be as widely used or talked about as Google Buzz, there is a lesson to be learned.