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The Sounds of Easter

Holy week was a whirlwind of noise, energy, and emotion! Help your kids wonder at the sound of tables crashing in the temple, the thump, thump of approaching soldiers, the crow of a rooster.

Children's Ministry
Blog
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Just Like That...

Bad news never announces that it is coming.  Bam...just like that....it's there.  I've been occupying the office of Safe Church Ministry for 15 years.

Safe Church
Blog
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Living in a Time of Radical Change

In a recent seminary class, we were reviewing key moments in the history of the church. My colleague Scott Hoezee asked students to think about what church life would have been like in six different centuries. As students reflected on each of these different moments in history, it struck me that in each of them public worship would have been led almost entirely by a single pastor, with the help of a single musician...

Worship
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The Easter Story and the Way of the Elder

As I was thinking about the sermons for Good Friday and Easter Sunday, it struck me (once again) that the story we tell was not intended to simply give us a wonderful celebration 2000 years later. Jesus came to bring change.

Elders
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Is the Flash of Adobe's Flash Worth the Cost?

Remember when websites used to have flash intros (frequently made in Adobe Flash)? Personally, I am glad when websites don't, and get straight to content. What about other websites that are purely flash like most restaurant or band websites? Flash enables a website to have rich dynamic content, however it also has several drawbacks.

Church Communications
Blog
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How to Correctly Display Photos

I recently registered for my first sprint triathlon, the Hawk Island Triathalon. While visiting their site I was surprised to see how they displayed images.  It is a colorful, informative, and photo-filled site however I would like to point out one no-no.

Church Communications
Blog
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Synod to Get Overture on Deacons

Deacons as agents of transformation in church and society! This overture to Synod continues an excellent dialog!  The overture from Classis Grandville is asking Synod to create a task force to look hard at the ways the office of deacon could be made stronger and more strategic for...

Deacons
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A Dream or A Vision?

They all filed in together at the last minute - just before the Minister himself appeared. They were all in dark suits, white shirts, and ties. Black shoes with lots of eyelets. Or was that just one especially old consistory member? Elders and deacons...

Deacons
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Taming the Pounce

Pouncers squash ideas. Have you ever been the squasher? the squashee?  A young person expresses an opinion, idea, or wish that's a little edgy or goofy or scary. An adult pounces on it to make sure it gets "fixed" before it goes too far. A spouse... 

Deacons
Blog
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Oh My Aching Comfort Zone!

Oh my aching comfort zone! This morning my file folder ripped and a bunch of stuff filed out onto the floor. There was an article by Plantinga on how do we know if we are REALLY -- I mean REALLY -- real followers of Jesus. What it comes down to is whether I'm willing to pay the COST. Do my "good deeds" COST me something? 

Deacons
Blog
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Transformation

Could this be the moment? I get a little uneasy when I hear people talking so glibly about "kairos moments". So I hesitate to even suggest one may be upon us, BUT....Consider this cluster of stuff that has sort of congealed in my consciousness recently: there's the employment and foreclosure crisis as background to remind us of...

Deacons
Blog
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Deaconal Prophets, Prophetic Deacons

I am not used to thinking of Amos and Micah when I think of deacons! But there's that phrase right in the CRCNA form that "charges" the deacons: "Be prophetic critics of the waste, injustice, and selfishness in our society...." AND, "be sensitive counselors to the victims of such evils..." "Let your lives be above reproach." An amazing echo of...

Deacons
Blog
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Haiti: Earthquake and Beyond

As I wrote to one of our missionaries, "Our job is done, but yours is just beginning." Over the months and years to come there will be lots of work for our Haiti team, which is called Sous Espwa (Source of Hope).

Global Mission
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Leading When We Feel Like Tottering Fences

Yesterday, we reflected on what happened in elders lives this past year. When they said yes to serving as elder, they considered the pros and cons, their schedules and abilities. They knew they faced challenges. But all things considered they accepted, as the form says, that this was the call of God on their lives. Then life happened...

Elders
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Deacons Stepping Up?

Jeff Brower's post, "Deacons - Priests or Kings?" is a gem.  Wish I had written it.   It stimulates us to think about deacons and their authority, their relationship to the Kingly dimension of Jesus' identity.  But it also reminds us of a 43 year old report to Synod - where the "unfullfilled" nature of the deacons' role is acknowledged!    What's happened since?

Deacons
Blog
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Clustering New Churches

Dr. Randy Rowland has produced several articles on clustering that will be appearing over the next weeks here. I hope you will read them and that they will spark ideas and action as we seek to be a denomination that plants churches which help people meet the Lord Jesus.

Global Mission
Blog
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Grounded

Flexibility is vital in missions. The unexpected happens, more often than not. Serving God in the mission of the church requires a readiness to adapt to the roadblocks and the opportunities that unexpectedly arise. 

Global Mission
Blog
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Stickiness

A popular book on church development uses sticky church as its title. The book is largely focused on practices and programs that make suburban and sub-rural attractional style churches grow more quickly and retain more members. What qualities make ministries sticky if they are done just right?

Global Mission
Blog
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A Whole New World

With decreasing spiritual zeal, evangelistic fervor, and shrinking congregations, North America has become one of the largest mission fields on the planet.

Global Mission
Blog
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Upcoming Seminar - Social Media & Web

Over the last couple of years it seems just about everyone is either a social media consultant or offering seminars. To help you separate the wheat from the chaff, I wanted to pass along one that I have heard good things about. This next Friday WiredChurches.com is offering a one day workshop on Social Media & Web. The workshop will focus providing valuable content on your site, the best way to present it, and how to use social media for marketing. If you check out their site, look at the other events they offer and you might just come across another one that interests you.

Church Communications
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Pentecost

At Pentecost God creates a grace-filled unity in Jesus Christ that extends to "every tribe, language, people, and nation" — including Muslims. What is your church doing to share the Good News about Jesus with Muslims in your community and around the world? 

Global Mission
Blog
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What Does It Take?

Would it be possible for two deacons to agree to meet regularly for prayer, for study of diaconal Bible themes, and for mutual encouragement? I wonder what God would do

Deacons
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Deacons, What Works?

Deacons, what's working? What excites and motivates the deacons in your congregation? Or, what blocks them? Share a story with us.

Deacons
Blog
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Interpretation For the Deaf Without a Human Interpreter

A group of Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) students from their Fluid Interfaces Group created a combination of hardware and software which allows people to use the movement of their hands in the air to interface with a computer. A wearable computer would allow a person who uses ASL to sign to a hearing person, and the computer would interpret the message into spoken English. 

Disability Concerns

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