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Blog
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Feature Focus: Email Addresses at Your Domain

Another simple and quick way to add value to your church is to have email addresses at the church’s domain. Many times church staff or leaders create email accounts with the provider of their internet service, or through free providers like Yahoo (Yahoo email), Google (Gmail), or Microsoft (Live Mail, Hotmail).

Church Communications
Blog
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Great Resource

The old "word/deed" division has vexed us for many years.   In my opinion, it's just not really a biblical distinction.  Words can demonstrate and deeds communicate.

Deacons
Blog
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Using Quickbooks Online at Your Church

More and more software programs are becoming available online or 'in the cloud'. Currently, there are several popular services like Google Docs or now Microsoft Office Web Apps that make working in the cloud advantageous. Recently, Intuit unveiled Quickbooks Online which allows an organization to manage their books, run reports and more online. Now those who keep track of the church's finances and books can do so in the cloud. 

Church Communications
Blog
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Webinars Create a Learning Community

Christian Reformed World Missions and CRWRC provide a series of webinars whose presenters come with a variety of expertise but under the heading of Global Mission. By using the internet and an 800 number, you can engage in this learning community free.

Global Mission
Blog
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Budget Crunch, Money and the Holy Life

Our use of money is one place where our spirituality gets incarnated.  Spirituality in our imagination is rather high-minded, mystical, and holy.  But money matters seem stressful, mundane, practical and –in these days of recession – discouraging.

Elders
Blog
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My Imaginary Friend

As a small group leader, I want to be more like my Garmin GPS than a map. I don’t want to merely be an information source. My role is to guide my group to the desired destination of life application.

Small Groups
Blog
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Four Steps to a Great Deacons' Meeting!

 First, there’s just no getting around it, somebody has to do some good preparation, and that usually falls to the chair.  If you are not the chair, offer to help; this business of having better meetings  involves taking responsibility – stepping up to the tasks.

Deacons
Blog
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"Contemporvant" Worship Video--Funny? Offensive? Satirical? Mean?

Well, since my last blog post about ten days ago about a contemporary worship service Rose and I attended, there has been a fair bit of traffic on this page and a few comments--both on the Network and to my personal email. So now maybe it's time to keep the fires burning, the sparks flying, the synapses clicking (or whatever synapses do). A friend sent me the following link to a video that really...

Pastors
Blog
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Mother Teresa and Pastors Today

Let's learn from the Roman Catholic masters from whom we separated--and whom we villainized for many years. Perhaps one spiritual benefit of ecumenism for all Christians is to examine ourselves, scour our motives, use the agonizingly slow, maddening wheels of the church to move with us and we pastors and leaders with them.

Pastors
Blog
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Prayer Time Phobia

I understand their fear. We haven’t had enough time together to know one another all that well. Most are new to this whole small group thing and relatively new in faith. Today I’m asking myself how I can gently lead them to feel comfortable praying out loud as a group. Here’s what I’ve thought of so far: 

Small Groups
Blog
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What? God Use Me?

You know the feeling. You’re asked to step into a new role either in ministry or everyday life and you feel totally inadequate for the task. That’s how a potential small group leader felt last night when I suggested he lead a group for the first time.

Small Groups
Blog
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What Impression Does Your Website give to Visitors?

A while ago I wrote an article detailing several items that every church website should include no matter the size of their church or website. Mick Mel's recent post "Don’t be like a “University Website"" details many of the items I mentioned along with several items that are unnecessary on your church's homepage. Most of the items are aimed at presenting a good impression for your church, but also help with not frustrating return visitors.  

Church Communications
Blog
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The Pathological Pursuit of Goodness

 Yesterday I preached on the parable of the prodigal – with emphasis on the elder son on the story.  This morning I read Psalm 1.  The two passages provide an intriguing intersection of ideas.  Psalm 1 celebrates the Law of the Lord.  It is a source of life and hope.  Such a life of righteousness is a place of abundance.   Yet the elder son who did everything commanded stands on the outside of the celebration of redemption.   

Elders
Blog
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Recruiting Volunteers Via the Internet

How do you get volunteers to serve in ministry along side you? Brian Bierenga, Youth Pastor at Brookside CRC, shares his approach by using the internet. He suggests three things: Use email, Use template, Track Smarter.This is a fantastic blog to equip you as a Youth Ministry Leader in recruiting volunteers.

Youth Ministry
Blog
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Let's Keep Thinking about the "Second Service"

It appears that confessional preaching/teaching and the second worship services are both going the way of the dodo bird and passenger pigeon in most places in our denomination. Check out this article about second services by Matt Vande Bunte in a recent on-line issue of The Grand Rapids Press and then read on. I hope the article remains available for a while.

Pastors
Blog
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4 Discipline Tips

It's bound to happen. An energetic eight year old will test your patience. A sixth grader will start to annoy the other kids in your group... How will you respond?Here are four quick tips to help you keep things under control...  

Children's Ministry
Blog
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Unity With Purpose

He’s calling us to the same unity that he experiences with the Father and the Holy Spirit. Now that’s mind-boggling! Can we mere humans here on earth possibly be drawn into that kind of unity?

Small Groups
Blog
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Resourcing Congregations

What is a denominational missions agency supposed to do?  When they began the idea was that all the international mission effort of the congregations was to be channeled through their denominational agency.  And it worked a lot like that for many years, but times have changed.  These days congregations of all denominations are doing lots of ministry through lots of agencies and directly.  In response to this Christian Reformed World Missions has

Global Mission
Blog
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Henk Meets a Foreclosure up Close

“Herm, the deacons have been talking about starting a learning and discussion group about family finances. Your call makes me think we should do something and not just talk...

Deacons
Blog
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Why Do We Have a Limited Idea of "Diversity"?

When we envision the diverse church, in our minds' eye, we see a diversity of skin colors, foods, ethnic identities, and languages. Usually, we also see we see the young and the old, male and female. But in our vision of the diverse church, we rarely see a boy who uses a wheelchair, woman who lives with mental illness, a girl with Down Syndrome, a man who is blind, or a woman who is Deaf and uses sign language. Why?

Disability Concerns
Blog
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Deacon Henk: Foreclosure Follow-up

A few weeks ago, Herm confided in Deacon Henk about the foreclosure notice he'd received.  It's been a tough few weeks and Herm needs a bit of strong friendship!  "I wish me and the wife could talk about doughnuts and weight.  Seems like we don't talk at all, or we're fussin' at each other about money."

Deacons
Blog
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16 comments

The Language of Mental Illnesses, Brain Disorders, and Disabilities

This guest blog by Alan Johnson, organizer of Widening the Welcome, asks how we talk about mental illnesses. He writes, "Language can be tricky. It can elucidate things or muddy things. So what can we do? Keep on keeping on working on language seeking to describe how things are. Perhaps the best thing is to talk with the person who is affected by a “mental illness” or a “brain disorder” or a “disability” to see how they see it themselves. This is all about relationships anyway."

Disability Concerns

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