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Blog
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How to Record Sermons Digitally

Even if your church doesn't have a website or will never start using Twitter or Facebook, I'm sure your church records sermons. With tape players obsolete and CD players common, it would be good to make the switch to recording your service digitally if you haven't yet. Not only will this be more compatible with your church listeners, but will allow you to easily podcast your sermon.

Church Communications
Blog
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Dealing With Real Life Stuff

A six-year-old girl stormed into my class this Sunday with fists clenched. She was angry at a friend — another one of the girls in my class. What do you do in moments like these — when you have a class full of kids and one of them is struggling with real life stuff?

Children's Ministry
Blog
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Waiting... But What about our Breath?

My point is that we are waiting with bated breath to see what the BOT has done with the deacons task force. Are you eager to know the reporting deadline? Are you even more eager to know who is on the task force?  I am!  Did the BOT amplify the instructions to the task force ...

Deacons
Blog
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Short Term Missions and Discipleship Training

Several years ago Pastor Dan Ackerman made a statement that really struck me.  He said that today short term missions is what Catechism instruction was: our basic method of discipleship. Short term mission trips went from being an oddity, to an add-on, to something integral to the process of raising our young people as Christians. How do we make the most of them?  

Global Mission
Blog
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Mother Teresa and Pastors (part 2)

A decade into her vocation as nun, Mother Teresa began to suffer “darkness” and the “absence of God.” briefly, that darkness and absence of God constituted her greatest suffering. Yet, after some years, she came to this stunning conclusion: "When you accept the vows [of a nun] you must accept the same fate as Jesus [abandonment by God?]"

Pastors
Blog
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Lessons in Hospitality

These are small things, but put together help create a warm place where interactions easily happen. In our fast paced world, we tend to bypass the little hospitable things that go a long ways toward creating community. 

Small Groups
Blog
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Affirm Every Child

A scene from the Prodigal Son story flashed through my mind--the moment when the father is telling the older son, "You are always with me, and all that I have is yours!" On a smaller scale it’s like that with children’s ministry, too.  

Children's Ministry
Blog
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CRWM Missionary Speaks at World Evangelization Congress

Today in South Africa 4,000 mission leaders are gathered to dream and plan for how to complete the task of world evangelization.  Most of them are Africans, Asians or Latin Americans, demonstrating that God has changed the face of world Christianity in the last century. Among the speakers at this conference is Ruth Padilla DeBorst, a missionary with Christian Reformed World Missions.  

Global Mission
Blog
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When Suicide Rocks a Community

In the last blog post I wrote on Mother Theresa’s profound spiritual suffering and its relation to the pastoral life. The sad, achingly poignant link to our community was the sadness of a 19 year-old’s suicide.

Pastors
Blog
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Facing a Troubled Congregational Past

This coming week at our fall classis meeting we will discuss an overture to make some changes to Article 17.  The request comes out of a concern for the ministry of the church: we have been given a ministry of reconciliation and yet in our practice of Article 17, reconciliation and healing seem so problematic.

Elders
Blog
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Feature Focus: Online Local Listings

One of the most common reasons to visit a church's website is to find the church's address, worship times, or phone number. In fact, it is probably on the home page of your website so that it is easy and quick to find. It should not only be listed on your website but on Bing Local Listings, Google Places and Yahoo! Local as well.

Church Communications
Blog
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Deacon Henk: Reflecting on Change

But Henk wasn't falling asleep. Just the opposite, he was having a moment of sharp worry, thinking about his friend whose home might be in foreclosure, thinking about his church, thinking about his denomination. Might as well worry big while you're at it!

Deacons
Blog
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Now HERE’S a Job for a Deacon!

Here's a church that has thought long and hard about the role of deacon.  Here's a job description that expresses that good thinking.   AND here's a job opening you need to check out!

Deacons
Blog
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Good Answers to Questions about Disability

Why is a church without people with disabilities incomplete? What do we mean by the word “disability”? What is ableism? In what ways are people with disabilities marginalized by societies around the world? What is “healing”? A friend of mine, Carolyn Thompson, directed me to a pithy statement called “The Accessible Church: Toward Becoming The Whole Family Of God” which she helped draft for the Massachusetts Council of Churches. Here are some excerpts.

Disability Concerns
Blog
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Diversity of abilities is thought of last

Although we North Americans are getting better at emphasizing diversity in the workplace, people with disabilities tend to be the last ones that diversity practitioners seek to recruit for jobs. I ran across these reflections by Rob McInness today on why that might be so. He writes,

Disability Concerns
Blog
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Kids and Their Grownups

Togetherville.com is a Facebook-like social network for children. I clicked the link to check it out and was struck by their tagline: “Online Neighborhoods for Kids and Their Grownups.” 

Children's Ministry
Blog
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Hanging-out

I wonder if there is a spiritual discipline called “hanging-out.” Probably not, but I think I’m going to consider it to be one. Our small group practiced this “discipline” together  

Small Groups
Blog
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James Smith on "Buried Treasure? Reformed Tradition and the Future of the CRC"

I invite you to listen to this talk by Dr. James K. A. Smith, professor of philosophy at Calvin College. Both the talk and the talkdown are worth listening to in order to challenge and provoke us pastors, our councils and congregations to re-engage the richness of the Reformed tradition, but NOT traditionalism. I hope you find this as provocative, clarifying and ...

Pastors
Blog
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Fly, Johnnie, Fly

I don’t think that the flight crew of that US Airways flight set out to bully Johnnie. I pray, though, that this incident will be another step toward people with disabilities outrunning the prejudices that they face daily.

Disability Concerns
Blog
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Too Occupied to Notice

It is around this time of the year that the demands of community life add up.  From school to sports, social life to planning for upcoming events, from regular commitments to unscheduled sickness, the moments seem to press in on us.  There is a simple consequence.  In busy times I default to the urgent.  

Elders
Blog
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Smelly Leaders

Out of our shepherd’s heart we will begin to intersect our lives with the lives of those we’re leading even when it’s messy and dirty. Only then will we begin to smell like the sheep we lead.  

Small Groups
Blog
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Task Force on Deacons - Names Announced!

Let's do everything we can to make this task force a delightful assignment for its members.  Will you help?  You can start with prayer; you can use the Deacons' Forum; you can respond when they ask for help; and you can talk to your fellow deacons and council members about this task force.  Let the deaconal revolution begin!  

Deacons
Blog
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Oppression, Calamity, Sin -- How to Help

Grace demands change; it holds us accountable.   How do we do that with fellow humans -- hold this balance between undeserved but conditional?  "Grace is undeserved caring that intercepts destructive behavior".

Deacons

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