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Q&A
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How does a church shift from "needs-based" to "gifts-based" ministry?

Our church is thinking more about gifts-based ministry (helping people discover the gifts God has blessed them with and how best to serve the church and others) rather than needs-based ministry ("we need 3 volunteers for the nursery and 24 dozen cookies for the ladies tea.") Who has seen this transition in their own church? How did it go? Are you in this transition? How is it going? Is your church now leading a strong, gifts-based ministry, with people equipped and passionate to serve? Can you provide advice or encouragement for those of us working in that direction?
Ministry Coordination
Q&A
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Can you share advice or ideas for 8th Grade GEMS?

I'm a new GEMS counselor this year, and I've taken on the 8th graders. Do any of you out there have advice for leading the 8th grade course? We're doing the new Esther curriculum, which I've really enjoyed reading through. I think it's excellent! Do you do any fun activities outside your lesson focusing on hair, nails, going out to dinner, etc? I'd love some ideas!! Thanks!
GEMS
Q&A
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What training tools does your church use to equip members for evangelism?

What evangelism training tools do you use to equip your CRC church to go out and share the gospel? I have been using the One Verse Evangelism and the Bridge Illustration from the Navigators ( http://www.navigators.org/us/ ) and the tools/tracts from the Way of the Master ( http://wayofthemaster.com/ ) ministry. I also am a trainer with the Sonlife ministry and teach their Growing Health Church seminars and Great Commission/Great Commandment seminars. Please check out my web page ( www.delightingod.com ) to see some of the tools we use to equip our disciples to become "fishers of men. " (...
Community Engagement
Q&A
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What library software is low cost and effective for use with scanners?

Does anyone use any kind of library software along with scanners? Just curious if there is anything out there that is free (or relatively low cost), effective, and efficient. I've just gone through all the books in our library trying to make sure the titles were all located and correct - they weren't by a long shot - we're missing over 45 items ... (small library - this is a lot!). Anyway, any and all help is greatly appreciated! Renée
Church Libraries
Q&A
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Should church libraries be viewed as a ministry?

Hours of work go into creating and crafting a church library. Often it does not have a profile as a mininstry in our churches. How does your church view your Library Ministry? To any who are involved in a Church Library I am interested in a few of the following questions: Please copy and paste the questions into your reply and anwser the following How do you view the church library? Would you say your church library is part of the Ministry Team in your church? Do you have regular contact or input from the pastor, group leaders or council in your church? What would be the biggest area served...
Church Libraries
Q&A
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What software or tutorials should we use for basic computer skills classes at church?

Our church is considering offering a basic computer skills class (MS Word, MS Excel, MS Powerpoint) using some donated computers/software. We have a few single parents in our neighborhood that have expressed interest. I could also see some of our older members participating. I am curious if any other church has done this and I'm looking for suggestions on software/tutorials that could be used. Thanks.
Community Engagement
Q&A
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What books can we recommend to introduce Christ to young non-Christians?

I spent last weekend with a group of high school students at a program called TEC --Teens Encountering Christ (if you're in West Michigan, check it out: westmichtec.org). One person in our discussion group is an agnostic, but was asking very good questions about faith. I recommended C.S. Lewis' Mere Christianity as a way to help answer some of those questions. Any other suggestions? ~ Sharon
Youth Ministry
Q&A
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What does a newcomer need to get started with campus ministry?

As a newcomer to the world of campus ministry, both personally and as an organization, the sheer scope of campus ministry can be overwhelming. Our ministry, Campus Edge Fellowship, works with graduate students and faculty of Michigan State University. Where does one begin? The University is home to some 10,000+ graduate students, many of whom are convinced that there is nothing more important than studying for their comprehensive exams. When you add the faculty component, all of whom are busy with research, books, and their personal lives at home, the task of reaching out seems a daunting one...
Campus
Q&A
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What is the role and function of the campus ministry board?

Our board is researching its role in the ministry, and we're wondering: what does your board "look like"? What is its structure? How does it function? What roles does it assume? How does your board handle fundraising? Whatever information you'd like to share, we're listening!
Campus
Q&A
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Are returning office bearers required to sign the Form of Subscription again?

The Supplement to the Church Order for Article 5 re signing of the Form of Subscription states that is " To be signed by professors, ministers, ministry associates, elders, and deacons when ordained and/or installed in office ". (emphasis added) As I understand it, office bearers are ordained/installed when elected to serve second and third (and more) terms. Is it then required that returning office bearers sign the form multiple times?
Church Admin & Finance
Q&A
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What are the necessary elements of a good church policy manual?

Our church is gathering together years of of old policy statements and council decisions in order to produce a policy manual that works. But we're working in a vacuum. We'd really like like to see the manuals some other churches have put together. Will you send me a copy of yours? Hard or electronic? And/or, can you share with this list some good insights you may have about such policy manuals? Thanks
Church Admin & Finance
Q&A
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What are the guidelines for establishing minimum pass vote percentages?

In our Council, we're looking at establishing minimum pass vote percentages for various issues. One that has caused some discussion is the vote by the congregationn on office bearers. Currently, Council prepares a list of candidates to present to the congregation. The congregation then votes on these names. In the case where the number of names approved by the congregation is more than the number of vacancies, the vacancies are filled by lot from the names approved. currently the required pass is 50%+1. However, it was brought up that perhaps this is too low. At 50%+1, is this enough...
Church Admin & Finance
Q&A
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What sample forms are available that outline the CRC stance on refusing to perform same-sex marriages?

I am interested in sample forms to include in our church's constitution that outline our stand and refusal to perform same sex marriages. I have searched several resources and have not been able to find any such sample form. Is it neccesary to involve a lawyer to draw this up to have it included in our constitution? Can anyone help me with this? Henk
Church Admin & Finance
Q&A
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How does a Canadian congregation get a license or permission to show videos and DVDs in church?

Are other Canadian CRC congregations and maybe also Canadian churches of other denominations facing the same issues as our congregation with regard to getting licence/permission to show DVDs or videos in church? Most DVDs or videos that we purchase at stores are sold for viewing by an “at home” audience of a few people. If you were to purchase the same item for viewing by large audiences, it would probably cost ten times as much because of the royalty paid to the copyright owner. It is possible for organizations or groups to make arrangements with the copyright owners for a royalty to be paid...
Church Admin & Finance
Q&A
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What guidelines or lock down procedures should a church follow when there's a threat of violence?

Does anyone have a "lock down" procedure in place for their church to use in case of a threat of violence? We do not have an intercom system but we do have a Bell/Buzzer that is audible throughout the building and located inside the office we plan to use as both a warning signal and an all clear signal depending on the number and length of rings. During our weekday programs there is always someone in the office who could signal the lock down, but what do you do on Sunday morning when all the adults are in the sanctuary?
Church Admin & Finance
Q&A
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What resources are available to churches for performing staff evaluations?

We're in the process of setting up evaluations of our staff in the New Year. I'm looking for resources that would help us with effectively evaluating our Pastor, Youth Director, Secretary and Custodian. I've reviewed a resource I received a few months ago ("Evaluation Essentials for Congregational Leaders"), but I found it simply expressed the importance of the evaluation, but gave no concrete approach or steps to performing one. Where can I find this?
Church Admin & Finance

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