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Does anyone have a standard form for evaluating/reviewing the pastor of the congregation?


Darryl Hill, Administrative Elder

Hi Mavis, you're right, it really doesn't make much of a difference, Reforming or Changing, I just want to point out that change, sometimes a massive change happening in a congregation, is presented as a "Reformation" type a la 1500's of event, something so much needed that the older members have no other choice but to dispose of all that is near and dear in the way they love to worship together each Sunday. Thankfully, at Bethel we are working on this point, both ways, understanding each others preferences, and accepting the differences we have, will bring us to a richer form of Worship and understanding of "We Are One in the Spirit". 

Well, I would not want to accuse anyone of nitpicking. What you write makes a lot of sense. I just thought it was a cute, funny little quip -- not reading anything deep into it, it just made me smile.


Hmmm, always reforming? I rather like to say always changing, my parents worshipped different than their parents (perhaps just a little), we are worshipping different than my parents, (perhaps quite a bit more), our youth is or want to worship different than us, (quite a bit more). Things are changing all the time, if we like or accept it or not. The "Reformation" addressed a great wrong in the church, I don't think that we, the older and/or previous generation was wrong in the way we worship(ped) and therefor don't need to "Reform" to straighten a terrible wrong. (am I nitpicking?).

"Always reforming". Love it! Good one. :)

Yea, did you see what I wrote to Sheri, I tried to make a joke about her meter but realized  it was mine. pretty funny the joke was on me.

Thanks Tim

Ken - Wow, you noticed that profile meter right away! I just finished writing an introduction to what it is and how it works.

I like it Jonathan, Thanks for efforts in making this portal to believers. God bless you my friend!

Tim, While your here , could you explain the need for subscription. I'm a 88% profile. Which is probably indicative of my thought process at times.


I agree with Mavis that Worship is perhaps the best place to post your question.  I encourage you to do so and I hope you get some good feedback.

Thanks for your question and thank you Mavis for your suggestion.



Where do I find the 'marks' , etc.


Here's that picture of what appear on the right side of the page:

The green checkmarks indicate active subscriptions.

Notice there is no checkmark next to "This Author". This indicates that the person has not yet activated that particular subscription. To do so, they could click the blue text which is a hyperlink.

You're right about the fact that we don't underline our hyperlinks. This was common in the early days of the web, but now most websites just make them a different color and avoid the underline.

I hope this additional explanation is helpful.

For instance: What does this mean?  Where do I find the 'marks' , etc.


Today we've upgraded this feature to display:

  1. a checkmark to show if you're already subscribed
  2. an 'edit' button to modify an existing subscription (displays when you hover over the checkmark)

Here's how it looks:


Most such sites have underlined 'go to' place one clicks procede.

I never know where to find anything==I just good around and try something, but don't have a clue as to how or where anything is.




Can you be more specific about what you're not finding easy enough to do or find? Or suggestions for how to improve things? The site is 'always reforming' :-) so some specifics would be great.

Regarding usage, it's actually been quite good. As of today, nearly 1,700 registered users and well over 2,000 user posts (comments and discussion topics). Of course, we'd always like more and so we're encouraging folks to help spread the word. But, compared to similar efforts, this is the most interactive the CRC has ever been online and it hasn't yet had its first birthday. Not to sound defensive, of course!

I agree Chester, It's a very good starting piont but like most things it require's refinment. We are blessed with a responsible and talented people who listen to suggestions and try to make it a insturement to assist us in serving our Lord. God bless them

This is still not "User Friendly" enuf.    too hard to find things.


I think that is why so few use it!

Thanks Tim,

   Sounds great, But are you sure you want to make access for me easier? (just jokeing) thanks for opening a portal of believers to people like me! God will remember this.  God bless you


I have MS and it is difficult to read and prosess. 


Thanks Ken and others who have raised this concern. With the continued growth of The Network, we've decided to pursue a more advanced spam-prevention system. Among it's many features, this system (Mollum) will require much fewer Captchas from legitimate users while still requiring them from new users (including spam robots).

I can't give a specific timeframe yet, but will post an update in the coming weeks.

The forum search box will search all forums. If we implement Google custom search as an all-in-one search tool we'd be sure to have the ability to filter the results by guided content vs. forums (much as you can filter search results on by ministry area - example). Maybe we could even allow people to filter by all 50-or-so Network sections.

Hi Tim,  The captcha is usefull. Maybe we could make it words more distinct. I have MS and it

is difficult to read and prosess.  



Thanks for the update, Tim. I didn't realize that there were two different search functions, so perhaps I need to try my searches again, making sure I hit both areas of content. 

It seems like if I'm on the main page of a content area (for example: and search there, I get results from the guide content, and can clearly choose to search in that area or "all" areas.

My follow up question is, when I search from a forum page (for example:,) does that search all forums or just the one I'm in? If it's just the one, is there a way now to search the entire forum?

I'd put it under Worship. I like to use the categories listed at the top of the page whenever I can.

I think you're both right. Part of the problem is the fact that we actually have two different search tools right now - one that searches guide content and another that searches the forums.

On our roadmap, we've added a project to look at replacing both with Google custom search (which we use on We've got a few projects ahead of that one, but hopefully it won't be too long.

Once we've got one, universal search tool it will make it easier to display throughout the site. With the growth we've been seeing on The Network this fall, search will become more and more important.

Keep the suggestions coming! We're listening closely and suggestions like this help make the site better for everyone.

I had the same experience today. I started at the home page. I didn't see what I was looking for, so then I clicked on "see more" (which brought me here: ) and there isn't a search box there either. If you don't know exactly what you're looking for or which forum it might be in, having a search box up front is helpful. Thanks!

If it's based on reputation...that explains why I have to do it every time! You can never escape your past.... ;)

I should have mentioned that the tool we use - reCPATCHA - actually serves an additional function...helping digitize old texts that require human (rather than computer) recognition.

It's nice that those 30 million entries/day are being harnessed for some extra good. You can read more about it on Wikipedia.

I think requiring the captcha based on reputation would be worthwhile, or even moderating (I imagine they would/could be moderated quickly) comments if it gets bad again.

That's great, Stanley. Forwarding specific articles to specific people is going above and beyond. It gets the RIGHT content into the hands of the right people. Thanks!

re: Banner ads - Yes, it's all one 'family' of CRC ministry so it's basically an internal transfer. But if they didn't charge us anything, I'd be asking for a Network ad on the back of every issue (market value: $4,500). CRC ministries get a discount, but by 'paying' something close to fair market rates we don't crowd out important income from outside advertisers.

Any way you slice it, print is expensive. So that's why we're so appreciative of pastors and staff that help get the word out through email, bulletin announcements, etc. It doesn't work for everything, but when it does it means we can spend less on paper/postage and more on ministry.


The Banner charges the CRC for ads?! Isn't that like robbing Peter to pay Paul?

I was one of the pastors who didn't pass along the email, but that's because I've been forwarding specific Network articles and discussions to Telkwa CRC people.


Tim: Thanks for explaining that. At LAST someone tells me what that annoying thingy is. Why didn't I ask you before? Now that I know it serves a useful function, I will more eagerly and committedly use it not only for Network comments, but for the many other internet sites that use Captcha. Thanks again. (But sometimes these old eyes have trouble reading the script--not your problem, I guess.)

I would suggest a category of "Outreach" on this discussion network.

Quick of 5 minutes ago, the button now prompts for a comment as well. That makes it show up MUCH more prominently on your Facebook wall.

....which gets more people to click the link you've shared, which gets more people to discover The Network, etc, etc. You get the idea...start spreading the news!


 This is a great addition!

Nice work!

Update....that new "email" link now appears in the sidebar of all forum posts (including this one!) as well as articles, blogs, etc. Check it out.

Thanks, Amy. You actually can do this now, but it's not as easy to find as it should be. Look for the "Share" button at the bottom of any post and there's an option to email to a friend.

We've been working on a more obvious implementation of that (i.e. in the sidebar of all pages). That will be launched very soon - in fact, it might even be later today if all goes well.

Congratulations, Linda.

Rebecca--how shall we continue the challenge? Those mugs do look nice on the mug rack at church.

Game on! Good luck CRC of St Jo - you're a lot bigger than we are at Crossroads, which should make it easy to meet Tim's challenge.

We've got another mug winner...and a new challenge to unseat Crossroads CRC as the church with the most Network members.

Check out this new post with all the details and stop by Linda's profile to wish her congratulations. She also happens to be a brand new member of her local CRC - double-reason to stop by and say congrats!

You're right, we don't have one. Interesting suggestion.

I suppose it could fit under Elders (in our church we have an Elder to the Seniors), but maybe it should be it's own section. What does everyone else think?

Good question. I don't know of a way to search for users, but an even easier way is to go to "My Profile" and look at your "profile visitors". The person you mentioned is listed there...just click on her name.

In the meantime, add it is a feature request using the "Feedback" tab (hanging off the right side of every page). If others vote it up, we'll consider adding something to make it easier to search for users. Good suggestion. Thanks.

Tim, how do I search for people on the Network? If I'd like to see, for example, whether "Lisa K" is on the Network – someone who just sent me a message, so I know she's here – and I type "Lisa K" in the search box in my profile, I get no results. What am I missing? Thanks for your time! Stanley

Every time I make a suggestion, you've already done it! :-D

Good job.

Yes, Mavis, by default you are automatically subscribed to notifications when you post.

If you don't want this, you can change your notification settings (in your account profile) so that, by default, you won't be automatically subscribed to any future posts.

It's opening day of Synod and we have ourselves a winner. The church with the biggest "My Church" listing is...

Crossroads CRC in San Marco, CA with 25 members (as of this moment)

Congratulations - you did it again. This church is amazing and they come away with another fine mug. I'll be personally delivering it to your pastor at Synod and then we can all see if he gets it home in one piece.

Admittedly, it's an awesome mug. But, as Rick pointed out, the 'community connection is the true prize'. Thanks to everyone for playing along. With 70 posts and nearly 2,000 reads, you've all helped create some fun publicity for The Network.

Please keep spreading the word about the Network in your church and beyond. We'd hope to create a "Top 10" list so we can all see which churches have the most people on The Network. Stay tuned for that.

And yes, we'll probably be giving away more mugs in the future. So check your "My Church" listing now...and keep it growing!

wow, am I late in the conversation! :-)

Hello, Group - from Bethel CRC in DeMotte, IN
i'm new to NETWORK, but looking forward to gleaning all kinds of information, wisdom, and, um... networking with you all! Any mugs left????? either way, I suppose that the community connection is the true prize!

I have a challenge for a mug (or pieces thereof): How many times will the Network be mentioned in the official proceedings record of Synod? My guess: 23.

Thanks to everyone who's participated in this thread. A news story has been posted about it all. Here's the link:

Network Mugs Come to Synod

Saturday is the end of our latest mug challenge. Then the fun's over and we get all serious-like for Synod.

Unless anyone has ideas for an encore challenge? Hmmmm. We do have a few more mugs...

I just tested that link and it worked for me. Try it again by clicking the "Download" link on this page:

Whoops. We forgot to tell Rebecca L that the mug is the glue-it-yourself puzzle type. Check out this photo she sent us after the package arrived:

Fortunately, we also have the normal, all-in-one-piece variety here in the office. I could have sworn that was the type we put in that box and mailed, but I guess not. Or she's just gaming the system to get two mugs.

A quick update on our latest contest...

Rebecca's church - Crossroads CRC in San Marco, CA - must be having fun with this whole thing because their "My Church" count is now at 24 members!

What's your "My Church" count? Click the link at the top of any page to find out.

There's still time to beat Crossroads CRC, but you'll need to act fast. Send an email out to your church, asking people to sign up on The Network. As we mentioned before, the church with the highest "My Church" count on Synod's opening day wins a mug (intact or puzzle type - your choice)!

That's Saturday, so hurry and send out that email. A "My Church" count of 24 is good, but it's beatable. With one, well-crafted email to your congregation you could take bragging rights away from Crossroads CRC. Who's going to give it a shot?

Even if you don't win the mug, you'll be helping to spread the word about The Network and connecting churches in new ways for ministry!