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“Outreach” Must Have Two E's!

We hear a great deal about our Biblical mandate to get the gospel out to the lost. What we see from the earliest days of the New Testament phase of the church is that their outreach was twofold: (1) evangelism and witness, (2) encouragement and comfort.

Pastors
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Christmas = “Bedlam”

When I long for a nice quiet Christmas like so many of those seen only on Christmas cards, I take a deep breath and remember that Christmas has never been nice and quiet--never! The gloria sung in the highest that first Christmas was sung over the din of the uproar coming from an over-crowded Bethlehem...

Pastors
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Going Deep in the Pastorate

In small-town and rural America, you not only serve your congregation, you serve the whole county you're in and sometimes beyond. Because rural people are so tied together and families are scattered here and there, every pastor ends up pastoring everybody...

PastorsRural
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The Next Big Thing?

With the rise of the Millennial generation and the coming of what looks like a long economic downturn, thinkers in the field of church planning are beginning to write about the future of the local church and what it will soon look like. There’s not agreement on all predictions, but one thing has common agreement: the day of the mega-church model...

Pastors
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Next World Leaders in Your Small Church?

Dr. Ron Klassen wrote in his book No Little Places: The Untapped Potential of the Small-Town Church, "A disproportionate percentage of professional Christian workers, including as many as 80% of foreign missionaries, come from small churches...

PastorsRural
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Jesus, Rabbi to Out-of-the-Way Places

Pick up a CRCNA Yearbook and among the familiar names you’ll find unknowns such as Terra Ceia, Woden, Prairie View, Austinville and more. Historically, we know how churches got planted in such places. But the question arises, “Would Jesus today go to minister in such out-of-the-way places?” If not, wouldn’t we be better off just closing down all those tiny churches...

PastorsRural
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To the Least of These

If you minister where the most well-read news magazines are Progressive Farmer and the Farmers’ Almanac and not The New York Times, where you can't leave town without everyone knowing where you are headed, and where everyone knew your name before you ever arrived there, then this blog’s for you...

PastorsRural
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Christians as Athletes and Fans: Double Vision-Single Focus

Because of the radical changes in the sporting world, some rather difficult issues face any Christian believer or institution involved in competitive sports. To be honest, I think these changes have made it harder for the fan to keep a good Christian testimony than the athlete...

Pastors
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The Other Side of 'Quitting Time'

First it was a short article in Christianity Today, and then Sam Hamstra’s piece came in, and today I read that John Piper preached his last sermon Easter Sunday in his congregation in the Twin Cities.  Suddenly, everywhere I turn retirement is being written about, and I think that is good, although late for me since I retired in 2008...

Pastors
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Preventive Maintenance against Sermon Stealing

Reading the recent article in The Banner called “I Think the Pastor Stole that Sermon” got me thinking about sermon stealing. Over the years I’ve read a lot of articles on the topic of plagiarism, but I don’t recall that any of them provided concrete suggestions on how to prevent and/or stop this stealing sin. It’s been my experience that if we want either to stop a certain sin or avoid temptation, we need to prepare in advance...

Pastors
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A Public Faith

We are the first generation in Western culture that is facing the real prospect of living in a statist society. Although there are many faiths under the roof of our pluralistic house, it is becoming rather clear with each passing year that the one approved faith is acceptance of the rule of the mother state...

Pastors
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The Weariness of Christmas

The sun had set hours ago as Joseph and Mary slowly continued to make their way towards Bethlehem. When they left Nazareth days ago they had tried to stay with those they knew from the villages around, but it was no use. As Joseph led the donkey at a snail’s pace along the darkened road, some less than noble thoughts raced through his troubled mind...  

Pastors
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CRC Position Papers: Bookshelf Materials or Effective Starters for Outreach?

In the November issue of Christianity Today, there is a book review of Fred Sanders' newest book, The Creedal Imperative. In that book he states that our modern culture's greatest goal is “to be authentic and speak spontaneously,” whether or not anything of value is said. Therefore, we need creeds written down and followed as never before...

Pastors
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God's Referee?

Because the majority’s spoken opinion is that almost anything goes and is acceptable, almost everyone is afraid to call anyone’s hand on anything. But we as Christian believers “are our brothers’ keepers,” which means among other things that we are the truth tellers and moral compasses to the unbelieving world... 

Pastors
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Vindication Praying: The Missing Petition on Most Pastors' Prayer Lists?

Dr. Darrell L. Bock in The NIV Application Commentary, Luke rather in passing made the connection between the widow's persistence and the “wearing down” of the unrighteous judge, and the praying of Peter and the church in Acts 4:23-31. He wrote: “Do we as the church community 'wear God down' with such a request for vindication?”

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