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A Whisper

About a month ago I bumped into one of the daughters as she was visiting a local sister. I had recently visited her mom. We shared our experiences, wondering what stuck in her mom’s mind, what penetrated the formerly glowing eyes that only infrequently glimmer with God-knows-what powerful memory or affection. At one time the daughter sighed, “We all wonder what purpose God has for letting Mom live like this. Why is Mom still hanging on?”

Pastors
Article
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Leadership in the Church: The Rest of the Story

A frightfully realistic, hence necessary corollary to all axioms of leadership is this: Church leaders WILL trip, stumble and fall. Not all will do irreparable damage to themselves or others as they fall; sometimes no one but God notices. Regardless, the result is always disheartening.

Pastors
Book or eBook
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Toward Effective Pastoral Mentoring

This is a practical tool for mentors (experienced pastors) and mentees (pastors new to ministry). It covers a wide variety of topics which pastors will generally encounter during their first several years of ministry. Each module/topic has discussion questions and a resource list.

Pastors
Q&A
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How does a church keep staff leadership connected to elected church leadership?

I posted this in the "Church Administration" forum, but would also like input from pastors. I'm sorry if this is redundant for some of you. My question is... For those of you with a sizable staff, I'm wondering how you keep staff leadership connected to elected church leadership. Specifically, do you have staff members present at any of the church leadership meetings (council, elders, deacons)? If so, are they present for the whole meeting or just a part? Thanks!
Pastors
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A Sober Warning

An op-ed from the August 7 New York Times, written by a United Church of Christ pastor is called "Congregations Gone Wild." G. Jeffrey MacDonald sketches a serious warning to pastors and congregations about our consumerist culture's potential to blow out the foundation and integrity of the pastoral calling.

Pastors
Blog
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What Did YOU Do on Your Summer Vacation?

Well, it has been a couple of weeks since I've been on-line. Yes, my family and I have been "on holidays," as we say up here in the "true North, strong and free"--or as Bob Dylan calls it south of the border, "the north country fair." Whatever you call it, after a hard start to our holidays with the death of a young mother in our congregation (see the blog, "Claudette's Cancer: A Hard Sanctification?"), God blessed us with opportunities to re-connect as siblings, cousins, parents, childen and grandchildren in two rounds of family reunions.

Pastors
Blog
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Claudette's Cancer: A Hard Sanctification?

Yesterday a 40 year-old wife and mom from our congregation died. She had suffered from cancer for just over a year. It started with a mole in the small of her back that he husband saw one evening. Though discovered early, that made no difference to the raging cancer that devoured multiple organs.

Pastors
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
Article
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Pastors Ponder Change

How many pastors does it take to change a Christian Reformed church? The best and right answer is probably “None.” That hasn’t kept many of my ilk from trying. 

Pastors
Discussion Topic
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A Poet's View of Synod 2010

Ministry Associate Rod Hugen had Synod 2010 delegates in stitches when he read his poem. It was performed at the dinner honoring Calvin College and Seminary retirees including Henry DeMoor. With Rod's permission, here's the full text for your reading pleasure.

Pastors
Article
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Finding Spiritual Green Space

A group of pastors from New England is making the case for planning green space in our spiritual lives, too. “As cities carve out green spaces to break urban congestion, we need to help each other find green spaces in our busy lives.”

Pastors
Article
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Competency for Communal Leadership

In a provocative discussion on “competencies,” the CRCNA’s Leadership Development Team claims we “should not overstate the distinction between character and competence.” Yet the echo of competency rooted in character sounds often.

Pastors
Blog
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“Contemporary Worship” Doesn’t Have to Be Empty of History

We were on holidays and decided to go to a “contemporary service” in a CRC with nearly 100 years of history. Now, I LIKE to be critical—part of the "old man" still kicking around, I guess. But my wife is a kind and gentle and just woman. So, imagine my surprise the next day when she energetically called it a “dipstick” service. Yikes. How come?

Pastors
Discussion Topic
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Discussion-Based Preaching

Bible studies and discussion groups have their place, but in the context of the worship service, the authoritative Word of God (yes, from a pulpit) cannot be replaced by a discussion, however insightful. I would like a discussion on this topic. Maybe there is something I have overlooked.

Pastors
Article
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Caring for Pastors

Ministry is one of the most demanding professions in the North American environment. It is a profoundly satisfying task because pastors daily have opportunities to impact others for all eternity. Yet, in spite of its eternal implications, it is a wrenching and draining profession as well. 

Pastors
Blog
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An Exchange about Membership Transfers

Here's a brief email exchange about some technical issues on membership transfers between congregations and different denominations. I thought this might be helpful for elders, deacons, pastors, members because I think we deal with this at least ten times a year for people either transferring in or out. I think the two notes below are self-explanatory...

Pastors
Article
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Spouses in Pastoral Ministry: Their Role

When the Christian Reformed Church North America was awarded a Lilly Endowment grant of nearly $2 million in September 2002, the funding provided the momentum for an initiative with the potential to transform local churches and their pastors through “Sustaining Pastoral Excellence.” 

Pastors

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