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.
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?
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.
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.
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...
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.”
The Calvin Institute of Christian Worship has assembled a website with a great variety of helps, hints, resources for worship and Christian community. One of the most practical items on CICW site is the "Feature Stories".
As we dig into “conviction,” the second leadership trait that congregations can develop, we switch to a new image—a ship on a voyage. Here’s the story.
May 13 was the least known, possibly most important Christian holiday—Ascension Day. It should kick off big-time Christian parties, like those after the Prime Minister is sworn in–but bigger. It remembers when Jesus—Immanuel, God-with-Us—returned to heaven after his crucifixion and resurrection. From there he rules the universe at God the Father’s right hand.
I'm curious what others do as far as letting people accept, or encouraging, gratuities, and also what types of workers in the church are paid and what is done on a volunteer basis.
Thomas is Christianity’s first famous doubter. Odd, since his doubt surfaced on the very day Christians celebrate Jesus’ resurrection. A week later doubt disappeared. What can dispel doubt today? Start by paying attention to how the Gospel of John is built. Its doubters are boxed in by stories of faith.
Since ministers are not allowed to deduct church related business expenses from their local church employment as self-employed workers, often ministers and other church employees pay unnecessary income taxes on legitimate business expenses.
Bomhof says he has learned that serving a larger congregation requires different skills than he relied upon in his smaller charges, and he’s intentionally sought out opportunities to hone those much-needed skills. He is not alone in that.
Careful preparation for retirement brings major advantages for pastors and congregations both before and after the actual farewell event. Many denominations and pastors have studied the matter of retirement with care.