Grants, conferences and learning events are just some of the ways that Sustaining Pastoral Excellence supports and strengthens pastors and helps to build vital congregations.
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".
In a previous article recently posted on the Pastors Network, we explored “character,” the first of four traits of leadership articulated by the Christian Reformed Church’s “Leadership Development Team” several years ago. I described a real past near-disaster in fictional “...
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.
For building improvements, there are two foundations of which we are aware that will give accessibility grants to churches in specific regions.
My staff and I are planning on learning together more about the Holy Spirit...how it moves, works, makes itself available...how it fits into our CRC church culture...how we can better understand and be moved by the Holy Spirit. I'm looking for recommendations on books or articles that we could...
Birth of a Project
Psalm 19 exultingly reminds us: “The heavens declare the glory of God; the skies proclaim the work of his hands.” In one of God’s blessed whimsies, a quiet setting next to a Michigan lake under those heavens helped frame a far-reaching conversation about Christian...
If you don’t have a written policy regarding how expenses are reimbursed, you will have a hard time enforcing accountability for reimbursable expenses.
For a landscaper, the growing grass is proof of a job well done. But how does one define success in ministry? To sustain pastoral excellence, we need a definition of pastoral ministry success that is viable.
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.
Do smaller churches measure up? “Often, size becomes a major diagnostic tool for churches,” says Rev. Paul Van Dyken, pastor of Grace Christian Reformed Church in Burke, Vermont. “People think that if you’re not big, you’re not healthy.”
I don't know how many on-line things you subscribe to, but at last count it's at least 30--things like catalogues from bike shops, canoe and paddling outfits, magazines, bargain notices from vendors and on and on.
There are all sorts of pastoral issues involved in this fact. For example, since I have only one email address (honest!) all personal and work stuff comes to the same address. Thus the temptation into which I lead myself: "Read and process personal stuff on church time."
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.
Hi there, everyone! Had someone from the congregation call me this morning concerned about using the term "sinners" in reference to Christians. The person felt that we are no longer referred to as sinners in the scriptures of the New Testament, and that therefore we ought not be referred to...
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.
Over the course of the past year, I was introduced to a series of YouTube videos entitled “Shift Happens.” According to the video’s wiki page this video series originally started out as a PowerPoint presentation for a faculty meeting in August 2006 at Arapahoe High School in Centennial, Colorado. The presentation hit the web in February 2007 and, as of June 2007, had been seen by at least 5 million online viewers.
I'm not sure that this is the best place to post this -- probably, it would qualify for a few places. I'm trying to update our church guidelines for weddings in our church, and I'm wondering how other pastors and churches have gone about having policies or guidelines in place. w Here are a...
One Saturday last July my son-in-law Jason and I took a bike ride outside Ottawa. The country road was mostly flat, almost without traffic. As we were beating up that morning’s only serious hill, out of nowhere a Dodge Ram pick-up blasted by well over the 80 km/h limit, nearly clipping my handlebars and, arguably, shortening my life expectancy by several hours.
Do small churches suffer from inferiority complexes? Elzo Tenyenhuis, pastor of a small Christian Reformed church in Kincardine, Ontario, admits that small churches often struggle with issues of self-perception.
Last week I attended the funeral service of a 54 year old nurse, daughter of an elderly couple in our congregation. Diane was a lovely person, giving care and love to patients, nieces, nephews, parents, siblings. As I was driving the two hours to the funeral with several friends, I became starkly aware again of the pain that invades even the most carefully ordered and disciplined lives. All my travelling companions are good, content folk, who love the Lord. Yet all had lost children many years ago.