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Q&A
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What guidelines should a church have for helping those in need?

Our church receives a lot of requests for assistance. We regularly make food dishes and food and gas vouchers available. We make funds available to help pay bills. The requests for assistance come for our members, friends/neighbours of our members and from those outside our church. As deacons, we sometimes struggle with regard to how to distribute the funds collected in ways that maintain our accountability to the congregation. We currently have some 'understood' guidelines in terms of funds distribution but nothing in writing. There must be churches that have written guidelines - we would...
Deacons
Q&A
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What method works best for online or "non-check" giving?

Like many small- to mid-sized churches, I'm guessing, our church has stuck with the traditional weekly collections, passing a plate and praying that we get enough for our weekly expenses. These days, though, so many of us do most of our banking either online or through an automated service like bill pay--I know that before I became a deacon and realized the heart-burn I was causing, I would frequently forget for weeks at a time to write out a check on Sunday morning, and then after a few months of this (and when the deacon appeals became difficult to ignore) I'd try to scramble to catch up...
Deacons
Q&A
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How should a church distribute support to the denominational family and as well as to other causes?

In our congregation the deacons meet in November to set the offering schedule for the following year. Using the deacon's helper resource, sifting through the pile of offering requests received throughout the year and sensing the heart of God in the congregation, they prayerfully discern what causes to support. This year, a question was raised to our deacon team about the causes they had chosen to support. The question was this: when we as members are already contributing through denominational and classical shares to specific ministries, why are we also designating many of our weekly...
Deacons
Q&A
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Do you listen to music when writing sermons?

Okay, so this might be an odd question, and part of it is to see if I'm not the only one: Do you have certain music that helps you write sermons and prep them? I use the term sermonating for writing sermons and give credit for that to Doug Vande Kamp. This seems a bit weird, but to be honest, professional atheletes have been doing it for a long time. And when exercising, I know a ton of people who have their own playlist just for that. I tend to listen to Celtic music while doing my research for sermons. I listen to a variety of rock when writing sermons and listen to worship music when doing...
Pastors
Q&A
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Where can I find coffee break materials?

My wife's small group is finishing up the first study book of "The Gospel of Mark" and they will need the next set of books to continue on. I tried to find where I can order these on this website but to no avail. Please direct me to where these can be ordered. Thanks, Neil.
Coffee Break
Q&A
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When is your church's fiscal year?

Our church is considering changing the fiscal year from a calander year to one that will coinside with other turnovers within the church, ie; election of officers, school year, ect. How has your church established it's fiscal year? What are the pros and cons? Why do you have it this way? We would appreciate any comments or information.
Deacons
Q&A
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How do Deacons Engage Church Members in Ministries of Mercy?

Do you have deacons spending their time visiting members and handling funds? Or do you have each deacon leading or working with a ministry team of church members that is responding to the poor and hurting people in our community and world? I'm interested in information from churches who have been able to transition each of their deacons to the role of leading and working with a team of members on a ministry focus such as elderly, women, refugees, children, youth, creation care, hungry, etc. Let's talk about how you have engaged members more in mercy ministries.
Deacons
Q&A
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Should the tithe be used for Christian ed tuition?

Crown Financial Ministries says that "when we take a portion of our tithe and divert it to keep our children in Christian schools, it's really a gift in self-interest. Educational costs are your normal responsibility. Therefore, if God wants your children to attend private school, He will provide the funds without your having to divert His tithe for that purpose." Do you agree? Admin Note: This topic has been cross-posted to our Stewardship network. Please add your comments there .
Deacons
Q&A
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What mentoring materials or activities do you use with youth and children at your church?

So, we're just beginning with the process of pairing adults and children into mentoring relationships as part of welcoming and guiding them to participate in the Lord's Supper as well as the full ministry life of the church, but we are sorely in need of more options or resources for mentors to draw upon. Currently, the "I Believe" mentoring book from Faith Alive is our only resource for junior high kids...Do you know of others? And what other activities or faith forming events would you recommend besides "going through the book?" Junior-highers are a first priority right now, but the same...
Faith Nurture
Q&A
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What are some good websites that deal with faith formation?

The Network's Sunday School Guide Joland Howe recenlty blogged about a website she came across as a great website dealing with the topic of Faith Formation and some specifically with children. To quote Jolanda: This website is packed with research, ideas, web links and recommended resources for children, teens, young adult, adult, family ministry. So check out the Faith Formation Learning Exchange website and the specific resources Jolanda mentioned . Also are there any other good websites out there?
Faith Nurture
Q&A
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How can the church most effectively meet the pastoral care needs in the congregation?

Our church has been struggling with finding people to stand for the office of pastoral elder for years now, which is likely a problem encountered in many churches. Currently all our members are assigned to a Care Group with 1 elder and 1 deacon, with an expectation that the elders conduct an annual home visit. Two years ago we also introduced small groups, some of which are led by the same people, but not all. At any rate we have some overlap and as part of our visioning process which we're presently engaged in, we are looking at this overlap, at church leadership structures in general, as...
Elders
Q&A
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Job Sharing Elder Position?

Our church is having difficulty finding people who will let their name stand for the position of pastoral elder because people say it is too much work. So the question arose: Is it possible to share the job of one elder position?

Elders
Q&A
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How Do You Conduct an Effective and Useful Home Visit?

The church order requires that we do a Home Visit (Art 65). Yet how we conduct a visit, how effective it is, and whether this is a useful strategy is constantly debated. In this forum we want you to share your thoughts, suggestions and encouragements. After all, we need to support each other. I waiting to hear from you. Neil
Elders
Q&A
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How do you deal with a church member who wishes to marry a non-believer?

I would like to know how other elders/consistories have dealt with a situation where one of their active members have chosen to marry someone that is not a believer. How to provide discipline in matters such as that while caring continuing to show love and care. Especially when the person decides to go ahead anyway.
Elders

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