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Q&A
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What's the best practice for getting church visitors to fill out welcome cards?

Network readers, I need your help! I can't figure out why people aren't completing visitor cards. I know we probably have 1-2 visitors per week, but we're seeing 1-2 cards per month. Here's what we've been doing: - There is a "Communication Card" in every bulletin, and bulletins are handed out at the door each week - There are pens at the seats - Most weeks, whoever is leading worship makes an announcement about the card. We mention that we are glad to welcome any visitors, and ask them to fill out a card so we can thank them for visiting. The card also has a place for comments/questions/...
Hospitality
Q&A
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How do ushers and greeters ensure that people feel welcomed at church?

We're asking the question at our church, "how do we do well at ushering and greeting?" specifically because we want to help newcomers feel welcome and help them get connected to others quickly at our church. I'm just looking for things you do at your church that have worked well, or perhaps experiences you may have had visiting other churches where you have felt welcomed. Thanks!
Hospitality
Q&A
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What is the best way to create a collection of family pictures for the church's book?

For as long as I can remember my parents' church has put together a book with pictures of every family every 3-5 years, and the process always goes something like: -Choose a national company to take photos (they don't charge for the session or the resulting book) -Family schedules a time to come sit in front of a neutral screen, all lay their hands on eachother's shoulders or arms and smile for the camera. -The national company tries to sell them photos beyond what will go in the book. -Several months later everyone in the church receives a book. I understand that this is a very cost...
Let's Talk About...
Q&A
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What are best practices for conducting a Congregational Meeting dealing with controversial issues?

I am a first term elder and council clerk who is now going to be partly responsible for guiding discussion and voting on a few "hot button" issues - selling a parsonage in order to fund new ministries and a renovation/addition, as well as gathering perspectives now and voting in May on building a small barrier-free addition to our church. Do those of you who are experienced in conducting and fielding questions in this type of situation have any hints for keeping the discussion on a helpful track, or any words of wisdom on what to say and what to avoid? I am starting to sweat!
Let's Talk About...
Q&A
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How have you dealt with resolving sibling resentment?

Let's face it, having a child with a disability affects the whole family. As parents, we legitimately need to give extra time and attention to a child who struggles with physical, intellectual, or emotional challenges. What are some ways you've dealt with resentment from your other children for the amount of attention your special needs child is given? I would love to hear not only from families whose children are still at home, but also from families whose children are grown. Parents of adult children with disabilities still continue to give them a large percentage of their time - especially...
Disability Concerns
Q&A
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Where can I find pastor job descriptions?

To do a proper evaluation of a Pastor we need to be clear what his/her responsibilities and job functions and (our) expectations really are. I guess I could look at ads in the Banner for Pastors but not sure they reflect what I am looking for.
Pastors
Q&A
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When a pastor leaves a church, for any reason, what are the implications for church staff?

When a pastor leaves a church, for any reason, such as taking a call to another church, retirement, leaving the ministry, what are the implications for the remaining staff at that church? How do they continue doing ministry? Do they now have a new "leader?" Where do they look for direction? If you have experienced that situation and could guide others going through it, I'd like to hear from you, and I think others would, too. Are there resources, such as articles or books, that might inform that time of transition? This topic came up at a recent meeting of the Staff Ministry Committee (SMC)...
Leadership Development
Q&A
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Is there a central website where those interested in CRC Leadership Development Networks can share best practices?

I am just wondering if there is a central website where those who are interested in CRC Leadership Development Networks can share best practices and the like when it comes to ministry training. I would love to hear updates, celebrations, etc. from those who have felt God's call on their lives to be more involved in ministry.I hear LDNs referred to occasionally, but is there a central online "meetingplace" for those involved?
Leadership Development
Q&A
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Who has information on how to handle the training and support for the Council/Elder chairman?

To be council chair or officer can be a daunting and lonely task - especially for your first time. We are forming an area group of leaders from 6 to 8 local churches. We are seeking input and/or materials to help us be more effective in our roles and to train our replacements and get them up to speed so that they can be more effective right from the start of their tenure. There seems to be a couple of key elements that would be most helpful in carrying out these duties effectively; a) to provide continuity to the leadership and vision of the council with the scheduled "churn" of 1/3 of the...
Leadership Development
Q&A
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What types of ministry are people doing as a Ministry Associate?

Greeting, I thought I would post something here right away. Yes I am ordained as a Ministry Associate. Have been for about 4 years. Curious how this forum will work. I am also especially curious to hear about how people are doing ministry are doing ministry as a Ministry Associate. I work as an community worker and evangelist in a type of 2nd staff position in an established church. Mark Van Drunen
Pastors
Q&A
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What are the requirements for becoming a Chaplain?

I have been inquiring about becoming a Chaplin through my local church, BCRC (Bradenton Christian Reformed Church). I am a member of a local motorcycle club who is in need of a club Chaplin. I feel this would be an incredible opportunity to minister to a fairly large group of folks who are for the most part un-churched. I haven’t so far be given any real direction or answers as far as the what and how’s are concerned. Is there anyone here who can help me find the right path or give me some information?
Chaplaincy
Q&A
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What's the best way for an Army Chaplain to stay connected to their sponsoring church?

I have been thinking for the past couple of years now, about how connected I feel to my local church. I am an Army Chaplain, so I am geographically removed from my sponsoring Church. In some ways, this has led to a sense of disconnection. It places a burden on my heart to stay connected with the families that I love, yet I struggle with the best way to do that. So far, connection has consisted of sending in the occasional prayer request or update when something is changing and submitting my annual report and having a telephone conference with the board. Duty and Deployment messed up my...
Chaplaincy
Q&A
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Is it appropriate to use the tithe 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 .
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
Q&A
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What's the best way to do a Membership class for both new and transfer members and what resources do you use?

First, do you have a membership class targetted to adults coming into your church as new believers, from other CRC's, and/or denominations? Second, what materials do you use for that (self-made, denominational resource, video, etc.)? I've been using Louis Tamminga's booklet Church Membership and You . But it has recently gone out of print. I know it's been made available in PDF format, but it's inconvenient and expensive to print/copy/assemble. Still, I like the organization of the booklet, and the brevity with which it covers the topics. My practice is to invite everyone wanting to explore...
Pastors
Q&A
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8 comments

What are some good study materials for learning about the Holy Spirit?

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 utilize as we learn together. Does anyone have some suggestions for me? Thanks! Tony Meyer
Pastors
Q&A
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How does your council and congregation go about selecting eligible candidates to serve as deacons and elders?

Perhaps the powers that be could also link/add this to the elders forum. I am studying and would like to write about the process church councils engage in every spring or fall as they nominate potential elders or deacons (depending on when you rotate officebearers). Part of the writing I will do will be a discussion about the positives and negatives surrounding the election process of elders or deacons. Some churches use the more or less "traditional" election process where the congregation votes on a slate provided by the Council. Others use the lot process, provided that they follow the...
Pastors
Q&A
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3 comments

What are some best practices for filing sermons?

Just finished filing some sermons. It made me wonder, "How many people file a hard copy of their sermons anymore?" I'm wondering if I need to consider a well-backed up copy on my computer good enough. What are some of your practices? I currently: 1)File the hard copy of the preached sermon. 2) Enter the text, sermon title, date, location, series (if applicable), and some quick topic notes in a spreadsheet. Looking forward to hearing from some of you. Or else will listen to the crickets chirp as a wait.
Pastors

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