Synod wants to rethink deacons! The challenges of today's world demand that the ministry of deacons be renewed and strengthened. Churches and classes need to be allowed to structure diaconal ministry to address these issues:
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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?
Elder David Stewart, Classis Columbia, said that young people need to have real roles in the church. “We have youth on every church committee,” said Stewart, who pastors the youth at Sunnyside [Wash.] CRC. “We’ve started to see a shift in the mentality. It’s becoming their church, as equals to the adults.”
Endless solutions exists to make your church run better, faster, and more efficient. As with any solution, there's a trade off between using a new technology since it's faster or cheaper, and the usefulness of it. Dan Hotchkiss explores the difficulties associated with new technologies and the shift to digital in an article from The Alban Institute, titled When to Adopt New Technology
Although there is still much that North American churches can contribute to the world in terms of ministry among unreached peoples, leadership training, and the application of Christian worldview, there is also much that we can learn and receive from our brothers and sisters in the Majority World (Asia, Africa, and Latin America).
I mentioned in my first synod blog the anxiety I felt driving to synod and then how it seemed to dissipate with meeting and greeting old friends and colleagues. I felt like the sparrow protected by God's almighty hand. So I'll refer to these synod blogs as the "view from the sparrow's nest".
Synod for me is like a lot of training events. In one respect, synod is a friendly environment to discuss a subject matter that is dear to my heart and therefore easy to talk about. On the other hand, delegates, like conference attendees, often ask pointed questions and challenge the speaker's knowledge or the opinions of others. It is this second respect which draws out the anxiety in me and probably in a few other speakers.
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...
Paul desires a maturity in Christ. Clearly, to be filled with the fullness of God requires that the love of Christ shapes our very being. Jesus makes it clear that this includes loving your enemies and forgiving those who sin against us. Mature Christian living is not just a matter of experiencing Christ’s forgiveness but being transformed in Christ’s love to reflect the love of God for his world. Elders are agents of such transformation.
Ever wonder what operating system other churches are running on their servers? What they use for email? What solution other churches use for their staff intranet? What their IT budget is? The Church IT Survey is a survey that provides responses for these questions and forty others from over 150 churches.
The skies were grey, and the weatherman was calling for more of the liquid sunshine. There was a single puddle left over from the previous nights rain fall in the middle of the church parking lot. For some reason I stared at this puddle, I couldn’t take my eyes off it. Then a single drop fell, and hit the puddle.
Pentecost is past; the school year is winding up; and summer is upon us. Before you know it fall will be here. Many churches have a mission emphasis celebration between mid-September and mid-November, and now is a good time to plan those events. The scope of mission emphasis celebrations runs all the way from prayer and the collection of Faith Promise pledges to a nine day period with four worship services and mid-week events that cover ...
Is there any regular and routine setting in which the deacons are asked HOW they have ministered to the poor, and to the wealthy during the past month? Is the congregation regularly encouraged to tell stories about how they’ve lived out diaconal service? Are worship services planned regularly with references to diaconal messages, functions, roles, office? Is there a story to tell?