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Advent Ideas for Families

Between the gifts, the Grinch, and the jolly elves, it’s tough for Christian parents to help kids focus on the true reason we celebrate: heaven’s come down to earth! Here are some helpful ideas you can pass on to families.  

Children's Ministry
Blog
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Expanded Top Ten Lists [Feature]

 As David Letterman used to say: “From the home office in Grand Rapids, Michigan; here is tonight’s top ten list.”  Well The Network has expanded our own “Top 10” section to now display:From the Community (that’s all of you!)

Network News
Blog
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Imagination Set Free

The battle is won or lost at the level of imagination. There’s power in imagination. The Holy Spirit’s power is displayed and released at the level of imagination.  What do you imagine when you think of small groups that develop... 

Small Groups
Blog
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Reformation Day or Not?

Is Reformation Day a thing of the past that doesn’t relate to those who haven’t grown up in the “Dutch church”?   Is it something that we should re-energize or let fade away?  If we stop celebrating this defining moment of the Reformation do we risk losing our historical roots which help ground us theologically?  What do you think?

Worship
Blog
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Smelly Leaders

Out of our shepherd’s heart we will begin to intersect our lives with the lives of those we’re leading even when it’s messy and dirty. Only then will we begin to smell like the sheep we lead.  

Small Groups
Blog
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A Wrap of a Rap on the Heidelberg Catechism

Last week a colleague of mine sent me a link to this hilarious, yet serious, rap on the Heidelberg Catechism. This "cat rap" as I shall call it, is the curious result of a challenge by C.J. Mahaney to rapper Curtis Allen. I hadn't heard of either of these dudes (the term seems fitting), though I've read some good things by Kevin De Young, whose recent book on the catechism occasioned Mahaney's challenge. 

Pastors
Blog
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Task Force on Deacons - Names Announced!

Let's do everything we can to make this task force a delightful assignment for its members.  Will you help?  You can start with prayer; you can use the Deacons' Forum; you can respond when they ask for help; and you can talk to your fellow deacons and council members about this task force.  Let the deaconal revolution begin!  

Deacons
Blog
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Too Occupied to Notice

It is around this time of the year that the demands of community life add up.  From school to sports, social life to planning for upcoming events, from regular commitments to unscheduled sickness, the moments seem to press in on us.  There is a simple consequence.  In busy times I default to the urgent.  

Elders
Blog
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Fly, Johnnie, Fly

I don’t think that the flight crew of that US Airways flight set out to bully Johnnie. I pray, though, that this incident will be another step toward people with disabilities outrunning the prejudices that they face daily.

Disability Concerns
Blog
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Spilled Salt: Name

Our friends, family and others who are close – deserve to be known by their names.  Our youth deserve to be known by their names because it is simply who they are. It lets them know that we are truly interested in them. It lets them know that we wanting to know who they really are.

Youth Ministry
Blog
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Getting Involved: World Renew Options

Constituency Engagement is one of World Renew’s key priorities. Many people are surprised to learn that World Renew offers more to churches than Peter Fish! Here are a few ways that we can help you get started or expand ministry at your church.

Global Mission
Blog
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18 comments

Mom's Dementia

Of all the things I imagine doing with mom, feeding her is not on the list. Taking her out for lunch, having coffee with her, giving her a birthday gift, sharing a laugh together, it’s easy to imagine these activities, but not feeding her.

Disability Concerns
Blog
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Hanging-out

I wonder if there is a spiritual discipline called “hanging-out.” Probably not, but I think I’m going to consider it to be one. Our small group practiced this “discipline” together  

Small Groups
Blog
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James Smith on "Buried Treasure? Reformed Tradition and the Future of the CRC"

I invite you to listen to this talk by Dr. James K. A. Smith, professor of philosophy at Calvin College. Both the talk and the talkdown are worth listening to in order to challenge and provoke us pastors, our councils and congregations to re-engage the richness of the Reformed tradition, but NOT traditionalism. I hope you find this as provocative, clarifying and ...

Pastors
Blog
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Young Leaders Say: "Promote The Network"

 At the end of August, a diverse group of 30 young adults gathered to discuss the CRC, its future, and the role of young people in our denomination. You can read more about it in the recent Banner articleConnecting the Church with Young Adults.

Network News
Blog
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Now HERE’S a Job for a Deacon!

Here's a church that has thought long and hard about the role of deacon.  Here's a job description that expresses that good thinking.   AND here's a job opening you need to check out!

Deacons
Blog
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Feature Focus: Online Local Listings

One of the most common reasons to visit a church's website is to find the church's address, worship times, or phone number. In fact, it is probably on the home page of your website so that it is easy and quick to find. It should not only be listed on your website but on Bing Local Listings, Google Places and Yahoo! Local as well.

Church Communications
Blog
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Deacon Henk: Reflecting on Change

But Henk wasn't falling asleep. Just the opposite, he was having a moment of sharp worry, thinking about his friend whose home might be in foreclosure, thinking about his church, thinking about his denomination. Might as well worry big while you're at it!

Deacons
Blog
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Kids and Their Grownups

Togetherville.com is a Facebook-like social network for children. I clicked the link to check it out and was struck by their tagline: “Online Neighborhoods for Kids and Their Grownups.” 

Children's Ministry
Blog
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CRWM Missionary Speaks at World Evangelization Congress

Today in South Africa 4,000 mission leaders are gathered to dream and plan for how to complete the task of world evangelization.  Most of them are Africans, Asians or Latin Americans, demonstrating that God has changed the face of world Christianity in the last century. Among the speakers at this conference is Ruth Padilla DeBorst, a missionary with Christian Reformed World Missions.  

Global Mission

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