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When Bad Classis Happens to Good Leaders

Is your classis merely perfunctory? Is it dying like the village goat tied to the post? Are a few pastor/roosters using classis to play pecking order games? Is classis about some old men talking about "glory days" long gone? Tell your favorite classis horror story (no names please) or what you did to fix it. 

Classis
Blog
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What is a Reformed Charismatic?

I would like to think that I am a Reformed Charismatic but I wonder what that means. So, here’s one attempt to clarify the convictions of a Christ-follower who believes that the Holy Spirit is alive and well and that John Calvin had a pretty good understanding of the apostle Paul. 

Pastors
Blog
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The Ministry of Healing and the Work of Elder

Confession of sin is part of the healing process. It's important to note that this does not mean that a particular sin was the cause of sickness.  It does mean that when we come before the Lord with a request on our lips we also prepare to enter into the presence of God. Coming before the Lord is not a “right,” but a gift of the Lord.  

Elders
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Weightlifting for the Soul

Some call habits such as prayer, fasting, scripture memory, simplicity and solitude and silence “weight lifting for the soul.” They can be used to build up the strength of my soul in order to become more like Jesus. Maybe this is what Paul was referring to when he told Timothy to “train yourself to be godly.” (I Tim. 4:7)

Small Groups
Blog
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The Offering As Worship In An Electronic Age

We know that giving of our offerings is an act of worship, yet with the advent of electronic giving methods one might begin to wonder how meaningful this part of our service is.  How do we as deacons continue to create the space for people to enter into worship through their giving, even if it's done on a regular banking day?

Deacons
Blog
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Special Deals for Churches

Who doesn't love a good deal? There's that shirt you found hidden on the clearance rack or the coupon you used at the restaurant for dinner. In the same way your church can get deals on technology services and software. Is your church taking full advantage of all the available discounts and freebies that it can?

Church Communications
Blog
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It's All In The Timing

What time does your Sunday School program meet? Our Sunday School meets for an hour before church. We meet from 9:15 to 10:15 on Sunday morning with worship at 10:30.  This time has its pluses and minuses.

Children's Ministry
Blog
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Short Termers, Think Long Term

I want to encourage short term mission trip planners/participants to think long term commitment. We have talked with Steve Brauning about the "commando" mission trips, where a team drops in, does the work and disappears, never to be seen or heard from again... 

Global Mission
Blog
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Threats to Evangelical Christianity

The Pew Forum on Religion and Public Life recently completed a survey of evangelical protestant leaders and the results show a deep concern around the negative impact of secularism on the future of evangelical Christianity. Do you think your youth group shares that concern? It would make a great discussion topic.

Youth Ministry
Blog
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Global Worship

He’s got the whole world in his hands . . . This is my Father’s world . . . In Christ there is no East or West . . . Are these words just lip service to the global reign of Christ or do we look for ways to celebrate and learn from the world-wide family of God?  How does worship in your congregation reflect the Father's world? 

Worship
Blog
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Developing Christian Leaders - Necessity or Afterthought?

It’s not that we don’t have leaders; we just don’t have enough of them with the mind and skills sets to lead us through this particular phase of our church’s life and challenges. In the past we have produced a certain kind of leader. But leadership needs have changed. The outcome (product) needs to be different if we are to grow and flourish.

Pastors
Blog
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The Secret Society

Is your classis a secret society? Are only a select few "in the know"? Do classical committees have a secret handshake? The CRC opposes secret societies. Make sure your classis doesn't become one. 

Classis
Blog
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Ordination and Installation Services

What do weddings have in common with Ordination and Installation worship services?  As churches and pastors make promises to one another, how can we encourage both solemnity and delighted celebration?  What's the most creative, celebrative part of an ordination service you've seen?

Worship
Blog
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Deacon Training Curriculum - Is It A Good Idea?

When I became a deacon I got a giant binder of information.  I loved it!  The year after me someone got that same binder and was totally overwhelmed.  I wonder if a gradual training program would be a better way of introducing new deacons to their role?  The Office of Deacon Task Force is currently exploring this idea, and looking for your input!

Deacons
Blog
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Volunteer Scramble

As I scramble for volunteers, I look at the church directory and ask myself “Who am I missing?" I continue to be surprised at who God has in store for me to work with in our church education ministry.

Children's Ministry
Blog
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The Elder, Worship and the Church Order

The question has been raised about the elder’s role in the governance of worship... It is important for council to establish some guidelines in the area of worship if they are delegating responsibly.  In my experience, very little of this is written down in a policy manual.  The guidance happens through conversation and, at times, complaint.

Elders
Blog
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Do We Christians Live in a "Bubble?"

Circles of friends can warp into ethnic or denominational bubbles or even just plain Christian bubbles. And sometimes we are tempted to think that we have been sent on a mission to or for those outside our bubbles.

Global Mission
Blog
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Dealing with Tragedy

If you’ve been a youth leader for a while, you’ve had to work through the pain of tragedy and death with your youth group members. Whether it’s a member of your group, a family member or a friend from school, tragic accidents and death certainly creep into our lives. Youth groups are a healthy place to help students deal with their emotions ...

Youth Ministry
Blog
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Calvin's Contribution to Missions

Many have criticized John Calvin and his fellow Reformers as being indifferent to the cause of missions outside the bounds of what was considered Christendom in the 16th century.  A Latin American missiologist will be  

Global Mission
Blog
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Intergenerational Ministry: Breaking Out of Our Silos

We segment children and youth into their own programs of education, fellowship, and even mission so everyone ends up in their own little “silos.” It seems like a good thing—reach them with their peers, teach them at their own level. Let them worship in a way they can relate to. How can that be wrong?

Pastors
Blog
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Drama Queen

The denominational structure is a drama queen that too often distracts Synod from where its focus should be. Let's trying thinking outside the box. What if we got Synod out of the agency management business? Could shifting resources from the denominational to the classical level better serve the church by reinvesting in local ministry? Would local ministry flourish if your classical budget were two to three times its current size?

Classis
Blog
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Be A Champion!

Deacons have good days, so-so days and not-so-good days. Yes, we’re human. Being a leader comes with a weight. Having a mentor to share successes and struggles with can make the difference between despair and delight. So I wonder... are you a champion?

Deacons

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