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Blog
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Mother Teresa and Pastors Today

Let's learn from the Roman Catholic masters from whom we separated--and whom we villainized for many years. Perhaps one spiritual benefit of ecumenism for all Christians is to examine ourselves, scour our motives, use the agonizingly slow, maddening wheels of the church to move with us and we pastors and leaders with them.

Pastors
Blog
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Marking Time

This is a time of new beginnings and a time to pause, reflect, and take note of the many fears and concerns in the lives of those we worship with and also the ways we are blessed as God’s church and then name those within the context of worship. 

Worship
Blog
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Great Resource

The old "word/deed" division has vexed us for many years.   In my opinion, it's just not really a biblical distinction.  Words can demonstrate and deeds communicate.

Deacons
Blog
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NEXT! Global Outreach for a New Generation

Last week's blog reflected on generational differences in approach to missions.  Dr. David Livermore of the Global Learning Center at Cornerstone University is one of the leading experts in short term missions and cultural intelligence which are key issues for youth and intergenerational mission teams.  He will be the keynote speaker at a conference on these topics on October 30 at Ivanrest CRC, Grandville, Michigan. 

Global Mission
Blog
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Feature Focus: Email Addresses at Your Domain

Another simple and quick way to add value to your church is to have email addresses at the church’s domain. Many times church staff or leaders create email accounts with the provider of their internet service, or through free providers like Yahoo (Yahoo email), Google (Gmail), or Microsoft (Live Mail, Hotmail).

Church Communications
Blog
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My Imaginary Friend

As a small group leader, I want to be more like my Garmin GPS than a map. I don’t want to merely be an information source. My role is to guide my group to the desired destination of life application.

Small Groups
Blog
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Sharing Sidebar [Feature]

 Happy day - we finally got our new sharing sidebar live. And just in time for the fall ministry season so you can share Network pages with ministry leaders in your church. It looks like this:

Network News
Blog
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On the Job Training

Teacher training is hard. Attempting to schedule even one meeting to kick off the beginning of the season can create a calendar crisis...So why not zero in on the brand new leaders and give them a little personal attention?

Children's Ministry
Blog
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Your Church's Online Presence: Get Past the Planning and Jump in

Over two decades ago Nike coined the phrase "Just do it". While this has taken on numerous meanings, the original meaning still rings true: even if it's not going to be perfect or close to perfect, just do it anyways. If you are waiting for the perfect moment and for everything to come together perfectly, it's probably not going to. Instead, take the first small steps, and go from there.

Church Communications
Blog
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Four Steps to a Great Deacons' Meeting!

 First, there’s just no getting around it, somebody has to do some good preparation, and that usually falls to the chair.  If you are not the chair, offer to help; this business of having better meetings  involves taking responsibility – stepping up to the tasks.

Deacons
Blog
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From Stranger to Friend

We are strangers to each other. We know each other’s names. We can sketch some truths about the other out. But more often than not there are secrets so deep and movements of the heart so hidden that we remain strangers.Hospitality is a way of grace. It is creating safe compassionate places to free the soul to become more human, where sinners are loved into wholeness and where the self-assured can become more Christ-assured.

Elders
Blog
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The Next Generation

Interest in missions seems to vary considerably by generation.  For many in the Builder Generation (born 1928-45) missions was seen growing up as an exotic activity done by a few spiritual giants.  For many Millennials (born 1982 and after), it is something that they do, not that they support financially.  OK, those are caricatures, but they do bear some resemblance to reality, right?  Several people recently have talked to me with deep concern about missions committees at churches with which they are familiar. 

Global Mission
Blog
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Spilled Salt: Flood

Perhaps now, we need another flood. Perhaps now, we need a Noah to build an ark. What I am referring to is perhaps a greater recognition, acceptance, and understanding of the Holy Spirit, for who He is and what He does.

Youth Ministry
Blog
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Henk Meets a Foreclosure up Close

“Herm, the deacons have been talking about starting a learning and discussion group about family finances. Your call makes me think we should do something and not just talk...

Deacons
Blog
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A Little of God's Work in Kenya

Mark Stephenson led several workshops on inclusion of people with disabilities in church life at a conference in Limuru, Kenya. At the third and final session of his workshop, a pastor stood up and said with great passion, "Brothers and sisters, we must do something about this. The time to act is now." Everyone then applauded!

Disability Concerns
Blog
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Facebook Worship

On the one hand it isn't the way church has ever been done before... On the other hand 2,000 people are hearing the gospel that may not otherwise attend church.

Worship
Blog
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Things I Learned On Vacation

What did I learn on vacation? If I had quit climbing that mountain, I would have missed an awe-inspiring view of God’s wonderful creation. I don’t want to quit on my spiritual formation, either. There are times when it seems really tough and too difficult to keep-on-keeping-on

Small Groups
Blog
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A Whisper

About a month ago I bumped into one of the daughters as she was visiting a local sister. I had recently visited her mom. We shared our experiences, wondering what stuck in her mom’s mind, what penetrated the formerly glowing eyes that only infrequently glimmer with God-knows-what powerful memory or affection. At one time the daughter sighed, “We all wonder what purpose God has for letting Mom live like this. Why is Mom still hanging on?”

Pastors
Blog
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Community in a Lonely World

 "There are three activities absolutely vital in the creation of community.  The first is eating together around the same table. The second is praying together.  And the third is celebrating together.” 

Elders
Blog
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What If There Were A Revolution!

 Could it have started while we weren’t paying attention? We didn’t notice the first sign – it was Overture 16 to Synod of 2010, followed by the decision of Synod to say YES

Deacons

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