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Blog
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Sidelines: Who Are You?

How do I balance the busyness of being a youth pastor's wife, becoming a mother, and doing what I'm passionate about? I am slowly learning, and the following are three things I've figured out. I would love to hear further thoughts and suggestions if you have any.

Youth Ministry
Blog
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On Reading Mel Lawrenz Whole Church: Book Reflection

In church council we are always concerned about vision in the life of the church. We are also concerned about building unity in our common life. This book addresses both. His vision is summarized as “engaging God, God’s people, community, and mission to the world”.

Elders
Blog
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Living in a Time of Radical Change

In a recent seminary class, we were reviewing key moments in the history of the church. My colleague Scott Hoezee asked students to think about what church life would have been like in six different centuries. As students reflected on each of these different moments in history, it struck me that in each of them public worship would have been led almost entirely by a single pastor, with the help of a single musician...

Worship
Blog
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We Need to Redefine Excellence in Worship

With the winter Olympics just behind us, the word "excellence" easily comes to mind. The athletes displayed brilliant excellence on the short track, the half pipe, the slope, and many other venues. After years of intense training with the world's greatest coaches these young men and women dazzled us with a feats of athleticism so that shockingly difficult maneuvers looked easy.

Disability Concerns
Blog
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Chair Wars

I don't usually think of chairs as a distraction, but at my church they are. What about you, what distractions to do you face in your Sunday school room? What solutions have you found?

Sunday SchoolChildren's Ministry
Blog
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Who Is Job Today?

Last week I attended the funeral service of a 54 year old nurse, daughter of an elderly couple in our congregation. Diane was a lovely person, giving care and love to patients, nieces, nephews, parents, siblings. As I was driving the two hours to the funeral with several friends, I became starkly aware again of the pain that invades even the most carefully ordered and disciplined lives. All my travelling companions are good, content folk, who love the Lord. Yet all had lost children many years ago.

Pastors
Blog
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Nomination Time

A name is mentioned. There is a collective hesitation. No one really wishes to speak. To open a conversation is to open the story of a mixed past.

Elders
Blog
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Both And

The appearance of this site created some interesting conversation about the relation of global and local mission. Some use global as a synonym for international. This site was developed with this understanding, but change is coming.

Global Mission
Blog
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Is the Flash of Adobe's Flash Worth the Cost?

Remember when websites used to have flash intros (frequently made in Adobe Flash)? Personally, I am glad when websites don't, and get straight to content. What about other websites that are purely flash like most restaurant or band websites? Flash enables a website to have rich dynamic content, however it also has several drawbacks.

Church Communications
Blog
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Virginia State Legislator Says that Disabled Children are Punishment from God

Long ago, or so I thought, people said that children born with anomalies were warnings to their parents that covenant with the gods had been violated. The Latin word for "to warn" is monere from which comes the English word, "monster." Thus, children (and adults) with disabilities were thought of as monsters to be feared, because they were proof that the gods were angered by violations of their laws. 

Disability Concerns
Blog
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On Good Questions

So I began to wonder what have been some of the best questions in the context of the elder’s work in the congregation. Leading the congregation in good conversations that create fresh consideration of the way we seek to live our lives faithful to God is vital to our call.

Elders
Blog
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Worship Leaders as Guides

As worship leaders we serve as guides. We can take the safe, pleasant, straight and flat path or we can chose something more challenging. The flat path is known and even relaxing; you can enjoy your environment without exerting much energy. The challenging path requires all our senses; it makes us feel alive, and gets the adrenaline pumping. It offers great vistas, many rewards, but yet demands work; it isn’t easy. I think in general churches need a mix of the two sometimes in the same service. There are times for stability and there are times for challenges.

Worship
Blog
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Spilled Salt: Breathing

My daughter has a cold. My wife has a cold. I have a cold. In our house, we are all learning the valuable lesson of the importance of breathing. Through out the night, my daughter (almost 6 months old) coughs and coughs as she struggles to get the mucous out of her system so she can breathe as she needs. The bug is going around, I hope that you escape it.

Youth Ministry
Blog
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Calendar Check

It's February and between snow days and special events your Sunday school might be lagging a behind schedule. Take a minute to look over the scope and sequence of the material you're using to determine where you are and where you’d like to be.

Sunday SchoolChildren's Ministry
Blog
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Pastors as Career Counselors?

Lots of things that pastors do are not included in any job description. For example, did you know how often you might be asked to be a career counselor? This sort of thing happens to me much more often than I would ever have thought. The questions I field about jobs usually don’t have to do with how much money a given job will pay. Instead the issues go deeper.

Pastors
Blog
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Local and Global

You may have noticed an exchange in the "How is it?" suggestions section about the absence of local mission from this site. If not, I hope you take a look and offer your thoughts. At the risk of oversimplification I'll venture a few thoughts on the relation of local and global mission as a former pastor and a former missionary...

Global Mission
Blog
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Get Rid of the R-Word

For the most part, the n-word has been removed from spoken English, thank God. It's offensive, demeaning, and reminiscent of an extremely painful past for African Americans. An equally offensive word is the r-word, which I'll name here only to make clear what I'm talking about, "retarded," and it's even more offensive cousin, "retard." Recently, President Obama's chief of staff, Rahm Emanuel, used the term "retarded" to describe...

Disability Concerns
Blog
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Reflections on Prayer While Reading HOME

Sometimes by the time we get to pray we have already fretted and considered. By the time we come to God, our prayers reveal the solution to our crisis. God give me what I believe I need so that this moment will pass leaving me with the “appearance of dignity”.

Elders
Blog
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Spilled Salt: Living in Community

One of my favorite aspects about being a Christian is living in community, being constantly surrounded by people who support me as a whole person – not necessarily because of my position, but because I am a fellow believer (I hope that’s what it is anyways …), and vice versa.

Youth Ministry
Blog
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Key Connections

It’s easy to feel isolated when you’re leading a ministry. If the attendance drops, a volunteer steps down, or parents are unhappy, everyone looks to you for solutions and direction. But who do you look to for support, encouragement, and advice?

Sunday SchoolChildren's Ministry

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