Is it right that congregations ask the question about classis: “What’s in it for us?” and then base their participation on the answer? Or should congregations be participating, not for what they can get out of classis, but for what they can contribute?
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This is my last blog as the Sunday school Network guide, but you’ll still see me posting comments and even writing guest blogs now and then. That’s because I believe in The Network. I believe we are stronger when we share ideas, encourage one another, and look for
If you’re asking this question, you probably know the answer. COULD your congregation ever invest enough in youth? I don’t think so. I know I’m preaching to the choir here. But having more money and investing in youth are not the same thing. Do you even know what you would do with more money?
On May 5-6, there’s an excellent youth ministry conference taking place at Western Seminary in Holland, Michigan. It’s called “Sustainable Youth Ministry” and it’s designed to help youth pastors get to the thriving Promised Land.
The National Association of Evangelicals produced a document in 2004 called “For the Health of the Nation.” It is not so much about health care reform as about the health of the United States as a nation. The scope of the document reaches far beyond the “traditional” evangelical issues of abortion and marriage. These are
It's always fun to visit other churches and see what they do. One pastor I spoke with this week told me about something unique that his church does for 6th grade Sunday school. The group meets after the worship service and spends the whole time discussing the sermon
When I dream about the church as a welcoming community of God, I picture a church that fully engages people with disabilities in its life and ministry. Some churches have made this a reality, but most are still on the road. Chelwood Christian Reformed Church in Albuquerque has done exceptionally well at including people with intellectual disabilities, so well that this is a significant part of their outreach ministry.
People approach small groups differently with different motivations. What about you or people in your group? Alan Danielson outlines how people approach small groups. And the approach makes a huge difference in both the group's growth and a person's spiritual formation...
Over the last month or so Mars Hill pastor Rob Bell’s Love Wins: A Book About Heaven, Hell, and the Fate of Every Person Who Ever Lived has garnered much pre-publication attention. A colleague told me that it has been discussed on page one of CNN.com and that it is vying with none other than Justin Bieber for attention.
In speaking about the Japanese struggle with its nuclear reactors, Peter Goodspeed wrote “But the nuclear danger may also be a direct result of human hubris.” ( National Post · Mar. 15, 2011) I suppose at least part of the reason I paid attention to this comment is because of other reading I was doing. The book is named This Time is Different...
Having been a small group geek for more than twenty years I knew that there were a lot of models out there that might fit, there was a ton of curriculum we could use -- some of it really focused on discipleship and mission. But I knew we needed to start with something simple and easy to work with ...
This age is a challenge for me. I plan something active, then a quiet activity, followed by something active again. Because these children are quite young I can go through many of these active/quiet sets in half an hour. Yet some days, no matter what I do, they lose interest.
I am all for spiritual practices and discipline. I’m just not sure that the act of giving up chocolate or TV for Lent can draw us closer to God in and of itself. Laurence Hull Stookey puts it best when he writes: “Lenten disciplines are not temporary deletions or additions, but spiritual exercises that permanently alter us” ...
We are “people of the Book and of the Word.” All good books, all good words derive from the Word of God, living eternally in the Word made flesh before time began. We as preachers and members have a happy duty to train ourselves in good words used carefully—not just in sermons, but in reading, promoting literature. Church libraries can help. Can we help church libraries?