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Finding Balance in Classis

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?

Classis
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The Next Year

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  

Children's Ministry
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Signs That God's At Work

God seems to be offering our congregation a remarkable set of exciting opportunities in the past year.  It's certainly not that we've been working so hard to cultivate this particular set of events!

Deacons
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Does My Congregation Invest Enough in Youth?

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? 

Youth Ministry
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Living Out Our Values

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 

Disability Concerns
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Supplies, Room Names, and Learning to Listen

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   

Children's Ministry
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Chelwood Church Gives and Receives Blessing

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.

Disability Concerns
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8 Deacon Self Assessment Questions

Want a handy way to run a pre-flight check before serving as a deacon? Want to start a good discussion with fellow deacons? Want to have a discussion at deacons' meeting about "how we're doing"? Here are a few thought-provoking questions!

Deacons
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Cat? Turtle? Dog?

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...

Small Groups
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Two Books--Reviews: Both Bouquets and Near Brickbats

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.

Pastors
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Prayer at Classis

Usually church meetings begin and end with prayer but do not have a focus on prayer. Yet prayer is the way we communicate with God. Shouldn't our church meetings, even business meetings, incorporate prayer throughout the meeting?

Classis
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Glamorizing Disability?

I had an odd thought today. At least, it seems like an odd thought for a guy who views life from a wheelchair. Is it possible that I’m too dismissive about the issue of following Jesus as a person with a disability?

Disability Concerns
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Why Eldership Matters?

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...

Elders
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Why I Like Sermon-based Small Groups

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 ...

Small Groups
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Deacons Who Tell Stories

When we relate the Jesus stories to our economic behavior, we do not find obvious and easy applications.  And so we act as a community of discernment - testing our answers and our applications together.   We need each other for this vital task.

Deacons
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Three Year Olds

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.

Children's Ministry
Blog
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Give It Up!

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” ...

Worship
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New Youth Guide on Deck

Hi. My name is Paul Boice and I’m the new guide for the Youth Ministry Network. What makes me qualified to be the guide? Well, I used to be a youth and now I have two teenage sons...

Youth Ministry
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A Word from the Library

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?

Pastors

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