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Blog
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What Do You See?

Everyone dreams of a Sunday school where everyone comes on time, listens attentively, responds appropriately and loves to come every Sunday. Like in Lake Wobegon all the children, teens and adults in Sunday school are above average. Then comes the reality of Sunday

Children's Ministry
Blog
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The New Old, Old Story

This is the time of year when we start (or ought to!) thinking about planning for preaching, worship and teaching for the school/church year starting in September. I invite you to take a good look at the website for The Story to learn about what I think is a very worthwhile potential preaching, worship and teaching

Pastors
Blog
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Supervision or Feedback

Over the years I have noticed that many times the kind of supervisory conversations that take place on a council level, look more like feedback.  Supervision requires guidance.  Supervision suggests that there are standards to be met for which the supervisors are held accountable.   But in council, supervision is often handicapped. 

Elders
Blog
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A Number of "Firsts" Characterize Synod 2011

Synod 2011 will be unique in a number of ways. Because of the recent resignation of Rev. Jerry Dykstra, it will be the first in recent memory where our denomination’s executive director is not available to assist the synodical officers. Because of the retirement of Dr. Henry De Moor, it will also be the first in recent memory

CRCNA and Synod
Blog
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How Does Synod Work?

Most of our members know that synod meets once a year. Most of them are probably not aware of how much work is done beforehand to ensure that these meetings run well. Preparations for synod begin months before synod actually convenes. Study committee reports must be available to the churches by November 1 of the previous year so churches and classes have time to consider them and to respond

CRCNA and Synod
Blog
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Does the CRC Have a Pope?

Since synod is the highest ruling assembly, is it the pope of the Christian Reformed denomination? Sometimes it feels that way, but that question misunderstands the nature of the authority and function of our denominational assemblies. The Church Order, a set of regulations by which our denomination is governed, states

CRCNA and Synod
Blog
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The Feeling that I Belong in My Youth Group

We had a youth group that was comprised of mostly one high school. No matter how hard we tried to help those from other schools feel welcome, I don’t think they ever really felt they were part of the group.  Of all the challenges I experienced as a youth leader, realizing that some youth did not feel as if they were a part of the group frustrated me the most. 

Youth Ministry
Blog
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The Unsung Jesus

Singing of a Christ who challenges us to love our enemies including those of different faiths or ethnic backgrounds, to forgive the worst of sinners and then enfold them into our community, to take care of the orphan even those with HIV/AIDs, to be willing to give up some of the comforts in life in order to bring comfort to those who need it most; to sing of such a Christ puts us outside our comfort zone. 

Worship
Blog
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Bringing Up the Hard Stuff

You know there is a topic that NEEDS to be discussed. You WANT it to be addressed. And you KNOW it'll cause tension, stress and maybe bad feelings if you bring it up. What to do? Leaders in our congregations need to know how to help the membership deal with difficult topics in fruitful and safe ways. It can be 

Deacons
Blog
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New Guide for Sunday School

Hi Everyone. My name is Laura Keeley and I am the new guide for the Sunday School network. This is a great opportunity to work with you and to learn from you about Sunday School and other things related to working with children, teens and adults. I want to thank Jolanda Howe for the great work

Children's Ministry
Blog
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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
Blog
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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
Blog
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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
Blog
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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
Blog
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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
Blog
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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
Blog
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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
Blog
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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
Blog
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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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