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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
Blog
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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
Blog
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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
Blog
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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
Blog
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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
Blog
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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
Blog
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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
Blog
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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
Blog
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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
Blog
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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
Blog
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Give Ear

Most people don't deal with conflict well or fight well in most relationships, not just marriage.  One of the biggest reasons for that is the inability to listen well, especially when it comes to conflict.  We're usually too busy thinking about how we will respond or why we're right and the other person is wrong, to even consider the other person's reasoning.

Small Groups
Blog
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Until Next Time...

It seems like yesterday that I received a call asking me to help in setting up the CRCNA Youth Ministry NETWORK page ... In some unique ways the NETWORK, guides and all the readers, have become like family. 

Youth Ministry
Blog
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Japan Missionaries and Their Partners

Missionaries George and Ruth Young live in a port city northeast of Tokyo, closer to the quake epicenter and more at risk from tsunami.  Although Ruth left for the U.S. to welcome a new grandchild just before the quake, George was home when it happened ... 

Global Mission
Blog
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Giving Each Other Cues

There will be times we are asked to rest, to be silent, to allow another voice to be heard. But if we don’t sing or play the part we have uniquely been given, someone else will miss their cue.

Elders
Blog
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Empathy Through Twitter?

Twitter has been discussed as a ministry tool, as a way to create buzz about upcoming events, send members encouraging words, meet potential new members, or even to discuss the worship service during the service itself. But what about Twitter as a way to develop empathy for others?

Church Communications
Blog
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Observing Lent With Kids

Though this somber season seems at odds with the boisterous nature of kids, it can be a meaningful time to talk together about the love, forgiveness, and hope we find in Jesus. Here's an article on how to help kids journey with Jesus through Lent.

Children's Ministry
Blog
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The Moment Is Now! CARPE DEACON!

What if deacons across the denomination began to brainstorm and dialog together about how to strengthen the office of deacon?  What if we blew down the mail box of the deacon task force with great ideas, incisive questions, and vivid stories?  

Deacons
Blog
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He Knows My Name

After singing the chorus they came to the part that said, “He knows my name”, and the little girl spoke her name loud and clear into the microphone, and passed it on to the next child, who spoke and then passed it to the next. How do you make songs more personal and meaningful to kids? 

Children's Ministry
Blog
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Discussion on Discipleship

Do you have a plan for discipleship at your church?  What role do small groups play in it?  At a recent classis meeting, we tried to have this discussion with some interesting results.  You may find this discussion helpful for your classis and church as well...

Small Groups

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