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Q&A
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What sample forms are available that outline the CRC stance on refusing to perform same-sex marriages?

I am interested in sample forms to include in our church's constitution that outline our stand and refusal to perform same sex marriages. I have searched several resources and have not been able to find any such sample form. Is it neccesary to involve a lawyer to draw this up to have it included in our constitution? Can anyone help me with this? Henk
Church Admin & Finance
Q&A
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Is there a central website where those interested in CRC Leadership Development Networks can share best practices?

I am just wondering if there is a central website where those who are interested in CRC Leadership Development Networks can share best practices and the like when it comes to ministry training. I would love to hear updates, celebrations, etc. from those who have felt God's call on their lives to be more involved in ministry.I hear LDNs referred to occasionally, but is there a central online "meetingplace" for those involved?
Leadership Development
Q&A
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What does it mean "to submit to the judgment of the council, classis, or synod?"

Synod just sent the revision to the Form of Subscription back for further review. So, we are still using the current form. I have been reading and re-reading the form recently in an attempt to understand one part: "We are prepared moreover to submit to the judgment of the council, classis, or synod, realizing that the consequence of refusal to do so is suspension from office." What does it mean to submit to the judgement of synod? I know that it doesn't mean that office-beareres have to agree with synod on everything. But, it does seem to preclude certain methods of expressing disagreement...
Church Order
Q&A
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What is listening prayer?

ok, with the intro at Synod (Tues pm1 @ about 37 minutes in) to our new home missions director, Moses Chung, I want to raise some questions on listening prayer. How much do we do listening prayer in corporate/communal settings? In the intro, Brother James, pres. of home missions, said, " God spoke to us and said, "This is the person..." Now I know the scriptures do not say, "In 2011, the CRC Home Missions will appoint Moses for their director". So, how did they "hear Him? After hundreds of years of cessationism, that we refuted in the 1973 Synod, where are we at with listening prayer? Do we...
Prayer
Q&A
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What is the role and function of the campus ministry board?

Our board is researching its role in the ministry, and we're wondering: what does your board "look like"? What is its structure? How does it function? What roles does it assume? How does your board handle fundraising? Whatever information you'd like to share, we're listening!
Campus
Q&A
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How does a church shift from "needs-based" to "gifts-based" ministry?

Our church is thinking more about gifts-based ministry (helping people discover the gifts God has blessed them with and how best to serve the church and others) rather than needs-based ministry ("we need 3 volunteers for the nursery and 24 dozen cookies for the ladies tea.") Who has seen this transition in their own church? How did it go? Are you in this transition? How is it going? Is your church now leading a strong, gifts-based ministry, with people equipped and passionate to serve? Can you provide advice or encouragement for those of us working in that direction?
Ministry Coordination
Q&A
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How does a Canadian congregation get a license or permission to show videos and DVDs in church?

Are other Canadian CRC congregations and maybe also Canadian churches of other denominations facing the same issues as our congregation with regard to getting licence/permission to show DVDs or videos in church? Most DVDs or videos that we purchase at stores are sold for viewing by an “at home” audience of a few people. If you were to purchase the same item for viewing by large audiences, it would probably cost ten times as much because of the royalty paid to the copyright owner. It is possible for organizations or groups to make arrangements with the copyright owners for a royalty to be paid...
Church Admin & Finance
Q&A
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3 comments

Do you have suggestions for evangelism in rural America?

This is mainly a topic starter for rural churches in the States. I'm not sure how much this is similar to Canada, but I'd rather not assume. One of my passions and gifts is in evangelism. I've been used by God in many places in doing evangelism, training others in evanelism, etc. Yet, when I came out to rural America, I've found evangelism a bit harder than normal. I've learned that the stories in rural America stretch back generations, as do the memories. You don't just know a person, you know a family. And when new people move into town, it can be a bit hard if they don't know anyone or...
Rural
Q&A
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What is the best way to create a collection of family pictures for the church's book?

For as long as I can remember my parents' church has put together a book with pictures of every family every 3-5 years, and the process always goes something like: -Choose a national company to take photos (they don't charge for the session or the resulting book) -Family schedules a time to come sit in front of a neutral screen, all lay their hands on eachother's shoulders or arms and smile for the camera. -The national company tries to sell them photos beyond what will go in the book. -Several months later everyone in the church receives a book. I understand that this is a very cost...
Let's Talk About...
Q&A
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What are best practices for doing the monthly Pastors' reports to the Elders?

Within our co-pastorate, we are looking at different ways of reporting on our monthly tasks. Right now, we turn in a monthly report that gives date and brief description of our tasks categorized around - Worship, Pastoral Care, Discipleship/Education, Community Connections/Evangelism, Council, Committee, Classical, and Other. Each pastor turns in this 1 page report to the elders. It is particularly task oriented and seems to take on a business focus. Are there other ways of reporting that you have found helpful to maintain accountability? We found another denomination that uses 3 additional...
Pastors
Q&A
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How does your council and congregation go about selecting eligible candidates to serve as deacons and elders?

Perhaps the powers that be could also link/add this to the elders forum. I am studying and would like to write about the process church councils engage in every spring or fall as they nominate potential elders or deacons (depending on when you rotate officebearers). Part of the writing I will do will be a discussion about the positives and negatives surrounding the election process of elders or deacons. Some churches use the more or less "traditional" election process where the congregation votes on a slate provided by the Council. Others use the lot process, provided that they follow the...
Pastors
Q&A
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What's a good internet-based method for church backups?

I missed World Backup Day by a bit, but it's always a good day to talk about backups. I'm looking to setup backups for two very different churches: one is a traditional, small town church and the other is a very budget-conscience inner city church. Any backup solution needs to be drop-dead simple, both for the end users and the admin. Clearly free or cheap is also a must for the inner city church. I'm still wading through options like Mozy, Crashplan, Dropbox, etc. I was wondering if anyone else had practical experience with putting an internet-based solution (as opposed to tape backups) into...
Church Communications
Q&A
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What are best practices for conducting a Congregational Meeting dealing with controversial issues?

I am a first term elder and council clerk who is now going to be partly responsible for guiding discussion and voting on a few "hot button" issues - selling a parsonage in order to fund new ministries and a renovation/addition, as well as gathering perspectives now and voting in May on building a small barrier-free addition to our church. Do those of you who are experienced in conducting and fielding questions in this type of situation have any hints for keeping the discussion on a helpful track, or any words of wisdom on what to say and what to avoid? I am starting to sweat!
Let's Talk About...
Q&A
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Sticky situation: when is it time to discontinue a ministry?

Have you ever had to discontinue or end a ministry? What are the signs that it's time? How do you explain to the congregation that something is ending? What if you have a passionate volunteer, but it just doesn't make sense to continue to put other resources behind it (finances, staff time, etc.)? I feel I should qualify my question by stating that this is purely theoretical at the moment, I'm not actually facing this question. Rather it comes more from the perspective of how to best use a finite number of volunteers and ministry funds. Say we want to "make room" for new ministries, but it's...
Ministry Coordination

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