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Tom this was a well-written article that I hope all CRCNA members and most importantly the Executive Boards of our Church embrace - especially #2 reaching out to youth in their way of learning. It is very important for a Congregation to continue to exist if it engages and connects with our youth. If you do not connect with our Youth, your church will die within 1-2 generations. I have seen this happening to many empty churches across Canada.

The other point I'd like to discuss is item #3. Create Small Group Opportunities - We tried this at our Church and at first it was somewhat successful, but in the end, it was a disaster and was one of many reasons our church crumbled and the doors were closed forever. There are many reasons, but the predominate one was the "superpowers" that some felt they gained by hosting or leading the small group, "The Saviour Complex" and this begins to break down the small group and then gossip and name calling and all sorts of negative impacts begin to appear. Have we ever heard "Well it sounded like a great idea at the time..." My advice to Pastors and leaders in the church who are thinking about creating these groups - be very mindful of what is happening in the small groups, watch and listen for signs of the Saviour Complex and then put an end to the small groups for a while and then come back to them later if the congregation is in agreement.

Thank you for a open and encouraging article!

Jeffrey Thomson

Can the author of this article point me to court documents, where Brian Houston, or Carl Lenz where found guilty of any charges - except a DUI charge? Did the authors and others rely on "Documentaries". Have the writers of the songs, or have the singers of the songs been found guilty of crimes? No, then why are we casting stones? Why are we relying on Documentaries as opposed to actual facts to lead us in our decision-making on the music, the worship music? Yes, there is an accusation against Brian Houston's father - not Brian but his father. 

The music, created and performed by the band is incredible. They bring the new generations 13-25 closer to God and they also touch the souls of many grey-haired generation people 55+ years old and older. 

So what if Carl Lenz and Brian Houston have made millions of dollars in this crazy world, congratulations if that was what they were aiming for and have achieved. So has Bono and band mates of U2. 

As 1000s of churches of all denominations are being forced to close their doors because they did not adapt to the world around them, that includes worship music that engaged our youth, let CRC not be one of them.

This does not mean we can not have some of the old and beautiful psalms and hymns from the 1500-1800s, no, rather incorporate both the old and the new songs into our worship!

Remember Jesus was considered "an outsider, a rebel, an oddball" and many other adjectives in His Ministry, and all of His Apostles were also classified as threats to society and were hunted down for their beliefs and sermons! Can you imagine what type of Documentary would have been conducted in those days!!

So sing like no one is listening, dance as if no one is watching to songs that praise our Lord and Saviour! 

I Surrender, Mighty to Save, Broken Vessels, Jesus I need You, Don't forget Morning has Broken either the original or Cat Stevens version :-) 


Jeffrey Thomson

Waterloo, Ontario

Just some of the songs this 62 year old enjoys singing.

Royalties - this is a topic that many people are not familiar with, as it is a complex system of payment to the Music Company and the Artist that wrote the song's lyrics, and the Artist that created the music, and the producers, directors, and anyone involved in the creation of the song. 

"The royalties question is a real one" it is a real question that should not be overlooked. It is part of the "Business side of the Church". Having worked in the music industry back in the 1990s, managing the systems that controlled the royalties. Royalties were considered a very real problem for many artists, popular or just starting out. In 1993 it was estimated that over 10 Billion $US in unpaid royalties were owed to 1000s of artists, including very large names! The late David Bowie was owed an undisputed amount of $35 million in unpaid royalties, with another $50-75 Million unaccounted for. I can not imagine the valuation of unpaid and lost Royalties today! The music industry is "cutthroat" and will prosecute those who do not pay the royalties that the music company "deems they are due from you and CRC". CRC is not off the hook either as the lawyers know who has the deeper pockets. So if you are a congregation that decides not to pay the royalties, then do NOT play the music - for you are stealing from whatever artist you are singing to as part of your worship.  Cheating is just another word for stealing - Remember the words in Leviticus;

Leviticus 19:11-13 King James Version (KJV)

"Ye shall not steal, neither deal falsely, neither lie one to another..."

Should your church decides to not pay but continue to play then your stewards need to be asked - have we paid our royalties? 

CRC would be wise, to conduct an informal audit - before the Music Industry comes singing their song of Pay the Piper! Worship Music has grown dramatically since the 1990s and the industry has not missed the sales of sheet music, album sales, and the use of Youtube - yes if you use Youtube videos for your worship, you have to pay for that use as well - each time.

In closing do not be afraid to play whatever your congregation and church decide, just remember to be honest about what you are doing. 


Jeffrey Thomson

Waterloo, Ontario. 

" Employed at EMI Music Canada 1990-1996"

Hi Erin;

I have been praying over responding to your post to make sure I do not cause any trauma or revisit any issues you had and have. 

First, I am truly sorry to hear that you suffered and still suffer at the hands of another. I know the feeling of having been physically abused by an uncle when I was a child. I can not know your personal suffering as that is personal to the victims. 

I do understand, that those who have suffered trauma(s) of any sort, will have triggers that will bring back those horrible days. I am sad to hear that it is music that is a trigger for you, specifically certain music. 

I am happy to hear that you are still worshipping and trusting in God. I have no solution to offer when those songs or triggers occur, but I do hope that your congregation can find a solution to help you as well as maintain a safe and understanding environment for you and others who may also be suffering. Maybe the worship team can mix up the song lists each week.

I didn't want to leave your courageous post to go unanswered, to make you feel isolated. You are not alone Erin. 


A little late to the table Michael, so my apologies. You may have already received directions, but if not may I offer a small suggestion. Before offering my suggestion, please note that I am not a lawyer, nor do I know the Privacy Laws of the State of Michigan. I do however have a background in advising Financial Institutions in Canada on the safe storage and retention of records, both financial and non-financial. With that said, please note, that every State, and Province as well as Federal laws and regulations regarding Privacy have changed over the years (50 years have seen a lot of change on this subject). I would strongly urge you and the Camp and sponsors of the Camp to seek out guidance from Privacy and Retention Experts in your State and Federally as well. Should you have had children or staff from Canada or other countries, you may find that their laws may impact what you can do with these documents as well. 

This can be extremely expensive, to say the least. Thus a "simpler" suggestion is to digitalize the documents and place those digitalized records (minimum of three copies), at a recognized Retention Company - such as Safeguard, Mountain Storage or any Government recommended company. 3 copies, 2 would go to the company that you choose, but to be stored at different locations, for disaster recovery protection, and the 3rd at your organization or bank vault with very strong protection software to ensure prying eyes can not access the files. While the initial costs are high, the peace of mind is priceless. Many of these companies can do both the imaging and the storage and save you some money in the process. 

You may be wondering why ALL of the records, can't we just pick a random cutoff date; say 25 years, 10 years, or 7 years? Not with some of today's Privacy laws and laws on Civil Action - legal suits. Let's say that you had a staff member who was documented for having assaulted a child back in the 1970's. Depending on the State of where that child was from, they could request and obtain those records, and if you have intentionally destroyed the records because you pick the wrong cutoff date, you could be liable even if you did not intend to.

At one financial company, in Canada, we were required to maintain all records of clients who were under the age of 110 years old - Life Insurance policies. 

Going forward, remember to update the capture and storage of the new records with the old records. 

Again, this suggestion is offered freely and should not be deemed as legal advice, that can only come from authorized and notarized professional members of your State or Federal Legal Regulators. If you do have some questions I am happy to assist under those conditions. 


Jeffrey Thomson

Rivals and Pilgrimages are common in many religions. What the youth at Asbury did was what happens in other religions and other cultures on a regular basis around the world. That it happened, is wonderful, and powerful, and is a statement to each attendee's own spiritual point in their lives today. Some attendees may have participated purely for themselves, others to be part of something, and others to be with friends on a journey. Regardless of their reason for participation, they should not be criticized. How it was "organized" or started is not relevant in today's mass media, instant communication technological world. Just accept that people gathered to worship for several days.

If you have ever visited Lourdes France during one of the festive weekends, you will be amazed and spiritually uplifted during the evening processions with 300,000+ other worshippers, young and old, from far and wide. 

What happened in Asbury was a moment of spiritual outpouring, embrace it, love it, and preach the spirit any way you can!

Peace and Love

Jeffrey Thomson

I have too many on the go at one time LOL. 

1. The Wisdom of the Saints - 365 days of inspiration. This is Wisdom overload, but worth reading to remind us of the teachings of Jesus through the Saints. 

2. Get Up Off Your Knees: Preaching the U2 Catalog - I'm on my 5th read it is very inspirational...hmmm Saint Bono?? :-) If your church is having difficulties incorporating "modern" music into their worship - here is a great start! Pastors will love the book because your sermons are already written :-) 

3. Proof of Heaven: A Neurosurgeon's Journey into the Afterlife - having had my own experiences with the journey, I was mentioning my experiences to someone, and they said "oh you've read the book". Truth is no I hadn't. There are many similarities that I experienced - especially the sense of Peace and lack of Time - Time did not exist, a strange concept for humans, especially Physicists as Time is instrumental in our thinking of the Universe. Each time I went, I was given prophecies, and each time all of them have come true - and one is in progress right now. 

I always love to read what others are reading and also what music are we listening to for inspiration. I just finished listening to Five Men Electrical Band "Signs"

And the sign said
"Everybody welcome
Come in, kneel down and pray"
But when they passed around the plate at the end of it all
I didn't have a penny to pay
So I got me a pen and a paper
And I made up my own little sign
I said, "Thank you, Lord, for thinkin' 'bout me
I'm alive and doin' fine"


Jeffrey Thomson 

It was hard to tell, certainly during the "Big Events" but then now and then.

I raised in our Group Worship sessions (smaller groups held a someone's home), that we should break bread together, and we had one of our younger members lead us with the readings. We decided to do this monthly in our groups at the start of the home sessions - to set our hearts and minds into the right place. 

Sadly our Church has dissolved or is in the process of dissolving this week. Sad because only a few years ago it was thriving and growing.

Allen - what is "a good Calvinist"? I hear that term more often these days, and everyone has a different opinion, thus I ask so that I can compile people's views and see if there are any commonalities that stand out.

This question is not meant to, be insulting or make fun of your comment it is for a learning piece.


Jeffrey Thomson

Thank you Sean for your feedback!

Yes, I am passionate about talking and writing. Yes I too have witnessed the online destructiveness in Churches, in companies, in school, amongst friends and family. But I disagree somewhat with it having to stay in the current communities. I think we will miss the different communities' views and inputs. 

The Network does have strong rules - yes controlled censorship - which in this case I think is required so we do not spiral into the internet wars.

Some of us are not able to travel - even to our local Church, so using a forum with pen in hand to talk and listen politely may help many of our members.

But hey, we just talked, we do not agree but we talked and listened and were polite to one another as Brothers in Christ should be, as He wants us to be.

Jeffrey Thomson

That is most unfortunate! Leaders lead, they do not deal with just the easy things, they must also deal with the difficult things, if not then they are simply followers waiting to hear what some other leader is doing.

I'm sorry to hear that is happening at your church. 


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