Participant

Amy Schenkel

About Me: 

I am the Great Lakes Regional Mission Leader for Home Missions, and currently serving as the interim Operations Director as we prepare to become a new mission agency with World Missions!  My husband, Henry, and I had the joy of planting and pastoring a church plant from birth to adulthood, and so I have a special passion for church planting.  I also find joy in Adventure Races, triathlons, National Parks, and doing anything with our two children.

Blog
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What Counts?

This is the blog entry where I turn everything I said in the previous entries upside down.  We’ve looked at growing churches in the CRC - churches whose attendance and membership grew by more than 20% in a recent five year period.  We examined the characteristics of those churches and evaluated their leadership.  We’ve thought about the issues that arise when a church is in a season of growth.

Church Planting
Blog
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The Growth Challenges

Any small(ish) church pastor or ministry leader who’s been to a conference at a mega-church knows the feeling: a feeling of guilt that their church hasn’t jumped to over 1000 overnight, and a sense of despair that growth is out of reach.  The conversations with these growing church pastors, however, offer us some reassurance and some challenges for us as a denomination.

Church Planting
Blog
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Growing Churches Part 2

Today’s entry continues with the factors that led to growth in CRC and RCA churches.The church was at a point where it was ready to take risks and to make changes.

Church Planting
Blog
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Growing Churches

As we all know, this five year span has not been easy in North America, with the downturn of the economy directly affecting our churches and their members.  And yet, in the midst of this crisis, there were 42 CRC churches and over 30 RCA churches (exact number not available) who showed significant growth.

Church Planting
Discussion Topic
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Rev? Pastor? Ministry Associate?

Hi all! I am ordained as a ministry associate, church planting with my husband in Grand Rapids, MI. Here is a basic question for you: What do people call you? Reverend? Pastor? Ministry Associate? My husband and I recently preached at a local supporting church. In the announcement he was listed as Rev., and I was listed as Pastor. The banner recently wrote an article about someone and designated them as Ministry Associate (name). My church calls both my husband and I "pastor." From my understanding, the denomination is trying to raise the level of ministry associate to be more equal with...
Pastors
Q&A
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What suggestions do you have for an Alpha youth program?

We're looking at using the Alpha youth program with our 7th-12th grade youth group this year (about 10 students), with volunteer youth leaders. What has been your experience with this? Any suggestions?
Evangelism
Discussion Topic
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add a "email this to a friend" button

I'd love to see a button on a discussion page that says "email this to a friend" then allows you to put in an email address, to whom will be sent a link to the page. (kind of like they do on a real estate page to show a friend a house you like). I was just on the page about "waiting for marriage" and I would love to be able to quickly send something to my copastor to let him know we could consider doing a sermon series on this.
Network News
  • Scott,

    Thanks for taking the time to share about this ministry opportunity with this audience.  I've heard of other organized initiatives to be a 'ministry of presence' in a particular...

    posted on: Not So Fast...
  • Thanks for this story, Mary!

    I think we can all learn a lot from children about not letting inhibitions get in the way of simply being present with the community around us.  I'm sure your...

    posted on: Not So Fast...
  • Thanks for these insights, Wendy, as all of us who seek to support our CRC missionaries, both locally and globally, are searching for new paradigms to help the churches steward their resources...

  • I'd be more than happy to provide the full report to anyone who emails me: aschenkel@crcna.org

    posted on: What Counts?
  • Thanks for engaging the issue, James. 

    Since you speak of recognizing the 'facts fo each organization,' I wonder why we count certain facts and not others?  We currently count how many...

    posted on: What Counts?
  • Aaron,

    I would email Jerry Hollemans (Home Missions Regional Leader)- he was the one who gave us the presentation about this church with multiple missional communities.  He'd love to...

    posted on: What Counts?
  • Good point, Martin.

    One article I was reading by a church growth specialist lately said that the average regular church attender in the USA today only attends church twice a month.  He...

    posted on: What Counts?
  • Hmm...that would be a great follow up question.  Maybe the new Worship Collaborative Work Group should follow up on this? 

    The conversations I had mostly pointed to the fact that they did...

  • If there was a "like" button here, I would use it. :)

  • Harry,

    I can see your point about the tenderness with which we have to address the role of the pastor in a growing or a declining church situation.  This research was done not in the spirit...

    posted on: Growing Churches