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Karen Deboer

About Me: 

I work in Discipleship and Faith Formation Ministries for the CRCNA from my home in Kitchener-Waterloo, Ontario. Working from home may sound like I work alone, but most days are anything but quiet as I’m participating in video conversations with individuals or groups who are engaged in ministry. Those kinds of interactions are what make the job so energizing!

I’ve been involved in children’s ministry since I was a child myself and I’m so thankful for the ways children have nurtured and continue to nurture my faith. I think it’s that kind of cross-generational faith nurture that led to my interest in intergenerational ministry. I love it when different generations gather in worship, in service, and to learn from and with each other.  And studies show how important it is for God’s family to do together!

 

Over the years I’ve worked as part of a team to shape the children’s ministry curricula Kid Connection and Dwell, published by Faith Alive Resources. I’m also the author of the Home Grown Handbook for Christian Parenting and a contributing author/editor for the family devotionals You're Invited and God's Big Story cards.

 

My family and I attend The Journey church where you’re most likely to find me sitting on the floor asking wondering questions with a group of 4 year olds.

 

Interests: 
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A New Year's Checklist

Happy New Year! By now you are almost halfway through the educational year (stop reading and give yourself a hug!). But since there's still work to do, here's a list to help you get your New Year off to a smooth start. 

Sunday School
Resource
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Two Super Simple Advent Ideas for Families

I’m always searching for faith-nurturing ideas that busy families can actually do. This week I found two of them. Got rocks or blocks? Then you’re ready to roll!

Faith NurtureParenting
Conference or Event
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The Best Ministry Conference You’ve Probably Never Heard Of

The APCE conference offers more than 70 workshops focused on youth, leadership, worship, hospitality, social justice, and more. Ignore the name. Attend the conference. You’ll be glad you did. 

Faith Nurture
Article
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8 Ideas to Try With Intergenerational Small Groups

Spiritual growth can’t be programmed, but great resources are important. As someone who is part of an intergenerational small group, I wanted to share some of my favorite resources! 

Faith NurtureIntergenerational Ministry
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Five Pointers for Praying With Kids

We all have different “comfort zones” when it comes to prayer. Use these prayer pointers to expand your comfort zone!

Sunday School
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Best Family Fridge Resource Ever

The fine folks at Illustrated Children's Ministry have just posted a fabulous resource to share with the families in your church. It's a list of  5 questions to ask your kids (and each other!) this summer. 

Faith Nurture
Article
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Every Pastor in the CRC Should Hear This

Focusing our ministry attention on young adults has been a popular topic of conversation recently. But as someone who has been engaged in ministry with children for over 30 years, I’m concerned that we’re skipping over a generation.

PastorsSunday School
Article
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Confessions of a First-Grade Sunday School Teacher

This may come as a surprise to you, but Jonah wasn’t really swallowed by a whale. I’ve also discovered some other fishy “facts” that need to be reeled in. Read on to see if any of these tall tales sound familiar.

Sunday School
Blog
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6 Tools for Building Faith at Easter

Below you’ll find six tools to help the families in your congregation build faith at home during Easter. 

Faith NurtureParenting
  • Hi Jay, 

    Have you explored the Building Blocks of Faith as a ministry evaluation tool? It was developed by Bob and Laura Keeley in 2014 and ministry leaders who use it have found it to be...

  • Great question, Sarah. Some of the ideas I shared are free (the Story Prompts, the list of questions from the Storytelling Toolkit and the Faith5 devotional method) and most of them could be...

  • What a beautiful example of how one generation can call to the next. Thanks so much for sharing it, Staci! 

  • Hi Rachel,

    I do hear that a lot! And I know from experience how frustrating it can be to have to remind folks that children are worth the one hour of prep time it takes to tell God’s story...

  • This is a wonderful resource, Danielle. Thank you for including such great ideas for talking with children about how they can welcome and love the refugees in their community. 

  • Hi Eric,

    Thank you for your comment. What a blessing that your 3 grandkids are so eager to go to their church on Sunday. As a parent that’s a dream I also share for my grandkids one day!...

  • Hi Ben,

    Your comment paints a great picture of the unique context of every CRC and an important reminder of why a one-size-fits all approach doesn't work. I'm also part of a church plant...

  • Hi Scott, 

    Thanks for your feedback. Although I posted this to the Pastors page because of the comment a pastor on the Board of Trustees made about how he wished every CRC pastor was able...

  • Hi John,

    Yes! The list to which I linked is a list that's created each year by a Church Educator from the Episcopalian tradition and shared on buildfaith.org but in the toolkit we do plan...

  • Hi Annette, 

    That's a great question! I was at a conference for Christian leaders and heard that podcasts continue to gain in popularity. (Wonderful news for those of us who are getting...