There was a festival and it appears that His disciples were downtown Jerusalem. But Jesus took it upon himself to make this sick-call.
Elders have played a prominent part during my ministry years. Foremost, of course, during my years as a parish pastor. (I served congregations in British Columbia, Alberta, Iowa, and Ontario). But then also when I served, for a dozen years, in the denominational Pastor-Church Relations ministry. It was there that I learned even more how important elders are to their pastors, and, broader, to their congregations.
Soon after I began that ministry, a development took place of which I had, initially, not seen the importance. I was regularly invited to lead elders' workshops. They became important experience to me. Many questions surfaced there. I made it a practice to always write them down. Still further along, I wrote little essays on each of those questions. All that, in due time, led to writing the ELDER'S HANDBOOK which enjoyed broad interest. Many councils gave the new elders a copy for their personal use. (Faith Alive also published a companion volume, the DEACON'S HANDBOOK, around that time.)
Following my retirement, I began a twelve-year volunteer ministry with Chr. Ref. World Missions. This enabled World Misisons to provide some pastoral care to world missionaries. My wife Jean and I traveled to most mission areas and conducted retreats for missionaries and national leaders.
Jean and I grew up in the Netherlands, spent several years in Canada and have lived in Grand Rapids since 1980. We have six children (of whom the youngest died in a traffic accident) and ten grandchildren.
The CRC has always been concerned about sounding a biblical testimony in the face of society’s moral issues. Yet even among Christians there are many differences of view-point.
Are you burdened by a sense of gloom that you cannot explain or fully account for? It seems that much of our mental health comes from community and the unconditional love of God.
As we go into a new year, I'd like to take a moment to pause on the memory of Rev. Ed Dosbon. Ed was a brother to all who met him, a favorite speaker, and a trusted counselor to pastors.
It is a busy time of year. But it is also a season of reflection. As we think to the future, can we be optimistic? King David was confident to see God's goodness in the land of the living. Are you?
From Simeon, “a man in Jerusalem”, we can learn how to celebrate the coming of the Son of God: with depth and breadth.
It seems almost unimaginable to us to recognize in this humble woman the Mother of our Lord. And yet it is clear that Mary had a very unique role.
One cannot escape the impression that Joseph was a quiet, caring and thoughtful man. In these competitive days the world needs more Josephs.
The Webster Dictionary tells us that 'to thank' comes from the same root as 'to think'. Therefore, thankfulness is a habit and a practice that can grow.
The Office of Pastor Church Relations would have helpful resources (firstname.lastname@example.org) or you could check out my book "The Elders Handbook" (available to order here...
Thank you Phil and Ron for your comments. Much appreciated!
In response to Ron, your remarks are well taken. Indeed, the care and services of Joseph around the first season of our Savior's...posted on: Joseph - Our Man
There are some basics here.
The pastor must divide his time three ways:Personal time. For those who are married: this will be a very important part of the family life. (Some pastors...
Mr. Knight's criticism of CRC ministers is couched in absolute terms. All across the CR world in Canada preaching is so bad, he implies, that members leave in alarming numbers.
Criticism in...posted on: Our biggest problem: Poor preaching
Norm Visser brings up a topic to which many can relate: Classis meetings are generally not exciting (though they can be and have been),
But picture their absence. Regional churches would...posted on: What for (Again)?
My sincere thanks to the six people -- Ed Gabrielse, Mark Vande Zande, Kathy Smith, George Vink, Pete Vande Beek, and Jeff Brower -- who commented on my article regarding the practice of Mutual...posted on: A Strange Practice With a Strange Name
Thanks so much for sharing these observations with your readers, Gwyneth! I had not (yet) taken note of this book. To share this important type of information is exactly what these columns are for...posted on: How to Shepherd God's People Like Jesus
O Lord, support us all the day long of this troubled life,
until the shadows lengthen,
and the evening comes,
and the busy world is hushed,
and...posted on: Internet Culture
My sincere thanks to Lubbert van der Laan, Wendy Hammond, Edward Gabrielse, and Todd Zuidema. And to all who read and pondered the challenges of serving God. This is not the place and time for me...posted on: Activating the Inactive
Thank you, Norman, for these helpful lines! You have entered upon a strategic ministry. You did it with vision and trust. Our prayers accompany you and your fellow-...posted on: Classical Renewal Prairie Style