Michael Vander Laan

About Me: 

I am married to Jana and have a daughter, Clara, and son, Nicholas. My wife and I serve at CrossPoint CRC in Brampton, ON. Jana is the Pastor of Congregational Care. I am the Pastor of Discipleship and Small Groups. I grew up in Hudsonville, MI, and graduated from Calvin College and from Calvin Seminary.

Interests: 

I enjoy music, worship, golf, hiking, backpacking, and skiing (downhill).

Q&A
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Do you have suggestions for a Small Group study to help teach some basic principles of community?

Hi All, I'm starting to look for a small group study or other resources for six-weeks that would be the starting point for a relaunch for our church's small group ministry. I'm looking for something that would help teach some basic principles of community. Got any ideas? Got anything that worked well (or not so well)? Mike
Small Groups
Discussion Topic
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Congregational Survey

I am in the process of (re)launching a small groups ministry in October in a church with 500+ members. At the moment I am working on writing a congregational survey to get a sense what the formatting and style of the small groups program should be.

Small Groups
  • There are a number of possible reasons a person will complain about repetition. Here's some thoughts, FWIW:

    1) If they complained about repetition, they were already unengaged in worship...

  • I would suggest you look at the Faith Formation materials, particularly the emphasis on children coming to the Lord's Table with age-appropriate faith. The situation before you could be solved...

  • While I agree with that the list risks alienation of those need to hear, there is another side of the coin.

    The list also brings attention to those who think they have it all together that...

  • Henry Dekker,

    I am one of the pastors at a medium large congregation. I will add my two cents regarding practicalities to Henry DeMoor's comments (which are spot on).

    Communication...

  • Keith, I don't see this working. The eventual result is that the same people are in leadership over and over. Someone could be president of synod 5+ times in a row under your suggestion. This...

  • A few thoughts.

    1) IN CHRIST ALONE is definitely a newer staple in church music, but it definitely has long term staying power. Any hymnal being published these days would have a pretty big...

  • John, you are right that that statement is not definitive for women in church office. But it does make clear the point that scripture is not clearly against it either. That's why we are where we...

  • You're about 40 years late. Synod asked what do the scriptures say about women in church office begining in 1970 at the request of our ecumenical partners/associations. The study reports (yes...

  • So Bill, if this new classis is formed, what will stop it from creating the same issues at synod that these congregations created in their respective classes? Does this actually solve the...

  • Kinda of funny you used the Titanic analogy. Looking at the Structure and Culture report, they cite handful of values: congregation-based (hey, you in the pew!), need to work within ecclesiastical...

    posted on: Deck Chairs?