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.


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

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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
  • Our system of church government is officebearer driven (sometimes called presbyterian), not strictly congregational nor hierarchical like the Roman Catholic Church. Thus if the majority of the...

  • Michael,

    In addition to Henry DeMoor's comments, I'd add that it is very important to keep the big picture in mind. In other words, what are your church's mission and values?


  • From the introduction of the Church Order: "The Church Order is a document that shows how the congregations of the Christian Reformed Church in North America have decided to live together and to...

  • I took a quick look at their website and found two video sessions on their website. Based on those two, they have replaced the scripture reading with a prayer.

  • Hi Michael,

    CRCNA has not, as far as I am aware, formally approved (or disavowed) any pre-marriage or marriage or family programs of this nature. 

    That being said, my wife and I have...

  • 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).


  • 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...