If your church is looking to meet a need in the community and your campus includes ample green space, consider setting aside space for a garden where families can scatter or bury the cremated remains of their loved ones.
I am the founder of ChapterNext, a pastor-search church consultancy based in Chicagoland, as well as an Affiliate Professor of Worship and Church History at Northern Seminary in Lisle, IL. During my ministry, I have had the privilege of serving congregations in both the RCA and CRCNA. When I am not working, I am hanging out with my family or reading a book or fishing in the Upper Peninsula of Michigan or serving as the Commissioner of the Chicago Suburban Baseball League or playing piano.
Self-reflection is difficult. It encourages us to be honest with ourselves and acknowledge our limitations. It requires that we ask ourselves personal questions, the answers to which will force us out of comfort zones.
Throughout the history of Christianity, I've observed two models of church planting that I will label Frontier & Immigrant. Each model has implicit strengths and weaknesses. What is your congregation?
As I read through sermons by the great Reformer Martin Luther, I got stuck on a sermon from Luke 2:41-52. Was I concluding that Luther preached a good sermon but did not preach the text?
Praying the Psalms for the “whole Christ" enriches my prayer life. It increases my appreciation for the global church, weakens the grip of individualism, and brings to life Psalms I might otherwise overlook.
Recent conversations on worship fail to answer this simple question, “What’s love got to do with it?” In this volume, I answer that question and more by identifying biblical principles that shape our love as worshipers.
When I asked my class of nearly 30 students to pick their #1 line from the Confessions of Augustine, there was very little duplication. This list of their 'top lines' may encourage you to revisit this classic spiritual autobiography.
I've noticed that people like me and congregations like mine have chosen one of three types of relationships with their denominations. The third group (the newest kid on the block) may not be readily apparent to most.
This may come as a surprise to some, but a denomination is not a church. The denomination needs to embrace and affirm its true identity and sole purpose: to support the ministry of local congregations.
Most pastors will acknowledge that the relationship between their congregations and their denominations is tethered by but a thread. One wonders if there's a future for denominations, and if so, what's the way forward?
Thanks, Jeff.posted on: The Return of the Church Cemetery
Thanks for that response. I bounced the idea of a group in Wisconsin last night and they, too, confirmed the need and embraced the idea.posted on: The Return of the Church Cemetery
Just ran across these words from a sermon on the Holy Spirit by A.W. Tozer: There is more of God in Augustine's Confessions than there is in all of the books written in fundamental circles in the...posted on: Confessions
I wonder if that option was considered?
Thanks, Doug, for the suggestion. I don't know first hand, but such experiences may have played a role in the development of groups like ECO and LCMC.
Wendy, I am helped by the distinction between the church gathered (the local church) and the church scattered (individuals living in obedience to Christ in their homes, workplaces, neighborhoods,...
Darren, thank you for your contribution to this conversation. You encouraged me to do "some double checking and write in such a way as to how you see your hopes and dreams being realized in the...
Amen on the need for more listening and fewer surveys.
Me, too ... Still working on it, Wendy!
But I will add that when I served as a pastor of a local CRCNA congregation, the denomination supplanted the ministry of my congregation, and the...
Thank you, Eric, for your post. In my initial post I noted that the fundamental purpose of most denominations has been "to do more together." With your comment, and that of Doug, I more clearly...