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Relational theology creating dissonance for Doctrinalists

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Well, I’m not going to promise my brain a week off from having to write a blog post. Because instead of taking a break I’ve been overflowing with new thoughts, and now have produced a second one for the week.

This one is very crucial and timely, so I chose not to wait with it (I could have just saved it and published it next week, but it is relevant to some discussions we had at council, for instance, so I did not want too much time to pass. I believe it explains some of why some people have some trouble relating to and understanding my preaching style.

Here it is: http://wp.me/P3etrg-f3

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Listening in on a conversation about how church structures affect size

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This seems to have been a week of finding many interesting things others have written, most of which I chose not to share. This one is very specific to the CRC and talks about how the way we organize the operations of a church actually contribute to how big it is able to grow. And many other things. Warning, both my buddy Paul and Larry Doornbos who writes a good comment tend to be a a bit rambly. You’d think they thought they were getting paid per word typed.

http://paulvanderklay.wordpress.com/2014/05/08/how-does-size-matter-crc-edition/

Interesting church growth reading

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For those interested, I’m going to do more frequent sharing of interesting reading I come across in the course of my week. This is one I’m not finished with myself, but what I’ve seen interests me greatly. This is an interview by a pastor (It might even be the pastor from the youth group’s SERVE trip if I have my details right) interviewing a lady who did a study of what was helping established Reformed Church of America (RCA) and Christian Reformed Churches grow: http://yalt.crcna.org/crc-rca-how-does-your-garden-grow/

A browsing recommendation

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Today, instead of generating a post of my own thoughts, it seems fitting to introduce you to a site that is rich with Christian Reformed ideas and experiences and questions and thoughts. As the weather stays cold, and many of you have some time yet, it can be very worthwhile to browse this site to see what you can learn from others in the Christian Reformed Church. There are places for Elders to share and learn, as there is for Deacons, Sunday School teachers, worship leaders and almost any other category you can come up with.

The site is the CRC Network: http://network.crcna.org/

Take some time to take  a look around it, and maybe type in a search term and see if it has been talked about before.

Here’s a posting there that has relevance to some recent discussions on council:

http://network.crcna.org/content/elders/why-every-elder-needs-deacon

here is another:

http://network.crcna.org/content/elders/so-how-good-are-sermons-crc

And if you came to this blog today for something provocative to think about, take a look at this one:

http://network.crcna.org/content/small-groups/jeff-vanderstelt-talks-about-soma-community

Yes, I admit that I am partly doing this because I believe that Nobleford CRC is a bit isolated and insulated from what is happening in the bigger CRC world, and I am interested in reconnecting you with that.

That is it for now, but I am planning a post with some other interesting links in it for this week as well.

No original material for a post this week, but a few other interesting things…

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First, this article raised some CRC pride for me, hopefully not to a sinful level. But it was a striking thing for a study to find that giving as a percentage of income in the CRC is pretty close to double that of other denominations: http://www.christianitytoday.com/ct/2013/september-web-only/secrets-of-giving-church.html

This next article about running a church being one of the hardest things (similar to running a hospital or a university) is something to let the brain chew on: http://www.churchcentral.com/blog/11155/Leading-a-church-more-complex-than-leading-a-business?utm_source=NetWorld+Alliance&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=EMNACCC09132013v2 It also is thought provoking in the things it mentions that make it difficult. For me 2, 4, 5, 6, and 9 stood out, but 10 is also a demanding reality.

And lastly a website that ventures into dangerous pride territory again, namely one showing the New Hymnal “Lift Up Your Hearts” getting awards and compliments from many people: http://www.liftupyourheartshymnal.org/?utm_source=CRC+Pastors&utm_campaign=4284276d4e-For+CRC+Pastors&utm_medium=email&utm_term=0_c84d0eacb4-4284276d4e-52303645

A word of explanation: This week I am a little preoccupied with the final forming of the Transition Team, with planning sermons ahead a bit so I’m not scrambling after my week away to attend my daughter’s wedding (I also hope to attend the Kings University College Presidential Inauguration Oct 5th), and I’m trying to replace my car, which I was informed last week is deemed “not worth repairing” from hail damage. So by my own deadline of Tuesday night, I had no bright or pressing ideas for the blog, and went with plan B of sharing other info.

Pastor Pete