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New Network for Churches Launched


The Network, a new denominational program intended to connect and help local congregations, is becoming a reality.

Approved by the Christian Reformed Church’s Board of Trustees a year ago, the Network’s operational plan was presented to the board in late September.

A centerpiece of the Network will be a website due to launch in January. It will connect local churches to resources available from the denomination on a wide variety of topics—from how to be a better elder, to how to start a Sunday school program, to how to reach out to the community more effectively.

The website will also provide a venue for people to talk to each other about what has worked well, and what hasn’t, in their own church.

The Network will oversee existing denominational programs including the Sustaining Pastoral Excellence and Sustaining Congregational Excellence programs, as well as classis renewal ministry, youth ministry, and discipleship ministry.

The Network will also have an advisory council similar to those of the denomination’s specialized ministries.

Interim director Rev. Michael Bruinooge told trustees that this is a trial period—a time to see what works.

Initial strategies include encouraging meetings among denominational staff who offer coaching-related services, launching Internet networks for exchanges among congregational leaders, and identifying and eliminating overlapping resources in denominational ministries.

The Network plans to offer one-stop telephone access to denominational resources by the middle of 2010.

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