2104 Campbell Street
Valparaiso, IN 46383
Office: (815) 464-9181
Mobile: (765) 237-7678
President: Jason DeVries (New Thing)
Vice President: Bob Wierenga (Wisconsin)
At-Large Members: Dale Buettner (Illiana-Florida), Scott Stephan (Illinois), Chad DeJager (Chicago)
The RCA has updated the Pastoral Search Handbook. This helpful resources can be used as leaders walk alongside search teams or as a team searches for a new pastor for their specific congregation. You can download this updated resource HERE. If you have questions or feedback about the handbook, please contact firstname.lastname@example.org.
Free Christian Counseling for Pastors and Church Employees – The RCA’s Board of Benefits Services Employee Assistance Program provides free, confidential Christian counseling either at at an outpatient clinic in your area or via an online telehealth session. Up to 3 sessions per issue are provided at no cost to any employee of an RCA church. Some common issues addressed are depression, anxiety, work-related problems, marital issues, family issues, substance abuse, and others. The 24 hour hotline number is (833) 244-2490. For more information click HERE.
NEWS FROM CAMP MANITOQUA Operation New Horizon: Storm the base. Capture the flag. Win the game. Join Manitoqua for their spring one-day paintball retreat on March 14 from 10am-4pm where you will play numerous scenarios on the woodsball and speedball courses. Throughout the day you will get the suspenseful rush of hiding at one of the bases, crawling your way from bunker to bunker, and dodging paintballs coming from every direction. Cost is $36 and you must register by March 10. For more information go to https://www.manitoqua.org/events or call the office at 815.469.2319 to sign up.
Registration for ‘Summer Camp 2020’ is open. Remember to register early for preferred dates. Visit Manitoqua.org for additional information and registration. Call the office at 815.469.2319 if you need any assistance.
Summer Staff: Camp Manitoqua is looking for ministry-minded college aged students to work on staff for summer 2020 at Camp Manitoqua & Retreat Center. Starting in November, applications for 2020 summer staff at Camp Manitoqua are available online at Manitoqua.org/jobs.
Work Day: On April 18, 2020 from 8:00am – 2:00pm Camp Manitoqua will hold its annual work day. To volunteer for Camp Manitoqua, RSVP to Leah Meskis. For King’s Camp, RSVP to Ken & Sarah.
THOUGHTS FROM WAYNE
Resisting the Urge to Settle…
I am a part of a learning community of pastors who are serving churches in rural Illinois. Together we’re reading, discussing and discovering new insights for ministry using the book, Transforming Church in Rural America by Shannon O’Dell. In chapter 7, O’Dell gives a simple definition of leadership: “LEADERSHIP IS…resisting the urge to SETTLE.” He goes on to say, “Leadership emerges when someone has had enough, when they say change must take place, and when they’re willing to stand up and be used by God to make a difference.” Furthermore, he says that to leadership “doesn’t happen by default; it happens by choice when someone catches a vision, seizes the opportunities, and then bends the knee before God as a willing servant to do His will.” As I read on in the book, I expected O’Dell to flush out more principles on leadership in the church, but he takes a sudden turn when he says, “I am convinced that leadership must begin in the home.” WOW! Have you ever thought about the ways your leadership at home impacts your ministry and leadership in the church?
Think about it. In the rural church people see your family and marriage more than in the city or urban areas. In rural America you see the same people at the movies, at the band concert, at the basketball game, and at the grocery store. Maybe that’s why leadership in the rural church has less to do with what happens on Sunday mornings and more to do with how people see you in the public arena. What happens in your home and marriage is the seedbed for leadership in the church. Leaders in the church ask the question, what is your vision for the church? Have you ever sat down with your spouse and asked the questions: 1) What is our vision for the family? 2) What is our vision for our marriage? God is totally into marriage and into family because He designed it.
Christian Muntean, who works with leaders and teams to help them grow suggests nine ways investing in family makes a leader more effective at work:
“Reduces stress: A healthy relationship with your spouse gives you a place to vent and receive support.
Multi-tasking: Family, especially parenting, teaches you to juggle multiple and competing priorities.
Develops perseverance: Building healthy family relationships requires a lot of daily doing what needs to be done. It cultivates the ability to endure and follow through on difficult or unpleasant tasks.
Teaches you coaching, mentoring and leadership development skills: Being a good listener, encouraging someone, supporting and guiding someone’s growth are core capacities in family and good leadership.
New networks, ideas and perspectives: Spouses and children have their social networks and perspectives. They expose you to a larger world of people, experiences and ideas than if you were on your own.
Resiliency: Resiliency is the ability to ‘bounce back’ from discouragement or defeat. Family can provide a place of support, a source of confidence and positive self-image.
Crisis management: Family experiences can teach you to stay patient and make effective decisions in times of crisis or emergency.
Negotiation skills: Family life allows ample opportunities to practice compromise, developing empathy, the ability to listen and identify underlying issues.
Conflict-resolution skills: Family life provides a rich environment for making mistakes, asking for and offering forgiveness, learning to apologize and own your impact and how to value others who see things differently.”
I would add number 10 – Continue to love regardless: Family life and marriage gives us the opportunity to live in obedience to God and love unconditionally.
Leadership doesn’t begin in the church or on mission in the community. It starts in your home and in your marriage. Praise God for those who are resisting the urge to settle but they are asking questions and making changes in their home and in their marriage to be what God created them to be. Jesus has equipped us “with everything good that we may do His will, working in us that which is pleasing in His sight….” (Hebrews 13:21 EVS)
— Wayne Van Regenmorter
LINKS YOU MAY FIND USEFUL
Elders and Deacons Are Hospitality Leaders – An elder cannot possibly be salt and light in the world if he or she doesn’t love strangers, the lonely, the misfits, and the disconnected. Elders must set the example for the rest of the church in forming a culture of hospitality (Phil. 3:17). While hospitality is not explicitly mentioned in the list of qualifications for deacons, it is the actual reason for the formation of the original diaconate. This article is excellent for a Biblical perspective on hospitality from our leaders.
4 Essential Systems for Church Leaders – Sometimes systems seem too corporate or too businesslike for the church. These 4 systems are ones that God often works through according to Eric Geiger and are necessary for our churches to become more healthy.
Hope: A Trait for Thriving Congregations – The Center for Healthy Congregations is now releasing date from research they have been doing and they are starting with the value of hope. Congregations are finding hope not in church growth models but by mining a virtuous mixture of the deep wisdom of scripture, the timeless resources of their particular traditions, and their own unique congregational DNA.
The Surprising Key to a Breakout at Your Church – The key to your church breaking out is for it to come to an honest assessment of where it’s at – or, in the words of this article, a “breakdown.” Once this happens, our hearts better align with God’s heart.
What Happens When Loving Others Conflicts with Our Convictions? – This article from the RCA’s Faithward newsletter seeks to answer this question by looking at the life of Jesus. We all encounter people and issues that challenge our faith and our convictions these days…this article looks to help us engage them as Jesus did.