Church Resources for your local ministry

Serving your ministry in Southern Ontario

Your Southern Ontario Connections Project team is here to provide tools and resources, coaches and learning events, to support and assist congregations in classes Hamilton, Huron, Niagara and Toronto.
Below you will find highlights of what is already taking place, and opportunities for you and your ministry leaders to become part of this shared-learning journey with other Christian Reformed churches.

To learn more about the Connections Project in Southern Ontario, please visit:
or contact:
Ken Bosveld, Resource Catalyzer, Southern Ontario
Lesli van Milligen, Resource Coach, Classes Huron and Toronto
Marian Lensink, Resource Coach, Classes Hamilton and Niagara

Hamilton and Niagara

Conversations have taken place with a number of pastors and churches in both Classes, and I still arranging to make connections in a number of Classis Niagara churches. I welcome conversations with anyone who is interested in learning about a specific aspect of ministry, through new resources, connections with others, and coaching. Here is a sample of what is beginning to come together:
Strategic Planning Group:  A group of four pastors/ministry staff have been sharing stories of what God is showing them as they engage in new ministry plans.  As strategic plans have been developed, this conversation focuses on the ongoing learning in the midst of adapting to the dynamics of change.
Small Group Ministry:  A group of ministry volunteers and staff from a number of churches are gathering together periodically, in person and on-line video conferencing, to learn more about small group ministry.  Each gathering focuses on a segment of group learning as well as opportunities to share what God is doing in local ministry.
Young Adult Ministry:  Some Classis Hamilton pastors have expressed a void in the area of young adult ministry.  Initial conversations are focused around gathering leaders together to encourage each other in the development of a ministry for this often overlooked demographic in our churches.
Please let me know if you are interested in joining in any of these conversations or have an idea for something that would enhance your ministry.  I am happy to engage in one-on-one conversations, provide coaching, suggest resources or connect you with others on a similar journey.
Marian Lensink, Resource Coach (Hamilton/Niagara)

Huron and Toronto

Youth Ministry Cohort – Part peer mentoring and part peer learning group, Youth Directors/Pastors in Classis Huron meet monthly over lunch to share ministry best practices and program ideas.  This group also reflects on books and articles about youth ministry in order to keep current.  Leadership themes and spiritual health round out our regular discussion topics. This group is suitable for both volunteer and paid youth workers.
Please contact Lesli van Milligen if you would like to know more, or join this group.

Other fledgling cohort groups that are just starting up include a group on strengthening congregational prayer practices and a gathering of churches interested in navigating “staff-led ministry in a council-based system.”
Please contact Lesli van Milligen if you would like more information on either of these groups.

Turn Ministry Volunteers into Leaders

We have received feedback from churches that are struggling with volunteer leadership development, particularly with aligning volunteers around areas of giftedness or replacing long-time ministry leaders who are retiring, aging or possibly taking a break.
Churches were asking for ideas, suggestions and best practices on how to ensure volunteer leadership can be successfully transitioned to the next generation.
If your church finds itself in a similar situation, here are some resources you may find helpful:

  1. Next Generation Leaders
  2. Reach More Volunteers
  3. 50 Ways to Increase Active Engagement
  4. Lessons on Engaging Young Adults Effectively
  5. Creating Transformative versus Transactional Volunteer Experiences
  6. A great book your church may want to purchase is called “The New Breed – understanding and equipping the 21st century volunteer” by Jonathan McKee and Thomas W. McKee. It will help you understand the differences in recruiting and engaging Millennials for ministry as opposed to Baby Boomers.

If you are interested in additional resources, coaching in the area of Volunteer Ministry Development, or in being part of a Volunteer Ministry Cohort where you can learn from others and share best practices, please contact:

Carol Sybenga, Program Manager, ServiceLink
800-730-3490 ext. 4249

FREE resources from Faith Alive

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and hundreds of additional titles and resources to support your local ministry.
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