8 Characteristics of Successful Church Revitalizations

www.vanderbloemen.com
April 8, 2015

I have the privilege of working with several churches that wish to see their churches revitalized. This article captures in a concise way the moves that are most likely to bring life back to struggling or plateauing congregations. I appreciate the simplicity of the points brought forward. It is sometimes difficult to pinpoint the steps that churches/organizations need to take, but these are a great starting point!

If you are interested in finding our more about my work in church revitalization consulting fire me a note at robparkman [at] live [dot] ca!

Online preview of REFUEL now available!

friesenpress.com
June 27, 2015

I am excited to announce that the online preview of my new book ‘REFUEL: Strengthen Your Soul, Energize Your Mission’ is now available. I would like to thank all of my friends that helped and supported me in this project! The book is available on all eReader platforms and will be available within days in print. Thanks for checking out REFUEL!

Rob

Switch On Your Brain!

mediasilo

Check out this link to an amazing video where Dr. Carolyn Leaf summarizes her exciting discoveries about the human mind! Her work in the field of cognitive neuroscience confirms what the Bible already told us about the brain- that there is great potential for take control of toxic thoughts and have our minds renewed. Discover the potential of choosing to access the wonderful gifts God provides- love, power and a sound mind!

First World Problems!

blog.compassion.com
Feb. 20, 2015

Today is THE WORLD DAY OF SOCIAL JUSTICE, but if we are honest we have first world problems on our minds.

Here is a sample of some annoying first world problems I have experienced in the last week (get your violin ready!):

  • I can’t find the right light fixture that I want at Home Depot
  • One of our laptops has been invaded by a virus
  • My cell phone battery isn’t powerful enough to last a full day
  • I can’t find anything good to watch on Netflix

In the meantime, as you know, kids around the world (like the boy above who lives in a refugee camp in Kenya) are mistreated, malnourished, misled, manipulated and molested. Their daily reality makes our first world problems look very small indeed.

For the United Nations, the pursuit of social justice for all is at the core of their global mission to promote development and human dignity. And this year the theme is ending human trafficking and forced labour.

Without a doubt, one of the best ways to save children from the horrors of poverty, injustice & abandonment is through child sponsorship with Compassion.

Sponsorship ensures that children can be children. They can play and laugh. They have a community of people watching out for there holistic well being. They have people praying for them. They have people monitoring their physical development and ensuring their medical care. They are freed of cares and they have a full belly so they can get a future-improving education. They get help in recovering from trauma they may have experienced. They have their self-image transformed by understanding that they are of infinite value to God. They are protected from predators.

Sponsorship rescues children from the vulnerability of poverty, but just as importantly, it rescues us from our own first world self-absorption! I can honestly say that sponsoring children has been one of the best life choices we have made as a family because the focus is taken off of ourselves and put it on to small people in need of love, encouragement and development.

Sponsorship is good for the sponsored children- but it is great for my children! I knew this when one day our boys saw a Compassion child-pack with a picture on it of a boy named Nestor from Togo. Now, we had sponsored children as a family, but after seeing this boys eyes they marched home convinced that they would pool their own money and sponsor that little guy! I am amazed at all this is building into our boys in their formational years (so much so that I don’t even mind topping up their giving amount each month to make this work!).

It is time to put our first world problems into perspective.

We are happy to link you with a child that needs to simply be a child.

Sponsor a child today @ www.compassion.ca/ambassador/robparkman!

Make a brighter future for a child (and for your family too)!

 

PS- Sadly, not all charities are created equal in terms of financial integrity. When we checked out Compassion projects first-hand in the Dominican Republic we found out that the organization ranks in the top one percentile for charities and that it is always among the top ranked charities by independent auditors. This gives you the assurance that when you sponsor a child that the money is going exactly where you want it to go- towards the support of your child. For further information check out www.compassion.ca. We always encourage people to ask a lot of questions because your donation dollar is valuable.

Photo credit: Zoriah / Foter / CC BY-NC

How Is FB Affecting Your Self-Image?

Ever get tired of looking at photos of your other people’s perfect and carefully projected Facebook lives?

Do you ever walk away from surging FB feeling less empowered and more deflated?

 

Photo credit: dkalo / Foter / CC BY-SA

This article highlights a new study that shows a connection between depression and time spent on FB. Most people are not simply using FB as a tool to stay in contact with friends. Instead, they default into comparing their very ordinary lives with the highlight reals of dozens and perhaps hundreds of friends. Sadly, this constant daily measurement takes a toll on the users self-confidence and sense of well being.

Here are a few pointers that help you avoid the quicksand that is increasingly associated with social media:

  1. Decide what you want to accomplish in social media and then use it for that purpose only (i.e.- keeping up with friends, promoting your services/brand, etc.).
  2. Have social media serve you rather than you serving social media by spending less time on it.
  3. Derive your concept of self-worth from more trustworthy sources (i.e. what God says about you in the Bible, the true words of trusted friends, etc.).
  4. Do five things each day that move you towards the life you want to live (action trumps everything and fuels you with energy to go for the best of what God has for you).

Guarding a healthy self-image is central to living life well and everything that is important to you, so remember to filter every message that comes your way through the lens of the value that God places on your life. You are made in His image. He has given you gifts and talents- and the desire to achieve worthwhile outcomes in life!

Q: When does social media FUEL you or DRAIN you?!

 

Destroying the Work-Life Balance Idol!

joshchalmers.com
September 19, 2014

In this article, Josh Chalmers points us towards the goal of being as ‘fruitful’ as possible in each season of our lives. Work-life balance is best understood within our greater understanding of our life purpose and God-given destiny. Spiritual fruit (or outcomes) is the same as natural fruit in that we are not always aware of its development!

This is a great read, not only because of the content, but because of who Josh is as a person. Josh is a former college student of ours that is an emerging leader. He models what he writes about and what he teaches. He has a steady and firm passion for his life, his family and his professional life to bear as much fruit as possible to the glory of God.

Question: What is the biggest issue you face in terms of work-life balance?

Blessings and peace,

Rob

When the Politically Correct Dance Fails Us

CBC
Nov. 17, 2014

Today the world got verified news that another innocent person has perished at the hands of extremists. Does anyone actually believe that talking and doing a politically correct dance will end their violence?

This is not the first time the world has seen a disturbing evil and been forced to choose between action and inaction. Last week, I had the honour of speaking at a Remembrance Day Service in my hometown. My title for the talk was “Freedom Is Not Free”. I spoke of my grandfather getting on a boat in WWII so that innocent people were not overrun. He was injured and discharged, but other comrades were not so ‘lucky’. When people in Europe remember what Canadians did to end the brutality in their nations in those years, they gush with gratefulness.

Most civilized nations today have no desire to resort to force to stop certain movements, but unfortunately for all of us, force is the only language some movements understand.

If you were the leader of a western nation, what would your response be to ISIS, Russian invasion into the Ukraine and other human rights atrocities across the globe?

Three Skills That Increase Your Income

workopolis
Oct. 22, 2014

The economic climate is shifting more quickly than ever before! The chances are that the skills you learned in college need to be upgraded or replaced entirely. The temptation is to lament this fact, rather than recognizing and responding to the increasing opportunities that are around us.

Today is a great day for creatives and innovators who are vocationally nimble and ask themselves:

  • How can I re-package my old skills for a new market?
  • How can I upgrade my skills?
  • How can I leverage my skills as a veteran in my field of expertise?
  • What new skills can I add to my tool belt?

Photo credit: Julia Roy / Foter / CC BY-NC-ND

In this article, two of the three skills (writing & speaking, not writing code!) are cross-disciplinary skills that I have been personally developing over the last few years. I was encouraged that I was on the right track and that I am have increasing opportunities to coach people in those areas.

How might you leverage these skills that increase your income?

 

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Finding Your Sweet Spot

careerlifedirection.com
October 29, 2014

Looking to find your sweet spot in your calling? In this article I talk through some of the steps I have taken in my own journey towards a fulfilling and satisfying career. Check it out and find out about how to release your God-given passions and dreams!

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