As many have heard, there are changes afoot in the Christian Reformed Church in North America (CRCNA) that have some a tad anxious. For those who have not heard, over the past several weeks and months, the Canadian governing directors of the CRCNA in Canada served well in their roles of guiding and protecting the church by making changes to fulfill its legal requirements according to Canadian charitable law.
While these changes have been endorsed by the full Council of Delegates and have the support of our United States brothers and sisters, it can also be said that there have been some ripple effects that have brought some unease. So allow me to speak one calming word into what some are saying is a chaotic time to belong to the CRC in Canada.
To begin, reform is in our denominational name. The word “Reformed” is a descriptor of both “being” and “belonging.” As a matter of fact, long ago during the Reformation, people of Calvinistic persuasion aligned themselves to the phrase “reformed and always reforming,” indicating that they were willing to change in order to make the mission of the Gospel increasingly clear. Now is such a time for change.
Consequently, when change is demanded of us, Reformed people should not be afraid. Because, what results is an opportunity to clarify the mission.
What do I mean by this? The changed reality we now face will result in at least two good things. First, the Canadian side of the church will appropriately have “direction and control” of its own resources more than ever before. Second, both the U.S. and Canadian sides of our denomination will now have the opportunity to reform (realign, repurpose, rescale, relaunch, reconfigure) the structure and methodology of how the Gospel takes shape through our ministries.
Reform: To quote Ambrose University Gordon Smith, “effective institutions are clear about their mission. Dynamic institutions constantly foster good conversations about mission.” The changes rightfully demanded of the church as a legal charity (Romans 13), compel us into a board-approved, one-year conversation to further mission clarity. Ultimately, this will further define/reform both the “what” and “how” we do ministry, and provide heightened purpose to our collective work in both nations.
In the meantime, we would love to hear from all Christian Courier readers with an opinion on the “what” and “how” of ministry in Canada. Please send emails to gro.ancrc@adroord and we will make them part of the content we consider.
This article was made possible through a partnership with CRC Ministries within Canada.
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