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Sigh. A call from a Cadet counselor bugs me. I have a fairly thick hide when it comes to irate folks who just need to hurt somebody and find me a handy target. It’s the courteous and reasonable ones like this gent who get to me.

It bothered him that the September Banner devoted only a quarter page to the Cadet Camporee—a major triennial event that brings 1,000 men and boys together for more than a week. This year it was in Iowa, and I know it was cool (though sweltering) because a father and son from my church went and loved it.

Didn’t the Camporee merit more coverage in The Banner? After all, we devoted four full pages to Calvin College in that same issue. Could we have some balance here?

You may wonder the same thing. So I’m copying you in on my response, especially since the same question applies to Youth Unlimited events. Remember how in previous years we really highlighted those? Why did we cut our coverage down in this October issue while actually tacking eight pages onto the “Church@Work” section? And why do the ministry reports in that section mention nary a word about Cadets, GEMS, or Youth Unlimited? Aren’t those important ministries that play key roles in our congregations?

You bet! But they aren’t officially under the Christian Reformed Church umbrella (by their own choice). Nor do they contribute, like CRC agencies and institutions do, to make the every household Banner available to all CRC members. Bottom line, as we mentioned in our April issue, the “Church@Work” section is paid for by official CRC agencies and institutions to share with you, our readers, what they’re doing on our behalf. That keeps them directly accountable to us and gives us opportunity to pray as well as pay for their work.

Cadets, GEMS, and Youth Unlimited, under their parent umbrella, Dynamic Youth Ministries, aren’t in that category. So they vie for the severely restricted real estate available in “CRC News.” If, as usual, there’s a lot to report, we can do only so much with the space we have.

The Cadet counselor was more than understanding, so why am I still bugged by our conversation?

Because I’m unhappy with this present state of affairs. The ministries of DYM make strategic contributions to CRC congregations. They need to be integrated better into our church life on both the local and the denominational levels. Their ministries should find their way into the “Church@Work” pages along with everything else we do together. DYM should become a CRC agency.

Other denominations currently served by DYM could still benefit from DYM’s excellent services. Faith Alive, for example, is a wholly owned ministry of the CRC. Yet it serves as the official resource provider for the Reformed Church in America and supplies more products to other denominations than to the CRC. I think DYM, too, would find that integration into the CRC structure would enhance its ministry to other denominations as well as to the CRC.

The CRC and DYM should start dating. My Cadet counselor caller was right: these ministries deserve serious real estate in our churches, our denomination, and in this magazine.

So, DYM, waddayasay?

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