Synod 2008 honored Rev. John Rozeboom, director of Christian Reformed Home Missions, on his pending retirement in November.
Rozeboom, 65, has been with Home Missions for 39 years. He said his 1961 experience with Summer Workshop in Missions (SWIM) in Portland, Ore., and the example of a pastor-leader and congregation that was “sold-out to the gospel and to service in one’s community” inspired him to work in missions.
After his 1969 ordination, Rozeboom started ministry as a church developer in Riverside, Calif., before moving to the Bay area, where he served as a Regional Home Missionary for the Western U.S. He became director of Home Missions in 1986.
Rozeboom sees much continuity with the earliest work in Home Missions and also significant new directions. One big change, he notes, is the intentional diversity of grant-funded partnership for new missional ministry. More than half of all new ministry grants go to multiethnic ministries. “God has used Home Missions to support the diversity of the CRC today,” he said.
The Home Missions budget is about the same as it was more than a decade ago, Rozeboom notes, but a partnership approach that combines one Home Missions dollar with four to six dollars from other sources has had a multiplying effect, increasing ministries exponentially.
A member of Oakdale Park Christian Reformed Church in Grand Rapids, Mich., Rozeboom said, “God’s mission through Home Missions is my whole story.” Future plans include staying in Grand Rapids, enjoying the blessings of family, and involvement in some missional ministry.
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