While the Christian Reformed Church has much to be joyful about, its executive director, Rev. Jerry Dykstra, told Synod 2010 the denomination is also facing serious challenges.
Alive, vibrant, and well, the CRC is transforming lives worldwide with the gospel of Jesus Christ and the “cup of cold water,” Dykstra said, in what has become known as the annual State of the Church address. Dykstra also said the CRC provides thoughtful ecumenical and theological leadership that is much appreciated in the larger Christian community.
“I’m proud of the Christian Reformed Church in a humble sort of way,” he said, expressing joy at seeing church members of all ages “living in harmony with God and his creation.”
The greatest challenge facing the CRC, Dykstra said, is diversity at all levels—and he used synod as an example.
“I’m extremely disappointed that this year we have half the number of ethnically diverse delegates that we had a year ago,” he said.
Dykstra identified an increasing distrust of institutions and leaders as another problem the church must overcome.
“We need to find a way as brothers and sisters in Christ to support each other, to support our leaders, and to trust one another,” he said.
Other challenges facing the CRC, Dykstra noted, include a tendency toward congregationalism—“more allegiance to causes outside the church than to what we do together as a denomination” —and the danger of allowing political perspectives to take precedence over biblical ones.
But we can face the future without fear, he said, because the church serves a God we can trust for the future.
“We are on a journey together,” he said. “I don’t know exactly where it’s going to take us, but I know and trust that God will take us where he wants us to go.”