Rev. Jerry Dykstra, former executive director of the Christian Reformed Church, spoke publicly this week for the first time since his resignation was announced by the denomination’s Board of Trustees on April 5.
Dykstra told The Banner that he was not “forced out” even though others have used that phrase. “The Board and I came to a mutual agreement that it was best that I leave.”
He said he was surprised by the meeting on April 5. “I was not expecting to resign,” he said.
Dykstra held the position of executive director for five years. He said that during that time he loved engaging with local churches and leaders.
“The establishment of The Network and the shift in focus toward creating and sustaining local congregations has been both exciting and rewarding,” he said.
Dykstra said he is open to God’s leading for the next step in his life, and he is grateful that he had the privilege of serving as the executive director of the CRC.
Rev. Mark Vermaire, chair of the Board of Trustees, said the mutual decision for Dykstra to resign had nothing to do with the way he lived his personal life or with his doctrine, and that the reasons are properly confidential between Dykstra and the Board.
“At times in every congregation, the council with elders, deacons, and pastors makes a decision that the members of the congregation don’t understand or might even think they disagree with,” Vermaire said. “Yet the servant leaders of God’s church make a decision together—albeit at times with differences among them—based on what they know and are called to do. The BOT, of which the executive director is a member, does its best with the calling given by the church.”
The Board hopes to appoint an interim executive director at its meeting on May 5-6 or shortly thereafter.