West Michigan Pastor Asked to Be CRC’s Interim Executive Director

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Rev. Joel Boot, 64, announced to his congregation on Sunday that he has received a call—not a call to another congregation but to be the interim executive director of the Christian Reformed Church for the next two years.

Boot made the announcement May 22 to Ridgewood CRC in Jenison, Mich., which he has served since 1992. He said he would announce his decision June 5.

Rev. Joel Boot

Karen Huttenga

“It is a tremendous honor and an even larger responsibility,” Boot said, according to CRC Communications. “The invitation is certainly one I take seriously. I am trying to determine if it comes not only from the Board [of Trustees] but also from God.”

Boot has been in ministry for 39 years and has served four congregations, one in Iowa and three in Michigan. He has been a delegate to synod (the CRC’s annual leadership meeting) nine times. During his past three times (2004, 2007, and 2008), he served as president of synod. He stood out for his quick mind and ready wit, keeping control of the process with a light hand and gentle humor.

Boot also served on the denominational boards of Calvin Theological Seminary and what is now Faith Alive Christian Resources, the CRC’s publishing arm.

In a letter to CRC staff, Rev. Mark Vermaire, president of the CRC’s Board of Trustees, said, “Please keep Rev. Boot, his family, and his congregation in your prayers as they seek to determine God’s leading.”

If Boot accepts the position, Synod 2011 will be asked to ratify the appointment when it convenes June 10 in Grand Rapids, Mich. The CRC’s former executive director, Rev. Jerry Dykstra, resigned April 5.

About the Author

Gayla Postma retired as news editor for The Banner in 2020.

See comments (2)


Will someone please explain to me how seminary and pastoring churches gives someone the expertise to run an organization as complex as the CRC? Scrap the MDiv requirement and hire a proven leader from the corporate world.

John is absolutely right. Why spend 2 years navel-gazing and "healing" under a church pastor who is on the verge of retirement and has never been involved in running church agencies. A lot of momentum will be lost in rebuilding a denomination that is on the decline. The first urgent order of business of the BOT should be to get synod and the board singing from the same hymnbook re the direction of the CRC denomination and its overall management of agencies. Secondly, hire asap a younger proven management and spiritual leader (not necessarily a minister) who can lead the agencies and our entire denomination to greater heights of spiritual breakthroughs and experiences,and creating churches that people want to go to, not leave. Third, with the new leader in place do a structure review to minimize bureaucracy, maximize ministry, and build a management team where all denominational ministries are working together toward the same goals.