The task force to study the Christian Reformed Church’s denominational administrative structure and culture held its first meeting in late August.
The task force was mandated by Synod 2011, following the resignations of the church’s two top executives, Rev. Gerard Dykstra and Sandra Johnson.
Synod appointed Rev. Joel Boot, the CRC’s interim executive director for the next two years, to assemble the group. Its members include
- Two members of the denomination’s Board of Trustees: Rev. Scott Greenway and Kathy Vandergrift
- Two members from CRC agencies or educational institutions: Rev. Jul Medenblik (Calvin Theological Seminary president) and Ida Mutoigo (director, Christian Reformed World Relief Committee-Canada)
- Three members-at-large: Jane Vander Haagen, Colin Watson, Terry Vander Aa
- One member of the synod advisory committee that recommended formation of the task force: Rev. Joel De Boer
The task force also includes Peter Meerveld, a consultant on organizational development, who did a review of the structure and culture for the Board of Trustees earlier this year.
Rev. Peter Borgdorff, CRC executive director emeritus, now serving as deputy executive director, was also named on the memo that went out from Boot’s office. Borgdorff, who was influential in shaping much of the denominational structure presently in place, is not a member of the task force, said Boot, but is providing staff support.
One of the first things on the task force’s agenda is to hold “listening events” in the CRC offices in Palos Heights, Ill.; Grand Rapids, Mich.; and Burlington, Ontario.
“The discussions will be in a round-table format with a member of the task force at each table to hear and record the comments and suggestions of [denominational employees],” Boot said. Those discussions will take place the last week of September and the first week of October.
CRC structure will figure prominently as well when the boards of almost all the agencies and educational institutions of the CRC gather in Grand Rapids the last week of September. The dinner that gathers all board members and senior staff will feature keynote speaker Anthony Diekema, former president of Calvin College. Diekema addressed all board members and senior staff in September 2000, speaking on the same topic. The CRC’s Board of Trustees has also set aside time to devote to the issue.