The position of Canadian Ministries Director of the Christian Reformed Church in Canada should be primarily about working with congregations and classes, translating the denominational ministries plan into the Canadian context. It should be about resourcing congregations for faith formation, church renewal, ecumenical relationships, and social justice engagement.
That was the gist of the recommendations to the Board of Trustees from Ben Vandezande, interim director of Canadian ministries, after he traveled across Canada listening to what church members want from the Canadian ministries leadership.
Kathy Vandergrift, president of the Board of Trustees Canada Corp., said, “This is recommended as a senior executive leadership position. It helps to provide vision, planning. It’s not a manager of program.”
Vandergrift was referring to the fact that in recent years, the director of Canadian ministries was often viewed as only supervising ministries unique to Canada, such as the three aboriginal ministries and the Christian Reformed Center for Public Dialogue. “This is a shift [to] dealing with all the ministries operating in Canada.”
Vandezande’s report recommended that the name of the position be changed from director of Canadian ministries back to Canadian ministries director. Another change recommended is to drop the requirement that the person in the position be ordained as a minister. Vandezande said it would likely be preferred but not required.
The Board of Trustees endorsed the report, which will now go to the Task Force to Review Structure and Culture. That task force is a committee of synod that is studying the entire denominational administrative structure, including descriptions of the senior leadership positions and the binationality of the CRC.