Board of Trustees Get Strategic Planning Update

Andrew Ryskamp, director of World Renew-U.S., gave the Board of Trustees of the Christian Reformed Church an update on the work of the Strategic Planning and Adaptive Change Team (SPACT) to date.

The team’s work is part of the board’s initiative to “fundamentally reframe” the denominational ministries plan.

Ryskamp reported that along with compiling statistical demographic scans internal to the church and external, the team has interviewed denominational leaders and held nine gatherings across the denomination—as well as convening focus groups of particular demographic groups. “It’s been an incredible journey, and part of our process has helped us identify 14 or 15 key challenges,” he said.

Asked how this work translates into a ministry plan, Ryskamp said the next stage is a gathering of initiatives the agencies are engaged with as well as what is happening at the local and classis level. “I think the more we engage with churches in that process, the more energy we create,” he said.

In reference to the fundamental reframe, trustee Peter Noteboom asked, “From what to what?” Ryskamp replied, “First of all, posture. The fact that we went to these gatherings and said, ‘We’re struggling with these issues and we’re seeking input’ was deeply appreciated. Second, how . . . we address our current structural context. That will be an adaptive one. How do we connect meaningfully with the churches?”

Trustee Harold Postma noted that there is a disconnect between churches and denominational agencies. “There is a failure of a large portion of churches to own these ministries as their own. It seems to me that if we don’t address those issues, our goose is cooked. Then we might just as well cut agencies loose as parachurch organizations or close them down.”

Ryskamp replied that if the 14 key challenge priorities are addressed well, “We will get at what is needed.”

The May issue of The Banner will contain much more information about the SPACT process.

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About the Author

Gayla Postma is news editor for The Banner.