Board of Trustees Meets for Last Time

Early in May, the Board of Trustees of the Christian Reformed Church held its final meeting. On July 1, the group that will act on behalf of synod between its annual meetings will be the Council of Delegates. The Council will consist of 52 members representing every classis (48 regional groups of churches) plus at-large delegates. 
At its meeting the board

  • recommended to Synod 2017 a ministry shares amount of $339.48 per adult member, the same amount as last year. Ministry shares is the money received from local congregations for shared denominational ministries.
  • received and will recommend to Synod 2017 the name for the new mission agency: Resonate Global Mission. The new agency was formed by unifying Christian Reformed Home Missions and Christian Reformed World Missions, a process that will be complete on June 30, 2017.
  • elected officers for the transition period until the Council of Delegates holds its first meeting in October: Emmett Harrison, Paul DeVries, Don Draayer, Andy de Ruyter, Mark Volkers, Stan Workman, Cory Sytsema, Beth Fellinger. DeVries will function as interim president.
  • requested that Synod 2017 remember, reaffirm, and reinvigorate the denomination’s commitment to a comprehensive and integral response to people who are hungry, poor, or rejected in our world and in our own nations.
  • heard that registration for Inspire 2017, a denomination-wide conference to be held in August in Detroit, Mich., is over 400, with much hope for significant increases.

About the Author

Gayla Postma is news editor for The Banner.

See comments (2)

Comments

I'm pleased that the "old BOT" is at an end.  Its composition skewered the denominational perspective relative to the overall perspective of the local churches and members.

My concern about the "new BOT" is that it is too large, which creates the danger that an executive committee of the BOT will become the actual power, which could bring the situation back to the present.

The greater, more fundamental issue about the BOT is its jurisdiction, that is, what and how much it does.  I still think the CRC church order provides an appropriate governance structure for a denomination that intends to be "ecclesiastical only" (see CO Art 28).  For the life of me, I still can't figure out how Synod concluded it had the authority (under our CO) to create the BOT in the first place.  The effect has been predictable, which is that the scope of what Grand Rapids does has increased (we now do political lobbying, for example), and the attention/focus on the work of local churches has diminished.  E.g., we have more money for "social justice" but less for development of church school curricula.

The real solution to the problem, actually, is not a new BOT with the same bloated power and delegated (even if contrary to CO) authority, but to re-examine the church order and follow it, which would mean curtailing what the BOT does, and what the denomination does.

In short, the CRC should move back to being more bottom up than top down.  No, that wouldn't favor certain buildings in Grand Rapids, but it would favor the health of the churches and be in line with what our church order actually provides.

To quote James Schaap from a current article: "Let those who have ears, listen" (to Doug).  Doug, thank you for your continued thoughtful engagement in this vein.  I agree wholeheartedly with you and wish that the denomination (as indidividuals, agencies, administrative officials, and in her assemblies) would be willing to engage in thoughtful interaction/reflection on this topic.  Somehow we have gotten to the point where we quite literally have a denominational agency engaged in one-sided and cherry-picked political lobbying in the halls of congress.  If this continues unchecked, the damage to the church will be deep and difficult to quantify. 

X