Mission Agency Directors Find New Roles

Two-and-a-half years after starting the process of unifying Christian Reformed World Missions and Christian Reformed Home Missions into a new mission agency, directors Rev. Gary Bekker and Rev. Moses Chung are moving to new roles. Rev. Zachary King has been appointed as director of the new unified ministry.

Chung said he is grateful for where the process is today, despite challenges along the way. “I sensed the Spirit’s leading from the start,” he said. I felt joy when I sensed deep unity in mission, call and vision and getting to know and work together with colleagues in [World Missions] with a heart for God’s mission.”

But he admits to being fatigued. “[It was] a long, hard journey,” he said. “I didn’t know how much time and energy it would take for those who are inside the process. Transparency, vulnerability, humility, honesty, surrendering; I had to practice [those] for a season every day. I felt sometimes God was saying ‘Moses, step back and trust me.’”

Bekker said he also felt “a bit weary,” but he is very grateful to see a strong team of leaders in place, an outstanding person appointed as director, and expanding opportunities for faithful, courageous, and growing ministry.

He also noted the hard work of the board members involved. “The board worked hard and well,” he said. “We did not foresee that Synod 2015 would adopt the changes to CRC governance coming online so very soon. That decision meant that the joined board with which we have worked over the last two years knew that it had no future as a board beyond the initial joining.”

Like Chung, Bekker has no regrets about the decision. “Perhaps only that we did not get started on this sooner,” he said, “and that it has taken a while to get the organizational structure and new leadership team in place.”

Both leaders knew at the beginning of the process that they would probably be working themselves out of their positions as agency directors.

Bekker has served as director of World Missions since 2001. On July 3 he begins a new role building and leading a combined training group that includes the Timothy Leadership Training Institute and the Coffee Break and Educational Care programs, with the prospect of developing other non-formal educational programs.

Chung has served as director of Home Missions for six years. Although letting go is hard, he said, “If this is where God wants us to go, then we’re okay; I’m more than fine. That’s where I want to be.” Chung’s new role is director of capacity building and innovation. “I’m happy about this; it’s closer to ministry on the ground. Less administration work.”

They both have high hopes for the new mission agency. Chung said the new agency is about vitalization on the work of the gospel in, through, and by the Christian Reformed Church. “I pray for strong reciprocal relationships between Christian Reformed congregations and God’s people in other parts of the world.”

Bekker sees the joined agency leading Christian Reformed congregations and people to focus their all on Christ and his gospel with all of our speaking, doing, and being flowing out of that focus. He also hopes that the joined agency will continue leading the way in embracing diversity.

And Bekker dreams that the global agency will be sought-after for innovative ways of telling, showing, and living the gospel rooted in solid biblical, Reformed theological understanding. “What makes us unique is that we are a Reformed church . . . with a comprehensive Reformed kingdom theology.”

Synod 2017 is meeting at Trinity Christian College in Palos Heights, Ill., from June 9-15. For continuous coverage, download the Banner app on your mobile device or follow The Banner Magazine on Facebook or @crcbanner on Twitter. You can find more tweeting by following hashtag #crcsynod. News stories will be posted at thebanner.org several times daily. For CRC Communications releases and the webcast, please visit crcna.org. Unless noted otherwise, all photographs are by Karen Huttenga.

About the Author

Gayla Postma is news editor for The Banner.

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