Kevin DeRaaf, acting Canada director of Resonate Global Mission, is nominated as the agency’s new director, to replace interim director Joel Huyser, who has been guiding Resonate since Zachary King became the Christian Reformed Church in North America’s General Secretary. DeRaaf’s appointment will need to be approved by Synod 2023.
The CRC’s Council of Delegates, which acts on behalf of synod, met this week by video conference.
The Council interviewed DeRaaf on Friday, connecting with him in El Salvador, where he is with a group of North American regional leaders visiting Resonate missionaries Roland and Loyda Vanderburg.
DeRaaf said, “One of the reasons I was willing to put my name in for this role is that I’m passionate about the work this agency does and I’m really passionate about the people that serve on our behalf.”
Resonate, as an agency of the denomination, works on behalf of churches in both Canada and the U.S.
Nate Van Denand, Classis Ontario Southwest, asked DeRaaf to comment on the binational aspect of the role. Seeing two themes in binational conversations, DeRaaf said, “One is the theme of togetherness … the other theme is just as important—distinctiveness.” DeRaaf said “We are stronger working together,” recognizing that differences between Canada and the USA affect how “missions need to be shaped differently.”
Kelly Vander Woude, Classis Rocky Mountain, asked DeRaaf about what he is seeing in countries like El Salvador that is different from the local North American church. DeRaaf shared about the importance of working together and learning to listen to people’s stories and “allowing our hearts to be broken for what’s happening in the world.” He said this brokenness can lead to prayer and discernment. “I don’t know if we dare let our hearts be broken for God’s mission.”
DeRaaf has been with Resonate since May 2017, and before then was a lead pastor at Faith CRC (Burlington, Ont.) for 18 years. DeRaaf is actively involved in various vision and strategic processes for the mission agency and within the CRCNA. DeRaaf has his undergraduate degree from Redeemer University, and M. Div. from Calvin Seminary.
Andy de Ruyter, chair of the Council of Delegates, said the delegates overwhelmingly approved DeRaaf. “We were encouraged by your words and commitment and look forward to the work the Lord has placed in front of you. Missions are so crucial to the work we do, you have a big task in front of you, but you have our prayers and support going forward.”
With the Council’s nomination as director, DeRaaf and the leadership team at Resonate will work on a transition plan should this nomination be approved at synod.