In July 2020, the Christian Reformed Church in North America kicked off a five-year ministry plan known as Our Journey 2025. Through conversations with Christian Reformed congregations, pastors, and leaders across North America, authors of the plan identified four specific goals toward which they believed God was calling the CRCNA to strive before 2025.
“In our conversations, there was great consistency from churches across North America about where they felt gaps existed,” said Syd Hielema, a member of the ministry plan implementation team. “Whether they were an established church on the East Coast of Canada or an emerging church in Southern California, whether they were English speaking or multiethnic, CRC congregations were longing to grow in their spiritual disciplines, in their practice of listening to the voices of all generations, in their capacity to embrace unity and diversity, and in their ability to share the gospel and live it missionally.”
Based on these four goals—dubbed “milestones”—CRCNA ministries created resources and committed to providing consultation and support to help congregations grow in these areas. Now, halfway through the five-year plan, more than 840 congregations (82%) have interacted with staff on at least one of these four milestones.
“When Our Journey 2025 was conceived, we didn’t anticipate the toll that COVID-19 would take on congregations,” said Hielema. “And yet, as ministries and congregations adapted to their new reality, their desire and need to grow in these milestone areas became more prominent. As CRCNA ministries, we have taken a congregation-focused posture of listening to what is needed and walking alongside churches to help them grow. I believe this has been successful.”
To learn more and to find resources in each of the four milestone areas, visit crcna.org/OurJourney.
About the Author
Kristen deRoo VanderBerg was part of the World Renew Communications team from 1999-2016. She now serves as director of Communications & Marketing for the Christian Reformed Church.