Rev. Stanley Jim is dreaming big. The Native American pastor wants to have so many Native American Christian Reformed Church leaders and teams across the country that he will be virtually worked out of a job.
Jim, along with three other Home Missions ethnic leaders, is part of the newly-formed Ethnic Ministry Council, which moves Home Missions toward stronger multi-ethnicity in each of the seven regions where Home Missions has regional teams.
"I want to guide the Native American Christian ministry and assist Native Americans in building their own new churches in their local communities,"” says Jim.
"I want to dream, cast vision, and be a resource to the CRC, and I'm passionate about new Native American Christian ministries becoming self-sustaining and incarnational."
Currently, the CRC serves the Navajo and Zuni tribes but, says Jim, his focus is to branch out to many more tribes in the future. With more than 500 Native American tribes represented in the U.S. alone, he has a huge job ahead of him.
"We want to bring all tribes to Jesus in obedience to God’s word of ‘Go ye into all nations’,” says Jim.
He envisions creating teams, giving birth to new leaders, and utilizing leadership clusters throughout North America.
When asked how the CRC can show appreciation for the Native American people, Stanley Jim says, "Intentionally invite a Native American Christian believer to your services and warmly welcome them in."
When Native Americans have visitors to their services, they work diligently to welcome the 'stranger', he says. If he or she speaks a different language, they get an interpreter. They may host a dinner for the visitor, or welcome them into their home. "We must also warmly welcome our Native American brothers and sisters into our church community. It is key to building relationships with them."
Jim also suggests that people invite a Native American Christian from the community or from a nearby community to share with the congregation about their journey.
"Get to know who they are, and what their trials and joys have been," he says. "Learn about them. Learn about the history. Learn about their journey as a believer … learn their story. It is probably very different from the story you grew up with."
As their new roles on the Ethnic Council emerge, the four ethnic leaders eagerly look forward to having an influence and impact in the CRC regarding all ethnic groups. The leaders are optimistic and feel enthused about the future and the opportunities the new council will have to empower and direct the multicultural culture within the denomination.
To learn more about the Home Missions Ethnic Ministry Council, please visit www.crcna.org/pages/crhm_ethnicministry.cfm.