State of Church 'Critical', ED tells Synod

State of Church 'Critical', ED tells Synod

In his annual address to synod, Rev. Joel Boot said that this could be the worst of times or the best of times for the Christian Reformed Church.

Boot, the executive director of the CRC, delivered his address at a combined meeting of the delegates of synod, and the delegates of the first-ever young adult leadership summit, called re:kindle 2012. You can watch the recording in the webcast archives.

“The condition [of the church] is critical,” Boot said. “There are new people, new things happening, new organizations taking shape and the ground is shaking beneath our feet.”

He noted the many changes in leadership at the CRC’s ministry agencies and educational institutions in recent years.

He also pointed out the changes in ecumenical relationships, especially the closer relationship that developing between the CRC and the Reformed Church in America.

Noting a slow but steady decline in CRC membership, Boot said that this could be viewed as the worst of times for the church or among the best of times, and he suggested it is the latter.

“Just maybe,” he said, “the ground shaking beneath our feet is the dramatic movement of the spirit of God. And what we do about it makes all the difference in the world.”

Boot said that the creation stewardship report coming to synod is the product of a church that believes the earth is the Lord’s and everything in it.

The report from the Faith Formation committee reflects a church seeking to be obedient to God’s expectation that we train up our children in the way they should go.

“Thirty-five plus overtures about the Belhar is not about a church at odds with itself,” he said, “but a glimpse of a church that takes confession of faith very seriously.”

Boot closed by saying the church’s condition is critical because the time is critical. “What we let God do to us and through us this week, even tonight, is critical.”

Following Boot’s address, Rev. Mark Hilbelink, a member of the leadership team that organized the re:kindle 2012 young adult summit, spoke about characteristics of the Millennial generation and why it’s a challenge for the church to stay connected with them -- and vice versa.

Afterward, re:kindle 2012 members and synod delegates met in small groups to discuss a series of questions raised in the two addresses.

Earlier, the re:kindle 2012 team led delegates in a rousing session of worship.

For continuous coverage of Synod 2012, visit www.crcna.org/Synod.