August 22, 2018 -- Earlier this year, the Council of Delegates of the Christian Reformed Church in North America officially discontinued ServiceLink, the volunteer services program of the Christian Reformed Church for the past 23 years. This decision was also received by Synod 2018.
Please note that while this program has now ended, all of the services provided through ServiceLink have been delegated to other CRCNA agencies and ministries.
ServiceLink began its work in 1995 with a mandate to provide mission trip and service opportunities for Canadian churches and individuals, and for a brief time it also served CRC congregations in the United States.
In recent years World Renew and Resonate Global Mission have each provided these services to volunteers, while ServiceLink’s focus shifted to assisting churches to recruit and equip their own ministry volunteers, and to serving as a guide to congregations seeking resources and answers to ministry questions.
In 2017, ServiceLink also facilitated the rollout of The Bridge App, a smartphone app that helps Canadian churches and church members connect and build relationships with one another and their neighbors.
At about the same time, a new initiative -- called the Connections project -- began serving four classes in Canada and eight classes in the United States, providing regionally based resourcing for congregations—ministry quite similar to the revised focus of ServiceLink.
With that in mind, the COD voted to discontinue ServiceLink, noting the retirement of its program director in 2017. While the ServiceLink program has ended, all of its volunteer recruitment and training resources are available via the Ministry Coordination topic on The Network, and volunteer placement opportunities are being provided through Resonate Global Mission and World Renew.
Additionally, Dorothy Vandersteen recently took on the role of program manager for The Bridge App, and the work of the Connections Project continues. In fact, the denomination has moved toward establishing six regional teams (two in Canada, four in the U.S.) to assist in providing resourcing and support to local congregations.
“The Christian Reformed Church in North America was extremely blessed by the 23-year ministry of ServiceLink,” said Rev. Darren Roorda, Canadian Ministries director. “We pray that God will continue to bless our efforts as we work together in this new way to express the good news of God’s kingdom that transforms lives and communities worldwide.”
If you have any questions or concerns, please contact firstname.lastname@example.org.
As ServiceLink is no longer facilitating the placement of individual volunteers or short-term mission teams, we encourage you to visit the World Renew Global Volunteer Program or Resonate Global Mission, to discover the wide range of volunteer opportunities, and then to contact these agencies directly.
Resources such as devotionals and commissioning litanies for mission volunteers can be found under the 'Resources' menu. Tools designed to help recruit, training, evaluate and motivate volunteers within your church, as well as job descriptions for many common volunteer positions, can be found under the 'Engage' menu. These tools and resources can also be found under the Ministry Coordination topic on The Network, along with many other resources to support your congregation's ministry.