Skip to main content

CRC Appoints New Director of Ministries

May 3, 2007

The Board of Trustees of the Christian Reformed Church has appointed Sandy Johnson to be the Director of Denominational Ministries (DDM).

Johnson, 41, comes to the position after 13 years working in the banking industry followed by several years as a self-employed consultant in strategic ministry planning and organizational behavior.

“I have often said over the last five years that I’ve discovered my gifts are in business but my heart is about ministry,” Johnson said. “I love being part of ministry, watching how God is working through His people. I love equipping ministry to happen by creating the systems and processes.”

Born and raised in the Christian Reformed Church, Johnson grew up on a farm in Iowa. She now lives in Hudsonville, Mich., with her husband, Deloy, and their three daughters.  “I grew up knowing God’s love as a child and wanting to serve Him,” she said.

In her interview by the board, Johnson said her spiritual gifts are leadership, administration and encouragement.  “I love people,” she added.  “A lot of leadership is loving people.”

As DDM, Johnson will be responsible for advancing the unified ministry of the Christian Reformed Church through strategic planning and coordination of goals of the seven denominational agencies and institutions.

She described her management style as collegial, discovering the things that people are passionate about and trying to balance them, but that she has the capacity to make tough decisions when needed. “Leadership is about making hard calls – you just can’t do without it.”

Johnson earned a bachelor’s degree from Dordt College in Sioux Center, Iowa, and is working toward completion of a Master’s of Business Administration degree from Cornerstone University in Grand Rapids, Mich.

Rev. Gerard (Jerry) Dykstra, the CRC’s executive director, said he is delighted with the appointment.

“Sandy brings a fresh perspective and approach to our senior leadership team,” he said. “Her business background and local church involvement provide a balanced approach to effective and efficient ministry. Her skills in team building and consulting will serve her and the denomination well.”

Johnson was chosen by a search committee following a lengthy process that included about 30 applicants, of whom 11 were interviewed.  Keith Oosthoek, who chaired the search committee, said that “While she brings unique gifts to the position as a woman, she was chosen for her skills and the match of those skills to the requirements of the DDM role.”

EffectiveSept. 1, 2007, Johnson will become the CRC’s second DDM since the position was created in 2005, when the denomination changed its senior leadership structure. Prior to that, the two top leaders were the general secretary and executive director of ministries.

Dykstra was the first DDM, and held the position for nine months before being appointed as executive director in 2006.