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Executive Director Emeritus Publishes Book

February 1, 2023

Steven Timmermans, who served as executive director of the CRCNA from July 2014 through February 2020, has released a book titled Followership: Faithful Following in an Age of Confusion. This book explores the roles that gender, culture, and race play in how we follow God’s call and Jesus’ example in our lives, and it provides advice for how to follow well in our workplaces, marriages, families, communities, churches, and society.

“It all goes back to my higher education days,” said Timmermans, referring to his time as president of Trinity Christian College in Palos Heights, Ill. “By the number of leadership books, podcasts, and even doctoral programs available, it would seem that nearly everyone is called to be a leader. We are inundated with it. What I believe, however, is that we are all called to followership.”

In today’s culture of polarization and seeking information on the internet, he added, the need to learn how to be good and discerning followers is more important than ever. It is also biblical.

“Core to my worldview is God’s Word, the Bible. It is here where the call to follow is rooted in God’s sovereignty and his creation,” explained Timmermans. Even Jesus, he wrote, not only calls us to follow him but also demonstrates followership in the way that he carried out the will of his Father.

“For those of us who have accepted membership in the new kingdom, we still struggle with self-interest, possession accumulation, and forgetting our neighbors nearby and far away,” Timmermans added. “But when loving God is central, little by little we lose those old attractions and become more and more focused on our love for God. We become faithful followers.”

So, what does it take to be a good follower? Timmermans writes that this takes four key attributes: building relationships, seeking knowledge, having determination, and thinking creatively. The book then explores what this might look like in our marriages, workplaces, churches, and communities.

“As a diversity, equity, and inclusion leader, I appreciate the authentically transparent approach in this book,” added Rhae-Ann Booker, vice president of diversity, equity, and inclusion at University of Michigan Health-West. “Each chapter drew me in, compelling me to reflect upon my understanding of followership as experienced throughout my life and in observations of others.”

“Steve illumines what it means to be a committed, discerning follower in today’s church and society,” added Wesley Granberg-Michaelson, general secretary emeritus of the Reformed Church in America.

In fact, discernment as an important part of followership is where the book concludes.

“Discernment is best done as a group activity. If you surround yourself with folks who have a faith-filled worldview, that will help you follow well,” Timmermans said. “Being among fellow believers and at church are great places to find others to assist you.”