New Director of Resonate Sees a Bright Future
Delegates at synod approved Kevin DeRaaf as the new director of Resonate Global Mission, the mission agency of the Christian Reformed Church in North America, on Monday, June 12, with a standing ovation.
DeRaaf’s appointment as director is effective July 1, 2023.
“I stand here with deep conviction that God led me to this place,” DeRaaf said in his address. “I come into this role with excitement and anticipation—excitement for what God is doing now through Resonate and the CRC around the world, and anticipation for a new story God is writing in and for our denomination. I dare declare—the future is bright.”
In a time of devotions before giving his address, DeRaaf shared that he never imagined himself in the role of director of Resonate. The past year, he said, has been personally difficult for him and his wife, leaving his heart “battered and bruised.”
“How’s your heart?” he asked the delegates and advisers at synod, stating that he knows the challenges the denomination is facing, including declining membership and revenue, deep theological rifts, and political polarization. He recognized that the past few years have not been easy for the CRC.
“I am profoundly aware of the pain and personal impact that the issues of this synod have on many of our sisters and brothers,” DeRaaf said. “But I also stand on the firm foundation in the trust of our sovereign God. Pain is not antithetical to hope. We can hold all of that in one space.”
DeRaaf graduated from Calvin Theological Seminary with a master of divinity degree and has served as a Christian Reformed Church pastor for more than 30 years. In his address, DeRaaf thanked previous leaders of Christian Reformed World Missions and Christian Reformed Home Missions (which combined to form Resonate in 2017), several of whom personally mentored and discipled him as he grew in his heart and capacity for mission.
Mission, DeRaaf said, has been an integral part of his work in ministry from the start, and a mentor encouraged him to apply for a job with Resonate.
He did that—and joined the team in 2017. First, he served as Resonate’s regional mission leader for Eastern Canada, and then a couple of years later he began serving as director of North American regional teams. Most recently, he also served as leader of the Resonate office in Canada.
In his six years with Resonate so far, DeRaaf said, he has been encouraged daily by stories of God at work through CRC churches and Resonate’s missionaries, church planters, campus ministers, and regional teams.
“Resonate is tasked to give leadership to our denomination in mission,” he said. “We invite churches to join us. My dream and vision is that every one of our 1,100 churches come to see Resonate as their partner on mission.”
Resonate walks alongside churches, families, individuals, and more as they serve God on mission. Missional leaders are ready and excited to work with churches, and Resonate offers a number of missional resources and programs.
DeRaaf is replacing interim director Joel Huyser, who is retiring after 28 years of service with Resonate and the denomination.
“God is with us even if we might not know where we’re going,” shared DeRaaf. “The future is bright because we serve a missional God who calls us to surrender and receive the Holy Spirit so that every man and woman will be his witnesses in Jerusalem, Judea, Samaria, and to the ends of the earth.”