Resonate Director Named
The Council of Delegates (COD) has selected Rev. Kevin DeRaaf as the nominee for the position of director of Resonate Global Mission. His nomination will go to Synod 2023 in June for ratification.
“The process for us was quite wonderful,” said Mark Volkers, chair of the search team for this role. “God not only brought a quantity of applicants for this position, but he brought quality. We had so many applicants from various parts of the world – substantive applicants that we could really think about and engage with. Through prayer and discernment and interviewing we were able to bring one candidate forward.”
DeRaaf said that deciding to apply for the position was also a process of discernment for him.
“It took some wrestling with God before I was ready to submit my resume,” he said.
DeRaaf currently serves as director of North American Regional Teams for Resonate Global Mission and as the leader for Resonate’s Canadian office. He enjoys both of these positions and the people he works with, and he said he wasn’t sure he was ready to move into something new.
What’s more, DeRaaf said that the challenges facing an incoming director to oversee Resonate’s work across North America and around the world are daunting. The position was vacated when Zachary King, former director, was appointed as general secretary of the CRCNA in June 2022. Since that time Joel Huyser has been serving as interim director while a permanent replacement has been sought.
“I am very aware of the scope and weight of this position, especially given the ever-shifting dynamics and uncertainties within and beyond the CRCNA,” DeRaaf said. “Humanly speaking, it is a role far bigger than any one person can fully live into, including me. I have had to remind myself of the truth that God both equips and is present with his children in all circumstances.”
Despite these hesitations, DeRaaf spent time in prayer and discernment about this opportunity and decided to apply. The search team interviewed him several times and was impressed by his love for the church, his passion for mission, and his servant approach to leadership.
“Kevin spent 24 years as a CRC pastor in local churches,” said King. “He has a thorough understanding of the workings of CRC structures and dynamics. His pastoral experience also provides an important perspective as Resonate and the CRCNA seek to live into our stated outcomes of sending missionaries, planting new churches, and equipping local churches for mission.”
DeRaaf graduated from Calvin Theological Seminary with a master of divinity degree and served congregations in Owen Sound and Burlington, Ont. He and his wife, Jacquie, have three adult children and four grandsons, and they live in Burlington.
DeRaaf began working for Resonate in May 2017 and has served as the Canada East regional leader, the director of North American regional teams, and the acting Canadian director of Resonate.
Based on his experiences with Resonate over the past six years, DeRaaf said he is convinced the organization serves as the missional “edge” for the CRC.
“We hold before our churches and leaders the ongoing call given to us by Jesus in Acts 1:8 to be and bring the good news to our neighborhoods and around the globe,” he said. “I am very passionate about this work, and I believe that God is doing remarkable ministry through the Christian Reformed Church.”
The Council of Delegates interviewed DeRaaf on Feb. 17 and voted to forward his name to Synod 2023 for ratification. In the meantime, DeRaaf and the leadership team at Resonate will work on a transition plan should this nomination be approved.