The media ministry of the Christian Reformed Church in North America will have a new name effective 2021, following a decision at the special meeting of the Council of Delegates on June 16 and 17.
Synod, the annual decision-making meeting of the denomination, was canceled in 2020 because of the COVID-19 pandemic. Instead, the program committee for Synod 2020 (officers of Synod 2019) combed through the Agenda for Synod 2020 and identified which items could not be deferred for a whole year. They asked the COD, which governs the CRCNA when synod is not in session, to hold a special meeting to deal with these matters.
One of these items was a proposed name change for Back to God Ministries International.
“The Christian Reformed Church established the Back to God Hour in 1939 as a mission agency to use media to share the good news of Jesus around North America,” explained BTGMI director, Kurt Selles.
After eight decades of ministry, including a shift in name from Back to God Hour to Back to God Ministries International, the time has come for a new name that better encapsulated the totality of BTGMI’s work around the world.
The name that was proposed to and adopted by the COD is “ReFrame Ministries.” A tagline was also adopted to go alongside this new name: “God’s Story. Today’s Media.”
“A name isn’t everything about a ministry, but, like a church, it is often the first thing someone hears or learns about the ministry. The name ‘ReFrame Ministries’ better introduces this ministry and its ongoing purpose to people who don’t know Jesus yet,” said Selles.
“We pray that this name change will also better serve Christian Reformed congregations as they seek to share resources produced by the ministry with members of their community,” he added.
The term “Reframe” is not new to the ministry. In fact, the English language programs of BTGMI have been known as “ReFrame Media” since 2008.
“We have found that ‘ReFrame’ is a contemporary way of expressing the Reformed Christian worldview that the Gospel of Jesus Christ should totally change the way that we see, or ‘reframe’ everything in our lives,” Selles explained.
He also added, “The name and tagline are all that is changing — not the ministry, not our values, not our core beliefs. Even our logo will continue to use the blue globe and cross. We know that this is God’s ministry, and we’ll continue to use contemporary media to tell His timeless, biblical story.”
During the COD discussion about this name change, Harold Caicedo, delegate from Classis California South, questioned the financial impact of doing a name change like this.
“As a denomination we are always changing names every year,” he said, referring to recent name changes for World Renew (formerly CRWRC) and Resonate Global Mission (formerly Christian Reformed World Missions and Christian Reformed Home Missions). “What is the cost of this to the denomination?”
John Bolt, director of finance and operations for the CRCNA, assured COD members that this should not be a major concern.
“There are some costs associated with printing new stationary and things of that nature,” he said, but added that the scale of these kinds of costs are minimal and should not be prohibitive to moving forward with a name change.
After a brief time of discussion, the name change was approved by nearly unanimous consent. BTGMI staff will now work to have everything in place to make the official switch to ReFrame Ministries at the beginning of 2021. They will also continue to create biblical content in 10 languages, using radio, television, the internet and smartphones to proclaim God’s Word around the world.
Kristen deRoo VanderBerg, CRC Communications