Photo: Karen Huttenga
Nicole Veenkamp, young adult representative.
Photo by Karen Huttenga

In the age of Twitter and text messaging, the Christian Reformed Church is seeking a new way to communicate its core message.

“It’s a different day, folks,” said Rev. Scott Greenway, speaking on behalf of the CRC Board of Trustees.

“We need a tool that can capture the imagination of every generation (and) that can explain in very simple terms what we’re about as a denomination.”

The new tool is a concept called “Five Streams” that sums up the denomination’s top priorities.

The concept comes from the Task Force to Review Structure and Culture, appointed by a previous synod to review the structure and culture of the denomination’s administration.

The top priorities are: faith formation; servant leadership; global missions; loving mercy, doing justice; and gospel proclamation and worship.

While still a work in progress, synod was told that the model will help churches and agencies communicate with each other as well as reach younger people.

The working document is based on a model adopted by the Evangelical Covenant Church that it called “Five Smooth Stones.”

Task force members stressed they welcome feedback on the exact wording and content after several delegates expressed concerns.

“How are we going to be sure this is more than a reshuffling, but a real change in the culture of our denomination?” asked Rev. Kory Plockmeyer, Classis Lake Erie.

But Nicole Veenkamp, a young adult representative to synod, said she was “excited and encouraged” by the concept. “I’m really glad to see us applying our strength of thinking hard to what we do rather than just what we believe,” Veenkamp said.

Delegates voted unanimously to endorse it for discussion among churches, agencies and boards.

For continuous coverage of Synod 2013 including the live webcast, news, video recordings, photos, liveblog, social media links, and more visit www.crcna.org/synod.