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A restructure of the General Synod Council ministry staff will make the denomination more nimble and responsive to the needs of its churches and classes, says Sung Kim, the RCA’s chief operating officer.

The ministry staff (including teams like Transformed & Transforming staff, Church Multiplication staff, and Advocacy and Race Relations staff) are coming together in a new center for equipping church leaders. The center’s purpose is to train the head, heart, and hands of leaders, and strengthen the soul of churches.

The training and learning opportunities offered to churches and ministry leaders will empower them for greater discipleship, leadership, and local mission, Kim says, as it has in the past. “This is Transformed & Transforming, this is Church Multiplication, but we’re bringing them together with other resourcing,” he says, clarifying that both will continue to be important initiatives within the RCA. Different levels of learning will be available, from content (blog posts or toolkits), to more in-depth coaching or consulting, or connecting with other leaders through a cohort learning experience.

“During this season of change, restructuring, and with a smaller ministry staff, we need to be creative and strategic,” says general secretary Eddy Alemán. “We no longer can continue to do things the way we always did. Bringing all the ministry staff together in a new center is an effort to respond with creativity to the current reality we are facing as a denomination.

“The center will have a laser-focus on equipping long-established and new congregations for disciple-making, leadership development, and local missions. I continue to be hopeful about our future.”

“During the pandemic, we realized that we could do a much better job of responding, listening, and working alongside churches and leaders,” says Kim. “Part of that will be greater partnership with classes and classis leaders, recognizing and supporting the work that God is already doing in and through the classes in the Reformed Church in America.”

Ministry staff has seen significant transition in recent years, amid uncertainty about the future of the RCA.

“In this planning stage, as we are listening to needs of churches and leaders, we are assessing the future staffing for the center,” Kim says. “We have an excellent equipping staff, though it’s smaller than it has been in the past. We are looking at creative ways to add to their capacity.”

RCA Global Mission staff is maintaining its current structure and not expected to play a role in the center at this time.

Kim expects the center to continue taking shape over the coming months, with a potential launch next spring. In the meantime, existing equipping staff will continue to support churches and pastors in their various areas of expertise: Advocacy and Race Relations, Church Multiplication, Disability Concerns, Local Mission, Next Generation Engagement, Women’s Transformation and Leadership.