A collaborative approach to preparing leaders for mission and ministry
Partners in the Reformed Collaborative, the Reformed Church in America (RCA), the Christian Reformed Church in North America (CRCNA), Calvin Theological Seminary (CTS), and Western Theological Seminary (WTS) are collaborating in a new area.
Building on what has been learned through multiple existing collaborations, and in response to the Pella Accord that was passed at the joint CRCNA-RCA synod session in 2014, a new area of focus on congregational leadership is emerging.
The Reformed Leadership Initiative is now ready to move from concept to pilot through the generosity of the Richard and Helen DeVos Foundation.
One of stated shared values of the partners in the Reformed Collaborative is the developing of effective leaders who adopt a posture of lifelong learning and adaptive leadership. “Both denominations have a need for leaders at all levels of the church who are grounded in a biblical vision of the church, personally formed and growing in the image of Christ, and competent to lead thriving congregations in contextualized and mission-focused ministry,” says Ken Eriks, director of transformational engagement for the RCA.
Ongoing leadership development happens best in the context of a local congregation with support, tools, and skill development from seminaries and denominations. The Reformed Leadership Initiative will bring a number of congregations from diverse geographical and ministry contexts together to form leadership networks. Congregations in each network will develop and implement equipping processes for personal leadership, organizational leadership, and reproductive leadership with each of their unique missional environments. Following a two-year pilot and evaluation period, learning and outcomes from the pilot will assist all four initiative partners—CRCNA, RCA, WTS, and CTS—to expand and sustain leadership development efforts throughout both denominations.
A newly formed initiative team representing the two denominations and two seminaries has been appointed. Denise Posie and Colin Watson Sr. will represent the CRCNA, Ken Eriks and Eddy Alemán will represent the RCA, Timothy Brown will represent WTS, and Jul Medenblik will represent CTS.
Congregational Leadership Learning Networks will serve as the first step in the development of a diverse distributed network for congregational leadership training that will help serve all local RCA and CRCNA churches through ongoing investment in their leaders.