Greetings! I'm Jack Kooyman, your new Deacon Network Guide. I am very pleased and grateful for the opportunity to serve as your Guide for the Deacon's section. I presently serve as the Executive Director of the Holland Deacons' Conference and am a member of First Christian Reformed Church in Grand Rapids, Michigan.
For most of my adult life I have been engaged in some type of diaconal ministry. Whether working for a ministry with homeless individuals; providing higher education opportunities to underrepresented adults; or working with urban youth from diverse racial/ethnic and socio-economic backgrounds, God has given me a passion and used me to serve, equip, walk alongside, working with and on behalf of those on the margins in our society.
In my relatively new role with the Deacons' Conference, I have been and continue to meet with and listen to pastors and deacons from the more than 30 congregations that are a part of Classis Holland. Some of the topics that I will be sharing on this site will be a direct result of these conversations. I also plan to recruit guests to write about and respond to your questions or comments on topics for which they have expertise and/or have significant experience.
I am very grateful for the outstanding job that Melissa Van Dyk has done as our Deacon Network Guide over the past few years. Just like she felt she had "big shoes" to fill following her predecessor, Karl Westerhof — and those were some mighty big shoes — so I too have a similar feeling after having followed and read many of her posts. They both have set the bar quite high and facilitated many worthwhile discussions. I will do my best to live up to the standard which they have modeled so very well.
Finally, I hope and anticipate learning from those who find their way here. I look forward to interacting and engaging in meaningful and thoughtful conversations with regard to the critically important and fulfilling work of diaconal ministry. Please feel free to tell me about any ideas or resources that you think might be helpful for others engaged in various types of diaconal work.
Go ahead and visit my Network profile if you are interested in more information about my background, experience, and training, I'd love to hear from you. Really!