It seems, according to the latest posting on The Banner's website, that we're having a difficult time finding a new executive director to head of the Christian Reformed Church in North America corporation. It seems as though the latest nominee withdrew before the Board of Trustees interview and subsequent presentation to synod.
I immediately recall an incident some 30 years ago — perhaps longer — when the denomination owned a Cessna plane, piloted by missionary pilot Ray Browneye. On one of its trips into the Hamilton ON airport, laden with a number of denominational heads, the plane was trying to land in fog and ended up caught in a tree near the runway. All of the passengers climbed down that tree to safety. The plane, incidentaly, was never replaced. Folks wondered out loud somewhat morbidly what would have happened to the denomination if all of those CRC ministry directors had parished. Church ministries would have carried on under new leadership.
So, what will happen to the denomination if we don't find a new executive director? We could, of course, continue to reappoint Boot and Borgdorff ad infinitum. It seems to me that no pastor or theologian has the necessary passion to serve as the denomination's senior bureaucrat. That should come as good news. Pastors are trained and presumably called to serve as pastors within local congregations. They are privileged to spend several hours a week with their collective noses in scripture, eager to proclaim the Word to the Sunday flock.
Doesn't it seem strange to you that we are looking for an executive director for a multimillion-dollar Christian corporation, and we are ignoring the Christian corporate sector? In my day job as executive director of the Canadian Christian Business Federation, I regularly meet highly talented CEOs of multi-million dollar companies who have a strong sense of stewardship and ministry. I meet men and women who daily dedicate their businesses or industries to God, and who use their incredible business skills to run a company.
There may be one or two among them who would be willing to put aside their entrepreneurial spirit by serving as the CRCNA's executive director, accountable to a board of trustees and answerable to about 250,000 parishioners. Okay. Perhaps not.
It does seem peculiar that we consistently look to men and women with an MDiv to lead our denominational corporation, rather than similarly qualified MBAs with both a strong sense of fiscal management and a Kuyperian perspective.
We perpetuate this mistaken notion that only pastors, elders, and deacons are involved in ministry. Tell that to the 3,500 Christian business leaders with whom I connect each month across Canada. Tell that to the tens of thousands of CRC parishioners across North America who are involved in business or the professions each day.