We are excited to introduce to you the newest member of our Faith Formation Ministries team: Joel DeBoer. Joel serves as a Regional Catalyzer in Iowa and Heartland.
1. You have been in ministry for 30 years, how have all those years of experience influenced your faith formation and your work with churches?
I have been a pastor for 30 years in the CRC serving primarily in rural ministries. I have enjoyed working with the Connection 1 project in Classis North Central Iowa and Central Plains where I coached Pastors and churches in many aspects of ministry. I am delighted to work with the Faith Formation Ministry Agency. Discipleship is at the very core of my heart, spirit and ministry efforts. My wife, Deb and I have three adult children and love being involved in outside activities.
I have develop curriculum ministry and college courses in business and religion. I have taught in the local church, Waldorf University, and other business organizations. Being involved with Faith Formation Ministries will enrich my parish ministry because they offer so many good and current resources. Working with the local church ministry will enrich my Faith Formation Ministries work because it helps me always keep a pulse upon the contextual needs of people within my church, community, classis and region.
The 30 years of ministry has brought my family and me through many various types and challenges of faith formation. We have learned that one must start with where people are at in their faith walk and then see where God is ever inviting all of us to be as time moves forward. I have been in very tough ministry settings and very wonderful one too. In all of them, I have seen that Faith develops the best when focus remains on abiding near the good shepherd knowing he loves me beyond my personal efforts.
2. What is your favorite part about walking alongside and coaching churches?
As I have coached pastors and churches, I most enjoy seeing the light of truth shine through the darkness and struggles of being ever reforming in helping people discover the wideness of their faith. The joy of asking meaningful questions rather than giving time-restricted statements is powerful. It opens the way for learning alongside each other.
3. If you could have any superpower, what would it be, and how would you use it in your role as a Regional Catalyzer?
If I had the superpower of looking into people’s hearts so that I could really know and understand what is motivating their questions, searching, and statements I believe, I could really help them discover the resources and their abilities to use these resources for deepening their walk with God. To me there is no better thing than seeing a question, a resource, or a conversation awaken and bring hope into people’s lives.
Faith Formation Ministries provides congregational faith formation leaders the opportunity to meet in-person or connect digitally or by phone with members of our team and other ministry leaders for coaching and support. Whether it’s a one-time, one-on-one conversation or a long-term peer group, we are here to help. For more information about our regional catalyzers, visit crcna.org/FaithFormation/coaching!