January Leadership Learning Opportunity in Iowa


What might happen if we effectively utilize and celebrate the distinctiveness of our congregations and surrounding community?

You are invited to a one-day learning event focused on helping local church leaders and pastors find unique yet practical ideas that can bring health and growth to their church.

Where? Crossroads CRC (1200 60th St, West Des Moines, IA 50266)

When? Saturday, January 14, 8:30 AM to 3:00 PM

Who? Pastors and individuals involved in church ministries. Bring your church leadership team or a group of key leaders! 

Cost? $35/Individual or $25/Individual for a group of 4 or more (Cost includes lunch and materials)

How do I sign up? Register by emailing [email protected] or mail your name and registration fee to: Trudy Ash, 13362 100th Ave, Milaca, MN 56353

Registration deadline is January 10. (Make checks payable to Pease CRC) 

Schedule For The Day

  • 8:30-9:00 - Registration and Coffee
  • 9:00-10:30 - Worship & Keynote Speaker: Rev. Chris DeVos (Ridder Church Renewal)                            
  • 10:30-10:50 - Break
  • 11:00-12:00- Breakout Session (Choose from four available, see below)
  • 12:00-1:00 - Lunch & Prayer Time
  • 1:00 - 2:00 - Breakout Session (Choose from four available, see below)
  • 2:00- 2:15 - Break
  • 2:15- 3:30 - Large Group Debriefing & Small Group Strategy Opportunity

Keynote Address

Four Values for Healthy Leadership: Rev. Chris De Vos

The cultural landscape of America is changing rapidly.  The church now finds itself in a place where “what we have always done” is not enough.  What we have always proclaimed never changes. Jesus Christ Lord and God, in Christ, is reconciling the world to himself.  God has poured out the Spirit on all flesh and God is making all things new.  However, the challenges of “doing church” around that proclamation are leaving many discouraged and cynical.   I want to explore an important way of being that I’m convinced is central to joining God in mission these days.  And that way of being happens as we live into four key values while we are learning new ministry skills.  The values are authenticity, integrity, courage and love.  These values provide the transformational space for us to be the kinds of leaders that the church needs today.

The Rev. Chris DeVos has served as a pastor in the CRC for almost 30 years – most recently, at Pillar Church in Holland, MI.  At Pillar he participated in the Ridder Church Renewal process, which led to Pillar embracing a new missional identity as a CRC-RCA “dual-affiliation” church. Chris graduated from Calvin College, Calvin Seminary and Northern Baptist Theological Seminary in Lombard, Illinois.  He began working for Western Seminary in January of 2015 as the Associate Director of Journey-Ridder Church Renewal.  His main role in this position is to bring collaborative leadership to the Ridder Church Renewal movement as it continues to grow across North America as a collaborative effort of the CRC, RCA, Western Seminary and the Faithwalking movement.  Chris is enjoying the opportunity to walk alongside pastors and church leaders in a journey that has meant so much for his own life and ministry.  

Breakout Session Options

Reputation Resourcing: Pastor Joel DeBoer

A church’s reputation (perceived or real) either opens or closes the door to disconnected or spiritually lost people. What can your church do to manage your reputation so your felt presence in the community matches your unique ministry goals?  

Joel De Boer continues his 27 years of Rural ministry while utilizing his Master’s degrees in Theology & Business Leadership for organizational change. He enjoys the outdoors, coaching, composing music & playing, but most of all his 2 granddaughters - Olivia & Naomi.  God continues to show him and his church, At the Crossroads Ministries - Britt, how to effectively and humorously impact the counties surrounding their location in Northern Iowa.  He is committed to inspiring, challenging, and seeing you discover God’s work in your context for ministry.

Leadership Strategies for Worship that Reaches Across Generations:   David Huizenga, M. Div.

This session will examine and discuss the following aspects of putting a worship service together with an intergenerational framework.

  • Seeking the Lord’s will for a worship service.
  • Working with a creative team to understand and utilize a church’s worship treasure box.
  • Writing a worship service that utilizes what God gives us and creates space for the Spirit to lead.
  • Bringing all the elements together in excellence.

Dave is a pastor at Bridgewood Church in Savage, MN, he came to MN after 15 years as the pastor of Sunshine Church in Grand Rapids, MI. He is also the President of the Empowerment Institute working to help churches and individuals be better equipped to advance God’s Kingdom. Dave is passionate about prayer and hungry for the work of the Holy Spirit. He loves his wife Diane and their growing family.

We Can’t Ask That!  Or Can We? Pastor Michael Ten Haken

Healthy churches require a strong relationship between pastor and council. To that end, Church councils are rightly tasked with oversight of the pastor.  Often, however, neither party knows how or in what matter that oversight should be given or they are in conflict with each other about it.  This session will consider several questions that well-functioning church councils can and should be asking their pastors (and pastors should be encouraging their councils to ask) in an effort to ensure that both the needs of the pastor and the expectations of the congregation are being met and met well.  The session will provide tools for pastors and council members alike to build and maintain a healthy dialogue as a key component to being a healthy church.

Michael Ten Haken is currently serving in his first pastorate at the Pease Christian Reformed Church in Pease, MN.  Prior to entering full-time ordained ministry, he served as Associate Director of Admissions and as the Marketing and Public Relations Coordinator at Dordt College as well as a Personal Banking Officer at American State Bank in Sioux Center, IA.  He has combined what he learned in his previous careers with the words of a mentor during his seminary training that “good administration is good ministry” and has developed a passion for church leadership and administration. Michael has a BA in Philosophy from Dordt College (1998) and an M.Div. from Calvin Theological Seminary (2010).  He is a lifelong member of the CRCNA and has been married to his wife, Jessica, for nearly twenty years, and have three children.

How Are Finances Limiting Your Church’s Ministry? Can We Do The Budget Better and Bigger? Wendell Van Gunst

In today’s world of parachurch organizations that can draw money away from local congregations, there is a need for your church to “sell” its purpose and make people believe that what your church is doing really matters. We tend to think that people should just “get it.” They should just know that we’re supposed to tithe to the church. But that’s not how it is anymore… People need to see where their money is going and how lives are being changed? This is where the budget process changes from trying our hardest to NOT raise the budget to a proactive mindset that asks what it would look like if we thought “bigger” or even just “differently” about our church budget.

Wendell is a retired dairy farmer/entrepreneur from New Era, MI. He has devoted his life to his family, his business and to helping churches grow in their understanding of stewardship and missions. He has spent time on the General Program Council for the RCA as well as the board for Words of Hope. He is currently spending his retirement traveling to Gulu, Uganda, where he has been instrumental in starting and growing a research dairy farm in the hopes of building a strong agriculture-based economy in this war-torn province of Uganda.  

This event is hosted by the CRCNA's Connections Project. Questions? Please email [email protected].   

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