In his report to synod Friday morning, general secretary Tom De Vries challenged delegates to think about living and loving like Jesus in three new ways: to think different, act different, and stand faithful.
“[To live and love like Jesus] means we are radically loving God, radically loving each other, and radically loving our world that God so dearly loves,” he said. “To act different means we begin to look at our understanding of being the church together and how we do church in the future.”
De Vries described the crossroads at which the RCA finds itself in the twenty-first century—a time when churches no longer hold the positions of community influence they once did, and the next generation is growing up with less of a spiritual connection. “’The people who are crazy enough to believe they can change the word are the ones who actually do,’” he said, quoting an Apple commercial from 1997. “Living and loving like Jesus—marked by sacrificial service, authentic relationships, and spiritual transformation—provides us with an opportunity to influence our world.”
He celebrated stories of transformation happening throughout the RCA as congregations begin to live into the ministry goals of Transformed & Transforming.
At the same time, De Vries emphasized the importance of being pastorally sensitive, and scripturally and historically faithful, as delegates tackle potentially divisive issues within the church.
“Those who have gone before us, as well as those who sit here today, have had to discern how to balance grace and truth,” he said to delegates. “Let us not, in a single General Synod, do away with the wisdom of those who have come before us, or forget the example of the apostles that gave us a foundation and vision for how we can move forward.”
De Vries encouraged delegates to utilize the Next Steps brochure and RCA ministry plan in their congregations to increase involvement with Transformed & Transforming initiatives.
“[Transformed & Transforming] is an exciting transformational vision that offers hope and help to individuals, congregations, and communities where RCA ministry is present…We live together into a new future—a future that is connected to our past biblically, historically, and faithfully.”
Read full report HERE