On June 14, delegates of Synod 2017 had the opportunity to celebrate and make decisions about the denomination’s new mission agency.

Only a week after returning from the mission field in Haiti, Rev. Zachary King opened this morning’s session with a reflection on Philippians 2. He told a humorous story about an idea he once had for a church plant based on opening a coffee house, only to be reminded by his wife that he needed to keep his focus.

“Christ needs to be the grounds…I mean ground…and goal of our mission,” he quipped.

In keeping with the theme of this year’s synod devotional times, King’s message was based on one of the five solas – phrases that emerged 500 years ago during the time of Reformation to summarie the essentials of protestant Christianity. King’s message focused on Solus Christus – by Christ alone. 

“When we do mission, we need to ask ourselves, ‘what do you think will change lives?;” he said. What creates transformation in hurting people, he said, is when people encounter Christ and Christ alone.

After morning worship, Synod 2017 heard a presentation about and dealt with several recommendations pertaining to the mission agency that was newly created, combining the work of the former Christian Reformed World Missions and Christian Reformed Home Missions.

This included ratifying King as the agency’s director.

“I did not grow up in the CRC, and I can’t play Dutch bingo,” King said following his ratification. Instead, he grew up in a Pentecostal church and attended Calvin College, where he “ran headlong into the Reformed tradition. I was so impressed by the depth and thoughtfulness of Reformed theology.”

He was ordained in the CRC and has worked in Michigan, Puerto Rico, Nigeria, and Haiti, teaching, preaching, and developing mission strategies and leadership for the past 12 years.

King encouraged delegates to communicate with his agency. “Our new mission agency staff are as far as a phone call away. You can be sure that wherever you are, our humble and responsive team wants to be present with you in ministry.”

King asked for three things from delegates and their churches: prayers, support, and raising up of leaders.

“We have a relative abundance of leaders, however, that does not always translate into people who are willing to undertake a mission-focused ministry,” he said. “Encourage your leaders to consider these opportunities.”

As King ended his speech, synod vice president Thea Leunk mentioned that she has a postcard of the Segaar-King family on her desk. The postcard reminded her to pray for the family, since her church sponsored them as missionaries.

“I think I’m going to leave it up there,” Leunk said with a smile.


- Courtesy of CRC Communications with files from The Banner