Annual Conference Focuses on Church Multiplication and District Succession

The 2015 district conference featured Jan David Hettinga speaking on multiplication.  Drawing on his own experience in leading a church that has produced a network of 20 churches, Jan talked about multiplying followers, leaders, and churches.  This multiplication arises from four values in the church: the supremacy of Christ, community, transformation, and multiplication.  Multiplication flows from the other three values; if they are not in place, multiplication will stall.

Jan led a workshop on pastoral succession, while his wife, Scharme, led one on a woman’s identity in Christ as foundational to ministry.  Other workshops touched on themes that included disciplemaking, family nurture, justice issues, young leaders, and practical community involvement.

The conference also heard from EFCA president Bill Hamel and presidential nominee Kevin Kompelien.  These men reminded us of where the EFCA has been over the last two decades and where it’s headed in the future—themes related to the overall conference focus on multiplication.

Earnest discussion arose in the DS-transition forum and the annual business meeting regarding the transitional proposal as it has unfolded to the present time.  Board chair Larry Stromberg offered clarification and introduced the nine-member task force, whose role it is to refine the proposal.  Conferees then heard various delegates voice concern, especially about whether the task force can carry out its work most effectively while a nomination remains on the table.  A motion was passed by a close majority to recommend to the district board of directors that they rescind their nomination of Dave Linde in order to give the task force freedom from constraint and undue influence.

Tom Mouw closed the business meeting, and later the conference, by stating that we are a district united by Jan Hettinga’s challenge to pursue multiplication of Christ-followers, leaders, and churches, and that we can all prayerfully trust the Lord, and a principled process, to sort out all the particulars for district leadership into the future.  He assured conferees that churches will continue to be well-served by the entire ministry team that God has assembled in the current district staff.