Jesus said, “The harvest is plentiful but the workers are few. Ask the Lord of the harvest, therefore, to send out workers into his harvest field.” Matt 9:35-38
LDN seeks to equip the whole people of God for ministry, rooting them deeply in Scripture and encouraging them towards greater intimacy with God. With this in mind, we want to develop leaders in God’s kingdom in preparation for one harvest field or another, encouraging all to live with greater missional intent and practice.
The BC LDN belongs to the larger network of Leadership Development Networks in the Christian Reformed Church of North America (CRCNA). In the late 1990s, a group of Home Missions pastors became concerned about the need for more church planters than seminary was providing. In faith they instigated BC LDN to train new leaders in biblical theology and practical ministry skills, even as other LDNs began springing up throughout the CRC, both in Canada and the USA. These pastors – John Poortenga, Henry DeVries, Andrew Turkstra, and Martin Contant (some who remained involved in BC LDN for over 10 years) have left their definitive stamp on BC LDN, for which we are deeply grateful.
Answering a need expressed by local churches, BC LDN gradually shifted beyond training specifically for church planters to a broadened program for current and developing church leaders – elders, deacons and ministry leaders. Graduates of the program would also have the option, with a specific calling, to become commissioned pastors in the CRC.
Ten years into the venture, BC LDN renewed its vision to better align with Synod’s recommendations, and to ensure credibility with the BC Classes. A more uniformed standard of educational training required more focused attention, and in 2006, after connecting with Henry DeVries at Regent College, Wilma van der Leek was hired part-time to provide continuity, leadership and curriculum development for BC LDN. Wilma, along with designations of teacher and spiritual director, was ordained in September 2012 as a Commissioned Pastor of Education within the BC Classes.
In the Fall of 2010 BC LDN shifted again, from being under the umbrella of Home Missions to becoming a full ministry of classes BC NorthWest and BC SouthEast. BC LDN is administered by a board that enjoys an ongoing partnership with both classes and the various member churches.
BC LDN exists to:
- discover leaders who aspire to ministry leadership in the CRC
- develop the content, competence and character of these leaders
- deploy these leaders into ministry in accordance with their gifts and calling
BC LDN will carry out its vision by:
- promoting leadership training within the CRC churches in BC
- providing a three-year curriculum that integrates Biblical content, ministry skill competence and character development
- sending out trained leaders to engage with the mission of God
- providing various support resources to the CRC churches in BC