REGIONAL PRIORITIES OVERVIEW
The central and greatest message and ministry Jesus had was the proclamation and demonstration that the Kingdom of God has come.
That message and ministry has been entrusted to His followers, who together, are the body of Christ continuing to proclaim and demonstrate the presence and power of the Kingdom now, but not yet in its fullness. The ministry of the RCA and Far West Region is to manifest that reconciling presence and power toward the restoration of all things… “thy will be done on earth as it is in heaven.”
Download pdf of Regional Priorities
Every classis partnering with God in the kingdom work of transforming lives and communities
To partner with Classes in strengthening and starting churches by empowering and equipping leaders
1. We dedicate ourselves to living as a biblically functioning community in our relationships and work together as region.(Acts 2:42‐47; Matt 18:15‐17; Rom 12:9‐21)
2. Jesus Christ is the only hope for the lost people and the churches in our region and world. (Ephesians 1:22‐ 23 and John 14:16, Acts 4:12, 1 Peter 3:15)
3. We will passionately pursue lost people in order to reconcile them to God. (2 Corinthians 5:18‐20)
4. All followers of Christ are called to be ministers. (1 Peter 4:10, Ephesians 4:11‐12)
5. We commit to identify, equip and empower leaders who reproduce themselves in living out the giftedness and call. (2 Timothy 2:2)
6. Prayer is the power that provides and propels the vision. (James 5:16, Ephesians 6:18,1 Thessalonians 5:17 and Acts 16:9‐10)
7. We will walk by faith, not by sight as we trust God’s Holy Spirit to lead and guide us. (Zechariah 4:6, Hebrews 11:1, Acts 1:8 and 2 Corinthians 5:7)
8. We will commit ourselves to sow generously believing that God will allow us to reap generously. (2 Corinthians 9:6 and Galatians 6:8‐9)
RIGHT PEOPLE / RIGHT PLACES…a great design
Assessing and aligning leaders, consistories, churches, classes
- Pastoral Candidates Identified and Assessed
- Leadership Assessments and Ministry Alignment
- Preparation of movement leaders
- Church Planters Assessed and Coached
HEALTHY CLASSES…a great commandment
Supportive relationships, harmonious systems and accountability
- Multiple Church Leadership development paths for leaders within the church and for leaders of the church
- Pastoral Coaching (Individual and Networks)
- Elder and Deacon Development
- Aligned with Reformed Theology, BCO and Corporate prudence (bylaws, insurances, etc.)
- Church Assessments
CONVENER / CATALYST…a great contribution
Creatively gathering for solutions, innovation and next steps
- Knowledge and Relationships help us lead more faithfully
- Links churches, classes, region and denomination for best practices, resourcing and initiatives toward common goals
- Transformed & Transforming Foundations
AN EMPOWERING CULTURAL …a great continuance
Giving the Holy Spirit freedom to do new works through new leaders
- Driven from within, empowered followers are initiating and driving ministry
- Creating and nurturing ministry from the inside out by empowering individuals, teams, congregations and classes
- Dependence on the Holy Spirit
MISSIONAL CLASSES…a great commission
Outward-focused, missional ministries and church multiplication
- CAMPUS MINISTRIES as Regional mission for evangelism, incubation site for leadership development and church planter farm team for multiplication (CRC partnerships, etc.)
- Individuals and institutions free from racism
- Sow the seeds of church multiplication
WHAT WE BELIEVE
We believe that God created the world and everything in it, including human beings. God created a perfect world. In the beginning, there was no sin–no hatred, no disunity, and no death. But God also allowed humans to make their own choices. The first humans, Adam and Eve, disobeyed God, allowing sin to enter God’s perfect world. From then on, every human has been born with sinful desires that lead to separation from God. But the story doesn’t end there. God loves the world and the people in it–so much, in fact, that he made a plan to take away the guilt of our sin. God sent his son, Jesus, into the world as a human. Jesus gave his life to pay the price for sins he didn’t commit. Jesus accepted the punishment for our sins so that we don’t have to. Three days after Jesus was killed, God brought Jesus to life again, defeating the power of death and evil. Jesus still lives today, eternally in heaven with God the Father. One day he will come back to earth to put an end to evil–sin, death, and pain–and renew all things. He will gather all who have believed in him from every time and place to live with him forever. Our faith is centered in God’s love for us demonstrated in Jesus Christ, his son. When we accept Jesus’ sacrifice for us and commit our lives to following him, God sees us as perfect, the way we were first created to be. We cannot manufacture such faith on our own; it is the result of God’s Spirit working within us.
The Reformed View of Christian Faith
In the Reformed view, the final authority is the Bible–known as the Holy Scriptures, the Word of God. The Reformed perspective is centered in the overwhelming love of God toward us. We believe that God is three in one–God the father, God the son (Jesus Christ), and God the Holy Spirit. We believe that we are saved by grace alone through faith, not by what we think or do to earn God’s favor. Our good works don’t earn our salvation, but are a way to thank God for this free gift of salvation. The Reformed Church in America celebrates two sacraments: baptism and the Lord’s Supper. They remind us of God’s promises to us and help us to claim those promises as our own. The RCA is confessional, which means that together we have statements of belief, called creeds and confessions. These statements guide our understanding of faith and shape its practice. The RCA is “Reformed and always reforming,” earnestly seeking to know the mind of Christ as it strives to be faithful in a changing, complex, and often troubled world. The RCA’s position papers on contemporary issues provide guidance to the members of the church and are a part of the church’s witness in society.
HOW WE’RE ORGANIZED
The Reformed Church in America has a presbyterial, or representative, form of government that is biblically based.
Each congregation is governed by a body called a consistory. The consistory is made up of elders and deacons, elected by the congregation, and the congregation’s installed minister(s).
Elders maintain order, exercise Christian discipline, and assist in pastoral care. They are responsible for the spiritual life of the congregation. They receive individuals into the membership of a church and plan and participate in the observance of the sacraments.
Deacons lead in ministries of mercy, justice, service, and outreach. They care for the needs of people within the congregation, in the surrounding community, and around the world.
Ministers serve as pastors and teachers of the congregation. They are called by God to preach the Word of God, administer the sacraments, and care for the members of the congregation, building up and equipping the church for its ministry in the world.
A consistory is in turn governed by its classis. A classis gathers minister and elder representatives from a group of congregations, usually according to their geographical proximity. Each classis supervises the congregations and ministers within its bounds. It exercises judicial power over the decisions of individual consistories; receives new congregations into the denomination; ordains, installs, and dismisses ministers; and oversees students of theology.
The regional synod is the next assembly in the RCA. There are eight regional synods in the United States and Canada. Each oversees the interests and concerns of the classes within its geographical area and creates programs to further the work of the gospel and the denomination in its region.
The General Synod is the highest assembly and governing body in the RCA. Its membership is made up of minister and elder representatives from each classis and regional synod. In its annual meeting, the General Synod sets the direction and tone for denominational ministry. It has authority in all matters relating to denominational program and policy. It also has general responsibility over all lower assemblies (regional synods, classes, and consistories).