Tackle Consumer Mentality with the Cross

Calvin Bremer, longtime host of the popular Back to God Hour radio program, will be stepping-in as the first Executive Director of the Christian Reformed Church in North America today.

While he says he is humbled by the opportunity to serve as the denomination’s top leader, Bremer hopes to overturn a few things during his tenure, including the rising trend of “consumer mentality” in the church.

“The consumer mentality says, if I pay you x number of dollars, what will you do for me.? If I go on Sunday morning to church, I want to know what you are going to do for me,” Bremer explained in June when he was elected.

Bremer believes that mentality is opposite of the Christ-like-life Christians were called to follow.

“The essence of the Christian life is sacrifice, rather than consumption,” he said. “Until we start teaching that kind of life and modeling that for them, we will not survive. It’s about teaching the cross and being involved in the cross.”

In order to teach this cross, Bremer says a leader must be faithful to scripture and have vision, which is exactly what Bremer wants to bring to his position.

“The executive director’s role is to cast vision and marshal resources to implement that vision,” he said. “It’s leadership that is faithful to scripture and discerning where the spirit of God is leading.”

Bremer was appointed as the first CRC executive director during the denomination’s annual top legislative gathering – the 2005 Synod – in late June.

The executive director’s position was created last year by the 2004 Synod to streamline the traditional governance structure, which had two top staff positions – the General Secretary and the Executive Director of Ministries.

“I think the new structure will allow us to address some things that we haven’t been able to address as well in the past,” said Bremer. “Every structure had weakness and strength and it will be dependent on God’s leading.”

The main weakness of the old structure was its lack of central leadership, according to the Communications Director Henry Hess. Because there were two top leaders, there was much confusion as to who had the final say on key issues.

Bremer will be taking over both roles and hopefully eliminate such conflicts as he serves indefinitely as the 300,000-member denomination’s highest-ranking representative.

As of now, Bremer’s focus is to deliver what he can to his church.

“I pray that my ministry is acceptable to the saints and that I could bring the same kind of leadership that has always been needed: one that is faithful to the scripture and discerning to where the spirit of God is leading.”