As with most organizations loosely knit together by a common bond, the young peoples’ societies of the Protestant Reformed Churches need central guidance and coordination. Central guidance is in fact imperative to the long term success of many organizations. Denominations have synods; congregations have councils; and individual societies have leaders. These central guides and coordinators unify the interests of the organization and create the possibility of common work and activities. In the case of the young peoples’ societies, this central coordinator is the Federation Board.
The Federation Board, as its name implies, is the executive board over the federation of Protestant Reformed young peoples’ societies. As such, it is the one central group that guides and coordinates all the affairs which the young peoples’ societies have in common. Which affairs are those? These affairs include the summer young peoples’ convention, the biannual mass meetings, the singspirations, the Beacon Lightspublication, and the Protestant Reformed Scholarship Committee.1 At each monthly meeting, the members of the board discuss these and other issues and come to decisions based on the pertinent information. In this way Fed Board officers guide and coordinate the young peoples’ affairs.
As a board made up of diverse members, the Fed Board ensures the wise and proper method of dealing with the young people. The wise Solomon said, “Where no counsel is, the people fall: but in the multitude of counselors there is safety” ( Prov. 11:14 ). The constitution of the federation recognizes and implements this principle in the election of board members. It calls for seven officers from among the young people themselves, one youth coordinator from the adult members of the PRC, and two spiritual advisors from among the ministers of the PRC. Thus, decisions are not based on the feeling or bias of a few. Rather, the officers with their experience as young people, the youth coordinator with his “real world” experience, and the spiritual advisors with their godly guidance all work together for the well-being of the Protestant Reformed young people. It is our hope and prayer that God will use this “multitude of counselors” to carry out His will in these matters.
As the president of this year’s board, I am pleased to say that the board consists of a solid group. The officers this year include the following: Eric Gritters at treasurer, Rachel Dykstra at secretary, Denise Kooienga at librarian, Kyle Thompson at vice president, Eric Pols at vice treasurer and Emily Hoekstra at vice secretary. If you know any of these young people then you too can attest to their good work! They have shown themselves to be interested in the good of the young people and dedicated in reaching that goal. Furthermore, Mr. Greg Van Overloop at youth coordinator has been very helpful in bringing up and tackling pertinent issues. His knowledge of finance and administration have encouraged and guided us through various issues. Finally, Rev. Rodney Kleyn and Prof. David Engelsma have by their presence and wise words encouraged us to be spiritually-minded also in business affairs. Taken together, the current members of the Fed Board are interested in doing what is right with respect to the Protestant Reformed young people.
Moreover, it will be reassuring for you to know that the Fed Board views its work as “kingdom work” in the sphere of the young people. Seeking to be guided by the wisdom of our Father, we opened our first few meetings by reading from the book of Proverbs, chapter one. Along with Solomon, we made it our desire “to receive the instruction of wisdom, justice, and judgment, and equity,” and we recognized “the fear of the LORD” as the beginning of this instruction. We prayed that God would be our guide as we guide the youth. We acknowledge the importance of wisdom in handling affairs which touch the lives of Christian youth, and we hope our work demonstrates that wisdom and is seen to be profitable for the church of Christ.
1 The Beacon Lights and Scholarship Committee are labors which the Fed Board oversees. The main work is done by the separate committees.