The following article by Glenda Mathes appeared on page 20 of the August 24, 2011, issue of Christian Renewal.
On July 1, 2011, Reformed Mission Services (RMS) hired Rob Brinks (Cornerstone URC; Hudsonville, MI) to a two-year position as its Interim Director. Rob currently works part-time for RMS while continuing regular full-time employment.
RMS is a relatively new organization that promotes missions and evangelism within the Reformed community. The consistory of Pompton Plains Reformed Bible Church (Pompton Plains, NJ) oversees the ministry, which functions under the direction of a Board currently comprised of men from various URCNA churches.
But Rob explains that RMS hopes to expand its efforts beyond URCNA churches and missionaries.
“We do hope to partner with the URCNA Mission Committee,” he says, “but we also hope to partner with more denominations such as CRC, RCUS, and OPC—anyone within the Reformed community.”
“Our main focus is to get out the gospel to all lands, to encourage people to pursue specific avenues of following the Great Commission, and that God would be glorified.”
It might help to think of RMS as a facilitator. The organization encourages young people and adults to consider mission and evangelism opportunities, it communicates with missionaries and churches to increase awareness of their needs, and it helps organize mission trips or service projects to meet those needs.
While RMS shares some structural similarities with RYS (Reformed Youth Services), it is not a branch of RYS and does not limit its work to young people. It provides opportunities and training for groups or individuals of all ages. RMS desires to cultivate within participants a love for the lost, a heart for missions and evangelism, and a renewed passion and commitment to Christ’s, His church, and His kingdom.
The first part of its two-fold purpose is to bless and encourage missionaries, church planters, and pastors. The second aspect of its purpose is that participants will be active in sharing their faith, so that they have a full understanding of every good thing in Christ (Philemon 1:6).
The organization grew out of successful TASC (Teens All Serving Christ) events during the last five years. These one-week Christian service trips designed for high school students include four working days and one day away. A TASC event can be hosted by any member church that desires to meet a need within its community. RMS offers a detailed manual that helps churches assess the need, determine the number of young people necessary to meet that need within the time frame, and organize a successful project. The manual is available from RMS by request as a PDF download or hard copy.
While the TASC program is for teens, RMS organizes mission service projects for adults as well as young people. Rob is currently organizing adult as well as youth mission trips to Mexico. He is working with Rev. Bill Green in Costa Rica to plan mission trips for an adult group and a youth group. He is also working with Rev. Neal Hegeman of MINTS (Miami International Theological Seminary) to organize a 10-day trip to Peru this November.
In the near future, RMS hopes to begin a quarterly newsletter that will alert churches to opportunities for service. As more funding becomes available, RMS hopes to initiate a disaster relief program.