Passion for the PKN

About 10 years ago, God worked a remarkable change in my heart. At that time I was a full-time youth worker in the Vrije Baptisten Gemeente Bethel in Drachten. I had a dream job! With passion and enthusiasm I gave myself for the teenagers and young people of the church. It was during that period that God spoke during a camping holiday in Zeeland. I asked God if I was still at the Bethel where He wanted to use me. In a clear voice I heard “North Friesland” in my mind as an answer. I still remember it like it was yesterday. It was not immediately clear what exactly I was supposed to do there . In fact, I didn’t feel like going to North Friesland at all! It seems, now that I look back, a bit like Abraham who was called to a country that God would show him. I had already learned in my relationship with God that when I was in the place where God wanted me, that I would be in the best place I could imagine. With that realization, I asked God to give me a desire for what He wanted. In the years that followed, God gave this desire in a way that also surprised me. Every time I was in North Friesland, I felt God’s compassion for the people who lived there. I could sit in the car with Margreet crying as we prayed for the people in this area. Because we had no conviction to start a new church, I realized that I could work with local churches. But those were almost all PKN municipalities?? And I was a Baptist! How could that go together? God then did something else in my heart. I also developed a passion for the PKN. A desire arose to help and build in these churches. When I joined Royal Mission more than 3 years ago, I asked to be able to devote part of my time to the PKN. It started with 6 hours a week in the PKN of Jistrum. Twijslerheide (5 hours per week) has now been added and a third municipality is on its way. I feel at home here, welcome and work with passion and pleasure on developing youth and young adult work. Bringing young people and young adults into contact with the living God is the most beautiful work I can think of. Within this context, I also enjoy the beautiful processes that take place in conversations with church councils. Especially when it comes to the future of their church. There is a lot of openness because everyone nowadays senses that the form of being a PKN will change in the future. The current forms within the traditional churches are good for the older generation and have brought many of them into relationship with God, which is wonderful. However, these same forms no longer match the perception of the new generation. This makes change necessary. By talking to each other, praying and feeling each other’s hearts beating, connection is created and makes a lot of innovation possible. I can contribute to this with passion. How you and I think and speak about churches and denominations other than ours has everything to do with our image of the church. The Bible presents the church, among other things, as a bride waiting for the wedding day. Jesus is the bridegroom who loves his bride incredibly much. At his second coming he will connect with the church as in a marriage. Every Christian, regardless of denomination, who recognizes Jesus as Lord and Savior belongs to that bride. Fortunately, nowadays in the Netherlands it is noticeable that we now place more emphasis on what unites us as churches than what divides us. I think that is a very beautiful development, because Jesus himself looks at His church as a whole, as one bride. As mentioned, God has done something special in me, as an evangelical Baptist. What do you think of this story? Could you work passionately in a denomination other than your own? Thinking again, that’s what we call it these days. I pray for God’s love and commitment to your fellow believers.

About Gerlof Wiersma

Man van Margreet - Vader van drie kanjers - Jeugdwerker, spreker en gepassioneerd voor de PKN

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