American Reformed Reaches Community through Ridder

Date Posted: 
Tuesday, September 26, 2017

By Tim Poppen

“Ridder is not a project, it’s a process,” says Michael Hardeman. “Leaders need to be transformed in order for the congregation to also transform.”

Michael and Elizabeth Hardeman, copastors of American Reformed Church in Orange City, Iowa, started the Ridder Church Renewal process in February 2016 with a team of six congregational leaders. The end goal of Ridder is to equip leaders to become more missional within the community, but that process starts with personal transformation.

Through Ridder, American Reformed has recognized the unique needs of its local community, especially the needs of immigrants. The church sees a need for parents of teens to learn more about technology and social media. It is also considering becoming a sanctuary church for those facing deportation. To investigate this mission opportunity, American Reformed has started a collaborative effort with two other local churches.

“The Spirit of God is at work in our local cities and towns, but not the same way in every community,” says Hardeman. “God works in local context.”

For updates on American Reformed’s Ridder progress, visit For more information about Ridder Church Renewal, visit

Tim Poppen is a member of Sunnybrook Community Church (RCA) in Sioux City, Iowa, and video producer for the Synod of the Heartland.

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