Letter from ARPA’s Executive Director and Board



December 1, 2021

Update: you can find the job posting for the Executive Director here

“For everything there is a season, and a time for every matter under heaven.” (Eccl. 3:1)

Since ARPA Canada began in 2007, I have asked myself, “When is it time for my role to be handed off to someone else?” Close to fifteen years have passed and I am thankful to God for the wonderful journey this has been. Yet I have also come to the point where I believe it is best to now pass the baton of ARPA Canada’s leadership to someone else.

I didn’t come to this decision quickly or easily. This mission, as well as the board, staff, and so many of you, are near and dear to my heart. It has been an incredible privilege to serve in this capacity and to see God’s work day after day.

I’m able to reach this decision confident of the reality that “this is the LORD’s work.” From the very beginning of my work with ARPA Canada, I have intentionally developed the organization in a way that is not dependent on any particular person. My hope is that it is dependent on the LORD. But holding to this confession also means that I don’t need to stay in this role for my entire life or until it is obvious that it isn’t working out well. It has always been the LORD’s work, and it will continue to be His work, regardless of where I’m serving.

There are a few reasons why I believe now is a good time for such a transition. First, by God’s grace ARPA is strong and in a good place to allow for a transition of leadership. It has top-notch and committed board members and staff, with very little turnover. The mission is very well received by grassroots and government officials. We have been blessed with an incredibly supportive and stable donor base (thank you!). We have policies and handbooks developed, sound processes in place, healthy infrastructure and websites, and much more. I believe it is for the best of ARPA Canada to transition when things are going well.

Second, for the sake of my personal health and family, I believe this is a good time to make a change. The past 15 years have been a great privilege and an amazing experience, but they have also taken a toll. Although the work has become easier with a larger team and stable funding, I welcome a change.

I have also come to this decision because I have agreed to serve in a different place that I believe would be faithful to God and for the good of His kingdom. The Reformed Perspective Foundation has a special place in ARPA’s history. When ARPA Canada started, it was under the leadership of the Reformed Perspective’s board. The board duplicated itself, with one overseeing the RPF and the other ARPA Canada. Today, the RPF is a much smaller organization than ARPA Canada and needs help. The Lord willing, my hope is to strengthen that organization and to see it expand to develop Christian journalism in Canada.

ARPA Canada will soon be publishing a job posting for the position of Executive Director on our website. We would be grateful if you could share it with people who you think would be a suitable leader for this organization (including current board or staff members). In particular, we desire that the new leader loves the LORD and His church, cares deeply about ARPA Canada’s mission, and has the ability to ensure that the mission of ARPA is being executed through the staff and many volunteers. If you read “Our God Moves Mountains” you will know that I am convicted that God works with the “weak things of this world” (1 Corinthians 1). We aren’t looking for people who think they are strong. Rather we are looking for someone who knows they are weak but has faith in a strong God. Throughout Scripture we see that God often calls people who would never choose the role themselves (think of Moses, Gideon, David, the twelve disciples, Paul, and so many others). Would you be willing to prayerfully consider if this is something that you, or someone you know, may be called to?

I offered to ARPA Canada to stay with the organization long enough to allow someone to transition into the role and to assist that person to find their feet and to set them up for success.  

As I and ARPA Canada move forward, I ask for your prayers. Just as we relied on God every step of the way to get here, we also rely on Him to provide a new leader and to bless the future of ARPA. And just as many of you have done in the past, please continue to assist the ARPA Canada team as it moves forward through your financial support, encouragement and, if necessary, also through your willingness to speak up in a loving way if you have concerns. I continue to see great need, and great potential, for ARPA’s work and am confident that the current team can move forward and build on what it has already done, in His strength.

“For from him and through him and to him are all things. To him be glory forever. Amen.” (Romans 11:36)

With Christian love,

Mark Penninga

Executive Director

Note from ARPA Canada’s Board of Directors: We received Mark’s request to step down as Executive Director of ARPA Canada with sincere respect and full understanding of the timing and decision, prayerfully made and prayerfully accepted. We wish to express our sincere gratitude and appreciation for God’s work through this brother. We are also thankful that He has granted peace of heart and mind to him and a respectable resolve to pursue other kingdom work. We are excited by the potential of increased cooperation with Reformed Perspective. We pray for a blessing on the decision and Mark’s further pursuit of service, as well as ARPA Canada’s efforts to find a leader to take his place. All of this to the praise of God’s Name!

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