Pastor Church Resources offers four different types of grants to pastors.
- Peer Learning Group Grants
Peer Learning Group Grants offer pastors an opportunity to gather for learning, support, prayer, encouragement, and fellowship. Grants of up to $3,000 are available.
- Mentoring Group Grants
The Mentoring Group Program offers pastors an opportunity to delve into a specific ministry transition—exploring transition, second call, or later career—while supporting, caring for, and encouraging one another. Grants of up to $10,000 are available.
- Continuing Education Grants
Continuing Education Grants are for pastors and paid ministry staff who would like to enrich their learning through opportunities such as conferences, retreats, and seminars. Grants of up to $750 are available.
- Financial Shalom Grants
Financial Shalom provides grants to support CRCNA pastors who face financial challenges that impede their well-being and their ministry. Grants of up to $4,000 are available.
FLOURISHING IN MINISTRY
Pastor Church Resources is involved in an ongoing research project, Flourishing in Ministry, conducted by the University of Notre Dame. During the summer of 2017, just over 340 CRC pastors participated in it and received a personized report on their wellbeing. The resulting report has helpful information for both pastors and those who care for pastors. For more information go here.
PASTORS’ SPIRITUAL VITALITY TOOL KIT
Pastors wellbeing is very important for pastors, their families (if married), and their congregations. The Spiritual Vitality Toolkit is a great resource for pastors, and really, for anyone who desires to flourish and be well.
Preparing for ministry is never a one-time event. Instead, we as pastors are constantly being formed for the ministry that God has called us into. Some of our learning comes simply through lived experience, but we also honor our calling to discern intentionally how we might grow as unique people serving in unique ministry contexts. These pages of continuing education and ongoing formation for ministry resources are designed to assist pastors, ministry leaders and councils to make plans for ongoing learning. Read more. (Link “read more” to this page.)
Continuing Education Grants
Pastor Church Resources has funds available for grants that support continuing education (CE) opportunities such as conferences, classes, coaching, etc. for active CRC pastors and ministry staff. Application deadlines are April 1, August 1, and November 1. The maximum amount that can be requested is $750. Individuals may receive two CE grants in a five year period. We encourage submission of applications before the due date to allow for potential questions to be resolved in a timely manner.
VOCATIONAL MINISTRY ASSESSMENTS
God has created all of us to be unique which means we’ll flourish in different ways in different situations. A vocational ministry assessment helps pastors find their vocational sweet spot—the place where their heart sings and where God is glorified. The online assessment takes about 40 minutes to complete. This is followed by an hour debrief of the results with a trained consultant. Engaging in an assessment can take place at any time during your ministry, but may be particularly helpful when you’re seeking clarity on how and where God wants you to serve him.
The staff of Pastor Church Resources is available for consultation in times of transition or crisis by way of telephone, email and on-site visits. Occasionally, we make use of resource persons beyond our staff.
We consider sabbaticals to be an essential form of care offered to pastors, nurturing health and sustaining pastors for the long haul of ministry. Healthier pastors are healthier leaders, so congregations too will benefit! For a wealth of information about sabbaticals, sabbatical policies and resources, visit this page.
PASTORS IN TRANSITION
At various moments within a pastor's life, questions of "fit" and "call" and "tenure" come to the forefront. Discerning a wise course can be a challenge, requiring significant listening to the stirring of God's Spirit, to the voices of significant others, and to one's own inner being. For more on this, follow this link to chapter 2 of Effective Leadership in the Church, especially page 25 re: "confluence."
If you find yourself early in your second call, thinking about possibly moving to another ministry opportunity, or are 55 and up (we call these three situations “invisible transitions”), the Thriving Together program has resources for you. These include gatherings, mentoring groups grants, and vocational ministry assessments.
If you are wrestling with your sense of call to your present ministry, and want to open yourself to the possibility of a new place of ministry, consider the following course of action:
- Update your ministerial profile
- Engage in a vocational ministry assessment to assist you in finding your vocational sweet spot—the place where their heart sings and where God is glorified.
- Respond to advertisements and public notices of vacant positions.
- Network with friends, family and acquaintances as advocates. Word of mouth is an effective way to communicate availability.
It is considered acceptable and even expected for ministers to be active participants in the calling process.
If you are wrestling with your sense of call to ordained ministry in general, or to some particular form of ordained ministry, you may want to consider a vocational assessment by an experienced team. This can be arranged through the PCR office.
If your discernment process has you wondering about the possibility of serving in the U.S., Canada, or elsewhere, questions surrounding border concerns, work visas and the like may be addressed to Michelle De Bie, Director of Human Resources. She can be reached at [email protected].
For a helpful resource on managing the transition from active ministry to retirement, click on Closing Well, Continuing Strong. Questions concerning retirement and pension may be sent to [email protected].
PastorSearch is the process by which churches and pastors can find each other.
- Many church position openings can be found in the Church Jobs section of The Network.
- Churches are encouraged to post their profiles in Church Jobs or on their church website. Churches can be found at the Church Finder section of the CRCNA website and many have a website listed.
- Pastor Search Committees may register for access, through a portal, to all minister profiles during their time of searching for a pastor.
All minister profiles will be available for access by registered Pastor Search Committees. As a pastor, you’re encouraged to create and keep your profile updated. Frequent updating is critical in maintaining the integrity of the pastor search process. The minister portal, instructions, and log-in can be found here.
The “make visible” option has been removed from the minister profile form. In keeping with the provision of Church Order Supplement Article 8A, if you’ve been in your current position for more than two years, you’re eligible to be contacted by pastor search committees. It’s more than likely that you’ll be contacted more frequently than you’ve been in the past. Your cordial response to inquiries is appreciated.
In addition to checking available position openings in Church Jobs, you’re encouraged to utilize other approaches to discovering and discerning possible calls. For example, responding to ads in The Banner, and networking with colleagues, classical functionaries, and others that may provide additional opportunities for conversation.
If you have questions or comments, please email [email protected]. We’re here to assist you in any way we can!
In the Christian Reformed Church all newly ordained ministers and all ministers who enter the CRC from other denominations are expected to find mentors who will walk with them for the first five years of their ordained ministries (See p. 78 of the Agenda and Acts of Synod 1982). Pastor Church Resources (PCR) coordinates that ministry to new pastors. PCR also finds mentors for any other pastors who would like to have a mentor walk beside them in ministry. To see a full description of this mentoring ministry please click here.
Pastors find themselves in sensitive conversations all the time. Some of those conversations result in the pastor knowing key information. Guidelines for how that information should be handled can be found in a 1988 synodical report from the Committee on Clergy Silence. Synod 1988 adopted the recommendations of the report (see pp. 534-535 of the Agenda and Acts of Synod 1988). The report itself can be found on pages 317-341.
If you are an ordained minister in the Christian Reformed Church and have a question about your pension please contact the denomination’s pension office. Email your questions to [email protected] or call them at 1-616-224-0722. You can also access their website at: https://www.crcna.org/resources/church-resources/church-administration-finance/ministers-pension
FORMER PASTOR GUIDELINES
Synod 2009 approved guidelines for maintaining a healthy relationship between a congregation and former pastor. These guidelines are especially important in situations where the former pastor becomes a "regular" member in that same congregation upon either retirement or taking up a ministry role outside of the congregation. See Agenda Synod 2009, pp.45-52 for the context of these guidelines as a response to an overture from Classis Grand Rapids East in 2008. Click here for a copy of these guidelines. Click here for a copy of an article which demonstrates that guidelines do not tell the whole story, or even the only story.