Synod 2019 (the general assembly of the Christian Reformed Church) took several actions to broaden and strengthen the development of pastoral leadership in the denomination. It also decided to take a look at expanding support for bivocational ministers.
An initial study of bivocational ministry, partially funded by the Lilly Endowment, was a first step taken by the Financial Shalom Project. The Financial Shalom Project “seeks to alleviate some of the key financial challenges facing CRC pastors.”
Bivocational ministers receive income from more than one source. In addition to being a pastor, a bivocational minister may work in a business outside of the church or also work in another church.
Bivocational pastors can help small churches maintain their life together when financial resources are scarce, but the church order of the CRC discourages bivocational ministry.
Bivocationality raises other questions about matters like insurance and pensions. The initial study group recommended the formation of a task force to study bivocationality. Synod agreed and appointed the task force. It is slated to report in 2021.
Synod 2019 is meeting at Calvin College in Grand Rapids, Mich., from June 14-20. For continuous coverage from our award-winning news team, download the Banner app on your mobile device or follow The Banner Magazine on Facebook or @crcbanner on Twitter. You can find more tweeting by following hashtag #crcsynod. News stories will be posted on The Banner’s dedicated Synod web page several times daily. Unless noted otherwise, all photographs are by Karen Huttenga.