A survey of Christian Reformed churches is the first step in an effort by the CRC to encourage and support the growing number of non-ordained staff employed in local churches.
The Staff Ministry Committee (SMC), which works under the direction of the Pastor-Church Relations Office, has been given the task of providing support for these staff members. But, says committee member Rev. Richard Verkaik, it hasn’t been able to connect with them effectively.
“Due to the variety of positions in which staff ministers work, and the many who work part time, it has been difficult to identify who exactly it is we are serving,” says Verkaik, the pastor at Battle Creek (Mich.) CRC.
So the committee applied for a grant from the CRC Foundation to survey all the congregations.
The survey found that Christian Reformed churches employ about 780 people in the areas of children and youth ministry, outreach, education, administration, and worship. About 40 percent of them work in the area of worship and music, 27 percent in youth ministry, and 20 percent in administration.
The SMC plans to offer resources such as salary guidelines, evaluation tools, and sample job descriptions. Associations have already formed to support staff serving in the areas of youth ministry (Association of Reformed Youth Pastors) and education (Association of Christian Reformed Educators). The committee hopes to form additional support networks.