Pastor-Church Relations

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Christian Reformed congregations and pastors continue to face challenges as they carry on ministry in a changing culture. The staff of Pastor-Church Relations (PCR) provides resources to assist in developing vital and healthy ministries. This is accomplished through programs of intervention/consultation where there are relationship stresses, through assistance in cultivating creative ways to build programs and relationships for effective leadership, and through support of the ministry staff.

What’s New

In cooperation with the “Sustaining Pastoral Excellence” program, PCR has emphasized mentoring of pastors in the early years of ministry as a crucial part of formation. Regional mentoring seminars will be held in nine different areas this year.

Including pastors’ spouses in the mentoring seminars has led to the development of programs to assist and support those spouses, who often find their role lonely and difficult.

With increasing challenges to pastors’ leadership, PCR is called to respond to congregational conflict and clergy burnout. The frequency of interventions and sabbatical experiences for pastors is increasing.

Four specialized interim pastors are now serving CRC congregations. A large number of retired pastors are serving congregations for short terms during transitions between pastors.

Duane A. Visser, director  616-224-0746
E-mail: visserd@crcna.org

Norm Thomasma, education specialist  616-224-0764
E-mail: thomasmn@crcna.org

Laura Palsrok, administrative assistant  616-224-0837
E-mail: palsrokl@crcna.org

Quick Facts

PCR has been developing seminar/retreat/team-building opportunities intended to help deepen resilience of both leaders and congregations. The format for these educational offerings will vary, but a sampling of titles includes the following:

  • “Stewarding Conflict” or “Conflict as Opportunity”

  • ”An Annotated Study of Philippians 4:2-9”

  • ”Conversations We Want to Have but Don’t Know How to Start”

  • ”Developing Effective Evaluation Procedures”

  • ”Finding Our Congregation’s Story in the Story of David and Goliath”

  • ”Promoting Healthy Pastor-Staff-Congregation Relations”

Contact PCR to discuss educational possibilities in your area.

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