Pastor-Church Relations (PCR) serves pastors, staff, church councils, and congregations of the Christian Reformed Church by promoting healthy relationships that support the effectiveness of congregational ministries.
Although each response to individuals or groups is customized to the specifics of the situation, some types of responses are relatively common. One such response is an educational response. Congregations, councils, pastors, staff, or combinations thereof frequently ask PCR to help facilitate educational experiences.
Educational offerings include helping to build a team, having difficult conversations, or linking the work of the group to the gospel narrative and the narratives of our lives. PCR also offers seminars on positive responses to conflict.
In addition, PCR provides intervention assistance for congregations when conflict interferes with ministry. This is done either directly with onsite visits from PCR staff or indirectly through consultation with classical church visitors or other regional resources. Many of these interventions are also conducted or supported through phone or e-mail interaction.
There have been significant changes in staff. In January, Rev. Norm Thomasma was appointed as the new director of PCR. In March, Rev. Cecil VanNiejenhuis began working as a pastor/congregation consultant. Thomasma continues to work out of the Grand Rapids office, and VanNiejenhuis is based in Edmonton, Alberta.
Norm Thomasma, director
staff ministry specialist
Laura Palsrok, ministerial information service coordinator/administrative assistant
Cecil VanNiejenhuis, pastor/congregation consultant
- Working under the auspices of PCR, the Staff Ministry Committee has developed a credentialing process for congregational ministry staff that is currently in a pilot stage.
- Educational events are often requested by churches during times of low-level conflict.
- The staff of PCR, in conjunction with a pastors’ peer group, is writing a manual for the effective evaluations of pastors and church staff.