During Pastoral Vacancy

Many churches go through a time without a pastor. Between arranging weekly preaching to navigating through the calling process, this can put an extra burden on the leadership of the church. Don’t forget, though, that you are part of a larger regional group that is here to support you! Below are a couple of the ways that you can draw on the Classis:

Church Counselors

About: These are the people who help churches that are without a pastor navigate through the calling process. They are assigned by the Classis Interim Committee. This person can also be a resource to you for the opportunities available, such as Specialized Transitional Ministers, if that would be helpful for your church.

For an information sheet with more specific information, see the “Documents” page (or, just click here).

Contact: The Classis Interim Committee, via the Clerk. Once your church has a counselor assigned, you will be in contact with that person directly.

Classical Preaching Appointments

About: If you’re a church without a pastor, let us take care of arranging some of your pulpit supply–about one Sunday per month. Your church’s obligation is simply to cover the pastor’s mileage at the classis-set rate, and give a set honorarium to the church that sent the pastor so they can pass it along to whomever they get to fill the pulpit in their pastor’s absence. (If the preacher is not a pastor at a church, the honorarium goes directly to the person.)

Make note that based on each church’s unique situation, the clerk will not automatically start making Classical Preaching Assignments. It is your church’s responsibility to request and initiate this.

Contact: The Classis Clerk is in charge of arranging this.

People Licensed to Exhort

About: These are people who are not ordained ministers, but have nonetheless been examined by Classis and are approved & available to preach in your church. You can contact them directly about possible preaching opportunities.

Those licensed are listed here.

CRC Reading Sermons Archive

These are sermons that have been prepared by CRC pastors and are made available for churches to use.

http://www.crcna.org/resources/church-resources/reading-sermons

CRC Pastor-Church Relations

This is not specific to our classis, but you should be aware of the Pastor-Church Relations office of our denomination. They provide a lot of helpful resources to churches that are without a pastor.

Their website is: http://www.crcna.org/pcr/churches

Church Visitors

This is also listed separately on its own page, but it seems that it is worth mentioning here as well. Your church counselor can be an incredibly helpful person, but don’t neglect inviting church visitors during your time of pastoral vacancy. They can be a great support to you. They are also tasked with ensuring that ministry is happening in a healthy way, both in the time when you have a pastor and in the time when you don’t. For some more info, jump over to “Church Visiting.”