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Commissioned Pastor Route (Article 23-24)

Commissioned Pastors (Article 23)

In the CRCNA, local congregations  may choose to ordain individuals who demonstrate giftedness for ministry as  Commissioned Pastors within their churches. A Commissioned Pastor ordination is a classical (not denominational) ordination. Commissioned pastors may serve in a variety of different roles within the local church, such as evangelist, chaplain, youth pastor, worship pastor, children’s pastor, and others.

Before ordaining someone as a commissioned pastor, the classis is encouraged to construct a learning plan for the development of commissioned pastors based on this template. Some classes have developed Leadership Development Networks and other training programs as contextual ways to train commissioned pastors. Those desiring to become commissioned pastors should talk to their classis CMLT leaders to see what training is required.

"Here is the Article 23/24 Process Guide and Checklist. It provides an overview and a step by step guide for preparing and ordaining a commissioned pastor."

A list of training programs has been developed and can be utilized by classes desiring to train commissioned pastors. There is also a training program for Korean-speakers (KIM) and for Spanish-speakers (SLIM).

Read more about this Article 23 process in the CRCNA Church Order (use the bookmarks/outline on the left side of the page to navigate to the appropriate article.)

Commissioned Pastors as Sole or Lead Pastors (Article 24)

Commissioned Pastors may serve in a solo/lead role under specific circumstances.

  1. A church planter may continue to serve as lead pastor for a reasonable period of time after the church organizes
  2. A commissioned pastor serving alongside a minister of the Word may in some cases move into the lead role if the Minister of the Word leaves 
  3. In a unique ministry context, a commissioned pastor may be called to serve an organized congregation
  4. A classis may approve a “bridge ordination” for a commissioned pastor with agreement that he/she will complete the required training to become a minister of the Word

In these cases, the person must complete a contextualized learning plan for denominational orientation, designed and adopted by classis and approved by the Candidacy Committee.

Read more about this Article 24 process in the CRCNA Church Order (use the bookmarks/outline on the left side of the page to navigate to the appropriate article.)

The Commissioned Pastor Handbook provides a comprehensive overview to the office.

There are a variety of resources that will equip your classis to engage a healthy process involving a prospective commissioned pastor in our Forms and Resources section.

If you have any problems finding the documents you are looking for, please feel free to contact us.