What types of ministry are people doing as a Ministry Associate?

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Greeting, I thought I would post something here right away. Yes I am ordained as a Ministry Associate. Have been for about 4 years. Curious how this forum will work. I am also especially curious to hear about how people are doing ministry are doing ministry as a Ministry Associate. I work as an community worker and evangelist in a type of 2nd staff position in an established church. Mark Van Drunen

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This is a good start and the reason i responded so quickly was the opportunity to share ministry with other colleagues. I would like to be a part of raising the bar for the ministry associate. I am completely affirmed in the work that i do as Pastor of Reconciliation. I look forward to encouraging other saints and being encouraged by them. What a wonderful and powerful use of our high tech.
on the journey with ya!
Rev. Angela Taylor Perry

Hi Mark and Angela,

I have been a ministry associate since 1994 but have done ministry since 1969. Hi Angela! I just moved in July from serving at the Bravo CRC in classis Holland. I miss all of you back in Michigan. I am serving as the only pastor in a small church in the Helena Valley, just north of the City of Helena, in the "Big Sky" state of Montana. Please share what kind of ministry you both are doing.

Blessings!

Don Jabaay

Hi there. Is there room in this discussion forum for an ex-Ministry Associate in the CRC? I was ordained as a Ministry Associate from 2006-2008, but when I resigned from my position as Ministry Director at Covenant CRC, St. Catharines, Ontario, Canada as of June 20, 2008, on June 21, 2008 I ceased to be ordained as a Ministry Associate. This is one of the quirks of our denomination and the ordained office of Ministry Associate.

Hi Alida!

Yes, I understand what you are saying. Sometimes I feel there is a double standard. Seminary grads who are ordained pastors don't loose their ordination if they resign, but ministry associates do. It's the same with the pension funds. There is the "ordained" and the "unordained" pension funds. We are ordained. I am doing the very same work that a seminary grad does, but when it comes to the pension fund, I am not ordained.

What are you doing now?

Blessings!

Don Jabaay
Green Meadow CRC

Don, I'm currently working as an Administrative Assistant to the Director of Canadian Ministries in the Canada CRCNA office in Burlington, Ontario. I'm still seeking where God wants me to serve Him next in His Kingdom--whether that's in an official, formal ministry role, or doing ministry in an unofficial capacity.

Hello All,

I've been an ordained Ministry Associate in the role of Youth Pastor at Harderwyk Ministries in Classis Holland. I was ordained as an "Evangelist" in October of 2001 and since then the title changed to Ministry Associate.

The ordination has allowed me some wonderful opportunities in my calling as youth pastor in preaching on a regular basis, performing wedding ceremonies, communion and baptizing my own daughter. They have brought a much different and dynamic aspect to my ministry.

The difficulties have been that once I leave Holland I will have to re-ordain in another classis if I want to keep doing those acts of ministry and there has been absolutely not one peep from the CRC or Classis Holland since my ordination. On one hand you could say that I've had complete freedom in my ministry under the care of my consistory to do as I feel called to do. On the other hand, there has been no contact or care whatsoever from Classis or the CRC in my role as an ordained Ministry Associate. There are times when I wonder if they are aware of my ordination and that I even exist.

I'm not looking for more hoops to jump through, pats on the back or red tape to fumble with, but the silence at times regarding Ministry Associates, our roles and legitimacy has been disappointing. I'm very grateful for the encouragement of the pastors that I work with and my church council, they have played a key roll in keeping me continuing on as a Ministry Associate along with the blessings I've revived from having the ability to offer the additional "services" to my students and congregation by being able to preach, administer sacraments and perform weddings. It definitely rounds out my role as a youth pastor.

Blessings,

Ty Hogue
Harderwyk Ministries
Holland, Michigan

Hi gang! In thought I'd enter the brave new network world and check out the network conversations. This Ministry Associate page is one I'm very interested in, and I'm hoping it will help build some bridges and bring some encouragement and even lead toward some improvement in the system.

I know a few of you who have entered comments -- greetings! I currently work as the Director of Candidacy -- after a lot of years as a local pastor I accepted this new position in the CRC, beginning in Jan 2008. My hope and prayer is we can take some good steps together in our ordination processes.

One of these is the working out of Ministry Associate ordination. Synod 2007 committed to "more use, more status and more support" of this office. I hope that is happening, and will happen in the future. You can check the Candidacy Committee report to Synod 2009 (Agenda for Synod 2009, p. 215 ff) to see some of the initial steps that have been taken, including an address to the comment re "insurance and pension". There IS a plan, and in the mind of some Ministers of the Word, the plan available to ministry associates is a better plan than the plan offered to ministers of the word. The problem (potential offense) is that the plan is called "the unordained staff" plan. Maybe an overture to synod or a few letters to the pension committee would help them consider adopting a better name for the plan.

Also, re the issue of "ordination concluding" when the task concludes. Maybe an overture or a conversation with the Candidacy Committee could help address this. Truth is, Ministers of the Word also have their "ordination concluded" if they leave a ministry and do not enter another ministry. Yet for them, they are given a time (1-2 years, and then renewable time) to look and be considered without the ordination status being dropped. Ministry Associates do not currently have this "in between ministries period" -- I wonder how that could be instituted? (Again, a discussion here can help....)

Finally, the issue of "re-examiniation" when moving from one classis to another or from one ministry to another has been mentioned -- it is addressed also in the 2009 report to synod referred to above.

I want to bless each of you who are doing ministry via Ministry Associate ordination. I hope we can find more and more ways to support and encourage you!

Now, I hope I haven't broken any network rules by writing too much....

David Koll

Hi, I'd like to bring a new perspective to this post. I just began the process in January of studying to become ordained as a ministry associate. I'm taking the classes through Classis Greater Los Angeles. I spent the first 50+ years of my life growing up, getting married and raising a family. Our youngest is now in her first year of college on the opposite side of the country. I've been working at the same job for almost 25 years. My wife and I started praying, asking God what He wants us to do in the second half of our lives and this is the answer we received. I hope to be done with my classes within 3 years.
Even though I'm confident God is calling me into ministry I'm not sure what specifically he's calling me to do yet. It would help me if those of you who are already ordained can share your stories of how you developed your ministries. Did you know from the beginning what you would be doing or were you like me, not knowing right away. What are your age ranges? If you're older like me what has it been like for you to enter the ministry later in life? Did you keep your first job, work part time at both jobs, or did you quit and go full time into ministry? What has it been like getting funding for your ministry? Are you on staff at your church, does your Classis or Home Missions chip in financially, or have you gone after other sources? What has been the general reaction from friends and others to your ministry associate ordination? What about traditional ministers of the Word?
As you can tell, I have lots of questions. I'm sure in due time God will give me the answers I need. I do know that I am excited and nervous about the future. I also know I have a lot of learning to do. This forum is a good way for us to share and express what's on our minds. I look forward to hearing from you seasoned ministry associates. May God bless you in whatever your ministry is. Steve Nyenhuis

Hi Guys and Gals,

Both my husband and I are MA. We are in Las Vegas as church planters. We have had a long path to where we are. Steve graduated from Calvin Sem in the early 90's with an Masters in Missions. He was Ordained as a MA in Zeeland Classis while we were in a church plant there. After moving to Las Vegas he was reordained as a MA in CA-South Classis.

I have been a youth pastor for over 25 years. I was mostly volunteer but a few places paid staff. I have a Bachelars in Religious Education from RBC (Now Kuyper). And two years ago I finished my Master in Missions on-line through Calvin Sem. I was not ordained as a MA until I finished my Masters and Synod changed the wording in the church order for women. Prior to that I was not advised to push it in the classis I was in. But I must say when a did go through the process I was wholeheartedly thoroughly embrassed.

Both my husband and I pastor at the church.

Steve,

Like you I came into full time ministry later in life (late 40’s). I worked in the fields of accounting and administration for 25 years. For 15 of those years I was a volunteer in our youth program.

When my predecessor left, I applied for and was hired for the position of full-time Director of Youth and Education. Because of various life circumstances my educational opportunities up till then had been limited. While working for the church I enrolled in the 3 year program of the leadership network for our classis (sounds like what you are doing). The church paid for most of my tuition. Upon completion of the program my church requested my ordination as an MA. The advantages of the leadership network program was that it allowed me to work full-time while completing the program at my pace. In addition, the curriculum was flexible enough to be adapted to my ministry, and of course, it was financially feasible for a working, single mom.

I was ordained 2½ years ago. For the most part I find people, especially those outside the church, don’t have any hang-ups about whether or not I went to seminary. I also find that my peers, both MA’s and MW’s, don’t draw distinctions in perceived ability or inherent pastoral value, but maybe that’s the nature of our west coast, SF Bay Area region.

As David Koll and others have noted, there are some ambiguities that need to be ironed out between the titles. As one of my colleagues warned “rather than different in ministry, equal in honor (value)” our position can appear “equal in ministry, unequal in honor”. I trust David and his team will continue to work towards correcting this across the denomination.

I’d love to hear where and how God leads you next…
-sue

I am a Ministry Associate working as an Active Duty Army Chaplain. I am currently deployed to Iraq, but will be coming home in the next few months. I will have been here 12 months.

I attended College and Seminary with my wife. We both earned a BA in Biblical Studies and she completed an MA in Old Testament and I, an M.Div. I've been ordained through other denominations (or non-denoms) for quite a while. The more I studied and seriously reflected on Scripture and truth, the less Arminian I became. I came into the Reformed movement after a couple of years of cognitive dissonance until I found a CRCNA church and discovered the doctrine was much more like what I had come to believe than any other church. It was a much longer, winding process than that, but suffice it to say, God worked on me. I have had no formal Reformed training, but I hope in the future to earn my Th.M. from Calvin, Westminster or Princeton, in service to the Army Chaplain Corps. Then hopefully a Ph.D.

I'm happy to be a missionary from my local congregation. I've pastored before, but never missionaried. I appreciate the status of MA because it helps me keep in touch with my local congregation more than if I wasn't attached as an associate.

I look forward to discussion of issues facing MAs in general and specifics.

Interested in finding out more about the requirements for becoming a Ministry Associate. Are these paying positions? I have a family member with an A.A. from Dordt who may be interested in pursuing this option.