Skip to main content


I had the privilege of participating in this program recently. I highly recommend this experience. Karl is an excellent teacher-facilitator and the video conferencing with your cohort is effective and meaningful. You will also have the opportunity to have in-person meetings with everyone to add to and enhance your learning. Feel free to message me if you have other questions.

Once again, this is well worth your time. As with all CPE experiences, what you learn about yourself will help you learn to pastor and counsel more effectively. It will benefit your ministry, your church, as well as yourself.

Thanks, Bonnie!  Very helpful.  I appreciate the resources.  The powerpoint presentation is a helpful overview to show to my leadership.

I'm still wondering if there is a video focused for teachers and volunteers that could outline specific boundaries. Perhaps it doesn't exist. 

I'm wondering if a slide presentation might be more applicable.

I was hoping to find something that we could show consistently from year to year that would not be dependent on one individual to present. My thought would be to outline our policy via a handout and then show a brief video affirming the key principles of child safety.


Thanks for the post and I appreciate your concern. I "hear" in your post that you feel disrespected by not being allowed to administer the sacraments, even though you have been ordained in another denomination.

I'd like to bring to your attention a couple things to think about. First, I think the issue you are identifying is not unique to the CRC or even the Reformed expression of faith. I would guess that you would not be allowed to administer the sacraments in most Presbyterian, Lutheran, or even Roman Catholic churches, for that matter. I am guessing the same would be for most churches from the Baptist or Methodist traditions. Only those ordained and authorized by those denominational bodies would permit someone to administer the sacraments. 

Secondly, and closely related, is the expectation and requirement that the person who administers the sacrament has an understanding of those sacraments that are consistent with the biblical understanding and theological teaching of the church and denomination. The CRC understanding of the covenantal promises of God in baptism and the true presence of the Holy Spirit in the Lord's Supper is significantly different than a Baptist, Lutheran, or Roman Catholic understanding of the same sacraments.  Therefore, according to our church order, the proper administration of the sacraments is done by one who is ordained, under the supervision of the council. The assumption is that this person understands and agrees with what the CRC believes that Scripture teaches about baptism and the Lord's Supper. 

Using this as a background, the Church Order of the CRC requires that the sacraments "shall be administered upon the authority of the the consistory in the public worship by a minister of the Word (CRC), a commissioned pastor, "or in case of need, an ordained person who has received the approval of classis..." In certain circumstances, a member of the council, ordinarily an elder, could administer the sacraments when an ordained minister is not available. (Reference Art. 53 & 55  and their supplements of the C.O.)

I provide this to you as information. Hopefully, you have a better understanding why the council asked that you not administer the Lord's Supper. You might not agree with these reasons, but the council acted consistently within the CRC's understanding of whom may offer the sacraments. 

Regards, Todd

Just a note for easy backup in the "cloud." is a free software that will automatically save and upload the files you designate to a secure site that you can access from anywhere.  Also, you can easily share files with another computer (i.e.  a desktop and a laptop computer) so that they sync when you have an online connection.  

The service is free for up to 2 GB of storage.  This is usually adequate, but if you need to, you can upgrade to 50GB for a cost of $99.00 per year.

Pretty nifty.

I appreciate the conversation so far.  

As some of you work on filling the slate for potential elders and deacons, how many of you limit the slate to twice the number of people you need to replace (the minimum), or do you allow as many who pass the screening process and are willing to stand as elder or deacon go into the "hat?"

I appreciate the article and I do share some of the same concerns about how much or what type of issues our denominational agencies or denomination as a whole have to speak about.

However, to discern what is appropriate is difficult. Using your argument that Scripture is to provide the rubric by which we determine what issues are addressed, then one could say that many of the things that our agencies speak about are guided by scripture--especially the several times where God's people are commanded to care for the "orphan, the widow, and the stranger or sojourner within our gates."  So, that said, I agree that scripture should be the guide, but I also sense that if what is said can be attributed to scripture, the next level of our response will be determined by how what is said fits or conflicts with our political leanings. This will influence our reaction and response to what our agencies say.

This is where the issue becomes difficult. It seems that it will be difficult do find a happy, "just right," middle ground. It seems that this issue lends itself to one of two paths: The OSJ continues to speak on a number of issues, some of which our members will disagree with because of political reasons. Or, maybe they will agree on scriptural principle, but will disagree on the solution suggested. The other route is to go the route of more conservative churches in the Reformed tradition and say nothing as a denomination in regards to the specific issues that affect our country and world.

That said, thanks for the discussion, and I am interested in hearing the response of others.


A great question.  I think you identify some of the key issues toward the end of the second paragraph. Also, you are correct about the "dual-citizenship." I'm not sure that any church who recognizes membership within their polity would allow their members to also be members of another church or denomination.

Basically, I think you're on the right track. It's a great teaching opportunity for you and for the couple.  You would also want to have the council involved, endorsing and affirming the faith of the couple.

May I suggest one more thing? There are people much wiser than me and probably some who have had experience ministering in this situation that could find your question here, but are more likely to find you the Facebook group: Pastors of the Christian Reformed Church. It is a a "closed" group, meaning you would have to request to join and the moderators would include you.  It is an active group with close to 700 members of both active and (actively) retired pastors.

Blessings to you as you walk with this couple in their faith!  What a privilege!

 I always thought pastors kept cool stuff back here like the Israelites had in the Ark.  All I see is a glass of warm water, kleenexes, and a bunch of old bulletins.

We want to hear from you.

Connect to The Network and add your own question, blog, resource, or job.

Add Your Post