Mike VanLaan

About Me: 

I previously served (as a volunteer) for many years at Friendship Christian Reformed Church, in Byron Center, MI, as the church administrator -- I am very much interested in church administration, church culture, and how we get things done in the best way in doing the work assigned to the Church.  In addition to being a retired military officer, I have previous experience as a facility manager for a large hospital, an operations manager for a construction company, and, then, as a business owner.  I also have previous experience as a deacon and as an elder, to include a term as Council President.  I have been a delegate to Synod one time.

I am married, with two grown children (both married).  Grandchildren are one of the my greatest enjoyments in life right now.


My hobbies and interests include:  date days with my wife, sports, computers, elk hunting, cruise vacations.

I am also interested in the use of technology in the church, (church) organizational culture, church order, and (church) organizational structure.

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Unordained Staff Compensation

How do we best get local compensation data for church secretaries, administrative assistants, youth directors, custodians, Kids Hope directors, music directors, and a variety of other very important staff positions at our churches? 

Church Admin & FinancePastors
  • I am the task team leader for our church "Governance & Ministry Task Team".  We formed this past summer (as directed by our council) and are finishing up our work to review how we do things at...

  • We took the video off the website (have to keep things updated and changing, you know).  Anyway, it's still on our church Facebook page: 

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  • I have found The Network very helpful, mostly from a church adminstration and/or church finance perspective.  I am somewhat disappointed with the number of people who do not use it (both in our...

  • Rick:  I actually think there is more variation in the job expectations from the national survey than the local survey.  I just think the quality control goes down as the number of participants...

  • Rick:  I think your approach is a great one.  It combines the national data ("Church Compensation Handbook") with a local analysis.  How did you contact the churches in your classis (e-mail, phone...

  • We, too, have used the national survey data -- primarily through the National Association of Church Business Administrators (NACBA) -- which includes regional information as well.  The limitation...

  • Thank you to all who participated in the survey.  I will be working on the data and will get results back to you.

  • FYI, I would recommend FaithConnector if you want some good Content Management Software for your website.  Easy to use.

    posted on: Member Only Section
  • When we redesigned our website three years ago we really struggled with this issue.  In the end, we decided that the privacy of our members needed to be protected in many cases.  Therefore, we...

    posted on: Member Only Section
  • I'm not really a music person, so I'm not sure it would qualify as a "choir anthem", but we recently had a song that was written and performed by Jess Hollenbach: "You Are Wonderfully and...