Participant

Norman Visser

About Me: 

I am a Canadian who has twice lived in the US, once by my parents’ choice and once by my own.  When I was in high school we also spent time in Mexico while my parents were training for missions.  That gives me a very small claim to being a missionary or pastors kid, but most of my childhood was spent on a farm in southern Ontario.  I have a BA from Dordt College and a MDiv from Calvin Seminary, but the largest and most ornate diploma on my wall is for a two year program, the Associate Diploma in Agriculture from the University of Guelph.   I am married and am the father of three children.  I am presently serving as pastor of the Calvary Christian Reformed Church in Chatham and have also served congregations in Nova Scotia and South Dakota.  In my down time I enjoy reading for pleasure, gardening, cooking and baking bread without a machine. 

Interests: 
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Over Supply

I recently came across an article that spoke of fears that there was an oversupply of pastors. While those fears sound contemporary, the article was written sixty years ago. What can we learn from this? 

Pastors
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Pastor's Shop

A plan for a possible renovation to our church building includes a room labeled “Pastor’s Shop.”  It is not a misprint. The designer is well aware of what happens in such a space, and chose the word for a reason.

Pastors
Blog
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Who Does Classis Serve?

In one classis where I served, most of our attention and energy was focused elsewhere. Even though we had our share of struggling congregations, time was mostly taken up with denominational issues.

Classis
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Trusting the Spirit

In response to the news that choosing by lot had been part of the selection process, someone commented that it was good to see us trusting the Spirit just a little. What do you think?

ClassisCRCNA and Synod
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Pray Like a Pastor

I was recently asked to pray before the meal at my niece’s wedding. Afterwards one of my sons told me that I’d “prayed like a pastor.”  It bugged me.  

Pastors
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Clogged System

A few years ago I met a person who was preparing for ministry as a second career. I didn’t ask the question that crossed my mind, which was “Have you looked at the job market lately?”  

CandidacyPastors
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Weighing Classical Exams

Over the last ten years classis Chatham has conducted more than fifteen exams. My overall impression is that one exam is pretty much like another, even though the purpose of each exam is different.

Classis
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By Any Other Name

My father was ordained as an evangelist. Though he served under a different title, the work he did is not that much different from what I do as a minister of the Word. 

ClassisPastors
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Clear the Decks

I once read that organizations should periodically clear the decks, disband every committee, and run lean for a season. Classes may soon be given the opportunity to do something like this...

ClassisCRCNA and Synod
  • As John has already said, I'd suggest asking your classical clerk or treasurer.  I am not sure how this works in the US, but in Canada corporations are required to file information annually.  For...

  • Thanks for catching that.  It is a typo, but the terms are not unrelated and it does bring a nice picture to mind.

    posted on: By Any Other Name
  • The models I have seen take the form of covenants.  I have seen one called Agreeing and Disagreeing in Love with the name of the Regional Synod of the RCA attached to it.  However, I do not know...

  • Thank you for your 'welcomes'.  It is encouraging to hear from each of you.  

    Especially when I wonder whether classis renewal has lost mometum, it is good to hear from those classes that...

  • Thank you for this Keith.
    I am not confident that having a bishop would address the flood of article 17s. As John points out, denominations that have bishops have their own problems, and I...

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    The questions John and Jeff ask about the authority, the roles and relationship of the offices of elder and deacon are no doubt questions that will be debated when the...