Corey Buchanan went from convict to commissioned pastor.
Commissioned pastors in the Reformed Church in America are elders who serve under the jurisdiction and within the boundaries of a particular classis, and who have completed a training and study program approved by the classis.
They are individually commissioned for a specific ministry need, which could be the need for a preacher or pastor in a small congregation, for a church staff member, church planter, or hospice worker, or for any other area of ministry that the classis deems appropriate to the training and gifts of the commissioned pastor.
An individual seeking to become a commissioned pastor:
- must first be recommended by his or her own congregation's consistory.
- must have a course of study and training approved and supervised by his or her classis. (In most cases the course of study will take at least two years.)
- after completing the course of study, will be officially commissioned after he or she has received an invitation to serve in a particular ministry that the classis has authorized and for which the classis has approved the contract.
A person retains the designation "commissioned pastor" only for the period of time that he or she is actively serving in a ministry approved and commissioned by the classis.
The performance of each commissioned pastor is evaluated annually by the classis. The classis will also assign a mentor for the period of training and ministry of each commissioned pastor candidate.
- Contact information is available for area representatives and advisory team members.
- Commissioned Pastors in the Book of Church Order
- An explanation of the RCA's criteria, for which all candidates must show competence before being commissioned, and the explanatory statements regarding those criteria
- Order for Commissioning a Commissioned Pastor
- Clergy Housing Benefits for Commissioned Pastors
Stories about Commissioned Pastors
When Ryan Bajema started working as director of youth ministries at First Reformed Church in Lynden, Washington, he never imagined he’d one day become the senior pastor.
In a troubled neighborhood along Van Ness Ave. in Fresno, California, gang activity, street crime, and drug abuse are commonplace.
And it’s along this stretch of roadway, which cuts through the heart of the city, where RCA commissioned pastor Raymond Moore and his wife, Tanya, do the work of ministry as leaders of Fresno House Church.