On Calling a Minister Presently Serving Another Church

When a church extends a call to the minister of another church, whether both belong to the same federation or denomination or not, is it a case of “piracy”? In the Philippines, this procedure is often viewed in this way, such as in many hierarchical denominations such as Unida, UCCP, or Methodist. If I’m not mistaken, in these denominations, there is an executive committee of some sort that assigns which churches their pastors would serve and for how long.

John Calvin (from the Museum of Ventura County collection)

John Calvin (from the Museum of Ventura County collection)

In our federation, the United Reformed Churches in North America, and in most other Reformed denominations, a congregation extending a call to a minister who is already serving another church, whether in the same or different denomination, is considered most Biblical and most proper. The decision whether to accept or not to accept such a call rests on the minister, who prayerfully considers it. The Church Order of the URCNA has articles regarding this matter.

If the call is extended to a minister who is already serving in another URCNA church, the procedure is spelled out in Article 7 of Chapter I:

Those who are already ordained ministers within the federation may be called to another congregation in a manner consistent with the above rules, without the examination or the laying on of hands. Any minister receiving a call shall consult with his current council regarding that call. He may accept the call only with their consent. Upon receipt of proper credentials from the church he last served, he shall be installed with the use of the appropriate liturgical form and shall subscribe to the Three Forms of Unity by signing the Form of Subscription.

If the call is extended to a minister ordained outside of the URCNA federation, the procedure is spelled out in Article 8 of the same chapter:

A minister who has been ordained in a church outside the federation shall not be admitted to serve in a church within the federation without an examination [colloquium doctum] conducted to the satisfaction of the classis, according to the regulations adopted by the federation, whereupon he may be declared by classis eligible for call by his sponsoring Consistory.

The reason I posted this article is—you guessed it—we’re looking for a Reformed pastor to serve in our Imus mission church. The qualifications of the man of God and how the selection is made are explained in this article, “On Calling a Pastor” by G. I. Williamson of the Orthodox Presbyterian Church.

Those who are interested can send me a private message here:

email account: dvopilgrimatgmaildotcom

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