Ministry Information Form Query

MIF #: 03373.AD0

Ministry General Information

Ministry Number 03373
Ministry Name Westminster Presbyterian Church
Mailing Address 47 Jefferson Ave. SE
Grand Rapids, MI 49503
Phone 616-456-1456
WWW Address
Ministry Size 1001 - 1500 members
Ethnic Composition White 99%
Other 1%
Average Worship Attendance 468
Church School Attendance 113
Curriculum Workshop Rotation thru Grade 5; Young Children & Worship during worship; Middle School blend of Lectio Divina & Dwelling in the Word. Adults various.
Yoked Church False
Community Type Urban
Last Information from Statistics of the Church  * (  Show Statistics  )
* Data availability is not guaranteed

Information about the position

Position:   Head of Staff (who supervised one teaching elder and other staff)
Experience Required:   2 to 5 Years
Specific Title:  
Employment Status:   Full-time
Language Requirements:   English
Other Languages:  
Statement Of Faith Required:   Yes
Clergy Couples:   No
Training/Certificate Requirements:  
Other Training:  
Brief Church Mission Statement:

WPC Vision Statement:  “The gospel of Jesus Christ compels us to love and welcome all as we have been loved and welcomed. Therefore, we seek to be a community of servants transformed by God’s Word and transforming God’s world through faithful worship, learning, and service.”

WPC Mission Statement: “Through the power of the Holy Spirit we will:

  • Pursue our Christian identity through encountering the Word of God, delighting in the wonder of God’s creation, and sharing our lived experience.
  • Cultivate a community of safety and inclusion that renews and liberates us for greater risk and a deeper commitment to Christ.
  • Repent of our own complicity in the world’s evil and live toward new, more just and equitable forms of common life, both locally and globally.
  • Practice the disciplines of justice, hospitality, forgiveness and compassion.”

By God’s grace, we will embrace the way of the cross and claim our hope in the resurrection.  So long as any of God’s people still need liberation, Christ’s mission, and thus ours, has not been fulfilled.  (Adopted by Session, April 4, 2016)

What is the congregation’s or organization’s vision for ministry? Additionally describe how this vision is lived out.

Absolutely everyone is welcome at Westminster.

Music is a foundational part of our traditional-style worship. From our Sanctuary Choir and Westminster Winds ensemble to children’s choirs and soloists, we are a congregation united in praising God through music and song.

Educational ministries provide a structure and intentionality about how we engage in the practices of faith. Each Sunday between worship services, the Education Hour offers classes for both children and adults. 6th-12th graders of any faith background are welcome in our youth groups, choirs, and on annual trips. Numerous small groups and circles provide adult faith formation opportunities during the week.

Pastoral care at Westminster is delivered by a multidisciplinary team, whose training and professional experience allow them to coordinate care to members and non-members alike. Our robust 3-pronged Deacons ministry supports the hospitalized, homebound and mentally ill.

Westminster has 3 core missions: Westminster Child Development Center (1969) provides the only downtown childcare with a sliding payment scale ensuring all income levels have access to quality care. Camp Henry (1937) is an all-season camp that helps individuals experience a glimpse of the world the way God intended it to be by providing a positive Christian environment with life-changing experiences. The on-site Downtown Food Pantry provides an emergency supply of food and personal care items to people in need while promoting self-sufficiency.

How do you feel called to reach out to address the emerging needs of your community or constituency?

Westminster is a metropolitan church located in the heart of Grand Rapids. Founded in 1861, WPC installed an abolitionist, intellectual and revivalist as its first pastor. The culture birthed by those three characteristics, still informs the life and witness of the congregation. 

Westminster places social justice as a primary emphasis of the gospel’s demand. Twice in our history we were offered the opportunity to move to the suburbs. Our decision to remain a downtown church engaged in neighborhood ministries continues to be our goal.

In addition to our 3 core missions, Westminster partners with local ministries who focus on racial equity, housing, food security, our Heartside neighbors, faith formation, interfaith dialogue, and the LGBTQ community. Our renewed emphasis on Mission encourages participation in hands-on mission work. was created to move congregants and others into active participation by matching them with volunteer opportunities.

WPC’s Open Door Ministry offers a warm place for neighbors to hydrate and use the bathroom. Our Mental Health Referral Panel vetted practitioners who provide safe and affordable therapeutic help. And yet we yearn to do more. How will we reach the large young-adult population in downtown GR? What about the non-affiliated millennials who desire community but are suspicious of institutions? We seek creative answers for engaging with the world outside our church walls.

How will this position help you to reach your vision and mission goals?

Through the careful and scholarly interpretation of – as well as a loving encounter with – the Word of God, the Senior Pastor will help the congregation understand, develop and further their Christian identity. The Senior Pastor will walk with and guide the congregation as we seek to be followers and disciples of Jesus who live in loving relationship with others and God’s creation.

Through his/her own spiritual development and compassion, the Senior Pastor will serve as an example of God’s loving acceptance of people at all stages of their faith journey, including questioning skeptics, agnostics and atheists.  In this way, the Senior Pastor will help WPC become a “community of safety and inclusion that is liberated for greater risk and deeper commitment to Christ.”

The Senior Pastor will be able to articulate our “complicity in the world’s evil,” and through self-awareness and spiritual development, be able to model and guide members of the congregation to a greater understanding of the psychological and spiritual barriers that keep us from experiencing God’s love and abundant grace.

As WPC strives to be a congregation grounded in worship, spiritual development and outreach, and is devoted to practicing the “disciplines of justice, hospitality, forgiveness and compassion,” it is expected that the Senior Pastor would share this devotion as a means of drawing the congregation – and the ever-changing community in which it lives – closer to the heart of God.

Provide a description of the characteristics needed by the person who is open to being called to this congregation and or organization.

The candidate should have a minimum of 2-5 years ministerial experience.  We are open to other experiences other than Head of Staff, which demonstrate leadership capabilities commensurate with program responsibilities.

The successful Senior Pastor candidate will demonstrate:

  • Exceptional preaching skills whose homiletic style exhibits a clear fidelity to sound theological interpretation of scripture and is infused with compassionate awareness and acceptance of the varieties of human experience that is informed by literary, cultural and social scientific understandings, as well as life experience.
  • Superior worship leadership, melding preaching, liturgy and music to provide a cohesive message and worship encounter.
  • Competence in shepherding and pastoral care; expressed both in compassionate interpersonal communication skills and through the effective management and empowerment of Session and the church’s many committees and small groups.
  • Ability to assess a congregation’s strengths and weaknesses and demonstrate a passion for mobilizing people to be a demonstration of God’s unconditional love - to be the “hands and feet” of God’s grace in the neighborhood, community and world.
  • Adaptable entrepreneurial style visionary who is willing to experiment, fail, learn, and then experiment again; motivated by a passion for a reaching a growing generation that is bereft of an awareness of the unwavering nature of God’s love and grace.
What specific tasks, assignments, and program areas will this person have responsibility?

The Senior Pastor serves as Head of Staff. This person is responsible for leading worship and preaching on the majority of Sundays. Just as importantly, he or she provides the vision for staff and the congregation to serve each other and the community at large. The Senior Pastor has several direct reports including, for example, those who oversee the children and youth ministries, faith formation programming, pastoral care, and administration. In turn, these individuals oversee and/or interact with support staff.

The Senior Pastor serves as Moderator of the Session and sets its agenda, and they work closely with the directors of Westminster’s three core missions: Camp Henry, the Child Development Center, and the Food Pantry. The Senior Pastor also helps prepare the church budget and provides leadership for the annual stewardship activities and periodic capital campaigns.

They must be able to successfully manage the delicate balance between preaching and leading worship,  leading ministerial and administrative staff, serving as a visionary, and providing pastoral care and executive management. Thus, time management is a critical skill in fulfilling the responsibilities of this position.

Optional Links
Leadership Competencies:
Preaching and Worship Leadership
Spiritual Maturity
Change Agent
Culturally Proficient
Strategy and Vision
Interpersonal Engagement
Bridge Builder
Personal Resilience
Compensation and Housing:   (Cost of Living Calculator)
Minimum Effective Salary: $95,000   (Effective Salary Definition)
Housing Type: Housing Allowance
Name Relation
Rev. Doctor Riley Jensen
9501 Whispering Sands Drive West Olive, MI 49460
Home: 616 844-3336; Cell
former Sr. Pastor, Head of Staff
Char & Peter De Jong
2049 Ruffino Dr. Colorado Springs CO 80921
Peter 616 238-4910 Cha
Peter: and Char: charbjean1
former WPC members who moved out of state
Rev. Nelson Lumm
PO Box 337 Portage MI 49081
269 341-9274
Retired Presbyterian Minister, member Lake Michiga
Has the Pastor Nominating Committee and Search committee affirmed its intention to follow the Form of Government in this regard?
Deadline date for this MIF:  (none)
Version Track Info: This MIF was last updated on   2/19/2019

Self-referral Contact Information

EP:   Rev Fran Lane-Lawrence Address  1511 Helen Ave, Portage, MI, 49002
Daytime Phone  269-240-8155 Office Phone  269-381-6337
Fax  Email
COM:   Troy Hauser Brydon Address  1511 Helen Avenue, Portage, MI 49002
Daytime Phone  616-604-2617 Office Phone
Fax  Email
PNC:  Joint-Chairs: Sherrill Vore, Ed VanderPloeg, Pat Macholan Address  2233 Edington Drive SE Grand Rapids, MI 49508
Daytime Phone  773-934-4927 Office Phone 
Fax  Email