An immersion experience with the Bridge Street House of Prayer sparked visions for Eric Kas’s bivocational ministry in a Grand Rapids, Mich., neighborhood.

During his pastoral internship with Calvin Seminary, Kas accompanied his youth group from Caledonia Christian Reformed Church on a week-long experience that included prayer rhythms, urban neighborhood engagement, and being part of a missional community.

When he left Bridge Street, he wondered, “What would something like this look like in our neighborhood of Southeast Grand Rapids?”

After graduating from seminary in 2015, Kas went on a backpacking trip with three other men from Oakdale Park CRC. While hiking in the mountains, they began to dream about what it would be like to live as a community that emphasizes discipleship and intentional living. Kas and one of the men began gathering for daily morning prayer to ask for vision and to discern where the Lord was leading.

In this process, a major question they discerned was whether this would be a church, or a community that came alongside the church—a parachurch organization.
By March 2016, they couldn’t shake the feeling that God was touching them in such a way that they were living into the identity of being the church.

Kas now partners with Home Missions and Oakdale Park CRC to lead a new incarnational church plant called Good News Gatherings.

As a student, Kas worked as a member of the maintenance team at the seminary. After graduation, he accepted a permanent part-time position working with Facilities at Calvin Seminary.

Kas very intentionally centered on bivocational ministry, and he is passionate about rethinking the idea of church while empowering Christians to live out God’s calling on their lives.

Having a part-time pastor enables members to be the church together as they gather in homes. “[It leads to] a shift in expectations on the ordained clergy,” said Kas “ It reemphasizes the priesthood of all believers, and helps to sustain this new expression of church.”

About the Author

Emily Sajdak, Calvin Seminary