Third Church Governance Structure

The Importance of Governance

Over 3,000 people participate in the mission of Third Church. Each and every day, the Executive Board of Third Church takes its governance call seriously through prayer, care and leadership to everyone that calls Third Church its church home. Third Church utilizes a biblical and best practice approach to its governance responsibility.

Biblical Model of Church Leadership

Throughout the New Testament, principles of church leadership point to a central theme: that the church is to be led by a plurality of godly leaders. The key word here is plurality. Relying on the consensual agreement of godly elders and deacons selected from the congregation ensures a healthy checks and balance of leadership direction, congregational care, spiritual guidance, financial accountability and ministry implementation. By providing and enforcing biblically based policies that guide ministry decisions, the Executive Board creates a safety net that makes certain ministry is offered in a God-honoring way.

Excellence in Governance

In 2004, Third Church adopted a model of governance called Policy Governance. In this model, Executive Board members provide spiritual oversight, long-term vision and operational boundaries for the functioning of the whole church as an organization. While they focus on these items, they entrust the implementation of their direction into the hands of staff and other ministry leaders through the leadership of the Senior Pastor. The benefit of this model is that it allows the Executive Board to focus their time and energy to the biblical mandate to lead and shepherd the whole church, while allowing the aforementioned leaders the empowerment to lead ministries as God directs and make practical decisions on how to carry out the Executive Board’s mandates.

Executive Board Selection

As a governing body, the Executive Board serves as ambassadors of Jesus Christ who rules over the universal church and as representatives of the congregation who have an interest in the ministry and mission of Third Church. Six members of Third Church serve on the Executive Board at any given time. These six individuals are comprised of elders and deacons, men or women; however, at least one elder and one deacon serve on the board at all times. These six individuals are elected to three year terms from the consistory of all active elders and deacons; whereas, the consistory of elders and deacons is elected by the congregation. There are three ex-officio staff persons who serve as non-voting members of the Executive Board, the Senior Pastor, the Executive Director of Ministry and the Executive Director of Operations. The Senior Pastor, along with the help of the executive directors, provides a key linkbetween the Executive Board and the day-to-day happenings of the church.

Job Description of the Executive Board

The responsibilities of the Executive Board have both routine and varied aspects. Throughout each month and at monthly meetings, the Executive Board tackles important issues for the church, including:

 • Overseeing the overall vision and future direction of the church;

 • Creating policies to clearly define church values and biblical operating procedures;

 • Ensuring the teachings and practices of the church reflect accurate biblical theology;

 • Praying for congregational pastoral care needs, conflict resolution and restoration;

• Protecting the church by providing direction on financial and risk management issues; and

 • Supervising the Senior Pastor for accountability and to ensure the vision and values determined by the Executive Board are carried out.



2013-2014 Board Members


  • Paul Jones, Chief Governance Officer
  • Lyle Horman, Clerk

At-Large Members:

  • Mark Blankespoor 
  • Joel Bennett
  • Seth Schreur
  • Jeff Van Maanen

Ex-Officio Staff Leaders:

  • Kevin Korver, Senior Pastor
  • Jason Nelson, Executive Director of Ministry
  • Dan Sorensen, Executive Director of Operations



The consistory at Third Church is the collective group of spiritual leaders who are serving the church body in the formal offices of elder and deacon.  Elders and deacons are specialized spiritual leaders that make significant contributions to the care, ministry and strengthening of the church body.  God has consistently worked powerfully through the leadership of elders and deacons because of the biblical basis for the roles and because the church grants them formal spiritual authority.  While we believe the "priesthood of all believers" is the highest value of ministry participation and leadership, there is something special with the leadership of elders and deacons.

The primary way that elders and deacons serve is through spiritual leadership in Third Church ministries.  Each year every elder and deacon is placed in a "dynamic partnership" with a staff person or lay leader in a designated role.  This partnership is intended to release the elder or deacon into a specific leadership role suited for their calling, gifting and experience in close partnership with another ministry leader. 

Elders and deacons also fulfill other "traditional" biblical roles and special responsibilities for the church in both structured and unstructured ways, including congregational care, teaching, prayer, church discipline, mediation, theologicial discernment, communion, baptisms and the offering.


Deacons  Elders
Bill Ahren Jr. Bev Brand
Jason Braithwaite Pat Duer
Tim Brand Joan Ebeling
Megan Clayberg Jan Erickson
Nancy Dieleman John Evanhouse
Ryan Dunsbergen Mike Goodyk
Greg Fisher Len Gosselink
Allissa Grandia Tim Heerema
Lois Harthorn Lyle Horman
Jayson Henry Doug Hundt
Leah Hillman Paul Jones
Jay Kime Kurt Kettler
Joe Kempen Steve Kraayenbrink
Denny Kraft Greg McCulla
Holly Lee Jil Nelson
Doug Pfadenhauer Brett Newendorp
Josh Rhinehart Rich Pitkin
Jen Van Gorp Linda Rothfuss
Sam Van Maanen Seth Schreur
Jeff Van Sant Randy Steenhoek
Rick Van Zante Sharon Stuart
Mike Van Zee Brian Vande Lune
Dave Vanderhoff Chad Vande Lune
Karen Vos Steve Van Dusseldorp
Dan Vroom Jeff Van Maanen
Joan Van Zante
Evan Vande Haar
Chad VerSteeg
John Wisse