Resource, Form or Template

The Church and Minister Profile Forms have been streamlined and are attached for quick download. 

June 22, 2015 0 0 comments
Resource, Article

Churches have a wealth of great content. It’s true. Yet so many churches struggle when it comes to finding the right things to post on social media, websites or other communications avenues.

June 16, 2015 0 0 comments
Discussion Topic

We often talk about bullying in schools and strategies to encourage decreased aggression for our children. But what about bullying in our everyday lives as adults in the church?

April 30, 2015 2 0 comments
Discussion Topic

When it comes to paying our congregational musicians, most churches are faced with a couple different scenarios. Has your church wrestled with this question?

April 29, 2015 0 2 comments
Resource, Book or Booklet

The 2015 Yearbooks are now available; look for pre-orders to be shipping soon!

April 15, 2015 0 2 comments
Resource, Policy or Guidelines

Easter weekend is over. You now have time to take a breath. It’s also important to spend some time as a team debriefing and reviewing how Easter went.

April 8, 2015 0 0 comments
Resource, Book or Booklet

Should you purposely try to fill the position from inside or should your purposely go outside your congregation? Does it really matter? There are advantages and disadvantages to both.

March 24, 2015 0 0 comments
Resource, Article

Easter may be one of the busiest times of the year for your church. It’s an opportunity to reach new people and invigorate those who are already a part of your community...

February 25, 2015 0 0 comments
Discussion Topic

This week the CRC launched a new experiment in crowdfunding. Is this the way we should do denominational publishing?

January 28, 2015 1 6 comments
Resource, Article

Talking to your congregation could be considered internal communications, while speaking to potential visitors and your community might be external.

January 23, 2015 0 0 comments
Resource, Policy or Guidelines

Churches are encouraged to use legal counsel for creating bylaws but this sample may be a great place to start.

January 20, 2015 0 0 comments
Resource, Policy or Guidelines

The Key Federal Tax Figures displays variables from previous fiscal years to the current fiscal year.

January 20, 2015 0 0 comments
Q&A

Normally youth ministry staff are paid based on the hours they work planning youth activities. What are guidelines for compensation when they are with the youth 24 hrs per day?

January 14, 2015 0 1 comments
Q&A

Our Bylaws are out of date and a mess.  Are there examples/samples, guides for CRCNA Bylaws (not articles of incorporation)?

January 12, 2015 0 1 comments
Resource, Article

Building and maintaining a good website is a struggle for many churches. Here are some of the most common roadblocks you can remove to give your website a better chance.

January 9, 2015 2 0 comments
Resource, Policy or Guidelines

If your congregation is still wrestling with the question of whether or not to require background checks, here are a few guidelines to help you through the evaluation process.

December 29, 2014 1 1 comments
Resource, Policy or Guidelines

What guidelines have you used when you paid for expenses for moving a minister? Here are some suggestions regarding move estimates, packing, and travel expenses for starting that conversation.

December 9, 2014 1 1 comments
Blog

We’re into Advent, which means for many churches the Christmas plan is starting to roll. For church staffers, it’s been Christmas since July. Planning the season starts early...

December 4, 2014 0 0 comments
Discussion Topic

We are researching payroll software for our church. We are looking for something affordable (preferably under $100) to handle payroll for up to 5 employees and our minister...

November 30, 2014 0 1 comments
Resource, Article

As December quickly approaches, many churches are well into finalizing their Christmas plans. Whether you’re finishing up your plans, or getting a late start, here are a few areas to consider.

November 24, 2014 0 0 comments
Resource, Article

Communications issues often evolve into conversations about the vision of the church or what programs are working. Here are a few ideas for how you can strengthen the communications work you’re doing.

October 23, 2014 0 0 comments
Resource, Book or Booklet

This annually published book provides invaluable information for managing the business side of a church.

October 14, 2014 1 0 comments
Resource, Book or Booklet

This annual publication provides up to date tax information specifically for ministers.

October 14, 2014 0 0 comments
Resource

The Canadian Council of Christian Charities provides significant and helpful information to their members on issues related to charities.

October 14, 2014 0 0 comments
Resource, Website

Canada Revenue Agency site for helpful information on charities and giving.

October 14, 2014 0 0 comments

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Mavis, I just started to looking at Salesforce in our church and appreciate your posts.  I did not install the NonProfit Package when I first signed up.  I don't know what version of the NonProfit you were talking about in this blog post, but Salesforce has come out with Version 3.  After looking at the it's household model, (your SPAM filters didn't let me put in a link)  I felt like it was the best option for us.   I tried to install the extra pack afterwards and ran into some big access issues.  I wasn't too far along in our process, so we just started over with fresh install of Salesfoce NonProfit Pack (one of the first options when you sign up).  I would really suggest that people do their homework on accounts before they sign up.  They can spare themselves some problems.  As you said, the non profit may not work best for everyone.  If you think it is best, it is smart to start with it rather than trying to convert to it later.

The article you link requires a subscription to read it. Could you summarize the conclusions of the article about how to weigh the decision of whether or not a church should purchase an AED?

Thank you.

Thanks so much for your explanation as how the "tools" criteria has been expanded within the Canadian context.

One thing that should be noted when considering the employee versus independent contractor for Canadian tax purposes is an expansion on the use of "tools". In many situations, where the individual has a particular set of skills that is not otherwise easily obtainable (doctors, lawyers and other such professionals being some of the prominent examples) this can lend a lot of weight toward the individual being considered and independent contractor. You might surmise that the same could be possible for musicians - I have yet to meet someone who picks up an instrument and is able to play it skillfully without having played any other instrument before.

While I would highly recommend you seek out a professional opinion before making any determination on your own (and I would note that in my post I am NOT providing an opinion on your situation) this is something to consider as being self-employed has many tax advantages even if there are some shortcomings.

Tough one to deal with, having to draw the line between what should be volunteer and what should be paid work. This difficulty extends to any worship director/coordinator that your church may have.

One thing I think I could agree on, but still probably not clear cut depending on who you talk to (what in life really is beyond the story of salvation?), is the provision of music and other such supplies (strings, sticks, etc) to the musicians and singers. These are items that are being used in the ministry of the church and comparable supplies are regularly provided to other ministries. Although, if you're regularly demanding gold-plated guitar strings, I think we might have an issue. :) (Maybe a stipend instead?)

I personally do not expect to be paid for the amount of time I put into learning my instrument because I want to volunteer my time and do something I love to do, but I know we all come from different life experiences so not all will agree. But I am only in a worship leader role and the actual service planning is completed by another individual so if I were doing both consistently I might feel differently. (I suppose if I was paid and considered self-employed I might also be able to claim some home office and auto expenses on my tax return and donate the money I made back to the church for a tax credit...)

If there are not enough/no musicians in the church and outside musicians need to be brought in, they should be offered compensation where the church can afford it - it is up to the individual offering their "services" to determine whether they want to volunteer their time or not. But it is not nice to see churches where there are capable musicians as part of the congregation and outside musicians are always being brought in.

One thing that paying inside musicians could do is make it awkward if you have to stop paying someone because they are not pulling their weight or do not pay someone at all because their skill level is not there (not that this should be the sole reason not to pay musicians, just a musing)

Sorry for all the competing thoughts I have going on in this comment. It makes sense in my head...

posted in: Paying the Piper?

Joyce, thanks for making the points that musicians have (almost always) had years of lessons and practice and have to put in time planning. And that they must purchase music on their own, which is very expensive. Many years ago in a previous church I would hear people argue that Sunday school teachers are not paid, so organists should also not expect compensation. That falls on deaf ears for those of us who have studied music and paid for lessons since childhood.

posted in: Paying the Piper?

Hi August, 

Thanks for the inquiry! I have passed along your question to Faith Alive Customer Service and they will be in touch shortly regarding this order. 

 

This strange letter appeared in our in box. Is this for the Yearbook??

 

August

 

Order Number: 9107012

Thank you for your recent order!  We thought you'd like to know that the
above-referenced order was shipped on 04/21/2015 via
Expedited Mail.

If you would like to follow the transit of your package, go to the website of
the carrier listed above and use this tracking number, if available:
 1946358210486870

Your order total came to $45.12 and we applied $0.00, leaving a
balance of $45.12.

NEED HELP WITH YOUR ORDER?
If you have any questions or concerns regarding your order, please contact our
Customer Service department at orders@FaithAliveResources.org or toll-free at
1-800-333-8300.  Please have your order number or customer number available.

Again, thank you for shopping with us. And be sure to visit the newly revised
website at www.FaithAliveResources.org to browse ministry resources, view samples,
and download the catalog.

In the passages from 1 Tim. it begins with the assumption or requirement that there be a desire to serve in these offices, it seems this is lacking in many cases.  Currently in our church we are struggling to come up with enough nominees to fill the slots, what does this say about a congregation?

I spoke with a veteran youth pastor in a large church in West Michigan. Currently he is full-time and salaried in his position and therefore receives no extra compensation for the annual week-long serve project or week-end youth events.  He does though get a few days off, out of the office, when he returns.

When he was employed as a part-time, hourly compensated youth coordinator this was a topic of discussion.  The negotiated decision was that he was paid for 12 hours each day for the time he was at a youth event or serve project with the youth. 

He and I agree that the key is to have these conversations upfront, even at the time of hiring, to avoid a possible issue or misunderstanding at the time of the event.  To have a policy in place, in writing, is for the benefit of both the church and the staff person.

Thank you for this post. It is helpful and timely!

 

August - We've been unable to find a crowdfunding system that accepts two currencies at once. If this experiment goes well, we'll keep searching. In the meantime, donations from Canadian members will be processed in such a way that they can receive a receipt that satisfies Revenue Canada requirements.

Exactly my point. How wide will this spread inside the CRCNA hierarchy/churches? Does each ministry/church start its own?

My guess is that the hymnal is more a pre-order system, and the story book is true crowd sourcing. Since CRC NA has officies in US and Canada I am assuming that there could be receipts done in both countries. However, the note mentioned that the charges are in US $ with the exchange provided for with the credit card. That is a good way of doing it since the credit card produces competitive rates.  However the tax receipt would be in US $$ which is a problem for Canada's tax system which operates in Canadian $$. For the CRC, donations from Canada are usually done in Canadian $$, with receipts so indicated, and the US organizations get the US $$ from it, depending on the exchange rate. 

Crowd sourcing for the CRC should actually have two sites, one for Canada and the other for US citizens.

The Canadian site should then have prices in Canadian $$ with the risk of exchange being with the CRC, not the individual making the donation.

August Guillaume

Here what I wrote when I first saw the announcement.

 

This is a novel idea. What safe guards are in place to prevent this idea from spreading throughout the denomination and or individual churches? Is there an element of risk involved to the churches' reputation? Are there legal issues involved or tax issues of Canada vs USA. I noticed receipts can be provided.

Thanks for checking it out, August. Crowdfunding is used for both product launches and for pure fundraising. Or even both at the same time, as we're doing with the God Loves Me storybooks. You can pre-order it, or just donate to the cause. It's exciting to see people doing both!

When I went to the site, it was an advertisement to purchase material to reserve a spot on the assembly line. This way the CRC can find out how much interest there is in a specific product before publishing. If one is not interested in purchasing a specific product, the looker is expected to exit the site. I hope it works for them, but don't call it crowdfunding!

Crowdfunding is to me something different. In crowdfunding the internet community is asked to fund a project, in return sometimes getting an interest in it or tickets should there be sufficient $$ returned. There are many crowdfunding sites that organizations can use.  For instance if the CRC needs a new building for publishing, crowdfunding could be used to raise the capital. 

August Guillaume

 

 

A sample bylaw is now posted under the Church Admin & Finance section.  

 

I would recommend Ministry Scheduler Pro by Rotunda Software.  It allows volunteers to submit their serving preferences, known "unavailable" dates, etc.  They can also request substitues for a particular date, and see other team members' contact info.  There's even an app for both Android and iPhones

The auto scheduler part of the software ensures volunteers aren't scheduled to be in 2 places at the same time.  

If you're working with a larger number of volunteers and many different ministries, MSP is the way to go!

 

 

Thanks for this informative article.

Church Law and Tax Report creates a list each year of the top 5 reasons that churches end up in court (http://www.churchlawandtax.com/web/2014/july/top-5-reasons-churches-end-...). At the top of the list each year since 2010 is "Sexual Abuse of a Minor". We must not bury our heads in the sand and assume that it won't happen in our congregations. Having a safe church/abuse prevention policy in place, which includes background checks for staff and volunteers is an important step in protecting the children, youth, and vulnerable adults that have been entrusted to our care. It's also an important step in protecting our congregations from allegations, lawsuits, and financial ruin as well.

techsoup website allows churches to register for software donations in including quickbooks.  the admin fee for the donation is well under $100

you can also get microsoft office full versions and/or microsoft windows upgrades for small admin fees.

A position with this job description applies to a very, very large church. To put context to a job description like this you need to supply the context  (number of other employees this person is expected to work with). The average church in the CRCNA has only 225 members (1103/282500 source 2013 year book). A church that size would not have a function you outlined. But publishing these job descriptions is a good idea.

  " At the level of a council, there are a number of things which can be especially helpful:• View the pastor as a partner in ministry; with the elders, a shepherding team..."   This comment made above is particularly relevant.  However, the suggestions that followed this comment do not seem to follow from it, since they emphasize how the pastor is different, not how he partners.  The heavy reliance on the pastor, such as for preaching on christmas day for 25 years, for example, is caused mostly because of the inability of the partners to carry on the task.  In order to have true partnership, the elders should be able to be a true shepherding team, and carry on the task if the pastor has personal desires and obligations.  It is for this reason, as well as for enhancing the partnership, that pastors should be training the elders, and elders should be training each other.  While the primary role of the pastor is understood, and the function of primary caregiver is known, it should never be thought that others are unable or unwilling to carry out the tasks, roles and responsibilities.   This alone would relieve a great deal of stress and pressure from the pastor, and would encourage growth of the entire church.

This document refers to "written benevolence procedures," but they are not included in the post. Would it be possible to post those as well?

Thanks,

Noah Kruis, Administrative Coordinator
Creston Church

Thanks, Sheri, for this information!  In my role of supporting church staff members, I have a number of sample job descriptions that I would be happy to pass along to anyone who would like to see them.  I can be contacted at jkallemeyn@crcna.org 

Jeanne Kallemeyn, Pastor-Church Relations, CRCNA

Thank you Sheri for these practical helps. They are exceptionally helpful. Administration is a spiritual gift (cf. the interesting Greek word "cybernesis," I Cor. 12:28) that often goes overlooked, but not by those who know that a good administrator can be the glue that holds a church's ministry together.

This is a fantastic presentation. I sat in on a similar presentation by Jerod a couple of years ago, and I'm a big fan of Church Juice and the work that they do.

In my experience, though, most CRC churches do not have staff or even volunteers with the necessary skill set to carry out the kind of strategic planning work, let alone the implementation of the ideas outlined here. I believe CRC churches need to raise the priority of this kind of work from both a staffing and budgeting perspective if they truly want to reach more people more effectively for Christ.

And full disclosure: I am a self-employed communications consultant specializing in planning and implementing communications strategies for small businesses, non-profits and churches.

James Bosma - Lift Communications

So often I see church signs that preach to choir ,unless your well steeped in the scriptures, the message oft times will mean little to the very people the church is or should be trying to reach. If they go past scratching their heads you might as well put some thing funny on the sign at least it will catch their attention .

In reading the Agenda for Synod 2014, I noted the highlighted point below: 

"A large part of the Board of Trustees’ work relates to the ministry programs, personnel, and finances of the denomination. The program and personnel details are reported to synod by way of the reports of the agencies and this section of the BOT’s report in this agenda. Additional information regarding financial matters is contained in Appendix H to this Board of Trustees Report as well as in the Agenda for Synod 2014—Financial and Business Supplement that is distributed at synod. The final budget and the ministry share request will be presented to synod by way of synod’s finance advisory committee.” Agenda for Synod 2014 – Board of Trustees Report, page 33

QUESTIONS: 

1. By not publishing the proposed budget and ministry share request in the Agenda of Synod, is BOT/Synod forgoing it’s fiduicary and due diligence obligations to the local church of the business to be dealt with at the CRCNA AGM?

2. By not including the proposed budget in the Agenda of Synod are legislated notice requirements for not-for-profit non-government organizations being overlooked?

I can't speak to how/when the changes get reflected in financial statements, but I can speak to why your church received a catalog. I believe the plan all along has been to continue making resources available to churches under the name/imprint of Faith Alive Christian Resources. See the first sentence of this Banner article (published a year ago, before Synod 2013's decision).

I will add here what I wrote about the budget changes at Faith Alive:

At synod 2013 some significant changes were announced regarding Faith Alive.  A week or so ago we received in the mail an 88 page catalog for products offered by Faith Alive. I thought this ministry was eliminated but obviously not. I went back to the acts of synod to find the financial info on this ministry. In 2011/2012 the actual loss of this ministry was about 1.5 million on an income of five million. Low and behold the budget for 2012/2013 was  balanced on a budget income of about 6.5 million. And the budget for 2013/2014 was about 6.6 million. The only major change was was that the FTE budget was down by 4 people!

The implicit message here is spend more with less people. Somehow this ministry (including Faith formation - not sure what that all entails) received an extra 1.5 million in 2012/2013 and 2013/2014. I wonder how many World Missions missionaries this could have funded?

The Faith Alive catalog has an introduction "dear faith alive customer". But has no ending with "yours truly" and a name. Who is responsible for this ministry? Where does it report? Who is in charge of "faith formation" if that is in fact a ministry and does it have any employees?

Synod should have an interesting discussion on this in June.

August, thanks for your comment.

I agree with you that "a Christian Reformed Church Building is just that - a building which needs resources for the upkeep. Since the local congregation is in charge of the building they can set rules - who to share the building with and how much to charge." I agree that congregations are under no obligation to do otherwise except, I would add, the obligation by which all Christian congregations live: to love God and neighbor as they have been loved. I agree that there are no arbitrary rules by which a church must act except, I would add, the commandment to love God and neighbor as guided by the Word and Spirit.

I regret that you received the impression that I was suggesting a mandate to guide all congregations renting space to other congregations. The relationship between two congregations which prompted my first post was not meant to provide an example of a relationship guided by rules. Rather, just the opposite. It was provided as an alternative to the typical rule-guided relationships between congregations which own property and those to whom they rent their property.  

 

A Christian Reformed Church Building is just that - a building which needs resources for the upkeep. Since the local congregation is in charge of the building they can set rules - who to share the building with and how much to charge.

The "Kingdom of God" encompasses the whole universe and is not limited to a wood and stone structure that is used to worship GOD by a very small group of people.

It is so "unreformed" in my way of thinking to force a structure made by man to some arbitrary rules that are labeled "God's rules". Its the type of thinking that seems to justify paying a very small wage to people working for a church.

That a church MUST share their resources for no charge because they are Christian, while businesses owned by Christians are allowed to charge in order to earn a profit because the businesses are not part of God's Kingdom comes from some Kingdom model that is totally foreign to Reformed way of thinking.

The whole notion of "landlord-tenant" is inappropriate with regard to church facilities. The facilities are not like someone's house or factory or some other real-estate. The facilities belong to the kingdom and the council is to exercise stewardship over those assets. Rent money doesn't become available to the kingdom once it has been collected by the 'landlord'. The money in all our pockets belongs to the lord...if the members of the other congregation use those same 'rent' dollars on other kingdom-expanding causes...the kingdom does advance. I fail to see the stewardship problem in this arrangement.

Thank you for your post, Andy. In answer to your questions, I generally post three to four new captions every Sunday morning. I usually vary the themes (partly depending on the season, both physical season and church season), rarely taking more than one caption from the various chapters in Your Church Sign. I almost always have one under the theme of encouragement and another under the theme of evangelism (sometimes a Scripture text will serve as one of these). I will often have one with a play on words, but never one that is too cutsey. As a standard caption, I always have one with the time and temperature and our church's website. Unfortunately, the city of Grand Rapids has strict rules for digital signs. There may be no moving parts (hence, no graphics), and each caption has to stay on for at least five minutes. Since I had signed that agreement, I keep to it (except for the time and temperature, because then the time would be five minutes off at the end of five minutes). I personally believe the sign captions help people understand what your church stands for, and especially for a drive-in church, that is important.

  Interesting topic, thanks Sam. Good food for thought. I believe our church 'rents' space to AA where they hold their meetings in our basement while one day per week we let local homeschoolers hold their music lessons in our sanctuary. Not sure if the home schooling group pays us or not. Where would one draw some kind of line involving who pays and who doesn't? It could be argued that AA does as much to 'advance the kingdom' as some churches while the home schoolers are all predominately from Christian families.  

My question relates to our understanding of kingdom, stewardship and space.  I simply wonder if Christ affirms of one congregation renting space to another. My concern is that instead of wrestling with that issue we begin with the assumption that the landlord-tenant relationship is the way to go unless we can be shown otherwise.  I would love it if we began with the assumption that we share space as partners in ministry. Then see what comes out of such a conversation.

As far as multiple congregations in the same area, I am sure you would agree that it is not always possible for every for every Christian in one geographic area to worship in one space at one time.  We would have too many people speaking too many different languages.  We will have to wait for heaven to enjoy that privilege.

Still, I grant that in some settings the possibility for organizational unity exists but is not pursued - and that practice should be challenged. 

 

 

 

Even sharing the copier?  Wow! 

Thank you, Verlyn, for your recent posts on church signs. Our church has recently changed its name and is installing a new double-sided sign, with a 2' x 8' back-lit fixed portion (with name and website) on top of a 2' x 8' color LED portion for messaging. We pray fervently that the Lord will use the sign to bring more guests to our worship services and we are preparing for that possibility.

Your book, Your Church Sign, is one tool I can use to be thoughtful and intentional in our messaging.

My questions relate to details of how you are using the digital sign differently from non-digital reader-boards. For example, Do you usually have 3 or 4 or more rotating messages? How many seconds do you leave a message displayed before rotating them? (Our sign is perpendicular to a road with a 35 mph limit.) How many days/weeks until one message is replaced in the rotation by another message? Do you mix the "pun-type" messages with announcements of upcoming special events. Do you put the time/temp on the sign so people know there will "useful" information on the sign at some point? Have you used graphics and do you have a recommended source for graphics? Basically, I'm interested in whatever you have done to which you attribute your stated "increase in attendance." We want to use our new tool as intentionally and as well as possible. We'll trust God for the results.

Perhaps you are planning to address these types of questions in a future blog. If so, great, I'll wait. Thanks for your sharing your experiences in this realm.

I thought I would share this up-date. The folks sharing kingdom space with us are growing rapidly. They started worshipping in our upper room auditorium. They rapidly out-grew that space and moved downstairs to our fellowship room. For a number of weeks now this group has seen 'standing room' crowds and asked to use the sanctuary. The photos from Sunday morning show an almost full house. We couldn't be happier for these dear brothers and sisters in Christ. Their youth group is thriving as is their couples club. God is obviously blessing this group and we rejoice accordingly. 

What does the statement mean: "What does Christ think of such an arrangement?"

Certainly the fact that there are two different congregations in the same geographic area must be challenged!

We were supposed to be 'one' to convince the World about the Way!

How many have we become?

 

 

My church doesn't list all the staff salaries including the pastor on the budget sheet but if someone wants a breakdown of the salaries, they are welcome to request more information from the leadership.  This gives leadership an opportunity to address and educate the inquiring person on the process of review prior to setting compensation and benefits.

It must be a "Central Valley thing." I understand that Visalia CRC has been doing the same thing? They even share the church copier....how stewardly is that?

Our church adopted this policy many years ago.  As one of the employees of the church, it was an extremely uncomfortable matter that everyone in the church knew what my salary was.  It came to a head at one congregational meeting when someone stood up and offered to do the job for a lower amount.  Now only Council members, the Personnel Committee, and the Salary committee, know what each person is paid.  I think most church employees are acutely aware that their salaries are paid for by member contributions, and therefore work very hard to earn both the dollar value and respect of those on whose behalf they carry out their particular roles of kingdom service.  As far as I can determine there is no added benefit to congregational members knowing the individual amounts of staff salaries.

Lambert, thank you for the details regarding your practice of sharing space with another Christian congregation.  I hope and pray the relationship continues to be blessed.  

What exactly are the 'biblical stewardship' and civil - legislative issues being alluded to in this post? If a local congregation of Jesus Christ decides it wants to share facilities with other brothers and sisters in Christ, is it not free to do so? By the way, how many local congregations in the CRC are bound by the Safe Church guidelines? What exactly is the legally binding relationship between local congregations and the CRCNA in Michigan?  

Our relationship with this group of folk is simply our strategy to advance the cause of Christ for the Spanish population in Kings County. Our insurance underwriter is fine with these arrangements. We have enjoyed 4 years of mutual joy and encouragement in advancing the cause of Christ here in Hanford and look forward many more years together as faithful stewards of the resources entrusted to our care. 

As I've indicated in previous posts, I can understand the desire to further Kingdom work.

What I don't understand is the avoidance to engage in the notion that these congregations operate within civil and legislation frameworks as two distinct corporate entities.

Framing the matter as purely a monetary / power imbalance ignores both the biblical stewardship relationship between the parties, as well as the civil / legal issues that arise when two parties jointly agree to share in the use of a facility. What Hanford CRC has offered the other church meeting in it's space may "feel good" but may also be problematic in the eyes of the civil authorities, as well as, other parties such as insurance companies, e.g. what binds the other church to abide by CRCNA Safe Church policy.

The article above does not provide a lot of detail on the Hanford CRC relationship, however, the Brian Tebben example is more helpful and moves in the right direction. Harry Boessenkool also alludes to the complexity of legal constraints that exist in Canada, and probably also the United States, on providing services and facilities on the same equity terms to both church members and non-church members. 

 

 

 

Not sure I was influenced by the philosopher Foucault. Maybe his writings have seeped into my psyche through someone else since I haven't read him.  I will have to check into that.

I do see a recurring thread, however, in some of the comments thus far: an assumption that a church charging another church or ministry rent for the use of space is normative and, hence, exceptions to that norm unusual.

If that be the case, I want to lift up the Hanford (CA) CRC as a model worthy of emulation. By treating the ministry of another congregation on their campus in the same fashion they treat ministries like GEMS, Cadets, and Coffee Break, they provide an admirable model for other congregations.  Wouldn't you agree?
 

There is a Foucaultian post-modern tendency to view relationships with suspicion when it comes to the matter of power. 

Though I can understand that "power" might be an issue, nonetheless a landlord / tenant relationship is usually premised on a contractual relationship with obligations and responsibilities similar to the concept of a covenantal relationship. Secondly, that contractual relationship is regulated by legislation and civil authorities where recourse for remedies can be pursued even though it may not always work effectively.

Moreover, quite apart from the state ensuring that the interests of the respective parties being protected there are also other matters which need to be addressed that are raised by Harry Bossenkool and Brian Tebben.

 

There is another facet of the landlord-tenant relationship and that is power.  Doesn't it seem that the one receiving money (landlord) is in a position of power over the one handing over money? And how do we harmonize that position of power with our unity in Christ? 

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