Synod 2015: What Are You Excited About?

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In just a few short days, Synod 2015 will be underway on the campus of Dordt College in Sioux Center, IA!

Some of you are attending as first time delegates or advisers and don’t know what to expect. Others of you have years of experience and may be leading a committee. Or perhaps you will be following along from home via the Webcast or Liveblog.

We'd love to know: what are you most excited about?  

Are you interested in the debate about the role of Deacons at larger assemblies? Are you curious what Faith Formation ministries is all about? Would you like to hear the recommendations that came from the committee studying religious persecution

Or maybe you are most excited about connecting with old friends or making new ones. Others of you may have nervous excitement about sleeping in a dorm again! 

What are YOU most excited about for Synod 2015? Fill us in by leaving a comment below!

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The news media will only be interested in one thing and we all know what that is.

I am interested in how the CRC churches can attain healthy status and what is the definition of that? Two items on the agenda for synod will give a bit of a glimpse into this.

1) The task force report on sustainability and

2) Iakota overture to restructure Ministry Shares.

I have just completed a review of the 2015 year book of the CRCNA stats. There are interesting trends.

The church has about 250 thousand members of which 175 thousand are eligible to pay ministry shares.

The CRCNA has 1089 churches (there is probably some error in this because the way emerging congregations are counted).

Of these 715 or 66% have less than 100 families. The trend in the decline of families has been showing up for some years.

A church of a 100 families costs about $150,000 per year to just pay operating expenses. 100% ministry and classis shares add about $50,000 to that.  That means each family has to donate about $2,000 per year.

If we assume a healthy (financial) congregation is one that pays, say, 75% of Ministry shares I look forward to the finance gurus of the church to provide a list of congregation who exceeded that amount.  The famous "paredo" rule will suggest that 20% of the churches contribute 80% of the ministry shares. I would like to see how close the church comes to that rule. If it achieves 40/60, financial health would be above the "paredo" norm. If it achieves 50/50 we could indeed have healthy congregations.

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