Ministry Shares

Comments (6)

Joel Boot signed a letter stating the 2013 formaula for Share amounts per active members.

While the information is beneficial, a letter by snail mail is NOT the most econonomic way to distribute information.

It uses trees and time since the recipient needs to physically move the paper around.

When is the Executive Director office going to use an e-mail system?

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August,

My understanding is that 90%+ of the announcements to pastors and churches go via email. I'm not sure about this one in particular or the reason it was sent via postal mail. But the vast majority is sent electronically.

Guide

also, believe it or not, there are churches that do not use email. I've found this more true in the US than in Canada.

A new distribution system would provide options for each church e-mail - fax or snail mail.

Community Builder

I would like to update the discussion on this topic given the 2016 Synod decision to "re imagine" the Ministry Share system inside the CRCNA.

Actually the article I am using to start this discussion already gets at the heart of the issue. Money is not a problem. Membership and how the Head Office of the CRCNA is organized and run is. 

We all know that membership is declining. So is loyalty as older members pass away. Barnabas Foundation and Christian Stewardship Services are doing awesome work. Their Estate Planning services are responsible for a lot of Estate gifts to the various ministries of the CRCNA. That income is peaking.

H.O does not appear to recognize that as membership declines, their cost should also go down. They have already removed missionaries from the payroll.  The overall cost in the denomination office have not gone down. How is that possible? The cost of not raising Ministry Shares is estimated at $200,000. That would be the salary of some 4 missionaries who are now supposed to raise their own salary. The HO folks of World Mission are not asked to raise their own money, why not? Based on salary schedules as reported in the Agenda of Synod only two of WM executive salaries would equal the $200,000. 

Statistics show the number of professing members it takes to pay for one full time staff at CRCNA H.O. has been increasing which means the HO costs are rising faster than the Professing members!  It is that reality that the Executive has to deal with. Not the Board of Trustees.

Another very important statistic is that the number of professing members per church is declining at a precipitous rate. That means we the CRNA  has too many small churches. From where I sit this is being caused by Regional Home 'Missionaries who have little else to do but promote church plants.Local churches get on the band wagon because of "HO" funding.

John Bolt was absolutely right ... The ministry share program is a very efficient way to raise money.... Leave it alone but solve the cost problem. Also stop creating and or funding new positions in the regions. If churches want to do something in their own area let them pay for it. 

My own church last year reduced the budget for ministry shares from 75% to 60% of what was approved at Synod. That was a decision based on what Council wanted to achieve at the local level. It was a courageous and necessary decision.

The CRCNA HO leaders need to take decisive action to get their costs under control and work at a program to let those of in the pew know what they are paying for. Not with numbers but with names and what those names are doing to further the spread of the gospel. 

Starting with non-paper communication would be a very good start. The Banner?

 

 

 

I can understand that churches reduce their giving to Synodical causes. However, Synod spends money on our behalf.  When I attended Synod, there was no meaningful discussion on finances. Too much material in too short a time.  The board of trustees are meeting on our behalf. They have a better chance to instruct head office to reduce costs. Voting with your money is fine for industry, but causes concern in the church.  Should each church also look at their finances and reduce costs if membership dwindles?  What other costs can be reduced besides the minister's salary,  classical quotas and synodical quotas?

August Guillaume

Community Builder

Ministry share payments are the closing item on a local budget in (and this is my guess) 90% of congregations. Pastors, staff, utilities and mortgages all have legal requirements. Ministry Shares are moral obligations. Unlike governments (of all stripes,) churches can not go to that bottomless borrowing well.  However I am in  favor of using the the church's property ownership equity to meet those obligations and or incur a debt to assist (e,g) a local Christian school.

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