The new CRCNA budget process announced in the Banner of November 2013 is slated to go into effect for the 2014/2015 budget year. Simplistically, the design includes a 10% removal of funding from all of the ministries (shares) to create a new "Strategic Response Fund" of about $1,000,000 to spend at the Synod (meaning BOT) discretion. I trust this proposal will be declined by synod. (I wonder how World renew will be treated in this situation — no effect I hope because donors would never allow it!)
The fancy words used to promote this proposal are of course "strategic budgeting" and "we're not cutting the agency budgets".
Would it not have been easier for the BOT to announce a 10% cut in all the Ministry Share allocations and create a new line called "Strategic Response Fund" with a designated share amount? That way Synod members could see what was going on more directly. Calvin College took a seismic hit to their budget (due to past less than stellar management of their finances) and this new change would just add another special burden for them. Why not take out the Calvin College Ministry shares out all together and create the "Strategic Response Fund" from that source? Calvin could then be spun off from the CRCNA and become independent. It would even be worth something if it could be sold. That would then create a "Strategic Response Fund" of some magnitude with no pain to the remaining CRCNA ministries.
Should this proposal pass Synod the unintended consequence could be that many churches could create their own Strategic Response Fund. I would certainly recommend this to my local Council. In our church's case we could reduce our Ministry Share Budget from 75% to 50%. We would not even have to create a fund because we have enough ministry items on the go that would really benefit from immediate funding. No more overhead costs either.
I wrote in this space recently of how the 2012-2013 budget of the Faith Alive Ministry was handled to move a great deal of funding to oversight of the BOT. Is this another one of those instances?