The Council of Delegates (COD), in a series of decisions in October 2020, approved the creation of the Structure and Leadership Task Force (SALT). Learn more about the mandate and work of this task force through the SALT report, which is explained in this series.
Why does the Structure and Leadership Task Force (SALT) report speak about the Canadian context for denominational ministry and not the U.S. context?
The SALT report was addressing specific needs that were voiced by Canadian members of the Council of Delegates (COD). These needs were unique to Canadians.
One of the needs that the Canadian members raised was focused on compliance (tax) with Canada Revenue Agency (CRA) regulations. The U.S. Internal Revenue Service (IRS) office does not have these requirements. The SALT team, upon the advice it received from Canadian tax lawyers, recommended that regulatory compliance be achieved in two ways. First, form a Canada Office that was independent from the US Office. Secondly, update the Joint Ministry Agreement between the Canada Office and the US Office.
Certainly, the idea of “ministry context” is not unique to Canada. There are a variety of ministry contexts in the U.S. This has not been recognized organizationally in the CRCNA in quite the same way it is in the SALT report. This is probably due to the fact the Christian Reformed Church has historically been headquartered in the U.S.. This contributes to the perception that the U.S. context is “the norm,” and every other context is seen as unique.
Rev. Frederic Koning is a retired CRC Pastor and Medical Ethicist. He served as the Reporter for the Structure and Leadership Task Force (SALT), and co-facilitator of the SALT Steering Committee and the Joint Ministry Agreement Task Force.
Dr. Lloyd Vanderkwaak is a retired CEO and has conducted research on the governance partnership in nonprofit organizations. He served as a co-facilitator of the SALT Steering Committee and the Joint Ministry Agreement Task Force.