Synod 2006 broadened the category of “hardship” for churches in reporting their membership count. The category refers to members who can’t be expected to give much financially to their congregation, including college students, fixed-income elderly, and now also churches that have significant numbers of members serving in the military or members who have moved to an area where there is no Christian Reformed church but who wish to retain their membership in the CRC.
Synod 2003 recognized that there are widely divergent practices in how churches report membership, which affects how much they pay in ministry share to their classis and the denomination. The amount of ministry share a church pays is based on the number of active, professing members over the age of 18.
However, Synod 2006 rejected a suggestion by the CRC’s Board of Trustees that churches report and be accountable at classis for the membership numbers reported. Synod said that forcing more paperwork on the classis would not make an appreciable improvement in the accuracy of counting members, nor would it result in increased ministry-share receipts.