No Ministry Share Increase This Year

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There will be no ministry share increase for 2011-2012. Ministry share is the dollar amount the Christian Reformed Church asks its churches to contribute per adult member to advance the denomination’s shared ministry efforts.

The $316.76 requested per member remains at the 2010-2011 level. However, the allocation of ministry share revenue within the CRC’s overall 2011-2012 budget of $209 million has been adjusted.

Christian Reformed Home Missions and the CRC’s Specialized Ministries will each receive a 6 percent increase, while the general administration of the denomination’s business, including by synod and the Board of Trustees, will receive 18 percent less this year.

The CRC has launched an advertising campaign for ministry shares, based on the tagline “You add. God multiplies.”

The biggest boost in revenue is for The Network, Sustaining Congregational Excellence, and Volunteer Services, which together get a 32 percent bump in funding.

Synod heard that ministry shares make up 12 percent of total income for the CRC’s ministries and agencies. Twenty percent comes from targeted gifts, but the bulk of revenue derives from tuition, product sales, and interest on investments.

Notably, in inflation-adjusted dollars, the actual ministry share amount has increased very little—just 15 percent since 1982.

Synod also heard about a major promotional effort undertaken by the denomination to promote engagement in and understanding of ministry shares.

Peter Harkema, director of denominational advancement, told Synod 2011 delegates that, according to more than 2,000 survey responses from CRC members across North America, almost three-quarters of members feel “very positive” or “somewhat positive” about the ministry-share program.

“This remains a very good way to fund ministry,” said Harkema.

The CRC has launched an advertising campaign for ministry shares, based on the tagline “You add. God multiplies.”

Ministry Share Breakdown for Fiscal 20121
Back to God Ministries International $43.97
Calvin College $31.60
Calvin Theological Seminary  $35.91
Faith Alive Christian Resources $12.49
Home Missions   $46.88
World Missions  $60.56
Synodical Administrative Services2 $38.19
Congregational Network,
  Sustaining Congregational Excellence,
  Volunteer Services   
$13.94
Specialized Ministries3 $32.86
Special Assistance Fund4 $0.36
Total Per-Member Assessment  $316.76
(unchanged from 2010)

1 These amounts represent allocation for the $316.76 ministry share for the 2012 fiscal year budget (July 1, 2011 to June 30, 2012). Allocation of ministry share for fiscal 2013 will be determined as the budgets for that year are developed this fall.
2 Synod Assembly, Board of Trustees, and General Administration.
3 Chaplaincy Ministries, Disability Concerns, ministries in Canada (Aboriginal Ministries, Christian Reformed Centre for Public Dialogue), Pastor-Church Relations, Race Relations, Office of Social Justice and Hunger Action, Restorative Justice, and Safe Church Ministry.
4 A fund that provides assistance to cover the cost of a pastor's final move at retirement, as well as special needs of retired pastors or their surviving spouses.

For more coverage while synod is in session, including webcasts, photos, a discussion forum, reports, and more, see the Synod 2011 website.

About the Author

Dan Postma is an occasional reporter for The Banner.
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