At its meeting last week, the Board of Trustees of the Christian Reformed Church struggled at length to find a way to match budgeting needs with ministry priorities.
One priority is the new Faith Formation initiatives that are part of a realignment of ministry offices that will likely include dissolving the board of Faith Alive.
The ministry share recommendations to Synod 2013 (the annual leadership meeting of the CRC) are likely to include a request for a 2 percent increase for those initiatives that will also, if adopted, roll in the ministry shares currently allocated to Faith Alive. That will raise the current ministry share of $326.26 to $332.78 per adult member. Ministry shares are the money used to support denominational ministries.
The board also endorsed a report from the Office of Pastor-Church Relations that lays out ways to engage with pastors and churches before tensions escalate beyond being able to be resolved. The report, which will go to Synod 2013, is in response to a request from Synod 2012 and, if adopted, will have budget implications.
Study committees bringing reports directly to Synod 2013 also have budget implications. The Diversity in Leadership Planning Group II (DLPG II) is asking for $1 million over two years.
The Diakonia Remixed study report recommends the creation of a deacons’ institute.
The board also noted with concern that above-ministry-share donor income at Christian Reformed Home Missions is currently running at only 50 percent of what was budgeted for this year.
Eventually the board requested that the administration bring possible options for funding the recommendations of Pastor-Church Relations proposals and the budget implications of the DLPG II if it is adopted.
Unless there is an additional increase in ministry shares to fund the new initiatives, the board noted, the money will have to come out of the budget of the other ministry agencies.