The Board of Trustees of the Christian Reformed Church is recommending to Synod 2013 that ministry shares be increased by 2 percent for the coming year. Ministry shares are the monies collected per member to fund denominational ministries.
With the dissolution of the Faith Alive board as early as July 1, many of that ministry’s critical functions will be realigned with other denominational ministries. That realignment will include new faith formation initiatives and better integration with the support services for congregations provided by the Specialized Ministries. Those ministries include Pastor-Church Relations, Safe Church, and Disability Concerns, among others.
The new ministry share will be $332.79 per member, up from $326.26. Each ministry share dollar translates to approximately eighty thousand dollars in ministry funds.
The increase comes after last year’s synod approved a 3 percent ($10) per member increase. That money was intended to shore up the operations of Faith Alive.
This year’s 2 percent ($6.53) is designated for faith formation initiatives. It will be combined with the $21.99 formerly allocated to Faith Alive. As well, $2.21 from the Specialized Ministries budget will be shifted to the Denominational Offices budget as part of the realignment of functions. The ministry share for the rest of the ministry agencies and educational institutions will remain at the same level as the previous two years. (See box.)
Executive director Joel Boot reported to the Board that significant time has gone into realignment of ministry functions “as a consequence of the Faith Alive, Faith Formation, and (for the most part) Specialized Ministries integration into a more streamlined and effective support system to serve congregations.”
The initial work was done by the Implementation Design Team, which had representatives from several different parts of the denominational structure. Peter Vandermeulen, who headed the team, noted that “the vast majority of resources are being put into serving churches.”
Among the initial initiatives are an assessment project for mid-career counseling for church leaders and a faith formation pilot project working with 100 congregations through regional faith formation advocates.
Ministry Allocation by Board:
Back to God Ministries International $43.97
Calvin College $31.60
Calvin Theological Seminary $35.91
Christian Reformed Home Missions $46.88
Christian Reformed World Missions $60.56
Board of Trustees $113.87
Faith Formation 6.53
Former FA 21.99
Specialized Ministries 47.94
Denominational Office $37.05
Special Assistance Fund $0.36
*World Renew does not receive ministry shares.