Missionaries with Christian Reformed World Missions (CRWM) now have an increased responsibility to raise their own support, Synod 2013 heard.
“Most of the decision was based on the lack of denominational ministry shares,” said Jeff Dykema, reporter for synod’s missions and ministry committee. World Missions staff said they are hopeful the changes will help their ministry to stop shrinking—and start growing again.
Under the new funding formula, missionaries will be responsible to raise 90 percent of their basic costs such as housing and food. The remaining 10 percent, and “above basic” costs—such as airfare for children, training, and on-field travel—will be covered by ministry shares.
Previously, missionaries raised 60 percent of both basic and above-basic costs, with the total amount of costs divided evenly between missionaries.
Delegates expressed concern that missionaries will have to spend more energy raising funds, limiting their time on the mission field.
“Let’s pay our ministry shares so that we can reduce this amount and not get into a situation where missionaries have to devote so much time to fundraising,” said elder George Monsma of Classis Grand Rapids East. “That can create uncertainty and add stress for them.”
World Missions director Rev. Gary Bekker sent a letter to supporters explaining the change in funding for missionaries.
Synod 2013 is meeting at Calvin College in Grand Rapids, Mich. from June 7-14. For continuous Banner coverage of Synod 2013, please follow The Banner on Facebook or @crcbanner on Twitter. You can find more tweeting by following hashtag #crcsynod. News stories will be posted at www.thebanner.org several times daily. For CRC Communications releases, webcast, and live blogging, please visit www.crcna.org/synod. Unless noted otherwise, all photographs are by Karen Huttenga.