Financial Support Up in All Areas
July 1, 2004 – March 31, 2005
Financial support for the ministries of the Christian Reformed Church was up in all areas during the first nine months of the 2004/05 fiscal year.
Ministry-share receipts were up by $425,000 compared to the same period last year, while above-ministry-share gifts increased by more than $1.5 million for a combined increase of 5 percent. Disaster-relief gifts were up by $8.6 million, and estate gifts were up by over $230,000.
Ministry-share giving was up by 2.2 percent compared to the same period last year and up by more than 6 percent over the levels budgeted for nine months. It is important to remember, however, that these budgets do not reflect 100 percent of the ministry shares approved by synod. The agencies, institutions, and ministries prepare their annual budgets anticipating that ministry-share receipts will follow the pattern of recent years, averaging about 70 percent of the amount that synod asks the churches to contribute in support of these shared ministries.
Donations and special offerings from individuals and churches are called above-ministry-share gifts. These were up by 7.7 percent compared to the same period last year and slightly ahead of budgeted levels.
Above-ministry-share gifts are the primary source of funding for the Christian Reformed World Relief Committee (CRWRC), as this agency does not participate in ministry shares. Gifts related to the agency’s disaster-response efforts are not included in the above-ministry-share figures.
Disaster-response gifts totaling $9.6 million through March 31 represent the tremendous outpouring of generosity that followed the hurricanes in Florida last fall and the tsunami tragedy in Asia last December. These funds will enable CRWRC and its partners to respond for the long term to the needs of those who were in the path of destruction.
—John Bolt, Director of Finance and Administration
What Are Ministry Shares?
god calls us all to be witnesses. It is a task that we share—one that requires our hearts, hands, prayers, and financial resources.
One of the important ways in which we as part of the Christian Reformed Church, participate in this work is known as “ministry shares.” This uniquely Christian Reformed revenue tool has its roots at the very beginning of our denomination.
Ministry shares are requested from organized churches based on the number of active adult confessing members. One key attribute of the ministry-share program is that there is little or no administrative collection cost. To raise the same amount of money through fundraising would cost $3-4 million a year.
Not all gift income from churches is ministry shares. Some comes in the form of special offerings for an individual agency or educational institution. These funds are called “above ministry share” gifts. While some congregations choose not to contribute the requested ministry share, many still contribute an above-ministry-share amount.
For about $5 a week in ministry shares and through your gifts to the Christian Reformed World Relief Committee (CRWRC), you share in supporting missionaries and evangelists to spread the gospel, to help plant and build churches, and to extend a hand to people in need around the world.