CRCA Ministry Share – and why it’s a very good thing…

Ever wondered what your church’s ‘ministry share’ actually achieves? Is it really just a ‘church tax’? It may be time to think again. Tony Deenick tells us why…

[This material is being circulated so local churches and pastors can encourage their members to give generously to the CRCA Deficit Reduction Appeal, which is being held this coming Sunday, August 19, in many CRCA congregations – DG]

As individual churches there are often things we would like to do which we can’t afford or can’t easily do on our own. Alternatively, we may simply want to do some things less expensively or do them better by being part of a group. So every three years at a meeting of representatives of all our churches, called the Synod, we decide what things we can best do together as a denomination. To pay for these ministries churches agree to pay a “ministry share” based on membership. In practice the ministry share represents around 6% (±3%) of a church’s budget, depending on size and levels of giving.

So what does your church’s Ministry Share payment accomplish?

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Well, it is used to cover administration and denominational legal obligations, such things as setting minister’s salary levels, providing for long service leave, collecting and disbursing superannuation payments, paying copyright fees and providing financial advice. Some of the money goes towards maintaining the denominational website and web addresses and publishing the annual church yearbook. Other funds are used to provide for the cost of Synods and the work of synodical committees which provide oversight over the joint activities and denominational workers. Some committees undertake research on behalf of the churches in areas of common interest. For example, the last Synod set up a committee to look into the salaries of ministers and ministry workers and another to investigate the best alternative to replace the 1984 version of the NIV for church use. All these activities are provided or supported by the denominational Treasurer and Administrator.

The largest proportion of ministry share funds goes towards providing leadership, mentoring, training and support to local churches through our denominational workers

A significant proportion of the money goes towards supporting the work of the Reformed Theological College in Geelong and the Candidacy Committee as they prepare people for ministry in our churches, monitor their progress and provide them with a vicariate (a year of “on the job” training in a local church under the guidance of a senior pastor). In addition some funds are used to help cover the costs of leadership training in churches and in-service training and support at ReCharge (Ministers & Wives) conferences. A small part of ministry share also goes towards supporting the denomination’s mission in the Solomons.

The largest proportion of ministry share funds goes towards providing leadership, mentoring, training and support to local churches through our denominational workers: the Ministry Development Coach and the Youth and Children’s Coordinators. They also help promote the vision of the CRCA and coordinate joint activities by the churches.

In particular, the Ministry Development Coach is responsible for resourcing churches for growth, health and development, promoting collaborative approaches in this and other training initiatives, promoting the CRCA vision including producing newsletters and overseeing the denominational website, and generally assisting and coaching ministers, church planters and other church workers.

The Youth Coordinator is responsible for assisting with training in youth leadership, development of youth evangelism and nurture in the local church, oversight of regional and national youth programs such as the ministry internship program and convention planning, management of the Resource Centre, and general coaching, support and encouragement of youth workers in our churches.

The Children’s Coordinator is responsible for promoting effective children’s ministries in the local churches, providing resources for these ministries, overseeing and providing training in the ChildSafe program, maintaining a healthy network of children’s workers and providing them with advice and support.

By working together through a relatively small ‘ministry share’, contribution, each local church helps to provide substantial services and support to all the churches corporately.

Your generous support through ministry share helps the CRCA continue to deliver good leadership and helpful resources to local churches.

– Tony Deenick Building & Finance Committee (previously known as The Synodical Board of Management)

Looking for Age Appropriate Ministry Ideas?

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Planning a ministry to a certain age group of youth or children?

With the development of the Discipleship Matrix, finding resources, ideas and tools for that ministry is a whole lot more accessible.

The matrix breaks down the many different age groups of youth and children and informs leaders on specific considerations for that age group. These considerations are based on developmental ages and stages. This is then mapped with ministry resources, links and curriculum ideas.

These resource ideas for ministry cover the head, heart and hands as the main elements of discipleship:

The Matrix also provides links to ideas and resources for the two environments that discipleship takes place, them being Family and Church. In each section you can get resources for empowering families in their ministry towards the specific age group and also for engagement and integration into wider church involvement.

The matrix will help ministry leaders plan programs that cover all three elements in either a youth or children’s ministry environments. These programs will be relevant to each respective ministry, thus providing a holistic discipleship approach. The obvious strength of the Matrix is that it brings many resources together in an easy searchable format.

The Matrix is an ever increasing bank of ideas, articles, training packages that can be explored at the CRCA Resources Website

A few booklets and posters have been mailed to each church, if you would like your own personal copy then please email CRCA Resources to request one free of charge.

Note: Jonathan and Ray send out regular updates from their blog. You can sign up for their updates at

http://resourcecentre.crca.org.au/youth/youth-blog/ (Jonathan/Youth)
http://resourcecentre.crca.org.au/children/children-s-blog/ (Ray/Children)

Jonathan Vandenberg (CRCA Youth Worker)

Ray Rus (CRCA Childrens Worker)

Summerleas Christian Church (Tasmania) How God is using a church to show he is real

[The ministries of the CRCA come to expression in many different contexts. In many instances, ministries supported by the CRCA come to expression at the level of the local church, so while many things receive denominational funding, it’s the local church which benefits most. In the following article, Clinton Berends, Chairman of the Church Planting Taskforce, writes about one of the CRCA’s latest church plants, Summerleas Christian Church. As you read about lives impacted by the Gospel, be encouraged to see CRCA denominational funds supporting wonderful Gospel ministry. – DG]

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Summerleas’ Pastor Dave Lynch baptises a new believer at Kingston Beach, Tasmania

Just over six years ago, in line with the four-fold task, the CRCA established the Church Planting Taskforce (CPT) with the mandate of encouraging and resourcing the work of Church Planting throughout the denomination. At the most recent CRCA Synod it was reported that, under God’s grace, four new churches have been instituted in the last three years and many more church plants are underway or in the planning stages.

“…God used people here to show me that he’s real…”

One of the churches is Summerleas Christian Church, in southern Tasmania. Summerleas was planted in 2008, and since that time has been blessed greatly, growing from just over 50, to nearly 100. It has been exciting to see the Lord at work in the lives of people.

Pastor David Lynch says “It has also been exciting to see our vision begin to take shape and to actually work as we seek to disciple one another and reach out to others. It has taken a good 3 years or so (and we’re still working at it) to get our heads around what it means for us to live as a Gospel centred organic community (our vision) and so to see this finally start to happen is such a joy.”

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Summerleas people relaxing and building community – the smiles say it all

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While some of that growth has been transfers from other churches, there have been conversions and reconnections to church and Christ that had been dormant for some time. While we don’t want to get hung up on numbers, it’s worth remembering that every number is a person who has come to life in Christ. Here are some comments by those who have come to faith in Summerleas:

I realise that God knew exactly what I needed – to be overwhelmed and surrounded with Christians, not just on a Sunday but every day, all the time, so that I didn’t have a chance to not think about it, or let it slip into the background.

When [my son] was in grade 1 [a friend from S’leas] talked to me about her church (now ours) … and how kid – friendly it was.  [my son] had been to church a few times with my mother but not with me.  I took the chance and came along to church. I guess that’s when I started being more aware of my sinful nature and I am different from the person I was.

I also believe that God used people here to show me that he’s real. I have met so many genuine, generous, kind people since I’ve been here, and every one of them has been a Christian, and it got me thinking that if these people are Christians, and this is how good they are, there must be something to it!

Joining in … on rhythms and family meals was a great way to get to know the members of the church better. I have met lots of Christians who have an active relationship with God – it is not a once a week event…it is their life.

The impact has not just been felt by those who have come the church in that time. There has been great benefit for those who were involved in the original core team. David Lynch says

“(this impact has been) huge, everyone has grown immensely and I would say that almost all of them are more active in making disciples than before. Many have grown into wonderful church leaders, and others have stepped up in ways that they would not have done had they not been part of a church plant.”

As a denomination we have much to give thanks for, including the ministry of church planting, as seen in places like Summerleas. We ought to continue to pray that God would continue to raise up leaders, church planters and church planting teams as he continue to draw the lost to himself through his people.

Clinton Berends

CRCA Church Planting Taskforce

Note: you can also read more about Summerleas Christian Church on the CRCA Ministry Formation Website – DG