Funding Synod/GA

Discussion in 'Church Order' started by py3ak, Aug 12, 2019.

  1. py3ak

    py3ak They're stalling and plotting against me Staff Member

    I am interested to know how different denominations secure funding for church courts beyond the local. In other words, your presbytery or classis has a budget and expenses, but has few opportunities to take up a collection. So how do they get the money?

    In the RCUS, a guideline system is employed: the Classis and Synod communicate to the congregations what is essentially a poll tax. So many dollars per communicant member are needed in order to meet the budget. Local consistories then will try to get that amount together, calculating based on the guideline per communicant member times whatever number of communicants they have, and using different strategies and with varying rates of success.

    How do things work where you are a member?
     
  2. py3ak

    py3ak They're stalling and plotting against me Staff Member

    Bump. Any takers on funding mechanisms?
     
  3. Contra_Mundum

    Contra_Mundum Pilgrim, Alien, Stranger Staff Member

    I guess the per capita asking is fairly standard, in a typical Presbyterian or Synodical setup. I reckon that the "average" size congregation probably sends something close to the asking, smaller congregations send what they can, and larger congregations send in not only the asking, but above it. Inevitably, larger contributors tend to associate appropriate influence with the size of donation, but ideally this should not happen; however, the smaller congregation that does not match the average-asking faces a moral deficit when insisting on its full voice.

    Since our churches do not operate on a truly hierarchical pattern, presbytery (in lieu of a bishop) is limited in its ability to demand fulfillment of the asking, or penalize the congregation that cannot or will not pay up.

    The OPC denominational budget is based on askings from the congregations per capita (not askings from presbyteries). It is possible that sources include presbyteries, and investments. Occasional bequests also provide income. There is a slow-if-regular intake of monies over a typical year, with a large increase at the end of the year, in relation to an annual Thank Offering promoted in November. It is usually possible to track the budgetary trend in the pages of the denominational magazine month to month.
     
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  4. Jack K

    Jack K Puritan Board Professor

    In the CRC in the 70s and 80s, it was called the "quota" and it was assigned to congregations based on their number of members, and paid to the denomination (not the classis). My home church as a child was a mission church in a poor culture and did not pay its quota, which I was told was seen as acceptable for a church in that situation. Otherwise, I think the pressure from the denomination for churches to pay up was pretty strong. My CRC congregation when I was in college was a small church and our quota felt like a burden, but we still paid it. We made it a budget item that came out of general offerings. But I've also visited CRC churches that announced how each service's offerings were designated. "Denominational quota" was a fairly common designation, in my experience.

    When I started attending a PCA church in the mid-80s, I was surprised that despite being a wealthier congregation they didn't pay the PCA equivalent. I heard the explanation once that it was more of a "suggestion" than a requirement. Perhaps that was true, stemming from the PCA's historical distrust of denominational authority. Or maybe my church was just full of rebels. In any case, later on, when I was on the diaconate, we discussed it and decided we were being chintzy for not paying our share. So we repented and started paying. I can't remember any precise numbers, but it seemed to me to be a less burdensome amount per member than the CRC had levied. We found room in the budget pretty easily.
     
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  5. Edward

    Edward Puritan Board Doctor

    In the PCA, the larger church is going to have a greater voice at Presbytery. But the smaller church will generally have disproportionately higher representation.For example, a 100 member church with a single pastor would be entitled to send the TE and 2 REs. A 1000 member church with 4 pastors would be entitled to send 4 TEs and 4 REs. (BCO 13-1 has the formula.)

    So, in the PCA it can be argued that it is the large church that isn't getting a full voice.
     

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