1. Why are Home Missions and World Missions seeking to form a “unified mission agency”?
World Missions and Home Missions share a similar vision and mission but have historically served in different contexts. In recent years, the lines between “home” missions and “foreign” missions have blurred. These distinctions no longer reflect our context in the globalized, highly mobile, interconnected world. The leadership and staff of our agencies regularly see how this distinction can actually limit ministry. We believe that one mission agency will enable us to better serve local congregations and lead our denomination to be more effective and more equipped to serve a world and a God that transcends geographic boundaries.
2. What benefits, opportunities and areas for increased effectiveness come with a unified mission agency?
- It is difficult to create a comprehensive list that covers all of the potential benefits of a strategic restructuring like this, but here are a few:
- Shared knowledge, organizational expertise, and programmatic integration related to missional strategy and implementation
- Opportunity to connect North American immigrant congregations with those in countries of origin
- Further integration of programs such as:
- Campus ministries, with increased efforts to reach international students and specific ethnic groups
- Transformational Networks that connect congregations in North America with those in other countries
- Efforts to reach people living in urban centers, for example Mission Montreal
- Global Coffee Break
- Youth volunteer programming both domestic and international
- Increased networking capacity for church-to-church relationships
- Raised awareness of new and existing missional opportunities among the CRCNA family
3. How will this impact local congregations?
Our hope is that a unified mission agency will enable us to serve local congregations for mission and leadership better and with greater impact. Integrating our teams will strengthen our existing partnerships and create opportunities to explore and identify new opportunities for connecting churches and ministries locally and abroad.
4. What does this mean for the existing staff and projects of the current staff?
Home Missions and World Missions highly value our staff and the projects and programs which each agency has stewarded over the years. Current programs will be evaluated and reviewed for effectiveness and impact to ensure alignment with the unified agency’s vision for ministry. It is expected that changes will occur, however at this point it is too early to confirm specifics pertaining to current programming.
5. Will this help the agencies save money by combining shared administrative services?
Typically, when two organizations seek to join together, they can find a number of redundant staff positions to consolidate. However, because Home Missions and World Missions are denominational agencies, we already have found ways to already share HR services, financial services, IT services, facilities, etc. The opportunities that a unified missions agency creates help us to do ministry in a more effective way.
6. What does this mean for the World Missions and Home Missions Boards of Directors?
If Synod approves the recommendation to create a unified mission agency, a single board consisting of current board members from both respective agencies will serve as the new governing board.
7. Who will be leading this new missions agency?
Upon approval of this proposal and through the integration phase (June 2015-June 2016) of the
new unified mission agency the role of Transition Directors will be filled by the current agency directors, Gary Bekker and Moses Chung, and the World Missions Canada Director, Steve Kabetu. The directors will be under the joint supervision of the CRCNA Executive Director and the board(s) of the new agency. They will establish a transition executive team. The directors and executive team will be charged with implementing the BOT- and synod-approved plan for
unification and with ensuring that the vital mission work continues with minimal disruption.
8. What about Back to God Ministries International and World Renew? Or Discipleship and Faith Formation Ministries? Or Calvin Theological Seminary?
This proposal brings together two of these agencies who share a mutual history and programming. We do not know what the future holds for the structure and organization of denominational ministries but we are excited to be able to collaborate in a much more deliberate way than we have ever been able to before. Co-working and collaboration with CRCNA agencies will remain a priority and will continue.
9. Was this decision motivated by financial instability in the agencies?
Exploring the creation of a unified missions agency was purely a missional decision. Our goal is to find ways to do the most effective ministry regardless of geography. We believe that by doing this together, our efforts will have the most impact for God’s kingdom.
10. What are the financial implications? What are the challenges this brings for fundraising?
The leadership is aware that this move will not result in immediate financial and advancement efficiencies, but we do expect that over the long term there will be significant benefit in this area.
11. What is the timeline for achieving an actual unified program?
If we move forward, the leadership imagines that the process would be completed within two years. This allows time for us to listen to the Lord and others in the denomination, and to work with a consultant who has experience with these sorts of transitions. These steps will ensure that the agencies will make the wisest decision about appropriate actions and timing.
12. How will you keep the constituency informed?
The communications teams of both agencies are working closely together to ensure that all audiences are kept up to date with the decisions and any other pertinent information in regards to this process. We will be utilizing CRCNA communications outlets and direct communications with constituents.