Sustaining Congregational Excellence

On June 30, 2018, the Sustaining Congregational Excellence program came to an end. The last round of Health & Renewal grants were awarded in mid-June.

  • If your church would like to apply for a grant to fund a ministry idea, check out the Ignite program.
  • If you’d like to know why the program has ended, read on.

Sustaining Congregational Excellence’s (SCE) task of encouraging healthy smaller congregations (those with 150 active, adult, professing members or less – 2/3 of all CRCs) started in 2007. Synod 2003 began to discuss the need for this ministry. Synod 2005 recommended that an initiative be created to carry out the work and that funding would come from a supplementary ministry share of $10. Synod 2006 approved the Sustaining Congregational Excellence program.

Over the past 11 years, 88% of eligible Canadian churches and 72% of U.S. churches have participated in SCE programming. That’s 75% of CRCNA smaller churches. A total of $2.15 million has been granted from five different grant opportunities. Thirty nine learning events were attended by ministry teams from 334 congregations. There were often waiting lists to attend the events as space was limited.

The impact was significant. Here are some quotes from churches.

“This grant has been an incredible blessing at our church. I never in my wildest dreams expected so much good to come from it, but it has!”

“There is greater life in our congregation now than before.”

“We’ve seen a 20% increase in our church attendance.”

“I believe the SCE grant was simply instrumental in changing the momentum of this congregation and people wanted to be a part of it.” 

Over the years, a number of new developments and ministry opportunities have occurred such as Ignite (grant program for new ministry), Faith Formation Ministries ministry leader cohorts, Reformed Leadership Initiative cohorts, Connections (regional resourcing) regional events and cohorts, new regional gatherings, Inspire conference and more.

Therefore, recognizing the advent of many new congregational opportunities for congregations of all sizes, and in order to be good stewards of CRCNA resources, effective June 30, 2018, SCE was discontinued.

It’s been a delight to work with smaller churches and ministry leaders in a variety of ways. Churches, communities and congregants have been blessed. May the good work that has come of out SCE continue to flourish!