Tuesday, August 1, 2017

Church Finance Recipe

In my ministr(ies), most years, we projected a financial deficit. But most years, we had a financial surplus. We must have got something right. Here is my (Congregational) recipe for success, in detail, not necessarily perfectly prioritised. I updated it today:
· The Church should be spiritually balanced and sound
· The Church should be humming constitutionally and all on track
· One should always speak with faith, hope, and vision about the finances
· There should be confidence in the administration of the finances
· One should follow the details of sound financial management
· One should focus on what the Lord wants, not what the Church needs
· One should approach financial needs proactively not reactively
· One should honour both rich and poor in the way one speaks about money
· The lowliest members should understand the financial statements
· All portfolios and budget categories should be synthesised prayerfully
· The deacons should survey financial statements before meeting
· The deacons should authorise all payments except repeat or emergency
· No payment of more than 1% of budget without Church authorisation
· All payments should be minuted in deacons' meetings
· Missions and evangelism should receive special priority
· One should copy periodic statements, budgets, and audits to all members
· Audits, by a registered auditor, should be shown annually to the members
· There must be a mechanism for members to check bank transactions
· A finance committee should meet routinely, with the minister in attendance
· One should have an annual Planned Giving scheme and campaign
· One should develop a culture of tithing, the minister setting the example
· One should rotate finance office-bearers, best every two to three years
· One should avoid major investments, run 'lean', and put money to use
· Fund-raising should not be critical to the functioning of the Church
· One should encourage members to make bequests to the Church
· Long-term ministry is desirable for sustainable finances

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