Now that we have reflected on our role as the Treasurer
Now it’s time to consider how things will be different going forward
How will our church or organisation be different to pre-pandemic?
How will our people be different?
How will we do things differently?
This is often the scariest aspect for a Treasurer and the leadership team – deciding on new (different) ways and implementing the new ways. Ways are the policies and procedures of how a church or organisation manages its activities.
As the treasurer and member of the leadership team it is our responsibility to manage the things well. Nowadays that means more than just “well” we need to understand how to deal with the new environment of our communities.
At this current time in 2022 there are a lot of “new” – government regulations of the way we are to behave, such as masking or not, vax’ed or not, singing or not, full churches or distanced, check-in or not, and so on – and knowing what are the latest rules. At the same time there are disturbing social issues around religious discrimination and more. How do we deal with these and what is the ongoing impact of the new ways in society on our church and our people – these are just some of the challenges we are facing.
In the midst of all this we are called, as mentioned in Part 3, to be stewards – of resources and of the people. Let’s consider some of possibilities for doing well through these times:
Vision and leadership.
Watch and listen for God’s vision for the way ahead, as mentioned last time Habakkuk 2:1-3.
Our roles are to steward change. As leaders we need to show how we are stewarding change. Show that the church’s ministry is continuing, what needed to be paused, and how giving, participation and ongoing support of all the people will help us stay true to our purpose during these difficult times and going forward.
Be prepared for different.
This includes the need to jettison some of the old ways of thinking especially about finances and how we manage them. The temptation in times like this, is to speak in terms of how much the church needs to meet budget in raising funds for the ministry. The same temptation is there for treasurers, pastors and leadership teams. The better way is to focus on stewardship and collective participation of everyone.
An aspect of stewarding is to realise that these resources are not ours and that God wants to bless not just our church people but also the wider community. God has blessed our church to be a blessing to all people, at least as many as we encounter “out there”.
Write down the new ways – new or revised policies and procedures (P&P).
For the Treasurer these will include simpler ways of managing the day-to-day finances, such as online giving and donations, simpler payment processes including credit cards, automatic direct debits, using an accounting system that requires minimal intervention for transaction processing, improved and easy-to-read financial reporting, an objective view of properties. This can be difficult because many church people are tied to the properties, therefore consider how do we use each one, what maintenance is needed now or soon, can we use the properties more efficiently, do we really need this just because we think we need the income?
New ways and new people
Are there new people in the church who are willing to help, maybe exisiting members are looking to participate in new or different roles?
Many people have changed their jobs and lifestyles during the past 2-3 years and they are open for new ways of being involved in church. People new to church, including new-Christians, are wondering how to “be” in church and this form of community. Some people are new to this church, they have moved into the area or have simply changed churches, and may be interested in being involved.
The interesting, and sometimes challenging, side of welcoming new people into the church community is that they will have “other ideas”, new ideas and different perspectives on “being and doing” church. When we are stewarding we are involving as many people as possible – by listening, discussing and working through all these possibilities. Remember that God can be speaking through any or many of these new voices, just as Jesus did through Ananias (the newbie) to Paul (the insider).
Discuss and decide how the new ways can be implemented
Inform the people.
Here is a different opportunity – how do we inform people and keep them informed without it simply “telling” people? How do we dialogue, make decisions and then maintain communications without overloading the people?
Is it an email-news-bulletin, more use of the website and social media, social occasions to intentionally share these messages such as after services chat times (like the old ‘cuppa’) more conn action through the small group networks. Avoid relying on word-of-mouth chatter.
Opening a new future for the treasurer
In the midst of all this there are new opportunities for the Treasurer – to have more people involved with managing the finances and more people involved with transaction processing. This is the time to be preparing other people to transition for a new treasurer sooner or later. It is incumbent on us in finance to share the workload and responsibilities. One of the old ways of thinking typical for treasurers has been “no one else wants to do this, I’ll have to carry on”.
The other advantage of having more people involved will be that you can implement the new ways, the new P&P, much more easily. You will have people from various departments and ministries involved with you and they can be implementing the new practices wherever they are involved in ministry.
The keys that open the future for a treasurer are in the understanding of:
- “how am I stewarding change” through the leadership of this church or organisation and
- “how are we displaying God’s generosity to the community”?
Work with these keys and you will open the way for your updated policies and procedures to be implemented.
Finding yourself and other volunteers time poor?
Benkorp can assist you get on track.
We can share the load with the use of our shared bookkeeping services.
Contact us today to chat about ways we can work together: