Jesus asked “if you have not been trustworthy in handling worldly wealth, who will trust you with true riches?” (Luke 16:11).
Nowhere is that more true than in our handling of church finances – money that has been given to God’s work. When people entrust us as stewards of their hard-earned tithes and offerings, we have an inescapable obligation to use it wisely for God’s work.
To be good stewards of church finances we first must talk about money!!!
Karl Vaters, from Christianity Today, has a very good article about Money & Small Churches.
Karl has also begun a blog about the same topic and other blogs specifically for Small Churches. https://www.christianitytoday.com/karl-vaters/small-church-ministry/
Karl states 3 great reasons why small churches must talk about money in his article: https://www.christianitytoday.com/karl-vaters/2018/april/money-and-small-church-3-reasons-we-must-talk-about-it.html?paging=off
- Money Touches Everything
- Ignoring or Mismanaging Money will undermine everything else we do. While having money is no guarantee of ministry success or church health – and can sometimes undermine it – poor money management will undermine every effort we put into ministry.
- Small Churches Have Unique Financial Needs and Challenges – there is not much financial management help for small churches.
Information about church finances should not be held in the dark. Satan resides in the dark. Jesus came to bring light. I believe this also refers to how church finances are managed.
This does not mean that we talk about every detail with our congregations. It doesn’t mean that everyone should see the detailed financial statements every month.
The church has chosen specific people to manage the finances in detail and on their behalf.
The talking and discussion about church finances must include the development of and agreement to good financial Polices and Procedures.
These Policies & Procedures are agreed rules. limits and processes designed to reduce risk around church finances. They should be designed to reduce risk that:
- Money is:
– not overspent
– not used for things not agreed to
– not lost, stolen or wasted
– not spent unwisely
– paid to correctly approved people/organisations
- Radical actions are necessary to get finances back into order
- Incorrect financial reports are produced
Financial Policies and Procedures, in particular, will determine:
- when and what needs to be discussed about church finances
- when and who should receive reports about church finances.
- When particular items in the reports should be reviewed and discussed in detail
- When financial reports and procedures should be reviewed and reported by an external organisation
- The authorisation rules and limits of expenditure
- The process of approving larger capital expenditure items
- The frequency, length, authorisation and detailed financial planning required.
Developing and following financial policies requires much healthy talking and discussion around church finances.
This does not mean that a church will never have problems with finances. Jesus did say on John 16:33 that there will troubles. Even in the area of our finances I believe!!
The lack of discussion and effective policies & procedures will greatly increase the risk and size of financial problems within a church.
Please contact us if you would like to discuss this article or you need any help with your financial management processes at [email protected] or 1300 138 627
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