Central Baptist Church of Southington Connecticut


Managing Your Church Funds

  • Jim Townsley
  • Mar 11, 2009

Mismanagement of church funds can create chaos in any church. Though unexpected crisis and problems can occur no church, and especially a new church, should allow financial problems to arise as a result of poor protocol or unethical care of the Lord's money. Every church must have a clear plan as to who will collect the money, count the money, deposit it, track it, and spend it. Having a plan and following it will help to create confidence from the members that this is a safe place to give to the Lord's work.

Collecting the money - The position of usher is one of great importance and proper training should be a regular part of this position. The usher's responsibilities include greeting and seating guests, distributing information, and of course collecting the offering. One man should be designated as the head usher and part of his role should be to help coordinate and eventually train new men.

An usher should be dressed properly. A suit and tie are always in order and being properly shaved and hair neatly trimmed are a few "musts" of being an usher. People can lose confidence when someone is taking the offering that is shabbily dressed or shady in appearance. Ushers should develop an attitude of confidence and competence in this important role.

Storing the money - The money should be properly stored in a safe place until after the service. Two ushers should place the offering into the safe together and lock the safe. Men should not be counting the money during the service; they should be attending the service. A safe, in a locked office, is a preferred place to store the offering. Limit the number of people who know the combination to the safe to as few as possible.

Counting the money – No less than two men should be with the money at all times. The same two or three men should count the money after the service. A count sheet should be provided and each item recorded and each man must sign the sheet before leaving the room. After counting the money and signing the count sheet, one man can deposit the money into the bank at a night deposit box. The money should not be left at the church or under the treasurer's bed. There should be no time or opportunity for dishonesty to occur, nor should there even be an opportunity for an accusation to be made.

Spending the money – Spending money is easy, but spending it responsibly is very difficult. Remember, this is the Lord's money and you must exercise great care to use it wisely. Only money from the yearly approved budget should be spent. It may be wise to give the pastor authority to spend a small amount without authorization in the case of necessity or because of a special opportunity. However this should be limited to a few thousand dollars. The deacon or trustees could have the authorization to spend a higher amount after meeting and approving the purchase. Other than these special provisions for the pastor/deacons, unauthorized expenditures should never be made without the consent from the congregation at a scheduled business meeting. Any pastor is unwise to handle all the money and give no accountability to the church or the deacons! Preachers must avoid every appearance of evil. The treasurer should also recognize this is not his money. This is the Lord's money and it must be handled properly.

Budgeting the money – The pastor, with a combination of the deacons and or trustees and or treasurer, should prepare a yearly church budget. The prepared budget should be presented to the entire church for approval. Members should be given important information, yet it is not the place of members to scrutinize every item during the business meeting. The proposed budget should be distributed to the church prior to the annual meeting, allowing enough time to read and ask question to those who prepared it. Once approved, the budget should be followed. In the event the church is not meeting the budget, spending must be curbed to coincide with the actual income.

Reporting on the use of the money – A monthly, quarterly, or yearly report should be prepared and made available to each member. In a new church a monthly or quarterly report is usually the proper protocol. As the ministry grows changes can be made to accommodate new circumstances. The finances should be reviewed or audited each year. An internal review should be inspected by a few people to insure proper procedures are being followed.

Money can be a blessing; it can also be a curse. Churches should keep their focus on the great commission and not worry or fight over the finances. However, it is necessary to handle the money carefully so as not to open the door of opportunity for Satan to destroy the church family. Honesty, proper disclosures, and accurate accounting will help every church to keep their focus on the spiritual aspects of the ministry.