Last week I posted part one of this series on the twelve best practices in church finances.
Today we continue the series with the next four best practices in church finances.
4. Faith For Income
I took the opportunity to ask him some questions about church leadership and in one of his answers he dropped this pearl of wisdom.
John, you use faith for income and wisdom with expenditure and not the other way around.
Those words have stayed with me ever since that day.
Faith works on the income side of the ledger.
You believe God to meet all your personal and church needs and you use faith to conquer the fear of lack and anxiety over short falls.
It’s essential that pastors and leaders put faith into action whenever you are raising money in your church. Each week you go to the house of God believing that people will give and that budgets will be met.
You also use faith to raise offerings for special projects, believing God to provide through the generous giving of His people.
God responds to courageous pastors and leaders who put their trust in Christ and believe He will meet the needs of their church.
5. Wisdom With Expenditure
Spending the money requires a different approach.
Wisdom is applied to the expenditure side of the ledger.
Wisdom teaches us that you should operate faith for income and then spend the money when your faith is shown to be effective and the money is in the bank.
It’s wise to prove your faith by receiving provision and then spending the money.
Spending the money and then believing for the income can prove to be foolish and a sign of presumption rather than faith.
Wisdom is also seen when we wisely allocate the resources you have at your disposal. A vision centred budget utilises resources to fulfill vision and mission, achieving the purpose which Christ has for your church.
Wisdom also dictates that you inform your church about what their giving is achieving.
Generosity should be a hallmark of your church so refuse to expend your entire budget on your church and its programs.
Make sure you include local and global missions’ components in your budget.
Be generous to the poor in your community.
Be generous to members who are in genuine financial hardship by allocating an emergency fund in your budget for such purposes.
Be generous with staff remuneration and benefits. Ensure staff have an annual pay rise based on your nation’s wage price index. Church boards should proactively garner feedback from the staff as to whether they feel well paid or poorly treated.
Be generous with guest speakers who leave the comforts of family and home to minister in your church.
Financial scandals in any organisation are damaging but in a church they are destructive.
When people give their tithes and offerings they expect your dealings to be scrupulously honest, moral , legal and ultimately Christ honouring.
Therefore, incorporate sound financial integrity practices such as:
annual audits by a reputable firm
clear explanations of where the money is being spent
all offerings counted by at least two people
ensure designated offerings are used for the publicly announced purpose, and
complete availability of annual financial reports.