Your points are good. If the church can do without certain physical or material things, it is certainly not Christ and money or finance. God has given the church both human and physical resources of which money or finance is a part, to carry out her operations and services to fulfill the mission of God on earth. The resources are to be administered, managed and used well and faithfully. the church is to labor with her God-given resources until Christ comes when the account of their usage shall be rendered to the Lord. (Luke 19:15-23). Therefore, today’s lesson focuses on the things to be taken seriously by both leaders and members of the church for effective administration and management of financial resources that God has endowed the church with, as they will give an account of all. Our guest today is a pastor and was a one-time consultant in the banking sub-sector. Sit back, take down notes, and be ready to ask questions at the end of the talk.
Why Does the Church Need to Take the Management of Her Finances Seriously?
Someone said, “If the media should hear about mismanagement of funds or financial resources in the church, it becomes hot and selling news.” Do you all agree with that? If you do, why However, the church is also a religious and spiritual institution where prudence, faithfulness, and sanctity are expected to reign. Even unbelievers expect this to be so. The news of the mismanagement of funds and financial resources in the church will raise thick dust and heavy alarm.
A church runs its activities through its various sources of financial provisions such as offerings, tithes, pledges, special thanks offerings, etc. Anyone who is entrusted with administrative responsibilities and management of the church finances should adopt and adhere to the biblical principle of faithful stewardship. Therefore, both the church leadership and membership should be biblically principled in handling the church’s financial resources that are entrusted or made available to them at any level of service or operation.
How Should the Church’s Finances be Administered and Managed?
Three things are very important for the effective administration and management of the church’s financial resources:
1. Take care of the financial resources of the church as a steward.
Attention should be given to many things out of which we need to mention a few here:
- Ensure that faithful members are put in charge of counting church money.
- Ensure that trusted and faithful person(s) is/are assigned to make deposits or do safe-keeping of money.
- Ensure that the right persons approve money and sign cheques.
- Ensure that trusted persons are assigned to purchase the routine needs of the church such as fuel, electricity, phone, internet recharge cards, office papers, stationeries, etc.
- Ensure that a reliable and trusted bank is chosen for the deposit of money and other transactions.
- Ensure that trusted and reliable person(s) handle the disbursement of money.
2. Put in place a realistic working budget to be made known to members and be honest when making financial requests.
Budget entails discipline that enables church members to meet everyday expenses. It involves managing the church resources for present and future needs. A church budget is a financial statement showing how income is to be expected on various items. Budget preparation has procedures that could help the church realize its objectives. However, as believers, we should include the payment of tithe from the whole income before the division. The portions include:
The Heed: 50% of income should be spent on food, house rent, children’s school fees, healthcare, insurance, etc. This portion is also called the need for survival.
The Want Portion: 30% of income should be spent on wants. In Africa, examples may include new attires, the traditional outfit for weekly ceremonies (naming ceremonies, housewarming, chieftaincy title, graduation ceremonies, car dedication, anniversaries, birthdays, burial programs, etc.)
The Saving Portion: 20% of income should be allotted to savings and investments. People could join cooperative societies, thrift, and investment societies rather than keeping money in the bank. etc. where monthly payments could be made.
Importance of the Church Budget
The church budgeting is about meeting the church’s needs and saving for the future. Budgeting can help the church to be in control of its income and disburse it adequately. Communication in the church plays an essential role in managing the resources. Planning a budget can help the church avoid debt. The basic rule can be summarized in the following ways:
- Budgeting enables proper and reasonable use of the church’s income.
- It teaches and inculcates the concepts of financial literacy.
- Through budgeting, the church members will cultivate the habit of spending wisely, avoiding financial stress and huge debts.
- It helps to keep or earmark money for unforeseen expenses.
- It also helps the church to save money for future use.
If a church is not disciplined in preparing a realistic working budget to guide its administration and management of finances, such a church would be compelled to attend to things as they appear and happen, which brings about unguided spending and waste of resources.
3. Prepare and teach church members sound biblical lessons or studies on stewardship and prudence in handling finances.
Both the leaders and members of the church need to be guided by the word of God on financial stewardship. It is the Word of God that can help people become faithful managers of the God-given resources entrusted to them. When people are taught to be good and faithful stewards of God-given financial resources, they will practice and show it in the following ways:
- In bringing refunds from money allocated to them for services and operations.
- In being honest about claims for services and operations rendered.
- In giving honest and faithful estimates on operations and services requested or rendered.
- In faithful giving of tithes and offerings
- In moderate and correct charges when they are commissioned to render their career or professional services for the church.
If the financial resources and endowment of God for the church are seen as God-given resources for effective and successful operations and development of the church, then we should all be willing and ready to release the grace of God in financial terms as entrusted or endowed to us. We should also allow, join, and help the leadership of the church to faithfully administer the financial resources when it is committed to our hands for any operation, service, or use.