I was recently invited to spend a day talking with church planters and here are the highlights of that discussion–
There are lots of opportunities for failure in a church plant, but there is one that I see way too much!
What is the one area that I see derail more ministries than any other?
I’m sure you’ve already guessed that it may have little to do with macro economic conditions or the weather, but surprisingly it also isn’t one of the more obvious things either like a loss of a big giver or key staff member…
Starting a church is hard, but continuing to grow a church is even harder and requires vigilant checks and balances to ensure financial and general integrity.
In good times and bad, the area that poses the greatest threat to ongoing success in ministry is a loss (or perceived loss) of integrity.
Here are three steps you can take to ensure your ministry builds, keeps, and even enhances, its financial integrity.
- Create an involved finance committee—When I meet with churches, the norm is a conversation with the Sr. Pastor and a bookkeeper, the best have a competent and involved team of people who work together to ensure checks and balances and a competent group of advisors.
- Hire outside CPA—If your ministry has more than $500,000 in annual income, your bank may require that you have at least a CPA compilation every year, I’d suggest a CPA review.
- Report financial information—stay in regular contact with your congregation with updates about the financial condition of the ministry, this not only ensures they understand and hold leadership accountable, but can make it easier to ask for additional giving when its needed.
As you’re preparing your first budgets and setting up your financial and ministry structure, please realize that the cornerstone of any financial strategy must be financial integrity. Once you’ve set up your system it’s important to monitor and improve it constantly to help ensure your financial strategies are on track to enable success in ministry.