4 Tips For Managing Church Finances

Posted on February 23, 2017 by Guy Atkinson

Financial problems for churches are rather common.  Too often, there is little to no structure in place to manage cash flow effectively.  Though churches run a more spiritual business operation, it is still a business in many ways.  

Just like many traditional businesses, churches have recently had quite a crawl in resources.  In addition to any fixed operational costs, religious organizations must find a way to provide adequate funding to support any current reach-out programs.  

The added stressors of playing multiple roles in a church can also cause trouble in financing.  When one man is responsible for being the church’s pastor, along with three other positions, it gets challenging to perform each task with proficiency.  Take a few moments and check out a few helpful tips for managing church finances.  

Establish a fixed budget

Without a concise plan for budgeting the money a church generates, there is no way to guarantee that all the recurring bills will be covered.  Functioning without a spending plan is chaos.  

Whatever it takes, a set budget should be the first step to gaining control over a church’s finances.  If the people of the church are not qualified to handle these matters, consider enlisting the help of professionals or working with technology to automate financial decisions.   

For agreeability and accountability, try hosting a meeting of all the church’s leaders to discuss financial goals of the establishment.  Order is the key to formulating an annual budget that will keep the church running smooth.  

Make sure that every department has some form of accountability.  Spending decisions should never be left to one person.  Budgeting has never worked for those who do not stick to the plan.

Communication makes a difference

Church leaders need to overcome their fears of being misunderstood when it comes to financial matters.  There are a time and place for everything, and talking about finances has its place.  Keep the congregation informed as to the financial standings of the church.  A transparent process is the best way to silence questionable chatter.  Here are a few ways to keep people in the know.

  • Place financial updates in the weekly flyers.
  • Once a month, have a meeting on stewardship.
  • Plan incremental business meetings.

Set markers for accountability

Any time there are positions in a church that deal with money, there has to be proper accountability.  The church’s funds cannot be handled by only one person.  Spread out the responsibility to avoid unnecessary accusations.  

Build a sizeable emergency fund

An emergency fund is helpful in any budgeting situation, but it is all the more important in a church.  Religious establishments often support reach-out efforts to those in need.  There has to be extra funding built into the budget for these instances.  Without an emergency financial cushioning,  other programs in the church will suffer from the congregation’s charity.

Tip of the Day

Time management for Finance Professionals

time management


I’ve just re-read Richard Denny’s fantastic book ‘Selling to Win’, in which he mentions a time management technique that I learnt many, many years ago from an old boss of mine.


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