Thursday, August 6, 2009

Church Business Administration Training Day 7

Financial Management: Budgeting

This session was led by Steve Law, a Church Business Administrator at Bon Air Baptist Church,, in Richmond, VA. Steve's heart for ministry was evidenced in the day we spent together. We listened to an audio from Andy Stanley, Northpoint Church, Georgia. Andy started with this: What is the 'value' of your organization...the capital assets of the church. Let's say they total $3,000,000. If an angel came to you tonight with this message "I'm giving you $3,000,000, and I want you to leverage it to the best of your ability for God's Kingdom." If that happened, the question is, would you do what you are currently doing with that asset? This is the fundamental issue of stewardship. It begins with what you have--not what you need, and how do you manage what you have!!! Andy also said that if we're not faithful with what we already have, why should we expect God to bless us with more! He talked about staffing, retaining incompetent staff is bad stewardship. Don't hire people because you feel sorry for them...don't hire a their rent! A question to test yourself is this: "Who, if they resigned, would cause you to internally rejoice?" And remember that dysfunctional people will stay forever, competent people can't work with dysfunction! Northpoint Church through has budgeting tools available. Budgeting needs to be reflective of a church's passion. Where is the church's heart? What is the heartbeat of the church? Is EVERYTHING in your church's budget supporting that heartbeat? Or, does your church have several hearts and each one is competing for limited resources--ouch!!! Every ministry needs to be rowing in the same direction. A deliberate ministry focus when budgeting is essential....this Glorifies God! Vision and ministry must be set by the leadership. The annual budget reveals the intermediate steps toward that vision and ministry. We need to analyze the ministry effectiveness at the end of a year when planning for the next budgeting season. Were the goals of the budget reached? Was the vision seen? Were prudent/accountable financial management processes followed (were there internal/external audits performed). One church has a cash disbursements test taken of expenses each month. This includes the testing of at least 5 checks and documentation. We discussed designated funds. The suggestion was made to check with or a 'community foundation' for possible forms to address a 'sunset clause' when accepting designated funds. A sunset clause would be given to the donor to agree that after a certain amount of time, if the initial designation for the gift were unable to be met, the donor gives permission for the recipient to use the gift for other purposes trying to closely relate the gift to the initial purpose of the gift. We also discussed the management of assets. There was question about the security of having more than $250,000 in one financial institution. Steve educated us on CDARS....this is a banking institution that has the capability of spreading the risk for you. You would be able to invest more than $250,000 with no risk of loss because the CDARS financial institution spreads risk. There is an online budgeting manual @

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