What is the one area that we see derail more ministries than any other? I’m sure you’ve already guessed that it has little to do with macro economic conditions or the weather.
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 that your ministry keeps—and strengthens—its financial integrity.
- Create an involved finance committee. When I meet with churches, the norm is a conversation with the senior pastor and a bookkeeper—the best have a competent and involved team of people who work together to ensure checks and balances.
- Hire an outside CPA. If your ministry has more than $500,000 in annual income, we recommend that you minimally have a CPA compilation every year, and I’d suggest a CPA review as well.
- Communicate with your congregation or donors. Stay in regular contact with updates about the financial condition of the ministry. This not only ensures that they understand and can hold leadership accountable, but also makes it easier to ask for additional giving when it’s needed.
Of course, it helps to find a financial institution that is aligned with your values and works to preserve your financial integrity (Hey, I can’t resist…this is important!). Look for product offerings that reinforce your commitment to integrity (like ECCU’s Positive Pay, which ensures that every check your ministry writes is verified for the same amount when it hits your account), or services like our ministry banking assessments to keep your financial strategies on track.
Bottom line: Accountability is king. The more safety nets you have in place, the less likely you are to fall.
What does your ministry do to protect financial integrity? Please leave a comment and share your practices with our readers.