by Jac La Tour

This is the fourth blog in our series of interviews with presenters at the upcoming 2011 Financial Forum for Ministries. This time I spoke with Bryan Taylor, CFA and principal with Cornerstone Management, Inc. His session is titled, “Survival Mode: Piloting Your Ministry’s Finances through the Waters of Economic Uncertainty.” 

Jac: How will your presentation help attendees better serve their ministries?

Bryan: A general understanding of the current global economic environment is critical for those in ministry leadership. It provides the canvas upon which daily ministry financial decisions must be sketched. An understanding of the current state of the domestic and global economy also helps provide a contextual framework for understanding the current fundraising environment and the hopes and fears of your ministry’s constituency.   

Jac: What are three important takeaways attendees will learn during your presentation?

Bryan:  One will be insight into the current state of the U.S. and global economy. Second is the effect of the current economic environment on debt and equity markets around the world. Finally, people will learn about the current implications for their investment portfolios. 

Jac: What is one suggestion you’d offer to help attendees gain the most from this learning experience?

Bryan: Attendees may want to scan the front page of The Wall Street Journal or Barron’s. They may also find it helpful to review the first couple pages of The Economist in the airport. This information will help provide context for my presentation. 

Jac: What do you think are the biggest challenges facing ministries today?

Bryan: Remaining relevant in a post-modern world is one significant challenge. Another is vision casting—the ability to differentiate the role of your ministry from others in the marketplace and to help others clearly see its value. Finally, financial stewardship and compliance are major areas of importance that ministries must master to remain worthy of the gifts they receive. 

How has economic uncertainty changed the way you manage your ministry’s finances?

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