One of the most amazing things to me about being a follower of Christ is that we never stop learning about—and marveling at—the glory of God. Remember in 1 Samuel when the ark of the covenant disappeared and Scripture records that God’s glory departed from Israel? Then again in Ezekiel, chapters eight through ten, the story is told of the Shekinah glory of God departing from the temple. What a sad and dark time. For hundreds of years, the people lived without the glory, without the recognition of God’s holiness. [read more]
If your ministry accepts debit or credit cards for donations, café or bookstore purchases, or other ministry activities, you will most likely be required to report the total payments made with the cards to the IRS starting in 2012. [read more]
The list of reasons for churches and other ministries to become members of the Evangelical Council for Financial Accountability (ECFA) just got longer. While tithing is at a 40-year low in mainline churches, giving to ECFA member churches is up four percent from the 2009 level. And contributions to all members are up 5.8 percent.
How does your ministry’s giving compare to the ECFA averages?
Question: What is one way to make it easier for someone to cover up fraudulent activity with your church’s finances?
Answer: Create too many church bank accounts.
According to a recent Managing Your Church blog by Matt Branaugh, this is one of five reasons church treasurers should keep accounts to a minimum. In Q&A: Limit the Number of Church Bank Accounts, Branaugh writes that “conventional wisdom in the church finance world is for churches to limit the number of bank accounts the church uses. Ideally, a church should use only one or two.”
The five reasons underscore the importance of accountability and internal controls.
Does your church limit the number of bank accounts? Why or why not?
Nearly every church has set up a fund for benevolence purposes, but often the program for disbursing those funds is not as effective as it could be at meeting people’s needs. By reviewing my church’s process and disbursements over the past many years, I’ve come up with this list of best practices for evaluating your benevolence program: [read more]