Financial Leadership

Financial leadership in the church exists to serve the church’s mission.  Effective financial management must be mission-oriented, responsive, transparent, and must maintain complete integrity.  Only then will givers have the confidence to entrust their gifts and dreams to your church!

What is the Minister’s role?  Ministers don’t need to be financial gurus, but they play a critical role.  Check out The Minister’s Role in Church Finances.

Financial complexity increases with church size.  When does your church need a paid professional Financial Administrator?  …At approximately 1,200-1,400 in average worship attendance, per Herb Miller, author of “The Parish Paper.”  Learn more from Herb about “How Much Staff Is Enough?”

Here are descriptions of skills, responsibilities, common practices, and issues for your church’s key financial leaders: Trustees (or Council or Finance Committee), Treasurer, and Financial Secretary.

After reading about the Financial Secretary’s role, you’ll want this Best Practices for Handling Church Offerings, a model ready to adapt to your church circumstances from our UCC Connecticut Conference.

Separation of duties is a “system of approvals, and the breakdown of routine processes, so that no one individual has total authority over, or access to, a transaction.” (Carl J. Kotheimer, The Steward, a publication of the UCC Insurance Board, Winter 2009).  Details are found in the Internal Controls section of our Massachusetts Conference’s Church Finance Handbook.  Such practices protect financial assets and engender trust.

A Fidelity Bond is insurance coverage that compensates your church in case of dishonest acts by staff, volunteers or officers (such as theft, forgery, embezzlement, computer fraud) which results in the loss of money or property.  If your church participates in the UCC Insurance Board program, blanket bond (crime) is part of your General Liability package policy, and a new coverage, privacy breach protection, has been added at no additional cost.  Churches not participating in the UCC Insurance Board program should check with your general liability insurance carrier for coverage.  Here is more detail about Bonding.