Church Leaders and Pastors

Church Financial Leader Resources

Every church needs sound financial policies to ensure that all resources serve God’s mission.  Read More

Financial transparency—the kind that builds trust and confidence in your donors—is where I’d like to let some light shine!

Read More Here

Now is the time to plan fall curriculum for small groups and classes in local churches. When determining Bible and topical studies, consider adding personal finance course(s).  Read More Here

We offer this curated list of podcasts related to various financial topics. These podcasts represent a diverse mix of hosts and will appeal to different audiences. Each one offers insightful and helpful suggestions in a specific area of expertise.  Be sure to check back often since this list is reviewed and updated regularly.

 

10 Ways To Do Online Church Without Losing Community: Sunday worship is perhaps the most obvious moment of the church’s communal life. Churches have discovered new ways of being community and learned that loving one another and our neighbors is possible by unconventional means.

Faithful Stewardship in a Time of Uncertainty

Melissa Spas, Managing Director of Education and Engagement with the IUPUI Lake Institute on Faith & Giving, provides a theological context for being a faithful steward in the midst of these uncertain times.

Saving Grace: A Guide to Financial Well-Being provides the text and tools you need to address the topics of saving, earning, giving, spending, and debt, along with helpful strategies for achieving a sustainable financial life.

This exciting new partnership between Wespath and Abingdon Press draws on the expertise of United Methodist leaders across the connection through videos, a workbook, a leader guide and devotional materials. With study sessions for both pastors and laity, participants will explore money management from a Wesleyan perspective helping you reach personal financial goals as well as address life concerns.

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Every congregation needs to do a church audit, but it doesn’t have to be a big expense or an insurmountable obstacle. There is an Updated Local Church Audit Guide, available free for United Methodist churches, that will take you through it step by step. Going through the process builds confidence among financial leaders and projects transparency to your donors. Join us as we explore the tools that can make this process easier than you thought. Live Zoom session will follow.

What if you had time for just one book on church leadership this summer? Wouldn’t it be great to have a few suggestions?         

Read More Here              

Healthy congregations are receiving a growing portion of operating income from endowment earnings. The United Methodist Foundation of Michigan can help you take advantage of this enormous opportunity.

The primary purpose of an Endowment Fund is to offer a means by which members and friends of a church can make gifts and bequests that provide permanent financial support and living memorials. The Endowment Fund assists the church in fulfilling its purposes in ministry and mission. Endowment Fund Income is used to support ministries beyond normal local church activities or to provide temporary assistance in starting new ministries.

Sample Policy

The familiar ritual of passing the plate has fallen victim to the pandemic. Many churches worshiping online have put in place online giving mechanisms. And for churches resuming in-person worship, CDC guidelines discourage the use of frequently touched objects. They specifically recommend the use of a stationary collection box or electronic giving. These changes raise the question, how can we still honor the central role of offering in worship as our methods for receiving offerings evolve?

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Having a church budget is a necessity to keep the doors open and the lights on, but a church budget should also help accomplish the goals of your ministry.  Before starting with numbers and pen to paper, start with your vision. 

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Every church operates with a set of financial practices. When weekly donations are
counted, accounts managed or memorial gifts received, financial leaders steward
funds according to established church practices.
Financial practices, outlined in written financial policy, guide church members in
intentional, consistent care of God’s resources.
Here are four compelling reasons for your church’s written financial policy:

Giving Resources

Optimizing Your Church’s Website for Recurring Giving: Recurring giving does not happen by accident. It takes a good plan and focused effort and an optimized website. Learn the steps to ensure the church’s website and contribution landing pages are pointing persons to recurring giving using your preferred method of e-Giving.

Vanco provides online giving services endorsed by UMC Support (GCFA.)  They are among the largest third party providers of electronic giving services in the United States.  Their products integrate with more than 60 of the most popular congregational management software systems.

With many stories like these, he presented his message to them, fitting the stories to their experience and maturity. He was never without a story when he spoke. ”— MARK 4:33–34 MSG

2020 looks to have been a banner year for charitable giving! According to the second-quarter report of the Fundraising Effectiveness Project, charitable giving was up 7.5% from the previous year. Unfortunately, giving to churches fell 4.4% according to a study by Lake Institute. This is not a new trend.

Giving to religion has fallen by 1.7% over the last two recorded years, while eight of the other nine major giving categories grew between 2.7% to 14.4%.  

Why is giving to religion falling while most of the other giving categories are seeing robust growth? I believe it is largely because so many churches fail to share their stories of impact and to ask donors to invest in their ministries in ways that resonate with them.

READ MORE HERE

Insights, a bi-weekly e-newsletter, is a resource for the religious community and fundraisers of faith-based organizations that provides:

  • Reflections on important developments in the field of faith and giving
  • Recommended books, studies and articles

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Blog of current issues facing churches and giving.

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Online giving is the new default for churches addressing financial challenges during crisis, whether it’s due to shelter-at-home orders or severe weather. 

The transition to processing donations through an app or a platform is typically less technically intimidating than church leaders may anticipate. Instead, success depends more on an important fundamental: communication.

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Resources for Pastors

Giving is a discipleship issue that needs to be taught!  The Foundation is committed to actively supporting facilitators through training and grants.

A link exists between good personal financial management and generosity.  The course can help help your congregation unlock the keys to personal financial freedom and well-being.  Learn More

What are the questions that a pastor should ask to understand the church’s finances?  Read More Here

Funding Series Video Tool Kits from the Lewis Center help you fund your congregation’s ministry better. Videos and PDF’s for purchase beginning at $50.

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Wesley Foundery Books (a division of the General Board of Higher Education and Ministry) has published a new book by Bonnie Ives Marden entitled “Church Finances for Missional Leaders: Best Practices for Faithful Stewardship”. The book includes all manner of tools, strategies and information on topics like church budgets, congregational stewardship and income projection to help church leaders develop good financial practices. This resource is a vital tool for congregations of all shapes and sizes.

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We know growing disciples and funding ministry impact is even more important during this unprecedented time of ministry. We’re committed to resourcing pastors and church leaders with the tools, ideas, and best practices to reach people and change lives, even during these challenging times.

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Innovative Ideas for Unprecedented Times: by Ministry Architects, a team of almost 90 pastors, teachers, executives, youth workers, children’s pastors, writers, and professors. They are fanatical about results and helping ministries find clear direction and sustained momentum backed up by properly aligned resources.

From UM Discipleship Ministries:   Clergy face some unique challenges when it comes to things like Social Security payments, estimated tax payments, housing allowances or exclusions, and reimbursed expenses. Your corner tax preparer may not understand the unique situation of clergy and finding a preparer who does can save you substantially in money and aggravation. Join us as the Rev. Don Joiner, a certified financial planner, helps us navigate the preparation of taxes and planning for a sound financial future.

Watch the video archive of this webinar

From Discipleship Ministries:  Each year when we do the special clergy tax webinar, we get more questions about the Housing Allowance than any other topic. And the questions come not just from clergy, but from Finance Committee members, Treasurers, and SPRC chairs as well. So for the first time, we are going to offer a webinar for laity and clergy to help churches better understand this special provision and how it can be a blessing to everyone! Join Ken Sloane, Director of Stewardship & Generosity and his guest Bryan Mills, General Counsel for the General Council on Finance & Administration (GCFA), as we try to bring clarity to an often confusing topic.

Watch this Recorded Seminar

Many pastors are starved for authentic relationships and a place where they can be vulnerable Read  More