Who is this for?
This is a book mostly about money in the church: getting it, using it, and accounting for it. I hope that church treasurers everywhere will find the effort helpful, and that some will feel emboldened to change the way they manage their responsibilities.
However, it is also about the way we join ourselves into a church, how we align with intention to be religious together. Money, with all the meanings we attach to it and with all the talking we do about it, is part of the bonding glue of our togetherness. Our treasurers function within the larger context of our beliefs and attitudes about money and membership; and, it is this attitudinal context that is at the core of what I address. There is some discussion about technique also, which those who do the day-in and day-out financial record-keeping will understand most readily. Thus, it will be helpful for all who are responsible for guiding our churches: those who serve on the finance committee, those who serve as trustees or deacons (or who may someday), and those who are pastors, ministers, or staff. While the book is based in financial thinking, it is for the entire leadership – whether financial stewards, spiritual stewards, administrative stewards, or buildings and grounds stewards.
As you read through the book it will become clear that I am a Unitarian Universalist, and I have written from that perspective. Earlier editions have been used and praised also by leaders in other denominations. As a consequence, I have made attempts to broaden the language I employ. Where my efforts are insufficient, I ask that you make further adjustments as you need them, in the belief that an open-hearted reading of the material presented here might be helpful in other faith communities.
I want to thank many who commented and cheered me along the way as I wrote and rewrote. Many with whom I have corresponded on the internet through “discussion lists” such as UU-money have forced me to defend or change my thinking during the last several years. Some of the material is simply an airing or expansion of their good thinking and I am thankful for their virtual assistance. At the other extreme my wife, Gretchen Meyer, deals with the flesh and blood of my presence: She puts up with my crabby insistence that I like the way I write while gently encouraging a more holistic and systemic view of church dynamics, greater clarity, and better use of commas.
K. Peter Henrickson September, 2006
Copyright, 2006: Permission to reproduce and modify the forms, reports, and tables is hereby granted. The text in part or in its entirety may not be reproduced, nor used in any form, without the written permission of the copyright owner.
Table of Contents
ARTICULATE YOUR PRINCIPLES
LOOK AHEAD, NOT BACK
WE’RE IN THIS TOGETHER
CREATING A FINANCIAL VISION The Budget as Hindrance The Vision Budget Embracing the Vision The Stewardship Drive Privacy Percentage Commitments Monthly Contribution Commitments Collecting the Monthly Commitment
COMPENSATION MANAGEMENT Employer Philosophy Distinguishing Employment Types Relating Compensation to Employment Type Holidays Annual Leave and Sick Leave Benefits and Retirement Compensation
FUNDS Attractive Considerations of a Single Fund The Taxable Income Corporation Endowment Funds
THE CHART OF ACCOUNTS
RIGHT BRAIN ACCOUNTING
BORROWING TO BUILD
INTERNAL CONTROLS AND FINANCIAL OVERSIGHT
LOOKING AT NUMBERS
Appendix 1 – Financial Policies Appendix 2 – Employment Philosophy Appendix 3 – Requesting Committee Plans Appendix 4 – Vision Budget Appendix 5 – Membership Standards Bylaw Appendix 6 – Budget Drive Calendar Appendix 7 – Giving Guide and Pledge Form Appendix 8 – Canvasser Guidebook Appendix 9 – Endowment Fund Policies Appendix 10 – Personnel Policies Appendix 11 – Sample Pay Protocol and Historical Records Appendix 13 – Chart of Accounts Appendix 14 – Accounting Appendix 15 – Accounting Understandings Appendix 16 – Mortgages and Loans Appendix 17 – Auditing Appendix 18 – Software Appendix 19 – Financial Reports Appendix 20 – Endowment Fund Report Appendix 21 – Budget Drive Assessment Appendix 22 – Bibliography