Questions You Must Answer as You Begin the New Year
God has blessed us to see the dawn of a new year. Many people around the world use this time to make New Year’s Resolutions, most of which will be broken before the month has ended. But, what about your Church? Are there some things that you need to address as the Pastor and/or Church Leader for how your Church maintains its business requirements. Pastors and Church Leaders need to understand that Church is only Spiritual when you are conducting a worship or prayer service. The remaining time it is a business and must be operated as such.
We have put together some questions that all Pastors and Church Leaders must address immediately in this New Year.
The law only requires a Church to have one Board/Church meeting per year. However, many Churches resort to a Monthly or Quarterly Board Meeting schedule. Regardless of whether you have only the one meeting or you have several meetings, accurate Board/Church meeting minutes must be recorded and maintained in the Church’s Corporate Minute Book.
Apart from the Bible and your Church Bylaws, Corporate Minutes are the next most important documents you should have on file. These minutes are a form of proof that your ministry/Church is operating legally and in compliance.
Salary Compensation Agreements?
Salary must be requested at the beginning of each year. This is especially true for any housing allowance requests. Only 12 items are approved for a legal housing allowance.
These requests must be in writing and approved by the Board at the Annual Board Meeting.
Since there is much more to it than just the Pastor requesting half of his salary as housing allowance, a proper compensation package should be compiled and accepted by the Board. We suggest that Church Leaders contact us as to how to properly compensate a Pastor and the Pastoral team. You may do so by calling 800-225-5849 and ask to speak with Mr. Tim Haney.
Does Your Church/Ministry Have a Plan to Save Money
A church with obligations should have at least six months of reserve in its bank account. According to one study, if the Church has significant long-term debt it should have at least one year cash reserve. The sad news is that many Churches do not even have a one month reserve.
The reason every Church needs a reserve has nothing to do with lack of faith, but everything to do with reality. People die, people lose their jobs, donors leave your Church for silly reasons, etc. One good Church split and your Church is in bankruptcy.
But, what about those Churches that do have a sufficient reserve? Where do you keep the money? Is it kept in the Church checking or savings account? Please understand that in the event of a lawsuit against your Church it is reasonable to expect that all of the Church assets, including any bank accounts, would be frozen. What good is it to have money if you do not have access to it?
To protect against this, we suggest that your Church establish a 501(c)(2) Holding Corporation which could shelter assets from legal action.
How Will the Church/Ministry Handle Contributions
According to a Harvard University Study, 50% of Churches in the USA have embezzlement taking place. This is an unacceptable statistic. First of all it is God’s money, but thieves are everywhere.
If your Church does not have a written policy as to how to handle and count the tithes and offering, your Church is out of compliance. The IRS has provided specific guidelines as to how Churches should handle donations. These can be found in The IRS Charitable Contributions Publication 1771. God expects and demands that we be good stewards of His Money.
Have You Cast the Vision for the Coming Year and Is It Big Enough
Any organism that is not growing is dying. The same is true for the Church. Many Pastors have a vision for their Church and it is usually bigger than the Church budget and unfortunately that vision ends up becoming a nightmare.
Money should never be an issue for a Church, but with only 11% of the Church giving tithes and offerings, it takes everything a Church can do just to survive. Don’t let this year be another year of vision stalemate.
We know how to get millions of dollars to your Church so that you can effectively do the ministry to which God has called you. Let us show you the secret as to how not to be held hostage to the anemic weekly tithes and offerings.
How We Can Help
Chitwood & Chitwood has been the best friend of Churches across America for 80 years. We are the ultimate Church Management and Structure organization in the nation.
At our weekly seminars we teach Pastors and Church Leaders how to properly structure and manage their Ministries to ensure they are compliant with all legal requirements and that the Church/Ministry operates smoothly for ministry purposes. It would be in the best interest of every Pastor and Church Leader to attend the next Church Management Conference nearest you. For a list of conference dates and locations visit us at www.cmtc.org or call 800-344-0076.
We look forward to meeting you.