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Church Finance 101: How to Set Your Ministry Up for Success

Church Finance Basics

What contributes to ministry success? Evangelism, discipleship, preaching, and prayer always make the list. Church finance, on the other hand, may fall to the bottom or be left off entirely. Yet it plays a critical role. When you set your church up to be financially strong, you tangibly equip it to accomplish its intangible, God-given calling. Though each church's calling is unique, those that are financially sound have several things in common:

1. A Firm Foundation: They Follow Good Financial Practices

Healthy budgeting and accounting practices lay a foundation of financial stability for your church, allowing you to keep your focus on ministry. Budgeting is the process of utilizing your monetary resources to its greatest benefit. Without a budget that you follow, track, and review, it can be difficult to keep the lights on, much less achieve new goals. Good financial practices are core to ministry survival and help make it possible to fulfill what God's calling you to do.

2. Built to Last: They Prepare for the Unexpected

Once you have put solid financial practices into place, consider ways to sustain your ministry long term through solid risk management practices and proper insurance protection. As a pastor, you have been entrusted with providing a safe place for people to learn, worship, and minister. You ministry's future depends on how well you plan for the worst before it can happen. If a fire destroys your building or a child is hurt by a volunteer, the financial consequences can be crippling. More than just helping you avoid an expensive lawsuit, risk management is an ongoing process of anticipating the unexpected so your ministry can continue to impact your community.

3. Poised for the Future: They Plan Strategically for Growth

The two elements above provide the stable footing you need to be able to grow and widen your impact. But as your ministry budget grows, new financial challenges arise. Churches who reach a budget of $1 million or higher are bigger than many businesses. It's crucial to have internal programs and controls in place in order to be able to grow at a financially healthy pace that doesn't exhaust your resources and hurt your ministry in the long run. Churches who plan strategically for growth are ready for each new stage when it arrives.

By following good financial practices, preparing for the unexpected, and planning strategically for growth, every church can experience financial success that supports a thriving ministry. For in-depth, practical guidance in setting up your ministry for success, download the Interactive Guide to Church Finance below.

If you would like to learn about our financial solutions for ministries, call 866.621.1787.

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