How to Be Abased and How to Abound

Paul said, “I know how to be abased, and I know how to abound” (Philippians 4:12). To be honest, I get really uncomfortable when church finances are tight. I’m not sure I’ve learned how to be abased and also be content. Also, I’d love to get some insight as to how to handle money very wisely and strategically when it does come in abundance. Can pastors advise me on how to be a steady, proficient, and wise steward in both lean times and in times of abundance.

Reasonable Compensation for Pastors and Ministers

Those in the pastoral ministry are not typically thought of as overpaid. Certainly in most cases they are not. Since the vast majority of churches in the U.S. are small, the overall compensation package for Protestant pastors is low when compared with teachers and social workers. However, the amount of a pastor’s salary is only one dimension of reasonable compensation; the manner in which they are paid is of just as much interest in evaluating compensation from a legal standpoint. … read more

Churches, Banks and Loans by Mark Helland

In the course of my work as a CPA, I perform financial statement audits and reviews for dozens of churches and ministries on an annual basis. Some of the churches that I work with are debt free, but most require some sort of outside financing for building programs, improvements and other equipment purchases. One thing that all of these churches with outside financing have in common is an ever-more difficult environment with their lenders. … read more

Guest Ministry

I am curious how other pastors today are handling financial responsibilities when it comes to guest ministers. Is it the host church’s responsibility to cover all travel expenses in addition to lodging? Do churches generally receive an offering for the guest minister during each service, during certain services, or do they just provide an honorarium? Are expenses taken from the special offerings, or are they taken from the general fund of the church? In the event of conferences, does the church charge a fee for each person attending, or just receive offerings?

Financial Reports

As a pastor, I’m curious as to what other pastors do in terms of providing financial reports to the congregation. Most of the people in our church are fine to simply let our board handle all of that, but a few of the people are from church backgrounds where detailed reports are given to the congregation. How much information do most churches give out, and how/when is that information disseminated?