Much more important than knowing who is responsible for the church’s finances should be how the church’s finances are managed. Church leaders, as well as the senior pastor, are primarily responsible for the management of the church’s resources. They should be extremely careful to manage the assets of the church in the same manner as they do in the home. It has been discovered that in several churches, practically all financial decisions depend on the vote of the congregation. In others, only the pastor and some leaders know how the finances are managed and have the voting power when allocating financial resources to other areas of the church.

  • It is not profitable to give the money coming from the parishioners a use like this.
  • This case illustrates an important legal principle—any changes in a church’s bank resolution must be done in compliance with the church’s governing document (constitution, bylaws, etc.) to be legally valid.
  • The board also amended its bank accounts to require that all checks and withdrawals be approved by the new pastor.

To avoid the appearance of impropriety, the pastor should not count funds, make deposits, or write checks on his or her own. On repeated occasions, it has been said that the pastor should receive a salary in proportion to his functions in the church. But it is contradictory for the senior pastor or any of the church leaders to use church funds to meet some personal need.

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This allows for a reconciliation of the money deposited to the donor records and finally the system is verified when donor receipts are issued. The pastor may have some involvement or authority in the church finances. However, for the protection of his reputation and the church’s resources, there should always be good segregation of duties. The pastor should not have sole access to cash receipts or disbursements.

In this situation, it is recommended that the pastor should not be listed on the church’s bank account or have direct access to the funds. The church should designate the person or team in charge of accessing and withdrawing church funds from the bank to avoid embezzlement, potential theft, or unauthorized use of this money. For legal reasons, a treasurer is preferred to keep the church’s bank records in order. This is the person designated by the church itself to make deposits, record checks written, and balance the accounts on a month-to-month basis. Sometimes, expenses exceed the allocated budget and they have to resort to debt as a method of payment to pay for services.

First Born Church of the Living God v. Bank South, 472 S.E.2d 469 (Ga. App. .

The pastor needs to know that the church will pay their bills, but also the church needs to be sure that their money is being spent wisely. If a pastor is on the bank account with no checks and balances in place, there will be no way of knowing if they’re spending your money properly or not. Third, give attention to the Commission on Stewardship and Finance. The Commission is under the control of the pastor and the Board of Stewards. They are tasked with receiving and disbursing funds, establishing and enforcing financial policies and procedures, and establishing a budget and financial reporting for the ministry. The pastor should receive frequent detailed reports of all receipts and disbursements as well as the overall status of cash reserves and pending obligations.

Contribute Your Church Accounting FAQs, Helpful Answer, Comments, or Tips

You’re called to shepherd a flock of people that are unpredictable at best and hostile at worst. The best method of application is via the Internal Revenue Service’s online portal at Before you can qualify to file for nonprofit status, the most important thing is to form a congregation of people who share the same religious beliefs as you. The IRS stipulates that you must have three founding members who have no blood income statement template for excel or marriage relations with you. Please be aware that with my Bookkeeping company, building and maintaining websites, and my
volunteer work at my church, I cannot possibly answer and comment on
every submission. However
in the state of Tennessee, you can apply to State Taxing and receive an
exempt number to present when you buy, even if you are a church outside
the state buying within the state of Tennessee.

Checking Accounts And Online Banking covers prayers, spiritual meaning, bible verses and dreams interpretation.

Should a Pastor Control Church Finances? (

You have also been asked to be on the church’s bank account, which is a common practice in churches across America. Therefore, the actions at issue here, taken in violation of the express legislative procedures required by the church’s constitution were not legally enacted. Cynthia Gordon-Floyd is a certified public accountant and founder of Willing Steward Ministries (, which is a financial consulting and accounting firm for churches and other faith-based non-profits.

pastors using church funds for personal use

Understanding that some pastors may have started a church because of a call deeply rooted in their soul, it is always best to clarify and establish boundaries that put you in a position of being a steward rather than an owner. This may not be easy to accept, but we are talking about your life’s calling. Now that you’ve decided to use your bank account as a business, who should be in charge? It is recommended that the pastor’s name not be compromised in order to avoid raising false testimonies that may tarnish the image of the servant or instigate criticism from both the faithful and the heathen outside the church. The pastor, first of all, must see to it that his testimony is faithful and true because he has been appointed by God to minister and feed the flock of God while he remains in office. It is recommended that he may serve as a reference for the church in the pew, but it is not recommended that he have direct access to the funds of the church.

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