Editor's Note:This is the fourth in a series of guest posts from Dave Travis' book, What's Next?:2012 Edition. The first three posts addressed church finances, financial accountability, and the use of interns and residents. Travis is CEO of Leadership Network.
A wave of functions previously handled in-house at not-for-profits and small companies have been outsourced on an "as needed" basis. These are tasks and ministries that, in the past, would have been the responsibilities of staff and key volunteers.
A discussion among a group of church executive pastors several years ago brought this to my attention. One of them asked, "How much are the rest of you spending on financial administration between personnel, software, and other costs?"
There were various answers. Some said they were turning to a combination of volunteers or part-time staff; others were looking to full-time staff as always, or, in certain cases, software licenses. But one participant said, "I'm confused. We pay a service to handle all these things for us. We just pay them month-to-month on an agreed upon annual basis."
He showed that his church was saving money, decreasing headaches, and raising the service level.
We see more churches following this leader's direction, not just in accounting, but in other areas. Staff is freed up to emphasize their particular gifts and special goals. It's all made possible largely because so much of our work has now entered the digital domain, and because people in general are now more readily accessible through modern communications. Information is more readily accessible.
We have envisioned several other kernels of outsourcing that we feel will only accelerate.
We've previously covered how many churches are working with leaner staffs by using more volunteers and outside services. To go deeper, also check out Protecting Your Volunteer Workers from ChurchLawAndTaxStore.com.
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