I’m not naturally a systems guy. But I’ve learned that good systems aren’t about stifling creativity or spontaneity; they’re about increasing accountability and stewardship.
I spend several hours each week building and maintaining proper systems. I and my church are better off for it.
To protect yourself, your church, and your integrity, begin with this one basic principle: never be alone with the money.
Here are some simple steps to make that happen:
- Have two people count every offering;
- Deposit the money into the bank as soon as possible;
- Set up a simple, accurate accounting system;
- Set up a budget;
- Stick to the budget;
- Have someone other than you or your family members doing as much of this as possible.
Proper systems will never build a healthy church. But bad systems—or no systems—can kill one.
Karl Vaters is pastor of Cornerstone Christian Fellowship in California. He's been a small church pastor for more than 30 years and is the author of The Grasshopper Myth.
This article was adapted from Pivot 's "5 Principles Small Churches Can Learn From Megachurches"—read about the other principles that are highlighted in that article. Used with permission.
For more information on handling church money and offerings, check out the Church Finance book and the downloadable resource Internal Controls for Church Finances.