Communicating financial information to governing boards and finance or audit committees is an important task for management—but it’s also not an easy one. There are several factors that can complicate the process, and those factors lie both with those who receive the information and those who provide it.
We hear several common complaints from church staff about the involvement of their board members. These include:
- They don’t really understand how the church operates.
- They are too involved, or they are not involved at all to know what is really happening.
- They don’t care how decisions affect the staff.
- Board composition changes frequently, so there is no point in making too much effort.
It’s important to remember that the responsibilities and expectations for church boards are greater now than ever. If something goes wrong in a congregation, staff leaders and board members are immediately called into question. Board members have a fiduciary responsibility to act in the best interests of the church. It is the staff’s responsibility to provide the best information possible, so board members can make informed decisions that will effectively guide the church through operational and strategic planning.
Build a Strong Foundation
Many times, board members are willing but untrained. Does your church have a process for integrating new board members? An orientation process should help them understand the organizational structure of your church, its history, past board minutes, policies, and governing documents so that they can understand how and why previous decisions were made.