“Without question the area where most pastors feel least prepared to lead their churches is stewardship in general and church finances in particular,” declare Aubrey Malphurs and Stephen Stroope in their new book Money Matters in Church (Baker Books July 2007). 
Money can be a tricky subject under any circumstance but “There are aspects of church finances… that are foreign even to those who have advanced degrees in business and finance,” the authors say.
It is easy for a local church to fall into a money trap.  While it is true that we serve God and not man, Malphurs and Stroope encourage pastors to remember that “One principle the Scripture prescribes is that people obey their leaders,” and even though the church is “an organism…[it] has a business aspect, with corporate responsibility to its constituents as well as the government.”
Our money is a resource and it needs to be used wisely.  “Churches, like all other organizations, aren’t exempt from the law,” the authors remind us.  Church leadership, therefore, has a responsibility to follow rules and regulations that are in place.  There are many things for a church to consider when it comes to money.  Keeping concise financial records and planning for future growth are just two ways a church needs to use money wisely in order to function and grow.  Money should not be treated as a taboo subject, and ignorance of the laws surrounding its use can lead to jail time, a tarnished witness and a poorly led congregation.  While some aspects of money are technical and unnecessary for the congregation to know, a pastor cannot expect a money-savvy congregation when church leadership sets a bad example.  
The book provides detailed advice on topics like maximizing contributions, and developing a strategic budget, along with a campaign timeline in the back to aid the process of campaign contributions.  In the end, though, the authors remind us of the real reason to be careful with money:  “Jesus teaches that God has entrusted us as his stewards with that which is temporary (worldly wealth) to provide for that which is eternal (true riches).”   

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