Ministry Finance Team Info   0000-99    ZZall

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                    TO: Interested Ministries                                                                         FROM:  Jim Bramer, Retired CPA-Auditor
                                                                                                                                           FILE: 0000-99/all

                     RE: Ministry Finance Team (MFTeam) Purposes                            Originated:  January 1990

       Below is a hypothetical Online Email (EML) thread (THRD)  between  and one of the following MFTeam members: PAT (Ministry Chief Executive), LEE: (Ministry Volunteer Treasurer), and FRAN: (Ministry Computer Bookkeeper)

FR: Lee

        In your Email messages, Jim, and when I go to your web site, you make frequent reference to the "M)inistry F)inance T)eam, or MFTeam," or members thereof. I have not heard this term before; is this group different than the Board Finance Committee of most Ministries??    Please provide me with more information about this team.


          To remind you, Lee, ... my background is with smaller Christian Ministries and I have discovered that a small active cadre of people really end up being responsible for most of its financial affairs.  Click here for some of our perspective on Christian Ministry Fiscal FUEL matters. 
           Ideally the Board of the Ministry should formally appoint a
Board FINANCE COMMITTEE, but that is NOT really how things happen. A FINANCE COMMITTEE does NOT always function effectively, especially for the smaller Ministry .
Therefore I propose that another group, which I call the M)inistry F)inance Team, MFTeam, must rightfully operate and hopefully carry out the following Mission or Job Description:

                             WHO (is the Ministry Finance Team - MFTeam?)

        The Ministry Finance Team (MFTeam) is a well managed active small group that usually consists of two or more of the following Ministry officials:

  • Applicable Ministry Executives

  • Volunteer Board Treasurer;

  • Internal Computer Bookkeeper;

  • Appropriate External Accountants.

                             WHAT (is the MFTeam expected to do/be)?

   Basically to insure that a Ministry is biblically and fiscally righteous plus it:

  •   Has fiscal credibility with staff; constituency; vendors/creditors; 

  •   Has a sound debt philosophy/structure;

  •   Is a proper/ethical steward of physical resources; and designated funds.

  •   Has methods and procedures to insure that the Ministry Executive (who often is the Founder and "mover and shaker" of the Ministry) DOES NOT make all the financial decisions of the Ministry.  

  •   Looks at the 'big financial picture' of the Ministry and not always the minutia.  

                             HOW (is the MFTeam to carry out this mandate?)

        We were supplied with the following definition of a Board Finance Committee that equally applies to the more condensed MFTeam:
BOARD FINANCE COMMITTEE is an active Board Committee who has at least the following mission requirements:

  •     Has financial policies - they establish and adhere thereto;

  •     Is fiscally accountable with integrity and righteousness - no deceptive secrets.

  •     Carefully utilizes computerized accounting systems that are appropriately structured and operated by competent and well trained staff.  

  •     Maintains good communication of fiscal status and affairs.

  •     Has timely and well understood financial reports.

  •     Makes timely payments to staff, vendors and taxes.

  •     Is a good steward of financial & physical resources.

  •     Has good financial Internal controls;

  •     Lives within income and/or budgets.

  •     Is auditable by applicable outsider.

  •    The thrust should NOT be fund raising

  •     Is a good money manager - please Go Here for some ideas, etc.

FR: Lee

      Yea, that makes sense, Jim. I know at our Small Ministry it is most difficult to find volunteers that could act effectively in this area of the Ministry. When it comes right down to it,  Pat, Fran and I end up with the brunt of the fiscal matters and the Board pretty much follows along. Anything else that might assist us, Jim?

                FR: Jim

                Just a few more observations .... as you know, there is a saying that "whoever controls the money controls the endeavor." If there is truth to this, and it is part of your Ministry fiscal culture, then those in control need to be as righteous as humanely possible.
                 I am particularly concerned that the MFTeam and PAT exercises good judgment in this regard. Of course, PAT, as the Ministry Executive/Founder and 'mover and shaker' of the Ministry, should have a great deal of influence ----- but please NOT TOTAL CONTROL.  We caution you-all about PAT functioning as if PAT were the sole proprietor of a business.
of fiscal task responsibility is essential;  plus such tasks need to be identified and then assigned to the appropriate
MFTeam member. See the following links for assistance along these lines:  Here  Here   and Here.

Finally, I highly recommend that the MFTeam formally meets at least before each Board meeting. One agenda item should be what I call a  "MIFI"   list ..... or the Ministry's M)OST I)MPORTANT F)INANCE I)SSUES -- MIFI. The MFTeam minutes of this meeting should clearly state and rank these MIFI items in order of importance.


   My hope and prayer is that your Ministry does in fact have an appropriate and effective Finance Team.   Please bear in mind that the Living Bible states Proverbs 24:3-4 as follows:   "Any enterprise is built by wise planning, becomes strong through common sense, and profits wonderfully by keeping abreast of the facts." 

   Please  click for  more resources that could be of additional assistance to youUPTD:  March 09, 2012


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