42-JIMs JRNL for February 2006 -- 0202-06 ZZjrnl

                                           - - And the Lord direct your heart in the love of God as you continue to faithfully serve Him - -

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           TO:  Interested Onliners                                                                                                                  FROM: Jim Bramer, Retired Auditor-CPA
           RE: J I Ms  J R N L for the month of February 2006     
                                                                      FILE:  0202-06/jrnl        
 (Click Here for "Blogger like" perspective/rationale)      

   01 - Finances at a new Church - or any new Christian Ministry - (01)

    Are any of you in any way involved in the establishment of a brand new Church (or other type of Christian Ministry)?   If so, I trust that you find value in the dialog and related web page links about their finances found within the content of this  "Lil Sister Church"  web pagePlease especially note the possible ways you have in using the Internet that includes having some appropriate remote assistance in such finance matters as the following: 1>     Bookkeeping that has to do with "Board Assigned" or "Donor Designated" moniesClick Here for unique Ministry Finance information. 2>     Clergy Payroll processing, etc. 3>     Weekly knowledge of how much you can spend  -- such critical information goes beyond the balance in the Ministry's bank account.  You will understand this better when you  Click Here  and find more information about the financial report sample shown below:

Acct Types Assets:      
Bank     Checking- Savings     $ 16,787 
Fixed Assets     Land Bldg & Equipment      
         Total Assets       $16,787 
Acct Pay         Payables       $  1,689 
Fund Balances - Net Assets:      
Equity    Approved Donor Restrictions  $       700    
Equity    Building Fund  $    4,000    
Equity    SetASide for Named Purpose  $  15,774    
            Total SPFund    $ 20,474  
Equity (Deficit) from last year  $   (6,362)    
Available for this Year's Operations:      
Equity   Church Staff Costs  $      562    
Equity   Missions Costs  $      234    
Equity   Mortgage & Facility Operating Costs  $        56    
Equity   Program #1 Costs  $        34    
Equity   Program #2 Costs  $      100    
      Total GPFund (Deficit)     $  (5,376) 
Total Fund Balances       $15,098 
             Total Liab and Fund Bal       $16,787 
Click and see contents of colored Hyperlinks above  

     Assistance like this is such a blessing --- particularly when your initial Ministry Finance Team  "Click Here for more on this topic below"  is just learning how to do their job at this new Ministry.  Please particularly note the "After the Fact" Ministry finance system detailed when you go  HERE.

02 - Grade Yourself as to "Righteous Personal Finance - RPFin"  issues - (02)

    We desire to assist born-again believers in Jesus Christ as Lord and Savior (BLVRs) in their pursuit of Righteous Personal Finance - RPFin Please go to  4999  for more information about RPFin resources and topics.  You might also find of value the eEnvelope system as set forth within   0400.  Good grades in the following RPFin areas are indicative that BLVRs are serious about this part of their relationship with the Lord.  


   A - F



My fiscal beliefs and policies are based

upon my understanding and application of

Scriptural principles.



I keep my fiscal promises



I regularly plan my fiscal future. I adhere

to a righteous financial plan, or Budget.



I keep complete records so that I can be

a prudent steward of my finances. Being a

good steward is unlikely unless records are

timely and declarative.



I live within my income



I borrow money very discretely. I do NOT

borrow to live on. Long term borrowings are

because of asset acquisition, like property or

necessary equipment.



If I am married, my spouse and I function

as an effective fiscal team. We have an under-

standing about our buying procedures and

who is responsible for what.


03 - Ministries and Deferred Giving - (03)

        Below are some "Deferred Giving" issues for a Ministry to consider.  Please note the Current & Later columns below  to generally show you when the Ministry will have some "Ministry Financial Benefits."   Also note below that some types will require some Ministry Administration -NOW- and some will -NOT-.





=========== ==================== = ====== =======


Gift Annuities




Agreements- See (2) below

See (3)

See (3)



See (4)


Donor evoked

Ministry evoked (Quasi)

============ == ====== ============= ================





Revocable Savings Trusts (5)


Wills - Estate Income-net

of Probate Costs



      (1) Via a separate "Trust/Fiduciary Fund" entity (Often a Ministry's Foundation).  Go to  0680  for possible use of QuickBooks for coverage on this topic.
      (2) Such instruments go by a variety of names to declare their status and type. this includes Revocable and Irrevocable Trust, plus Charitable Remainder Trust, etc.
      (3) Sometimes the corpus of such agreements/trusts can be invested in Ministry Land/Buildings via a mortgage-like arrangement.
      (4) The corpus usually is invested in non Ministry Assets, as subject to your "Ministry Investment Policy." The Ministry benefits currently from the applicable distributed earnings, or yield, from these investments.
      (5) I know of cases where the financial institution, by agreement, appropriately sends the money directly to the indicated Ministries and it does not flow through probate, etc.     

04 - Christian Foundation Info - (04)

    Please go to  3201  and read an example of how Brad is involved in a Foundation who had its roots in an Orphanage Ministry who owned property in an area of Southern California.  The Ministry's Founder/Director died and the Ministry was ultimately discontinued, but the valuable real estate was sold and this Foundation was established with the property sales proceeds.  I think you will find it of a value as to how this Foundation functions/operates ..... especially it's investment policies/practices, etc.

05 - "Ministry Finance Team" vs "Board Finance Committee'' (9)

    Some have appropriately asked me why I use the term "Ministry Finance Team" and not "Board FINANCE COMMITTEE.To remind you, my background is with smaller Christian Ministries and I have discovered that a small active cadre of people 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 Leadership Board of the Ministry should formally appoint a Board FINANCE COMMITTEE, but such a group seldom functions effectively for the smaller Ministry . Therefore, I propose another Board appointed group, which I call the M)inistry F)inance Team, MFTeam or MFT, to carry out the following Mission or Job Description:

        WHO (is the MFTeam?)  It is a well managed active small group that usually consists of two (one of which is non staff) 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)?  It is a Board appointed groups that insures that a Ministry is biblically and fiscally righteous and just -- this includes the following:

  •   Has fiscal credibility with staff; constituency; vendors/creditors; 
  •   Has a sound debt philosophy/structure;
  •   Is a proper/ethical steward of physical resources; especially designated donations.
  •   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:  A BOARD FINANCE COMMITTEE is an active Board Committee who has at least the following mission requirements:

  •     Has financial policies - they establish and adhere thereto - ask us for samples.
  •     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 - ask us for samples.
  •     Makes timely payments to staff, vendors and taxes.
  •     Is a good steward of financial & physical resources.
  •     Has good financial Internal controls - ask us for more information.
  •     Lives within income and/or budget constraints.
  •     Is auditable by applicable outsider.
  •     The thrust should NOT be fund raising
  •     Is a good money manager.

06 - Ministry Finance and Scriptural Enablements - (06)

       Below are some discovered Ministry Finance concerns plus some forthright Scriptural enablements that we have 'gleaned' down through years..... we trust you can relate as you click and link to the actual text of the verse.

Finding money to pay bills is exhausting ---- Isaiah 40:29
Funding of that project really worries me --- Phil. 4:6
This particular financial system is frustrating -- Eph. 2:10
That computer matter is beyond me - I need help!! -- Psalm 37:30
You mean the IRS requires us to do that --- Romans 13:1
I know, I know - that donor was not fair, but: --- Psalm 37:28
Praise the Lord - we were able to meet payroll!!! --- Psalm 96:3
The General Fund income is more than expected --- Psalm
That department stayed within the budget and deserved praise; Prov. 16:24
No - We really must pay that bill - even if it is grossly unfair---- II Tim. 2:19
How frustrating; no one will take responsibility for that obvious over-spending - Isaiah 26:3
Yes, I had my reasons for forgiving that debt - Isaiah 55:9
I'm proud of that Ministry's Building - I Cor. 13:4-5
We gave to that needy person confidentially - Matt. 6:3
Staying within our income was (and is) hard work - I Cor. 10:31

Click below for Potentially Helpful Online Links for JIMs JRNL Readers

01-Wise "Making Donations to Public Organizations" resource --- www.give.org
Parish Software resource --- http://www.parishdata.com
Crown Ministries and the use of Envelopes for the "Management of Personal Finances"  ---- http://www.crown.mvelopes.com
Local Church Financial Audit Guide --- http://www.gcfa.org/FinalLCAG.pdf
05-In Kind Donation Helps --- http://www.philanthropy.iupui.edu/JofA%20Accounting%20v2.pdf
06- Proposed Web-based Exchequer Services for Ministries, etc. -- 0930-03 ZZfwi

07-eFiling with the IRS Information -- http://www.irs.gov/charities/article/0,,id=133968,00.html
Fund Raising statement by a "Publicly Supported Ministry" --- http://globalrecordings.net/topic/finance
Estate Planning resources ---- http://www.crown.org/newsletter/default.asp?issue=336&articleid=458&MemberID=396870
Christian Employee/Employer "connect up" services --- www.intercristo.com  

Current "Ministry Finance

    Below is one of my Ministry Finance precepts/beliefs/principles, or  "rules of thumb". Please go to  0069  for a complete TRUISMS list
    SPENDING - General Fund  (GPFund)  income for most Ministries is very volatile, so regardless of any authorized General Fund budget, spending is limited to what comes in - period!   Knowing this information on a weekly basis is essential.

          Bible Verse and/or Prayerful Thots

    I recently was pleased to read the following quote of John Kotter:  "Leaders ESTABLISH the vision for the future and SET the strategy for getting there; they CAUSE change.  They MOTIVATE others to GO in the right direction and they, along with others, SACRIFICE to get there."  Heavenly Father, I am really impressed with the emphasis via the preceding highlighted verbs -- my prayer is that this will be an encouragement to leaders who read this.  In thy precious name, Amen.

     This "Blogger" like monthly endeavor (99) allows me to share some personal comments/thoughts as to Ministry Finance issues plus matters concerning Righteous Personal Finance for Christian people.  Please go to  0200  for further explanation and links to earlier JIM's JRNLs.  The four digit links  xxxx  and some  "Click Here" link contents herein come from www.bcidot.org sources. 
    If you would like to receive the next monthly JIM's JRNL during the first week of the subsequent month,  please join the following Yahoo Group:   ---- http://groups.yahoo.com/group/JIMsJRNL/.    Caution --- the non  www.bcidot.org  web links that I reference herein do NOT necessarily imply my endorsement.  Further, if any of these links do not work, tell us which one at  Jim@bcidot.org    Lists of our  www.bcidot.org  articles (or Web Docs), can be found at 9703.  9704  9705.   and  9706

 Probable "Ministry Finance Lingo", or "Frequently Used Vocational Terms" used herein, appear below:

            BLVR = 
Someone who has accepted Jesus Christ as Lord and Savior, CBA = Church Business Administrator, CBAer;  CMS = Church Management Software/System;  CPA = Certified Public Accountant;  GAAP = Generally Accepted Accounting Principles/Practices;  GPFund or GPF = General Purpose Fund; MFTeam or MFT= Ministry Finance Team QBOE = QuickBooks Online Edition;  QBooks or QBs = Quickbooks; RPFin 
= Righteous Personal Finance , SPFunds or SPFs = Special Purpose Funds


Click Here and go to a list of earlier JIM's JRNLs - Contact  Jim@bcidot.org  

This document was updated last on:  November 15, 2010