Like individuals and families, the church also needs an emergency fund. Assuming that the Holy Spirit hasn’t told you specifically otherwise, not having an emergency fund doesn’t show your reliance on God. It shows your lack of respect for the work of God. Emergencies happen…COVID-19, flooding, fires, and tragedies happen. Do you care enough about Jesus Christ to prepare for the emergencies so ministry doesn’t have to go on hold while you scramble to respond? I walk through how to actually build an emergency fund.
The other danger is for these emergency funds to take on a life of their own. A lot of church trustees have a savings account or checking account that acts as an emergency fund. I’ve heard plenty of stories where the trustees abuse their control of these funds to try to control the mission of the church. That’s an issue that can be solved as well by getting clarity on the purpose and use of those funds. Sheri Meister of the Dakotas United Methodist Foundation addresses this in a recent webinar.
- Difference between Restricted Funds: https://jctaccounting.com/2019/12/02/unrestricted-designated-and-restricted-gifts/
- Managing Long-Term Funds: https://www.dakotasumc.org/media/files/old/00/Conference/Finance/StewResrces/Managing_Long-Term_Funds.pdf
- Year Round Stewardship Plan: https://jctaccounting.com/2020/01/14/year-round-stewardship-plan/
- Dakotas United Methodist Foundation: https://www.dakotasumf.org
- Old Money – New Opportunities Webinar: https://www.dakotasumc.org/foundation/what-we-do/financial-foundations-webinars-and-workshops