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Christian Living

Finance

Four Professionals Every Church Should Know

Over the years, I have learned the benefit of surrounding myself with great professionals who have helped me sort through the unique intricacies of pastoral compensation issues, and I think you should make it a goal to surround yourself and your church with these same kinds of individuals.

I believe that every church, and by extension, every pastor, should establish a relationship with an attorney, an accountant, a tax professional, and a financial planner.

Now, as I say this, I do not necessarily mean that every church needs to hire these four types of individuals. It just means that you need them. In our church, we have had various relationships with all four of these professionals on either a paid or volunteer basis over the years.

Perhaps you have individuals within your church who work in these fields. Have you ever considered asking them for help? I have found that most people within the church, if asked, are more than willing to lend their own professional help whenever they can. If you have them in your church, you should ask them. What’s the worst that can happen . . . they might say “No”?

But if you don’t have these individuals in your church, you will need to hire them, as needed, either for consultation or for services rendered. Do not look at this as being an expense, but as an investment in the church! I can say that we have never once paid a single dollar to our attorney or our accountant that wasn’t worth ten more in money or trouble saved. They have helped us immeasurably over the years, and we are thankful for the relationships we’ve established.

So, if you don’t have these four professionals in your church, get some recommendations from other churches in your area (or, better yet, from business people you respect), and set up some meetings. One way or the other, you will eventually NEED their counsel and help.

That said, I’m ashamed to report that what I have heard from some of these professionals over the years is that churches are often their worst clients.

As an example, our CPA has told us repeatedly that, in his 30-plus year career as an accountant, we are the FIRST church with which he has actually been able to have a good and lasting relationship. How sad!

You see, churches are naturally wary of taking on additional expenses, particularly when they don’t view the need as being immediate or pressing; and, in addition, many churches seem to think that they should be given these kinds of professional services for free (or really cheap) just because they are a church.

If that is your mindset, please reconsider and repent of these false and selfish beliefs.

There is no CPA, attorney, tax professional, or financial planner that owes you or your church anything. Jesus didn’t command them to give you any special treatment just because you’re the pastor of a church in town. If you’re going to begin working with one of these professionals, be prepared to pay a fair price for their services just like everybody else. Who knows? Maybe they will give you a discount, but don’t you dare ask!

Make sure that both you and your church maintain a good reputation with outsiders, and make sure that you establish relationships with these four types of professionals. I promise you . . . doing so will pay dividends later on.

Copyright: From How to Not Be a Broke Pastor - Copyright 2017, BROKEPASTOR, LLC

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