What's my job?
An effective financial secretary will receive, record, and deposit all funds received by your congregation in a timely, thorough and confidential manner. The financial secretary will work with the treasurer and committee on finance to develop policies and procedures so that funds can be made available to support the ministry of your congregation.
Who is qualified for the job?
Spiritual gifts: giving, faith, wisdom, servanthood
Experience, Skills: A financial secretary needs skills and interest in financial record keeping; ability to keep detailed, accurate records and maintain appropriate confidentiality; passion for financially supporting the mission of making Christian disciples for the transformation of the world; ability to work with individuals and ministry teams. This person needs skill in searching for new revenue sources along with an understanding of biblical stewardship and management of all resources that God gives and provides.
The roles of financial secretary and treasurer should not be combined and held by one person, and the persons holding these two positions shall not be immediate family members. United Methodist Book of Discipline, 2008 ¶258.4.
What does the Financial Secretary do?
- The financial secretary works according to the guidelines established by the committee on finance to receive funds from whatever source including through the mail and by electronic deposit, record them, and report them to the church treasurer and the committee on finance.
- The financial secretary deposits money in a bank as soon as possible after it is received.
- The financial secretary keeps records, whenever possible, of how much money is given by whom and report amounts received to the appropriate people.
- The financial secretary checks the records, quarterly, against those of the treasurer and keeps records in good order for an annual audit.
- The financial secretary arranges for collecting offerings received during worship services and other church gatherings at the conclusion of these events, making certain that more than one person is involved in collecting and counting the money.
- The financial secretary must engage in spiritual practices that build a relationship of attentiveness to God's will and direction. Financial management and attentiveness to daily administration can detract leader's attention from the mission of the church to make disciples of Jesus Christ for the transformation of the world.
Where can I get help?
- Talk with people in your congregation who have (or have had) responsibilities similar to yours. Work closely with the treasurer and chair of the finance committee to keep abreast of the changes in financial processes (institutional regulations as well as cultural change such as the trend toward electronic money management).
- Evaluate the record keeping processes of your congregation. What is working well? What can be improved? Make recommendations to the treasurer and finance committee.
- Read the Guidelines for Leading Your Congregation 2009-2012: Finance for detailed responsibilities.
People and Agencies
- People in your congregation and in the community who have current knowledge and experiences with financial management.
- Ken Sloane, ksloane@UMCdiscipleship.org,Discipleship Ministries, P.O. Box 340003, Nashville, TN 37203-0003; (877) 899-2780; www.umcdiscipleship.org.
- Don Joiner, djoiner@UMCdiscipleship.org, Discipleship Ministries, P.O. Box 340003, Nashville, TN 37203-0003; (877) 899-2780; www.umcdiscipleship.org.
- InfoServ, a service providing current information about United Methodist resources, programs, and staff services
- General Council on Finance and Administration, forms and implementation suggestions are available under "resources."
Web and Print
- Afire With God: Becoming Spirited Stewards by Betsy Schwarzentraub
- Beyond Money: Becoming Good and Faithful Stewardsby Dan Dick
- Stewardship website..
- Cycles of Discipleship: A Stewardship Program for the Local Church by Jack Phillips
- Creating a Climate for Giving by Donald W. Joiner
- Creative Giving: Understanding Planned Giving and Endowments in Church by Michael Reeves, Rob Farley, and Sanford Coon
- Don't Shoot the Horse ('Til You Know How to Drive the Tractor): Moving From Annual Fund Raising to a Life of Giving by Herb Mather
- Extraordinary Money: Understanding the Church Capital Campaign by Michael D. Reeves
- Faith and Money: Understanding Annual Giving in Church Michael D. Reeves and Jennifer Tyler
- Guidelines for Leading Your Congregation 2013-2016: Finance.
- Handling Money in the Church
- Let the Children Give: Time, Talent, Love and Money by Delia Halverson
- Stewardship in African-American Churches: A New Paradigm by Melvin Amerson
- That's What My Mother Taught Me (and Other Ways Generous Givers Develop) by Herb Mather