Finance Committee Chairperson - In the local church the Finance Committee handles issues related to budgeting church funds, addressing out of the ordinary expenditure requests and long range financial planning. Every church must define how they want their Finance Committee to operate.
The Chairperson is responsible for organizing the committee, establishing meeting schedules and reminding members of the times. If a church has an office and secretary, he/she can make the calls and sends out the notices.
Some committees function on a regular basis (monthly or quarterly), while others chose to only operate when their is a specific need.
The Finance Committee usually studies specific requests referred by the Church Board (i.e. the need for a new roof, or the funds needed for a summer Youth Ministry project). Often a Board will request the Finance Committee to bring a recommendation as to whether or not funds are available for a project, and what steps are needed to make it possible).
Hardly ever do Finance Committees have the authority to actually spend money. Their primarily role is to bring recommendations back to the Church Board. If the Church Board chooses, they may authorize the Finance Committee to spend money to meet an urgent need before the next scheduled Church Board. When this occurs a cap dollar amount is usually given (i.e. up to $500 or whatever amount is specified).
Effective Finance Committee Chairpersons:
1. Work closely with the pastoral staff and church Treasurer.
2. Are good with their people skills (know how to arrive at a consensus).
3. Meet their appointments and obligations in a timely way.
4. Demonstrate integrity and trust in their business dealings.
5. Are positive and upbeat about the mission of the church.
6. Keep their meetings focused and as short as possible.
7. Avoid power struggles with the Church Board.
8. Try not to let their bias color their objectivity.
9. Make recommendations that maximize the effectiveness of the dollars entrusted to the church.
The Finance Committee does not have to wait for the church to make a request of it. It can come to the Board with the request that it be given permission to study a particular problem or need.
Having sharp minds, spiritual hearts and keen insights on board can make a Finance Committee a powerful agent for positive change. An effective chairperson seeks to bring out the best in each member while keeping the spiritual mission of the church in focus.