3 Financial Tips for Pastors

Randy Stair | December 12, 2016


I’m not a pastor, but I love pastors. They’re prayerful and thoughtful, and they spend their days shepherding God’s people. I, on the other hand, work with numbers. I’m a finance professional, having served for nearly two decades in executive financial officer positions.

For the last 18 years, though, as president of the Presbyterian Church in America (PCA) Foundation, I’ve been able to work at the intersection of my love for the church and my love for finance. Although I’m sure I’ve learned more from my pastors than they have from me, I recognize that I can help them, too. After all, they lead churches that have budgets and are called to be faithful stewards of the resources entrusted to them.

Here are three simple pieces of financial advice that I hope will help pastors. 

1. Learn Basic Accounting

I wish every seminary would introduce pastors to basic accounting. Why? Because I’ve watched pastors struggle to understand the language of finance and basic accounting—profit, loss, assets, liabilities, cash flow, and so on. Many lay leaders spend their days in vocations where this understanding is assumed. Pastors could better communicate with these lay leaders regarding the financial affairs of the church if they…


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