By Woody Woodrick
Pastors and lay leaders often say they could do a better job explaining the Mississippi Conference budget if they had more tangible resources.
Now they do.
The conference Council on Finance and Administration developed a toolkit of resources that explains both the Mississippi Conference budget and the general church budget. The items in the package show where funds placed in local-church offering plates go.
“CFA decided it needed to do a better job telling where apportionment dollars went,” said David Stotts, director of finance and administration. In the 1990s a videotape was done by the conference called ‘Money Counts.’ That was the first tool kit done in the Mississippi Conference.”
The kits were made available at Annual Conference held June 8-10 at Christ UMC in Jackson. Margaret Ducker of Senatobia First United Methodist Church picked up a kit for her church.
“I think it’s a great idea,” she said. “We have people ask all the time to explain (the budget) to them.”
The Rev. Larry Creel of Winona Moore Memorial UMC agreed. “I think it will be real helpful,” he said.
While Creel said he doesn’t field a lot of questions about where funds go, he thinks studying the kit could help his church better plan and organize its budget.
The kit contains printed material, a DVD and a CD, all designed to explain where apportioned funds go.
“My desire,” Stotts said, “is that this tool kit allows the pastor, finance chair or treasurer to have the resources to answer questions about where our money goes. There are a variety of resources that should enable them to do that. We hope it will be a permanent part of the library at the church.”
The finance office began handing out the tool kits Monday afternoon at Annual Conference. Each church will receive a kit and each pastor will receive one. The desire is for the pastors to leave their kits at the church as they change appointments.