SCHAUMBURG, Ill.—Churches can learn to minister effectively during times of budget crisis, says Michael Nolan, director of operations for Regular Baptist Ministries. Twenty-two church leaders recently attended a webinar to discuss ways to improve church finances, focusing on budgets, financial review, and good communication.

Nolan suggests that churches work to increase revenue first, then study ways to decrease expenses. Pastors should consider preaching about the importance of giving, teaching about giving in Sunday School and small groups, and seeking ways to increase church membership. Churches should also host financial workshops to answer practical questions about budgeting, finance, and job loss. In addition to ministering to church members, these seminars can be excellent opportunities for community outreach and evangelism.

Churches can reduce expenses by refinancing their mortgages, carefully evaluating fixed expenses, analyzing church vehicle and liability insurance costs, consolidating insurance policies, and reducing utilities.

“Church members do not always understand financial statements, so this information needs to be communicated clearly and to the point,” Michael Nolan says, adding that both too much and too little information can cause misunderstandings. Nolan suggests that church treasurers create shorter financial reports that summarize the church’s financial picture in non-technical language.

The webinar ended with questions and discussion from the participants.