Financial Direction for 2010

Leading in lean times requires a new approach.

Your Church magazine asked its Editorial Advisors and Contributing Editors how pastors, business administrators, and executive pastors can lead well amid the changing realities in 2010–and here's what they said.

Guard against the growing risk of embezzlement

One major church insurer logged 32 embezzlement-related claims in 2009, up 12.5 percent from its recent annual averages. "Regrettably, financial misconduct tends to be more predominant in economic downtimes," says David Middlebrook, another Texas-based attorney specializing in church law.

Fraud experts often refer to a three-legged stool for embezzlement risk: opportunity, need, and organizational ethos. Opportunity often is born out of non-existent or poorly managed financial controls. A variety of new resources help churches set proper controls, including The Essential Guide to Church Finances (2009, Christianity Today International–the parent ministry of Your Church), and Weeds in the Garden (2009, NACBA Press), as well as guidance ...

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