September 22, 2020

A weekly communication for WDC Churches and Pastors

WDC Executive Board, Commission, Committee and Task Force members

Any content may be used in bulletins and newsletters and

forwarded to congregational leaders and members.

WDC Sprouts is also available at:  www.mennowdc.org (Publications)

We invite your continuing support for WDC! Contributions may be made HERE.



*Internal Controls for Church Finances



Internal Controls for Church Finances

by Beth Yoder, WDC Business Manager

I’m sure many congregations have thought through internal controls and the importance they offer to church finances. The following are points from a Church Law & Tax article by Tyler Charles (full article is here) that reiterate the importance of internal controls that I thought would be valuable to share with WDC congregations.

  1. Internal Controls = Good Stewardship

Internal controls are like checks and balances—or an accountability system. Not only do internal controls make your church’s finances safer, but the knowledge that your church has a system in place will also serve as a deterrent—removing the temptation for a leader to embezzle or to “borrow” funds temporarily.

  1. Internal Controls Do Not Imply a Lack of Trust

A system of internal control not only protects your church’s assets, but it protects church leaders from unfounded accusations. Good-intentioned leaders and volunteers should welcome the implementation of internal controls. At first the new practices might seem inconvenient, but in the end, your leaders will be less susceptible to false accusations. And they will understand that you have the church’s best interest at heart.

  1. Write it Down

Documenting your church’s internal control policies is a vital step. This communicates that you are serious about implementing these practices, and it will encourage your leaders to abide by the new restrictions—even if they might seem tedious or unnecessary.

  1. Annual Audits

In addition to implementing a system of checks and balances, and limiting access to accounts and cash supplies, churches need to consider finding a local CPA to perform an annual audit of their finances. An annual audit of the church’s finances, though somewhat costly, can serve an incentive for all church leaders to be conscientious about keeping receipts, balancing accounts, and reconciling errors.

  1. Emphasize Integrity

Internal controls are imperative for your church’s financial security. If your church needs to revamp its system, don’t overlook the spiritual element. Use this time to emphasize the need for honesty and integrity among your leaders—and throughout the church. Remember that embezzlement isn’t just about stealing, but it’s also a violation of the trust your church members placed in your leaders.

In regard to #4, audits by an outside CPA can be costly, potentially out of reach for many WDC congregations. Some WDC congregations perform an internal audit which is also a good option. This should be combined with segregating as many duties as possible and maintaining transparency where duties can’t be segregated.

I am not a CPA, and I do not provide accounting advice to congregations. I offer these as points to think about if your congregation hasn’t already. There are many other resources available with similar guidance. As WDC Business Manager and treasurer, I want to be transparent about the work I am doing. I appreciate that WDC helps this happen by having internal controls in place and having an annual audit performed.  I don’t see any of these processes as distrust in me, but rather protection for funds and for myself. I hope that each congregation has found or can find what works in your setting and if needed reach out to other congregations to share processes and ideas.


Controles internos para las finanzas de la Iglesia

Estamos seguros de que muchas congregaciones han pensado en los controles internos y la importancia que ofrecen a las finanzas de la iglesia. Los siguientes son puntos de un artículo de Tyler Charles sobre Church Law & Tax (leyes e impuestos de la iglesia)(el artículo completo está aquí) que reiteran la importancia de los controles internos que pensamos que sería valioso compartir con las congregaciones de la WDC.

  1. Controles internos = buena mayordomía

Los controles internos son como controles y equilibrios, o un sistema de rendición de cuentas. Los controles internos no solo hacen que las finanzas de su iglesia sean más seguras, sino que el conocimiento de que su iglesia tiene un sistema en rigor también servirá como disuasivo, eliminando la tentación de un líder de malversar o “pedir prestados” fondos temporalmente.

  1. Los controles internos no implican falta de confianza

Un sistema de control interno no solo protege los activos de su iglesia, sino que también protege a los líderes de la iglesia de acusaciones infundadas. Los líderes y voluntarios con intenciones buenas deberían recibir con agrado la implementación de controles internos. Al principio, las prácticas nuevas pueden parecer inconvenientes, pero al final, sus líderes serán menos susceptibles a las acusaciones falsas. Y entenderán que usted tiene en el corazón el mejor interés de la iglesia.

  1. Escríbanlo

Documentar las políticas de control interno de su iglesia es un paso vital. Esto comunica que se toma en serio la implementación de estas prácticas y alentará a sus líderes a acatar las restricciones nuevas, aun si pueden parecer tediosas o innecesarias.

  1. Auditorías anuales

Además de implementar un sistema de controles y contrapesos, y limitar el acceso a cuentas y suministros de efectivo, las iglesias deben considerar encontrar a un/a contador(a) público/a local para realizar una auditoría anual de sus finanzas. Una auditoría anual de las finanzas de la iglesia, aunque algo costoso, puede servir como incentivo para que todos los líderes de la iglesia sean conscientes de cómo guardar los recibos, equilibrar las cuentas y reconciliar los errores.

  1. Enfatizar la integridad

Los controles internos son imperativos para la seguridad financiera de su iglesia. Si su iglesia necesita renovar su sistema, no pasen por alto el elemento espiritual. Usen este tiempo para enfatizar la necesidad de honestidad e integridad entre sus líderes y en toda la iglesia. Recuerden que la malversación de fondos no se trata solo de robar, sino que también es una violación de la confianza que los miembros de su iglesia depositan en sus líderes.

Con respecto al # 4, las auditorías realizadas por un/a contador(a) público/a externo/a pueden ser costosas, potencialmente fuera del alcance de muchas congregaciones de la WDC. Algunas congregaciones de la WDC realizan una auditoría interna que también es una opción buena. Esto debe combinarse con la segregación de tantas tareas como sea posible y el mantenimiento de la transparencia donde no es posible segregar las funciones.

No soy contadora pública ni les doy consejo para la contabilidad a las congregaciones. Les ofrezco como puntos para considerar si su congregación aún no lo ha hecho. Hay muchos otros recursos disponibles con direcciones similares. Como gerente comercial y tesorera de la WDC, quiero ser transparente sobre el trabajo que estoy haciendo. Aprecio que la WDC ayude a que esto suceda por medio de la implementación de controles internos y la realización de una auditoría anual. No veo ninguno de estos procesos como desconfianza en mí, sino más bien como protección para los fondos y para mí. Espero que cada congregación haya encontrado o pueda encontrar lo que funciona en su situación y, si es necesario, comunicarse con otras congregaciones para compartir procesos e ideas.

WDC announcements

  1. KLC Leadership Lunch:  On September 24 from 12:00 noon – 1:30 pm, our theme will be “Manage Self:  Getting Used to Uncertainty and Conflict”.  Participants are invited to bring examples from their own lives and ministries.  Email wdc@mennowdc.orgfor the Zoom link.
  1. MC USA Common Read Book Discussion: Join us in September’s MC USA Common Read! Contact the library to borrow your copy of “Signs of Life: Resurrecting Hope out of Ordinary Losses” and join us for a discussion via Zoom on Thursday, September 24 from 7:00-8:00pm.  Contact Jennie at crlib@mennowdc.orgfor the Zoom link.

Camp Mennoscah announcements

  1. Camp Mennoscah’s Scrapbook and Crafts Retreat on October 30-Nov. 1 has up to five spaces available.  (Nov. 6-8 is waitlist only.)  Participants will stay in the Retreat Center with their own bathroom and scrapbook/crafts tables will be set up in the dining hall to provide more space and better ventilation.  Register at campmennoscah.org!  Call 620-297-3290 for more information.
  1. Camp Mennoscah’s annual meeting is September 27 at 7pm.  An online link will be shared soon!  Get ready to hear about Camp Mennoscah’s year!
  1. Work and Play Day!  Camp Mennoscah invites volunteers to sign up for a day of service and fun on October 10.  The day begins at 8:30am and ends approximately 2:30pm.  Contact staff at 620-297-3290 or office@campmennoscah.orgfor details.  Please bring a mask!
  1. Escape to the prairie!  Pastors and ministry workers are welcome to come to Camp Mennoscah for a day or overnight retreat.  No charge for the first day/night, but reservations are required.  Spend time on the trails,  have a campfire cookout, and enjoy the open spaces of the tallgrass prairie and the Ninnescah River! Contact Camp Mennoscah at 620-297-3290 to make a reservation.

Mennonite church announcements

  1. Bethel College Women’s Association has worked to raise money for Bethel for many years.  In August we opened our first online store, www.bcwamarketonline.com.  We invite you to help us support Bethel by checking this online market for crafts, jewelry, Bethel-themed items and much more. Our inventory will change over time so please check in to find that special gift or item for your home.  If circumstances allow, on September 1 we will begin accepting orders for baked goods to be picked up on Fall Fest weekend, October 1-3.  Please check the website for updated information.
  1. We have service opportunities available for your whole family, even during the pandemic! Visit MennoniteMission.net/SOOP for details and to apply!
  1. How has 2020 strengthened, challenged or reshaped your Anabaptist faith and the way you live your life? Share your stories, photos, videos and artwork at Anabaptist History Today, a collaborative, online, Anabaptist storytelling platform. https://aht.libraryhost.com/s/archive/page/Welcome

    4.  Joel Miller, pastor of Columbus Mennonite Church, a sanctuary church in Ohio, talks about putting a face on immigration and reminds us that we have choices to make that impact our own humanity. Read more in his blog, “These are my people!”https://www.mennoniteusa.org/menno-snapshots/these-are-people/

    5.  Writing as part of a blog series on racial justice, Goshen College sophomore Greta Lapp Kassen reminds us that, “Silence is violence, and as pacifists, it is our duty to promote peace.” Read her blog, “Our faith must compel us to work for change”: https://www.mennoniteusa.org/menno-snapshots/our-faith-must-compel-us-for-change/

  1. Salt & Light Bible study video series:  Jump start online or in-person Bible study conversations this fall with new, short introductory teaching videos that enrich MennoMedia’s new Salt & Light Curriculum series. These teaching videos can be used either for teacher prep or to introduce each weekly session. Check out the videos here.   (Salt & Light replaces the Adult Bible Study/Quarterly with sessions written by Anabaptists for Anabaptists!)

WDC Sprouts announcement guidelines:  Announcements pertain to Western District Conference (WDC) ministries and churches, institutions with which WDC has formal relationships, and Mennonite Church USA agencies and ministries.  

Western District Conference
2517 North Main, PO Box 306
North Newton KS  67117
316-283-6300; FAX:  316-283-0620
Email:  wdc@mennowdc.org
Website:  www.mennowdc.org