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Oct082011

Crumroy, Church Administration and Finance Manual

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Otto Crumroy, Stan Kukawka and Frank Witman, Church Administration and Finance Manual: Resources for Leading the Local Church. Morehouse Group, 1998.

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LifeandLeadership.com Summary

The title could give you the impression that its primary focus is financial matters, but it is actually much broader in scope, covering the complete range of congregational administration. Still, its strength is in the area of financial policy and practice. Like most books in this genre, it spends a little (but thankfully not too much) time at the beginning discussing why administration is important, but then goes straight into resourcing. It discusses full-bore strategic planning (mission, goals, action plans, evaluations) as well as event planning, but will need considerable supplementation for anyone who is serious about these functions. The same is true for the material on church growth, staffing (assumes a denominational/judicatory set-up and has a bit of a hierarchical bias), and leadership - all good, but not the best place for insights into these areas, as these are typically not the strengths of church administration manuals.

The strength of this volume is financial management - stewardship campaigns, handling contributions, financial reporting, budgeting, accounting, disbursements, capital planning (wills, endowments, memorials, etc.), cash management, tax reporting, etc. Next to that, it is full of very usable principles and “boiler plates” on human resource management, staff role descriptions, personnel policies (including reprimands, injury/illness), sexual harassment protocol, property maintenance, etc. By far the biggest reason to have this book is the back section, “Resources for Various Church Activities,” a 100-plus page treasure-trove of ready-made forms on most conceivable areas of policy and procedure. This one section alone is worth the price of the book, and will save countless hours.

From the Back Cover

Pastors generally feel equipped to deal with biblical studies, theological questions, preaching responsibilities, and pastoral care. But when it comes to budgets, insurance, fire safety, and church management many find themselves at a loss. Often lay leaders within the congregation flounder with these tasks as well. Here, finally, is the ultimate reference guide for the practical management of the parish.

Originally created as a sourcebook for the authors’ week-long course on church management and administration at the Claremont School of Theology, the manual in draft version has been field-tested by hundreds of pastors and lay leaders. Not simply a theoretical resource, the Manual provides suggestions for almost every aspect of parish administration: position descriptions, various financial forms, materials for stewardship and Christian education, building use and safety issues, employee record keeping, and much more. Whether pastors are just out of seminary or well-seasoned in parish life, the Manual is full of excellent guidelines, tools, and forms for improving the management of the parish.

Editorial Reviews

…A wealth of information on parish administration… —The Living Church

…Valuable resource… an essential tool for any clergy person; everyone should have a copy in their library! —Rev. Jennifer Lower, Associate Pastor, First United Methodist Church, Tempe, AZ

…Very helpful book for the new pastor or the veteran… I recommend this book to anyone with administrative responsibilities… —The Reverend Nancy S. Cushman, Central United Methodist Church, Phoenix, AZ

…Very rich reference volume… will quickly become one of the most widely used resources among leaders in local churches. —Bishop Roy I. Sano

…Very valuable resource… I regularly refer to it … stands head and shoulders above all others in administration and finance. —J. T. Greenleaf, Pastor, Ramona United Methodist Church

…Wish I had this book twenty-three years ago… would have relieved my wardens and me a lot of stress! —The Rev. George E. Councell, Rector, The Church of the Holy Spirit, IL

I keep it within arms length… so clear and accessible that I use it…to teach… committees. —Rev. Galen Goben, Pastor of the First Christian Church, Disciples of Christ, Burbank, California

If you intentionally seek distractions when it comes time to begin the budget process, this book is for you. —Greg Asimakoupoulos, reviewing for Your Church Magazine

About the Author

Otto F. Crumroy, Jr., serves as an independent financial management consultant to churches and teaches church administration and finance. He served as director of a 65-member audit group for the Army and Air Force Exchange service, a $10 billion retailed.

Stan Kukawka is president of a management consulting company and has 25 years of management experience with two world-renowned electronics companies.

Dr. Frank M. Witman is a United Methodist pastor. In his last two pastorates, he was involved in the building of new sanctuaries and the raising of more than $2.5 million for debt elimination.


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***For additional information on this resource, including reviews, click the bookstore links. Check the reference at page top or the links below for resource guides on related topics.***

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