by Bob Whitesel D.Min., Ph.D., 11/11/15.
As you may have noted from my Leadership Exercise titled “A Leadership Exercise on the Dilemma of Restricted Funds,” this is a sticky area. And, the law can be interpreted differently depending on what state you are in and to whom you are talking. Thus, the best advice is to seek professional advice (legal and financial) before taking action. Remember, the laws are too varied per state and the circumstances too diverse (e.g. was the money solicited, was it restricted specifically or generally, etc. etc.?).
Part of the reason for this leadership exercise is to remind us that though we are studying fiscal concepts this week, the answer to specific church dilemmas may lie in local, indigenous and professional advice …. not in our textbooks.
Thus, though many churches shy away from getting professional help from a lawyer and/or a CPA on such matters, it is imperative we do so. Professionals often tell me that churches prefer to do things themselves, and do so to their determent. Don’t let this be the case with your congregation. Help your congregation see that professionals in the community are God-given resources to help the church move ahead legally, ethically and with her testimony intact.
The answer is: get advice from local professionals 🙂