CHURCH ADMINISTRATION BASICS
TABLE OF CONTENTS

PURPOSE

INTRODUCTION

GETTING STARTED

THE NEXT STEP

TAX ISSUES

ACCOUNTING

TAX EXEMPTIONS

REFERENCES

APPENDIX

Introduction

Although making disciples is the reason for establishing the church, the proper administration of the church is necessary to enable it to function effectively. This manual provides a "how to" guide to the administrative side of operating a Calvary Chapel fellowship.

God has called us to spread His gospel throughout all the world. Even though we are not of this world we are in this world and must deal with the world's system. Romans 13:1 tells us, "Let every soul be subject to the governing authorities. For there is no authority except God, and the authorities that exist are appointed by God".

To establish a church requires dealing with government at all levels. You must deal with the Internal Revenue Service at the Federal level to pay payroll taxes and receive confirmation of your 501(c)(3) status. You must establish your corporation and receive a sales tax exemption, if they are granted, from the state where you are operating. When you reach the point of owning or leasing a building you will deal with the local government over building permits, Certificate of Occupancy and real estate tax exemptions. It is time consuming and frustrating, but Scripture tells us very clearly that we cannot bypass any of it. Some times we feel that we have been called to please God and not man. But when it comes to administration within the church, the Word of God sets a more demanding standard.

"We want to avoid any criticism of the way we administer this liberal gift. For we are taking pains to do what is right, not only in the eyes of the Lord but also in the eyes of men". II Corinthians 8:20-21 (NIV)

"I have heard it said that good men seldom run afoul of the law because of wrong intent, but because of inadequate counsel.1"

The attached material will help you navigate the maze of governmental regulations that are part of starting a church. The table of contents will act as a check list for you as you move through this process. We have included blank forms to aid you in various areas of your ministry and samples of completed forms in areas where you are dealing with the Federal Government. Forms for incorporation and exemption from state sales tax can be obtained from the state in which you operate. A good source of information is the Internet. The IRS and most state government forms can be downloaded directly. We have made the assumption that your financial records will be kept on a computer using a business software package.

1   Legal Aspects of Church Management by Richard Schmidt

 
Ted Seidel and Tim Davidson
January 2001