Unstoppable is the word that comes to mind when you look at the early days of the church. Conflict and controversy threatened to take down the young group but, instead of destroying it, the challenges fueled the fire that spread across the first-century landscape.
And now, in these challenging times, we are reminded of our mission through the following stories from Lake Union department leaders what being the Church is really about — God’s people doing God’s work together by the power of the Holy Spirit.
The Lake Union Treasury Department has multiple ways to collaborate in mission and ministry with our five local conferences, however, the top four would include financial visioning, consulting/training, service consolidation and church policy. To accomplish this important collaboration in our territory, the Treasury Department has five team members — Richard Moore, his duties include Operating Fund, Fixed Assets and Trust Funds; Jon Corder, his duties include Revolving Fund, Trust Services and Building Management; Vicki Thompson, her duties include HR, Payroll and Risk Management; Janna Quetz, she facilitates multiple functions for the Operating, Trust and Revolving funds; and I serve as the treasurer. Together as a team we have the honor of daily being engaged in the management of financial resources for the advancing God’s Kingdom.
Financial Visioning — In this role, the Treasury team exercises the ability to be impactful and creative in financial management. In 2019 we wanted to be a part of experiencing membership growth within the Lake Union. To help achieve that goal, targeted financial assistance was given to the local conferences for three specific initiatives ($225,000 total funding): 1) General church growth (Latino growth, church planting and innovation in evangelism); 2) Discipleship training; and 3) Proclamation evangelism.
Financial Consulting / Training — In fulfilling the role of Treasury, one of the greatest opportunities we have is meeting the needs of personnel. People are our most valuable asset; as such, local conference treasurers often call the Union Treasury team for best practice in handling difficult personnel needs.
Additionally, as the church adopted the Affordable Care Act and Locally Funded Employees, we were able to provide critical consulting to our conferences by hosting implementation experts such as Jim Kizziar, JD, and NAD HR personnel.
In 2002 we actively engaged in an internship program whereby an individual, for twelve to twenty-four months, could obtain treasury experience at the Union and Conference level. All five of our conferences have been blessed as they have engaged individuals participating in our internship program.
Financial Consolidation — A core principle of stewardship requires an effective and prudent use of financial resources entrusted to us for ministry. The consolidation of financial services is an important area we use to be effective with financial resources. Consequently, the independent auditing (General Conference Auditing Services) across our field are paid by the Lake Union so that transparency and accountability is given to our donors, while local funds can be retained for mission and ministry.
Another consolidated service is the Revolving Fund Trust (LURF). This provides a funding source for the local conferences for capital projects and maintenance needs. Three conferences (Lake Region, Michigan and Wisconsin) have been blessed with new office buildings as a result of funding from LURF.
Financial Policy — Our church has been blessed to grow and succeed in mission and ministry principally due to our church structure and policy. NAD policy is what holds us together as a Division and Union field; the Treasury team has the role of recommending new policy or changes to policy based on actual ministry needs across the local Conference entities.
The Scripture text that governs our engagement in service is Psalm 24:1 (NKJV):
The earth is the Lord’s and all its fullness, the world and those who dwell therein.
Glynn Scott, treasurer, Lake Union Conference