1. It’s not all up to you. Yes, the position of treasurer is important. Yet the responsibility for carrying the church belongs to the leadership and the membership. You don’t need to lose sleep.
2. Share the anxiety. If you notice a financial problem, take it to the leadership. Say, “I want to include you.”
3. Trust God. Even if there are big issues, you can let go of the ultimate outcome. Your church — and you — are in God’s hands. This does not mean that the budget will automatically balance or even that your church will last forever. But it does mean God is ultimately faithful.
4. Keep your sense of humor. If you don’t have one, find someone else to hang around with who can help you stay a little lighter. People will do and say crazy things, and if you can laugh about it, at least a little, you’ll be better off.
5. Stay connected to the pastor. A good working relationship between pastor and treasurer is important. If your pastor is not too interested in money, don’t chase after him or her about it — keep saying what you need to say and then let it go. And do take the pastor to lunch now and again.
6. Remember you are in triangles. Lots of them. You are in a triangle with the pastor and the board. The board and the congregation. Everyone in the church and their money. Triangles are not bad – they just are. The key thing to remember: you can’t control the relationships other people have with each other. Work on your own connection to individuals and key groups.
7. Follow the law. If you need help knowing what your legal responsibilities are in your state, your denomination can help.
8. Understand your own family story. Think about how you learned about money. Those messages will still affect how you function in your role. Develop awareness of your own emotional reactions to money and to other people in relation to money.
9. Define yourself. You can say to the pastor, the finance committee and the board: “That’s just how I see it.” Let others have their own opinion, and recognize that you can’t control the decisions that others make.
10. Celebrate more. Celebrate your pastor and staff (even if they drive you a little crazy). Celebrate all those who give to your church, and the other leaders and their contribution of money and time. Tell them you are grateful.