Finances in Communities of Faith During COVID-19

23 March 2020

6 Step-by-Step Church Finance Tips

In the midst of the COVID-19 odyssey on which we have all embarked, Chinook Winds Region wants to work with your community of faith to keep ministry vital and active.  We want to continue to be there for one another, to remain connected to our participants and our communities. We want to minimize loss and distress to our congregational staff and ensure that ministry can unfold without placing our congregational finances under undue strain.

In order to help out, Chinook Winds Region leaders have put together the following step-by-step approach to think through your situation.  Work through some of these steps and be in touch with us because there are resources that can be shared when the need is great.

  1. Take a look ahead:

Inventory local revenues, expenditures, and reserves: how much do you have available to address a 30-day/ 60-day/90-day operating situation? Consider also a six-month planning horizon. Run the numbers, let us know what you find out.  You can email Community of Faith Strategy Consultant Joel Den Haan at with what the numbers are telling you so that we can all be aware of where the needs might be.

2. Don’t hesitate to communicate about stewardship and financial support to your congregation. 

For sure, we are engaged in difficult days and there are many sources of worry from a health and economic perspective.  But, experience with past crises (the Floods of 2013, the Slave Lake and Fort MacMurray fires) has proven that many participants are willing to offer their support if they see their congregation taking positive action to care for one another and the community.  This holds true even if Sunday morning is closed down.

3. General Council Office has authorized local communities of faith to look at utilizing restricted assets to offset emergency shortfalls. 

 It would be useful to identify which restricted funds should be first on the list, discuss with us at Chinook Winds Region before taking action.  In some cases, for example, manse sale reserve funds may be available for support- a discussion with Chinook Winds can help identify the right approach.

4. After reviewing the numbers together, we can develop a plan. 

Chinook Winds Region has access to some resources that can help communities of faith bridge emerging gaps, without having to cut back staff at a time when many are already facing hardship.  Federal Government resources are also becoming available:

5. We are also discussing with financial service providers, to identify ways to expedite finance agreements for local communities of faith- if approvals are required or other supports, Chinook Winds Region is ready to work with you to ensure we can keep the ministry in motion at a time when our communities need care.

6. Further resources are under consideration, ready to be delivered as the situation unfolds, so keep in touch with us through the website and our ongoing e-newsletters from Chinook Winds Region.

This step-by-step approach to thinking about financial realities before us in our local communities of faith is simply a first step in the discussion.  As your governing body thinks about alternatives, be in touch with Lee Spice or Joel Den Haan at Chinook Winds Office, (403) 306-0192.  We’re here to work with you.