11.1 - Resource Materials

by Scott Selman

All scripture is inspired by God and is useful for teaching, for reproof, for correction, and for training in righteousness, so that everyone who belongs to God may be proficient, equipped for every good work.
2 Timothy 3:16-17


The Book of Discipline of The United Methodist Church – 2012

Every local church should have a copy of the current Book of Discipline of The United Methodist Church. The Book of Discipline is our denomination’s book of  law and is a product of over 200 years of General Conferences that now form The United Methodist Church. Paragraphs in the Book of Discipline that are especially useful in local church finances include ¶258.2. (committee on staff-parish relations or pastor-parish relations), ¶259.4. (committee on finance, church treasurers, and annual audits), and ¶¶2524-2550 (board of trustees). The Book of Discipline may be purchased through Cokesbury.  Contact Cokesbury online at www.cokesbury.com or by calling 1-800-672-1789 (toll free).


Guidelines for Leading Your Congregation

There are 26 booklets in this series that cover a variety of leadership areas in the local church. The booklets that may be of most interest include Church Council, Pastor-Parish Relations, Trustees, Finance, and Stewardship. The Finance booklet includes a list of recommended resources for funding ministry, stewardship, and tithing. All of these booklets are available through Cokesbury.


Together We Can  and  The Financial Commitment of The United Methodist Church 2009-2012

These publications help local churches connect with our United Methodist ministry in North Alabama and around the world. The topics presented include the seven General Conference apportioned funds. These publications are available from United Methodist Communications by calling 1-888-862-3242 (toll free).


Why We Apportion – A Theology of United Methodist Giving

Giving to apportioned funds is an important part of United Methodism. This publication was prepared by the General Council on Finance and Administration and explains how apportionment giving underwrites United Methodist mission and ministry.

This booklet is available online at www.umcgiving.org or by calling 1-888-862-3242  (toll free).


The Buck Stops Here

This book was written by Mary Logan, former general counsel for the General Council on Finance and Administration. It provides an excellent discussion of the legal and ethical responsibilities of United Methodist organizations, including practical suggestions related to church finance, property, and personnel. The Buck Stops Here is available through Cokesbury.


Local Church Audit Guide

This publication (second edition) was prepared by the Internal Audit Department and the Committee on Audit and Review of the General Council on Finance and Administration. The Guide explains local church audits using a question and answer format, and is available online at www.gcfa.org or in the Conference Treasurer’s office


The United Methodist Church Legal Manual

This publication provides basic information about legal issues that are common  to organizations throughout the denomination. Topics include the basic organization of The United Methodist Church, the local church, personnel, property and estate planning, insurance and risk management, and taxation. The Legal Manual is available online at www.gcfa.org.


North Alabama Conference Journal

This annual publication provides a record of the minutes, reports, and personnel of the North Alabama Annual Conference. Reports that may be especially helpful include those of the Council on Finance, the Board of Pensions, and the Commission on Equitable Compensation. The Journal also includes statistical tables that provide vital data about every local church in the North Alabama Conference. The Journal is available on the Conference website at www.umcna.org. On the Main Menu click on “Resources” and then “Journal Library”.


The Abingdon Guide to Funding Ministry

This publication is a three-volume set edited and compiled by Donald W. Joiner and Norma Wimberly. It is a collection of excellent articles by various authors from several denominations.  Each volume includes many helpful ideas and may be purchased individually by contacting Cokesbury.


Worth’s Income Tax Guide for Ministers               

This publication explains various provisions of the Internal Revenue Code uniquely applicable to clergy and includes sample clergy tax returns. This tax guide is updated annually and may be ordered from Evangel Publishing House at 1-800-253-9315 (toll free) or www.evangelpublishing.com.


Tax Packet

The Tax Packet developed by the General Council on Finance and  Administration provides useful information about clergy and local church tax issues, including the Internal Revenue Service audit guidelines for clergy and the Federal tax reporting requirements applicable to local churches. The Tax Packet is available online at www.gcfa.org/tax-packet.


Internal Revenue Service Publications

  • Employer’s Supplemental Tax Guide (Publication 15-A)
  • Social Security and Other Information for Members of the Clergy and Religious Workers (Publication 517)
  • Charitable Contributions (Publication 1771)
  • Tax Guide for Churches and Religious Organizations (Publication 1828)

Each of these publications is available online at www.irs.gov or by calling the Internal Revenue Service at 1-800-829-3676 (toll free).


Ministry Protection Memos

The United Methodist Property and Casualty Trust (PACT) has prepared a series of Ministry Protection Memos to assist local churches with issues about safety and security. Areas of interest covered by these memos include “Top Ten” Safety and Security Questions, Ministry Protection, Protecting our People, Property Stewardship, Financial Stewardship, and Transportation & Trips. Each of these memos is available online at www.umcpact.org/UMPACTMinistyProtection.html.

Discover, Develop and Deploy Spiritual Leaders to Make Disciples of Jesus Christ for the Transformation of the World.