Healthy Church Audit Time

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Rodney Marshall Healthy Church Audit

Baptist Churches are each responsible for how they operate and the policies they implement. Baptist church autonomy means it is not appropriate for a central body to set or demand that things be done a certain way. At the same time, the Tasmanian Government Insurers and the community expect that certain standards are maintained. 

The Healthy Church Audit started because of a decision made at the October 2018 assembly. It is now in its fifth year. Some people may be very familiar with the audit and why we do it, but with changes of roles, others may be wondering what it is all about. 

Why Audit?

The Audit is an annual reminder to check that each church has certain things up to date and working in their context.  It offers a chance to reassess and ask: Is this still working for us? Has there been changes in the law or in the community that means we need to make an adjustment? Is our record keeping up to date? 

Covid Safe Plans  

This will (hopefully) be the final year that asks about Covid Safe plans. The government has now removed the mandatory requirement, but given the recent experience, having a plan on how to handle any future pandemics might be wise. 

Pastoral Registration and Accreditation  

Likewise, the Pastoral registration and accreditation systems are changing, and next year’s questions will be a little different. 

Church Financial Health

The Audit also asks about the church’s financial health. It is far better to see issues early rather than dig a hole that you can’t get out of. Having worked as an accountant I have seen many businesses struggle to get themselves out of things when a little bit of external advice could have made a big difference. If only people would ask for help when they needed it! 

Church Financial Information Form

The final part of the Audit is the Church Financial Information form. As part of our commitment to each other the agreed funding model is that each church contributes 5 percent of its income to keep Tas Baptists running. Over the year different models have been tried, based on attendance or number of members etc., The Assembly agreed the fairest method of funding was based on a share of income. For those churches that operate businesses, only the surplus from the business is included as income. 

Forms are due by 30 April 2024 (along with a copy of Financial Reports for last FY) ready to report to Assembly on 11 May. If you have any questions about the Healthy Church Audit or the information gathered, please feel free to contact Rodney on 0407 903 620 or rodney@tasbaptists.org.au 

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Rodney Marshall is Operations Manager for Tasmanian Baptists, and Pastor at Riverlands Community Church.


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