Maria Mendoza wrote “Chapter 4: Getting Started: The Parish Business Office” for A Pastor’s Toolbox.  As a parish business manager, she calls attention to a pair of major issues.  The first is what she calls a human resources review.  Mendoza describes how she and her pastor met with each staff member, asking them to describe their job.  Then they met with the heads of ministries, and asked them what they did.  This enabled the pastor and her to create a job description for each employee and leader.  The description laid the basis for future meetings with employees and leaders to monitor their progress.

The second major issue for the parish business office, according to Mendoza, is financial accountability.  She recommends that pastors request an audit if the parish, an assessment of the fairness of its financial statements by an independent professional.  That reveals to pastors the actual financial well-being of the parish.  The pastor should then create, with the help of the parish finance council, a detailed parish budget and review it regularly.

Mendoza’s chapter, with its focus on human resources and financial accountability, is readable, based on actual experience, and full of common sense.


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