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Meet Jeff Cranford: Minister in Residence for Church Finance

Posted: 4/18/2019 at 7:25am. Article by Jeff Cranford.

I hope to assist church leaders in dealing with situations and issues related to all areas of church financial administration by providing resources, consultation, and seminars.

Over the past 20 years I have helped BGAV churches in the area of church and clergy taxes, financial support planning for church staff, and a wide range of church budget and finance topics. Prior to that, I was a director of missions for four years and a pastor for 25 years. I am also a Chartered Retirement Planning Counselor accredited by the College for Financial Planning.

Finding ways to maximize the use of limited financial resources is a key challenge for most churches.

My favorite aspect of my work is interacting with church leaders to help them solve problems, find resources, and grow the financial ministry of their churches.

Churches exist is an ever-changing environment in the area of taxes and financial resource development. Finding ways to maximize the use of limited financial resources is a key challenge for most churches. Taking advantage of developments in the area of benefits, especially healthcare, in ways that provide the best possible financial protection for church staff is an ongoing challenge.

On a frequent basis I’m called upon to consult with pastor search committees about setting up a prospective pastor’s compensation. So often, these committees offer a “lump sum” package to a candidate and leaving insurance costs up to them. Helping a committee understand that this approach is flawed and fails to provide the financial protection needed for both minister and church are among the most rewarding aspects of my work.

Advocating for church-provided benefits including health, life, disability insurance, and retirement plan contributions has resulted in many ministers having the financial protection they may otherwise have missed.

This post is part of a nine-part series introducing BGAV’s Ministers in Residence. If you are part of a BGAV-member congregation, you have numerous customized resources available to you! Ministers in Residence offer expert help and advice in specific areas of ministry. For member churches, BGAV provides the initial visit and assessment. If your church chooses to pursue more with that minister, we invite you to offer an honorarium and to cover his or her travel expenses. For more information, visit bgav.org/bgav/ministers-in-residence/. If your church isn’t part of BGAV but would like to be, visit https://bgav.org/churches/.