A few of months ago, a great thing happened. Samantha Lee joined forces with the Generous Giving Project to make up 2/3 of this three person team (our third and final member will be introduced next). Samantha is the Finance Resources Co-ordinator, and we’ll start by finding out what that’s about.
Sam, in a nutshell, what’s your job? I’m here to support local churches and treasurers to better manage their finances. If a treasurer has a question or problem, they can contact me and we’ll work through a solution. If a new treasurer needs help, or a church is hoping to encourage someone inexperienced to take on that role, I can help make it really simple and clear. And I’m also supporting treasurers by rolling out the Parish Giving Scheme, which helps churches with their cash-flow and brings us into the 21st Century with how we manage our giving.
You seem to know a lot about treasurers. Is this a particular interest of yours? Well, I am one! I’ve been serving my local church in this diocese as a treasurer for 3 years so I know the job inside out. I know what a difference treasurers make to the church and honestly feel blessed to do it.
It sounds like you’ll be able to easily empathise with treasurers “at the coal face”. I know as well as any treasurer, that sometimes the reality of church administration and finance roles can be demanding. Everyone assumes you’re the expert and it’s not always the case! Plus I’m a local girl so I understand church-life in the North East.
What’s the best thing about being a church treasurer? I like the fact I’m part of an on-going story, dating back literally thousands of years. Our generation benefits from the generosity and commitment of previous generations in ‘keeping the faith’ in ensuring a Christian presence in our local communities. And I’m part of this generation taking the church forward. It’s something that we continue to give thanks for.
I’ve not known you long, but long enough to know you love a spreadsheet. Would you say admin is your thing? Yes! I actually think being good at administration is a God-given gift. I see it as my spiritual gift. It’s what I bring to the church. And that’s really important.
Administration is key within every church to turn God-given vision into reality.
Go on… Well in Acts 6, the early church leaders decided that practical help was needed so that the church could serve God properly. Seven people were appointed to focus on administration, whilst others focussed on other areas of ministry, like prayer and preaching. Good administration and handling the books is what enables visionary leaders’ big ideas to be put into practice.
So it’s part of stewardship? Absolutely. Not just so we have cash-flow, but also being efficient in our administration is key to ensuring our time is spent well too. We need to be good stewards of our time just as much as our money.
Have you always been into administration? Is this a theme in your work-life? I’d say so. Before I worked for Durham Diocese I was an internal auditor. I provided business consultancy services and assurance for a range of third sector (not-for-profit) organisations.
What did you like about being an auditor? As an auditor, you’re a fresh pair of eyes. You’ve got an independent view on things. I liked being able to spot efficiency savings when organisations were bogged down in the day to day. I could make a difference. I’m naturally resourceful and I like problem solving. Oh and I’m pretty hardworking. I get very focussed on the task in hand until it’s sorted.
Thanks, Sam. I’m delighted we’re working together, and you can make sense of all the statistics and spreadsheets and numbers that sit just beyond my comfort zone. You’re a massive asset to the team.