Smart Church Finances

A pastor's guide to budgets, spreadsheets, and other things you didn't learn in seminary.

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Smart Church Finances introduces business principles for church and ministry leaders in a very accessible way for anyone. This field guide will both help you address the business needs of your church and free your leaders to serve, fully and joyfully. You'll learn how to:

  • Communicate vision and strategize with a team
  • Leverage the existing talents of men and women at your church, many of whom don't fit in “traditional” ministry roles
  • Steward resources well (including budgeting)
  • Prioritize goals, wisely make decisions, and evaluate outcomes based on vision and data

"You owe it to the people with and under you to be on top of the financial features of your ministry. Consequently, this book is a must read for anyone in ministry regardless their position."

-Dr. Aubrey Malphurs
Senior Professor of Leadership and Pastoral Ministries at Dallas Theological Seminary

"This is an extraordinarily helpful and well written guide for every leader who wants to see their organization flourish. I couldn’t encourage every leader strongly enough to take advantage of this well written and practical guide.”

- Dr. Mac Pier
Founder,, Lausanne Co-Catalyst for Cities

“The guidance in this book is a valuable resource of best practices and should be considered as a standard desk reference for ministry organizations.”

- John Jones, CFA
Executive Vice President, Chief Operating Officer
GuideStone Financial Resources of the Southern Baptist Convention

Book Resources

Here are additional resources to accompany Smart Church Finances. Use these worksheets, tools and templates to support your planning and business activities for your church, ministry, or nonprofit.

Both of us are active in working with churches and nonprofit organizations, so we are constantly adding new resources to

If you ever want to talk about the particulars for your specific situation, we are only an email away. Reach out to us at [email protected]. We would love to connect and help.




These Field Notes are the downloadable worksheets referenced at the end of each chapter of the book to help you apply what you are learning in your own context.

Field Notes Request

Simply fill out the form below to download the Field Notes Bundle immediately.



This bundle of templates are presented as a starting place for your church to modify and fit within your particular needs.

Templates Request

Simply fill out the form below to download the Templates Bundle immediately.



The Performance Review Form is the template highlighted in the article “Keep Your Staff Growing: The Case for Church Performance Reviews – and How to Fire Well” in the February 2020 issue of Ministry Team. It is also included in the Templates bundle above.

Materials Request

Simply fill out the form below to download the Performance Review Form immediately.

About the Authors


George M. Hillman, Jr. is the vice president for student life, dean of students, and professor of educational ministries and leadership at Dallas Theological Seminary. He also has years of pastoral experience in churches and parachurch organizations. A graduate of Texas A&M University and Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary, he has a passion for education, spiritual formation, and leadership development.

The Reece Family

John Reece is a business leader with a calling to serve ministries and nonprofits. He runs WayQuest, a consulting firm that helps organizations be free from business distractions to accomplish their mission and purpose. He has also served on multiple boards of nonprofits and ministries and has experience in enhancing business strategy and operations in over fifteen different industry sectors. He holds an MBA in Finance and International Business from New York University.