TRUSTEE ROLE & RESPONSIBILITIES
"So the Twelve gathered all the disciples together and said, 'It would not be right for us to neglect the ministry of the Word of God in order to wait on tables. Brothers, choose seven men from among you who are known to be full of the Spirit and wisdom. We will turn this responsibility over to them.'”
- Acts 6:2-3
Trustees are to serve under the oversight of the elders, undertaking those areas of service necessary for the church’s functioning that would otherwise prohibit the elders and other leaders (Senior Pastor and staff) from performing their biblical responsibilities.
While there is actual equality between elders and trustees, and, in fact, all members of the body, for the purpose of order, Scripture indicates that elders, as overseers, are entrusted with the final authority within the local church. The primary responsibility of the trustees is to provide general oversight of the financial and physical plant affairs of the church. In conjunction with the elders and staff, trustees provide oversight to the design and implementation of the operational and financial plans. An important part of their role is the development of systems and reporting processes that ensure stewardship of church resources and maintain ongoing accountability. Trustees provide leadership and counsel in the areas of facilities, finance, human resources, and legal issues. The trustee team prepares the annual budget of expenses for the church with the assistance of the staff and ministry directors, conducts long-range fiscal planning, suggests salary ranges, reviews staff salaries as recommended by Executive Pastor and approved by the elders, and provides for the care and maintenance of all properties owned by the church.
In as much as Scripture indicates that elders bear the ultimate responsibility for the watch care of the church, the elders shall determine further delineation of responsibilities between the trustees and elders. For the purposes of coordination and communication, the trustees shall meet periodically with the elders.
As trustees, each individual must also be willing and able to work together as a team. First Corinthians 12 notes that each person is important, yet must also work together to operate effectively.
First Peter 4:10 also comments about fitting the roles of church members with their abilities: "As each has received a gift, use it to serve one another, as good stewards of God's varied grace."
Those who serve as trustees should be people of high character and have abilities in appropriate areas, such as skills in finance, construction, or building maintenance
Those serving should be people with organizational and leadership abilities who are able to successfully conduct the business of the church according to biblical principles. Accountability should also be set up and provided, as trustees will likely oversee church finances and spending.
Included in the responsibility are risk management and liability issues. Trustees with knowledge of insurance, liability, and legal issues related to non-profit organizations would be of tremendous assistance.
Some of the Trustees Responsibilities include:
Exhibits knowledge and expertise in the legal and financial operations of a church.
Trustees receive and administer all gifts made to the congregation and make certain that trust funds of the congregation are invested properly.
Trustees ensure that the Articles of Incorporation of the congregation are kept up-to-date.
Trustees annually review property, liability, and crime insurance coverage on church-owned property, buildings, and equipment. They also review personnel insurance for protection against risk and consult with the pastor about other personal insurance.
Trustees conduct an annual accessibility audit of buildings and grounds to discover and then work toward eliminating barriers that impede the full participation of all people.
Serve as the official, legal servants in matters of Church business.
Shall represent the Church in all legal matters, including the purchase, disposal, or improvement of Church property.
Act on behalf of the Church in selling and acquiring a property with a majority vote of the congregation at a called conference.
Serve as signatories in legal and financial matters on behalf of the church, particularly as property and financial contracts are involved. Responsible for annual inventory and accounting at all times of Church equipment. Any equipment or furnishings removed from Church property must be approved by this committee. Approval may be granted by one or more committee members