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“You shall take the atonement money from the Israelites and shall designate it for the service of the tent of meeting…”

{Exodus 30.16, NRSV

While the word trustee does not appear in the Bible, the need for them and their work does.  Trustees might not have the title but their job description can be found in Scripture.  While the deacons are “waiting on tables” and pastors are serving the good news, trustees are needed to ensure that the material resources of a church are managed well.  The story recorded in Acts 6.1-5 captures the need for the management of finances.  In some churches, the congregation serves in this role with a small group chosen to take care of the property.  While in other houses of worship, persons are elected and this is known as “trustee incorporation.”


The command to be good stewards of God’s gifts is found in both the Old and New Testaments.  Like those trusted with talents in Jesus’ parable, trustees have the sacred trust of the people and are examples of good stewardship.   While the Church is a spiritual body, there is a need for persons to care for the physical resources that a church acquires and requires to practice Christ’s ministry.  Consequently, their role has a spiritual purpose as it enables the church to serve and to function as the Holy Spirit inspires them in sacred and safe spaces.


Preachers are called to steward the mysteries of God and trustees are called to steward the materials of God’s people.  Like the deacons chosen to serve in the New Testament church, trustees are an outgrowth of its ministry in the 21st century.  More than a practical necessity, trustees are essential in enabling the church to have a visible presence in the community and provide a viable plan to serve generation after generation of believers.  More than being business- minded or handy with tools, trustees are given a spiritual trust to care for sacred space.  


This is why the Office of Empowering Congregations offers an annual training for trustees.  Trustees are a gift to the body of Christ.  They are essential leaders who make our churches stronger and better equipped to practice ministry.  We want to strengthen the hands of those who have a heart for God’s house.  Let us know how we can be of service to you.

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