We desire for the financial integrity of the Summit to remain above reproach. In these practices and in all that we do, we strive to honor God’s provision by pursuing wise and faithful stewardship, ethical business practices, and transparent accountability. To that end, we apply the following practices:
- ECFA certified church. ECFA provides accreditation to leading Christian, nonprofit organizations that faithfully demonstrate compliance with established standards for financial accountability, transparency, fundraising, and board governance.
- Professional financial department. We employ qualified financial professionals (including multiple CPAs and an MBA) to oversee our budget and financial practices.
- Secure offering procedure. To ensure the highest level of accountability, those who count our offering and those who transport it always do so with at least two people present. We also require a different person than the “counter” to transport the funds and maintain a record of the weekly offering.
- Pastoral compensation policy. To ensure that our pastoral compensation is fair and not based on a person’s “sense” of value, we consistently compare compensation with comparable churches of similar size. This is not the only item for consideration, but it gives us a helpful starting point and establishes external boundaries. When it comes to pastoral salaries, we remember that the aim of the Summit has always been—and always will be—to minister to the hurting, to advance the gospel to the lost, and to disciple those in our flock. To that end, we want to ensure that everyone on staff is here because they believe in this mission, not as a way to get wealthy. At the same time, we also want to pay our employees in such a way that they know they are appreciated. In other words, we aim to compensate our pastoral staff generously, but not lavishly. You can find more on this policy here.
- Robust budgeting process. Pastors and administrators work together to allocate resources in such a way that maximizes kingdom impact and aligns with our church’s vision. Annual budgets represent a collaboration between ministry leaders, administrators, and directional elders. And since the Summit is a congregational church, these budgets are also affirmed by our congregation.
- Transparency. We publish an annual report highlighting what our budgeted resources have allowed God to do through the Summit. This acts as a way of celebrating what God has done, while showing how our operating budget relates to our mission. In addition to the annual report (which looks backward to the previous year), we also hold an annual forum looking forward, as we provide our congregation with the opportunity to ask questions and hear about the budget prior to approving it.
- Open book policy. Our approved annual operating budget is available on our website. Members of the Summit are always invited to contact the church with questions or to request an in-person meeting to review more detailed financial information.
- Annual external audit. Every year we voluntarily undergo an organization-wide audit performed by an independent, certified public accounting firm. To date, we have met the high standards of scrutiny for these audits every year.
- Leadership generosity. Generosity is not something that can merely be taught; it must also be caught. Thus we review leaders’ giving (elders and staff) regularly to ensure that we are setting faithful examples of gospel-shaped generosity.