Congregational Resource Guide
Finding the right resources for your congregation
In every congregation, records are a key resource. They are needed for day-to-day operations, to support budgeting and planning, to answer questions about past decisions, and to demonstrate compliance with laws, regulations, and standards. Records must be created, organized, secured, and maintained effectively to serve these purposes. Most denominational constitutions mandate a records management system and offer guidelines for the archives of the church. For example, the Office of the Secretary of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America (ELCA) has developed a template for inventorying, retaining, and disposing of business records. Most of the information created or used by your congregation will likely fit into their document categories, so this template can be easily adapted by congregations in other denominations. A link is offered to a similar template for a records retention schedule for programmatic units. These documents may also be useful in setting up an office filing system and auditing compliance. Be sure to check your denomination for additional resources specific to your tradition.