“What is a church trustee?”
Generally speaking, a church trustee is a layman who takes care of the secular business of running a church. Trustees manage finances and property, and ensure the church is compliant with any legal requirements.
The role of trustee varies depending on denomination and congregation. Trustees may be responsible for maintaining buildings and facilities, tracking the church’s equipment and investments, keeping insurance policies up to date, and managing funds. In a large church, a trustee may oversee several different ministries, including a finance department and janitorial staff. In others, the trustee is the janitor. Trustees can be appointed or elected, are occasionally elders or deacons, and may have the authority to serve as signatories for the church. In addition to denominational and congregational requirements, each state has different laws regarding trustees. In some states, churches are required to have trustees.
The position of “trustee” is not a biblically mandated office; rather, it is a practicality to aid the appropriation, maintenance, and disposition of church property. Although trustees are not mentioned in the Bible, their role is biblically appropriate. The New Testament calls us to be good stewards of our blessings, to maintain order in the church, and to use our gifts to benefit the body. First Peter 4:10 says of individuals, “As each one has received a special gift, employ it in serving one another as good stewards of the manifold grace of God.” This applies to churches as well.