I don’t mean this literally of course. Few churches have the resources to have full time security guards. But, churches need to do more than they currently do. Because churches “obsess” over watching over their bank accounts, they have very little time left to watch over their “stuff”. That’s why I can safely say that every church with non-cash assets will testify that if you don’t watch your fixed assets, they may just “walk off”.
I am also fairly certain that this inattention is very costly. Most churches would be shocked if they totaled up their annual replacement costs for computers, televisions, recorders and sound equipment. It would also be interesting to know how much of the purchases were to replace items stolen or “misplaced”. Churches would save money in the long-run if they practiced as much stewardship over “stuff” as they do over cash.
The starting point in gaining control over fixed assets is to maintain better records of fixed assets; what is owned, when it was purchased, how much it cost, and where it is supposed to be located. The list should be referred to often, re-evaluated each year and adjusted for disposals and additions.
Periodically a physical inventory should be taken, if for no other reason, to establish insurance values in the case of fire or natural disaster. This does not have to be a complex process and simpler really is better. A video inventory would be more than sufficient.
Finally, some assets need special consideration. These are assets that the IRS is most concerned with and are also most appealing to thieves; assets that can easily be used for personal purposes. Cars, trucks, computers, and video and recording equipment are the most popular types. Churches would be wise to establish a few policies to monitor the use of these assets.