Monday, 25 July 2016

Are controls really necessary for churches?

Are controls really necessary for churches?

In a continent where recklessness is either ignored or defended, especially in the area of money, many of us as church leaders have been deceived by power and do not want to be accountable to anybody. I have heard arguments these days like "Just give your money, it is God who called the pastor. If he steals God's money, He will judge him. Just give your money", "Who are you to create controls and subject a servant of God to them?", "Why should church members ask questions how the pastor uses church money? Don't they know that pastors are God's representatives?" etc. All these arguments sound like a support to impunity. They sound like careless people that do not want to help their brethren in leadership to survive when God tests their works.

Many of us as God's servants have so muddled things up in money matters that we cannot differentiate between our personal money and church or ministry money.

Many church leaders are busy dismantling all the controls that have existed in the church before their ordination, arrogating powers to themselves to make sure nobody interferes and asks them questions or stands as a stumbling block when they want to spend money. Constitutions have been changed or constructed in such a way to make sure that church members do not have the powers to ask questions. Laws have been passed by coerced Church General Assemblies in favour of church leaders who want to be rich at all cost. The center is so rich and have enough to spend with liberty while the church branches suffer and nobody shows concern. These are all signs of abuse of the powers that reside in our positions.

In most cases, church leaders who defraud or squander church funds are not called to account. Instead in some established churches, they are just transferred to another church branch. But how is it that they were able to defraud so easily in the first place? For those who discovered the fraud, it even shows that they have something on ground but it is worse in independent ministries and churches where nobody else has insight into the finances of the church or ministry except the founder and his family members. This is not right. Why are we afraid of financial controls and fight to circumvent them by all means?

A wise leader will create financial controls where they are not existing. A god-fearing leader submits his financial activities concerning the church or ministry he leads to scrutiny so as to help himself and the people he leads. A spiritual leader understands the power of money and the flesh and intentionally creates or allows financial controls so as to keep his flesh subdued. A godly leader knows that at the end of the day, even if he succeeds to overcome everybody and have his way, God will call him to account. It is only godless leaders that circumvent or dismantle financial controls so as to be free to spend church or ministry money the way they want. They can do it because they can and nobody can do anything, but how far can you go when eternity dawns on you?

Please leave those financial controls and allow some supervision over your financial activities. They will help to keep you in check especially as we all must answer before God how we administered His resources. If you do not know what to do, ask questions and seek help from financial people God has brought around you.

Look  at the argument of the Anglican Diocese of Canada concerning financial controls. Download it here. It is a good resource.

Controls are necessary for churches. It is important that there is trust among God's people, but it is also very important that we have some controls that will help us maintain that trust, especially at those times when we are vulnerable as humans. May God help us to remain faithful, especially in money matters. Amen

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