Article 13 | Financial Transparency
Fear is the path to the dark side. Fear leads to anger; anger leads to hate; hate leads to suffering.
Yoda, The Phantom Menace
As a Colony of Heaven how can we most faithfully handle our financial resources?
How can we avoid difficult questions about the budget?
If we see the church as a covenanted and loving community, where people are bound together through their regeneration, transformed character and the mission of Christ, then we need transparency with our financial activities in order to support these realities.
Examples of this transparency include regular reporting of offerings and how money is utilized within the church. This doesn’t mean a democratic system of congregationalism, but rather a system built on trust, openness and honesty.
Frequently, pastors have fallen and ministries disintegrated due to poor character that led to inappropriate handling of church finances. Church members have also been hesitant to support the body with their resources because the finances of a church have either intentionally or unintentionally been hidden or presented in a vague fashion.
Continuing with the assumption that by following Jesus and having him develop his character within us by his Grace and our actions and thinking – we have nothing to hide or misrepresent and welcome the assistance of the each member in becoming a community of character.
Recommended Reading: Resident Aliens and Where Resident Aliens Live, by Stanley Hauerwas and Will Willimon, The Politics of Jesus, by John Howard Yoder, Agenda For Biblical People, and Call to Conversion, by Jim Wallis.