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Church Finance, Accounting and Reporting - Part 1

Historically, churches have not been run much on professional grounds.    Their records have mostly been kept on small papers and exe...

Historically, churches have not been run much on professional grounds. 


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Their records have mostly been kept on small papers and exercise books, which in most cases disappear without proper accountability.

The chaos associated with church accounting and finance has cast a shadow of doubt even on the motives behind the establishment of some of the ministries. Considerable membership has been lost along the way, splits have been witnessed; with people pointing fingers at each other for misuse of public funds!

Some assets have been lost silently or in courts due to lack of proper ownership records and accountability.

In extenuating circumstances; some church leaders have been convicted and sent behind bars not because they really misused any church resources, but simply because there is no proper audit trail to prove their transparency in transacting with church resources!

There are no receipts, invoices, payment vouchers, bank transfer records, title deeds or lease agreements to prove the genuineness of the declared transactions. The church must resemble the true God it preaches, “For God is not the author of confusion but of peace, as in all the churches of the saints” 1 Corinthians 14:33.

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1. Stewardship Role:
Right from the onset, all church leaders should understand that they naturally carry a stewardship role over the church and its resources. The church, according to Jesus Christ himself, is actually a business! Luke 2:49; “And he said to them, “Why did you seek me? Did you not know that I must be about My Father's business?”

Literary speaking, God is the investor and ultimate shareholder of the church. He has appointed leaders to “manage” his “business” called church, whose primary mandate is to preach salvation to the world, rescue sinners from the jaws of hell and sending them to heaven! The profitability of the church is measured by the number of souls it sends to heaven, as well as the numbers of lives that are changed for the better here on earth. The ultimate reward (“salaries and benefits”) for the saints was promised by God himself in Revelation 22:12, “And behold, I am coming quickly, and my reward is with me, to give to every one according to his work”.

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Therefore, the church has an obligation to play a proper stewardship role, fully cognisant that one day we are all going to be accountable to God, who is the paymaster of the saints and ultimate shareholder of the church!

The series continue in Part 2

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