Jesus Christ in His teaching in Matthew 25:14 teaches us the importance of us being accountable to God and the constituted authority. In any duty, you are delegated as a minster/worker you are responsible to account of your stewardship including financial obligation.
Accountability is essential for any society to function and Christian accountability is no different. We are all held accountable in one way or another. For example, there are laws to obey and if we fail to be obedient, we may have to suffer the consequences set by the officials who hold us accountable. Accountability is simply being responsible for one’s actions.
In Matthew 25:14-30, each servant was given the talents according to his ability, God can never give you a task you cannot handle. God’s endowment on you is according to your capacity. You must be ready to give proper accountability and financial report if any, to your superior officer. It is a rule and principle in fulfilling your God’s mandate.
The servant that was given five talents went and trade with it, he gained five more, making ten talents, the one with two traded and gain two more, making four talents.While the third one hid his master’s talent, he ended up as a failure, he was not loyal to the master and eternal punishment followed immediately (that will not be your portion), other two faithful servants were rewarded justly. God is not a respecter of persons.
Traditionally, accountability is the obligation to give a reckoning or explanation for one’s actions and responsibility to a higher authority. In the church setting, accountability involves managing the resources God has entrusted us with organizing for service and mission and providing program to carry out the church’s mandate. Indeed, accountability is to the church, what tracks are to train; without it we flounded, lose focus detract from moral purity and fail to achieve true unity and cohesion.
Who Are We Accountable to?
Does the bible speak of Christian accountability? First of all, the Bible says that God hold us accountable. Rom. 14:12 says “so then each of us shall give account of himself to God”. This is personal accountability.
We are accountable to:
- God Almighty – who called us
- The authority of the church
- To the local church we are serving as minster/worker.
Financial Management and Accountability (Matt. 25:14ff)
God holds us accountable for any resources He gives us, so the church needs to manage such resources properly. Furthermore, there is also a need of detailed and regular accounting report and where appropriate, the needs for auditing.
The following suggestion will always help the church:
A. Good Financial Planning – What to Achieve (Luke 14:18-30)
- Good planning is not opposed to faith rather we have faith for what we plan, to come to fulfilment.
- Annual financial budget system will always help the church to develop programs towards realizing it.
- In planning the budget, recognition must be given to the Holy Spirit, so that we may only put in the plan what God wants done, and not what we want to do for God.
- Planning helps us to manage change not merely reacting to it.
B. Good Financial Strategy – How to Achieve (Luke 14:31-32)
- Information is very necessary to goal realization.
- Such information must be detailed and accurate enough for all church members to understand.
- Funds generated for a particular purpose must not be diverted for another. If such happens, the church money must be duly informed.
- Unauthorized usage of funds should be discouraged.
- Those who keep church money must be financially disciplined, and literate enough to render simple accounts. All monies must be accounted for.
- As much as possible, maintaining policy of generating funds within the church members result in blessing to members while funds from outsides takes away from the church.
C. Watch out for Time – When to Achieve
- Good plan, good strategy may fail if badly TIMED.
- Seek out good opportunity and catch in on it.
- Implemented must always be timed consistently with the realizable period for members.
- Implementation must be consistent with due consideration to members’ financial needs and abilities.
- Support every planning with heaven-rending prayers top enhance good result.
The Golden Rules of Church Financial Management and Accountability
In today’s culture, the church cannot afford to be reactive, but remain proactive in managing its finances above reproach. The following golden rules will help counterbalance today’s atmosphere of mistrust regarding the management of church finances:
- Financial managers should first be respected as spiritual leaders.
- Financial managers should maintain the highest possible integrity.
- Provide detailed financial reports to church members.
- Enforce checks and balances at every level.
- Church members must have the final say in financial matters.
Four Things Every Church Should Do In Managing Its Finances
Most churches I know have challenges with money. It’s a continual burden for church leaders in the light of increasing costs and the failure of many believers these days to honor God in financial stewardship. What can we do to meet our financial challenges in difficult days?
Let’s consider FOUR THINGS every church ought to do in managing finances effectively.
- Cultivate the habit of banking.
- Establish a budget and live within it!
- Communicate about church finances.
- Demonstrate accountability.
Every church needs to regularly examine its practices regarding the handling of money. Integrity in this area is absolutely crucial. The congregation will stop giving to the church if a lack of trust exists over the handling of finances.
The current environment is ripe for scandal; church leaders need to be wise and careful in the area of managing church finances. Financial managers must always remember that church assets are God’s. He deserves honor in this important aspect of His work. When we manage the Lord’s money, we need to remember it is His. We are called to be good stewards of His resources. The world is looking for people they can trust. How will god’s people measure up? May the Lord give you wisdom as you faithfully handle the resources He has placed in your hands.