Tuesday, January 26, 2010

News in Bangkok

Here are some news from Hope Bangkok,

Apparently now Hope has send people to Hong Kong to start Hope Church. Well, it would be interesting to see 2 different Hope in Hong Kong.

Hope Hong Kong currently I believe decided to go independent, so it would be an interesting development happening in Hong Kong. I wonder if Hope Hong Kong remembered to register.

Opening Hope of Hong Kong

On Nov 27th Pastor EE Nipa Saeboon and team traveled to Hong Kong with the purpose of pioneering the church. As of now our family in Hong Kong already consists of more than 30 people. Pastor Nipa is humble and always willing to sacrifice for the kingdom of God, and she has now been entrusted by Pastor PN who has placed her in charge of Hope of Hong Kong Church. If you are passing through Hong Kong or moving to Hong Kong, you may find more details by contacting

News about PN ....

Pastor PN General Secretary of CFAM

Towards the end of Oct. 2009, Pastor Phisanunart Srithawong [PN] of Hope of Bangkok Church was chosen for the position of General Secretary of “Christ For Asia Movement” [CFAM]. CFAM an organization which many of the large churches in Asia have come together in, has a base in Manila Philippians.

Don’t forget to pray for Pastor PN’s good friend; he will be running for president in the upcoming May 2010 elections. Pastor Eddie is Pastor of the “Jesus is Lord Church” in Manila, Philippians. In March of 2009 Dr Cindy Jacobs Had a word of prophecy for Pastor Eddie and encouraged him. Dr. Cindy is supportive and teaches the concept of the seven Mt. to encourage believers to be a blessing to their society, politics being one of the seven.

Monday, January 25, 2010

Principle of Financial Management II

Salary and Allowance

The great ambiguity of these 2 terms are often intertwined together, that sometimes we mix the two term up. In my opinion, an allowance is provided on top of any assistance the church gives to its staff.

For example, a full-time staff could choose Cash Salary or simply Church support as a basic remuneration. As both would undoubtedly serve the same function.

Salary is given so that people can use the money to pay for Food, lodging, transport and all daily necessities, if the church provide already provide lodging, transport and reimbursement of food then its considered salary. And amount given beyond these would be termed an allowance.

In my opinion, it is always good to separate Church and personal items as these would create better accountability. As pastor or full-time staff, we should always consider when doing reimbursement if the items are for Church of personal.

Some of the most common gray area during Ps PN days were reimbursement for entertainment expenses, petrol. For smaller churches where church would support the rental of church office and staff housing, it is always important to try and keep the items black and white.

When we buy items and reimbursed it under church we need to consider if the item used is mainly for the church for their own family and persnal use. If church buys a car or van, is the vehicle used more for personal and family purpose or used mainly for church purpose.

My recommendation is always to keep church and personal vehicle separate so that people cannot say we are abusing our authority. Unless the Vehicle is given to the staff and is not part of church repsonsiblity then Staff becomes responsible for its maintenance and insurance.

The issue in Hope is that since everyone is also serving almost at the same capacity as the pastor meaning going to meet people for shepherding, meetings, spending money or their own sheep. If the full-time staff starts to claim reimbursement then everyone in Church would therefore by precedent be able to claim, unless of course, only full-time staff do the shepherding and follow-up.

Thus i think one of the biggest change we must consider is to keep money as black and white as possible so that no one can say we are abusing our authority.

Wednesday, January 6, 2010

Principle of Good financial management

Firstly, Happy new year to all. I thought after a nice holiday season we should start afresh and discuss something new. Hopefully we can get some contribution from different people

It has always been my belief that as a christian, we have to handle God's finance with utmost integrity and respect. Good financial practice is a sign of maturity in a christian and the key to greater blessing from God

Most parables Jesus dealt with in the bible often relates to the stewardship of money, because Jesus knew that Money though is neither good nor bad has a powerful effect on people and that everything in this world revolves around the use of money from buying a house, tithing, building a church, having enough food to eat and clothes to wear. Nothing in this world is free, thus money is the key medium in this world.

Because money can be such a powerful "drug" when not properly used. It is imperative that as Christian we need to recognise the importance of proper accountability.

Here are some important tips that we must never forget

1. Ensure a good balance in your church board and allow a good mix of people. Hope Singapore have a very good website which have a varied board to ensure impartiality

2. Keep a good budget and try to stay close to it. If expenses deviates too much, ensure that the board is well informed.

3. Have clear Salary package and guideline. This area have been the biggest headache even in the corporate place. We need to ensure that clear salary package is written in the contract to avoid misunderstanding and especially grey areas

4. All churches should have an agreed guideline for reimbursements, so that all staff will know what can and cannot be reimbursed. Providing ambiguous guideline often causes confusion.

Eg. Can we reimbursed food when Church staff meet up the sheep ? Can Church staff claim reimbursement for Church camp ? What about mobile phone, cars and petrol, which is very much a part of church ministry ?

There is no hard and fast rules, but we do need to make it clear to the people. Hope BKK failed in this area that is why Hope Church was split because of how PN and Dr J used Church money.

5. Try and keep personal cost and church cost as separate as possible. The more we mix it up the more dangerous it becomes to cross the line. If unsure, I believe it is always the responsiblity of the church staff or Pastor to ask the board and account before the money is reimbursed.

6. Have annual audit and ensure transparency in all church accounts, this way members will feel that leaders have nothing to hide. When leaders refuse or fail to be forthcoming when approach about church finance usually more often then not, there is something not quite right.

Finally, dont't be afraid to ask, the leaders owe it to the members to be open and accountable in the church finance. Good financial practice are hard to do, even the corporate failed so many times, as a church we need to set and example and be the light to the the way.

If you think that there is something i miss out feel free to add in the comments. Or if you got something to share or a testimony. That would be good too.