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.


Concerned said...

Some of us from Hope Perth are getting suspicious that our pastor may really be mishandling finances. I'm not sure who you are eagle_eye, but I'm wondering if you know whether its true. This will determine the next move we would like to take.

Thank you.

Eagle_eye said...

Hi concerned,

I think these will be left to your own intuition. Unfortunately, because financial transparency is never a strong issue in Thailand. I suppose this will have a flow on effect in the previous hope movement. Teachings past down often affect how most leaders will run their church and how deeply ingrained are they with the teachings is another issue.

From my understanding when PN and Kriengsak was in power, the ideology was to trust the leader with total submission. There was no strong policy and no one to enforce proper control in respect of money. Many churches have previous requested the breakdown of HGI tithe of 20% but it never was forthcoming.

This was the reason they were able to use the money as the please until Rubina decided to spill the bean.

As for Hope Perth, this is something you have to figure out. I do not want to add any fuel to fire.

The important thing is that all the pastors and leaders learn from the past mistakes of the Hope leadership and change how we run the movement.


Concerned said...

We were not sure how true this blog was at first. Especially when Pastor and the leaders announced about Pastor Wilson's letter. We thought, surely Pastor Stephen coulen't be such a person.

Then slowly after questioning and observation, some aspects do appear to be true. I'm not saying everything is true, because there are some things that we cannot confirm for sure.

What do we do then? Since even the top leadership (pastor wilson etc.) do not want to listen to the people's observation? We really believe in the vision that God has put in Hope Perth, but we don't want to serve a pastor who is not righteous in word and deed. We don't want to leave Hope Perth, but does that mean that we should just endure what is wrong?

Anonymous said...

Hi concerned,

Usually, issues happen because somebody saw something or know something, which they feel is not right.

Many who left either know something or seen something. Depending on who you ask, they may choose to reveal or to keep quiet.

I think sometimes the top leadership cannot do much because of the recent shaking of the hope movement and alot of the previous policies in Hope were very ambigious to say the least.

Just an observation

Concerned said...

We feel that as a pastor there should be limits and boundaries. If not, it is very difficult for people to respect you and to follow you.

We feel that what we are learning from Hope is from Pastor Stephen's actions, not what he preaches. The leader can preach one thing, but it's no point to do the opposite.

I really believe in the mandate God has for Hope, but I don't want to be receiving false teaching just to serve in Hope.

What worries me is the fact that Pastor Wilson is not even doing an investigation about it. And just trusting what Pastor Stephen says. This action alone has caused a lot of doubt in my heart about the Hope movement itself. Maybe it is not as good as I always thought it to be.

If the reason why Pastor Wilson is not doing anything is because of the recent shakings then that doesn't make sense. Precisely because of the recent shakings, you would think that the top leadership should be clamping down hard on things like that to prevent the same thing from happening again.

I'm losing my confidence in Hope movement.

Anonymous said...

Hi Concerned,

Please refer your concerns to Ps Wilson directly, it will be more effective that way.

From what I understand, Hope leadership doesn't respond to any comments posted on the blog. It's better to hear straight from the horses mouth rather than speculate. We won't know what steps Ps Wilson has taken unless you ask him yourself.

On the other hand I am not sure how much the leaders are willing to tell you though... it's a leadership issue... not appropriate to be made public.

I think the only option you have is to talk to Ps Wilson yourself. If he doesn't answer your question, go to his boss, Ps Simon. If he ignored you as well, then you got to work out if Hope is really for you. There are so many good churches out there full with hard working God loving people as well.

Anonymous said...


I would not think they do not know. But, I think sometimes their hands are tied.

I suppose time will tell. Church is a dynamic place. we will know in due time.

idontknow said...