The Responsibility Of The Church In Stewardship -- By: Anonymous
The Responsibility Of The Church In Stewardship
(Class assignment for Dr. Charles R. MacDonald)
1. The church has a responsibility to teach stewardship to every member. The Christian doctrine of property should be taught. It rests on four pillars: (1) God is owner; (2) man is trustee; (3) tithes and offerings should be given in acknowledgment of God’s ownership and man’s stewardship; (4) what remains should be used for God’s glory and man’s good. Giving should be free and voluntary, but based on these four pillars.
2. The church has a responsibility to provide a plan for using finances. This is made possible through a budget. A budget should be devised on the basis of the giving possibilities of the church. A worthy budget seeks the maximum amount that contributors and non-contributors could give if they accepted their stewardship obligation.
3. The church has a responsibility to provide spiritual, honest, and reputable financial officers. They must have knowledge of how to handle money properly, and how to keep clear and accurate records. At least two people should count the offering and keep a permanent record before turning the funds over to the financial secretary, who keeps the official records of monies received. The financial secretary should deposit the money promptly in a bank and deliver immediately to the treasurer the deposit slip and a record of the amount to go to each fund.
4. The church has a responsibility to provide a system of giving for the people. Numbered church envelopes seem to enable people to give in a systematic way, which is helpful both to them and the church. They enable individuals to give without other identification and still obtain an official receipt for tax purposes.
5. The church has a responsibility to provide informational machinery for the people. Good records protect against confusion as to funds in which the money belongs. Records must be kept up-to-date both for receipts and for disbursements. These should show all monies received, where and when they were expended, and what balances are on hand in each fund. Reports should be made to the church at least quarterly by both the financial secretary and the treasurer. There should be an annual audit of the church books by a professional auditor, or by a competent committee within the membership.
6. The church has a responsibility for the proper expenditure of funds. All bills should be paid by check. Checks form good protection as receipts, and eliminate many problems over errors in billing the church. No audit can be made of the church accounts unless all bills are paid by check. Purchases in the name of the church must be approved by the church or by the trustees.
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