Transparency in Church Finances

  • June 17, 2020
  • /   Chad Boswell
  • /   Church Resources,online-giving,Harvest Foundation
Photo of Chad Boswell of Harvest Foundation

OUR is excited to welcome Chad Boswell, the director of the Harvest Foundation, as a guest writer this week! The Harvest Foundation supports pastors all over the country in various ways. They are committed to helping pastors finish their race and do it effectively. To learn more visit their website.

Written by Chad Boswell:

    For the longest time, there has been one sore subject that has caused the most strife in the hearts of both church members/visitors and married couples alike: finances. One thing that has been missing from the church (and married life) is that of transparency. To be transparent just means, “easy to perceive” or “easy to understand.” If finances were easier to understand, then you may find that people would be more willing to give. A potential answer? Show the church what they are doing from their donations and you may find they will want to do more. Most people want to be a part of something that makes a difference. A difference in “what” just depends on the surrounding needs of the community. 

    Ask yourself this question, “does your church know what their donations go to?” This is a question that can be easily answered. The solution? Tell the congregation what is done with the offerings. Vague answers like, “it’s all explained in the yearly budget meeting…go look at the bulletin“ should be avoided because let’s face it…a lot can be forgotten in a year. Usually the average church member doesn’t understand most budget line items and are less apt to ask questions about them. In fact, they are more likely to form an opinion and get angry without even asking their budget questions in the first place. Transparency in church finances is not only a healthy thing to do, it is something that would be good to repeat throughout the year. So, what are some ideas you could consider that would create transparency as well as fill a need in your community? I am glad you asked! I have two examples!
    Highpointe Church in Enterprise, Alabama holds “A Week of Generosity “ where the church goes out and blesses the community. They have bought food for thousands of people as well as paid off all the outstanding utility debt for people who were going to have water or electricity shut off. Over the course of the last few years, this “week” has grown and grown. As of recently, they were able to bless the city with over $60,000 in financial blessing. 
    Another example is that of Harvest Church in Dothan, Alabama who recently paid off over $1 million in medical debt for over 1,169 people. The incredible realization about this blessing is that there are quite a few of the 1,169 people who do not even know their debt has been forgiven. What do you think will go through their mind when they do find out their debt is gone? 
    Now, some may think, “they are just trying to buy their way to get people in their congregation.“ Well… No. That is not their intention. I know both these pastors personally and their heart is for people. These pastors have been called to minister to their communities, not just their congregation. What I didn’t mention is that both Highpointe and Harvest started out small but over the years the excitement of making a difference has attracted more people who want to make a difference. Simultaneously, they are changing the lives of both the givers and receivers. 
    If you’re reading this, ask the Lord what you can do in your community. You may find it starts off small but years from now you can have an incredible impact on not only the people in your community, but the future leaders of this country that may look back and remember what a body of Christ did for them. Think about it. If there is no visible example of how your church can get involved in ministry, then the response is not going to be what you hope for. People give into where they grow. There is nothing more transparent than a church who ministers to the needs of the people around them all with the love of God. When done correctly, those being blessed won’t see the church doing a good thing but they will see the Father seeing to their need. Who wouldn’t want to be a part of that?

- Chad Boswell

Chad Boswell Of the harvest foundation

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