You want people to give for all the right reasons, with the right heart, with the right objectives, with the right perspective — to give with integrity. Certainly they should be able to expect the same from leadership in the way finances are handled. God does!
How to Manage Finances with Integrity
The first fifteen verses of 2 Corinthians 8 provide factors that help people give with integrity. The remainder of the chapter gives leaders an example of managing that money with integrity. I encourage you to take time to read this Scripture passage first as references will be provided but not the text. As leaders, we need the Spirit to convince us of how we should lead, based on God’s Word, not merely follow what someone else writes.
1) Approach giving issues out of concern for the people not out of a need for money. (2 Cor. 8:16)
Leaders, make sure your motivations are right when approaching people about their giving.
2) Recruit people to help with financial issues in the church whose hearts are where they should be. (2 Cor. 8:17-19, 22-24)
Leaders, don’t just look for people with accounting expertise who will potentially manage church finances merely as business rather than ministry.
3) Administer finances in ways that honor God and help people. (2 Cor. 8:19)
Leaders, keep your focus where it should be.
4) Examine your heart to make sure the desire to maintain integrity is there as that is where managing finances with integrity begins. (2 Cor. 8:20)
Leaders, if you aren’t thinking about integrity issues in church finances, you are undoubtedly opening the door to potential problems. Read: Making Embezzlement Too Easy?
5) Go out of your way to do all you can to avoid any kind of appearance of impropriety in how you manage finances as one accountable first and foremost to God but also to people. (2 Cor. 8:21)
Leaders, remember that while God sees your heart, people can’t always properly judge your good intentions.
In a day when people are disillusioned by institutional integrity breaks, whether that be in government or businesses, let’s hold ourselves to a higher standard in the Church, God’s standard. Your application of the example in 2 Corinthians 8 may differ from their situation but the biblical principles relate. Also remember, that people’s expectations are not the only issue at stake, but rather a testimony of God’s grace at work through the giving of His people which is properly administrated. — “For we are taking pains to do what is right, not only in the eyes of the Lord but also in the eyes of man.” (2 Cor. 8:21)