To protect the integrity of church finances, a church should follow some basic guidelines: Use a budget; two or more trusted and unrelated people should count and deposit offerings in the bank. Record all expenses, including the minister’s salary, housing, travel, and fringe benefits. Keep a ledger of all income and expenses. File all IRS forms on time. Careful handling of church funds is in line with the practice of the Apostle Paul. He urged God’s people to donate funds for the relief of poor people in Jerusalem. He then established guidelines on how to collect it and transport it, in order to preserve the integrity of handling the money. Here is some of what he wrote in 2 Corinthians Chapter 8, “We are also sending another brother with Titus. All the churches praise him as a preacher of the Good News. He was appointed by the churches to accompany us as we take the offering to Jerusalem–a service that glorifies the Lord and shows our eagerness to help. We are traveling together to guard against any criticism for the way we are handling this generous gift. We are careful to be honorable before the Lord, but we also want everyone else to see that we are honorable.” In our day when some people are skeptical of the way churches handle funds, we must operate with integrity—before God, before God’s people, and before the public.
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