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A call for a fresh approach

First published on this website in February 2008 and last updated in January 2020

Words: 6800
Size: 239 kB
Categories: Administration

Synopsis

This article tackles three areas in how we handle finance where church practice is often culturally outdated, biblically suspect and a dangerous hindrance to Christian teaching.

Giving, receiving and offering
Giving – how church members give money on a regular basis
Receiving – how the church accepts what has been given
Offering – how the receipt of this giving is set within the context of worship

In the 'Receiving' and 'Offering' sections the article points out that a collection during a hymn is a really strange idea, questions whether an open plate can ever be right, and notes that an offertory prayer usually omits the great majority of giving which has come through BACS to the bank account.

Financial story-telling
A plea for Treasurers to break away from the mystique of financial codes to let stories shine. So:

  • Keep the plots simple
  • Focus on stories of today
  • Avoid epics from other worlds
  • Bring stories to life
  • Finding the plot

Communicate stories to people rather than financial accounts that few can understand.

Financial attitudes
Attitudes to ownership, to generosity and to faith. A call to new ways of thinking about the handling of the church's finances.

The article challenging current ways of handling finance under these three headings and points to a better way forward.

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Author's notes

This article was last updated in January 2020 with minor amendments to the text.