Transparency

Discussion in 'General Baptist Discussions' started by Berean, Dec 2, 2014.

  1. Berean

    Berean
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    Have any of you even given thought to transparency in the Church? We demand it from political and government leaders (although we seldom get it) however if you ask the same from leaders in the church you are most often accused of having a suspicious nature, a rebellious spirit or perhaps even called a heretic.
     
  2. Gina B

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    I've only been a member of one Baptist church that was totally transparent. It was small and while there was a pastor, paid, who typically spoke, every man there had the authority to do so. Church matters were discussed as a church. Finances, everything, though certain people did handle certain things. The pastor acted as a decision maker IF a situation came up where the church was split on a decision.
    But in general, nobody had more authority than anyone else, though people had varying responsibilities.
    It was the most tension free, cohesive church I've seen.
     
  3. HAMel

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  4. PreachTony

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    Gina, this is very similar to how my church operates. All business matters are discussed in a regularly held Conference meeting every month. Special conferences can be called if needed, but that's extremely rare.

    For us, though, the pastor does not vote. In his role as moderator of conference, he is a neutral vote.
     
  5. Revmitchell

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    It is common practice that the moderator does not vote. That is just regular practice in parliamentary procedure. IFB churches have a big problem with lack of transparency. We have had two families come and join our church after leaving the local IFB church where the pastor was in charge of the bank account and would get mad if anyone questioned the spending.
     
  6. PreachTony

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    Right. Our church practice is that any spending is brought before the body of the church prior to being done, unless it is an emergency issue, like last summer when one of our AC units went out in the middle of the hottest week of the year. We had an impromptu emergency finance meeting that Wednesday night after Bible study and agree to access our emergency building fund to repair/replace the unit.

    The only group in the church that has, essentially, unquestioned spending ability is a group that oversees our benevolence fund. This group is elected each year and is different each year, so no one person spends multiple successive years on the committee. Even then, they are capped in just how much can be extended at one time, seeing as our small church size places limits on our ability to build up the fund. It is a group of three that actively fields requests from the church and community for financial aid or physical aid. They then allocate funds to help, and will usually go and actually help someone out.
     
  7. Revmitchell

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    Really? any spending? The church has to micromanage every dime?
     
  8. Zenas

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    I don't see how a church could be any more open to view of the membership than ours is. Our budget is broken down into over 30 categories and each month at business meeting the members are given a detailed financial statement, as well as a detailed budget statement (income and expenses). The church treasurer is present to answer questions. No one on the pastoral staff writes checks. All checks must be signed by the bookkeeper AND the church treasurer. All receipts are handled and deposited by a counting committee. If a member is curious about any financial matter, all he has to do is ask and everything is revealed.
     
  9. PreachTony

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    Just out of curiosity, Rev, am I too literal for you? You seem to be dissecting everything I say as though no figures of speech of mild stretches of terminology, as are common in everyday speech, are allowed.

    The bills get paid, and a detailed financial report is delivered to the church. That's a given. What I meant was that any extra spending, such as buying new lawn care equipment, or re-carpeting the upstairs Sunday school rooms, is brought before the church.

    Apologies for the lack of clarity. I'll try better to not use common dialectical speech in my writing. :smilewinkgrin:
     
  10. OnlyaSinner

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    Tony has already responded, but our church might be similar. The congregation approves each line item of the proposed budget at the January annual meeting, but not each week's checks to cover those budget items, though any member can ask to see about any expenditures - happens very rarely. Also, the line item amounts are sideboards, not impregnable firewalls. For simplicity, we treat the annual amount as 12 equal monthly segments, thus at our May tri-annual meeting we will always have overspent for utilities (we're in the north.) Other items, like benevolence, can have great variation in timing, so trying to pin down short-period expenditures is wasted effort, as long as we are clearly communicating those expenditures at our business meetings.
     
  11. T Alan

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    trouble maker instead of heretic is what I was called when I began to ask about matters of finance and suggested spending on "new" things. (10 member congregation) All but my 3 above 65 most over 80.
     

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