Boletim dos Obreiros

The Administration of the General Funds of the Church

Acts 4:32, 34-35; 6:1-7

Introduction: To be the treasurer of a local church to manage its financial resources financial is a task of much importance and responsibility, at least for these three reasons:

1. The resources that they are going to manage are the Lord’s - Therefore there is the weight of responsibility in managing in the best possible way what is of God and it will have to be applied in His work.

2. The amounts are gifts of the local church - When a brother offers for the general funds of the church, he does it for the Lord, not aiming at human benefits as glory and compliments. Each contributor will be more satisfied, and will even be more encouraged to contribute, when the administrators work in a serious and transparent way and all the church knows that these resources are being applied well.

3. Incentives to the church for emptying the box - As it is the treasurers who manage the financial funds of the church, they know how much it is necessary for the monthly maintenance of the expenditure of the church. What goes beyond this they have the obligation to stimulate the church, through its leadership, to destine all the resources of the box because the money that was offered to the Lord is to be passed on, immediately, to His work.

THE ADMINISTRATION OF THE FINANCIAL FUNDS OF THE CHURCH

In accordance with the Biblical examples, to manage the financial fund of a local church the participation of more than one brother is necessary and that they are of irreproachable character, as we can see in some examples:

  • The example of the church in its first days - (Acts 4:32-35; 6:1-2). At the beginning of the church the first Christians demonstrated to be generous and open handed, divesting themselves of many of their physical possessions and selling their properties brought the proceeds to the apostles’ feet and then “they distributed to each as anyone had need”. As the church grew, the service of this administration also increased to the point where some members of the church felt wronged in the distribution and as there were complaints it was necessary for the apostles to take a stand.
  • The suggestion given by the apostles - (Acts 6:3-7). The apostles had heard the complaints, but they could not assume the responsibility of this service. They suggested the choice of seven men to manage the financial resources of the church while they dedicated themselves to prayer and ministry of the Word (v. 4). However, the choice of these men for this service had to be according to qualifications given by the apostles: “Therefore, brethren, seek out from among you seven men of good reputation, full of the Holy Spirit and wisdom, whom we may appoint over this business” (v. 3). It was, therefore, indispensable that:

1 - The chosen ones must have a “good reputation”. Although one might be quite ready to carry out this task this is not enough, it is necessary that he has a good name and his character is irreproachable.

2 - The chosen ones must be” full of the Spirit”. When a person is converted to the Lord he “is born again” and in the same instant he is sealed with the Holy Spirit (Ephesians 1:13). This is independent of what he has done or not done. After that the responsibility to fill himself with the Holy Spirit is incumbent on the converted person (Ephesians 5:18). This means that he must be, or remain, under the control of the Holy Spirit, or that the Holy Spirit has total control over him. If the believer does not have this qualification he will not be apt for this service.

3 - The chosen ones must be “full… of wisdom”. It is not human wisdom or intellectual capacity, but the quality that includes common-sense, correct attitudes and actions whose source emanates from above, as James wrote: “the wisdom that is from above is first pure, then peaceable, gentle, willing to yield, full of mercy and good fruits, without partiality and without hypocrisy” (James 3:17). Without true wisdom a good care of the financial funds of a local church is impossible.

These requirements given by God through His apostles need undisputedly to be followed, today and always, because the church needs to have total confidence in its treasurers and they need to enjoy this confidence on the part of the church in order to carry out a good work.

The administrators of the offerings of a church need for the performance of their task:

  • To work together with the leadership of the church - the treasurers of the church must always be informing the brethren who are part of the leadership of the church as to the sum of the resources in the box, so that they may together plan its distribution.
  • To work with transparency - Many politicians in their campaign promise, in case they are elected, to make a transparent administration to the population, but this later does not happen. In the case of servants who are the treasurers of a local church they must take the position of full transparency and, therefore, they need:

1. To give account - those responsible for the finances must give account of the movement of the cash resources so that all the church knows where and on what the offerings are being applied and the existing balance in the box.

2. Discernment to distribute the money from the offerings - the brethren responsible for counting the offering, and for depositing it in some banking account, will need, together with the elders of the church, to have discernment for a good distribution of these resources. The money of the Lord is not to be fattening banking accounts, but to be applied in His work, nor to be spent in futile things (those that the church does not need), but in what it is useful for His work. Here are some suggestions:

(a) Needs of the local work: Social assistance to less favoured believers including widows, or unbelievers; purchase of furniture and property; construction and refurbishing of the meeting hall; payment for utilities such as water, electricity, telephone, cleaning materials and, if it is the case, rent of the property, wages of employees, maintenance of vehicles etc.

(b) Each local church must have a missionary vision: Contributing for day-care centres and shelters for the aged; offerings for the edition of literature, acquisition and distribution of brochures and Bibles; maintenance of radio programmes; offerings to the servants Lord in full time service, who do not work as wage-earners. Who has the responsibility to support the workers in the Harvest, in regimen of full time, are the people of God, In 1 Corinthians 9:11-14 we are taught that who does Gospel work has the right to live off the Gospel.

With a deep wish of blessings, your co servant in Christ, Severo Miguel de Oliveira, Post office box 605, Paranavaí-PR, 87701-970, telephone (44) 3422-1398, email: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.