Good day to all of you blessed readers in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ
Last week, I read an article in a local newspaper about a church organisation that has unpaid salaries of 100 staff members and that 45 local assemblies will be affected, according to the reporter.
To me, this came as a shock and I asked myself where we are headed! I wondered what has happened to the Church in Namibia! As a pastor, I feel for the church and the people, I pray that God makes a way for them. Let’s talk about the power of “faithfulness”. I do not intend to be critical and negative about the newspaper article in question because in times like these, we must learn to encourage ourselves and lift each other up so we can overcome life’s challenges with the help of God. In my 25 years of full-time ministry, I have always advised pastors to be honest, faithful and loyal to God and their ministries. We must learn to pay our personal and corporate bills regularly. We must be faithful in the work of God too. The Bible says in 1 Thessalonians 4:11 and 12 (NIV); “Make it your ambition to lead a quiet life, to mind your own business and to work with your hands, just as we told you, so that your daily life may win the respect of outsiders and so that you will not be dependent on anybody.” For starters, let’s take our insight from I Corinthians 4:2, “Now, a person who is put in charge as a steward must be found faithful.” Who is a steward? They are managers, custodians, agents. A steward is somebody who is reliable, responsible, accountable and transparent. The Bible also says in Psalms 24:1; “The earth is the Lord’s and the fullness thereof, the world and those that dwell therein.”
Let’s look at these two verses; one states that if we are managers, we must be faithful and the second verse states that God owns everything, even the people and the entire earth. To really ensure that finances go well in our churches or any other organisation, we must understand some key principles. One, God owns everything, meaning, He is the owner and we are the stewards. God also desires that we may be held accountable for everything we have. Secondly, we must understand that as pastors and church board members in general, we have collectively been called to be responsible to God for the operations of our churches. In any organisation, we expect funds to be available and people working for it need to be paid for their services. As parishioners, it remains our responsibility to meet our financial contributions faithfully to the church so that operations run smoothly. It is also required of persons in positions of trust in a church to be held accountable; reports and accounts must be submitted monthly and those who handle the church’s funds must be faithful. The time is now and it is imperative that we address these matters as they are slowly getting out of hand. As a church, should we notice any financial problems in our organisations, we must carefully address them correctly and efficiently no matter what the situation is. Remember, we are accountable to God; secondly to our Government and to our church leaders and parishioners.
The mismanagement of funds will affect our gospel message and we will lose credibility in our communities. Jesus said, “We are the Salt of the Earth and the Light of the World.” The Bible says in Luke 16:10-12 (Lab. version); “Unless you are faithful in small matters, you won’t be faithful in large ones, if you cheat even a little, you won’t be honest with greater responsibilities.” What we need in these times are people who are faithful to God; no matter what critics may say, God honours and rewards faithfulness. Proverbs 28:20 says; “A faithful man shall abound with blessings, but he who makes haste to be rich [at any cost] shall not go unpunished.” If we want our powerful message to be effective and relevant, we must learn to be faithful in all things, whether big or small. Faithfulness is one of the fruits of the Holy Spirit and I pray that as God’s people, let’s learn to be faithful in whatever we do. This is a Christian attribute and we need to learn and practice it. Let’s look at three fundamental aspects that will enhance and increase our capacity with regards to cultivating our faithfulness: 1. We cultivate faithfulness by being honest and trustworthy at all times: 2 Kings 12:15, “Moreover, they reckoned not with the men, into whose hand they delivered the money to be bestowed on workmen: for they dealt faithfully.” 2. We cultivate faithfulness by obeying and walking in the truth of God’s word: Deuteronomy 28:9, “The Lord shall establish thee an holy people unto Himself, as He hath sworn unto thee, if thou shalt keep the commandments of the Lord thy God, and walk in His ways.” 3. We cultivate faithfulness by keeping our promises, commitments and remain transparent at all times: Numbers 30:2 (ESV), “If a man vows a vow to the Lord, or swears an oath to bind himself by a pledge, he shall not break his word. He shall do according to all that proceeds out of his mouth.
” Until next week, God bless!