Transparency is Essential
Another thing I want to ask about is accountability and transparency. We don’t know what has happened about the money? And if you can somehow, in some way, give us some other thoughts, I really want this to be in a good mode, a good way.
Some people would probably like for there to be a total democracy when dealing with the issue of money, where there is paperwork and ledgers. Perhaps that’s not the answer, but the lack of transparency will never be the answer either. Perhaps we don’t need a system and we don’t need a committee. There was no committee in the New Testament. There was no paperwork and ledgers of accounts. There was no “voting” to decide how the money that was laid at the apostles’ feet should be distributed.
But there was accountability. There was transparency. So, we definitely would admonish all of you brothers, (and we could get more specific as we need to), that there must be transparency and accountability. It is not a “system” or a “machine.” There is no voting or paperwork, but transparency is mandatory. Accountability is mandatory.
We do not mess around and play games with this topic. In 20 years, I have never touched the money in our city. I won’t do it! I just don’t get my hands on it, because for 20 years I’ve known that I need to be very careful. Even when I was just a baby Christian, just a pup, I knew that this was a dangerous topic, so I have never had anything to do with being in charge of where all the money goes. Other brothers work together on that, and I stay out of it—and never even see it. In the religious world, there is nearly always a “pastor”/boss/head honcho who takes in the money (or “love offerings” or “collections” or “tithes”) and makes the decisions. That is not a Biblical way. It is very wrong and dangerous, and nowhere to be found in the New Testament for the church that belongs to Jesus Christ.
Here’s the other side of it, though. We’re in America, and we want to help our brothers and sisters here. You’re our family and we love you. We love God’s people. We have love for whoever is washed in Jesus’ blood. They are part of us and we want to help. But what do we do? We don’t know every dynamic, every situation, every detail of everyone’s life and we can’t just send money to fifteen different people.
Somehow we have to find a way so that we can trust some brothers to work together to resolve these money issues here in Africa—not by everybody voting like some pagan machine or by keeping records as a business does. But out of love, like a family would make decisions together. And this is what we’ve done where we live for over 20 years.