Some preachers have still issues with financial transparency according to Dagen (here, here and here) and Världen Idag… The request from US senator Charles Grassley to get information on the financial dealings of a number of influential and thus often financially well-off spiritual leaders and their ministries have caused many and long discussions and hesitancy on the part of some of the ministries involved. Bennie Hinn only recently submitted his financial records to be scrutinized (because that will happen!), others, among them Kenneth Copeland and Dollar ministries (what a name!) are opposed to the requests of the senator.
With the number of financial abuses in mind both in Sweden as throughout the world we should be more than willing to go beyond the required formal accountability due to national or organizational guidelines. Those involved in ministry should be wiling to walk an extra mile in regard of these matters to even remove the shadow of doubt over our economic dealings. Honestly speaking we need that accountability not only on financial matters but others too. The fact that some continue to argue against such openness make me more or less suspicious, there is no reason to withhold anything from public scrutiny… that’s part of the deal of being Christians!
Jack Hayford, a senior pastor of Church on the Way and presently acting as leader of the Four Square denomination has for years tried to build accountability into ministry. He strongly suggested already in 2004 for all ministries to become part of an International Council for Ethical Accountability.
Another interesting initiative is the national “ministry watch” in the US which tries to give update information on the financial dealings of the different ministries, they even give recommendations on financially accountable organizations, Interesting is that fact that quite some of the organizations refuse to inform this organization about their financial records!
Based on the initiative from Jack Hayford, a number of charismatic leaders got together in Orlanda and developed the following document (here). As we see there is nothing new under the sun and we can only hope that we will voluntarily submit ourselves to accountability and openness, not only within networks with friends, but even organized networks. (Let’s be honest, the loose informal networks don’t always do the job!)
That’s it for now…my appeal: let’s be more open, transparent and accountable! That’s the Way I see it!