Accountability in leadership… transparancy, protection and trustworthiness!

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!

John


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10 responses to “Accountability in leadership… transparancy, protection and trustworthiness!

  1. I think it’s great that Christian leaders have gotten behind Copeland. The implications for the future are scary if Grassley is given the power to call for this kind of information.

  2. Honestly speaking “Thinkin” I tried to tell that we had to be transparant out of our own initiative without being asked! Greetings, John

  3. Pingback: Lessons from history; Todd Bentley, Peter, Sadducees and Gamaliel in the Florida revival. « Synergetics

  4. Whether or not one agrees with the lifestyles of these ministries, the fact remains that they feed many, many people spiritually. That is still a freedom in this country. And, we have to remember that almost sixty years ago, America went through a horrible misuse of senatorial power that terrified all citizens from speaking their truth because they would be next to be ground up in the inquisition. My favorite president, Harry Truman, had the guts to speak against this issue. “Real Americanism means fair play. It means that a man who is accused of a crime shall be considered innocent until he has been proved guilty. It menas that people are not to be penalized and persecuted for exercising their constitutional liberties.” Senator Grassley’s investigation seems to me to be pushing the boundaries of Senator McCarthy’s infamous witch hunts.

  5. Thank you for your comment on the blog. I can understand how one can be manipulated through a system. At the same time I believe that te Bible tells us to be beyong reproach… which must mean that we by the way we live and are accountable (voluntarily) we can be an example and remove all potential pitfalls in areas under our controle. Hope you get the spirit of my attempt to address this? Thanks again, John

  6. From what I understand senator Grassley aren’t accusing these ministries of any crimes. The issue at hand has to do solely with the rules for taw-empt organizations. Is it right if Copeland, for example, use money that givers have written of tax with to spend it on excess living. And if these ministries want to continue enable their givers to write off what they give, it is more than right if they hand in the economic reports. So logically the Grassley-investigation have nothing to with the issue of religious freedom or theology. The same rules that applies to non-relgious groups applies to religious ones as well.
    Blessings!

  7. sorry for my spelling-mistakes :-). I mean “tax-empt”, of course.

  8. thanks for making that clear Jacob!

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  10. Pingback: Todd Bentley – the fact that we are spiritually malnourished doesn’t mean we have to eat anything offered to us! « Synergetics

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