Open CommunicationApril 02, 2007
Keith Herron has a good piece at Ethics Daily today about the importance of churches being open with their financial records. It is entitled "Shell Games and Secrecy." He offers some background about the controversy surrounding the First Family Church in the Kansas City area, and then some thoughts about the issue. Here are a few highlights:
While the letters to the editor in The Kansas City Star have been numerous and polarized, it's clear the issue of trust and integrity are central to the story.Amen! Churches definitely need to work on being open with their communication. After all, we should have nothing to hide. In the piece, he refers to a follow-up piece in the KC Star (which had earlier exposed many of the problems at First Family). That piece includes a lot of comments from pastors about this issue. Perhaps this sad case at First Family has at least sparked some positive discussion.
... The open accountability of a church's financial reports are a form of sacred trust. Some call it a "covenant" between church members and God that is mutually shared between all members, including the pastor and other ministers.
... Churches cannot be healthy where secrets abound and refusing to answer the hard questions has the appearance of being its own answer.