Ministry of Financial Integrity – Church Bookkeeping
Around the time I was 8 years old, probably as a result of doing a lot of money math in school, I realized how much I loved money. Not wanting to have a lot of money, but wanting to manage money. Count it. Organize it. I spent inordinate amounts of time having my little sisters play grocery store with me while I handed them back change for their “purchases”. During summer visits, I spent what seemed like hours tapping away on my grandfather’s ten-key machine in the office of his furniture store with miles of receipt paper running off his desk in a glorious white waterfall.
Fast forward ten years as I enter college. The obvious degree for me is something in finance. Getting paid to count money? Yes, please. In my first job as an auditor, I got to walk into a client’s world, learn how and why they made and spent money, then let them know whether they were doing it all correctly, according to the accounting powers-that-be. I got to incorporate my love of money management with my desire for justice. Making sure that law and order were preserved in the financial world.
Here’s what I didn’t consider until years later. My propensity to understand money, my passion to manage money, and my desire for financial order all came from God to be used for His purposes.
But wait. Doesn’t the Bible specifically say we cannot serve both God and money? Doesn’t it say the root of all evil is the love of money? If anything, money seems to tear apart churches, church leaders, and church goers while a watching, already skeptical world shakes its head and walks away.
God knows the hold that money can have on our lives. A good thing that can serve the purposes of providing our needs can quietly and sometimes unexpectedly turn dark when we are not paying attention to our motives. Or when questionable financial decisions are able to go unnoticed due to a lack of accountability.
According to an article by Brotherhood Mutual in 2019,
“Church crime continues to grow by more than 6 percent a year. At this rate, worldwide church financial fraud may reach the $80 billion mark by 2025…. The risk for church financial crime only increases when controls are not in place….Church finances are relatively easy to control. Just watch for red flags and put the right checks and balances in place.”
Enter Stadia Bookkeepers, equipped with a knowledge of financial management and a desire to further God’s kingdom. Money is an inevitable tool needed to pay the staff, minister to the community, and keep the lights on, so Stadia wisely provides the ministry of financial integrity to their churches. Most of us Bookkeepers do not fill the more public church plant roles of the preacher, worship leader or children’s minister. Honestly, and probably not surprisingly, many of us would prefer to work quietly in the wings as support staff. But, with Christ as the head of the body, and each of us being obedient with what we’ve been equipped to do, we can collectively and effectively be the ‘big-C’ Church that reaches every corner of this world for Christ. Some of us counting the money along the way.
Growing up a preacher’s kid, Becky has a deep understanding of both the blessings and challenges of serving the church, and seeks to find ways to offer support to those who are called into that ministry. With a degree in accounting and a love for organization, that support has usually taken the form of administrative and financial roles within the church, but she also enjoys teaching Middle School girls each week. She and her husband Shaun are currently living in the Nashville area, raising four amazing kids, and serving God through the church and Compassion International.