Day 37 of 40: At the end of 2014 I was leading Holy Apostles mission in Bowling Green, KY through the Becoming Truly Human ministry. During one of the sessions I noticed a strange piece of paper on the public bulletin board.
Our weekly sessions were taking place in the fellowship hall, and the bulletin board was behind me as I spoke. A couple of weeks into the course I noticed this sheet of paper. It was a detailed printout of the financials for the mission for everyone to see. At first I thought, “well that’s interesting.” On my 90 minute drive home from the mission my mind stayed with the peculiar paper. I started to visualize all the positive outcomes this paper was creating. At some point on that drive I pondered what visitors would think.
How many of our churches are 100% transparent about financials? This public posting tells the world, “We have no secrets!”
Both Christians and non-Christians are obsessed with money in America. We have all seen the misuse of money by churches and church leaders. A public posting of your financials makes this difficult and unlikely. Posting your financials tells the world that we care about a different kind of prosperity.
The Orthodox prosperity gospel concerns the human soul. God loves us and wants us to love him in return. He wants our souls to prosper with love, joy, and hope. Suffering helps our salvation, our soul (Romans 5:4). While we are not all called to be financially wealthy, we are blessed when we are “poor in spirit” (Matthew 5:30).
Only one man can create this financial transparency in the parish: the priest. I say man, because sometimes the priest’s wife can make it happen too!