I am a “youngster” when it comes to accounting, and especially accounting for churches and non-profits. One thing that has caught me off guard about the inner world of some non-profits (some churches!) is their excessive desire for funds and financial position. Most churches seem to get it right; some do not. In my subconscious I am often asking, “Does this church that I am auditing really know and love Jesus? Do I see them loving their co-workers and loving me and my fellow auditors?” This has caused me to think more about my own faith, and about what the Lord requires of me. It seems that Jesus is concerned with the state of our hearts. Jesus says, “No one can serve two masters. Either you will hate the one and love the other, or you will be devoted to the one and despise the other. You cannot serve both God and money.” (Luke 16:13). We desire money personally because we believe it brings security and power. Our churches are vulnerable to the same desire. We are a vulnerable breed. So what is our (my) motivation for loving Him above money and the sense of security that it brings? His Love, which is beyond my comprehension. I have asked myself before, money in hand, “Does this piece of green paper love me? Is it alive, and able to take care of my deepest needs?” Absolutely not. Compare that with God, who came to this earth, suffered incredibly, and tasted death for us. He calls us brothers, friends, righteous; all because of what he has done. He gives us hope that this world is not all there is. And that’s not all. When we realize our hearts are not what they should be, we can cry out to him, the one who makes everything right. “Create in me a pure heart, O God, and renew a steadfast spirit within me” (Psalms 51:10).
The management and accounting for money is essential for us personally and for the Church. We are the Lord’s kingdom on earth; this task should be performed with excellence! But let us not forget that this is not the reason we are here. After all, if we are not living for the Lord and building His kingdom today, what are we here for?
In summary, money and accounting for it is not our end goal. Christ is. Let us perform our sometimes-menial accounting tasks with excellence as we remember that He loves us so much, and that He desires our hearts’ affections.