Accountability in Ministry

DSCN0642There are times I wish I could find a more adequate way to thank you for your support and contributions to African Christian Schools. Those who are able to attend our dinners and events give me an opportunity to shake your hand and thank you personally, but even that seems inadequate. From the bottom of my heart I am truly grateful for you encouragement and your support.

In May of this year I had the privilege of being the guest speaker at the West Nigerian Christian College preacher’s workshop. The theme for this year was “Accountability in Ministry.” I was so excited about this topic that I could hardly wait for the workshop to begin. Accountability is a topic that we all need to visit every now and again, but I know few places it is more relevant than on the mission field. Missionaries, local workers and church leaders are placed in positions of great influence and often are charged with the distribution and oversight of financial matters. Power, influence and money can be a problem in any culture and we do a disservice to the Lord’s work when we don’t set up standards for them to follow. DSCN0620

I thought after seeing the topics I couldn’t be more excited, but seeing our brethren’s response to the very plain and clear teaching on our Christian responsibilities to God, elders, the church and community; I realized the future is bright in West, Africa. Nigeria has a reputation for corruption, violence and unethical behavior, but what I saw during my week at WNCC were elders, preachers and school administrators who were hungry to learn more. They asked relevant and probing questions on how to best handle church finances, how to create systems of checks and balances, but most importantly how to  embrace leadership roles with humility and deference.

During one session an accountant and member of the church spoke on proper accounting practices. His presentation was filled with practical examples that were specific to the needs of the local church. His age and influence also brought a level of respect that caused all in attendance to listen intently. In many cases we were invited to the local churches to share this information with them and help them set up a better system of accountability for their preachers, elders and finances.

My children range in age from 16 – 26. One of the great joys in our family has been watching the maturing process of my son and our three daughters. As I look at the work in Nigeria that same process has been taking shape for a long time, but in recent years the maturing of churches has been greatly accelerated. I believe that one reason we have seen this level of maturing is the influence of West Nigeria Christian College and the programs, classes and workshops they have held for the past 13 years.

Again, let me thank you for your support. While I may not get around to see each and everyone who contributes I hope you know that I am always available to talk with your or answer your questions.

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