Should a replant pastor know the giving records? Pt.1

By Brad O'Brien

When it comes to the issues of knowing about giving records we have to ask ourselves what is wise. We would be foolish to ignore the potential pitfalls here but at the same time I don’t think it is wise to block the pastor from this information entirely.

In the beginning of our replant journey (we merged a church plant and a 150 year old church) I found myself more involved in this aspect of the replant than I wanted to be. However, we knew that getting our financial processes in place would be critical to ensure that we walked wisely in the coming years. Alongside a team of other leaders we sought to get the giving records in order. We ask our members for giving pledges ahead of our budget preparation. Those pledges are received by one member of our Trustee board. Then the data is shared with the elders for the purpose of ensuring that our pledged giving and projected budget are aligned.

In some situations I think it would be helpful for the pastors/elders to be aware of giving records. This would be helpful in vetting future leaders and in the case that someone isn’t giving regularly which is a commitment each of our members make when we sign the membership covenant. However, since we could easily be tempted to treat big donors differently than those that don’t have the same amount of resources to steward generously we should have processes that require others for the sake of accountability.

Ultimately I think a Replant Pastor should make these decisions in conjunction with other leaders and not in isolation. If the pastor is the only person with this access there is a problem and he would be wise to work quickly to find a way to share this duty with another qualified leader for accountability.

Published May 16, 2017

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Brad O'Brien

Brad O'Brien and his family moved to Baltimore, Maryland, to plant a church in the heart of the city, after serving on staff at the Summit Church in Durham, North Carolina, for 10 years. Ultimately God led them to merge their church plant with an existing church that had been established in 1855. Brad and his wife, Jena-Marie, have been married for 11 years and they are the proud parents of three little girls. They are expecting their fourth child in May 2019. The O'Briens love city life and the replanting journey they have been on for the past five years.