Text: 2 Corinthians 8:16-24
Every church ought to be careful in handling her finances. Firstly, these funds are the monies of God’s people given with the trust and intention that they be used for the extension of God’s kingdom. Secondly, these funds belong to God. Thus, the church finances must be employed in a manner that is consistent with God’s Word. It must never be abused, wasted or used in support of unlawful causes.

The passage today demonstrates the carefulness of Paul in handling the contributions of the Corinthian Christians for the poor saints in Jerusalem. Paul’s principle in the handling of public funds is stated in verses 20-21, “Avoiding this, that no man should blame us in this abundance which is administered by us: Providing for honest things, not only in the sight of the Lord, but also in the sight of men.”

Paul was wholly committed to be blameless, accountable and transparent with regards to church funds. He was keen to avoid any occasion for suspicion or accusation in financial matters. Once suspicion in such matters is aroused, it will be difficult to eradicate for future actions. Kent wisely observed that “anyone in the limelight, as Paul was, quickly learns that his prominence makes him an obvious target of critics, especially in financial matters.” Moreover, there were many opponents of Paul in the Corinthian Church that were only too eager to attack him. The collection of vast amounts of funds could easily be a trigger for false rumours against Paul. Precaution must be taken to make sure that the collection was not misunderstood. Financial integrity is the key.

To ensure transparency and accountability, Paul sent three men to oversee the collection. The three men were as follows:

 Titus (v.16-17). Here was a man in whom the Lord had placed a great passion for the Corinthians. Titus was more than ready to go, and was thus a most suitable man to be sent to urge the Corinthian Christians to make true their pledge of aiding the poor saints in Jerusalem.

 The Brother (v.18-21). The presence of the definite article “the” indicates that this brother was one who was well-known among the churches for his faithfulness and trustworthiness. His godly reputation makes him well-positioned for the task of the collection. He was also one who was elected and appointed by the churches to make the collection. The fact that he was chosen by the churches and not by Paul would absolve Paul of any charge of undue collaboration with Titus to solicit funds from the Corinthians.
 Our brother (v.22). He was also chosen by the churches, and thus served to be the other neutral party in the band of three collectors.

Similarly, the leaders of churches today must do their part to ensure that there be no suspicion of misappropriation, misuse or wastage of church funds. Moreover, most churches in Singapore are registered as Charities. Therefore, the leaders of the church must uphold their responsibility to ensure that the church is in line with the nation’s Charity Act (see https://sso.agc.gov.sg/Act/CA1994). This act is in place to ensure transparency and proper stewardship in charities. The leaders of the church serve as fiduciaries of the funds to ensure they are used exactly as they are intended in line with the Charities Act. The church must be blameless in all aspects, including the law of the land.

What then is the proper use of church funds? The Bible teaches us that the gifts from God’s people be used as follows:
 For the support of missionary and gospel work, and the edification of the saints (Phil. 4:15-16; 1 Cor. 9:4-11)
 In support of the poor and needy (2 Cor. 8-9; Rom. 15:26)
 The support of church workers and pastors (1 Tim 5:17-18; 1 Cor. 9:11-14)

We take financial integrity seriously in Tabernacle BPC. God’s money must be put to its proper use for promoting the cause of Christ. To ensure transparency and accountability in the process, all collections are meticulously recorded. These records are reviewed every Session meeting. The collections from every Lord’s Day Worship service is published in the weekly together with designated offerings. The financial accounts are audited and presented to the congregation in the Annual Congregational Meeting. When major financial decisions are made, effort is made to declare these decisions honestly and openly to the congregation. The church leadership must be prepared to explain these financial decisions in the light of God’s Word.

The handling of church finances is a serious matter. The fiduciaries of the funds must handle them carefully for they belong to God. Any church leadership that is not prepared to handle funds cleanly, responsibly, transparently and biblically will find itself spiritually disqualified. If a church leadership cannot handle earthly monies, it cannot be trusted to look after the souls of men. May Tabernacle BPC be always found to handle her funds in the fear of the LORD.




On 22 September 2018, Tabernacle BPC wrote to Changi Bethany Church (CBC) to signal her intent to move out of the premises within six months. In the email, the Session requested CBC that the rental of the premises be kept at $4500 per month. Request was also made to allow members to park during worship hours when CBC is not having activities, and that Tabernacle BPC be permitted to use the address of CBC till she moves out of the premises.

On 2 October 2018, CBC wrote that she is unable to accede to Tabernacle BPC’s request of maintaining the current usage rate of only $4500. Due to the rate of $42,000/month that JTC requires CBC to pay for the renewal of the lease, CBC would require Tabernacle BPC to contribute to CBC based on the new rates of $2,610/week or $10,440/month during this interim period. This is effective from October 2018.

CBC added that they understood Tabernacle BPC’s limitation and commitment, and are willing to discuss a rate that is manageable and fair to both parties.

How should Tabernacle BPC respond in a way that is consistent with the principles highlighted in the article above?

Pray for wisdom and the Lord’s guidance. Pray for a Session that will be united in the truth of God’s Word. We are accountable to God and His flock.

Prayerfully in Christ,
Pastor Clement Chew