Alphabetical ratings have long been used in the financial sector to assess the strength of investments. AAA (better known as 'Triple A') is the highest possible rating indicating financial strength.
At Stewardship, they have taken the concept of the 'Triple A' rating and applied it to churches. Here it is not a measure of financial strength but is shorthand for three attributes important for churches and church leaders to live by when it comes to handling money. The three A’s stand for:
This is not something that they have simply dreamt up, the basis for the 'Triple A' rating can be found primarily in 2 Corinthians chapter 8.
2 Corinthians chapter 8
In verse 2, the attitude of the Macedonian church is explained as one of rich generosity. It is made all the more remarkable as it came during a time of severe trial and extreme poverty. The Macedonian equation is not one which is easy to get your head around, particularly for the prudently trained accountant. However, it can be seen that generosity is a heart attitude where we recognise God’s provision and:
Generosity is a theme that is returned to time and time again throughout the Bible. Stewardship often hear from church members, regulators and the media, that it is those churches with a good attitude that tend to be more energised, exciting and effective. They are the beacon on the hillside. Their fourth blog will explore this further.
In verses 17 and 18, we see that Titus and another well respected leader were sent together to receive the offering. But why was there a need for two leaders? Could Titus not be trusted on his own? Was his character being questioned? It would suggest that this arrangement was not a reflection of Titus’ character but rather a reflection of Paul’s wisdom recognising some of the benefits of accountability as:
Verses 19-21 speak of the administration of the offering where Paul:
Often administration is perceived as an unwanted and unnecessary constraint. However, this is completely the opposite, churches with good administration are:
In the next blog 'What goes wrong when we aren’t active in handling money well?' It considers what can go wrong in churches where money is not handled well and there are weaknesses in attitude, accountability or financial administration.
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