One of the ways we can be sure of the integrity of a preacher is if he or she stands to gain nothing from their preaching. When there is always fund-raising associated with the preaching of an individual that does not have proper public accounting I will always be suspicious of the motives and integrity of all those involved. I am not saying that what they are doing is wrong; all I am saying is there is no way of knowing whether what they are doing is consistent with a life of integrity or not!

St Paul mentions a number of time that he offers the Gospel to people free of charge! He stands to gain nothing financially from what he is doing; in fact he is often ‘out of pocket’ in what he does. One of things that clears up a lot of problems regarding the finances of religious groups is if there is a level of independent supervision of the finances of the organisation involved. This will help set a lot of suspicions to rest.

It is important that lay communities have similar safeguards in place as they are no different from charismatic individuals in this regard. Too many groups have imploded over arguments about finances and how they are distributed, or not distributed in most cases! Money is an incredibly seductive reality when it is present in relatively large quantities. It is essential that care is taken in its administration.

One of the accusations that often occur against leaders is that of hypocrisy – and this is often connected to the misuse of funds. Let us always set safeguards in place in our communities to protect ourselves from these problems so that the work of God can move forward without any unnecessary complications and problems. Such will also allow our communities to flourish and remain free of accusations of impropriety if it is easy to answer questions raised by pointing to a regular accounting of the use of funds.

What are my motivations in sharing the Gospel with others? Can I say I do so with purity of heart and intention?

Jesus, you came to the world at the bidding of our Father in Heaven; it was not for your personal gain. Help me to be as selfless in all of my services of the Kingdom of Heaven.