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A company that insures churches says it handled 20 employee theft claims in one year—an increase of 40% over the previous year. To avoid church thefts, this company offers suggestions for managing money: Put the policy in writing. Check backgrounds and run credit reports on people who handle money. Do annual external audits. Have at least two people collect offerings, and two other people be present when the money is counted. Require two signatures to disburse money. Some capable person should review the bank statements each month. Long ago, Nehemiah saw laxity in the gathering and distribution of resources people gave for God’s work. The result caused a lack of support for those charged with teaching and serving the people. Priests had to leave the ministry and take secular jobs to support their families. When Nehemiah saw how this lax practice was having a negative impact on the spirituality of the people, he immediately took action. He put honest people in charge of collecting and distributing donations. Still today, church leaders must be extremely careful in handling gifts and donations for God’s work. It’s important, not only to protect funds, but to protect the church witness among God’s people and the watching world.

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