The Ministry of Generosity Part 3: People Who Should Administer Generosity
2 Corinthians 8:16-24
In the previous chapter we have learned about some truths of the ministry of generosity. In this chapter, we will learn the people who are qualified to administer generosity and why should these people be the one to administer it.
Who should administer Generosity?
One who is qualified and eager to do it (v.16-17).
Titus was encouraged to administer the giving. And not only had that he accepted the task, he was also very eager to do it. The idea is, Titus is more than willing to do it. Paul here doesn’t seem to expect Titus to be more than willing to go the Corinth for this ministry. We all know that just previously, the Corinthian churches had some dispute earlier against Paul.
Willingness to take part of the ministry is a very important attitude to develop by the disciples not only in the portion in the ministry of generosity, but in all other ministries. Titus here is more than willing to do it. The Bible is silent as for the reason why Titus is very eager to engage on this. What we all know is that he voluntarily committed himself to do it.
In our context, the main person who administers the Grace of giving is mainly the treasurer of our Church. I personally believe that it is very important that one should learn to be eager in involving himself to ministries. Just as Titus’ eagerness to do be involved in such ministry voluntarily. As a result, Paul was thanking God for such eagerness.
When we are hesitant to engage ourselves in the ministry, it becomes a burden to the Church to pray and choose people and to encourage them to participate in the ministry. We have to understand that it is very fundamental to commit to ministry out of our love to God. But if there will be no one who is bold enough to commit to particular ministries, then it is obvious that such ministry will not prosper until such time that there will be someone who will oversee that particular ministry.
One whose praise is in the gospel (v.18).
The one being referred here is unknown. There were some who suggests that it could be Luke while some suggests it’s Mark. Whoever he is, it is someone whom the Corinthian churches know and can have confidence with.
“Whose praise…” means that he is well known or esteemed for having such degree of zealousness in the gospel. Whether it is by writing the gospel or by preaching the gospel (for it can be used in both ways), the point is, this person is someone who is well acquainted and known to be actively sharing the gospel.
This person, was not only sent with Titus, but was also chosen by the churches to be a traveling companion of Paul and some apostles in order to administer this grace. This person is obviously someone whom the churches trust when it comes to financial matters.
Such kind of appointment is not to be given hastily to anyone, but to people whose praise is in the gospel. This means that he is supposed to be actively participating in the sharing the gospel of Christ. Though the passage does not necessarily give nor require these criteria, but it definitely tells us some principles of getting the right people especially in these kinds of ministries.
The passage did not tell us why should be getting a person whose praise is in the gospel. However, as we try to analyze what can be his advantage over to ordinary Christians who is not actively participating in sharing the gospel, we will be seeing many differences as to the application of this principle. And the most obvious reason is that, the one who is actively sharing the gospel knows both the biblical principles of sowing and reaping as well as to the “how” the church operates and using the finances.
Here, we need to understand the seriousness of this ministry. It is not something that we give for the sake of ministry and participation to Christ’s work, but it is something where we need to maintain credibility for the church and other matters.
One who is diligent (v.22)
Diligence means quietly and steadily continuing the task given despite any difficulties. A person that has to be assigned in administering financial matters of the church has to be diligent. We all know that administering something especially the church finances is never easy. A just a bit of corruption can destroy one’s integrity and credibility not to mention his accountability to God.
As someone who is accountable in the finances of the church, there are times that people will ask us about the details of the money distributed in the ministries of the church. Therefore, transparency is very important and one should not see those inquiries as interrogation. And for the people, who ask, we should also show respect and love to the one administering this grace for it is not easy for them to administer it and such ministry requires diligence.
This ministry also requires proper recording and honesty. A diligent in-charge of the finances of the church records carefully the tithes and offerings as well as the funds received.
Why should these people administer the grace of giving?
Now that we know that the administering the grace of giving is not just an ordinary ministry, we will now answer the “why?” of this issue.
Verses 20 and 21 tell us the main answer. “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.”
We therefore need to entrust to reliable men this ministry in order to maintain credibility among the people of God. This helps to give transparency on the transactions that the church undergoes.
We also have to note here that the apostles were not prohibited to administer, but the apostles along with these people were to administer the grace of giving.
This means that ministers are not to depart to help in the administration of gifts, but should rather be accompanied by other people who possess integrity and credibility to do so. Many churches in our time have some unbiblical practices in administering the grace of gifts. There were some pastors who fully and solely administer the finances of the church, while there are also churches where the pastors have in “no way” access to the financial administration. In contrast to these, the Bible teaches us transparency and accountability in administering God’s finances.
A person who is to take part in administering the grace of giving should possess the following:
• Qualified and eager to do it.
• Whose praise is in the gospel.
• Who is diligent
Administration of church’s finances should possess transparency and accountability to protect those who are administering it as well as the church.