Recently, New Life Church was accepted as a member of the Evangelical Council for Financial Accountability. I know that sounds as exciting as a root canal, but it is a big deal to me. ECFA sets very high standards for membership and only a handful of churches even bother trying to meet the requirements.
When I came to New Life in 2007, we did not have the internal structures or policies to be a member, but we were determined to make the changes necessary to hit the mark. The first thing we did was change the way decisions were made about spending money. We had always done a yearly audit, but we then added a purchase order system, a more detailed budget and we changed our elder structure. Under the old system, the Senior Pastor had a lot of autonomous, independent spending authority, but under our new system, spending decisions are made as a team with a lot more accountability from elders who are not a part of the staff.
Why did I make all these changes? The old system was not corrupt or necessarily broken. I could have continued with the status quo and no one would have been alarmed or concerned. The reason is simple. I want to be able to stand in front of our fellowship and challenge everyone to give and for them to know that we are operating with complete integrity and maintaining the highest standards available.
This removes all suspicion and brings everything into the light for all to see. Our finances are posted at www.ecfa.org and will be updated regularly. I want people to know we are committed to being good stewards, living below our means and giving generously at every opportunity. These are the principles we live by in the Boyd house and I want the same principles to apply at the church I lead.
Check out the website and give me your opinion. Is this important to you as a New Lifer? Does this help clear up any confusion or is it no big deal?