A few months ago, I was asked to talk to 150 of our Victory and Every Nation staff members about budgeting and money at our annual Manila planning meeting.

After telling old stories, I mentioned 6 principles and attitudes that have guided the way we have raised, managed, spent and accounted for money at Victory-Philippines for the past 25 years.

1. Faith – God is our source. Always has been, even when the church was small and poor, and our offerings were heavy (all coins, no paper).

2. Stewardship – God owns it all, and we will give an account to Him for how we raise, manage, spend and account for His money.

3. Generosity – We give our best to our missionaries our staff, and to the poor in our congregations and those we serve through the Real Life Foundation. It is now popular in the West to be generous to the poor in Africa, while ignoring the poor in our

4. Integrity – How we raise, manage, spend and account for ministry money is important to God, and to people. Our goal has always been to raise and spend money in ways that honor God. It is possible (and common) to raise ministry money, but dishonor God at the same time.

5. Professionalism
– Churches and ministries should live by the highest professional standards. We hire the best to do our external audits, and we have made it clear to them that we want to be held to the highest standards, not to the barely-get-by the law standard.

6. Wisdom
– I am fortunate to have smart people around me I can ask for help with negotiations, contracts, investments, legal issues and other financial matters that pastors are not trained to handle. (Lost a key adviser last week.)

What guides you as you manage God’s money?