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The Treasureer Who Wants to Control

Seven ways to keep the task from becoming a temptation.

Judas served as treasurer for the band of disciples who followed Jesus. He was the one who protested, "Why was this fragrant oil not sold for three hundred denarii [one year's wages] and given to the poor?" His motive was not a concern for the poor; he trusted in wealth and wanted to control how it was spent.

Church treasurers, particularly in smaller churches, can contract the "Judas Syndrome." It begins with a preoccupation with the bottom line, a loss of vision for the kingdom, and the temptation to control church finances and usurp authority.

Why does this happen? The treasurer must attend to the mundane matter of paying the bills, and thus, the treasurer faces unique temptations. He or she knows what others do not: Who gives. Who spends. The internal politics that control spending priorities.

Cynicism can result when treasurers see the inconsistencies between some members' talk and their financial walk. The treasurer may come to believe others act only in self-interest. Once ...

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