I recall experiences as a Financial Management Consultant where I would be evaluating a Christian Non-profit and I would ensure I would be there early enough to join the staff in their time of devotion and prayer and sometimes testimonies. Very enriching times indeed spiritually for me. However, as I went into my governance and financial management evaluation work, I would be shocked as the issue of accountability would surely rise. I would think it is an oversight or lack of knowledge but as I went on seeking explanations in most cases it was blatant lack of accountability. What happened to the sincere worshipper with testimonies in the morning and the one working in the office? The disconnect was glaring and painful. It became more painful as I was involved in several recruitment assignments and remarks on Christians not being faithful in their work ethic like keeping time and working diligently were areas of concern. These were concerns also in boards and ministries I was involved in. Hence a great desire arose to help us all as the family of God to embrace accountability as a lifestyle.
Accountability has many definitions but for me it is faithfulness to our Lord in all aspects of our life. Luke 16:10-12 in the NLT version speaks vividly on this:
10 “If you are faithful in little things, you will be faithful in large ones. But if you are dishonest in little things, you won’t be honest with greater responsibilities. 11 And if you are untrustworthy about worldly wealth, who will trust you with the true riches of heaven? 12 And if you are not faithful with other people’s things, why should you be trusted with things of your own?
I believe Christians hold the key to the wealth of the nations through the application of Biblical principles of accountability. The disconnect we see in many African countries who have a more than 60% population of Christians with increasing corruption just shows how “salt less” we are in accountability. We are partly responsible for the poverty that we are experiencing. As if that is not enough, some Churches preach the prosperity gospel, creating more confusion.
It is due to this that the African Council for Accreditation and Accountability (AfCAA-) was muted to display the light of accountability for all to see through accreditation of Christian Non-profits, Churches and Christian owned businesses. This vision is well articulated in Matthew 5: 14-16 in the NLT version:
14 “You are the light of the world—like a city on a hilltop that cannot be hidden. 15 No one lights a lamp and then puts it under a basket. Instead, a lamp is placed on a stand, where it gives light to everyone in the house. 16 In the same way, let your good deeds shine out for all to see, so that everyone will praise your heavenly Father.
AfCAA has a set of seven standards of accountability all undergirded by Scripture that can be found on www.afcaa.org, which when complied with in full will result in the provision of an annual accreditation seal. The first standard, the Doctrinal Foundation is the key that sets us apart from the world in what we believe and will be a reference point when there is need for clarification. The other six standards deal with organization health in areas of accountability. Leadership and governance that keeps us focused to the vison, mission and core values that the Lord has given us and guards us against mission drift. Talent management that facilitates the use of the spiritual gifts and talents of all involved in the organization. Learning and innovation that ensures we remain relevant to the context that the Lord has given us. Cultural differences, acceptance and interdependence that guards against the vice of ethnicity and gender bias as we are fellow citizens in the Kingdom of God. Financial Management and Disclosure which ensure we are meeting the statutory requirements under which we are governed and faithful in the use of our financial resources. And finally, resource mobilization which champions the ethical raising of resources and upholds dignity and sustainability in the process.
We believe that through awareness creation in the training of the seven standards, accreditation, and advocacy in policy matters, the landscape of accountability will improve as Christians as individuals in organizations also adopt the accountability lifestyle drawing people to God the Father. They can also sign the Unashamed Ethical commitment on www.unashamedlyethical.com as they follow up with accreditation of their organizations.
Let us become accountable and go out and make disciples of accountability as we fulfill the Great Commission, and then Malachi 3:18 (NIV) will be so evident:
18 And you will again see the distinction between the righteous and the wicked, between those who serve God and those who do not.