Question and Answer
What is the correct procedure for handling church offerings?
What is the correct procedure for handling church offerings? Is it proper for several family members alone to count the weekly offering, make the deposit, and report annually to the congregation? Should we express our concerns to the session?
This isn't a theological question directly and the Bible doesn't provide a direct answer. But it is a matter in which the Church needs to be above reproach, and her officers beyond being accused (even falsely). Here is a paragraph on handling offerings from Planting an Orthodox Presbyterian Church which may help.
The handling of church offerings is one of the most obvious and public displays of the administrative organization of a mission work. Clearly identifiable offering plates, bags, or baskets should be obtained and used right from the start of public worship services. A consistent procedure needs to be followed in rented or borrowed facilities for handling the collection and temporary storage of offerings. A plan should be in place to ensure that offerings are never counted in an informal manner or in a public location, and that they are always counted and recorded by more than one person. It is also important to have a clear procedure in place for how offerings are deposited and how and where records of offerings and contributions are kept, including a schedule detailing specific persons responsible for those tasks.
This certainly is a matter that should be under the oversight of the Session so a letter to them would be appropriate; the matter then becomes their concern and their responsibility.
"Questions and Answers" is a weekly feature of the OPC website. At least one new question is posted each week, so there should always be something new here for you to read. (For those who would like to look at previous questions and answers, they will continue to be available as well.)
The questions come from individuals like yourself. If you have questions about biblical and theological matters, you are invited to send them by e-mail by using the "Pose a Question" link on the OPC home page or by clicking here.
The purpose of the OPC website's "Questions and Answers" is to respond to biblical and theological questions. Matters of church discipline, disputes, or debates go beyond the scope of our work. We recommend that you present your concerns in these areas to the appropriate judicatory. In most cases this will be to a local pastor, elder, or session. We do not want the website to replace personal involvement in, or commitment to, the local, visible church.
While we will respond to every serious questioner, we are not bound to give a substantive answer to every question, should we deem the question to be beyond the scope of our purpose or our own ability to answer.
You will receive an answer by email. Please be patient as many of our respondents are busy pastors. The response to your question may take up to two weeks. Some of the questions submitted will be chosen to be posted here, along with the corresponding answers.
The answers come from individual ministers in the Orthodox Presbyterian Church expressing their own convictions and do not necessarily represent an "official" position of the Church, especially in areas where the Standards of the Church (the Scriptures and the Westminster Confession of Faith and Catechisms) are silent.
Note that the "Questions and Answers" posted on the site have been editedall personal references are removed, Scripture references may be added, and sometimes portions are expandedto make the questions and answers more useful to a larger audience.