Should A Church Freely Provide A Detailed Budget?

My wife and I are starting to attend a new (to us) church.  One thing that interests me more lately is how a church spends its money.  Some might think it’s none of my business, but I think it could be helpful to know for a couple of reasons:  First, I believe that the way a church spends its money is a good reflection of the focus of the church.  Are they focused mostly inward, spending everything on themselves?  Or are they frugal with self-spending and allot a good portion of resources to outward ministries like missions, the poor and needy, etc.?  I once worked at a church for a brief time that only gave .3% of their HUGE budget to missions…  Secondly, if I am going to be involved in giving to the church, I’d like to know that those funds are being used wisely and where the money is going.

That brings me to the title of this post:  Should a church freely provide a detailed budget?  I have never asked a church for a detailed budget before, and I don’t know if I should expect to get denied, or if I should expect the church to gladly provide it for me.  Or, would I be out of line to ask for something like that?

If you feel like commenting, I’d be interested to hear any of the following:

  • What are your thoughts on how churches spend their money?
  • Should how churches spend their money be a factor in deciding on a church?
  • Should it be alright for anyone to request a detailed church budget?
  • What attitude should a church have when someone requests a detailed budget?
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