We live during a time when it is more important than ever for churches and their leaders to demonstrate integrity, as admonished by the Apostle Paul on several occasions.
Moral compromise and financial mismanagement—only amplified in the media—have caused many people to lose trust in some of our nation's most respected institutions, the church included. This in turn leads to additional barriers to carrying out the Great Commission.
When ECFA (Evangelical Council for Financial Accountability) was founded in 1979, its visionary leaders realized that enhancing trust in churches and other Christ-centered organizations would be essential to an effective witness and greater Kingdom impact. ECFA has accomplished this mission of enhancing trust by requiring its accredited members to follow its Seven Standards of Responsible Stewardship, which are drawn from Scripture related to governance, finances, and stewardship.
In recent years, there has been increased scrutiny on churches regarding their processes for setting compensation and handling related-party transactions. Some of these concerns were the impetus for a 2007 Senate Finance Committee inquiry, led by Senator Charles Grassley (R-Iowa), into the financial practices of several media-based ministries. Each of these ministries organized as churches.