Friday, February 12, 2010

Tough love in the church, para-church and academy

What should be the standards of accountability for Christian organisations, their staff, and members?
One minimum standard for any organisation is that its constitution (governance structure), list of board members, financial policies, staff conduct of conduct, should be publicly available?
With regard to finances it is worth perusing the seven standards of the Evangelical Council on Financial Accountability.

Surely, Christian organisations should have even higher standards than secular ones. They should have a level of transparency so there is not even a hint of wrongdoing. Further, given our belief in the sinfulness of the human heart, we should have in place structures with oversight, accountability.

What does this have to do with tough love, parenting, and academia? Isn't this all a bit random. Tough love is about accountability. A key ingredient of academia is peer review and integrity in research. That is also about accountability. As the Nobel prize-winning physicist Richard Feynman said, "The easiest person to fool is yourself."

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