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Pastor How (Tan Seow How)   pastorhow instagram
Pastor Lia (Cecilia Chan)   pastorlia instagram
Heart of God Church (Singapore)   pastorlia instagram
Stay connected
Pastor How (Tan Seow How)
pastorhow instagram
Pastor Lia (Cecilia Chan)
pastorlia instagram
Heart of God Church (Singapore)
hogc instagram

Length: 2-minute read

My Answer to Preventing Financial Scandals: The Fear of God

In recent years, we have heard of churches globally that have been marred by financial scandals.
Famous pastors and Christian leaders make the news for all the wrong reasons, leaving many disillusioned.
I have been asked on more than one occasion: “Why do these men and women of God fall?”

You don’t have to be a Bible scholar to connect the dots.
Modern Christianity has pivoted towards the love and grace of God, while at the same time neglecting and abandoning the teachings on the fear of God. 

Yet the Bible characterized the great leaders as having the fear of God in their leadership – Jesus, Moses, Joseph, David, Noah, Abraham, Nehemiah, Job, King Uzziah, Cornelius and many more. (Just do a search.) What’s even more interesting is that loving God as a leadership trait is conspicuously missing.

Let’s look at one of them:

Nehemiah 5:15 (NLT)
The former governors, in contrast, had laid heavy burdens on the people, demanding a daily ration of food and wine, besides forty pieces of silver. Even their assistants took advantage of the people. But because I feared God, I did not act that way.

Nehemiah did not abuse his power because he had the fear of God.

In the secular and corporate worlds, there are systems of checks and balances, accountability, and even whistleblowing.
All these are necessary.
In Heart of God Church, we have put in place external controls (thanks to our independent auditors, professionals and board members).

But while secular leaders have external controls, godly leaders also have eternal and internal controls – the Fear of God.

The fear of God gives us internal controls.
It does not rely on laws, policies or external systems of control.
It is written in our hearts.

We also have eternal controls.
One day, when we die and enter eternity, we will have to face God and be accountable to Him.

In my message The Lost Truths: Fear of God, I share more and give a personal example to illustrate why eternal and internal controls are the best form of accountability.

When you have the fear of God, you will have accountability even if no one is looking.
Accountability is the practical outworking of the fear of God.

Hebrews 4:13 (NLT)
Nothing in all creation is hidden from God. Everything is naked and exposed before his eyes, and he is the one to whom we are accountable.

Pastors and leaders, let’s have the fear of God.


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6 Comments

  1. Colin Chia says:

    So much wisdom in this article! External measures (controls) are needed to keep the checks and balances; but the eternal and internal controls keeps us on the straight and narrow.

    It is applicable in every area and aspect of our lives, not just finances, but in our jobs, our leadership. The word is gold!

    Thank you Pastor for sharing this nugget of truth!

  2. Iris Tan says:

    There is so much truths and wisdoms in this article. Working in the aviation industry, there are so many external controls (especially during this pandemic) to keep everything in order. But beyond the work done well and the accountability that I need to have towards my bosses, I love how as a Christian, I have internal controls – the fear of God that guards my heart, character and attitudes.

    Also, after reading this article and watching the whole series, I am just so assured to know that the leadership of HOGC leads the church with the fear of God. Thank you Pastor How for this insightful and uncompromising article; and for living this out in your life as you lead the church.

  3. Foo Shihao says:

    Much needed truths in our generation, especially in a time where certain areas end up grey, and the lines between black/white are blurred.

    Love what was shared that “while secular leaders have external controls, godly leaders also have eternal and internal controls – the Fear of God.”

    Working as an analyst in a bank, I’m constantly dealing w checks & balances to address risks and prevent fraud. More often than not, these external controls are deemed sufficient, but come with loopholes which could potentially be exploited.

    However, with eternal and internal controls deeply entrenched in our hearts & value systems, we will walk with God circumspectly. This ensures we are not frivolous or careless with our decisions.

    Thank you for this, Ps How! Determined to grow deeply in the fear of God!

  4. Michelle Kwek says:

    Thank you Pastor How for this insightful article!

    The difference between a secular organisation and the church are truly the internal and eternal controls, just like what Pastor How pointed out. External controls are definitely important, but the church is undoubtedly held to a higher moral standard by the world and also the members of the church. This is rightly so, as the church should set the standard for the world to follow!

    It’s so true that the fear of God by these internal and eternal controls will be what protects the church and the leadership from any financial scandals. Thank you Pastor How for sharing the truth in the word of God through this article. It brings me so much assurance that the leadership in Heart of God Church is constantly guided not just by the standards of the world, but by Godly and Biblical standards.

    I’ve also caught principles from this article that I can apply in my own life too as a working professional. I want to have accountability in my life not just to men, or to my superiors at work; but to do everything with the fear of God and the desire to be accountable to God. Thanks Pastor How for sharing your insights with us!

  5. Yvonne says:

    This is so fundamental, and essential if we want to be able to end our race well. The part on “When you have the fear of God, you will have accountability even if no one is looking. Accountability is the practical outworking of the fear of God.” really hit home.
    I used to work in a local bank’s compliance department, and what kept us accountable was policies and regulations (and our KPIs).
    But I love that as Christians, we rely on eternal and internal controls, which is unchanging and uncompromising, at the end of the day we are accountable to God.
    Thank you Ps How for sharing this uncompromising truth with us. Now, its on us, to not just be hearers, but doers of the Word!

  6. Sabrina says:

    Such wisdom from this article!!! This really helps us understand and navigate through the current times. Honestly reading through the news the past few years, seeing so many who made wrong decisions fall… it’s so true that a thought might have crossed our minds as to why they made those decisions. Ps How, this article not only made us understand the why, but teaches us the how – to always have the fear of God in our lives, to stay on the straight and narrow! Very grateful for such a timely word this season!

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