Church Money

Discussion in 'Pastoral Ministries' started by ROD A. SARMIENTO, Sep 13, 2003.

  1. ROD A. SARMIENTO

    ROD A. SARMIENTO
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    Is it proper for a Pastor to get involved in money matters of his Church?
     
  2. Pastor Larry

    Pastor Larry
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    I would think that he has to ... after all, he is the overseer of the church, the manager of it. How could he not be involved in the financial matters? Do you have a specific situation in mind??
     
  3. GODzThunder

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    The pastor should be involved in all aspects of the Church from evangelism to financial to even the deacons ministry. Why? Because when something goes wrong, such as money being spent foolishly, the pastor, no matter how involved or uninvolved, has a responsibility in the minds of the people. If you are to be held responsible for something then you should be kept in the know and be given a say over things (that is the job of moderator). Many preachers lose their pastorate over issues of mishandled finances. Even though the pastor never was involved with the finance committee, he was always held responsible.
    Now ask, should the pastor have his name on the Church's bank account or have a direct access to the money?

    NEVER!!!
     
  4. blackbird

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    The deacon's serve as our Finance Committee. About a week before the Treasurer gives them the monthly report--him and I run over it and then I keep the original copy.

    When the deacons review the report in the monthly deacon's meeting--its their first time to look at it and review it--but it may be my fifth or sixth!

    I kinda figure the oil company CEO needs to know a little bit more about the situation than does the guys who pump the gas or work the cash register.

    Brother David
     
  5. Carolyn Dee

    Carolyn Dee
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    Well, in my particular church here in central Massachusetts, my Pastor is pretty much involved in all money areas EXCEPT tithes and offering. This also was true in another Baptist church I once belonged to.
    On tithes and offerings, my Pastors did not want to know how much the members were giving. They wanted to maintain a level of impartiality - showing no favor to anyone based on money. [​IMG]
     
  6. Dr. Bob

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    I don't think the pastor should have CONTROL of any $$ except his own! No name on checking, no ability to tell treasurer to write a check for xyz.

    This money is given to the Lord IN TRUST to the local church and the local church should make the decisions on what to do with it.

    Having said that, I as a pastor want to know about my "flock". I want to see how faithful they are in serving and living for God. Doesn't that imply that I know if my flock is giving?

    And how much through the church? So I advocate VOLUNTARY DISCLOSURE of the church elders and deacons and leaders of their giving (in GENERAL terms; not looking for specific $$ amounts).

    I have had elders who were well off (earning near 6 figures) give $1200 a year to the church and $10k to "other" causes.
     
  7. TomVols

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    While the pastor should have general oversight in all areas, he needs to stay away from anything that could get him in trouble relative to the purse-strings of the church. He is not a fund-raiser; he's a shepherd. He's not a CPA either.

    He should be aware of all matters financial, and he should be properly accountable in his accountable reimbursement plan. He should work with the treasurer and any pertinent committees. But great care should be exercised on the part of pastor and people to see that the pastor is not given financial responsibilities that could jeopardize his witness or give the devil a foothold.
     
  8. GODzThunder

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    While we are on the talk of credit and criminal checks being done on potential preachers I would like to add for those searching for a Church that you should take advantage of this situation. Get all the information, I mean ALL you can get of the Church you are considering. NEVER go into a Church blind. Check up on the history of the leaders. Find out the credit check of the treasurer. Check out the Church's by-laws, constitution, and financial records. Find out what other preachers think about the Church. Why? Because the things hidden in these records could hinder or help you in your ministry.
     
  9. TomVols

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    I'll second that. Look at the minutes from the last ten to twenty years at least. If it's SBC, talk to the DOM and to the folks at the state convention. They'll tell you how many pastors have resigned under pressure or been fired. Check the church profile numbers for the past ten to twenty years. Look at the last five years worth of budgets. See the bylaws and policies manual. Get all the information you can.
     
  10. LarryN

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    I wholeheartedly second the idea of conducting background checks on those who seek positions of authority (including pastors) in the church.

    For anyone who's been in church for any length of time, I'm sure you & I can readily bring to mind one or more instances (in some church, somewhere) where a little knowledge of past activity could have prevented some major heartbreak or scandal.

    I am subject to criminal background checks as a condition of my secular employment; I'm also subject to criminal background checks as a condition of working with youth in the church. Why would we possibly expect less of those we entrust with being our spiritual shepherds?
     
  11. Johnv

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    The Pastor is CEO of his church. The buck stops with him. He's ultimately responsible for the financial state of the church, hence he MUST be involved in one manner or another.
     
  12. LarryN

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    The Pastor is CEO of his church. The buck stops with him. He's ultimately responsible for the financial state of the church, hence he MUST be involved in one manner or another. </font>[/QUOTE]This may be true, but only up until a point. Too often, in IFB churches, the Pastor functions not simply as CEO in regards to financial decisions, but as dictator; meaning that he (and he alone) makes all of the spending decisions, for better or for worse. I've witnessed it in more than one church.

    Many times the Pastor is simply not capable of making certain financial decisions. I know Pastors who frankly do a terrible job of managing their own personal finances: why should they be thought capable of managing a much larger church budget?

    In my secular position (of 13 years now) I'm responsible for managing LARGE sums of money. My last Pastor (due to my training/education & background) saw fit to make me church treasurer, a position I gladly served in for several years. During that time I saw his unchallenged spending practices damaging the church, and it's largely for that reason that I left for another church 3 years ago. He alone controlled expenditures, and if anyone questioned him about them, his stock response was simply I'm the Pastor!.

    At my current church, our multi-million dollar annual revenue (tithes & offerings) & expenditures are overseen by a well-qualified financial manager, and the annual budget(s) are ratified by vote of the entire church body at our annual meeting. There is a great degree of accountability in spending what belongs to God.
     
  13. Askjo

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    1. If so, be honest or dirty work!

    2. If so, be honest or theif!

    3. If so, be honest or greedy!

    4. If so, be honest or whatsoever a pastor wants to sin against God's sight.

    I had a few true stories about these pastors in my hometown.

    One pastor had 5 colored luxury cars -- ONLY Corvette! He stole the fund from his church for his daughter's wedding. He did sinfully to use the money for his own GREEDY -- everything!

    Another pastor earned his salary too much because he refused to hire for other ministry under him such as senior ministry, children ministry and others.

    Finally, pastor and his son -- When a pastor (father) runs the church. his son also runs under father. His son bought a luxury car during the church had finanical trouble. When this father retired from the church, his son took his faher's place. This son had a NEW house -- $300K, however this church can't afford to pay empoloyees. Sense?

    If God called them to become preachers, where is their HOLY life in God's sight?
     
  14. Dr. Gerald Click

    Dr. Gerald Click
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    1. If so, be honest or dirty work!

    2. If so, be honest or theif!

    3. If so, be honest or greedy!

    4. If so, be honest or whatsoever a pastor wants to sin against God's sight.

    I had a few true stories about these pastors in my hometown.

    One pastor had 5 colored luxury cars -- ONLY Corvette! He stole the fund from his church for his daughter's wedding. He did sinfully to use the money for his own GREEDY -- everything!

    Another pastor earned his salary too much because he refused to hire for other ministry under him such as senior ministry, children ministry and others.

    Finally, pastor and his son -- When a pastor (father) runs the church. his son also runs under father. His son bought a luxury car during the church had finanical trouble. When this father retired from the church, his son took his faher's place. This son had a NEW house -- $300K, however this church can't afford to pay empoloyees. Sense?

    If God called them to become preachers, where is their HOLY life in God's sight?
    </font>[/QUOTE]And WHERE are the Deacons and Board of Elders when these things happen? In a well organised congregation, there are checks and balances.
     
  15. Askjo

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    Pastors authorized themselves so the Deacons and Board of Elders can't stop them. That is the main problem.

    One Pastor, who had 5 luxury cars, was arrested for fraud. These Deacons, Board and members fought each other with their fists within their church after their pastor was arrested. This church had 1,000+ membership. WOW!
     
  16. David Ekstrom

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    As I read your replies, I'd like to synthesize some threads that, together, help me see what I think is the best path.
    1. The pastor should not have access to cash. He should not sign checks. This protects him from both temptation and from false accusations.
    2. The pastor should know throughly the financial state of the church. He should be part of the committee that prepares the annual budget.
    3. The pastor should not have the right to violate the budget. The congregation voted on the budget and only the congregation can revise it. That means that the pastor cannot go out and spend money as he feels. Of course, he can't sign checks anyways, but he also cannot have the church billed for things that are not covered by the budget.
    4. Should the pastor know what people give? Yes, because giving is a spiritual matter. Furthermore, if a family moves, the pastor needs to be able to anticipate how that will affect the budget. The money is the gas that fuels the car. The pastor needs to know about how much fuel he has available. If a wealthy family leaves, the leadership needs to proactively plan for a loss in revenue. But I understand why people would say "No," and I could live with that.
    5. A church that doesn't keep its pastor financially accountable is as guilty as the abusive pastor. Sitting back allowing God's money to be stolen makes one an accessory to the crime. I say this because I served under a man when I was young. He didn't out and out steal, but he arbitrarily and foolishly wasted the church's money and was accountable to no one. I was "loyal"--loyal to him rather than to Christ!
     
  17. Askjo

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    Interestingly, some pastors know how to "fix" their financial conspiracy. For example, I read a book about Jack Hyles. This book has a copy of the check that he paid to a woman whom he had affair with. Who stopped him? No one! Because this check that anyone in Hyles church knew, went to her. However no one knew whom Jack sent the check to. You see, this pastor fixed it secretly.

    If I was a staff of Hyles church, I would look at this check that Jack wrote down. I would require a FULL name of the person whom he writes down a check. I am sure Jack will FIRE me immediately. Why? because he wanted to write down only 2 letters as example of "J.N."
     
  18. bryan1276

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    you cant standardize it one way or another. for a man who starts a church, it isnt right or possible for anyone else to take care of writing checks than the pastor who started the work. now if your coming into a situation where a church is established, that pastor probably wont have much to do with "purse strings". our church is an IFB church pastored by a man who started the church after resigning as a bank president. i have no trouble at all with him signing checks, but then again, a man who id trust with shepherding my soul id definitely trust with money. its a shame the way folks are talking on this thread that they will let the man preach and pastor them but they cant trust him with a checkbook. that really shows what people are interested in i guess.
     
  19. bryan1276

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    one other thing. someone used the idea that the money is given to the LOrd so the pastor shouldnt mess with it. id say if the money is truly given to the Lord, you dont need to worry about it. if i give money that is truly to the lord; if so and so wants to embezzle it or steal or buy a harley with it, thats his business and he'll be accountable for it. from my end, i gave money to the Lord for my benefit, out of obedience. i cant control it beyond that.
     

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