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Pastor Hides Church's Financials

My pastor and his wife keep the church's book. They did not let anybody look at the church finance record. The church financial statements have never been presented to the congregation. Does it sound right?

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 ---John on 8/18/05
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NO. This does not sound or look nice at all. IF only the Pastor & wife alone know the complete finance picture of a church, then one can presume that it is their family's church. The Lord Jesus was not keeping the money for Himself and the disciples, HE allowed Judas to keep the purse. How was your church registered (with other members as trustees or not)?
---Adetunji on 8/31/11


NO. This does not sound or look nice at all. IF only the Pastor & wife alone know the complete finance picture of a church, then one can presume that it is their family's church. The Lord Jesus was not keeping the money for Himself and the disciples, HE allowed Judas to keep the purse. How was your church registered (with other members as trustees or not)?
---Adetunji on 8/31/11


Churchs need to balance the two extremes of completely open and completely hidden budgets. Completely open budgets can create conflict between members and take the focus off the ministry and completely closed budgets do not allow for oversight. Providing a short summary allows the budget to be an item for worship of God and allows congregation to be inspired and ownership of church advancement.
---Scott1 on 8/30/11


Wrong all wrong!!
Churches function a bit better when there is an open book policy, also having that open book policy clears the bookeepers slate of any misdoings if booking is done properly and it also helps the members know that their funds are not being mismanaged.
---Lorrie_M on 8/29/11


I am with you. My mom belongs to a church and never knows where the money is going, but the preacher and his wife are always coming up with new things. It is a small church with only about 10 members and he has no other job, so where is he getting his money to live.
---Beth on 12/20/08




No! It should be known weekly, monthly AND quarterly.
---rleonard on 11/10/08


John, I am with you. I think all churches should post their finances to stop people from making up stories and also to be truthful to others what is been done with the money. They could be helping causes that are not Scriptural and the church would not know they are supporting them. yes, bring out the books and keep everything on the up and up. Prevents opening the door to the enemy.
---lupe2618 on 5/7/08


IMHO, the churches books/money is God's money. The pastor should be held accountable for the finances of the church. If upon requesting to see the books, you get turned down, I might consider looking for a new church. You will be held accountable for using your money/tithes/offerings wisely.
---Ben on 2/21/07


wether a pastor used or stole God's money for his own purpose, does not mean every pastor do, or that tithing is a nono.The pastor is not the only one responsible to treasuring so he will have a hard time acquiring funds without the other. One leaven in the dough ruins the lot remember christians friends. Get your facts right first b4 u cast the first stone or else, hold your tongue.I am not saying you lied, but remember, this sort of heresay hurts all..not just the offender.
---jana on 2/2/07


PART ONE:
Dave,
"clergy should not be paid ever."

Read your bible,

1 Corinthians 9:1-14, "...Mine answer to them that do examine me is this, Have we not power to eat and to drink? Have we not power to lead about a sister, a wife, as well as other apostles, and as the brethren of the Lord, and Cephas? Or I only and Barnabas, have not we power to forbear working?
---BRUCE5656 on 2/1/07




PART TWO:
Who goeth a warfare any time at his own charges? who planteth a vineyard, and eateth not of the fruit thereof? or who feedeth a flock, and eateth not of the milk of the flock? Say I these things as a man? or saith not the law the same also? For it is written in the law of Moses, Thou shalt not muzzle the mouth of the ox that treadeth out the corn. Doth God take care for oxen? Or saith he it altogether for our sakes?
---BRUCE5656 on 2/1/07


PART THREE:
For our sakes, no doubt, this is written: that he that ploweth should plow in hope; and that he that thresheth in hope should be partaker of his hope. If we have sown unto you spiritual things, is it a great thing if we shall reap your carnal things? If others be partakers of this power over you, are not we rather? Nevertheless we have not used this power; but suffer all things, lest we should hinder the gospel of Christ.
---BRUCE5656 on 2/1/07


PART FOUR:
Do ye not know that they which minister about holy things live of the things of the temple? and they which wait at the altar are partakers with the altar? Even so hath the Lord ordained that they which preach the gospel should live of the gospel."
---BRUCE5656 on 2/1/07


PART FIVE:
1 Timothy 5:17-18, "Let the elders that rule well be counted worthy of double honour, especially they who labour in the word and doctrine. For the scripture saith, Thou shalt not muzzle the ox that treadeth out the corn. And, The labourer is worthy of his reward."
---BRUCE5656 on 2/1/07


I have visited churches that were set up by corrupt men so they could stand at the pulpit and preach, but when it came to offerings, he felt they belonged to him because he felt it was his church and became very bitter and angry when I brought it to the attention of the members. they thought it was helping to glorify God, they got a rude awakening when they realized they were supporting him only so he did not have to work. clergy should not be paid ever.
---Dave on 2/1/07


No it does not sound right. One thing that is lacking today is intergrity. Is it anywhere to be found? Does anyone really understand the meaning of intergrity?
---CATHERINE on 2/1/07


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I know of a pastor who built his personal house out of the tithe he collected. I don't blame him if he "loves" God so much.
---Caring on 1/31/07


This is a dishonest practice. If this pastor and wife has been, honest in other ways, I would ask for records. If they do not comply, I would move my membership, elsewhere. Quickly. They are dishonest and does not care about anything but the money!God does not dwell in this atmosphere.Run fast!
Blessings.
---robyn on 1/31/07


This type of behaviour is primitive and I feel is used as a means of control. It also encourages distrust. Try to get a group of concerned members of the fellowship and approach the pastor. You should seriously consider finding a more secure place of worship if you try without success all the legal methods available to you.
---Caree3694 on 1/31/07


How can someone put pressure on a Church to show their financials to a tithing member? Are their any legal actions that can be taken? What is a Church only shows you certain financials and will not let you have a copy?
---Clarence_Carter on 1/31/07


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A true leader is accountable. First to God and secondly to the people. Something is seriously wrong here. I along with several others would request an accounting. If they refused i would then go to the person that is over him and voice a complaint.
I personally would not stay under the leadership of anyone who was so secretive.To me that breeds deception.
---Tsuanne on 9/20/05


Absolutley not!!! This is what has happend at my church,we found out that the Treasurer never signed their name on certain papers stopping the Pastor from withdrawing funds from the Church's account with another signature. Long story short-Pastor paid his mortage and personal bills with all the funds. And the church is now completly broke and dissolved
---Kelly on 9/18/05


NO! Not the way to handle finances anywhere! Our church puts out a statement yearly which includes everything from office worker's salary to the pastor's salary, to repairs made on the church building, to what the church gives to organizations to help them. People want to know where their money goes!
---NVBarbara on 8/20/05


"No!", it's not correct. A pastor nor any member of his family should have any dealings with the financies. A pastor's job in the spiritual well being of the church. If he's doing that as he should, he won't have time to keep the books. He and his wife may be on the "up and up" but there's always room for doubt anytime the "books" are not made available to members. (1 Thessalonians 5:22)
---WIVV on 8/19/05


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No this is not right at all. The church should have a finance officer or accountant or maybe a finance committee. No pastor should ever be exclusively in charge of the books. Everyone has to be accountable for such things to avoid being accused (sometimes wrongly) of 'cooking the books' as they say. Someone needs to speak gently to him and explain how this makes him look to others.
---Xanthi on 8/19/05


One premise of being a pastor, leader, or Man of God is to conduct business so that there is no evidence of wrong or suspicion. Good accounting practice should be a priority and the person who counts the donations and tithes should not be the person who deposits them or records them. Certainly, the minister and wife do all this plus give themselves their salaries . It is should be open to discussion with the deacons,board,,leaders and members of the church. A whisper campaign is not needed.
---chuck on 8/19/05


It is wrong, they should let anyone in the church to see the records. My church if anyone has a question on the church's records, the Pastor shows them. Maybe your pastor and his wife, are taking more than what they should take. My church we don't have a treasur, the wife takes care of it all, we know what is going on with they money we give, we help those in the church in need. This situation needs to be open for everyone to see.
---Rebecca_D on 8/18/05


NO way...In the state of Illinois...a non profit orgaization like a church cannot hide its finiances. By law..you should be able to look at books and if they will not you may consult a lawyer. but as an last option.
---micha6835 on 8/18/05


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John, There should be a system of checks and balances. In other words the Pastor should be held accountable by other church leaders and by every member of that church. No John, This deos not sound right at all! I'll give you one guess, what's going on.
---John on 8/18/05


This situation sounds incredibly bad; does your church have officers? Does your church have a Board of Trustees? Do they have independent treasurers who are bonded? Has your church filed with your state government as a tax exempt religious body? Most states require churches and other non-profits to file annual financial reports, is this occurring? Does your church have tax exempt status from the IRS? Have you had congregational meetings? When was the last written annual report to the congregation?
---notlaw99 on 8/18/05


I don't know what state you are in, but in order for the church to be organized as a non-profit, there has to be a board. Request that the board reveal the financials or mention "piercing the corporate veil" and suing board members individually if there is any wrongdoing---that ought to motivate them.
---CJ on 8/18/05


Yes, it sounds wrong. I do not understand why pastor taking books in first place. Church's normaly have a church treasurer and church board who cares for these things.
---Marla on 8/18/05


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I was involved with TWO AOG churches where this happened and both of the churches ended up dissolving. The pastor of the church should NEVER be the one to keep the books.
---NurseRobert on 8/18/05


it not only sounds wrong, it is wrong. Ask the pastor to let you see the books. If he refuses, I would go to the deacons and discuss it with them. The pastor has not right to conceal the money statements from the church.
---shira_5965 on 8/18/05


No, this doesn't sound right. I don't know how big of a church this is, but, there should be a finance committee, in place to insure financial accoutnability. To operate the way you say is being done is to run the risk of falling into temptation with the funds.
---tommy3007 on 8/18/05


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