Church members: Mind the money
As Church members, we trust the people who are appointed to the boards of our churches and expect them to do their jobs as secretary, treasurer, president, board member or pastor.
Have you ever thought about your church being a victim of misappropriation of funds or embezzlement?
Not many of us do.
When this happened in the Benkelman United Methodist Church, we were shocked and couldn't believe it had happened. We were told by others, both pastors and bishops, that this happens in churches more often than one would imagine. Thousands of dollars taken from the church, money meant for the works of the church and for God!
It is sad that this happens. We need to remember we are all accountable for good stewardship of the money entrusted to us; and we must be diligent in making sure all books are turned in for audits yearly, bank statements are looked over at monthly meetings, receipts are presented, every entity has a checking account and all checks have two signatures. These are just a few of the things we must do.
This is a reminder to all churches: Don't be lax on overseeing the funds of the church. When funds are wrongfully taken from the church, it hurts and divides. Friendships are broken, as well as trust.
I thank God that He sends pastors who are willing to do their jobs and oversee all their responsibilities to the church, along with the district superintendents and bishops who guide the pastors in what must be done in these situations.
Unfortunately, their responsibility to the church and its members sometimes means hard decisions have to be made.
I pray that your church never has to go through a situation like this.