A few years back, an ex-con spoke to business students at Tulane University to instruct them on how to cook the books.
Well, okay, he warned them against cooking the books.
Aaron Beam served HealthSouth as chief financial officer until the shenanigans of CEO Richard Scrushy became public and that company dissolved into bankruptcy. For his part in the crimes, Beam served only three months in prison for the assistance he gave the feds in their case against his boss.
Beam’s message should resonate with every pastor and leader of the Lord’s churches across our land. Most congregations do not know what their church’s actual financial situation is. Furthermore, the pastors do not know either, and the record-keepers–bookkeepers, treasurers, however they are known in the various churches–are either in over their heads or have developed their own system which they alone understand.
Consider this a wake-up call.
What percentage of churches are being victimized by unscrupulous treasurers and bookkeepers? No one knows. But I venture to guess that the ones we hear about are merely the tip of the iceberg.
The culprit is poor leadership. The problem lies with those at the top.
The financial conference I would attend, one I’m betting every pastor in the land would fight to get in on, would be titled: “How to cook the church books and recognize when your church is being ripped off.”