The Achilles Heel of Many Pastors
Anyone who undertakes any task should do so with confidence. However, there is a big difference between confidence and arrogance. Confidence is defined as: “full trust; belief in the powers, trustworthiness, or reliability of a person or thing: We have every confidence in their ability to succeed. 2) Belief in oneself and one’s powers or abilities; self-confidence; self-reliance; assurance. Arrogance however is: “unpleasantly proud and behaving as if you are more important than, or know more than, other people:unpleasantly proud and behaving as if you are more important than, or know more than, other people:unpleasantly proud and behaving as if you are more important than, or know more than, other people: unpleasantly proud and behaving as if you are more important than, or know more than, other people:the state of being unpleasantly proud and behaving as if you are more important than, or know more than other people.”
Pastors and Ministers all across the USA have forgotten the calling in which God has placed them, and many have set themselves up as demigods. This has resulted in a lack of accountability from many of these men and women of God.
As I sat in the court room a few years earlier, I listened as a Federal Judge sentenced the Bishop that stood before him. As the Judge passed sentence his words to the Bishop were, “You are the most arrogant man that has ever been tried in my courtroom.” The Judge then proceeded to sentence the Bishop and his wife to the maximum penalties allowed by law. Men and women of God, the under-shepherds of God’s people, should never place themselves in this position.
There used to be a day when the men and women of God were confident, yet humble. Those days seemed to have vanished in this era of entertainment Christianity. We have forgotten that humility is not a bad thing and that we can be confident and humble.
An IRS Red Flag
We are now in an age in this nation where the Church is no longer exempt from the scrutinization of the Internal Revenue Service. As written in an earlier blog, the IRS is now performing random audits, many of which are on-site. The last thing any Pastor or Minister should do is demonstrate his or her arrogance to an IRS official.
Such was the case of a Pastor that hysterically called our office. The IRS had targeted him. However, one of things that brought about the audit was the Pastor’s arrogance to his Church. Some of the members had concerns with the Pastor having a Church account that was to fund his every whim. When some board members approached him, his reply was, “I bring it in; I can take it out.”
That same arrogance continued during the IRS’s initial conversations with him, until it escalated into a full-blown audit that revealed many violations. By the time we were contacted, there was nothing we could do to keep this Pastor from a stint in the Federal Penitentiary.
Every Pastor should understand that even though the offerings often are given because of his or her anointing, it is still the saints, many of which live payday to payday, that are giving the offerings, and are giving them because they love God and for the work of the Ministry. God expects every Pastor, Minister, Church, and Ministry to be good stewards of Kingdom finances. Anything less is arrogance in and of itself.
Trust but Verify
President Ronald Reagan made a statement during his years as President that I have never forgotten. When asked if he trusted the Russian Leader, Reagan replied, “We will trust, but verify.”
Every Pastor and Minister wants to be respected and trusted. However, we must realize that although respect is given, trust is verified. Trust that is not verified is the blind leading the blind. Trust never means closing your eyes. For those who desire the trust of their Church, they should earn that trust. One of the best ways to do this is in the area of Church Finances.
It should trouble every Pastor, for himself or herself to do so well, when the members in the pews are hurting so badly.
Church members have no trouble trusting the man or woman of God, when they know that the Pastor has their best interests at heart and is willing at times to sacrifice for them. Sacrifice is a two-way street. Why should our people do all the sacrificing and we do none? I have witnessed arrogant Pastors demand that the members pay their tithes (and we should tithe), but when the Pastor is confronted concerning his or her own tithing record, he or she feels that tithing is unnecessary for him or her because of the position he or she holds.
Pride Proceeds Downfall
The writer of Proverbs was adamant as he penned:
Pride goes before destruction, and an haughty spirit before a fall (Pro. 16:18).
Arrogance is a powder keg that explodes into trouble no Pastor or Minister should want. This is especially true in the area of Church or personal finances.
How We Can Help
Dr. Ronnie Shaw states often: “You get what you inspect, not what you expect!” One of the greatest tools to bring any Pastor down to earth is an independent audit of the Church Financial Records.
If you are not a client of Chitwood and Chitwood it would behoove you to call our office at 800-344-0076 and request an independent compliance audit by us. As the number one Church and Clergy Financial experts in the world, we can quickly discern if there are some areas that need immediate adjustment.
Pastor, it is much better for you to call us and we tell you what is wrong, than for the IRS to tell you what is wrong. We are here to help you. We know how to fix the problems and keep the IRS off of your back. We have grace and mercy – the IRS has none. Call us now.
Please understand; if you are arrogant, you will fall. It is much better for us to cushion the fall, than for it to totally crush you, maybe costing you your ministry and your Church, and possible fines and/or prison time.
We are here for you. For Chitwood and Chitwood it is A Ministry – Not A Job!