It began slowly. A couple of members left the Church, but the Pastor knew if he would explain the situation to his congregation they could make up the small deficit that would hit the Church because of the couple’s tithes. Unfortunately it did not cease. More began to leave. The Pastor discovered himself between the proverbial “rock and a hard place;” between paying the utility bill or the quarterly payroll taxes. Unfortunately he chose the former.
This pressure is felt everyday in Churches all across America.
Almost every problem in a church is directly or indirectly motivated by the same factor. MONEY! Ecclesiastes 10:19 declares that “money answers all things.”
In his book, Burned but not Out, Dr. Ronnie Shaw stated that the number one cause of stress, depression and burn out for a Pastor is finances. The following statistics quoted by Dr. Shaw are issues that could be alleviated if there was no financial pressure upon the man of God:
• 4,000 new churches begin each year and 7,000 churches close.
• Over 1,700 pastors left the ministry every month last year.
• Over 3,500 people a day left the church last year.
• The Average Church uses 82% of its annual budget for personnel, buildings and administration expenses.
When the financial pressure begins its escalation upon the Pastor, it begins to affect the way he or she will preach. It was a familiar story that I had heard time and again from many Pastors. They knew God was really directing them in a certain direction for the Sunday Service, but because of the financial issues facing the them, they decided to shift to Plan B and preach on money issues in hopes of receiving a larger than normal offering.
I visited one Pastor’s Church on the upper east coast to preach. As I headed to the pulpit to preach the Mother’s Day Sermon for him, he informed me that I needed to forget about the Mothers because he needed money – the bills were past due and salaries were on the verge of being affected. He was relying upon me to replace God’s plan with his plan. Financial crises always lead to fear.
Fear is dangerous for anyone, especially a Pastor. It begins to formulate in his or her mind and often causes the Pastor to react instead of act, and may drive him or her to consider leaving the ministry, become depressed and burned out, or worse, begin to steal from the Church to supplement his already meager salary.
Money issues are a powder keg for any Pastor that will lead to accounting mismanagement and possible illegalities. Pastor R. thought he had nothing for which to worry; after all his Church only had five members. However, his accounting practices were at best sloppy, and mostly illegal.
Most of the preachers in America that have been incarcerated, have been so because of money issues – either Church or personal related.
Illegalities in Church and Pastoral accounting practices will eventually bring the wrath of the IRS and the IRS is the greatest money crisis anyone can encounter. It does not matter if your Church has five members and receives $5000.00 per year, or 50,000 members and takes in $500,000,000.00 per year. When the IRS knocks on your door they deliver the greatest financial stress possible.
Chitwood and Chitwood, the number one Church Compliance organization in the world, has been helping preachers and Churches keep their financial houses in order for more than 77 years. One of the greatest tools for removing stress from the shoulders of Pastors across America is to teach them how to get the Churches and their ministries legal with the IRS.
If you are a new Church or considering beginning a new Church work, it is vital that you start Church right. We can help you because no one has been doing it longer than Chitwood and Chitwood. We are the best!
I understand the stress of daily responsibilities. No Pastor that properly operates in his or her pastoral calling has the time that is required to make sure the Church and him or herself is legally compliant. The worse source of frustration any Pastor can experience is that which is initiated because the man or woman of God must do something they are not trained or called by God to do. This is why you need the number one Church and Clergy Accounting Professional in the World. We know how to get and keep your Church and your personal finances in compliance. This peace of mind is the greatest weapon any Pastor or Church can have in their possession. Do not spend another moment with the possible threat of that dreaded IRS phone call or letter.
We can bring you and your Church into compliance. Remember, God will not bless a mess. Contact us immediately at firstname.lastname@example.org for assistance with a legal compliance review or visit the conference schedule page of www.cmtc.org and register for one of our Clergy Tax and Law Conferences. You do not have a moment to lose. A moment wasted may possibly be the difference between living stress-free or facing an IRS audit; living healthy or dying young. The choice is yours.
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