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Thieves You Shall Always Have with You

Embezzlement is a special problem in churches and Christian ministries because trust is so important. That shows the power of trust. And trust is good, but if it’s misused … that’s really a problem. After someone had been convicted of embezzlement … there were church members who still said, “I don’t believe (they) could do this.”

Brock Bell of Brotherhood Mutual writes:

It doesn’t take a hardened criminal to steal money from a church. In fact, those who embezzle are often well-known, well-liked, and completely trusted by fellow church members. They don’t set out to steal hundreds, or even thousands, of dollars. But ample opportunity and a lack of financial controls enable them to do just that.

Yearly timeline of embezzlement from churches and ministries:

1970 $5 million

2000 $19 billion

2022 $59 billion

2050 (Projected $170 billion)

6% of Christian giving is lost to embezzlement

1 in 3 churches suffer embezzlement

27% of embezzled churches don’t report

Possible Preaching Angle:

Unfortunately, the pattern of Judas who stole from the money bag (John 12:4-5), has been copied in many churches and ministries. To avoid this problem, make more than one person responsible for handling and accounting for the money, reconcile bank statements monthly, and schedule regular audits by an outside organization.

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