If you have been a member of Morning Star Church for any length of time, you know that the answers to the questions below are not favorable for church leaders. There is no financial transparency whatsoever. Bottomline, very few people know how money is handled, where it goes, what it is predominantly spent on, etc. MSC and its leaders may very well be above reproach in this area, but the point is that their cageyness about funds and dollars spent causes serious pause. Whether they are doing anything wrong or not, Biblically and/or according to US law, members should have access to the general details of the church books. Those inquiries should be received by leaders with humility and responded to openly, without condemnation or suspicion, without dramatic lectures and guilt-trips about trusting those whom God has appointed. God never intended church leaders to be accountable to no one but God, in any area, but especially financially. That is a recipe for disaster. Church members, and the public, have a right to know where the tens of thousands of dollars raised week in and week out, in countless three hour offerings, are going.
- Are you allowed to enquire and ask valid questions as to how money is handled, where money is spent and who is accountable with your church or group finances?
- Is your group secretive about where its financial funds go and how money is spent?
- If you were to enquire about who counts and handles the money would your leader(s) show contempt towards you or look down on you with suspicion?
- If your group is a church and/or holding services, and monies are received, does just one person or one married couple count and handle all the finances?
- Have you ever been told by your leader(s) that no financial board is needed?
- If your group is a church and/or holding services, and monies are received, do the leaders avoid filing annual tax documents with the Internal Revenue Service and Franchise Tax Board?
- When money is received through offerings and/or collected through offering boxes, do you see that there is a lack of accountability with counting, processing and depositing funds?
- If you have ever enquired about the financial accountability procedures in your church, group or organization, have your leaders expressed defensiveness of challenged you?