A new study reveals that about one in 10 churches have had money stolen.

In a survey of 1,000 Protestant senior pastors by Lifeway Research, nine percent said that their church has had funds embezzled. Ninety-one percent say they are unaware of any embezzlement.

Scott McConnell, executive director of the Nashville-based group, says although the percentage is low, embezzlement of a church should never happen.

“And yet we know that there’s humans involved,” he says. “And people are imperfect and they can be tempted. So it is important for churches to be safeguarding the church’s finances and really having some clear process and checks and balances along the way.”

Researchers also asked pastors when their church’s financial books were last audited.  Nearly half (47 percent) said their church had a complete audit in the last year. Two-thirds of pastors (66 percent) stated their church’s books have been audited within the last four years.

Meanwhile, half of the pastors said their church had 15 weeks or less of cash reserves while 27 percent have between 16 and 51 weeks, and 23 percent have a year or more of cash reserves.

McConnell tells OneNewsNow that safeguarding the finances of a church is an important part of ministry.”

“That’s process work. That’s not fun,” he agrees. “That’s not necessarily as fun as ministry work but those are really important for people to be trusting what the church is doing and to ensure that the ministry that needs to take place does take place.”

SOURCE: One News Now – Bill Bumpas

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