Mars Hill Financials

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81 Responses

  1. Andrew says:

    I love the public disclosure of the finances. For what its worth, its something I have never seen in a CC church that is not as transparent.

  2. Jim says:

    Rockin’ ChurchInc’s favorite OT verse like a boss!

    $24,199,475 in tithes, $12,515,894 in personnel costs.

    Tell me ChurchInc doesn’t love the welfare state. “We just don’t have the resources…..”

  3. papiaslogia says:

    Was this report sent out to Mars Hill members or was it just linked on the website? Its more detailed than I expected and would need someone smarter to explain some of the financial who-ha-ha’s.

    “One source (a current elder) tells me that executive elders’ salaries are not on the table for discussion. However, the 30-40 (unconfirmed reports tell me the number was higher) people laid off may not get severance pay and don’t have unemployment. The lack of comment from the executive elders about how they personally are going to help is louder than any amended statements could be.” Thockmortons post.

    How in the world can a church not pay a severance or unemployment to the people it lays off?

    I believe that Executive Elders salaries will be on the table for discussion in the near future. 😉

    NICKEL SUNDAY!!!!

  4. Michael says:

    papiaslogia,

    Most churches do not pay unemployment insurance.
    Most people don’t realize that.
    This doesn’t just affect ministers…it affects everyone right down to the secretaries and maintenance.

  5. Steve Wright says:

    Michael is right about the unemployment insurance. Churches are exempt so there are consequences when churches grab that exemption and then hire and fire like a secular business.

    As far as the reserves, one would have to look at the loan contract to see what falling below the 3 million level would trigger. It might just allow the bank to get involved in the finances, it might affect renewal terms, and I guess theoretically (if written) it could get them to call the loan early. However, one point on that – I doubt the church has to actually take 3 millions dollars and set it aside untouched. However, their balances can’t drop below that figure, so given the cash flow throughout the month or any other earmarked savings the snapshot needs to show 3 million in cash.

    That is my guess (from experience)

  6. Michael says:

    Steve,

    I think you’re probably right.
    Having dealt with banks and church financing, I would be surprised if there were not a call option on those notes.

  7. papiaslogia says:

    I assume that the 2014 numbers have not been released?

    I wonder if someone needs to call Capin Course to get the new numbers… sorry that name cracks me up and reminds me of this guy…http://redcrosschat.org/wp-content/uploads/2013/06/oops-all-berries.png

  8. Similar to CCFTL, but different circumstances obviously.

    Takes a lot of money to continue to fund a mega-church and scandal and controversy can impact cash-flow significantly.

    Financial Transparency is being demanded and there’s a growing public outrcy for it. Calvary Chapel, Mars Hill, etc. need to disclose finances.

    Mark Driscoll: “It’s God’s money!”

    OK, God, how much are you paying Mark Driscoll?

  9. papiaslogia says:

    “Churches are exempt so there are consequences when churches grab that exemption and then hire and fire like a secular business.”

    You hit the nail on the head there Steve.

    So unless someone employed by the church saved some of their earnings weekly – they’re out of luck? And yes, I am talking about everybody from pastor to secretary to maintenance people. All of them have bills to pay and likely families they help support. And now they are out of jobs because one “man” is a bully.

    I’ll bet they never thought the bus was going to run over them….

  10. Andrew said, “I love the public disclosure of the finances. For what its worth, its something I have never seen in a CC church that is not as transparent.”

    Not nearly the norm in Calvary Chapel, unfortunately.

    ECFA members have to disclose some of the finances, like at CCFTL and Mars Hill, however, from a source who is well-versed in ECFA, there are major gaps the Pastors exploit so they don’t have to publish THEIR compensation packages, they just lump it all under “personnel expenses”

    Bob Coy still makes a total comp. of over $500K per year…and he argued for that high a salary/comp. package b/c his fellow big celeb pastor buddies like Mark Driscoll, Greg Laurie and James MacDonald were making as much and much more.

  11. Paps – they are not out of a job because “one “man” is a bully.”

    They were all gainfully employed for close to 20 yrs while “one man was a bully.”

    Even though MD may have fooled the pewsters, I am sure that all the employees knew that MD was a bully… but it never bothered them and they took the paychecks.”

    Something else changed that caused them to lose their jobs – guess what?

  12. papiaslogia says:

    “Bob Coy still makes a total comp. of over $500K per year..”

    Does he still make this, or did that get yanked when he left? Maybe someone from CCFTL could weigh in on this one?

    Is CCFTL still paying Bob Coy?

    Oh wait, I should have asked “Is CCFTL still paying “Pastor” Bob Coy?”

  13. Love the threads at the Mark Driscoll “We’re not Anonymous” pages.

    There’s a very Populist undertone. The regular schmucks like us are getting sick and tired of very rich Pastors begging us for money to pay their enormous salaries and man kingdom expenses.

    The Gospel may be free….but Mark Driscoll’s big house, nice car, luxurious lifestyle sure isn’t.

  14. Papi, he still makes that amount according to my CCFTL sources.

    Coy still gets paid by CCFTL.

  15. papiaslogia says:

    MLD – “They were all gainfully employed for close to 20 yrs while “one man was a bully.”

    We know for a fact that not all of these folks were around for 20 years – some of them were recent hires.

    And some may have never seen MD’s wrath firsthand.

    I don’t buy that everyone involved in MHC knew what was going on behind the scenes, or was mature enough in the faith to know what was “off” in regards to MD.

    If you grew up in a dysfunctional household, that’s all you know until you learn differently.

  16. I do the yearly performance review on my pastor and work with the board on his salary.

    I wonder who does the performance review on Mark Driscoll?

    Alex, who does the review for your pastor Caldwell?

    Are these guys allowed to just come in and scoop up the money?

  17. I agree with MLD, those employees share in Mark Driscoll’s ongoing unrepentant sin, and now they will suffer more than him…b/c the a-holes fire the underlings first and they don’t reduce their own huge salaries and comp packages.

    Bob Grenier did the same, going so far as to tell his now-former assistant pastor: “You guys will go before me” as a threat to motivate them to protect him from “the enemy all around us”

    Grenier, according to multiple sources and bookkeepers, made total salary and bennies of over $150K per year for his household from “serving Jesus!” from a church of 500-1000. He’s fired or cut expenses or salaries from everyone but himself according to the same sources.

    Mark Driscoll is employing the same strategy. The underlings will feel the pain, Driscoll will continue to get rich off of Jesus.

    Unfortunately for the underlings, they are reaping what they’ve sown by supporting this jerk for so long and protecting him and enabling him.

    If Driscoll really cared about them, he’d cut his salary significantly to keep some of them on…but nope, that ain’t happening.

  18. Steve Wright says:

    papias – Here is the brutal irony (unrelated to Mars Hill directly)

    Churches have the chance to have people freely serve the needs of the church. Businesses don’t.

    Yet, sometimes churches, when the money is rolling in, wanting to help someone in the flock who is unemployed, will give that person a paying job. A win-win of sorts. Of course, this too can be ripe for abuse – hiring buddies or spouses and children etc, when volunteers could do the job.

    Then the church needs to fire the person because the funds dry up when the economy goes south or whatever….and no unemployment is available.

    When our Board and I were writing our Accountability guidelines, we wrote a distinct section for anyone who was an employee, because they should be treated differently. (Legally as well)

  19. paps – does everyone in your office know if the boss is a bully? I bet if he is, they all know.

    And if they haven’t had the first hand experience, I will bet that they have all heard about it through the grapevine from someone.

  20. Jim says:

    MLD always blames the victim. I guess he was born old.

  21. Michael says:

    Mega church pastors at this level are performers and are paid as such.
    They are entertainers like professional athletes or recording artists.
    The “success” of the church is built on their personal charisma, without it, the show is over.
    This will not change until we change the concept of church in evangelicalism.
    That may be happening…and this situation could be where it starts.

  22. Steve, do you think Pastors should be transparent about how much money they take home in salary and benefits?

    Do you CC pastors ever discuss this issue at your Regional CC meetings?

    If you don’t, why not? Why would pastors want to keep that information secret?

  23. I am encouraging the Mark Driscoll “We are not anonymous” folks not to listen to Michael and his defeatism. If they don’t give up and if they keep up the pressure on MD and Mars Hill, they WILL make a dent and a difference.

  24. Michael compromised and didn’t fulfill his calling, which is why he’s been in such a long long “trial” and why CC has dodged a lot of accountability. May it be an example to others who are called, like he was, to stand in the gap.

  25. Jim says:

    Alex,

    Agree with your 23, but #24 is “bleep”.

  26. Michael says:

    Alex,

    They’ve already made a dent and a difference.
    That doesn’t negate the reality that 8000 people a week are still supporting this church.
    The huge benefit to all this activism is that people are re examining what they want and expect from church leadership.
    There are always going to be those who want a show and a celebrity pastor in free market evangelicalism.
    My hope is that we all look at the purpose and mission of the local church from a fresh perspective.

  27. Jim, my faith is renewed, I see God at work…in many directions…and I have a calling and I believe God does actually interact with his creation…and sometimes he chooses to use regular people to speak and do things. You can call it b.s. all you want, God knows.

  28. Jim says:

    I got bleeped 🙂

  29. Jim says:

    Alex, you have no idea what another man’s calling is, nor for how long. Your cosmic cause and effect doctrine is whacked as well.

    Please spare us the 100 Kristian Karma verses you’re ready to cut and paste.

  30. Mark says:

    If “The regular schmucks like us are getting sick and tired of very rich Pastors begging us for money to pay their enormous salaries and man kingdom expenses.” then we should vote with our feet and leave the church.

    From a purely economical standpoint, I could expect a MD type pastor with attendance (and giving)of over 5000 people to expect to earn more than a pastor with 500 people.

    However, from my standpoint, there should be a ceiling (say 100K TOPS) that any pastor should earn and then the rest goes to benevolence and expenses. Probably should be regionally adjusted since 100K doesnt go far in NY and CA. But you get the drift.

  31. papiaslogia says:

    Alex….. sheeesh.

    With that, I am outta here.

    Papiashasajobtodo

  32. Jim,
    “MLD always blames the victim. I guess he was born old.”

    I didn’t blame the victims as I don’t see victims. I have been laid off jobs. One time I spent 15 months laying off 400 people and at the end was called in and laid off myself – from a job I had for 22 yrs.

    I wasn’t a victim – that’s life, that’s the world of business and economies and church is no different.

    My point to paps was that MD was the same bully all along and everyone was fine … until someone killed the Golden Goose – and now they all cry over dead goose.

  33. Steve Wright says:

    Alex, one thing I hope you remember, when you lump me in with guys like Caldwell or Rolph, in a discussion about influence in “Team CC”, its like talking about Peyton Manning or Tom Brady and then Blaine Gabbert

    Pastoral compensation can be a complicated subject when trying to make comparisons or evaluations, and can also vary depending on the needs of the pastor (i.e. minor children), cost of living in the area etc.

    (Note – I don’t enter into the equation size of the church when it comes to the top end, though small churches are going to necessitate smaller salaries and even the need for the pastor to work a secular job on occasion. I do think the pastor’s education, experience, faithfulness, loyalty and commitment (no matter the size of the congregation) should be a factor too)

    So at the end of the day, yes, a pastor should not be unwilling to explain his total compensation package but the listener needs to be willing to evaluate all the background and reasoning and issues too. Making simple publication of a gross number a case of more harm than good.

    And yes, at the end of the day, no matter how “successful, there is a cap of some sorts where it is unseemly (to me) for the pastor to take home more than that amount.

  34. Steve Wright says:

    that’s the world of business and economies and church is no different.
    ————————————
    Yes it is. Or it should be.

  35. WenatcheeTheHatchet says:

    with layoffs about every 18 months or so due to the alleged failure of MH to give enough the corporate culture has had a history of blaming the donor base when it has failed to embrace an economic reality about the problems of expanding every year. The information silos across campuses and the lack of transparency about financials has meant a lot of people at the lower levels never got a clear idea how truly volatile a work environment MH has been for a while. It takes keeping track of employment shifts across every campus to get a clearer sense of that and that’s not easy to do.

    Most members of MH probably didn’t even have a clear indication MD doesn’t even live in the same county a them until recently.

  36. Jim says:

    Sorry MLD, but I’ve never seen you NOT blame a victim of any wrong suffered.

  37. Jim,
    That’s the difference between us. I don’t see people who freely go to Mars Hills as victims in any way. They decided on their own what kind of church and or pastor they wanted and now that they have it, tell me again how did they become a victim?

    OK, you are right – they are victims of their own poor judgement and choices.

  38. Steve,
    How so – how is church different? When the economy goes to pot, or the new shiny dime church opens up down the street, you are not going to lay off people? Are you going to go a couple of years deficit spending?

  39. Steve Wright says:

    MLD – We just talked about it. Churches don’t have to pay unemployment taxes, therefore their employees are not eligible for unemployment when fired.

    If the initial options are “laying off people” or “deficit spending” then I would say that is pretty poorly managed church.

    Do you think churches should spend money in advertising, even taking out loans to do so? Or do you think businesses should not spend money in advertising?

    Or..do you admit there is a difference between businesses and churches in how they are to be run. As they exist for two entirely different purposes.

  40. London says:

    There’s many kinds of bullies. MD is a loud, obnoxious bully but there more subtle, passive aggressive ways of bullying too.
    The later is just as toxic as the first.
    Make your own application.

  41. Steve,
    “If the initial options are “laying off people” or “deficit spending” ”

    I didn’t say initial option – but when the time comes you face the same options a company does… except as you said, the church has the option to get the people to work for free and a business can’t.

    My church just went through cutting the hours of 19 people to part time and we laid off 3 – most were in our school and pre schools … but what else are you going to do. The economy and competition are tough right now.

  42. Steve Wright says:

    MLD – a private school like yours brings a totally different discussion into the mix.

    Rest assured, you don’t have to tell me that the economy is tough

  43. People don’t realize the state of Christian schools right now.
    1.) the economy is bad, more and more parents working part time so thy keep the pre school kids at home
    2.) the public schools have gotten into the preschool business – for much cheaper.
    3.) pre schools are used as feeders into the day schools – the fear is in a few years we won’t have any 7th & 8th graders.

    So we have had to go a different route and spruce up the school, we just pulled in all new fiber optics and all the stuff that goes with that so we can go to tablets for the kids. We put in all new security gates to give the parents comfort that the school was safe. It’s been a good $150K investment to compete and do our mission to the community.

    With God’s help, we will prevail. 🙂

  44. Steve Wright says:

    MLD – one question I guess I have, whether of your church or of your idea of church in general.

    My point of view is that the more money a church has, the more ministry it can afford to do. Not the more people it can hire or the more buildings it can buy.

    Thus, if a church expands ministry regularly when the income is going up, then the first thing when it goes down is to stop expanding. If it keeps going down, as much as it may hurt, one can reduce ministry….all before firing people or running deficits on borrowed money.

    But please note, I am not talking about reducing ministry in order for the pastor to keep his super-high salary, or in order to keep his children on the church payroll

  45. Ryan Ashton says:

    London: I like what you said about bullies. Too true.

  46. Steve – I am sure that I agree with you. Expanding ministry in the local church is good. I don’t know about the Mars Hills kind of expansion where you get new locations. I think that is a poorly thought out type of ‘ministry’ expansion.

    Borrowing capital is not bad in itself – it sometimes helps you go to areas you wouldn’t if you had to save the pennies first.We have a good size line of credit – but we use it mainly to flatten the financial peaks and valleys we experience as to when tuitions come in etc. The goal is usually to pay it off each year.

  47. Bob Sweat says:

    As a principal of a Christian school, I hear what MLD is saying. I had to cut 2 positions this year. Charter school are killing many Christian schools. We lost 8 students to charter schools this year. Charter schools allow for more parent control, which is a plus for parents who do not want their child in a public school. Fortunately, our school does pay unemployment tax.

  48. Steve Wright says:

    We had our son in charter (public) school from K-10 which was paid for by our tax dollars (I refuse to say it is free)

    He now is in Christian private school (with tuition) for the last two years of high school.

    I’m guessing we are pretty typical of the challenges Bob and MLD are mentioning. And charter schools are growing – when we started out, our son’s first year was only the school’s 2nd year in existence and they did not even have a high school option then.

  49. covered says:

    After reading Michael’s # 47, I can’t imagine there being multiple church credit cards to be used by staff members, pastors or elders as they wish . Even the new plan of allowing spending up to $500 without accountability seems ridiculous. Who in their right mind would continue to tithe after seeing such careless spending?

  50. papiaslogia says:

    Michael – Wow. That letter is going to stir the pot.

    I prophesy the return of MD to the pulpit in 3…..2…..

  51. “Who in their right mind would continue to tithe after seeing such careless spending?”

    LOL – the report said that the average adult gave $30 per week. Not much ‘tithing’ there to

  52. covered says:

    I don’t know MLD, something seems odd even with that report. I know that we haven’t had time to dissect it but as you probably realized yourself, there is still way too much frivolous or irresponsible spending even with the new budget. The figures used ($30 per week per person), seem a bit odd. Does that include the MLD family with 6 kids? If so, there’s still some big money coming in.

  53. It’s easy to figure out from the YE 2013
    $24,000,000 divide by 15,000 members = $1,600 yr per member divide by 52 weeks = $30.76 per

  54. And I think this is part of the issue – is Mars Hills a church (which the other day I said no). The audience is ponying up less than the price of the ticket they spent on Sat night at the comedy club.
    It served the same purpose for the one on stage as it did the ones in the audience.

    So don’t look at it as a church going out of business – look at it as the comedy club closing down.

  55. fyi says:

    Steve @50; we have a FREE (non-charter) school at our church. We’ve never laid anyone off, never considered cutting back, and never once have asked anyone for money. If you want to consider starting such a school, I am sure God will bless it and we will help with the nuts and bolts. Or you could send your son to Texas… 🙂

  56. London says:

    The $30 a week someone gives wont even pay for one meal at Ruth Chris that it says staff members are charging on their credit cards.

  57. Steve Wright says:

    Or you could send your son to Texas
    ————————————
    Not the worst idea I have heard this week. 🙂

    Thank you for the offer, fyi. Although such a school is not even on the radar today, someday I would love to hear about it in more detail.

  58. Steve Wright says:

    I was talking to one of our elders the other day who helps with the offering and he said how blessed he is to open an envelope someone has prepared and find 3 one-dollar bills, or something similar.

    The widow’s mite story is pretty clear. The whole idea of an “average per adult” giving ratio is an abomination of an idea to me.

  59. Francisco Nunez says:

    As a former commercial underwriter, troubled loans to churches are any bank’s worst nightmare especially if the lender is a smaller community or regional bank. The last thing MH’s current bank will want to do however is share in the bad press by calling the loans or foreclosing on their borrower. I don’t know of one bank that wants to make the front page news as the bad guys foreclosing on a local church. The bank will also put some pressure on MH’s management for an action plan detailing how the church will stabilize this current situation.This said troubled deals like this will make the management team of smaller banks lose sleep at night and discourages them from lending to churches even more so in the future. Whether we realize it or not this affects all of us in the Body of Christ. We certainly need to pray for this situation.
    Francisco

  60. Muff Potter says:

    Why should Churches be exempt from the laws and regulations which apply to any other employer?

  61. brian says:

    MLD I thought you might be interested, I hope to be meeting with a Lutheran Pastor this week.

    To this community this whole thing with my eye and some other health issues has made it clear to me, I make a lousy atheist, even atheist tell me I make a lousy atheist. It is a “liberal” group but it is a beautiful Church. You know I love liturgy and architecture a place where I can experience transcendence. I am also thinking Anglican, I would become a Catholic or EO but deep down somewhere in my life that I would go straight to hell on the express train if I ever converted to either of those communions. Somethings one cant unlearn.

  62. brian says:

    I told you folks many moons ago, the issue that would affect MD the most, would be economics. He has committed the unpardonable sin, he lowered revenue and market share.

  63. Zzyyxx says:

    Yes Muff, that is the question currently making the email rounds.

    But there is some “investors” of dubious character with higher up connections who keep things as they are for the obvious reason that their churches are tax free havens…

    Until recent times they skimmed a good portion of the offerings…but the economy has tanked and things are swirling around the drain.

    I once was approached by some of these “investors” who offered to bankroll me if I built a church and in return allowed them to skim the offerings.

    I was shocked. They told me they had done it a couple of times and I should think about it.

    That was the last I saw of those guys in their “Mafia” suits and intimidating offer.

  64. Steve Wright says:

    Why should Churches be exempt from the laws and regulations which apply to any other employer?
    ————————————————
    Laws and regulations are different from taxes. There was a time in this nation where the idea of taxing the work and house of God was abhorrent, and we have not yet seen either political party decide this was their winning campaign for reelection.

    However, as I also said, if a church is going to hire and fire like any other employer (i.e. at will) then they should pay the unemployment tax.

  65. Q says:

    Steve Wright,

    You will probably ignore me, but why are you always in conversations that involve money?

    You overlook many others.

    Michael, Can Steve answer without interference?

  66. Q says:

    If financials is your background that makes sense, but this seems to be an issue with you.

  67. wall on the fly says:

    zzyyxx: But there is some “investors” of dubious character with higher up connections who keep things as they are for the obvious reason that their churches are tax free havens…

    “Please allow me to introduce myself, I’m a man of wealth and taste. Pleased to meet you, can you guess my name?”

    Sympathy for the… Investors!

  68. Nonnie says:

    Geez Q, I don’t see why you would be concerned about Steve answering or commenting to any subject. This is a forum for dialogue. Steve answers questions and addresses subjects with informed opinions, experience and without hyperbole. I appreciate his contributions here.

  69. Nonnie says:

    And while I’m on my soapbox 😉 I would guess that Steve comments on church finances because he is a pastor that has taken this subject seriously, in the church he pastors and they have put into place financial accountability. When we have articles like this one that is screaming of poorly managed finances, I would assume that Steve is wanting people to know that not all churches are run that way. I appreciate that!

  70. Q says:

    Well Nonnie, Why can’t Steve dialogue about this? I would appreciate his contribution here!

  71. Q says:

    Steve seems more interested at times on retirement than serving. In CC you have to be suave financially and popular to cash out.

    Steve seems financially adept.

  72. Q, – Did you catch yourself in your zipper?
    Steve served as pastor of his church for 6 yrs with no salary.

    I read and comment here everyday and have never heard Steve talk about wanting to retire.

  73. Brian Darby says:

    “Steve served as pastor of his church for 6 yrs with no salary.” I dont know how accuract this is, I have served, well tried to serve for almost thirty years with no salary. I often felt like I was a piece of human filth because I did not rake in a salary. I am trying to repent of that. God loathes those who have a need. If I understood one thing it is that. God hates weakness and we need to repent of being weak.I often still repent of being human. God hates human beings, from what I have understood.

  74. Michael says:

    Q,

    Steve worked in the insurance and financial industry for years…so he has expertise he can share with us.
    I’ve asked him to do so for our education and understanding.
    You’ve basically slandered a brother by implication.

  75. Michael says:

    brian,

    I understand your hyperbole, but that is close to blasphemous.
    Unfortunately, the church doesn’t always reflect the heart of God.

  76. Steve Wright says:

    What an odd turn. I do wonder, Q, if you confuse me with someone else as to the, not posting in non-money threads, not answering for himself, and the retirement stuff.

    One clarification since somehow I have become a focus of a Mark Driscoll article – while true I only began a salary this year (my 7th), (and could let MLD’s stmt stand)….I was able to receive some housing allowance from the church starting year 3 through 6 – to cover the mortgage, taxes, insurance etc. (Actually Q, I spent the money I had earmarked for retirement when I lost my insurance job in 2012 and had to sell out my portion of agency ownership to feed the kids – so the church I pastor could make its other financial commitments)

    Accuracy on the internet is a big thing to me when it comes to such facts.

    The irony is I tend to hesitate in jumping into the financial discussions of other churches, but In looking back at my first comment in this thread, I thought “how many people who post here have been involved with church financing meetings with loan officers and know what is meant by stuff like financial covenants, and reserve requirements”..

  77. Bob says:

    Muff P

    Churches aren’t totally exempt from employer obligations at all. I think the one thing which bugs many are the tax issues, most are exempt from property taxes in their local. Never forget the intent is that church communities are a benefit to the community in general. Sadly many churches forget it isn’t about them and they jump to the head of the line forgetting Jesus’ teaching about serve and being a light.

    However, the issue of this thread is how MHC blatantly ignored good financial stewardship, used the church for personal profit, took in people’s money in a misleading manner and did not, in my opinion, return to the community. Shame on Mark!

  78. London says:

    Q, it actually seems to be an issue with you.
    Not Steve.

  79. Andrew says:

    The irony is I tend to hesitate in jumping into the financial discussions of other churches, but In looking back at my first comment in this thread, I thought “how many people who post here have been involved with church financing meetings with loan officers and know what is meant by stuff like financial covenants, and reserve requirements”..
    ________________________________________________________________________

    Steve, I would imagine most folks who are not on a church board would have no clue what you are talking about. All I know is that the borrower is slave to the lender. The big concern stated in the first comment and which Alex has elaborated on is financial transparency. Although public disclosure over the internet seems extreme is does appear to be the only option when “members” of which CC doesn’t believe in are kept in the dark where their giving money goes to.

    And I want to thank you about answering Alex’s question @ 22 in your response @ 33 but your answer really only addresses part of the issue. I understand pastors will have varying salaries based on numerous factors but the issue is financial transparency to the members in the local church where they serve which needs to be discussed in your regional CC meetings. I’m not sure how you can effectively do that without membership. My experience as CC is you have to meet with one of the pastors individually to discuss finances and your personal giving but you will never get a financial report to take home with you to really understand any of it. This is just shameful to me. Why keep this secret? I’m not saying this has to be broadcast over the Internet but the members at a minimum should be given this on paper. A town-hall style meeting once a year with the pastor to go over the budget with the congregation doesn’t cut it when no one gets a chance to understand the numbers in any significant way.

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