Major Charges, Hard Times, and Accountability????? : LUSENET : A.M.E. Today Discussion : One Thread

What happens when a large church which has generated leaders (Bishops and presiding elders,) falls upon hard times? The physical plant goes into disrepair, the congregation dwindles, and the pastor which was lifted up as the "chrismatic saviour" leaves the denomination and the local church in a lurch without paying his conference claims. Who's at fault? The Bishop that appointed the pastor, the presiding elder who didn't monitor the situation, or the laymen who did not hold the pastor, presiding elder or Bishop accountable? When churches fall upon hard times why isn't there an audit of the congregation, the presiding elder, and the Bishop? When will the church stop turning a blind eye toward situations that need prayer and change?

-- Anonymous, September 28, 2001


Dear Rev. Alexander,

You ask a question that haunts and perplexes many in our denomination. The answer to which is complex and simple at the same time. The answer is that we are careless. We do not take the time to evaluate situations before the become too far gone. The question of who is responsible is a bit more complex. The answer is that we all are. too many times we take church as a game. The fact is that the Church is a business and one that must be run as such. It is repugnant to many when the church is refered to as a business but when asked why he was in the temple by his parents Jesus responded "I am about my father's business." We must treat the church as a business and recognize that like any business it must follow some defined set of business practices. We on the whole do not. We do not take any time to plan out succession in our churches. Major corporations groom young people with potential to become the next generation of leaders. We do not. We leave it to happenstance to fill voids in leadership in our denomination. Until we begin to take the bussiness of the church serioiusly, we are all acountable for when those types of situations arise.

-- Anonymous, September 29, 2001

I would recommend for all Boards of Examiners to spend some time providing training in financial management for the church. Many pastors and lay in smaller congregations do not have business backgrounds. If the AME Church functioned from the top with business principals, maybe there would be money for theological training and church planting. We are so short sighted. Long term planning appears to be far off in the distant future. When we don't plan, we plan to fail. As African-Americans we are afraid to discuss investments, learn how to make the money work, instead we seem to think cooking and fund raising in the total answer. We must be good stewards of all that God entrust to us. What century are we going to get with it. Richard Allen did not have a formal education, as we call it, but he was very educated. God gives unto those who are faithful. If one cannot be faith in little, they will not be faithful in much. I must ask this question, does any one know whether the connection tithes? If not, there is part of the problem. We function on crisis as a people and church. God help us to do better with all that you entrust to us. If the congregations are not tithing and reaching out, then they are not following the directions of God. When man gets out of the picture and gives the church back to God, all things will be much better. How long will it take us? Everybody is watching us, especially the young and they are not impressed with what they see, and I am in agreement with them. How long? What will it take?How long will be be between two opinions. Unity if of God and division is of satan. Get the message?

-- Anonymous, September 29, 2001

Amen! Amen! Amen! Bravo and congratulations to all three of you for your insight and courage. Let us pray and work for change.

-- Anonymous, September 29, 2001

A Second Amen to you all

As the soldier who toiled alone for six months before getting the help of one Pastor (not my own)to help create the legislative framework for a new finance vehicle for the AME Church I fully understand the point and the repsonses thus far. Let us now take the example further from one Church to a Presiding Elder District or Annual Conference. This is our reality in some quarters today. We work within an organization that sometimes does not place the significant value on financial management as it should. Example two divisions of the General Board are working on creating a database of our Denomination.Only one need do the job. We need more business minds in the area of administration.

God Bless You

-- Anonymous, September 29, 2001

Thank you Rev. Alexander for a great and insightful query. I give a third Amen to the previous suggestions. We need change. Let it begin with us. Jesus said "the gates of hell shall not prevail." Let us pray together for a might move of the hand of God in our churches. Prayer does change things! The Holy Spirit will move also in a just and orderly system. Until we reach perfection that us demand excellence!

-- Anonymous, October 01, 2001

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