The main goal of the article God’s Money is Now My Money is to discuss the issues of fraud and describe different cases and reasons for various religious institutions and churches becoming victims of this crime. It remains apparent that the majority of violations and frauds are committed by the treasurers, volunteers, and other employees of the church. For example, one of the treasurers of the religious institution took advantage of its funds and with the assistance of the construction company, transferred substantial sums of money via online banking. Using this complex framework made this transaction unnoticeable for a long period of time. Alternatively, some individuals utilized simple schemes and used this money to pay their bank loans directly. Meanwhile, others employed a more complex mechanism such as converting funds into false interests. Despite using different schemes, all cases mentioned above have an adverse effect on the financial prosperity of the religious institutions and damage their reputation.
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One of the potential reasons for the occurrence of these incidents is the fact that the majority of the pastors and church leaders do not have sufficient business background. For example, the education of pastors is highly focused on counseling, pastoral care, and theology while not being able to cover important managerial and financial aspects. At the same time, they have a tendency to devote substantial attention to the congregations and organizing various events and services. It could be said that different priorities and the lack of time for supervision of the employees are the critical reasons for the violation of rules and high frequency of fraud in the religious institutions and churches.
Despite having positive intentions and being one of the main values of the religious institution, trust could be considered as another potential reason for the occurrence of fraud. As it was mentioned earlier, the majority of the wrongful practices are committed by the trusted and recognized members of the church. In this case, one of the groups is volunteers, who are engaged in a long-term relationship with the church. Alternatively, another group can be defined as volunteers, who are interested in filling the vacant spots rapidly and are eager to help quickly. In this case, the incidents of fraud have a tendency to occur, as the pastors and leaders of the religious institutions do not suspect these groups of being involved in unlawful practices. Consequently, in this instance, trust and benevolence can be discovered as the central causes of fraud and other wrongful practices, as the actions of the members of the church are not controlled.
Nonetheless, there are several ways that may help prevent fraud in churches and other religious institutions. One of the solutions is to organize the auditing committees that have to pay vehement attention to reviewing bank, insurance, and accounting statements. Using this method will assist in addressing the issue of fraud rapidly by depicting the flow of cash and its equivalents. At the same time, it is essential to control and establish financial committees, as they will help maintain the financial resources organized. It will assist in managing invoices and enhancing verification procedures. Lastly, despite a pivotal role in financial services, one cannot underestimate a critical role of supervision. In this case, the leader needs to expand his/her duties and pay substantial attention to devising the responsibilities and controlling their successful implementation.