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What do I do with my clerk?
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Post What do I do with my clerk? jeremiah2911_4me
Ok - this is only my second church. The clerk has been the clerk for 20 years or so. He uses the tax exempt number for his own personal use. (He just purchased a riding lawn mower at Walmart and bragged about not having to pay the tax on it).....

I am the appointed pastor - I have nothing to worry about as far as him going to my bishop, I can't get voted out...period! We average about 20-25 on Sundays. When I got there three months ago, they were avg. 7!

Questions is - do I replace him with someone else and se if he stirs up trouble? Or do I et him keep sliding until he feels like he's supposed to retire?

If I do church elections, you know how it will be. EVERYBODY says they want him out but yet he will be the one everybody votes for.


HELP!!!!!!!!!

Mike
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8/27/09 9:25 pm


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Post Brandon Bowers
This isn't something that should be left to a vote. Call him out on how tax exemption is supposed to be used. His illegal use of it has left your church, as well as the denomination liable for tax fraud. He could go to jail for it.

Talk to him about integrity, and without it, no one can hold a leadership position. Give him X amount of time to rectify the situation, or remove him. God will honor your acting with courage and integrity.
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8/27/09 9:32 pm


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Post Travis Johnson
I would remove him ASAP. Don't worry about the fallout. Doing the right thing is always the right thing. Don't play around with a monkey like this. He knows it's wrong and is doing it anyway...and bragging about it. He will burn you and has already likely burned the church badly. If he's stealing there, I'd bet he's stealing elsewhere...not cool.

Now is the time to lovingly and directly rectify the situation.
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8/27/09 9:40 pm


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Post Re: What do I do with my clerk? Memory03
jeremiah2911_4me wrote:
Ok - this is only my second church. The clerk has been the clerk for 20 years or so. He uses the tax exempt number for his own personal use. (He just purchased a riding lawn mower at Walmart and bragged about not having to pay the tax on it).....

I am the appointed pastor - I have nothing to worry about as far as him going to my bishop, I can't get voted out...period! We average about 20-25 on Sundays. When I got there three months ago, they were avg. 7!

Questions is - do I replace him with someone else and se if he stirs up trouble? Or do I et him keep sliding until he feels like he's supposed to retire?

If I do church elections, you know how it will be. EVERYBODY says they want him out but yet he will be the one everybody votes for.


HELP!!!!!!!!!

Mike



He is probably the reason the church was/is down... And he will not go quietly...
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Last edited by Memory03 on 8/27/09 11:14 pm; edited 1 time in total
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Post Eduardo Nieves
Discuss the implications of his action and see if he takes responsibility for his actions. Either way, I agree with the others, you have to remove him.
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Post Love him, truly Cojak
Love him. Don’t make a hasty decision. Maybe the man is ignorant of the legal ramifications. Many are. Use your own judgment; you have more facts than what you can spell out in a few lines. So like most problems it is much deeper than we know. You are there, you are the man. No one here will have to live with the repercussions, you will.
Naturally if the man is an out and out crook you know it. If it is ignorance, it is your job to educate him without alienating him. Do you need him? YOUR decision. Consider all advice, but it is your decision.
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8/28/09 12:41 am


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Post EdSturgill
Travis Johnson wrote:
I would remove him ASAP. Don't worry about the fallout. Doing the right thing is always the right thing. Don't play around with a monkey like this. He knows it's wrong and is doing it anyway...and bragging about it. He will burn you and has already likely burned the church badly. If he's stealing there, I'd bet he's stealing elsewhere...not cool.

Now is the time to lovingly and directly rectify the situation.
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Post Travis Johnson
One of the reasons it's so important to deal with this quickly in addition to the fact that it is wrong is that incompetent people are known as incompetent. And, the longer it takes to address it, the more people question your ability to lead effectively. Your credibility is on the line. Pastors typically avoid conflict like the plague. We hate it. We don't do it well. It shows up everywhere we function. Conflict is seen as rebellious, ungodly, worldly, spiritually insensitive, lacking compassion, etc... It isn't. Conflict is healthy. Good stewardship is healthy.

I'm not saying that this guy needs to be thrown out of the church. But, with the speed of light, this guy needs to be thrown as far away from your money as possible. He needs to understand the exact reason why as do your leadership team, if you have one. It should be matter of fact...and like mentioned before with love. But, don't expect it to be smooth. People that do stuff like this aren't rational people. They'll typically try to hurt you. And, the more you try to help them work it out and tip toe around the situation, the more and longer it is going to hurt you and the reputation of the church.

I'd also add to the mix some healthy financial practices if they aren't already in place: dual signatures, different people counting money from the ones depositing money, etc... Then, as a separate piece from this action, communicate the credible accounting practices you use to regain trust with your people....it's already lost and you're going to have to repair it with forward looking, sound practices.

This guy is a straight up stooge...crooked- a scammer that has no qualms with monkeying around with God's money. Bring significant integrity to this area...only the most trusted people with air tight financial practices to wall yourself off from this kind of nonsense.

It can happen to anyone. But, it shouldn't be tolerated at all. Your people are trusting you to handle it. And, this guy is short circuiting the integrity of the church in the community...damaging the mission of Jesus everywhere he goes.

I'm praying for you...I know it's no fun at all to deal with this kind of stuff. Love God. Love people. Doing that makes it easier to take a principled stand without bias to what might happen.
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8/28/09 7:11 am


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Post Dave Dorsey
Grammar Police wrote:
Churches are not exempt from sales taxes.

That varies by state. They are in Maryland and elsewhere.
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8/28/09 7:33 am


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Post Bro Bob
What Travis is saying is right.

And if you had Travis' personality it wouldn't be that hard for you. Likely, however, you don't. That is ok, though.

You need to realize that these kinds of things are a major part of what pastoring is. You ARE the guy. Like a parent, you WILL be tested. Might as well have a plan for it.

Your first step is a private meeting with him. In this meeting you will make it clear that his going around bragging about doing things that he knows is wrong has put you in the position where you have no choice other than to deal with the problem.

A church official who will steal from the government is not suited for the responsibilities of handling church funds. Period. Moreover, it is not only bad for the church, it is bad for him. The qualifications for leadership in church work tell us plainly that we must be careful who we choose, or we may be setting THEM up for their own ruin. This is a Simon the sorcerer who needs to repent of his wickedness and he needs to be forgiven. It is his only hope. But there IS hope. Simon, when dealt with asked Peter to pray for him that 'these things' wouldn't come upon him.

Then you make it clear that while you can handle YOUR responsibility to the church to fix this, you also place as a higher priority the condition of his soul, and the restoration it needs.

He has been tested, and failed. He needs to understand that you and the church still love him and want nothing more than this to result in making him a better Christian, and a better citizen.

Integrity is not optional in the operation of any church, no matter the size, and no matter whether it is on the local level or all the way at the top.

I would not concern myself about fallout from him getting mad. If you handle yourself right, his anger if it comes will only serve to show that you did the right thing. But do the right thing you must.

BB

ps: I'll also predict that when the church sees your determination that integrity be the rule financially, their giving will increase. I've seen this twice.
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8/28/09 7:34 am


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Post The law says that a leader in your... benthere2
The law says that a leader in your position who knows the non-profit law is being broker and does not deal with it is also guilty of the same crime.

You will receive the same punishment as the law breaker.

Sorry, but that is the bottom line.
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8/28/09 7:46 am


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Post Want me to call... roughridercog
and pretend to be an IRS agent asking about a tax exept purchase that he's recently made? Should I tell him I'm in the area and will be stopping by the church to inspect their new purchase?

Laughing Laughing Laughing Laughing Laughing Laughing Laughing
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Post Memory03
that'd do it... Laughing Laughing Laughing
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Post Now for a serious answer roughridercog
Talk with the stores with which the church does business and instruct them that all purchase must now come with a purchase order number. Then go by a business supply store and get a blank pad of PO's.

Tell your clerk that the new policy is that all purchase from the church must have a PO signed by you.
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Post Larry Wiley
Bro Bob as well as others has given you some excellent advice.

One thing I would add. Tell him you will help him by handling this matter quietly. However if he makes an issue of the matter you will be forced to tell the church the whole story as to why you asked him to resign.

I believe once this is resolved, you will see a significant change in the church
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Post Re: Want me to call... Randy Johnson
roughridercog wrote:
and pretend to be an IRS agent asking about a tax exept purchase that he's recently made? Should I tell him I'm in the area and will be stopping by the church to inspect their new purchase?

Laughing Laughing Laughing Laughing Laughing Laughing Laughing


No need to pretend, I'll just call my sister, she is a Grade 13 IRS agent with over 25 years with the agency. Smile
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8/28/09 9:58 am


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Post Re: Want me to call... Jim Martin
Randy Johnson wrote:
roughridercog wrote:
and pretend to be an IRS agent asking about a tax exept purchase that he's recently made? Should I tell him I'm in the area and will be stopping by the church to inspect their new purchase?

Laughing Laughing Laughing Laughing Laughing Laughing Laughing


No need to pretend, I'll just call my sister, she is a Grade 13 IRS agent with over 25 years with the agency. Smile


There you go Laughing Laughing Laughing Laughing
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8/28/09 10:35 am


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Post NOT YET! doyle
Timing is incredibly important in such situations. Don't do it just yet. Pray about it and ask the Holy Spirit to give you guidance. It doesn't seem like the Church Clerk is hurting the church from growing.

If he is a person who lacks integrity, his being in leadership will hurt the church in the long term, but possibly he can be an asset that you need at this time. He and his family are probably attending and may be giving funds at times. Disgrace him and he and his entire family will go elsewhere from hurt and bitterness. If that's what you want, no problem but if possible, it may be wise to wait and see if you can be a positive influence on his life.

Since the church is beginning to grow under your leadership (people who haven't taken one of those tiny fellowships may not understand what tremendous growth it is to move from seven to 25, but it's a major leap forward) don't throw the entire church into a tail-spin causing the focus to be on this one guy. You DON'T WANT A POWER STRUGGLE until you are more powerful and that will take time.

You'll increase in power among the people as the congregation grows. Those who begin to attend while you're pastor, will be your people.

Document, document, document. Keep records of anything you do in files located off the church property. But DON'T confront him just yet.

Slowly and intentionally begin to move the church past him. Ask your AB or DO if they will write a letter asking that church funds not be taken off church grounds but must be counted there. It is very unwise for anyone to take church money home with them to be counted and since he's been the Church Clerk all those years, he may be doing that.

Don't pick a fight with the Church Clerk. Ask the AB or DO to write a letter stating now that the church has been growing, it needs to improve (upgrade) how money is handled.

"As our church has been growing we're blessed to be at a point where we can and must expand in the number of people involved in the church business process. Among other things we're doing, we're instituting a Counting Committee to count all donations. This committee will do the counting here on church property and will go together to the bank after each service and place the funds in the night deposit.

Appoint (do not elect) a "Counting Committee" of three members or trusted regular attenders . Members of the "Counting Committee" (don't call it a Finance Committee because far too often members of the so-called Finance Committee feel like it's their duty to dictate how the funds are spent) only have the role of counting the money and documenting what was given and making the bank deposit).

At first, Counting Committee members should be asked to serve for six months. By that time you'll have a better idea of who works out on that committee.

The Counting Committee meets with and answers only to the Pastor. The pastor does not touch money but allows that Committee to count it and make the deposit.

DON'T FIRE the Church Clerk. He's served for 20 years and unless he's stealing money or causing a lot of trouble he shouldn't be fired. That doesn't mean you have to compromise on integrity issues.

Approach him and ask, "Did I hear you right? Are you saying you purchased a lawnmower and used the church tax exempt number? I so much hope you don't get in trouble. Here, let me pay the tax on that lawn mower for you. I'm your pastor and I care what happens and don't want you to get in trouble with the IRS."

You're his pastor too but if you call him out on it, possibly only anger or resentment will result. But if you volunteer to pay the taxes he avoided on the lawn mower, maybe it will wake him up to the error of doing that; no guarantee he will wake up but it's worth a try.

You're trying to handle all this without turning him into an enemy AND at the same time watch out for his soul too. In addition to the others the Lord is bringing under your ministry and personal integrity, unless he's a major trouble-maker, that Church Clerk is also under your ministerial influence and preaching.

Whatever his response, when you get home be sure to document the time and place and what was said when you told him about not using the church tax exempt number for personal use.

DON'T FIRE HIM unless absolutely necessary. That would in my opinion be wrong to put that on his name after those years of service. It would not only harm his name but also would cause resentment in his entire family and expanded family of relatives and friends. However, if he stands in the way of the church making progress, grow beyond him and slowly diminish his role into basically being a bookeeper.

If you can get that letter from the AB or the DO saying it's time to expand the role of more people being involved in church leadership, it will take away your being in a confrontation. All you'll be doing is following the wise counsel of those over you in the Lord.

Doyle
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Last edited by doyle on 8/28/09 4:10 pm; edited 3 times in total
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Post Check Signers Pastor Nations
.

A little bit of a different question, but who are the check signers at the church?

Is more than one signature required on checks?

ya' gotta be careful ...

.
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Post That makes sense... Cojak
What Doyle wrote makes a lot of sense. I have went thru that 8-10 people to 25 then 35 and felt like an attendance explosion. Every pastor has had this or similar situtions. NO BODY likes them. Use caution.
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