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What do I do with my clerk?
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Post Kevin Walker
Doyle - one of the best posts I've read. Good thoughts!
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8/28/09 2:51 pm


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Post Travis Johnson
Predictability is a big deal in leadership. And, there's simply no substitute for integrity. You'll be making a tough decision. But, no one in the church wants this guy messing around with the finances. If you keep him around after you already know about it, you're messing around with the finances by default.

Before I filtered my decisions through fear of what the fallout will be, I'd want to ask "what is the right thing to do?" Usually, delaying the conclusion of a messy thing only makes the thing bigger.

And, a good rule to live by dealing with your hires is simply, hire slow, fire fast. Take it with a grain of salt. I haven't been around as long as some people. But, I have nearly always regretted keeping around someone that is incompetent or dangerous. I've never really regretted cutting someone loose that was a disaster.
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8/28/09 4:19 pm


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Post Wesley Duncan
A lot of great advice has been given. I would only advise you to talk this out with your AB, if you have one. You will need his input and his support when you remove this man. You should probably have an audit of the books, as well. Friendly Face
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8/28/09 8:11 pm


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Post The Parable of the wheat and the tares doyle
We all understand the mandate for integrity but "getting rid of this man" as some advise, should not be done until it doesn't rip your small church to shreds.

First, if he's given 20 years of service he shouldn't be publicly dishonored if you can keep from doing that. His family, his extended family and all his relatives will believe his side of the story and "getting rid" of him will turn most of them into vocal enemies of your tiny church and your ministry there.

Not for a second is there any call to compromise your own integrity but as the old saying goes, "Don't cut off your nose to spite your face."

Jesus very vividly let it be known there are times when it's wise to let the wheat grow with the tares. Why? Because when you rip up the tares, they may have entanglements in the wheat and much good wheat will get ripped up by trying to pull out one tare.

Obviously, do what you feel the Lord is leading but in such matters it's usually wise to be cautious and consider how much damage it will do to get a fight going in the church at this early stage of your pastorate there.

Doyle
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Last edited by doyle on 8/29/09 11:47 pm; edited 1 time in total
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8/28/09 8:31 pm


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Post thanks... jeremiah2911_4me
It seems I have much to pray about. I do not have a peace about just getting rid of him - - just yet anyway - - . I have spoken with my AB (we call 'em superintendents in the PH but I was raised COG so he's my AB to me...lol) and he advised me that the man was guilty of tax fraud, no questions asked. However, I want to make sure that I heard correctly and I'm even contemplating having Walmart produce me some kind of record of transactions that have had our tax ID number used..we have very FEW checks in the bank made out to Walmart so I'm thinking it should be fairly easy to track.

He is widely known throughout our whole conference as the church boss of our church which is kind of scary. But I was told before I even knew that I was going here that God was sending me to this place because I don't/won't take the junk. They've had 9 pastors in 20 years. It's crazy.

I was basically told by my AB when he sent me there that I was it. (NO PRESSURE RIGHT?) If the church didn't show any kind of progress or I felt like it wouldn't, then they would shut the doors. It has been a "problem child" for our conference for many years.

Help me pray that more than anything I seek the face of God in this situation. I'm just a young preacher still wet bhid the ears sort of, and I want to do what's right...by God and His people.
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8/28/09 10:03 pm


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Post Deal With It! Carefully! Bullseye77
A lot of great advice has been given here. I just thought I'd add my two cents. In addition to this man being out of compliance with the law, he is demonstrating that he has a spiritual problem. He is not ready for Heaven and evidently is comfortable in that condition. My take on this is that in private, he must be shown the error of his ways and led to repentence through your counseling and prayer. If he does not receive that counsel, then other steps may be taken.
I think if you approach this with the concern for the man's soul, you will be fufilling your role as Pastor and spiritual advisor.
If you don't help the man, and he dies, will he make it to Heaven?
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8/29/09 7:33 am


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Post church clerk banjo
We had a church clerk for 28 years, appointed by our AB. Many times the monthly report had 'misceleanous' with no accountability for what was actually purchased. We felt like fraud was at hand, but couldn't do much without destroying the church. The clerk was the founding family, still founding if you know what I mean. We began to pray and ask God for direction to remove them without hurting innocent hearts and souls.

A check was given specifically for a certain project, and when ask about it - it had never gone to that project the clerk became flustered and said, "Well, if you don't trust me I'll resign right now". We said, thank you, we accept your resignation. Within the next service we announced the resignation, crafted a great party with the congregation acknowledging the resignation after 28 years of dedicated and loyal service, made a plaque, had a dinner, and allowed the person involved to exit with her own words - resignation.

When people ask about it, we spoke kindly that we were sure after 28 years they needed the break as being a church clerk is stressful.

Bathe this in prayer, ask God for the opportunity to remove this person with his own words. Celebrate their dedication and never breathe a word of the indescretions. Vengence is mine saith the Lord. Allow Him to judge.
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8/29/09 8:31 pm


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Post Crawl-Daddy
I like most all the advice given here. You could easily see how they all are right. There's no doubt you should pray (even fast) before proceeding. God will help you work it out, and give you wisdom.

I like banjo's comment.

I'm sure you see additional improvements that can or should be made Put some pressure on the guy.

Here are some suggestions:
Let him know what you believe he is doing/has done wrong. Begin to implement and direct change to what you don't like about what he does. Change the procedures: require a weekly report to the pastor (design it the way YOU want it), require receipts for EVERYTHING, no riembursments to anyone without receipts of pre-approved purchases and always by check with your signature, require 2 signatures on everything (yours being primary), go to on-line reporting if your denomination has it, require ALL the books stay at the church INCLUDING the check book, appoint that Counting Committee doyle spoke of, tell him the sequence of which bills to pay first during the month. Take away any power he has assumed on his own and give it to someone else... these may be improvements needed anyway.

Maybe, maybe he will get frustrated and resign before you have to axe him. If he suggests resigning, jump on it.
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8/30/09 12:35 am


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Post Bro Bob
After giving this more thought I have come to realize that your problem may be bigger than I first thought.

You came on this board asking 'What do I do when my clerk brags about violating the law?' ( I realize you didn't use those exact words. )

Had you gone to a lawyer with the same question and revealed the man's name, the lawyer would have had a duty to report the crime. Attorney client confidentiality does not extend to a third party, at least not in Alabama.

It may be possible that YOU have a legal duty to report it as well.

State laws vary, of course, and this man's actions were not Federal as far as I can tell.

I think you said you had talked to your AB, or the PH equivalent. If I were him I would meet with you and that clerk. I would suggest restitution to the State without delay.

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8/30/09 8:18 am


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Post Truman Here Truman Smith
I thought that we may have over looked something. Let me ask a question or two . Does the clerk ever mow the church or parsonage yards or other yards of those who may need because of age , sickness or some other reason ? Do you think he is honest in other areas of his life ?? Does he have a GOOD REPORT from those in the community??
I know of a musician who bought a string instrument to play at church and he used the churches tax free number to purchace the instrument. Now he is the owner of said instrument but it is used exclusively for the church , it is left at the church everyday and is only removed to put new strings or do some maintenance on it . I was a little up set about it but when I saw what was being done I felt better about it . I still haven't settled on all the situation about it , But I can see how he could reason it out to come to the conclution that he shoud get a tax break. This situation may need some more investigation .


Many years ago I had a situation arise in a church that I pastored . One brother was really speaking badly about me . I consulted a few family menbers and some church members about what I needed to do to stop this situation . I was told to , " TURN HIM OUT , " have a prolonged "prayer meeting" with him . I was praying much about it and the LORD said to me , " RESIST NOT EVIL " Now just to refresh our minds that statement comes from the 5TH chapter of Matt . Matt. 5:39 . So I announced to many of those who were in interested in what I was going to do and did I ever get mixed opinions . The brother was spoken to by the Lord and came to me and asked If I was upset with him about something with him . He senced that there was a "coolness " between us and he wanted to make it right . I told him that his talking about me was not going to hurt me , but certainly would hurt him with the church so he appoligize and stopped his slandering of Ole Brother Smith . God Bless . T

Edit to add a word or two and to correct some spelling and to put some spaces where needed . T
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8/30/09 1:28 pm


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Post georgiapath
Taxes are supposed to be paid on the lawn mower regardless of where it is used. Tax exempt is only if you are manufacturing something for resale. At least that's the way it is in the real world. Laughing Hon. Dr. in Acts-celeratology
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8/30/09 4:59 pm


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Post Truman Smith
georgiapath wrote:
Taxes are supposed to be paid on the lawn mower regardless of where it is used. Tax exempt is only if you are manufacturing something for resale. At least that's the way it is in the real world. Laughing


Georgiapath ,I would not argue that point. I was just saying that before I would run off a person I would try to see where he was coming from on that issue . He may have a rational about it that makes sense to him . He might feel he was justified in it being tax free if it was used most of the time doing the Lord's work . Hope you had a great day . God Bless. T
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8/30/09 7:49 pm


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Post jeremiah2911_4me
Ok so my understanding is this! The church to my knowledge has no working lawn mower. They went thru a big split about 18 months ago. They have gone from 150 down to 10 when I got it. TODAY WE HAD 52!!!!!!!!!! I am sooooo excited about that!

Anyhoo, there's a broken down riding mower in the shed, a tore up push mower in the shed that belongs tothe church. The man responsible for mowing the yard uses his own personal mower (NOT THE CLERK) to mow the church yard.

From my understanding he just used the # to purchase the mower and let WALMART assume it was for the church I'm thinking because he has only mowed the church yard with it one time - and that was last week when one of his brother-in-laws told him he needed to use that new $800 mower he got with the church tax number to help take care of the yard...lol!

He's an OK man..I think he's right with the Lord but I've had other problems with him as well. The IPHC requires signatures from pastor and clerk on monthly reports and he refused to sign last two months. He doesn't support the conference or our "overseer" and I've already been told by my overseer I am the pastor I can do with him what I please.

I am seeking the Lord right now and believe me I don't want this man to lose out with Jesus b/c of this situation - - but at the same point - - I don't want to bind up God's blessings on our congregation if he is the one holding us back (ie: Achan holding onto the accursed things)...

Thanks for your prayers and advice!

MIKE
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8/30/09 8:09 pm


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Post Sounds like Pedro
Sounds like your clerk is on his way out! He needs to be mowing the church lawn with that mower or give it to the church since the church doesn't have a working one. i hope he will do the right thing to help the church. Friendly Face
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8/31/09 11:19 am


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Post well... jeremiah2911_4me
still not sure what to do with him....thanks for the prayers yall
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9/1/09 11:00 pm


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