AN ATMOSPHERE OF SECRECY
Once a church member surrenders to a system of control, the leader/minister gives limited information to each individual, carefully monitoring each relationship. As a result, each member is only able to relate to other members based on the information he receives from the leader/minister. Sometimes it drives members to break and steal for information as to the secrecy. Many times there is nothing secret within the church and stolen information is used as part of their gain. Sometimes they are copied for the members benefit who wants to be the “so-called leader.”
In this way, if the church staff or minister determines that one of the members has become a “threat,” they have a strategy in place to maintain the control they believe is required. Consequently, the church can sever relationships when necessary and keep this process cloaked behind a veil of secrecy.
This is not limited to members of the congregation. I know a minister who did this with his staff. In casual conversations, he would make a comment that would result in one staff member becoming suspicious of another. Or he would say something to cause one staff member to feel superior.
This atmosphere fueled selfish ambition and competition among the staff. It became the minister’s way of maintaining control and ensuring that his staff could never challenge his authority. In time, the assistant pastors discovered what was happening, and eventually, they all left.
Secrecy may also cloak the area of finances. Pastors may make brazen appeals for money, yet offer no assurance that the finances of the church are handled with accountability and integrity.
I have actually heard ministers tell their congregations that the financial decisions of the church do not become a public matter because “the congregation doesn’t have the spiritual insight or maturity to understand the dynamics of church finances.” Have you heard this line of reasoning?
It is very simple — money represents power. Ultimately, control comes down to issues of power. Therefore, it should be no surprise that controlling leaders/ministers will use unbiblical means to manipulate people into giving.
As good stewards, when we become aware of financial mismanagement, we are responsible for where we sow our financial seed. I can’t imagine anyone choosing to continue to give money after becoming aware of the misuse of funds. However, if the approval of those in leadership is more important to a person than financial integrity, that person might still feel compelled to give — even if misuse of funds was involved.
Your servant and brother,
+ Sir Godfrey Gregg
Archbishop and Presiding Prelate
Administrator and Apostolic Head
Follow me on Twitter @ArchbishopGregg