Internal theft of church funds remains a pervasive and largely unaddressed problem in churches.
Whether due to embarrassment, fear of bad press, or desire to “forgive and forget,” it appears that most fraud in the community of faith goes unreported and unprosecuted. The result is a loss of millions of dollars that would otherwise help fuel church ministries, outreach, and other important projects.
The real tragedy, however, is that fraud is a gross misuse of God’s resources and a breach of fiduciary duty between the church and its givers.
Church leaders would be wise to pay attention to fraud studies conducted by the Association of Certified Fraud Examiners (ACFE). Known as “Report to the Nations,” ACFE has released 11 studies since 1993. Based on responses from thousands of organizations that have been victims of fraud (“victim organizations”), these ...