Senator Grassley's most recent actions have compelled
me to make a confession as a mega church member. He is exposing
what an increasing amount of us have known for years. These
“CEO/Pastor/Reverend/Doctors” have been fleecing the flock for
years. For them, money does matter, in fact it is the only thing
Some may ask why this piece was not coined “Confessions
of a Former Mega Church Member”. My response is simple, I choose
to remain there in order to continue my efforts to expose them
and reveal the truth to others, whether they can handle the
truth or not.
Now, there are those in the flock that follow
these “CEO/Pastor/Reverend/Doctors” blindly. They are fully
committed to upholding their spiritual shepherds, in spite of.
I recently viewed a broadcast in which a mega church member
was asked her opinion regarding the fact that her “CEO/Pastor/Reverend/Doctor”
was being investigated by Senator Grassley's committee. Her
response was that her leader was an anointed and blessed man.
She went on to say that he has done nothing but good for her
and the others within the mega church. She vowed to give him
her last dime if asked to. After making these cultish comments,
she drove off in her broken down automobile, which had duct
tape on the windows and a license plate hanging from the fender,
yelling, “Praise God for him!”.
One thing is for certain, he is definitely “praising
God” for her and her loyal stupidity and Godless ignorance,
as he drives his fully loaded Bentley, Jaguar, and Mercedes
down the same road week after week.
The sad fact of the matter is that a majority
of these leaders could never make it on their own merits in
the corporate world or any other world. Knowing this, they took
up preaching as an easy means to make a living, as Booker T.
Washington commented in his book, “Up from Slavery” over a half
of a century ago.
As a mega church member myself, I was blinded
by my commitment to God and desire to be obedient to my faith,
which was taken advantage of by the “Mand of Gawd” that impersonated
and continues to impersonate a shepherd in the place that I
worship. For nearly a decade, I religiously gave of my time,
talent, and tithe.
a long time leader within the church, I did not hesitate to
spend forty hours or more a week organizing and serving in the
ministry that I believed I was called to, despite having to
work my regular job at the same time. This did not include the
nine hour day that I served each Sunday, arriving at 6:30am
and leaving after 3:00pm. I did whatever was required in order
to ensure that we provided excellence in the ministry services
I was not alone. We had hundreds of dedicated
and talented individuals that were just as committed to serving
each other and our communities as I was....without pay, without
benefits, without thanks. Our sole motivation was to meet the
needs of people, not expecting anything in return. That was
it, nothing more, nothing less.
Furthermore, we did this in the face of abuse,
misuse, and ridicule of paid church employees whose incompetence
and impure motives drove them to have an adversarial relationship
with the volunteers, members, and community at large.
We were a faith-based, God-inspired community
that felt that it was our responsibility to meet the needs of
our brothers and sisters and work tirelessly, as a community,
to improve the lives of everyone around us, even if it meant
that we went without the conveniences of life. That was our
reward. Our pastor was one of us, a servant.
Gradually, this all changed. We lost our sense
of community. We abandoned our commitment to serve each other,
and we no longer worked to develop and nurture relationships
with each other. The change became evident when we moved from
our inner city, brick, old-fashioned, neighborhood church building
to a state of the art facility that has the appearance of a
corporate building as opposed to a place of worship.
Suddenly, we were transformed from a church with
a business component to a business with a church component.
People were and are no longer the focus, but are a means to
the larger focus - profit.
Ministry funding was gradually decreased in favor
of funding affiliates such as daycares, private schools, community
foundations, and a credit union. Henchmen and entourages surrounded
church leaders, including the pastor, in order to ensure that
the common member would not have access to the man. Of
course, if you were willing to make a sizeable contribution
to pastor, his door was opened and you might even have an opportunity
to shake his hand.
Modest staff salaries that are the norm for non
profit organizations were exchanged for Fortune 500 salaries
with extensive benefits. Cronyism was and is still chosen repeatedly
over competency as the now “CEO-Pastor/Reverend/Doctor” utilizes
the church as a means to ensure the financial security of his
family and friends, despite that they clearly lack the skills
and experience for the roles. The competency of volunteer servants
was exchanged for an incompetent, unethical, and uncaring staff
of individuals that view their role as a “job” with a sense
of entitlement, as opposed to a “ministry”.
Policies and procedures that ensure the protection
and well-being of all individuals, especially our children and
seniors, were and are repeatedly compromised in an effort to
increase the bottom line.
we can address Senator Grassley's focus. Funds that were donated
with the intent of being utilized for ministry efforts were
“reassigned” to the business pursuits of the church in an effort
to offset the enormous financial deficits that were resulting
due to poor management and unethical practices.
Annual church conference after annual conference
were held wherein the financial reports were either incomplete,
inaccurate, or unavailable. However, this never stopped the
“CEO/Pastor/Reverend/Doctor” from holding votes to approve the
budget. He felt no obligation to operate in integrity, transparency,
The absence of accurate financial data also never
prevented mindless, blind, and weak members from acquiescing
to any initiative that was presented by their shepherd in wolf’s
clothing. Like sheep to the slaughter...they followed his lead.
Having said all of this, I will now voice my
support of Senator Grassley's efforts to expose any and all
mega church leaders that deem it appropriate to live excessively
when the individuals within their churches, communities, and
world are lacking.
While it is understood that the poor will always
be with us and that there are always those that just manage
their finances poorly, we must remember that the purpose of
the church is not to enrich its leaders. No, I am not against
living a comfortable life. I am against living an excessive
life at the expense of others and deceptively justifying it
with God's word.
The purpose of the church is to use all of its
funds, excluding minimal administrative, property, and maintenance
costs, to feed the poor, clothe the naked, give hope to the
hopeless, advocate for the voiceless, house the homeless, educate
the illiterate, fight against injustice, and so on. And NO!,
the church should not charge for providing these services. Remember
that “non-profit” thing?
Many have made the error of comparing the church
institution to the corporate institution. A majority of those
that have made this mistake are in the pulpit every Sunday.
While a church may have a business-like structure for organizational
purposes, it is not a for-profit business as many leaders have
made it to be. In our mega church, less than fifteen cents of
every dollar donated went to the ministry effort.
it is not acceptable to drive a Lexus at the expense of a senior
on a fixed income that has to choose on a monthly basis, between
heat and paying for medication. No, it is not acceptable to
reside in a multi-million dollar gated community when entire
families are residing in homeless shelters for extended periods
of time. No, it is not acceptable to have cosmetic surgery when
the children within your communities do not even have health
care. No, it is not acceptable to spend $800 on lizard skin
shoes or St. John's
Knit when the children in your church and community have worn
shoes or clothes.
Finally, no, it is not acceptable to exploit,
molest, abuse, and misuse God's children for your own gain.
I have the fullest confidence in God's law which states that
“you reap what you sow”. These leaders have ignored the fact
that they are “non-profit” entities, based on the government's
law. They also have consistently chosen profit over people,
which is in direct contradiction to God's law.
For these “CEO/Pastor/Reverend/Doctors,” the
outcome is clear, since they have opted not to hold themselves
accountable with integrity...the government will. More importantly,
BlackCommentator.com Guest Commentator,
Kandise N. Lucas, PhD, is corporate-American-turned-educator
that evolved into a community activist in an effort to address
the injustices that she witnessed throughout our communities,
whether they occurred within the church house or the school
house. She served as the Director of Children's Ministry Services
for one of Richmond,
Virginia's largest African-American churches
for several years, where she had the privilege of ministering
monthly to thousands of children. Presently, she is the spokeswoman
for The Community Council for Integrity In Education, (CCIE),
which is a grassroots organization promoting accountability,
responsibility, and excellence among public school officials.
Ms. Lucas holds both Doctorate and Master's degree in Special
Education, in addition to possessing a Bachelor of Science degree
in Biology and Chemistry. Her passions include education and
advocacy, which she claims are the same thing. She attributes
her success to God and her strong family roots. Kandise resides
in Virginia with her daughter, Johlie, and her husband, Charles, who are
the true “loves of my life.” Click
here to contact Dr. Lucas.