Reducing Fraud in Ministry – the inconceivable nature of fraud

Dr. Glenn Miller, host of the Leadership and the Church podcast, and CEO of Miller Management is getting the mic turned around on him this month as Chris Miller, President of Miller Management, gets to ask the questions. Let’s jump right in.

In 2009 seeing the increasing trend, our host – this month’s guest – received his Certified Fraud Examiner credentials. In 2015, he co-authored a book entitled “Confessions of a Church Felon“- based on a fraud case he personally worked on. Then, in 2018, he devoted his Doctorial Dissertation towards Reducing Fraud in Ministry.

Looking at Statistics

Is there any fraud happening in churches today? Let’s look at some numbers.

In 2017, the statistics are staggering at $59 billion of fraud being reported while $53 billion went towards missions. Rolling forward to today, a recent Forbes article claimed that 95% of fraud goes unreported. Or how about the future, when Brotherhood Mutual and the Center for the Study of Christian Ministries suspect that annual fraud will hit $100 billion by 2025.

“The numbers are astronomical. And hard to fathom.”

Dr. Glenn A. Miller

Comprehending the Numbers

One of the problems is comprehension. So, let’s try to comprehend this big of a number. Let’s focus on $80 billion. If we drill 10 million water wells in one year, we could serve a billion people with water. Or feed 22 million people every day. Or plant 160,000 churches; and who knows how many lives could be impact with that many churches.

All with $80 billion of stolen money.

Why are we – as God’s church – allowing this to continue?

Lots of denominations have anti-fraud training, research, and documentation. But, going back to our book mentioned previously, we just can’t imagine that fraud would happen in our church. This is called the inconceivable nature of fraud. Even when it’s right in front of us, we can’t believe someone would or could do this.

A reminder to leave you with this week:

1 Thessalonians 5:22

Next Week

Join us next week to find out why people steal from the church. The answer might surprise you. While you wait, visit Miller Management’s articles on Fraud Prevention.

Join the conversation, see behind the scenes, and learn more on our Instagram and Twitter.

Special thanks to our guest host and master of all things podcasting, Chris Miller, for this first episode in our Reducing Fraud in Ministry series.