A MISSIONAL DECADE Later: Missions Dollars are for Missions ONLY
On Actscelerate, a discussion came up concerning the supposed practice of pastors misreporting their church’s titheas (topix has been since deleted permanently by Actscelerate staff) a way to circumvent our denominational tax or “Tithe of Tithe.” I call it a tax because it is a set fee levied on churches. And, while I do honor this requirement, I do so out of a commitment I made and will keep and not a recognition of a Biblical mandate. I see zero Scriptural support for a denominational tithe or a retithe.
During the conversation on Actscelerate, someone stated that pastors who do not fully report their church’s tithe receipts should be removed. I think that anyone misappropriating funds should be removed. I do not engage in that practice. In fact, I do not know anyone that engages in that practice. But, if we are going to go after pastors for skirting the system, we need to do the same for denominational departments and department leaders.
I then referenced a report mailed out to every Florida COG pastor that showed how the state home missions’ budget is allocated. First, the report is incredibly vague. Second, it explicitly shows that we on a state home missions level have in the past misappropriated home missions funds at worst. At best, we have forgotten what our mission is and have severe organizational problems. Read for yourself in the words of our denominational offices how that less than $30,000 of our $1,000,000 per year home missions budget is spent on church planting. Notice how well over $800,000 is virtually lost in a giant bucket of administrative expenses and the wonderful heading of “other”…whatever that means.
As a quick note, I have to say that to my knowledge, the COG in FL is more on task now than at any point that I know off with hundreds of thousands of dollars going to start “intentional church plants.” This is an initiative of the State Office and a nearly identical plan was hashed out by Waymon Miller, Dwight Allen, and myself with the exception that the state is giving more than our proposed $100,000 per church plant.
Further, I am not writing this out of rebellion but out of a concern for the denomination of which I am involved. My heritage is thick in the COG with my uncle Otis McCoy editing and publishing “Hymns of the Spirit” and serving as the first music minister in the COG, my great grandfather serving as Asst. GO of the COG for 21 years, my great grandmother, Ida McCoy who I believe was the first licensed lady evangelist, and my Uncle David Lemons and his father, M.S. Lemons having a prominent role in the beginnings of the COG (his ordination being the 4th ordained minister in the COG).
I have spoken with everyone that I know to speak to, including our Presiding Bishop, Dennis McGuire. It was an engaging and friendly conversation where I heard many great ideas from a passionate and gifted leader. Yet, the fact remains that this unfocused, top heavy machine is wobbling off course and off mission.
Now is not the time to focus the cross hairs on the ministry. It is time to reform this behemoth of a bureaucracy that is totally out of control by making sure that money earmarked for missions, goes strictly to missions. Should anyone on a denominational level like to discuss this with me, I will make myself totally available. You may also discuss the topic here as other officials have done in the past. I am speaking out of love and passion…nothing else. Peace and Blessings.