“Bishop Bling” and the Role of Donors
“Who is wise and understanding among you? Let them show it by their good life, by deeds done in the humility that comes from wisdom.” James 3:13
By now many of you may have seen the story of “Bishop Bling”, a German bishop who spent over $40 million of donor and tax money (yes, largely secular Germans all pay a church tax that goes to support German churches – hard to see that working here in the US!) remodeling his home, including installing a $20,000 bathtub. Pope Francis just suspended Bishop Bling, as well he should have. The bishop’s future remains uncertain, and he is barred from returning to his parish until an investigation is completed.
Thankfully, the German parishioners of “Bishop Bling” have the Pope to turn to in such situations. He wisely took appropriate action against this behavior that can hardly be described as Christ-like. Unfortunately, all too often, donors to Christian ministries and churches have no similar means of protection against leaders who have abused their authority. MinistryWatch.com was founded to provide donors with as much help as we can offer in such situations. We can keep you informed and try to do so as best as our resources allow. Informed donors making their concerns known to wayward ministries will usually get results, although it often takes time as well. So, don’t be afraid to express your opinion to ministry leaders when you see something wrong and redirect your giving to the many worthy ministries you can find on our website (www.MinistryWatch.com) if you feel that is necessary. Engaged, informed donors will lead to less financial misconduct and other nonsense in the Christian ministry community. We are all sinners and each of us, like Bishop Bling, need accountability. And the more successful a ministry is, the greater the need for accountability. MinistryWatch.com will do our best to help you be informed so you can be prepared to engage leaders who may have gone astray in truth and love where necessary. And remember engagement can be in the form of praise and thanks for great ministry done sacrificially as well criticism when things have gone astray. In fact, sacrificial ministry efforts far outnumber the selfish acts getting the headlines. Still, if you are fed up with stories of bad ministry behavior, then take up your role as a more active, engaged donor. It is a good way to limit the damage we sinners are prone to do to ourselves and to the Kingdom!