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Weekly Review

WPOZ on the Podcast, Pete Singer of GRACE, and Changes to the MinistryWatch and ECFA Databases

On Today’s MinistryWatch Podcast.  Each week, MinistryWatch brings you news about Christian ministries, as well as the latest in charity and philanthropy, news that we examine from a Christian worldview perspective.  Our goal is to help us become better stewards of the resources God has entrusted to us.  On today’s program, turmoil at a Christian radio station in Orlando, WPOZ (better known as “The Z”), has caused the entire industry to take a hard look in the mirror.  We begin today with the story of a ministry founder who has been asked to step down from his role because of “unbiblical behavior.”  You can hear the podcast on iTunes, Spotify, Stitcher, and other podcast apps, or you can simply click here.

ECFA Changes.  The following organizations have had membership status changes in the Evangelical Council for Financial Accountability.  ADDITIONS: Ananias House (Houston, Tex.), Sojourn Church (Traverse City, Mich.), Achungo Community Center (Mountain View, Calif.), Silk Road Catalyst (Spartanburg, S.C.), Compass – Finances God’s Way (Sanford, Fla.), New Life Camp (Raleigh, N.C.), Blue Valley Baptist Church (Overland Park, Kans.),  REMOVALS:  None

MinistryWatch Database Changes.  MinistryWatch recently topped 900 ministries in its database. These ministries represent more than $30-billion in total revenue, most of that donor revenue from evangelicals. The following ministries have their profiles updated with the most recent year’s financial data. The Financial Efficiency rating of each ministry is in parenthesis. If this rating represents a change from the previous year, that change is noted: Blessings International (3 Stars, Transparency Grade: A), Christian Appalachian Project (4 Stars, Transparency Grade: C), BEE World (Down 3 to 2 Stars, Transparency Grade: A), CBMC, Inc.  (Down 2 to 1 Star, Transparency Grade: A), Faith and Learning International (Up 4 to 5 Stars, Transparency Grade: A), Fellowship of Christians in Universities and Schools (FOCUS) (Down 2 to 1 Stars, Transparency Grade: A), InterVarsity Christian Fellowship / USA (Down 3 to 2 Stars, Transparency Grade: A), Joni and Friends / Joni Eareckson Tada (Down 3 to 2 Stars, Transparency Grade: A), Mission Arlington / Mission Metroplex (Up 4 to 5 Stars, Transparency Grade: A), The Luke Commission (Up 3 to 4 Stars, Transparency Grade: A), The Pocket Testament League (4 Stars, Transparency Grade: From C to A), Town and Country Manor (Down 4 to 3 Stars, Transparency Grade: A), Young Life (Down 3 to 2 Stars, Transparency Grade: A), Youth Dynamics (Down 5 to 4 Stars, Transparency Grade: A). The following ministries have been added to the MinistryWatch database with the most recent year’s financial data: 4KIDS of South Florida (2 Stars, Transparency Grade: C), Anabaptist Foundation (4 Stars, Transparency Grade: A), Baptist Church Loan Corporation (3 Stars, Transparency Grade: A), Bethany International (N/A Stars, Transparency Grade: C), Capital City Rescue Mission (2 Stars, Transparency Grade: C), Choice Books of Northern Virginia (3 Stars, Transparency Grade: A), Christian Motorcyclists Association (4 Stars, Transparency Grade: A), Covenant Theological Seminary (2 Stars, Transparency Grade: C), Kairos Prison Ministry International (3 Stars, Transparency Grade: C), Kalamazoo Area Christian Retirement Association (3 Stars, Transparency Grade: A), Life Pacific University (2 Stars, Transparency Grade: C), Market Street Mission (N/A Stars, Transparency Grade: C), Mennonite Brethren Foundation (N/A Stars, Transparency Grade: C), Mennonite Brethren Homes, dba Palm Village Retirement Community (4 Stars, Transparency Grade: A), Messenger International (3 Stars, Transparency Grade: A), Minnesota Teen Challenge, dba MN Adult & Teen Challenge (3 Stars, Transparency Grade: A)

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Podcast Extra:  Pete Singer of GRACE.  Regular listeners to the program know that our midweek “MinistryWatch Extra” episodes are a chance for us to “go deep” with some of our editorial partners, or to talk with thought leaders about important topics.  This week, I’m delighted to have on the program Pete Singer.  Singer is the executive director of GRACE, which is an acronym for Godly Response To Abuse in the Christian Environment.  It’s a position he took over in January of this year.  Here at MinistryWatch, we have often quoted GRACE, or referred to GRACE reports, in our coverage of Christian ministries.  That’s because GRACE has become something of a “gold standard” when it comes to investigating sexual abuse in church and ministry setting, but – and more to the point here today – they also do a great job in helping organizations prevent abuse.  I wanted to have Pete Singer on the podcast to talk about both aspects of their work.  Pete Singer has master’s in social work, and more than 30 years’ experience working with trauma, abuse, and mental health in a variety of settings. You can hear our conversation by clicking here.

In The Ministry Spotlight.  Each week, MinistryWatch selects a ministry from our database to spotlight.  We do this so you can see some of the powerful information we have in our database, information we hope will inform your giving decisions.  This week we feature Apartment Life, which places Christian couples and families in apartment buildings to help with tenant retention and hospitality.  To take a look at the mission and financials of Apartment Life, click here.

Salary Data Now In MinistryWatch Database. We now have salary information for 3,000 executives from about 500 of the 850 ministries in our database posted in our profiles.  So check out this new addition by clicking on the red button at the top of this page, or here.  That takes you to our database.  The search engine is right there, and you can type in the name of a ministry you’re interested in and our profile will pop right up – now, with compensation information for the top executives.

On-Line Training For Ministry Leaders.  Thanks to a partnership with Dunham + Co., MinistryWatch is now able to offer on-line training “short courses” in such topics as change management, fundraising, social media, and the use of cryptocurrencies such as BitCoin.   To read more about these courses, click here.

Faith-Based Fraud Now On Sale.  Thanks to those of you who made my new book Faith-Based Fraud a best-seller in several Amazon categories this week.  It’s now available in paperback and e-book versions.  We will have audio and hardback coming soon.  To get your copy, click here.

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Warren Cole Smith

Warren previously served as Vice President of WORLD News Group, publisher of WORLD Magazine, and Vice President of The Colson Center for Christian Worldview. He has more than 30 years of experience as a writer, editor, marketing professional, and entrepreneur. Before launching a career in Christian journalism 25 years ago, Smith spent more than seven years as the Marketing Director at PricewaterhouseCoopers.

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