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Culture Weekly Review

Weekly Review

ECFA Membership Changes, MinistryWatch Database Changes, On This Date in MinistryWatch

MinistryWatch 1000 Database Changes.  MinistryWatch now has more than 1,000 ministries in its database. These ministries represent more than $35-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, Transparency Grade, and Donor Confidence Score of each ministry is in parenthesis. If this rating represents a change from the previous year, that change is noted:

All God’s Children International (Down 4 to 3 Stars, Transparency Grade: A, DCS: 100), Amazing Facts (1 Star, Transparency Grade: C, DCS: 55), Americans United for Life (1 Star, Transparency Grade: C, DCS: 75), Atlanta Mission (Down 3 to 2 Stars, Transparency Grade: A, DCS: 85), Attack Poverty (Up 4 to 5 Stars, Transparency Grade: A, DCS: 100), Cho-Yeh Camp and Conference Center (N/A Stars, Transparency Grade: From A to C, DCS: 95 to 90), Eagle Ranch (2 Stars, Transparency Grade: A, DCS: 95), East-West Ministries International (Down 3 to 2 Stars, Transparency Grade: From A to C, DCS: 75), Hope Unlimited for Children (Up 3 to 4 Stars, Transparency Grade: A, DCS: 95), Across Nations pka: Western Indian Ministries, Inc.  (5 Stars, Transparency Grade: A, DCS: 90), Adult & Teen Challenge, USA (1 Star, Transparency Grade: A, DCS: 75), Advocates International (3 Stars, Transparency Grade: A, DCS: 90), African Enterprise (1 Star, Transparency Grade: A, DCS: 90), Agape Flights (Up 2 to 3 Stars, Transparency Grade: A, DCS: N/A), Agape House of Prescott (2 Stars, Transparency Grade: D, DCS: 80), Aglow International (3 Stars, Transparency Grade: C, DCS: 85 to 90), AIMS: (Acceleration in Mission Strategies) (4 Stars, Transparency Grade: A, DCS: 95), Alliance of Confessing Evangelicals (4 Stars, Transparency Grade: D, DCS: 80), Ambassadors for Christ International, Inc. / AFCI (4 Stars, Transparency Grade: A, DCS: 80), Audio Scripture Ministries  (2 Stars, Transparency Grade: A, DCS: 95), Barnabas and Partners (4 Stars, Transparency Grade: A, DCS: 80), Berean Bible Society (1 Star, Transparency Grade: D, DCS: 65), Bethany International (N/A Stars, Transparency Grade: C, DCS: 70), Bible Pathway Ministries (3 Stars, Transparency Grade: D, DCS: 70), Bible Tracts, Inc.  (5 Stars, Transparency Grade: C, DCS: 70), Cannon Beach Conference Center (Up 3 to 4 Stars, Transparency Grade: A, DCS: 95), Center for Bioethical Reform (5 Stars, Transparency Grade: D, DCS: 65), Children of Promise International (5 Stars, Transparency Grade: A, DCS: 95), Children’s Medical Ministries (CMM) (2 Stars, Transparency Grade: C, DCS: 80), China Ministries International (2 Stars, Transparency Grade: A, DCS: 85), Christ for India (2 Stars, Transparency Grade: C, DCS: 80), Christian Aid Mission (3 Stars, Transparency Grade: C, DCS: 45), Christian Associates International, Inc. dba Communitas International (4 Stars, Transparency Grade: A, DCS: 85 to 90), Christian Berets, Inc.  (3 Stars, Transparency Grade: D, DCS: 65), Christian Camps & Conferences (N/A Stars, Transparency Grade: A, DCS: 75), Christian Encounter Ministries, Inc.  (1 Star, Transparency Grade: C, DCS: 65). The following ministry has been added to the MinistryWatch database with the most recent year’s financial data: Christian Heritage Academy (4 Stars, Transparency Grade: A, DCS: N/A)

ECFA Changes.  The following organizations have had membership status changes in the Evangelical Council for Financial Accountability.  ADDITIONS:  CultureBound (Portland, Ore.), Friends of the Great Commission Foundation (Sumas, Wash.), Saving Susan Ministry (Kennesaw, Ga.), LaVie Pregnancy Care Center (Lexington, S.C.), Journey Church Colorado (Castle Rock, Colo.), Crossroads Christian Church (Corona, Calif.), Better Together (Naples, Fla.), The King’s Academy (Dallas, Tex.), The Upstream Collective (Knoxville, Tenn.), BCH – Baptist Children’s Home (Valparaiso, Ind.), Pursuit Church (Denver, N.C.), Pax Dei for Nuba (Harrisonburg, Va.), Northshore Community Church (Kirkland, Wash.), Christian Heritage Academy (Del City, Okla.), TIMES 12 (Annapolis, Md.), Western Michigan Youth for Christ (Grand Rapids, Mich.)  REMOVALS:  National Association of Street Schools (Denver, Colo.)

On the Podcast:  Elder Fraud, the AME Church, SBC Leadership Challenges, and the IRS.  On today’s program, we discuss financial abuse of the elderly.  Some charity scams target old people, but there are things you can do to protect yourself and your family.  A new law will require Christian ministries to file their Form 990s electronically.  I’ll explain why that’s a good thing, but it won’t solve the problems at the IRS.  We begin today with new developments in the case of the AME Church’s Retirement Funds.  You can hear the podcast on iTunes, Spotify, Stitcher, and other podcast apps, or you can simply click here.

Podcast Extra.  Michael Johnson, the president of the Slavic Gospel Association, is my guest on the MinistryWatch Extra episode this week.  He gives us a “boots on the ground” look at what’s happening in Ukraine.  Listen here.

Access to MinistryWatch content is free.  However, we hope you will support our work with your prayers and financial gifts.  To make a donation, click here.

A Guide To Giving For Disaster Relief.  When disaster hits, Christians give.  But where they give can make a big difference?  Which organizations are most effective in these post-disaster situations?  MinistryWatch has published a list of organizations that are doing relief work and which have an “A” Transparency Grade and a 3-, 4-, or 5-star rating for Financial Efficiency.  It’s a list of about 30 ministries, and you can find it on the front page of our website.  I’ll also include a link in the show notes to this program.  Link to list HERE.

Ukraine Giving.  If you want to give specifically to ministries working in and near Ukraine, click here.  We’ve posted this link for the past few weeks, but I want to keep it in front of you, and I also want you to know that we continue to add new ministries and additional information about existing ministries.  So if you haven’t hit the link in a week or so, you might want to hit it again.

Send Us Your News Tips.  Do you have a story idea for MinistryWatch?  If so, send us an email.  A lot of the stories we do originate from our readers and listeners.  They send us news tips, press releases, emails, questions, and links.  So, if you have a story you’d like us to cover, or a ministry that you think needs a closer look, please email us.  Our email is [email protected].  That will come directly to my desk, and we’ll take it from there.  

Salary Data Now In MinistryWatch Database.  We now have salary information for nearly 6,000 executives from more than half of the ministries in the MinistryWatch 1000 database.  So check out this new addition by clicking on the red button at the top of this page, or click 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.

Audio Version of Faith-Based Fraud Now Available. 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.  To get your copy, click here.  This week, the new audio version released.  You can get that from Audible by clicking here.  

75 Red Flags.  MinistryWatch has released a new free booklet, “75 Red Flags To Consider Before Donating For A Christian Ministry.”  To read more, and to download your free, printable copy of the 18-page booklet, click here.

MinistryWatch Video.  A reminder that we have created a short (3.5 minutes) video that explains what we do here at MinistryWatch, and why.  If you’re new to MinistryWatch, I hope you’ll check it out.  To find it, click here.

On This Date at MinistryWatch.  THREE YEARS AGO: On April 17, 2019, MinistryWatch reported that the Evangelical Council for Financial Accountability had revoked the membership of Harvest Bible Chapel after months of controversy surrounding its pastor James MacDonald.  Read more here.  TWO YEARS AGO:  Willow Creek Church names David Dummitt to be its new pastor following several years of tumult that resulted in the departure of founding pastor Bill Hybels and many others in senior leadership.  Read more here.  ONE YEAR AGO:  Citing leadership failures, Hillsong said it would “pause” all operations at its Dallas location.  Read more here.

A Few Housekeeping Notes:

I also want to mention that there’s a new way to give to MinistryWatch.  You can now give via text.  I’ve got to admit that this is not my preferred way of giving, but I’m kind of old school.  If this is your preferred way of giving, just text @ministrywatch to 52014.  Again, that’s @ministrywatch to 52014.  I tried it myself, and it was pretty easy. So if I can do it, anyone can.

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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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