• Bob Brooks

Pastors Need to be Careful Hosting Financial Product Seminars

Today's Point: Pastors just say no to financial product seminars in the church.

Why it is important: Why risk throwing everything away? The rationale for just saying no! Forward this to your church leadership for consideration.

This story about Reverend Caldwell is an unfortunate story of a Pastor who is been indicted for fraud. Who knows if the charges are true. Whether he is found guilty or not, it is something that will be a piece of his legacy. Having been in the financial field for 25 plus years, the case that they have against him does not look good. This can serve as a lesson for Pastors to not make the same mistake. That mistake is allowing churches to host financial product sales on site.

Given the worst case scenario, this is prime ground for unethical salespeople, or even fraudsters, to prey on trusting Christians. One of the worst stories that I have ever heard was with a salesperson that was allowed to put on a seminar selling life settlements. He told the congregation that God told him to come and present this to this church because the members needed this product. Investors of that church seminar lost everything.

It goes without saying that Pastors have an awesome responsibility when it comes to leading their church. Here are the dangers of allowing product sales of any kind into your church.

(1) Implied endorsement - If the seminar is being held, the Pastor must endorse it right? Whether or not it is true, there is a tendency to draw that assumption.

(2) Product Sales Going Wrong - If the performance of that product being sold goes South, it could be a direct reflection on the Pastor for hosting the product seminar to begin with.

(3) Temptation - There could be promises of kickbacks for an endorsement by the Pastor or a donation to the church. The Pastor could get caught up in a fraud or scam and not really know it or worst, know it. The temptation to participate can be rationalized in so many ways. As a former Pastor once said - if your head is made of butter, don't sit by the fire.

I am sure that Reverend Caldwell in the above story wishes he could have made that decision over again and not been involved. God has done tremendous work through his life and through his church. Now he risks that reputation and that trust as it is in the hands of law enforcement.

Pastors - just have a no financial seminar policy in your church. This way it will never be an issue.

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