"Pilate saith unto him, What is truth? And when he had said this, he went out again..."

Location: Tampa, FL, United States

Monday, January 23, 2006

Entertaining Compromising?

A local dynamic duo in the Christian (?) ministry arena recently turned down a $100 million offer to buyout controlling interest in its properties and ministries. The pastor went before his congregation and said he was declining the offer to maintain control over all aspects of the church and its associated minitries. One reason cited was concern for the poor. The congregation burst into applause. At the surface it sounds like this controversial couple rejected mammon for the good of God and the people.

I called the reported who ran the story and asked a few questions. Was the $100 million offer legitimate? (the story listed the investors as "unidentified".) She said it was. I asked if the pastor knew the investors personally prior to the offer being made. She wasn't sure. I asked if the investors went to their church. She wasn't sure. She did offer up though, which was not in the article, that negotiations went on for 4 months! Hhhhmm? 4 months. It took 4 months to reach a decision that the congregation collectively and correctly processed nearly instantaneously.

Preachers/ministers of a true Christian bent are in their positions primarily because of a divine calling and appointment--not because of favorable market research. The sermons of the truly called should be inspired by God and on the heels of prayer--not directives from administrative types, especially ones "in the ministry" because of an investment opportunity.

This dynamic duo took four months to turn down this offer. Let's hope for the sake of the credibilty of the pastors that in these negotiations it was settled on day #1 that the buildings themselves were negotiable, but not the control and content of the ministry. That seems unlikley though as the growth of the ministry, from the investors' perspective, would be essential to making a profit, and its unlikely the investors would give up controlling interest of the dynamic voice boxes and word processors. Who buys a business and voluntarily subjugates their opinions to the suggestion box?


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