Financial problems are very abundant today with the likes of lending institutions and the automotive industry ‑ but now church organizations?
With mega churches on the rise, and smaller churches adopting a “build it and they will come” attitude to attract a larger congregation, the financial stress has now lent itself to churches. And that stress does not stop at that level, it reaches new highs when specialty lending institutions are forced to take their own drastic measures.
The WallStreetJournal reports:
Church Mortgage & Loan Corp. of Maitland, Fla., another church lender, foreclosed on 10 church properties in the past couple of years. Unable to sell any of them, the company didn’t have the funds to pay more than 400 bondholders the estimated $18 million it owes, says company lawyer Elizabeth Green. Church Mortgage filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection in March.
Strongtower Financial of Fresno, Calif., says two of its 300 evangelical church borrowers are in default, compared with only one in the previous 15 years.
With a haunting trend of organizations tapping the government for help, some may look at churches to become the next in line for a “bailout” to fill their offering plates. While it may seem important to fill the offering plates, for some churches it has become more of an image problem than one that is centered on the gospel.
However, most religious persons will still seek refuge with their respectful source of scripture and relate to Matthew 6:12 saying “forgive us our debts, as we forgive our debtors.”