How Ministries Misuse Money

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Book-buying schemes, inflated fund-raising claims, & cures for coronavirus! It’s stunning the ways some Christian ministries are falsely raising funds and/or misusing them.

On this episode of The Roys Report, I discuss these kinds of financial shenanigans with Warren Cole Smith, president of—a Christian donor watchdog group. We also explore how the Evangelical Council for Financial Accountability (ECFA) was formed to protect ministries, not donors—and how the ECFA has failed over the years to hold ministries accountable.

This is a must-listen for anyone who gives money to ministries and wants to ensure that those funds are used properly.

This Weeks Guests

Warren Cole Smith

Warren Cole Smith is President of  Before joining MinistryWatch, he held leadership positions at The Colson Center for Christian Worldview and WORLD Magazine.  Warren also hosts the weekly podcast “Listening In,” a long-form interview program heard by tens of thousands of subscribers each week.  Before transitioning to a career in ministry 20 years ago, Warren 15 years in the corporate world, including seven years as the Marketing Director for a major division of PricewaterhouseCoopers, the global accounting and consulting firm. 



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4 thoughts on “How Ministries Misuse Money”

    1. Gospel for Asia was a wake up call for me. Through that blunder that I once donated to I learned about cleptocracies which are third world governments that become rich by stealing everything that they can, including much money meant for charity. I learned that, as far as I can tell, 80-90% of charities in India are scamming money off of the top for the top people running them. I have little doubt that the same is also happening throughout the rest of poor Asia, Africa and South America. “How ministries misuse money” is the correct title. For those based overseas most of the misuse is over there so we are not going to be able to see it, unless there are some extreme and unusual circumstances. Through this I have seen that what the world needs is not our Mammon–we make far, far too much of that–but the Holy Spirit. We Christians need to get saved (most of us in the West are not) and all those other people need to really get saved too. By giving money mostly what is happening is that we are feeding cleptocracies more Mammon overseas. This is a sad reality.

      And, speaking of that and, they really dropped the ball of GFA too. Rusty had a long article up there as an excuse why GFA did not need to disclose their overseas books because of “persecution.” That turned out to be total bull and MW assisted in their scamming crimes until the truth was published by others. Only then did they delete their excuse and replace it with the public warning there now. Until late 2015 they were on the wrong side of truth. I have zero confidence in them to really paint a true picture of what is happening. Right now they are just focused on the most obvious stuff that a discerning Christian does not really need help on. The real problem is how wide spread graft and corruption is, not just in the biggest ministries, but throughout the whole profit taking industry disguised as non-profits. I am not saying that there are no legitimate ministries. What I am plainly stating is that the evidence is that those are a very slim minority in today’s very corrupt world.

  1. Listening to your program as I write this….I worked for Moody Magazine from 1983 to 1989 in Circulation and we went to NLRB a few times to work the MBI booth. I also went to Christian Bookseller Convention too. Jesus junk and Christian Celebrities. It was sickening back then…I had a personal brief encounter with Tammy Faye at the Christian Booksellers Convention (pre-PTL scandal). She saw my MBI name tag so she wasn’t very friendly. It makes me very sad. David Jerimiah was one of my favorites when he came for Founders Week. I quit listening to him a few years ago….his TV and radio seemed to promote his books more than focusing on evangelizing and discipling believers.

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