About one in 10 Protestant churches has had someone embezzle funds, according to a new survey by LifeWay Research, which says it could be due to churches’ reliance on volunteers to handle their finances. 9% of pastors say that their church has witnessed embezzlement of funds, while 91% say they are not aware of any such incident, says the survey of 1,000 Protestant senior pastors by Nashville-based LifeWay Research.
The survey found that pastors of mid-sized churches, or those with between 100 and 249 members, are less likely to say funds had been embezzled (6%) than those with 250 or more members (12 percent).
While 16% of Churches of Christ ministers are likely to say their church had funds embezzled, only % of Baptist pastors and 6% Presbyterian/Reformed pastors are likely to say so, the survey adds. The study notes that volunteers are usually honest, but churches often lack systems to catch those who aren’t.