A book with world-wide application that’s controversial, thought-provoking, and one that could change the face of giving, contributing and investing. You will never look at leadership, in business or government, the same way again.
Each time we read about a scandal within government, secular or religious organization, we wonder: How much of this is accurate and how much is exaggerated? Perhaps the only way to know for sure is to ask someone who was part of the organization.
In recent months, an agency of the nation’s largest Protestant denomination has made national news. Its president, Bob Reccord, resigned under pressure in April 2006 after The Christian Index brought to light the improper spending of millions of contributor dollars. A trustee investigation confirmed the findings.
But what really happened at the Southern Baptist North American Mission Board? Now there’s a book that documents NAMB’s outrageous spending, and it’s written by the agency’s former marketing director and first woman director. Mary Kinney Branson chronicles the extravagance and misuse of funds within N.A.M.B. not only to illustrate how the consequences of character traits such as self-perceived celebrity and entitlement, arrogance and greed have destroyed the trust and confident of the stakeholders within the Southern Baptist Association, but how these same traits are jeopardizing the trust, effectiveness and the very survival of secular and religious organizations all over the world.
Some would, quite accurately, describe the book as an exposé. But it’s much more. It’s a look at how God intended giving to be, a coming-to-grips with what we’ve allowed it to become, and a plan for putting joy and effectiveness back into giving.
While NAMB is used as an example of extravagance and waste, the agency is only one of many Paul Bunyan-sized organizations that need careful scrutiny. Anyone who gives to a faceless secular and religious organization will find this book a must-read.
As a parade of Swaggarts, Bakkers, Clintons and Lays sprinkle the headlines of our newspapers, more and more people are making a commitment to investigate those who spend, govern and invest on their behalf. This book by Mary Kinney Branson will help them get started on a crusade that could revolutionize the way stakeholders give in organizations all over the world and hopefully remind them of the power they hold over the leaders of these organizations and instill a commitment of accountability within those leaders.
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Dr. Bruce Prescott of the MAINSTREAM OKLAHOMA BAPTIST interviewed Mary Branson and said this about SPENDING GOD’S MONEY:
BRANSON’S LAW: Mary Kinney Branson’s groundbreaking new book begins and ends with a statement that every Christian should learn about stewardship. She says: “It all boils down to a simple formula: The extent of misuse is directly proportionate to the distance between the giver and the spender.” Mary is much too humble to call it this, but I think it should be called Branson’s law. She has spent years agonizing and analyzing what goes wrong when Christian institutions become so large and so unaccountable to the people who fund them, that they lose touch with the higher purpose that they were intended to serve. Branson is not talking about geographical distance between the giver and the spender. She’s not talking about organizational distance or social distance either. She is talking about the most fundamental distance possible in a religious community—spiritual distance. The spiritual distance is enormous between the humble widows who give their last mites for what they believe is God’s work and the arrogant denominational executives and wanna-be mega-church preachers who spend their money to “brand” their names in the Christian marketplace. SPENDING GOD’S MONEY: EXTRAVAGANCE AND MISUSE IN THE NAME OF MINISTRY ought to be in the library of every church and on the bookshelf in every Christian home. Every church and every Christian has a responsibility to make sure that the resources they give to God’s work are spent wisely.