A couple of weeks ago I'm going though my email when I find something from Victory Church UK. The church is located in Chepstow, Monmouthshire, UK (never heard of it). "Why is anyone from the UK contacting me," I wondered. Except for spending a week with the pastors of the Evangelical Lutheran Church of England I know no one "across the pond." So I read on.
"We are writing to invite you to be our guest speaker at our upcoming conference tagged "PASSION CONFERENCE" coming up from the 4th through 6th of Nov 2016."
In the ocean of Christian church throughout the world, I am the smallest minnow you can find. I doubt that only a handful of local pastors in the LCMS know who I am. I doubt that my name would draw confused looks were it to be mentioned at our Synodical headquarters in St. Louis. Really, I'm not on anyone's radar.
So I reread the email from Victory Church and I'm wondering, "Is this some kind of joke?"
It was worse, much worse. It was a scam.
I did a little investigating and discovered that I was not the only pastor to receive such an email from the Victory Church. One pastor, who also has a speaking ministry, explained that once the Victory Church has convinced you that they want you to come and speak they make a request for money. Specifically, they ask that you send them funds to cover obtaining a work permit. The pastor sent the necessary funds. Then a second email was sent, this time informing the pastor that a "bond" of $2500 pounds was need, fully refundable. All totaled, the pastor has shelled out $4500 American dollars to the Victory Church.
And he got nothing for the money he sent. No conference. No nothing.
I guess that if the church can get you to go along with their scam, they must consider it a victory!
By the time I finished my research, I hit the "delete" button and dispatched the email from the Victory Church to the neather reaches of my computer. I'm glad I didn't fall for this scam. I've got better places to invest my money.
Like the Samsung Galaxy smart phone. I hear you can buy that stock cheap right now. Better look into it!