A few years ago I was watching Channel 7 News before going to sleep. Here is part of the script from the story I saw.

Reverend Takes Tax Refund
When Betty Jerry needed someone to do her tax return she went to Lenard McCray, but what did Lenard do in return? He took Betty’s $2,600 refund and put it in his own checking account.  It turns out when Lenard’s not doing taxes; he’s doing God’s work. Lenard is a reverend and Action News obtained undercover video showing him preaching at Detroit’s Jordan Missionary Baptist Church.
Betty said, "For a man of the cloth to do something like this is just reprehensible."
Betty said when she first went to Reverend McCray five months ago he seemed like a guy she could trust.  But when she got tired of waiting for her tax refund, she called the IRS and said "where’s my money?"
The IRS told Betty they didn’t have her money because it was already deposited into an account.
"At this point they said there was nothing they could do," she said.
That’s when Betty called Reverend McCray demanding answers and he wrote her a letter admitting that indeed he had put her money into his own account.
"It was a mistake that was made. One of the problems is we bank at the same bank and I made the mistake of putting in the wrong number," explained McCray.
Betty doesn’t buy the excuse.
Furthermore records obtained by Action News suggest this was no mistake. According to an IRS document someone took out a $2,600 cash advance using Betty’s tax refund as collateral before she was scheduled to get it back.
Betty said the only person who had the tax information to get that loan was Reverend McCray.
More than three months have passed since Betty’s money turned up in Reverend McCray’s account.  Reverend McCray still owes Betty $2,000, but said he doesn’t have to money to pay her back.[1]

Is it any wonder that some people want nothing to do with churches? 

It’s true that you don’t have to look too hard to find some reprehensible act being committed by a church member or pastor. It’s easy to get cynical because of a few bad apples. You may hear people who take delight in finding out all the rotten things that this church or that is doing.

The problem is repeatedly the same. Churches are stocked with humans and are prone to dysfunction just like any other institution, community or group of friends. So what do we do about the dirt that accumulates around churches?

Every church needs a janitor. No church stays clean and sin-free for very long. There is an ancient proverb that puts it this way.

Proverbs 14:4
Where No Oxen Are, The Manger Is Clean, But Much Increase Comes By The Strength Of The Ox.

This proverb (or wise saying) gives a picture of farming in the Middle East in ancient times. The word ‘ox’ referred to both male and female cattle. The job of an ox was to pull a plough and power a treadmill where the grain was threshed. 

In the place where the ox was housed, you had the manger (crib). This referred to box or trough that the animal ate out of as well as the stall that the ox inhabited. 

You could say it this way: 

“Where no oxen are, the food trough remains clean of food and dirt. Where no oxen are, the stall itself remains clean of manure and dirt.”

It is common sense. Now let’s think of this proverb in light of the reality of churches.

Other scriptures use the ox to picture certain qualities and virtues that God wants to build into our lives. In Ezekiel’s vision he described a creature with the face of an ox, portraying the quality of service. Ministers are compared to the ox that treads out the grain. Paul referred to Christians as oxen when he spoke of the law that oxen and donkeys are not to be yoked together. He was talking about the inequity of believers and unbelievers trying to work together for the same spiritual goals.

So think of yourself as an ox, whether bull or cow and let us learn some spiritual lessons about cleaning the church.