Statement from Planetshakers Church re: A Current Affair story

4 August 2016

Recently Channel Nine’s A Current Affair aired a segment on Planetshakers Church on 26th July 2016. There were some inaccuracies represented that we wish to correct.

The program chose to use unauthorised, unsubstantiated and uncredited content, as well as footage edited out of context.

The first allegation that our congregation “are encouraged to give and go into debt to give” is completely wrong.. People are under no obligation to make any financial contribution. It is entirely a matter of individual choice and freewill.

Furthermore, the accusation that Planetshakers Church is “focused only on one thing – taking their members’ money” is entirely unfounded. Finances is just one of the many areas of life that we speak about. We always encourage our congregation to be a blessing to all of society and to use their gifts, talents, time and resources to make this world a better place. We are an inclusive and accessible church for people of all generations, socioeconomic backgrounds and diverse cultures.

We are surprised at the program’s inability to read basic financial reports. Our finances are a matter of public record and it is clear that the figure of $20 million refers to revenue and not profit. After expenses, the revenue received went into pastorally caring for our congregation members and our community programs, including our work in juvenile detention centres, refugee communities and through our food bank. On top of that, after expenses, we gave away 15% to external organisations such as, but not limited to, World Vision and the Salvation Army. The financial reports are available on the Australian Charities and Not-For-Profit Commission website. We are fully accountable, transparent and operate under the full governance of an independent board.

We are perplexed as to why the program has felt the need to arrive unannounced and “undercover” to our service as we have always co-operated with the media. The “undercover”, unauthorised footage taken by the program during Sunday’s service was a mere 5% of the total service duration.

Like any other Christian church, our message is all about Jesus. Our faith in Jesus inspires us to be a blessing in our community and to truly be the hands and feet of Jesus. If we were to receive $200,000 weekly in our congregational free-will donations (as the program falsely suggested) this would enable the church to continue to bring hope, joy and peace to our society.