All posts from “Money”

Should You Blame Steven Furtick for Higher Taxes?

November 25, 2013 12:00 AM

A federal judge in Wisconsin has ruled that providing clergy with a tax-free housing allowance is unconstitutional. U.S. District Judge Barbara Crabb's decision could affect pastors across the country if the ruling is upheld by higher courts. At the...

How Should We Then Spend?

November 5, 2013 9:44 AM

As Ur’s readers weighed in on Steven Furtick’s controversial mansion, it was clear that opinions on pastoral compensation vary widely. Your comments ranged from blistering critiques of ministerial excess, to defense of the pastor’s right to spend his money...

Steven Furtick Elevates his Living Conditions

October 24, 2013 12:51 PM

Did you ever expect to see the day when the Vatican suspended bishops for rich living and Bible-belt Protestant pastors stepped in to fill the gap? Haters are taking note as Charlotte pastor Steven Furtick builds one of Charlotte, North...

Is Church Tax Exemption Muzzling the Gospel?

June 12, 2013 11:42 AM

With religious freedom a major topic of national discussion, it was only a matter of time before the issue of church tax-exempt status came up. In a recent speech to a gathering of SBC pastors, ex-pastor, former presidential candidate,...

Risky Business (Part 2)

March 14, 2012 12:00 AM

Read part 1. So what is the solution to the captivity of ministry leaders to business models? I've got a theory: to the extent that the church does not know its Bible, really know the Bible, the more it seeks...

Risky Business (Part 1)

March 12, 2012 12:00 AM

I first discovered Jim Gilmore when his book, The Experience Economy, was handed to me by a nationally known church consultant in 2002. If I wanted my church to grow, he explained, I had to employ the marketplace strategies in...

Part 2: The Evangelical Industrial Complex & the Rise of Celebrity Pastors

February 21, 2012 12:00 AM

Read Part 1. This market-driven cycle of megachurches, conferences, and publishers results in an echo chamber where the same voices, espousing the same values, create an atmosphere where ministry success becomes equated with audience aggregation. (Thankfully there are outliers like...

The Evangelical Industrial Complex & the Rise of Celebrity Pastors (Pt. 1)

February 20, 2012 12:00 AM

Last week Bob Hyatt wrote about the temptations created by the celebrity pastor culture we live in and the harm it causes to our souls. He's not the only one talking about the issue. Both Relevant Magazine and the Together...

Exorcise Wall Street

February 15, 2012 12:00 AM

There was an occasion in the 60s where a bunch of hippies surrounded the Pentagon and tried to exorcise the demons. It didn’t work. Despite their valiant effort, not much happened that day. Nevertheless, I am one of those Christians...

Shane Claiborne: A Devotion for Wall Street

October 26, 2011 12:00 AM

A reporter recently asked me, “As a Christian leader, does your faith have anything to say about Wall Street?” I said, “How much time do you have?” Theologian Karl Barth said, “We have to read the Bible in one hand,...

Skye Jethani: Recipe for Church-365 (Part 4)

October 17, 2011 12:00 AM

Read parts one, two, and three of "Recipe for Church365". Ingredient Four: Decentralized Service Over the last few years my travels have been taking me more regularly to Portland, Oregon. Portland is weird, and that’s how they like it. But...

Megachurch For Sale

May 27, 2011 12:00 AM

News comes from California today that the Crystal Cathedral is for sale. The megachurch founded and developed by Robert H. Schuller has accumulated so much debt that selling the iconic Southern California facility is the only option. Some point to...

Do Christianity & Capitalism Clash?

April 21, 2011 12:00 AM

A poll conducted by Public Religion Research Institute in partnership with Religion News Service was released this week that finds more Americans (44 percent) believe Christian values are at odds with capitalism than believe they are compatible (36 percent). However,...

Skye Jethani: Redefining Radical (Part 2)

April 14, 2011 12:00 AM

Read Part 1 of “Redefining Radical.” Consider who is celebrated in most churches. Typically it is the person who is engaged in “full time Christian work”--the pastor or missionary, or people who pursue social causes that result in a big...

Ur Video: Tired of Tithing?

April 13, 2011 12:00 AM

A recent survey from the National Association of Evangelicals finds that a majority of pastors do not believe the Bible requires tithing. In this report from CNN, Leith Anderson and Brian Kluth discuss the survey and the theological basis for...

Skye Jethani: Redefining Radical (Part 1)

April 11, 2011 12:00 AM

“How radical do I have to be?” the suburban mom asked. She had recently read a number of Christian books decrying the self-centered nature of much of the American church. The authors had apparently had enough of the consumer orientation...

Ur Video: Driscoll on Mr. Moms

March 28, 2011 12:00 AM

In the last few weeks our conversation has focused on gender and relationship issues in the church. Bob Hyatt has talked about his church's journey toward opening leadership roles for women. And Mark Almlie wrote about the bias he sees...

Give to Uncle Sam What is Uncle Sam's

March 21, 2011 12:00 AM

Imagine what would happen if a massive popular movement of ordinary Americans decided to voice their concern about military spending – by withholding $10.40 from their 1040 tax forms this year? A simple, small, symbolic, but concrete gesture of protest...

The Christian Industrial Complex (Part 2)

December 17, 2010 12:00 AM

(Read part 1) In light of all the exciting movements addressing world hunger and peace, many with Christians in the forefront, I really believe Christian stores should be pioneers and innovators, rather than chameleons. Selling fair trade coffee is a...

The Christian Industrial Complex (Part 1)

December 15, 2010 12:00 AM

I went into a Christian bookstore the other day and was surprised to see some of the most prominent display space given over to military flags for the US Army, Navy, Air Force, and Marines. These flags, and a vast...

Megachurches Just Fine Amid Recession

November 22, 2010 12:00 AM

In case you needed more evidence that Americans love all things BIG, Leadership Network has released a new report: North American Megachurches Are Holding Steady During the “Great Recession” According to the study, megachurches are continuing to see attendance and...

Will Preach for Food

May 21, 2010 12:00 AM

National unemployment hovers around 10 percent. There are a lot of hurting individuals and households in the country as a result, but few have reported on the impact on clergy. The Wall Street Journal has released an article on the...

Jesus and the Health Care Bill

March 22, 2010 10:00 AM

This morning—the day after the U.S. House of Representatives passed the health-care measure—I feel a sense of gladness. I am glad that millions of Americans, many of them children, will have access to health insurance. I am glad that people...

The Sometimes Surprising Price of Success

June 17, 2009 8:12 AM

No, this post isn't about growing pains as your church gets bigger and bigger or what to do with the budget surplus all that extra tithing is leaving you with (though if your problem is the latter, email me). I've...

Baptizing Everything but the Wallet

November 17, 2008 12:00 AM

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Why I am Hopeful

October 20, 2008 12:00 AM

Has the economy got you worried? When pundits are throwing around statements like, "The worst market since the Great Depression," it's natural to get concerned. But Andy Crouch has a different take. He's written a really insightful article for our...

What the Unchurched See in a Building

September 18, 2008 12:00 AM

On the heels of David Gibbons' interesting thoughts on the way many churches squander their resources on underutilized buildings, Matt Branaugh has this piece over at LeadershipJournal.net. Apparently, if you're going to throw your church's money into a building, make...

Joining the Green Revolution

September 16, 2008 12:00 AM

by Dave Gibbons We are witnessing what some are calling the greatest transfer of wealth in human history. The McKinsey Global Institute has shown how assets are moving primarily from Europe and America to the oil countries of the Middle...

Tuning Out Christian Radio

June 27, 2008 12:00 AM

It's official: I'm tuning out of Christian radio. When some of the Christian radio stations in my area shifted their play lists from Southern gospel, country Christian and syndicated preaching, I took notice. I was thrilled to have airwave access...

Money from Heaven

April 29, 2008 12:00 AM

"I thought that spending my check from the government was supposed to be the patriotic thing to do, but I'm not sure it's the Kingdom thing to do." That is how my friend Chuck began explaining his idea about...

The Church of Stop Shopping

December 11, 2007 12:00 AM

Last winter Pastor Dave Swanson was Out or Ur's man on the street at the Sundance Film Festival. His reports sparked an excellent discussion about the impact of films on culture and theology. Swanson is back with a review of...

Lifestyles of the Rich and Religious

November 9, 2007 12:00 AM

I come from a diverse family where few are Christians and even fewer venture into the curious sub-culture of evangelicalism. For this reason a number of my relatives have an impression of Christianity based largely upon what they see while...

ATMs: Automatic Tithing Machines

September 25, 2007 12:00 AM

How can you pass the plate to people who don't carry cash? You can't. So the next big wave may be the "Giving Kiosk" in your church's lobby. "A lot of people no longer carry cash or a checkbook," says...

What Pastors Get Paid

September 18, 2007 12:00 AM

Our annual compilation of ministry salaries is out, and this year's tally produced a few surprises: - If you want to make more money, switch denominations. - Female solo pastors make more. - The extra degree is worth the money....

Razzmatazz or Ragamuffins?

July 23, 2007 12:00 AM

It's been done before. A non-Christian is paid to attend church and provide their honest feedback about the experience. The latest rendition of this experiment is occurring north of the border in Canada. Christian talk show host Drew Marshall has...

The Disappearing Middle

July 13, 2007 12:00 AM

Leaders should be concerned about the disappearing middle, according to Chad Hall. That bulge in the middle of a bell-shaped curve that represents the great mass of consumers and citizens and churchgoers and volunteers is getting squeezed. The result is...

Three Celebrities and a Funeral

January 10, 2007 12:00 AM

I took a bit of morning time to watch President Ford's funeral service as it was televised from the National Cathedral. There was music (Christian hymns which have buoyed the heart for many generations) sung and played with a beauty,...

Product Placement in the Pews—Part 2

December 22, 2006 12:00 AM

The Wharton School of Business has posted an article on their online journal, Knowledge@Wharton, about the growing trend of marketing products through churches. In part 2 of the article we hear from some critics of linking business practices and ministry...

Product Placement in the Pews

December 20, 2006 12:00 AM

A reoccurring issue on Out of Ur has been the effort of secular corporations to market to and through the church. But Leadership hasn't been the only one to notice the trend. The Wharton School of Business recently published an...

Who Will Save Thanksgiving?

November 22, 2006 12:00 AM

Wal-Mart announced this week they will return the word "Christmas" to their seasonal greetings. Good move, especially given their faithful hick-hop constituency. No more generic salutations that so many of us carped about last year, when many merchants dropped Christ...

Out of Context: Will Willimon

September 21, 2006 12:00 AM

This month Out of Ur is starting a new feature called "Out of Context." Each week we will post a quote from an article in the current issue of Leadership Journal that may cause you to ruminate, cogitate, or possibly...

The Second Coming of Superman: Finally, a "Christian" movie not marketed to churches

June 19, 2006 12:00 AM

Thank you Hollywood. Thank you Warner Brothers. Thank you director Brian Singer. Thank you for leaving me and my church alone! Next week the highly anticipated film "Superman Returns" debuts in theaters. Early reviews are incredibly positive, and some are...

The Passion Reloaded: is the silver screen really an outreach silver bullet?

April 10, 2006 12:00 AM

Two years ago, Mel Gibson's film, The Passion of the Christ, was marketed heavily to church leaders as "perhaps the best outreach opportunity in 2,000 years." Gibson stunned Hollywood naysayers by pocketing over $600 million as The Passion became the...

Marketing Narnia 2: Is That a Mouse in Your Pulpit?

December 6, 2005 2:46 PM

Just when I thought commercialism in the church couldn't get any worse I read this from the Philadelphia Inquirer: Attention, pastors: You have just four weeks remaining to work a lion, a witch or a wardrobe into your next sermon....

Marketing Narnia: Is the Church Being Used?

November 3, 2005 5:07 PM

The following is by Abram Book, Leadership editorial resident, who reported the nationwide Narnia promotion campaign that rolled out last month in Wheaton, Illinois, now the home of C.S. Lewis's wardrobe. OK, one of several such wardrobes. This one has...

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