All posts from “budget”

4 Tips for Church Budgeting

April 22, 2014 8:00 AM

1. Don't Get Lost in the Numbers: Consider Human Relationships It's easy to become overly involved with the mechanical aspects of budget construction and lose sight of the fact that budgets are for a church, a voluntary group of...

Four Poor Responses to Church Money Problems

June 18, 2013 8:00 AM

Randy Marsh, ministry development officer for the Evangelical Christian Credit Union, shared four poor responses church leaders make to money problems while speaking recently in Dallas at the 2013 XP-Seminar, a conference involving nearly 200 executive pastors from across...

Thom Rainer's Top 10 Rules of Thumb for Healthy Churches

June 6, 2013 8:00 AM

Thom Rainer (the president and CEO of LifeWay Christian Resources) recently offered his Top 10 rules of thumb for healthy churches in America. Several caught our eye, including: 8. Effective giving: For every person in average attendance, including children...

Five Ways to Survive Summer with a Balanced Church Budget

May 23, 2013 8:00 AM

Churches have historically dreaded summer due to one thing: giving. That's because activities and costs peak with summer missions trips, camps, and Vacation Bible School just as regular weekly contributions wane. The challenge for every church leader is to...

State of the Plate: Church Financial Reserves

May 16, 2013 8:00 AM

Each year we survey churches across America to find out about the state of their finances. In this year's State of the Plate survey, we asked more than 1,800 church leaders how much cash reserves their churches keep. About 20...

What's Next: Will Church Bonds Make a Comeback?

April 25, 2013 8:00 AM

Editor's Note: This is the final post in a guest series from Dave Travis' book, What's Next?:2012 Edition. The first posts addressed church finances, financial accountability, the use of interns and residents, and outsourcing work. Travis is CEO of Leadership...

What's Next: How Churches are Using Outsourcing

April 18, 2013 8:00 AM

Editor's Note: This is the fourth in a series of guest posts from Dave Travis' book, What's Next?:2012 Edition. The first three posts addressed church finances, financial accountability, and the use of interns and residents. Travis is CEO of Leadership...

What's Next: Should We Use Interns and Residents?

April 4, 2013 8:00 AM

Editor's Note: This is the third in a series of guest posts from Dave Travis' book, What's Next?:2012 Edition. The first post addressed church finances and the second post addressed financial accountability. Travis is CEO of Leadership Network. Where will...

Are Annual Church Pledge Drives Still Relevant?

April 2, 2013 8:00 AM

I recently sat through a workshop involving financial officers and business administrators from churches in metro Denver. A panel of three finance officers, convened to discuss cash flow and cash reserves, focused mostly on appropriate cash levels, metrics, and forecasts...

What's Next: Transparency is the Order of the Day

March 28, 2013 8:00 AM

Editor's Note: This is the second in a series of guest posts from Dave Travis' book, What's Next?:2012 Edition. The first post addressed how much--or little--the economy is to blame for church failures. Travis is CEO of Leadership Network. Here...

What's Next: It's the Economy—or Is It?

March 21, 2013 8:00 AM

Editor's Note: This is the first in a series of guest posts from Dave Travis' book, What's Next?:2012 Edition. Travis is CEO of Leadership Network. The recession has left its mark everywhere--on our friends, our families, our cities, our churches....

New Study: Churches Say Giving is Up, But So are Costs

March 7, 2013 12:48 PM

Our colleagues at Christianity Today just posted a quick analysis of new research on giving at churches conducted by the Lake Institute on Faith & Giving at the Indiana University School of Philanthropy, the Alban Institute, the Indianapolis Center...

Four Money Lessons for Churches from the "Great Recession"

February 21, 2013 8:00 AM

Randy Marsh, ministry development officer for the Evangelical Christian Credit Union, shared four money lessons for churches while speaking Wednesday in Dallas at the 2013 XP-Seminar, a conference involving nearly 200 executive pastors from across the country. Marsh said ECCU...

Big Churches Expect Big Things in 2013

February 19, 2013 5:00 AM

Leadership Network released its 2013 economic outlook this morning, relaying a mostly upbeat forecast for the nation's big Protestant churches in the year ahead. The organization created the report, written by Warren Bird and Stephanie Jackson, by combining responses...

Firm Issues Gloomy 2013 Forecast for Religious Giving

January 24, 2013 2:21 PM

A company specializing in computer-based reports and forecasts for charitable giving in the United States says giving to religion rose steadily in 2012 compared to 2011. The religious sector, though, has seen its share of the overall charitable giving...

5 Tools for Managing Your Ministry’s Money

October 9, 2012 8:30 AM

October 18 is National Church Administration Day (NCAD). In conjunction with this day, the National Association of Church Business Administration (NACBA) will feature local chapter meetings throughout the country focusing on the theme “Accounting Principles—Mechanisms to Manage Your Church’s Money.”...

How Churches Collect Their Donations

June 26, 2012 8:00 AM

The graphic above, which appears in the July edition of Church Finance Today, shows the ways that people give to their churches, based on results from the 2012 State of the Plate giving survey sponsored by Christianity Today, Maximum...

Pastors: Bring Financial Order to Your House

June 12, 2012 8:00 AM

The average church in America today has only one full-time pastor. This leaves the pastor to handle the majority of the church’s duties, including business matters. In referencing the qualifications for a pastor, 1 Timothy 3:4 says the leader...

Giving Rebounded for Many Churches in 2011

March 27, 2012 9:35 AM

A majority of churches reported giving increases in 2011, the first such occurrence in three years, according to results released today from the 2012 State of the Plate report. The constituency survey of more than 1,360 pastors and leaders...

Church Business Practices are a Witness—Good or Bad

November 22, 2011 8:00 AM

Editor’s Note: Christianity Today recently reported that a church refuses to pay mortgage payments for expansion and filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy, even though it has the money to make its monthly payments. The president of the Association of...

Dealing with Unpredictable Giving

October 18, 2011 8:00 AM

Vonna Laue, a partner with Capin Crouse and an Editorial Advisor for Christianity Today International's Church Management Team, discusses key points for why churches encounter giving declines, how to track giving, and how to encourage additional giving. Watch the four-minute...

The Proposed Charitable Deduction Change

July 21, 2011 8:00 AM

The president has proposed a 2012 budget that will decrease the value of itemized tax deductions, including deductions for charitable contributions, for individuals making $200,000 or more and families making $250,000 or more per year. Also in the proposed budget...

Letters to Potential Donors of Mission Trips

July 14, 2011 8:00 AM

In the excitement of planning a mission trip, it’s possible to overlook the importance of carefully worded support letters that meet IRS guidance. The IRS indicates what would be helpful to include in letters requesting charitable contributions, according to...

Should the Jobless Tithe on Their Unemployment Benefits?

May 17, 2011 8:00 AM

In the March edition of Christianity Today, three men with backgrounds in church and personal finances were asked whether the jobless should tithe on their unemployment benefits. Read their answers, then share how your church has (or hasn't) addressed...

More Stats on Church Giving and the Recession

April 26, 2011 1:00 PM

More data about church giving last year in the United States has emerged since the release of the 2011 State of the Plate survey results. The "Holy Toll," based on the 2010 Faith Communities Today research conducted with 11,000...

CNN: Is Tithing Optional?

April 14, 2011 8:00 AM

Results of a survey given by the National Association of Evangelicals to its 100-member board of directors show a minority--42 percent--believe the Bible requires tithing, while the rest do not. Leith Anderson, pastor of Wooddale Church and president of...

Church Giving Begins to Rebound?

March 30, 2011 9:30 AM

Since the recession in 2008, many U.S. churches have seen a decline in giving. But the tide may be changing. The third annual State of the Plate constituency survey of 1,507 churches revealed that 43% of these churches experienced...

Evangelicals and Money: Stingy, Generous, or Just Right?

February 14, 2011 8:00 AM

Last week, we pointed to research data highlighted by our sister magazine Christianity Today regarding average tithing levels among Christians. This week, we point to a series of short quotes obtained by Christianity Today from a variety of evangelical...

When Tithe Doesn't Mean Tenth

February 8, 2011 8:00 AM

Our sister publication Christianity Today magazine published some interesting new data from church giving research in its February issue. Specifically, the average percentage of income given to churches appears on the decline, measuring 2.43 percent in 2008 (compared to...

10 to Remember From 2010

December 20, 2010 8:00 AM

As 2010 comes to a close, it’s time to get all nostalgic and look back at the year that was. That includes reviewing the articles that interested readers throughout the year. Based on Internet traffic patterns, these 10 articles from...

7 Reasons Churches Should Offer Electronic Giving Options

December 17, 2010 8:00 AM

For many years, churches pondered (and even debated) whether to collect offerings by placing a box in the back of the sanctuary or by passing the plate. Today there is a much more important issue that is transforming how...

Giving at Churches—How Will 2010 End?

December 7, 2010 8:00 AM

Our friends at the Evangelical Council for Financial Accountability recently released a report showing charitable giving to its members has remained steady, especially among its largest members, despite the recession. But there were signs of challenge for ECFA members...

A New, Free Tool for Calculating Church Staff Salaries

November 18, 2010 8:00 AM

One of the best resource books for determining church staff pay, The 2010-2011 Compensation Handbook for Church Staff, now offers a free, easy-to-use tool for church leaders. The "Free Compensation Handbook Worksheets Download," walks church leaders through The 2010-2011...

Determining Which Ministry Gets What

September 30, 2010 10:45 AM

"Pastor, we don't have a budget. We just do what the Lord leads us to do." These words were spoken to me soon after I agreed to be the preacher at a small rural congregation, which used seminary students...

10 Things Every Church Should Know about Expansion (in 140 characters or less)

September 16, 2010 8:00 AM

Cogun, a North Lima, Ohio-based company that helps churches with building, recently released the "10 Things Every Church Should Know about Expansion (in 140 characters or less)." Here are the first three (you can read all 10 in the brief...

Can Finance People Be Ministry Minded?

September 14, 2010 8:00 AM

Why do committees so often act in a way that seems indifferent to and sometimes impedes ministry? The following practices may explain much of the problem: —People making financial decisions are removed from firsthand involvement in ministry. —People who are...

Cash Reserves: Who Needs Them?

September 9, 2010 8:00 AM

Cash reserves. If you’re like me, your eyes glaze over when these two words are used together. It’s certainly not the most exciting topic. But, what we have found through the current economic downturn is that cash reserves are...

A Fast (and Free) Way to Assess a Church's Health

August 19, 2010 8:00 AM

"Recent church assessments, such as Natural Church Development, Church Health Assessment Tool, Transforming Church Index, and REVEAL's Spiritual Life Survey, are very helpful—if your church has the time, money, and motivation to hire a consultant and/or get people to...

How Churches Can Re-think Money and Giving

July 22, 2010 8:00 AM

I recently posed four questions about organizational theory, leadership—and how those influence church giving—to Mike Bonem, executive pastor at West University Baptist Church in Houston and co-author of Leading from the Second Chair. Here is what he shared with...

Should Churches Increase 2011 Budgets?

July 20, 2010 8:30 AM

Christianity Today, our sister publication, recently asked several financial advisers, researchers, and other observers to weigh in on whether churches should increase their operating budgets next year. Here are their responses: "What we see is cautious optimism on the part...

Impact of Health Care Reform Issues for Nonprofits

July 13, 2010 8:00 AM

Editor's Note: Richard Hammar reviews the 2,500-page health care reform legislation that President Obama signed into law in March 2010 in the feature article of the July/August issue of Church Law & Tax Report. Rich's health care reform analysis...

Is Your Church Giving Raises This Year?

July 8, 2010 8:00 AM

An interesting post recently surfaced in the Church Admin discussion group hosted on Yahoo: "Situation: Our church is currently very close to our income and expense budget for the current year (fiscal year end in December). Last year, the...

Your Church Celebrates Four Awards

May 7, 2010 9:41 AM

Many of you may not know this, but Your Church magazine, like many other publications at Christianity Today International, is a member of the Evangelical Press Association, "the world's largest professional organization for the evangelical periodical publishing industry," as its...

A Case Study: When Shortfalls Cloud the Big Picture

April 29, 2010 1:40 PM

The Scenario Mike Newson* and the rest of the leadership of Trinity Church were at a crossroads. It was January—midway through the fiscal year—and Trinity’s income projections weren’t looking any better. It seemed like cuts were inevitable. But the...

Learning from Lean Staffs during Lean Times

April 7, 2010 12:32 PM

With many congregations facing tighter budgets as they weather the worst economic recession in decades, a recent survey of U.S. church leaders shows that a small percentage of churches are able to continue doing ministry while keeping staffing costs—the single-biggest...

What Will the New Health Care Bill Mean for Churches?

March 25, 2010 9:00 AM

(Editor's Note: Since this post publishes, we've since released "Health Care Reform: How the new laws will affect your church.") Now that President Obama has signed the health care reform bill into law, many churches are wondering what the impact...

Did the Grinch Steal December from Churches?

March 23, 2010 9:00 AM

In the latest “State of the Plate,” survey, in which we worked with Maximum Generosity’s Brian Kluth to poll 1,000 church leaders on the health of their churches’ finances in 2009, an interesting pattern emerged—December didn’t save the day...

Church Finances Remain Pinched in Early 2010

February 18, 2010 8:00 AM

A “new normal” is emerging in the church world when it comes to giving, budgets, and generosity initiatives, according to an ongoing survey conducted by Maximum Generosity and Christianity Today International’s Church Finance Today and Leadership journal. Nearly 800 churches...

Stetzer: Churches Lag in Economic Recovery

January 14, 2010 9:11 AM

Ed Stetzer, president of LifeWay Research in Nashville, wrote a post today highlighting new research regarding continued economic pressures on U.S. churches. LifeWay gathered the research in November through phone surveys with 1,002 church pastors. The overarching message: Churches...

IRS Announces Standard Business Mileage Rate for 2010

December 3, 2009 4:36 PM

The Internal Revenue Service today issued the 2010 optional standard mileage rates used to calculate the deductible costs of operating an automobile for business, charitable, medical, or moving purposes. Beginning on Jan. 1, 2010, the standard mileage rates for...

Church Budgets: How Much for Staff, Buildings, and Ministry?

November 11, 2009 2:13 PM

Paul Clark, one of Your Church's contributing editors, wrote an interesting post this week on his blog. Paul is an executive pastor who at one time spent several years in a managerial role with General Electric. His business background...

Report: Finances Steady at Two-Thirds of Churches

October 29, 2009 9:00 AM

New research released this week by Indiana University's Lake Institute on Faith & Giving and The Alban Institute suggests giving remained steady--or grew--during the first half of 2009 for two-thirds of the 1,540 churches they surveyed. More than three-fourths...

Facing a Financial Crisis: Three Experts Weigh In

October 22, 2009 4:25 PM

A headline I read earlier this week from the newswire service United Press International gave me pause: “More Churches Face Foreclosure.” Upon reading the piece, I quickly understood why: While the rate of foreclosed church properties continues to climb,...

Free Excerpt: The Essential Guide to Church Finances

October 15, 2009 9:00 AM

Earlier this year, we released The Essential Guide to Church Finances by Richard Vargo, a professor of accounting in the Eberhardt School of Business at the University of the Pacific, and Vonna Laue, a partner at nonprofit accounting firm...

Building a Culture of Generosity in Your Church

October 14, 2009 8:50 AM

Some estimate giving to churches is on a 40-year decline. In contemplating the reasons why, here's a thought that should give church leaders pause: A church budget usually is set to the level of its people's unfaithfulness. That's one...

Study: Donations Grow 42% With Face-to-Face Time

October 8, 2009 10:00 AM

A new study about the best ways to secure larger gifts from donors strongly reinforces the central theme of “Asking for Big Gifts,” an article in the current issue of Your Church: face-to-face time matters. A lot. In fact,...

Making Comparisons for Church Purchases

August 28, 2009 12:00 PM

As a consumer in the marketplace, a local church faces the inevitability of making purchasing choices. Ford or Chevy? Plain or peanut? A lot or a little? Wise choices are made from informed methods of comparison shopping. Executive pastors...