All posts from “churches”

Tips for Protecting Church Donation Boxes

January 30, 2014 8:00 AM

Setting up a donation box at church may seem like an easy way to collect money for causes or the weekly collection, but it comes with risks. If left unattended, thieves may find a way to break into them....

Monday Church Management Roundup

January 20, 2014 8:00 AM

Want to serve your congregation better? Offer fewer options. "The church needs to get back to majoring in what it does best. Modern church bulletins often blend essential church functions and an eclectic mix of opportunities. ... The average...

Colorado Flooding, and How Not to Help in a Disaster

September 13, 2013 1:35 PM

Yesterday morning, my friend, Wes, a youth pastor in Longmont, Colorado, posted this update on his Facebook feed: "I've got 4-wheel drive, a dog, and an open day. If anyone needs help with flooding issues, let me know. Would...

Costly Damage by Copper Thieves

September 10, 2013 8:00 AM

Every year, a number of church leaders find air conditioning units damaged by scrap-metal thieves. Often these church leaders are surprised to hear that the worth of the stolen scrap metal is significantly lower than the cost of the...

How Much is a Volunteer's Time Worth?

May 2, 2013 8:00 AM

How much is a volunteer's time worth? About $22.14 an hour, according to a new Independent Sector calculation. The organization uses Bureau of Labor Statistics information, looking at payroll averages of nonfarm, nonsupervisory labor and adding a percentage for benefits....

State Appeals Court: Church Should Pay Property Tax

April 17, 2013 8:00 AM

On the heels of last week's news regarding an Indiana study that showed one in four government leaders favored payments of some type by churches in exchange for their tax-exempt statuses comes this online column by Peter J. Reilly of...

Indiana Government Survey: 1 in 4 Say Churches Should Make Payments

April 9, 2013 9:51 AM

A 2010 survey of local government leaders in Indiana shows one in four want churches to make “payments” or provide services in exchange for receiving tax exemptions on their properties. The survey results, released for the first time on Monday,...

Outfit Your Church for Outreach

December 20, 2012 8:00 AM

As Christmas approaches, many churches are directing their attention toward local, national, and international outreach efforts. Christianity Today and Brotherhood Mutual Insurance Company recently conducted the joint national Outlook for Outreach study, collecting responses from 1,486 church leaders and volunteers...

How Churches Serve Their Communities

December 11, 2012 8:00 AM

Where would Americans be if churches didn’t make outreach a priority? Many would feel the pain of unmet needs for basics such as food and clothing, not to mention a slow-down in disaster recovery efforts. For many hardest hit by...

Commission Releases First Report on Church Accountability

December 4, 2012 2:54 PM

An independent commission formed by the Evangelical Council for Financial Accountability at the request of Sen. Charles Grassley, R-Iowa, in January 2011 issued its first public findings today through a 91-page report that is available for free download. The report...

Building a Culture of Risk Management

September 25, 2012 8:00 AM

Now more than ever before, church leaders must recognize the importance of risk management as an inherent part of organizational oversight and leadership. But what does proper risk management look like, and whose responsibility is it? Many boards assume that...

Church Business Matters

July 5, 2012 8:00 AM

Most ministers have managerial responsibilities, such as budgeting, hiring, supervising, and purchasing, though it seems many church members either do not understand this or harbor doubts about pastors’ competence in these roles. When our interviewees were asked why they...

When Benevolence Ministry Becomes Risky

April 23, 2012 8:00 AM

Around lunchtime on a Friday, a man entered a Boston-area church and soon left with the church secretary’s purse, according to a local news station. The man claimed he needed money to support his five children. After the secretary...

What Is Your Hope for the Church?

March 20, 2012 8:00 AM

As I travel the country and interact with church administrators, executive pastors, treasurers, and bookkeepers, I’m often reminded of the steadfast commitment these people bring to their roles and their churches. Because of the nature of their duties and responsibilities—crunching...

Proper Payroll Withholdings Critical for Churches

March 1, 2012 8:00 AM

The recent payroll tax holiday extension keeps a 2-percent reduction for employee and clergy Social Security withholdings in place throughout 2012. We've already covered what those rates should be on paychecks. But the reason why it is so important for...

17 Ways the Church May Become Accountable to the State

February 21, 2012 8:14 AM

Should the IRS form an advisory committee to oversee church tax law? Is the clergy housing exclusion constitutional? To what extent should churches be accountable to the government for the way in which they operate? These are three of the...

Commission on Financial Practices Seeks Input from Churches

February 16, 2012 8:00 AM

A little more than a year ago, Sen. Chuck Grassley (R-Iowa) asked the Evangelical Council for Financial Accountability to oversee an independent commission tasked with evaluating several financial and tax matters related to churches and nonprofit ministries. The goal: Determine...

Before You Share Your Space

January 31, 2012 3:09 PM

When a church allows outside groups to use its space, it invites opportunity and risk in too. By sharing your space, you introduce new people to your facility—people who might not otherwise come through your doors. At the same...

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...

Fraudulent Calls to Churches

August 18, 2011 8:00 AM

Churches often receive calls for financial help. The most difficult part of these conversations is determining the honesty of the person on the other side of the phone line. When churches in Florida received a call from a man...

IRS Revokes Tax-exempt Status of Church-run Agency

June 23, 2011 8:00 AM

If your church runs a nonprofit agency, you may want to check this state-by-state list of 275,000 organizations whose tax-exempt status was recently automatically revoked by the IRS. Most organizations on the list no longer exist but some still do....

How to Manage Risk at Church

June 9, 2011 8:00 AM

David Middlebrook, editorial advisor for ChurchLawAndTax.com and ChurchSafety.com’s “Ask the Expert,” has developed an easy way to understand and develop a risk management plan. Each letter of the word “risk” stands for a step in the process: R –...

Online Resource for Church Law and Tax Help

February 22, 2011 8:00 AM

We’re pleased to announce the launch of ChurchLawAndTax.com (formerly ChurchLawToday.com). We’ve given the site a fresh, new look to serve church leaders like you even better. You’ll find an updated Archives of the Church Law & Tax Report newsletter through...

What Churches Should Know about the Tax Relief Act

January 18, 2011 8:00 AM

On December 17, Congress passed the "The Tax Relief, Unemployment Insurance Reauthorization and Job Creation Act of 2010." After President Obama signed it into law, numerous tax provisions that were about to expire were kept alive. And a significant benefit...

Tax Ruling May Help Pastors Who Own Two Homes

January 11, 2011 8:00 AM

Late in 2010, the United States Tax Court ruled a pastor could apply a housing allowance toward expenses incurred from a primary residence and a vacation home. What are the implications for church leaders? Well, while many may not own...

National Commission to Examine Church Financial Practices

January 7, 2011 10:46 AM

Editor's Update (12/8/11): The Commission on Accountability and Policy for Religious Organizations is now taking public comments on the various issues it is studying. _________________________________ Editor's Update (4/27/2011): The ECFA has announced the initial members of its commission. The...

Endorsing Political Candidates from the Pulpit

October 26, 2010 8:00 AM

A majority of pastors believe churches should not publicly endorse political candidates, a new LifeWay Research survey shows. Phone interviews conducted randomly in early October with 1,000 church pastors, ministers, and priests revealed 70 percent strongly disagreed and 14...

One Church, Many Congregations

October 14, 2010 8:00 AM

A recent article from our sister publication, Leadership Journal, covers the rapid growth of Christ Together, a network that developed in the Chicagoland area after pastors of several different congregations saw an opportunity to partner with each other to...

Leading a Holistic Church Staff

March 9, 2010 9:00 AM

Charlie couldn’t lead the church staff. The harder he tried, the more he failed. With 3,000 people in worship each week, the church seemed healthy. The staff, however, seemed emotionally sick and suffered from high turnover. When people left...

New Law Permits 2009 Charitable Deduction for Haiti Relief Contributions

February 24, 2010 8:00 AM

In an effort to encourage further charitable giving to help those affected by the earthquake in Haiti, Congress passed a bill on January 21 that permits donors to deduct (on their 2009 income tax returns) charitable contributions of cash...

2010 Tax Tips for Church Leaders

February 23, 2010 8:30 AM

Ministry Direct, a channel of AGTV, recently hosted a live, 50-minute video with Richard Hammar on the latest tax information that churches and ministers should know. See it below. Video provided by AGTV. Used with permission. To learn more about...

Responding to Negative Coverage in the Media

February 19, 2010 8:30 AM

Editor’s Note: On February 4, a local television station ran a story about Ed Young and Fellowship Church, the Grapevine, Texas, where he leads. The piece, citing anonymous former staff members, among others, suggests Young leads a lavish lifestyle....

Oregon Case Provides a Powerful Reminder to Churches

February 17, 2010 8:00 AM

Editor's Note: On March 5, 2010, this post was corrected to show the trial court originally ruled in favor of the pastor, and this ruling was recently affirmed on appeal. The correct version appears in full below: Last week,...

Stetzer: Churches Struggle with Fostering Young Leaders

February 11, 2010 8:30 AM

Recently, LifeWay Research surveyed pastors about the church's leadership development and mission. We asked them to rate their agreement in the following three areas: 1) Investing in leaders through the church The survey asked pastors to respond to this statement:...

Legally Host A Super Bowl Party

January 19, 2010 8:30 AM

If your church is hosting a Super Bowl party this year, you will need to abide by three simple guidelines to avoid violating copyright law. Attorney David Middlebrook, who specializes in representing tax-exempt organizations and is a member of our...

Your Church's Top 10 Articles of 2009

December 21, 2009 9:00 AM

Last week, we wrote about the Top 10 most-read posts on TheYourChurchBlog.com during 2009. This week, we're taking a look at the Top 10 most-read articles from YourChurch.net, the website for Your Church magazine. For a year riddled with bad...

The Top 10 Church Administration Posts for '09

December 17, 2009 9:00 AM

As 2009 draws to a close, here's a fun look back at the year's 10 most-read posts on TheYourChurchBlog.com. Doing this kind of review often helps us understand the most pressing issues facing church administrators, executive pastors, pastors, and leaders....

Simple Tips to Prepare for a Pandemic

November 2, 2009 8:30 AM

As a ministry leader, you may be wondering what you can do to keep your congregation healthy. Here are some important steps you can take to reduce the spread of the flu within your own faith community. Read through...

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,...

Pinched Paychecks

August 28, 2009 12:35 PM

About half the nation’s full-time pastors report they received no salary increase in the past year, continuing a downturn in salaries among top leaders in churches, according to a new survey published by Christianity Today International. In fact, the...