All posts from “outreach”

A Tragic Case of Arson at a Maryland Church

December 23, 2013 8:00 AM

A man previously given food and clothing by St. Paul's by the Sea Episcopal Church in Maryland again walked through the church's doors on Thanksgiving Day while volunteers prepared a meal. Except this time, John Sterner was completely engulfed...

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...

Q&A: Are Proceeds From the Church Community Center Taxable?

May 7, 2013 8:00 AM

Q: Our church's new community center includes a gym, and a coffee shop for people to fellowship and drink coffee while watching their younger children on our playground just outside the building. We also host a church basketball league...

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....

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...

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,...

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...

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...

Why Multitasking May Fail Us

January 29, 2013 8:00 AM

By their nature, church offices present numerous temptations to multitask. For pastors, there are unexpected office visits and phone calls, budget reports, and board meeting preparations, all on top of sermon writing, long-range planning, crisis resolutions, the occasional emergency—and...

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...

When a Sex Offender Wants to Attend Church

October 18, 2012 8:00 AM

How would your congregation react if they knew a convicted sex offender was worshipping among them each Sunday morning? This controversial question is something congregations across the country are currently asking themselves. Unfortunately, there is no one-size-fits-all answer. Experts recommend...

Drafting a Conditional Agreement for a Sex Offender

August 23, 2012 8:00 AM

When church leaders learn a sex offender is in their midst, their response typically is one of the following three: Do nothing. They just don’t know what to do. Total exclusion. They choose a blanket policy prohibiting a registered offender...

Setting Boundaries for Sex Offenders to Attend Church

July 12, 2012 8:00 AM

Set Free Christian Fellowship in Medford, Oregon, recently received a letter from its insurance provider that outlines requirements for allowing known sex offenders to attend the church. Stipulations include fully disclosing the identity of sex offenders to the 100-member congregation,...

8 Ways Churches Are Using Pinterest

June 4, 2012 8:00 AM

Imagine if you had access to the world’s largest bulletin board—a place where you could exchange ideas and images from around the globe. That’s one of the major benefits of the increasingly popular website, Pinterest. Unlike sites such as...

Little Guys Can Do Big Things

April 19, 2012 8:00 AM

I go to an Episcopal church. We have liturgy. Our pews aren’t padded. We don’t do PowerPoint. We don’t have a visitor’s welcome center. Our website? Kinda lame. Our communications budget? A single line item for a phone book ad,...

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...

Hosting a Super Bowl Party at Church—Is It Legal?

January 30, 2012 8:00 AM

A few years ago the National Football League challenged a church in Indianapolis for showing the Super Bowl, a practice hundreds of churches around the country engage in. After public outcry, the NFL re-issued a statement with a less...

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...

Nine Tips for Keeping Church Football Games Safe

September 27, 2011 8:00 AM

Football season is underway, and many churches are hosting flag football and touch football events for their youth ministries. In full-contact football, players wear extensive padding and safety equipment. Virtually no protective gear is used for flag or touch...

One Solution to Education Cutbacks

August 25, 2011 8:00 AM

Editor's Note: As a follow up to our posts, "What's a Congregation Worth?" and "Church Giving on the Rebound?" we came across this article by Dave Staal on our sister site, BuildingChurchLeaders.com (Dave also played an integral role in...

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...

The Pluses of Google+ for Church Leaders

July 18, 2011 10:58 AM

Google+ is the latest entry in the ocean of social media. As a church leader, you need to know the potential this has for your leadership and church. The interface has drawn a number of comparisons to Facebook, and while...

Get $1,000 for Your Church's Communications Campaign

July 18, 2011 8:00 AM

Our friends over at ChurchJuice.com are offering three $1,000 grants to churches planning--or already doing--unique, interesting, and effective communications work. The deadline to apply for "The Juicys" is August 5, 2011. As ChurchJuice.com puts it: We want to recognize and...

Creating a Disaster Relief Ministry

July 7, 2011 8:00 AM

Few will argue that 2011 has been a tragic season for natural disasters. The U.S. has been hit hard by tornadoes, fires, and floods. States like Missouri, Arizona, and North Dakota are recovering from (and still facing) the worst natural...

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....

Survey Says, Millennials Do Give—and Not Just Online

May 19, 2011 8:00 AM

Contrary to what you might think, Millennials are generous and technology isn’t the only way to motivate them to donate to nonprofits (including churches), according to the 2011 Millennial Donor Report. Among the nearly 3,000 Millennials between the ages...

New Report: Households Spent $368 on Gas Last Month

May 12, 2011 8:00 AM

A new report issued last week by the Oil Price Information Service shows the average American household spent $368 in April on gas, according to this CNN article. If church leaders haven't already done so, it's time to think...

Responding to Disaster

April 29, 2011 10:12 AM

Editor's Update (5/2/11): The Christian Science Monitor reported this weekend about the mobilization of nonprofits and churches to aid tornado victims in Alabama and elsewhere. The Monitor reports: In a scene reminiscent of the days following hurricane Katrina in...

Illegal Immigrants in the Church

March 15, 2011 8:00 AM

Late last year, we released "Illegal Immigrants in the Church," from Church Law & Tax Report. In it, Richard Hammar and Ann Buwalda, an immigration attorney, review the details on what churches need to know about immigration law as...

Finding Grants for Church Building Campaigns

November 4, 2010 8:00 AM

Are there corporate or foundation grants available to fund your church building campaign? There may be, depending on who you serve and how church facilities are used. Your best chance of securing this kind of funding is if your...

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...

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...

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...

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...

Food Safety at Church Potlucks

August 10, 2010 8:00 AM

Bring out the food, and the fellowship is close behind. Church dinners offer an excellent opportunity to bring the community together. Poor food preparation can spoil a good time, though, so use the following precautions before your next church...

Arkansas Floods Provide a Sober Reminder about Safety Preparation

June 11, 2010 12:00 PM

Editor's Note: With floods hitting a campground in Arkansas today, killing at least 20 people and leaving dozens of others missing, we're pointing to two resources that church leaders can use to prepare for upcoming camps this summer. The...

6 Questions to Ask in a Coaching Relationship

June 7, 2010 8:00 AM

At Community Christian Church, we value a culture that commissions each man, woman, and child for an outreach effort that they feel God has called them to fulfill. Part of that culture involves what I call “leading with a yes,”...

Creating a Safe Outreach Ministry

May 27, 2010 8:00 AM

My last year of college, I had the privilege of overseeing 20-plus weekly outreach ministries to the greater Chicago area. Our programs included a sports ministry, refugee outreach, hospital visitation, tutoring, street evangelism, and soup kitchen ministry. I witnessed...

What Churches Should Know about IRS Form 990-N

May 13, 2010 7:00 PM

(Editor's Note: Since posting this on May 14, the IRS has issued a statement urging small nonprofits to still file, even though the May 17 deadline has passed). We recently fielded a question from a reader regarding the Internal Revenue...

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...

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:...

6 Trends in 2010 for Grants

February 10, 2010 8:00 AM

If your congregation plans to seek grant funding for programs in 2010, keep in mind that the grants picture has changed quite a bit in the past 12 months due to the economic downturn. As I research local (Minneapolis-St....

How One Question Can Make the Recession an Ally

February 8, 2010 8:30 AM

During this season of economic turmoil and ambiguity, one question may have the power to bring clarity—and better priority-setting—for the churches where executive pastors, business administrators, and pastors serve. That question: What exactly are we trying to accomplish? David...

Top 10 Leadership Books from 2009

January 27, 2010 2:00 AM

Pastors and church leaders are bombarded by the myriad books published every year and don't have the time and resources required to sift through, purchase, and read all that are of interest. For this reason, Leadership journal (a sister...

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...

10 Questions to Ask About Your Church’s Communications

November 5, 2009 10:23 AM

Editor’s Note: Scott Vaughn, a church communications consultant, recently posed these questions in a discussion forum for church administrators. Vaughn, whose firm helps churches and faith organizations, is quoted extensively in “Bringing Joy to the World: A communications strategy...

Ways to Help the Unemployed at Your Church

October 30, 2009 8:00 AM

The ABC News affiliate serving the Rochester, Minnesota, area posted a piece earlier this week highlighting the efforts of some local churches to help the unemployed. The article makes an interesting point about the challenges presented by unemployment to...

Fast Ideas for Recruiting and Retaining Volunteers

October 27, 2009 1:11 PM

I'm live at the Cultivate Conference '09 in Chicago today (see my other updates on Twitter: @MattBranaugh). This gathering of a couple of hundred church leaders primarily focuses on communication inside and outside of church walls, but one of the...

Engaging Congregation Members in Community Ministry

October 12, 2009 8:00 AM

All around the United States, congregations are reaching out to their neighbors with creative community ministry programs. Churches are providing after-school and job training programs, developing affordable housing, offering medical care, opening day care centers, and distributing food and...