All posts from “planning”

Mission Trip Safety Preparation

June 19, 2014 8:00 AM

This information first appeared in the "Outlook for Outreach Survey Results," available for free on ChurchLawAndTaxStore.com. For more information on preparing for mission trips, see the downloadable resources Safe and Legal Fundraising, Planning Safe Mission Trips, and International Safety...

Planning for Change

May 29, 2014 8:00 AM

Every church needs a plan. But plans are often subject to last-minute adjustments. Especially in a small church, where minor changes can cause big ripples. That happened in our church recently. We had a perfect storm of circumstances (literally)...

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...

8 Tips for Preparing the Church Bulletin

November 12, 2013 8:00 AM

One of the tasks I have serving on the church staff is to help produce the bulletin every Sunday. The bulletin, or "program" as some places call it, lists the events of the day and week as well as...

5 Tech Tools to Manage Pastoral Ministry

January 31, 2013 3:05 PM

I'd like to share with you some technological tools I use to help accomplish the responsibilities and demands for my ministry as a pastor. I pray that it will be helpful for you in your stewardship of time. 1....

Why Thursday Deadlines Make for Better Sundays at Church

July 24, 2012 8:00 AM

Editor's Note: The following is an excerpt from Engage by Nelson Searcy and Jason Hatley, with Jennifer Dykes Henson (Baker Books, a division of Baker Publishing Group, 2011): The first church I pastored was a small Baptist church in...

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...

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...

A Good Time to Launch a Church Building Campaign?

September 8, 2011 8:00 AM

Editor’s note: Churches continue to consider new building projects, even as the economy remains challenging. Church Finance Today recently created a new training resource to help churches navigate this difficult time of fundraising during a down economy. This interview was...

Group Drops Case Against Pastor Housing Allowances

June 22, 2011 10:21 AM

A constitutional challenge to the tax-free housing allowances and parsonages provided to thousands of American pastors is over after the plaintiffs who filed the original lawsuit voluntarily requested its dismissal Friday in a California district court. But the battle...

Show Me the Money

June 21, 2011 8:00 AM

Church board members are charged with fiscal oversight of the church coffers. But not every board member or finance committee member is a CPA and schooled in finance. Many treasurers and bookkeepers make the mistake of providing too much...

More Analysis on the Pastor Housing Allowance Challenge

June 14, 2011 8:00 AM

Last month, Richard Hammar wrote an article detailing new developments in the constitutional challenge to pastoral housing allowances under way in California. In a separate case in Arizona, the Supreme Court ruled the plaintiffs there lacked standing for their...

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...

Should Congress Change Pastors' Housing Allowances?

April 12, 2011 8:00 AM

The newest issue of Christianity Today poses an interesting question: Should Congress change pastors' housing allowances? Expect to hear a lot more on the topic in the weeks and months ahead. Since the conclusion of Sen. Charles Grassley's (R-Iowa)...

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...

When the Bank Says No

March 17, 2011 8:00 AM

Rejection is no fun under any circumstance. It can be especially disheartening for a church when a lender rejects its initial loan application for a capital construction project. But the first "no" does not necessarily doom your chances to...

Why the National Church Compensation Survey Matters

March 10, 2011 8:00 AM

John Clemens with IRN USA Radio recently interviewed Matt Branaugh about Christianity Today International's National Church Compensation Survey. In this six-minute clip (which aired on more than 1,100 stations nationally), you'll hear more details about the importance of this survey,...

Pay Raises for Pastors and Church Staff in 2011?

February 24, 2011 8:00 AM

A recent Wall Street Journal headline immediately caught my eye: “Higher Pay Gains Seen for 2011.” The article goes on to explain the very real chance American workers will receive bigger pay raises this year: With corporate America sitting...

Holiday Pushes Back Due Date for Taxes

February 23, 2011 10:15 AM

Haven't started your federal taxes yet? As February fast draws to a close, you may be encouraged to know that you get an extra three days to work on 2010 filings. From this morning's Richard Hammar's Essential Reminders: "Taxpayers...

Help for Pastors During Tax Season

February 17, 2011 8:00 AM

The "The Tax Relief, Unemployment Insurance Reauthorization and Job Creation Act of 2010," passed by Congress and signed by President Obama in mid-December, triggered a domino-like effect of changes for tax-filers--so much so that even the Internal Revenue Service...

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...

TheYourChurchBlog.com's Top 5 Posts of 2010

December 30, 2010 8:30 AM

Last week, we took a moment to highlight the Top 10 most-read articles from Your Church magazine's website, YourChurch.net. As we continue to count down the days to 2011, we now offer the Top 5 most-read posts from TheYourChurchBlog.com...

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...

Deadline Nears for Pastors' Housing Designations

December 15, 2010 9:40 AM

Churches must designate a portion of each minister's compensation as a housing allowance by December 31 in order for ministers who own or rent their homes to receive the full benefit of a housing allowance exclusion for calendar year 2011....

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...

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...

Small Churches = Big Impact

October 7, 2010 10:15 AM

Brandon O'Brien, associate editor for our sister publication Leadership Journal, has written a new book, The Strategically Small Church. In this work, he seeks to demonstrate how small churches are uniquely equipped for success in today's culture. Ed Stetzer...

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...

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...

Part 4: Doing Staff Reorganizations Well

July 1, 2010 8:00 AM

Editor’s Note: Paul Clark, the Operations Pastor at Fairhaven Church in Ohio and a Contributing Editor to Your Church, recently underwent a major staff reorganization. In a four-part series that started three weeks ago, he explained what Fairhaven sought to...

Part 3: Doing Staff Reorganizations Well

June 24, 2010 8:00 AM

Editor’s Note: Paul Clark, the Operations Pastor at Fairhaven Church in Ohio and a Contributing Editor to Your Church, recently underwent a major staff reorganization. In a four-part series that started two weeks ago, he explained what Fairhaven sought to...

Part 2: Doing Staff Reorganizations Well

June 17, 2010 8:00 AM

Editor’s Note: Paul Clark, the Operations Pastor at Fairhaven Church in Ohio and a Contributing Editor to Your Church, recently underwent a major staff reorganization. Last week, we published the first in a four-week series on what Fairhaven sought to...

Part 1: Doing Staff Reorganizations Well

June 10, 2010 8:00 AM

Editor’s Note: Paul Clark, the Operations Pastor at Fairhaven Church in Ohio and a Contributing Editor to Your Church, recently underwent a major staff reorganization, and reflected on the changes through his blog, http://visionmeetsreality.org. Starting today, and continuing for 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,”...

Top 10 Things Churches Need to Know About Zoning

June 3, 2010 8:20 AM

Editor's note: Church law expert Richard Hammar says zoning is one of the Top 5 issues to land a church in court. To learn more about church property and zoning laws, check out Richard's Volume 2 of "Pastor, Church, &...

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...

Does Strategic Planning Contradict the Holy Spirit?

March 30, 2010 9:00 AM

I am neck deep in strategic thinking. The school where I teach is engaged in an aggressive strategic planning initiative. We are working with an excellent consulting team and are asking hard but important questions about the present and...

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...

Is It Time To Build? 10 Questions to Ask

November 23, 2009 8:00 AM

In early 2008, we made the decision at Fairhaven Church to move forward with an $8 million construction project, even as the signs of recession popped up everywhere. Reports of other churches delaying or canceling plans for expansion were...

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...

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...

Creating Missional Space for Your Church

October 28, 2009 12:45 PM

Assumptions about church facilities are changing. The young are looking for sacred space. Others believe the church should spend more on the poor and less on multi-media theatrical buildings. And the multi-site movement is decentralizing church programming. What does all...

Will Mancini on "Discerning Your Unique Call"

October 28, 2009 8:59 AM

Editor's Note: Marian Liautaud, editor of BuildingForMinistry.com, is blogging live this week from the Cornerstone Knowledge Network's Alignment4 Conference and WFX. Watch for more dispatches throughout the week: Will Mancini moved from the trenches of church leadership and founded Auxano,...

Kevin Ford on Leading Change

October 27, 2009 12:34 PM

Editor's Note: Marian Liautaud, editor of BuildingForMinistry.com, is blogging live this week from the Cornerstone Knowledge Network's Alignment4 Conference and WFX. She posted this live dispatch on Tuesday (watch for more throughout the week): Kevin Ford is the Chief...

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...

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...