All posts from “staff”

Role Descriptions: An Effective Tool for Recruiting Volunteers

April 1, 2014 8:00 AM

Role descriptions can be used as a tool for recruiting volunteers. They help you emphasize the seriousness of the role and its importance to the church's vision. No one will take it seriously if you don't. People don't like...

Monday Church Management Roundup: 3/31/14

March 31, 2014 8:00 AM

Internal Revenue Service. Kiplinger's Personal Finance Adviser reports: "Don't expect much in the way of service from the IRS this filing season. Budget cuts have forced the agency to pare back on services that filers have relied upon in...

Monday Church Management Roundup: 3/3/14

March 3, 2014 8:00 AM

Bad records prove costly. Church business administrators often lament the resistance they encounter from pastors and staff when it comes to requesting meticulous expense reports, including receipts. A recent U.S. Tax Court decision may help administrators make their case....

Monday Church Management Roundup: 2/24/14

February 24, 2014 8:00 AM

Health marketplace enrollment deadline nears. Church pastors and employees who don't receive health insurance from their churches are mandated by the Affordable Care Act to obtain coverage elsewhere. Failure to do so may result in government-imposed fees. For those...

5 Risk Management Trends Worth Watching in 2014

February 4, 2014 8:00 AM

I recently presented for a webinar featuring multiple speakers from megachurches, ministries, and companies. The event, organized by Peter Persuitti with Arthur J. Gallagher and other individuals in business and ministry, primarily pursued one goal: To identify risk management...

IRS Announces 2014 Mileage Rates

December 16, 2013 9:00 AM

The IRS recently announced the new standard mileage rates for 2014. The reimbursement rate for business mileage is .5 cents less than the 2013 rate. Effective January 1, 2014, the standard mileage rates for the use of a car,...

Surprising Trends on Church Pay

November 8, 2013 8:00 AM

A friend of mine who serves as an associate pastor for a local church emailed last week to see when our 2014-2015 Compensation Handbook for Church Staff would release. The reason: "I wanted to know if it will be available...

The Four Levels of Scrutiny of Pastoral Search Committees

March 11, 2013 8:00 AM

In a previous post I noted different trends among pastoral search committees. As I stated then, I am using the phrase “pastoral search committee,” even though it does not apply to every congregation. Some churches receive pastors through an...

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...

Establishing an Arbitration Policy for Church Staff Disputes

January 15, 2013 8:00 AM

This article is taken from Richard Hammar’s Essential Guide to Employment Issues for Church Boards eBook. For this eBook and other cutting-edge eBooks for church staffs, boards, and clergy, view our online catalog. Disputes occasionally arise between church employees,...

Will Churches Pay More in 2013?

January 10, 2013 8:00 AM

A few months ago, our friend Warren Bird at Leadership Network informally surveyed nearly 600 Protestant churches to find out their plans for hiring and pay raises in 2013. The survey results appeared encouraging: 74 percent expected to give raises...

A Key Tax Reminder for Donors

November 1, 2012 8:00 AM

As the calendar flips to November, it's a good reminder of the many tax details that churches must track, especially on behalf of those who faithfully give to the church throughout the year. Churches must properly document donor contributions, which...

Don’t Jump to Assumptions

August 20, 2012 8:00 AM

The issue is not that we make assumptions. The issue is that a lot of times they are wrong. We often misinterpret one another. We add underlying meaning or subtext that was never intended. In other words, we often go...

Q&A: Should Churches Perform a Compensation Study?

July 26, 2012 8:00 AM

Q: At the end of every year, our board discusses the salary for our ministers for the upcoming year. We would like to compensate our ministers for all they do for our church, and some have suggested we get a...

A Breakdown of Salaries and Benefits for Senior Pastors

April 3, 2012 8:00 AM

Editor's Note: The 2014-2015 Compensation Handbook for Church Staff is now available. This resource details pay and benefits data for 14 church positions, including two new ones—part-time musician and part-time childcare provider. Each position is analyzed based on a variety...

Needed Church Decisions, Unavoidable Risk: Part 3

March 22, 2012 8:00 AM

Editor’s Note: Today is part three of a three-part series looking at the ways difficult decisions must be made, even when they’re sometimes risky. Part one looked at personnel decisions and part two looked at commitment and considering the...

Needed Church Decisions, Unavoidable Risk: Part 2

March 15, 2012 8:00 AM

Editor’s Note: Today is part two of a three-part series looking at the ways difficult decisions must be made in churches, even when they’re sometimes risky. Part one looked at personnel decisions. In deciding an institutional issue, church leaders...

Is Income Exceeding Expenses at Your Church?

March 13, 2012 8:00 AM

Findings from the 2012-2013 Compensation Handbook for Church Staff reveal that the overall percentage of churches operating in the black—income EXCEEDS expenses—declined in almost every region....

Needed Church Decisions, Unavoidable Risk: Part 1

March 8, 2012 8:00 AM

Editor’s Note: Today is the first of a three-part series looking at the ways difficult decisions must be made in churches. Church institutional decisions may involve finances, facilities, or personnel, but their common denominator is that if ignored, the...

The Top 7 Paid Positions at Churches

February 7, 2012 8:00 AM

Editor's Note: The 2014-2015 Compensation Handbook for Church Staff is now available. This resource details pay and benefits data for 14 church positions, including two new ones—part-time musician and part-time childcare provider. Each position is analyzed based on a variety...

Part 1: When Raises Aren’t Possible for Church Staff

January 12, 2012 8:00 AM

Editor’s Note: Liz Ryan spent 20 years as a corporate human resources leader. During that time, she saw the best and worst of how employers treat their employees. She’s now a full-time writer and consultant on workplaces and writes...

How Much Are Pastors Earning These Days?

January 5, 2012 8:00 AM

How much are the pastors of Protestant churches nationwide earning these days? The chart below shows the national averages for compensation and benefits earned by full-time senior pastors, based on Christianity Today's biannual survey of 4,600 churches nationwide. The survey...

IRS Announces Recommended Mileage Rates for 2012

December 12, 2011 9:34 AM

On Saturday, the Internal Revenue Service announced its recommended optional standard business mileage rates for 2012. These recommendations are ones "employees, self-employed individuals, and other taxpayers can use to compute deductible costs of operating automobiles (including vans, pickups and...

Delegating Responsibility in the Church Office

November 29, 2011 8:00 AM

Editor's Note: The following is an excerpt from Pastor’s Handbook by John Bisagno (B&H, 2011): Imagine trying to lead two million persons across a desert with no map, no food, and no water. Moses had an administrative nightmare not...

Cartoon: Pastor Hides Staff Turnover

November 24, 2011 8:00 AM

If you need human resources materials for your church, see The 2012-2013 Compensation Handbook for Church Staff, and the staff section of ChurchSafety.com cover a variety of topics specifically geared toward church staff....

Wandering Church Assets

November 17, 2011 8:00 AM

Asset tracking is part of church stewardship. Planning ministry events and activities is easier when there’s a clear list of the availability and location of church equipment. Insurance companies ask for an asset list when there’s an emergency. Audit...

The Church Bulletin as a Tax Tool

November 1, 2011 8:00 AM

To avoid jeopardizing the tax deductibility of charitable contributions, churches should advise donors at the end of 2011 not to file their 2011 income tax returns until they have received a written acknowledgement of their contributions from the church....

Is the Church Treasurer Really the "Worship Pastor"?

October 27, 2011 8:00 AM

Editor's Note: Dan Kimball originally wrote this piece for his blog Vintage Faith. He allowed us to publish an edited version here as a guest post: I have become very aware of the power of words—and the power of...

Staying Afloat Amid Information Overload

September 29, 2011 8:00 AM

The flow of information never stops for the Rev. Dr. Todd Adams, the associate general minister and vice president in the General Assembly of the Christian Church (Disciples of Christ). He fields up to 150 emails a day. He...

Who Owns a Pastor's Sermons?

September 19, 2011 8:00 AM

Most clergy would be shocked to learn that their sermons are works made for hire that are owned by their employing church, and that their sermons cannot be used in any other churches with which they are later employed without...

Before You Hire, Pick Up the Phone

August 8, 2011 8:00 AM

Editor's Note: The following is an excerpt from What They Didn't Teach You in Seminary, a new book by James Emery White (Baker Books, a division of Baker Publishing Group, 2011): I saw him at a church conference. He...

'Most Significant Religious Case in 20 Years'

July 13, 2011 8:00 AM

A news article from the July edition of Christianity Today covers the U.S. Supreme Court's April decision to accept a teacher's appeal regarding an unfair firing claim against a Michigan elementary school run by a church. At stake: How...

IRS Increases Mileage Rate

June 23, 2011 11:58 AM

The Internal Revenue Service announced this morning it has increased the optional standard mileage rate that employers can use to reimburse employees who drive personal vehicles for business purposes. The IRS increased the rate to 55.5 cents per mile...

Maintaining Balance with Church Management Work

May 31, 2011 8:00 AM

Coming off of the Memorial Day weekend, we offer this cartoon courtesy of our Church Laughs e-newsletter. It's a good bet the to-do list is already long for those who labor in church offices. We pray those details don't distract...

Better Minds, Better Church Office Management?

May 23, 2011 8:00 AM

Editor’s Note: On Thursday, the early registration and discounted rate ends for the National Association of Church Business Administration’s 55th annual conference (July 1-5 in Washington, D.C.). Christianity Today International’s Church Management Team is a content partner with NACBA,...

Supreme Court Tackles 'Ministerial Exception'

April 21, 2011 8:00 AM

Courts have generally recognized a rule known as the "ministerial exception" when it comes to employment lawsuits in churches. Because of the First Amendment, many judges have considered it inappropriate to rule in these disputes, especially when their rulings may...

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...

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...

A Theology of Workflow

November 30, 2010 8:00 AM

Matt Perman wants to help you get your inbox to zero. He wants you to effectively multi-task, organize your desk, and schedule your day. But Perman, who blogs at whatsbestnext.com and is working on a book on productivity, is...

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...

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...

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...

The Your Church Blog's Top 10 Posts from Its First Year

August 26, 2010 8:00 AM

I love milestones. And I'm a sucker for top 10 lists (thank you very much, David Letterman). Since today is August 26, it means the TheYourChurchBlog.com turns 1. Naturally, I went back and looked at our 10 most popular posts...

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...

Bothered by the Business of Church

August 17, 2010 8:00 AM

I’ll admit that I like to pull a Scarlett O’Hara when it comes to the less attractive side of church leadership, like getting the parking lot paved or turning in a budget. “Fiddle dee dee!” I shrug. “I can’t...

Can Google Hurt a Church Leader's Job Search?

August 12, 2010 8:00 AM

I keep my CV updated. People often need it to introduce me for conferences. The strange thing is, in this era of shared information, I often do not know where my work has been published. My mother recently let me...

5 Ways to Develop Better Interns

July 29, 2010 8:00 AM

I’ve recently thought about the use of interns, which happens frequently today in many churches. I know why: it’s a win-win. The intern gets experience, churches get more hands and (let’s face it) cheap labor, and everybody benefits. That...

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...

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,”...

8 Resources for Peacefully Resolving Church Conflicts

May 11, 2010 8:00 AM

In our ongoing conversations with church leaders, as well as our collaboration with colleagues at Leadership Journal, OutofUr.com, and BuildingChurchLeaders.com, we know conflict remains one of the biggest detractors from a healthy church office environment. So we're keenly aware...

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...

Is Porn a Problem in Your Church Office?

April 27, 2010 8:00 AM

An eye-opening national headline emerged last week, providing a timely sneak peek into our upcoming issue of Your Church magazine. The inspector general for the Securities and Exchange Commission--the organization tasked with enforcing the laws and regulations that govern...

Lawsuits in the Church

April 20, 2010 7:40 AM

By all accounts, America has become the most litigious society on the face of the earth. In the last decade, civil caseloads have increased by 33 percent, which is five times faster than the increase in our population. As...

Re-thinking The Ways We Hire Church Staff

April 8, 2010 8:45 AM

The single most powerful organizational step your church can take—at least on a human level—is to be organized around the gifts of the Spirit. That means that a church is to be led by people with leadership gifts, taught...

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...

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...

How Finance, Sexual Wrongdoings Challenged One Church

March 11, 2010 8:00 AM

My lawyer said, "Just follow my lead and answer the questions he asks, and everything will be okay." I clung to his advice as I entered the smartly decorated boardroom lined with towering bookshelves. The first thing I noticed...

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...

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:...

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...

New Survey on Church Staffing

January 6, 2010 11:50 AM

How lean is your church staff? How does it compare with other church staffs? If you've ever wondered about these questions, here's your chance to find out. The editors of Christianity Today International's Your Church magazine and Leadership Journal...

What Volunteers Want

January 5, 2010 10:00 AM

The red leather Bible on my bookshelf evokes twinges of regret. It belongs to Steve, a seminary student who volunteered on our youth ministry team nearly 15 years ago. As a full-time intern, I was responsible for growing a ministry...

Sex Offenders in the Church

December 10, 2009 10:00 AM

Because our team produces Reducing the Risk, a comprehensive training program that churches use with staff and volunteers to minimize the risks of child abuse in their ministries, we pay a great deal of attention to the issue of sex...

Resolving Conflict in the Church Office

December 1, 2009 8:45 AM

The scenario that got both Sally and Jim both terminated from their company could have run like this: Jim: All I said was that I needed the documents, completed and signed, by tomorrow night. Sally: Don’t tell me that’s...

5 Leadership Books Worth Reading

November 24, 2009 8:30 AM

Recently I talked with a senior partner of TAG Consulting, Kurt Andre. Among his many talents, Kurt is a certified Executive Leadership Coach. So I asked him which books on leadership he finds the most helpful. Here are his...

Prevent Volunteer Burnout

November 17, 2009 12:10 PM

Josh was one of the most zealous workers we'd seen at church, but I realized he was three steps beyond "weary in well doing" when I read his letter: "My walk with the Lord is nonexistent. I've allowed the...

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...

How to Interview Your Next Church

November 9, 2009 8:45 AM

One day, I received an e-mail from a senior pastor I didn’t know who leads The Chapel, an 11,000-person church in Ohio. As the founder of XPastor.org, I get a good number of “can you help me?” e-mails. In this...

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...

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...

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...

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...

Should Your Church Hire a Sex Offender?

September 30, 2009 2:28 PM

A church in Louisville, Kentucky, generated local and national media attention earlier this month, not because it allowed a convicted sex offender to attend its services, but because the church pastor decided to hire and ordain one. WHAS-TV, a...

Raising the Bar in Tough Times

September 22, 2009 10:19 AM

In this uncertain economy, with so many churches scrambling to reduce expenses, the role of the church administrator inevitably will come under the bright light of scrutiny. Because of this uncertainty, church administrators need to spend time reflecting on...

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...

4 Reasons NOT to Cut Conferences

August 28, 2009 12:00 PM

During tough economic times, many churches are looking at cutting all travel for training and events, but that may not be the wisest decision. Here’s why: Care. The church is about people caring for people, so your most important...