Finance

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Finance 2016-10-12T10:59:17+00:00

Offerings. Tithes. Stewardship. Generosity. Giving. Sacrifice. Finance. There are many words that we use to describe the money that is received by the church for ministry use. There are also many facets to the Finance Department as they aid ministries by organizing the necessary funds.

 

When Generosity Floods—The Bayou Story

April 5th, 2017|Comments Off on When Generosity Floods—The Bayou Story

Are you ready for a flood? Are you praying for a flood? Are you anticipating a flood? A flood can be devastating, transformative, or a combination of both. Imagine waking up one Sunday morning to [...]

The Offering Moment—A Free Resource

March 2nd, 2017|Comments Off on The Offering Moment—A Free Resource

Our friends at Generis have created a great resource called The Offering Moment. They say, "The church has a unique moment, 52 times per year, to engage with their givers in a real and meaningful [...]

Video on Generosity, Part 1

March 2nd, 2017|Comments Off on Video on Generosity, Part 1

David Fletcher and Brad Leeper began a video dialogue regarding giving, money, leadership, culture and many other important topics that fall on the shoulders of the Executive Pastor in a church. In Part One of this [...]

Free Manual on Auditing Your Retirement Plan

January 24th, 2017|Comments Off on Free Manual on Auditing Your Retirement Plan

Our friends at GuideStone created a free manual to help you audit your retirement plan. It is available to everyone, not just to those with plans through GuideStone. This 41-page document gives both an overview and [...]

Annual Giving Statements: Ideas from Generis

January 9th, 2017|Comments Off on Annual Giving Statements: Ideas from Generis

Our friends at Generis are offering their Annual Giving Statement Guide to the XPastor Community. This is an excellent resource! As a leader, you have much to do. Not only are you responsible for the daily [...]

Free Magazine on Generosity from unSeminary

October 4th, 2016|Comments Off on Free Magazine on Generosity from unSeminary

Rich Birch will be our featured guest in two years at the 2018 XP-Seminar. He leads a great work called unSeminary. The latest edition of unSeminary magazine centers on Generosity. It gives "practical help on [...]

Copier Leasing and Negotiation Tips

October 3rd, 2016|Comments Off on Copier Leasing and Negotiation Tips

As an attorney, the vast majority of business and church executives I talk to dread their copier lease expiring as they must deal with leasing new ones. Recently, we helped a church with a multiple [...]

Should Your Church Consider a Cell Tower Lease?

September 13th, 2016|Comments Off on Should Your Church Consider a Cell Tower Lease?

A sales rep stops by your church office with a simple offer. Your building is ideally suited to be a cell phone tower. The equipment will be practically invisible. If you lease the space to [...]

Understanding and Engaging Your Givers

September 8th, 2016|Comments Off on Understanding and Engaging Your Givers

Our friends at Generis are again offering a great and free resource to the XPastor community. Their new e-book is entitled "Understanding and Engaging Your Givers." They describe the book: "Count on it: your givers [...]

Six Givers Jesus Knew

August 22nd, 2016|Comments Off on Six Givers Jesus Knew

Sharing stories of people doing both good and great things inspires others. When it comes to giving, people can often feel shame and inadequacy. However, the Bible reveals great nuggets from people who lived attainable [...]

Use Technology to Keep Staff Safe and Cash Secure

August 1st, 2016|Comments Off on Use Technology to Keep Staff Safe and Cash Secure

How do you deliver ministry funds, like Sunday’s offerings, to your bank? A priest in Chicago learned the hard way that making a weekly trip to the bank is a risk that’s not worth taking. According [...]

Negotiating a Loan and Saving $17,000 Per Month

April 23rd, 2016|Comments Off on Negotiating a Loan and Saving $17,000 Per Month

It isn’t very often that you get to save $17,000 per month for your church. I was able to do just that by refinancing my church’s debt while maintaining a strong local relationship with a [...]

How to Get Ready for a Financial Audit

October 26th, 2015|Comments Off on How to Get Ready for a Financial Audit

The number of Americans calling themselves Christians has dropped sharply in recent years, according to a new Pew Research Center survey---while the population of religiously unaffiliated adults is on the rise. This trend is driven [...]

Expanding Abuse Reporting Requirements

October 4th, 2015|Comments Off on Expanding Abuse Reporting Requirements

Am I a mandatory reporter? If an adult describes having been abused as a child, am I required to report? When? How do reporting requirements impact individuals providing spiritual guidance? Around the country, state legislatures are [...]

Book Review: Contagious Generosity

September 21st, 2015|Comments Off on Book Review: Contagious Generosity

I recently read the book, Contagious Generosity: Creating a Culture of Giving in Your Church by Chris Willard and Jim Sheppard. I found this book to be inspiring and refreshing; it resonated with me in [...]

Budget Process Analysis

August 6th, 2015|Comments Off on Budget Process Analysis

For a homework assignment in the XPastor Online Course, Operations 103—Finance, I chose to compare the budget process of First Assembly in Winston-Salem, Lakeside Church in Greensboro, Georgia, Berean Bible Church in Greene, New York [...]

Defining Internal Controls Over Financial Reporting

July 2nd, 2015|Comments Off on Defining Internal Controls Over Financial Reporting

The Center For Audit Quality, a non-profit group based out of Washington D.C., has published a great guide on Internal Controls. While the term "Internal Control" can seem imposing to a church, the concepts in [...]

A Pastor’s Guide to Accelerating Generosity in Churches

June 29th, 2015|Comments Off on A Pastor’s Guide to Accelerating Generosity in Churches

Pastors are always asking me, “Alan, what can I do as the pastor to help increase giving in our church?” I feel that if the church is to have a healthy culture of generosity, then there [...]

Church Planting and Money

June 20th, 2015|Comments Off on Church Planting and Money

As a pastor of a small church (less than 200 people) that has now planted three churches (two in the last eighteen months), we always have more dreams than dollars. In our context, multiplying churches [...]

Book Review: The Wall Street MBA

May 28th, 2015|Comments Off on Book Review: The Wall Street MBA

When I picked The Wall Street MBA by Reuben Advani from the bibliography of the XP Online Course on Finance, I wondered what the connection to church ministry would be. It turns out that the connection [...]

What If Your Bank Closed Your Accounts Tomorrow?

March 15th, 2015|Comments Off on What If Your Bank Closed Your Accounts Tomorrow?

Things don’t always turn out the way we expect. Some call this Murphy’s Law. Sociologists call it the Law of Unintended Consequences. People who work with money have long recognized this. In 1691 John Locke was [...]

Don’t Become a Statistic: Four Tips for Preventing Fraud

March 14th, 2015|Comments Off on Don’t Become a Statistic: Four Tips for Preventing Fraud

Fraud takes many different forms in today’s culture, from health care fraud to identity theft to the focus of this article: occupational fraud. There are many ways fraud can be committed at a not-for-profit organization, [...]

How They Do It: 5 Churches Explain Their Budget Years

February 2nd, 2015|Comments Off on How They Do It: 5 Churches Explain Their Budget Years

Most churches use the traditional calendar year---January 1 to December 31---for their budget years. But not all churches do. Some use a fiscal year---often July 1 to June 30---and those that do say it helps [...]

Five Questions to Ask Your Banker

December 27th, 2014|Comments Off on Five Questions to Ask Your Banker

What’s on your XP to-do list as the New Year approaches? Year-end giving, for sure. Which is precisely why another item should be on your list. You need to talk with your banker. Why? The annual [...]

You’ve Been Deceived: Three Myths Pastors Believe About Church Giving Technology

November 13th, 2014|Comments Off on You’ve Been Deceived: Three Myths Pastors Believe About Church Giving Technology

It’s hard to spend half a $5 bill. Yet that’s exactly what happens to many churches when givers want to be generous but can’t. For decades, giving in the church remained a familiar process. At [...]

Budget Vision

November 13th, 2014|Comments Off on Budget Vision

People get nervous when preachers talk about money. These thoughts aren’t about giving, but about the stewardship of how a church uses what is given. A church budget is a vision document. It tells the story, [...]

Model for Amending Governing Documents

November 5th, 2014|Comments Off on Model for Amending Governing Documents

Most churches amend their governing documents once every decade or so. It is a daunting task. Besides, many members of churches hate change. Most churches delay amending their governing documents until a crisis hits. During [...]

Video: Opting Out of Social Security

September 23rd, 2014|Comments Off on Video: Opting Out of Social Security

Should you opt out of Social Security? Did you know that you have to have a valid legal reason to make this choice? Are you aware of the requirements to opting out? Watch as David Middlebrook of Church [...]

Sexual Abuse “Fire Drill”: Put Preparation to the Test

September 8th, 2014|Comments Off on Sexual Abuse “Fire Drill”: Put Preparation to the Test

The "Fire Drill" article below has a companion piece, entitled Sexual Abuse Response Planning. After reading this article, refer to the planning form; it’s a valuable framework for discussion/planning a responsive effort to an allegation—even a [...]

Sexual Abuse Response Planning

September 8th, 2014|Comments Off on Sexual Abuse Response Planning

This planning guide has a companion piece called Sexual Abuse “Fire Drill”: Put Preparation to the Test, an article that give further explanation. The planning guide below should serve as a worksheet after reading the "Fire [...]

Is Your Church Reaching Its Budget?

September 5th, 2014|Comments Off on Is Your Church Reaching Its Budget?

Would it surprise you to learn that, of the churches recently surveyed by Giving Rocket, only fourteen percent were meeting or exceeding budget? Knowing that churches rely entirely on donations to survive, not meeting the [...]

Purchasing and Financing Existing Facilities Today

June 4th, 2014|Comments Off on Purchasing and Financing Existing Facilities Today

When it comes to managing facilities expansion in most dynamic churches, many people think first of building a brand new facility. But in today’s changing world, there are good reasons a church should seriously explore [...]

Congratulations to GuideStone

March 22nd, 2014|Comments Off on Congratulations to GuideStone

Congratulations to our friends at GuideStone for this significant award!  We are posting this press release as a way to say both "thanks" and "congratulations" to GuideStone---one of our loyal sponsors of our annual XP-Seminar! [...]

Video: Obamacare and Your Church

February 27th, 2014|Comments Off on Video: Obamacare and Your Church

XPastor's friend, The Church Law Group, regularly shares high quality videos. The video below is entitled, "Does the Affordable Care Act apply to your church?" Can you define what affordable and minimum essential coverage means? [...]

Copyright and the Pastor’s Sermon

February 7th, 2014|Comments Off on Copyright and the Pastor’s Sermon

Bob Smietana, in an article for Christianity Today, addresses copyright and the pastor's sermon. His article is entitled, "Who Owns the Pastor's Sermon? Church or pastor? When sermons become books that make millions in royalties, [...]

Seven Financial Stewardship Principles for Churches

February 3rd, 2014|Comments Off on Seven Financial Stewardship Principles for Churches

A common, biblically-based theme in the church world is that parishioners should be good stewards of the money God has entrusted to them. Especially emphasized is the principle of Christians paying tithes and giving generously. However, stewardship [...]

Trends in 2014 for Church Tithing, Giving and Stewardship

December 15th, 2013|Comments Off on Trends in 2014 for Church Tithing, Giving and Stewardship

Church giving and stewardship will continue to evolve and change in 2014. In working with churches in their stewardship practices and dealing with tithing, several trends are emerging. Knowing these trends will make you more [...]

Strategic Stewardship—So the Bucks Won’t Stop Here

November 1st, 2013|Comments Off on Strategic Stewardship—So the Bucks Won’t Stop Here

It has been said that there are three kinds of leaders—the kind that makes things happen, the kind that watches things happen, and the kind that asks, “What just happened?” The shifting economy demands that [...]

Video: Secrecy, Privacy and Non-Disclosure Agreements

October 9th, 2013|Comments Off on Video: Secrecy, Privacy and Non-Disclosure Agreements

Should you use a Confidentiality Agreement at your church? If so, do you know who needs to sign the agreements? Does your church have a process to deal with conflicts that arise, before they move into [...]

Staff Compensation

October 4th, 2013|Comments Off on Staff Compensation

Determining how to compensate your church staff is not an easy task and we can easily find ourselves at one of two extremes. We can treat our church staff the same way many businesses treat [...]

Video: Protect Your Sermons From Abuse

September 30th, 2013|Comments Off on Video: Protect Your Sermons From Abuse

Did you know that your church is in the publishing business? Are you aware of everything that makes up Intellectual Property? Have you developed a thorough plan to protect the intellectual property of your church? Watch as David Middlebrook discusses those things [...]

Funding the Vision: The Role of Clarity in Financial Reporting

September 13th, 2013|Comments Off on Funding the Vision: The Role of Clarity in Financial Reporting

When it comes to funding your ministry and reporting on the finances of your church, few questions matter more. Making clarity your passion as you communicate your church’s finances equips the people of your church [...]

Networking—Inside and Outside the Church

August 28th, 2013|Comments Off on Networking—Inside and Outside the Church

Leaders can effectively communicate their mission with people from all walks of life by using several different methods of communication. One of the best ways I’ve found for communicating your message is through networking and [...]

Church Embezzlement

August 26th, 2013|Comments Off on Church Embezzlement

The numbers just did not add up. A few years back I was working with a church that was struggling financially, yet their giving was strong. They shouldn't have been struggling to make budget. I [...]

How to Budget in a Changing Economy

July 31st, 2013|Comments Off on How to Budget in a Changing Economy

For years, budget planning followed the same pattern for many ministries: Review last year’s budget, gather all wish lists, and increase the budget accordingly. Then we were hit with the worst recession in decades, and [...]

Video: When Insurance Doesn’t Want to Pay

July 31st, 2013|Comments Off on Video: When Insurance Doesn’t Want to Pay

What should you do with a denied insurance claim that you believe is valid? David Middlebrook of the Church Law Group outlines helpful steps to start resolving a dispute in this video. David Middlebrook, and [...]

Video: Ministerial Housing Allowance

July 17th, 2013|Comments Off on Video: Ministerial Housing Allowance

Attorney David Middlebrook, of the Church Law Group, discusses the essentials of the Ministerial Housing Allowance in this helpful video. David Middlebrook and Matt Anthony, both of the Church Law Group, are regular presenters at [...]

Creating a Way for People to Give Online

July 15th, 2013|Comments Off on Creating a Way for People to Give Online

As a child, I remember my dad placing a check in the offering plate at church on Sunday mornings. As I got older and got a job, I began to be serious about giving and [...]

Overtime and the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA)

June 27th, 2013|Comments Off on Overtime and the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA)

Do you believe in slavery? Because we believe in the dignity of all people, we have enacted various laws to protect our workers. Whether you want to read this article or not, you need to! [...]

How to Launch a Risk Management Program

June 14th, 2013|Comments Off on How to Launch a Risk Management Program

“What event might occur that could take out our church?” Drop that question at the next staff meeting and you’ll feel the tone of the room take a nose-dive. No one likes to talk about [...]

Sexual Abuse: Denial Won’t Make It Go Away!

June 10th, 2013|Comments Off on Sexual Abuse: Denial Won’t Make It Go Away!

In 2012, five employees at Victory Christian Church in Tulsa, Oklahoma were arrested for a two-week delay in notifying authorities of sexual abuse allegations. Read with care to prevent such from happening in your church. [...]

Mobile Phones and Online Giving

May 31st, 2013|Comments Off on Mobile Phones and Online Giving

With 87% of the U.S. adult population now carrying mobile phones, (52% of them internet-enabled smartphones), people are changing the way they buy things. According to a survey recently released by the Federal Reserve Bank, 15% [...]

Overtime Pay in the Smartphone Era

May 1st, 2013|Comments Off on Overtime Pay in the Smartphone Era

The Fair Labor Standards Act exempts employees employed in an executive, administrative, or professional capacity from the minimum wage and overtime pay provisions. To be covered by one of these exemptions, an employee must perform [...]

Video: Legal Use of Movies and Music in Sermons

April 23rd, 2013|Comments Off on Video: Legal Use of Movies and Music in Sermons

I'm reading Church Law Group's Guide to Intellectual Property right now. It is a helpful work in trying to navigate the legal and practical issues. Check out David Middlebrook's video and begin to see how [...]

Employee Accountable Expense Reimbursement Policy

April 15th, 2013|Comments Off on Employee Accountable Expense Reimbursement Policy

XPastor tries to help churches by providing some of the essentials for running a church---items like job descriptions, employment applications, review forms and opportunity profiles. Below is the Employee Accountable Expense Reimbursement Policy and Procedures [...]

Church Mergers: Legal and Financial Matters

April 10th, 2013|Comments Off on Church Mergers: Legal and Financial Matters

Each year, thousands of U.S. churches—plus tens of thousands of others elsewhere around the globe—are sensing that they could fulfill their God-given mission better together than separately. They're exploring new ways to join forces for [...]

Ministerial Housing Allowance

April 8th, 2013|Comments Off on Ministerial Housing Allowance

Our friends at GuideStone have collected vital questions about Ministerial Housing Allowances. They have let XPastor share this information. If you need more help with this or other financial and insurance issues, contact Barbara Medlin, Managing [...]

Intellectual Property Policy

April 4th, 2013|Comments Off on Intellectual Property Policy

XPastor tries to help churches by providing some of the essentials for running a church---items like job descriptions, employment applications, review forms and policies. Below is the Intellectual Property Policy of Christ Community Church of [...]

Video: Staying on Mission—Adapting to Economic Pressure

March 5th, 2013|Comments Off on Video: Staying on Mission—Adapting to Economic Pressure

ECCU Ministry Development Officer Randy Marsh presented, "Staying on Mission: Adapting to Economic Pressure" at the XP-Seminar in February, 2013. ECCU is a loyal sponsor of our annual XP-Seminar and gives presentations such as the [...]

Cash Receipts and Disbursements Policy

February 27th, 2013|Comments Off on Cash Receipts and Disbursements Policy

XPastor tries to help churches by providing some of the essentials for running a church---items like job descriptions, employment applications, review forms and policies. Below is a Cash Receipts and Disbursements Policy of Westwards Community [...]

Before You Pay the Pastor

February 26th, 2013|Comments Off on Before You Pay the Pastor

What should church leaders note before structuring compensation plans? Compensation planning for clergy and other church staff presents several unique tax issues that are not well understood by many church leaders and their advisers. Here are [...]

Benevolent Fund Policy

January 13th, 2013|Comments Off on Benevolent Fund Policy

XPastor tries to help churches by providing some of the essentials for running a church---items like job descriptions, employment applications, Review Forms and policies.  Below is the 2011 Benevolent Fund Policy of Old North Church [...]

Video: Is Your Church Having a Super Bowl® Party?

January 12th, 2013|Comments Off on Video: Is Your Church Having a Super Bowl® Party?

XPastor and many others have benefited from the counsel of David Middlebrook and Matt Anthony at The Church Law Group. David and Matt ask: "Can you legally show the 'Big Game' each February at your church?  Can [...]

Basic Elements of a Successful Fundraising Campaign

January 11th, 2013|Comments Off on Basic Elements of a Successful Fundraising Campaign

Many other people and organizations are vying for your congregation's money ... and time. If you don't present your ministries to your people in a way that stirs their interests, they will give their money [...]

Benevolence Policy and Form

January 10th, 2013|Comments Off on Benevolence Policy and Form

XPastor tries to help churches by providing some of the essentials for running a church---items like job descriptions, employment applications, review form, applications and policies. Below is the 2012 Benevolence Policy and form from Southbridge [...]

Benevolence and Financial Assistance Policy and Procedure

January 10th, 2013|Comments Off on Benevolence and Financial Assistance Policy and Procedure

XPastor tries to help churches by providing some of the essentials for running a church---items like job descriptions, employment applications, review forms and policies. Below is the Benevolence and Financial Assistance Policy and Procedure of [...]

Benevolence Application

January 10th, 2013|Comments Off on Benevolence Application

XPastor tries to help churches by providing some of the essentials for running a church---items like job descriptions, employment applications, review forms and policies. Below is the Benevolence Application from Northeast Bible Church of San [...]

Care Fund Policy

January 3rd, 2013|Comments Off on Care Fund Policy

XPastor tries to help churches out by providing some of the essentials for running a church---items like job descriptions, employment applications, employee handbooks, review forms and policies. Below is the 2005 Care Fund Policy of [...]

Care Ministries Assistance Policy

January 3rd, 2013|Comments Off on Care Ministries Assistance Policy

XPastor tries to help churches out by providing some of the essentials for running a church---items like job descriptions, employment applications, employee handbooks, review forms and policies. Below is the Care Ministries Assistance Policy from [...]

Finance Committee Policy

December 25th, 2012|Comments Off on Finance Committee Policy

XPastor tries to help churches by providing some of the essentials for running a church---items like job descriptions, employment applications, review forms and policies. Below is the Finance Committee Policy from Northwest Bible Church in [...]

Communicable Disease Policy

December 24th, 2012|Comments Off on Communicable Disease Policy

XPastor tries to help churches by providing some of the essentials for running a church---items like job descriptions, employment applications, review forms and general policies. Below is a Communicable Disease Policy from Northwest Bible Church in [...]

Suggestions for Writing Church Policies

December 17th, 2012|Comments Off on Suggestions for Writing Church Policies

Every XP deals with church policy. Some of you love them, others tolerate it, while others avoid it like a plague. But every church needs them. When writing policies for your church, keep in mind [...]

Drain the Swamp: Your Finances in the Summer Slump

December 17th, 2012|Comments Off on Drain the Swamp: Your Finances in the Summer Slump

Let me give you four steps to prepare for the summer drain in finances. For many churches, perhaps even yours, there is a lull in giving during the summer. The drill runs something like this. [...]

Zero-Zero Based Budgets

December 17th, 2012|Comments Off on Zero-Zero Based Budgets

I think David worked WAY too long, looking at WAY too many line items on WAY too many departmental budgets. Don't understand what I mean? Just read on, and be aware that his tongue was [...]

My CPA

December 17th, 2012|Comments Off on My CPA

Over my years in ministry, I have come to enjoy the relationships that I have had with the various CPAs that have helped me. Let me define what my relationship with each CPA has not [...]

Credit Card Policy and Forms

December 16th, 2012|Comments Off on Credit Card Policy and Forms

XPastor tries to help churches by providing some of the essentials for running a church---items like job descriptions, employment applications, review forms and policies.  Below is the Credit Card/Debit Card Policy and forms for Village [...]

Credit Card Policy

December 16th, 2012|Comments Off on Credit Card Policy

XPastor tries to help churches by providing some of the essentials for running a church---items like job descriptions, employment applications, review forms and policies. Below is the Credit Card Policy of the First Church of [...]

The Process of Amending the Church Constitution

December 16th, 2012|Comments Off on The Process of Amending the Church Constitution

XPastor tries to help churches by providing some of the essentials for running a church---items like job descriptions, employment applications, review forms and policies. Below is the Original Constitution, Draft 12 of the editing process, [...]

What Churches Don’t Want to Hear in Raising Capital Funds

December 9th, 2012|Comments Off on What Churches Don’t Want to Hear in Raising Capital Funds

It’s inevitable---growing churches at some point will find themselves scrambling to accommodate the people God is sending their way. Which means they need facilities, and that usually means they have to raise money. But churches are often [...]

The Church and the Economic Crisis

December 6th, 2012|Comments Off on The Church and the Economic Crisis

The economy is on the front page of the news constantly and its effect has been felt in church circles. It has changed the way we do church, but the decrease in giving has not [...]

An Economic Impact on American Churches

December 6th, 2012|Comments Off on An Economic Impact on American Churches

Having been invited by David Fletcher to participate in a panel on the topic of the current economy’s impact on churches, I decided to pull together some up-to-date information from Executive Pastors around the country. [...]

Salary Administration Plan

December 6th, 2012|Comments Off on Salary Administration Plan

XPastor tries to help churches by providing some of the essentials for running a church---items like job descriptions, employment applications, review forms and policies. Below is the Salary Administration Plan for Kempsville Presbyterian Church of [...]

Leading with a Business and a Ministry Response

December 6th, 2012|Comments Off on Leading with a Business and a Ministry Response

Here’s the situation. Your giving to the General Fund is down, not to mention missions and other special giving. Some of your people are losing their jobs, and many others are in fear of that [...]

How to Talk About Money in Church

December 6th, 2012|Comments Off on How to Talk About Money in Church

From auctions to raffles to bad rap songs, there are many “creative” ways that churches broach the subject of money. These efforts may be well intentioned, but ultimately amount to an elaborate guilt trip, a clever [...]

Copyright Issues Affecting Churches

December 6th, 2012|Comments Off on Copyright Issues Affecting Churches

Think twice before singing that new worship song next Sunday or before using that scene from a popular movie as an illustration in your sermon. Believe it or not, even with the very best of [...]

The First Amendment: Why the Court Won’t Hear Your Church Fight

December 6th, 2012|Comments Off on The First Amendment: Why the Court Won’t Hear Your Church Fight

Hypothetical situation: A church’s board of directors opposes the pastor, not agreeing with a certain vision or course of action, each claiming to have the best interest of the church in mind. The church’s congregation is [...]

Change in Florida Sexual Abuse Law

December 6th, 2012|Comments Off on Change in Florida Sexual Abuse Law

How has the law changed? How does this change in law affect you? Will this impact other states’ laws? On April 26, 2010, Florida lawmakers passed a bill removing the statute of limitations (or time limits) for victims [...]

Sexual Abuse Safety Issues in Ministry

December 6th, 2012|Comments Off on Sexual Abuse Safety Issues in Ministry

In recent years, our society has begun to understand the widespread nature of child sexual abuse. Studies indicate that one female child out of every three and one male child out of seven will be [...]

Standards of Care are Rising for Church Planters and Missionaries

December 6th, 2012|Comments Off on Standards of Care are Rising for Church Planters and Missionaries

Douglas W. Myers was a Baptist pastor and church planter. Myers allegedly received training and funds from the Florida Baptist Convention, and others, in connection with planting two churches in Florida. Myers pled guilty to [...]

Generosity Issues Every Church Should Consider for 2013

December 6th, 2012|Comments Off on Generosity Issues Every Church Should Consider for 2013

The 365 days of 2013 may be the most successful giving year for churches for the last five years. Counter-intuitive? Hard to believe? No question, the days of low-hanging fruit in giving are gone. The recession [...]

Ten Generosity Issues for 2011

December 6th, 2012|Comments Off on Ten Generosity Issues for 2011

Welcome to year three of the recession. The church has adapted to this restricted giving environment. The new normal has set in. The new normal may be short lived, however. Making the turn into 2011, churches [...]

Ten Generosity Issues Every Church Leader Should Consider in 2010

December 6th, 2012|Comments Off on Ten Generosity Issues Every Church Leader Should Consider in 2010

One year ago, we were tossing around words new to our experience. AIG, financial meltdown, Wall Street collapse, and recession all rushed into our harried conversations. As church leaders, those words pointed us to one [...]

Ten Stewardship Issues Every Church Leader Should Consider in 2009

December 6th, 2012|Comments Off on Ten Stewardship Issues Every Church Leader Should Consider in 2009

Whether whispered silently in our heads or energetically wrestled through in leadership meetings, economic fears challenge churches. We offer hope and meaning to our communities and a world growing more restless in finding truth. What [...]

End-of-Year Giving Communication 2007

December 6th, 2012|Comments Off on End-of-Year Giving Communication 2007

This is a sample of what Brad Leeper, President of Generis, sends to his ministry partners---churches that he helps to guide regarding their generosity. Although it is from years ago, the principles of wisdom are [...]

Making Unusual Generosity the New Normal

December 6th, 2012|Comments Off on Making Unusual Generosity the New Normal

There it was again … a passionate group of church leaders explaining how their exciting vision stalled in the thick mud of financial shortfalls. Their vision exploded with innovation, precision, and compelling results. The financial [...]

Free Minister’s 2013 Tax Guide

December 5th, 2012|Comments Off on Free Minister’s 2013 Tax Guide

Our friends at GuideStone Financial Resources are making this resource available to the XPastor community. They are committed sponsors of the XP-Seminar each year and have given us great help in our retirement planning. Enjoy this [...]

Risk Management for Churches and the Kingdom of God

December 5th, 2012|Comments Off on Risk Management for Churches and the Kingdom of God

The Kingdom of God moves and grows forcefully throughout the world. The blood of the martyrs testifies to the spiritual battles that have been waged throughout the annals of time towards the church. The ecclesia [...]

Care & Correction or Shaming—A Case Study

December 5th, 2012|Comments Off on Care & Correction or Shaming—A Case Study

The newspapers screamed headlines such as “Is Public Shaming by the Church Legal?” and “Church, ex-member battle over discipline.” The story ran from coast to coast and was fodder in blog discussions, hallway chatter, legal [...]

Care & Correction or Shaming: Excerpts from the Case Study

December 5th, 2012|Comments Off on Care & Correction or Shaming: Excerpts from the Case Study

Newspapers screamed the headline, “Is Public Shaming by the Church Legal?” The story ran coast to coast. Yet, the giants of the national news media had differing “facts” from each other—so, carefully read all the [...]

The Chapel’s Budget Cuts—FAQs for Board Members

December 5th, 2012|Comments Off on The Chapel’s Budget Cuts—FAQs for Board Members

Due to the failing economy and a decline in attendance numbers, The Chapel in Akron, Ohio needed to make budget cuts. They had to trim $760,000 from their staff budget ... which meant laying off [...]

The Chapel’s Budget Cuts—The Downsizing Plan

December 5th, 2012|Comments Off on The Chapel’s Budget Cuts—The Downsizing Plan

Due to the failing economy and a decline in attendance numbers, The Chapel in Akron, Ohio needed to make budget cuts. They had to trim $760,000 from their staff budget ... which meant laying off [...]

The Chapel’s Budget Cuts—A Letter to those Downsized

December 5th, 2012|Comments Off on The Chapel’s Budget Cuts—A Letter to those Downsized

Due to the failing economy and a decline in attendance numbers, The Chapel in Akron, Ohio needed to make budget cuts. They had to trim $760,000 from their staff budget ... which meant laying off [...]

The Chapel’s Budget Cuts—The Note to the Congregation

December 5th, 2012|Comments Off on The Chapel’s Budget Cuts—The Note to the Congregation

Due to the failing economy and a decline in attendance numbers, The Chapel in Akron, Ohio needed to make budget cuts. They had to trim $760,000 from their staff budget ... which meant laying off [...]

The Chapel’s Budget Cuts—A Public Letter on Restructuring the Staff

December 5th, 2012|Comments Off on The Chapel’s Budget Cuts—A Public Letter on Restructuring the Staff

Due to the failing economy and a decline in attendance numbers, The Chapel in Akron, Ohio needed to make budget cuts. They had to trim $760,000 from their staff budget ... which meant laying off [...]

How Vision Sets the Budget: A Glimpse at the Largest Church in America

December 5th, 2012|Comments Off on How Vision Sets the Budget: A Glimpse at the Largest Church in America

With anguish in his voice, Bill said, “It’s budget time again at our church. I get so tired of working through these numbers. The pile of papers seems endless. How do I get off of [...]

Church Finance$ 101

December 5th, 2012|Comments Off on Church Finance$ 101

For many years, I gave a lecture to a "Basics of Ministry" class at Dallas Theological Seminary. I don't do much teaching at the Masters level, as I generally work with pastors in the Doctor [...]

Eight Key Aspects for Writing Your Financial Policy

December 5th, 2012|Comments Off on Eight Key Aspects for Writing Your Financial Policy

When it comes to operating a church, a foundational document is the Finance Policy. If a poorly written Finance Policy is executed well, then the Policy can strike fear into any staff person. If a [...]

The Chapel’s Budget Cuts—Cutting $750,000 in Staff

December 5th, 2012|Comments Off on The Chapel’s Budget Cuts—Cutting $750,000 in Staff

Due to the failing economy and a decline in attendance numbers, The Chapel in Akron, Ohio needed to make budget cuts. They had to trim $760,000 from their staff budget … which meant laying off [...]

Caesar Takes a Pastor’s Salary

December 5th, 2012|Comments Off on Caesar Takes a Pastor’s Salary

Few issues are as misunderstood, abused and confused as the tax implications of a pastor’s salary. The issue is so different from compensation in the business world that some CPA’s have given errant advice to [...]

Digital Giving is Successful Giving

December 5th, 2012|Comments Off on Digital Giving is Successful Giving

In 2009, 38% of surveyed churches declined in giving while 29% showed no change according to the “State of the Plate” report. Yet 33% of the surveyed churches showed an increase in giving during a [...]

Year-End Giving and Cash Reserves

December 5th, 2012|Comments Off on Year-End Giving and Cash Reserves

As we’ve been talking with churches about cash reserves, the topic of year-end giving has been cropping up in the conversations. Now is certainly the time to be thinking about it. An Evangelical Christian Credit [...]

When to Finance or Not: Are You Ready For Debt?

December 5th, 2012|Comments Off on When to Finance or Not: Are You Ready For Debt?

The attendance is climbing and the membership is growing. Each Sunday you notice there are fewer empty seats. With three services already in place, you wonder how many more people you can accommodate without having [...]

When to Build or Not: Construction Can Make or Break a Ministry

December 5th, 2012|Comments Off on When to Build or Not: Construction Can Make or Break a Ministry

You have a good problem—your church attendance is growing and you’re busting at the seams. Having found a great location in the heart of your community, your church has purchased some nice land. Suddenly you’re [...]

Renting Versus Buying Your Church’s Facility

December 5th, 2012|Comments Off on Renting Versus Buying Your Church’s Facility

God called you to plant a new church, and you’ve followed His calling. For the last year (or two years or five years), you’ve been renting adequate facilities to meet your congregation’s needs. You have [...]

Liquidity: Managing Ministry Funds During Tough Economic Times

December 5th, 2012|Comments Off on Liquidity: Managing Ministry Funds During Tough Economic Times

Managing ministry funds is a challenging responsibility, especially during tough economic times. In response to this challenge, Evangelical Christian Credit Union (ECCU) has published a number of articles on liquidity in Ministry Banking Today, a [...]

Liquidity: How Much is Enough?

December 5th, 2012|Comments Off on Liquidity: How Much is Enough?

We have all either heard or uttered the phrase, “How much is enough?” and the answer always seems to be, “Just a little bit more!” For ministries, resources are limited. Determining how much liquidity is [...]

How to Look Like a Borrower

December 5th, 2012|Comments Off on How to Look Like a Borrower

One of the most significant events in the life of your church is preparing for a building project. A new building can mean an opportunity to start new ministries and grow those that exist. It means touching more [...]

Handling Cash

December 5th, 2012|Comments Off on Handling Cash

Consider the following scenarios:  (1) A newspaper headline reads: “Sticky Fingered Deacon Pads Wallet with Offering Plate Funds.” Nobody wants this humiliating portrayal of their church to appear in the paper. (2) A senior pastor dreads [...]

Financial Statements Matter

December 5th, 2012|Comments Off on Financial Statements Matter

“What is more, he (Titus) was chosen by the churches to accompany us as we carry the offering, which we administer in order to honor the Lord himself and to show our eagerness to help. [...]

Essentials of Fundraising for Churches

December 5th, 2012|Comments Off on Essentials of Fundraising for Churches

When you hear the word “fundraising,” does your heart begin to pound with excitement? Or do you feel the blood drain from your face as you stand in utter terror? For many, the mere thought [...]

Is Your Data Secure?

December 5th, 2012|Comments Off on Is Your Data Secure?

Think for a moment. Where do you keep information about your congregants or donors? In an Excel file on someone's desktop computer? An Access database housed on your laptop? If someone were to steal your [...]

Cash Reserves: How Much is Enough?

December 5th, 2012|Comments Off on Cash Reserves: How Much is Enough?

We have all either heard or uttered the phrase, "How much is enough?" And the answer always seems to be, "Just a little bit more!" In business, we have also heard the phrase, "Cash is [...]

Cash Recycling: Utilizing Cash Donations Without Compromising Deposit Integrity

December 5th, 2012|Comments Off on Cash Recycling: Utilizing Cash Donations Without Compromising Deposit Integrity

As a financial decision maker, you have many responsibilities and often not enough time to complete them all. In order to manage this never-ending challenge, you frequently look for ways to make processes more efficient. [...]

Cash Equivalents and Alternatives: Reduce the Cash You Keep on Hand

December 5th, 2012|Comments Off on Cash Equivalents and Alternatives: Reduce the Cash You Keep on Hand

If you handle the finances for your ministry, you know how inefficiency can keep you from staying on mission. And if your ministry is growing, you’re aware of the increased demands being placed on staff [...]

Now is Not the Time to Suspend Capital Campaigns

December 5th, 2012|Comments Off on Now is Not the Time to Suspend Capital Campaigns

In recent months I have dealt with three non-profit clients who were thinking about suspending their capital campaign plans due to the dreadful condition of the economy. Several factors led these top-flight executives to consider [...]

Borrowing and the Church

December 5th, 2012|Comments Off on Borrowing and the Church

Borrowing money has become a way of life for many. And credit use raises more than a few questions: what does the Bible say about money? Does church financing have a place in building the [...]

Every Church Needs a CFO

December 5th, 2012|Comments Off on Every Church Needs a CFO

I once heard a good definition of a CFO: “Someone who solves a problem you didn't know you had in a way you don't understand.” There is some truth in this statement. However, in actuality, [...]

The Business of Church

December 5th, 2012|Comments Off on The Business of Church

There is a distinctly business-like aspect to overseeing a church: churches have assets to manage, employees to pay, and members who rightfully demand accountability for their financial contributions. The business side of church leadership is [...]

Leading Your Staff and Church During Hard Times

December 5th, 2012|Comments Off on Leading Your Staff and Church During Hard Times

One of the hardest experiences I have ever had as an executive pastor is coming to the reality that our church will have to lay off a staff member. The burden hurts beyond words. It [...]

Webcasting Church Services

December 5th, 2012|Comments Off on Webcasting Church Services

Imagine holding Sunday services with an unlimited number of available seats. Imagine those seats being accessible to anyone, anywhere in the United States or world. Surprisingly, these days it’s easy to turn those dreams into [...]

Blogging and Facebook Policy

December 5th, 2012|Comments Off on Blogging and Facebook Policy

These days it seems everyone is pushing you towards blogging, Facebook and Twitter. Whether for professional or personal reasons, it can be wise to take advantage of these emerging social networking opportunities. However, there can [...]

Employees that Qualify for Minister’s Taxation

December 5th, 2012|Comments Off on Employees that Qualify for Minister’s Taxation

Determining who qualifies as a minister for tax purposes can be challenging---and misclassification can be costly. This article will help you properly classify your ministerial staff and avoid the risk of back taxes, penalties, and more. In the [...]

Should Your Church Use Corporate Credit Cards?

December 5th, 2012|Comments Off on Should Your Church Use Corporate Credit Cards?

The church’s credit card bill arrives and you look at it with dread. It has so many charges on it, and you only have five receipts in the folder. You know you’ll have to pester [...]

Dashboard Indicators for the Church: Why They are Important, and Where You Should Start

December 5th, 2012|Comments Off on Dashboard Indicators for the Church: Why They are Important, and Where You Should Start

In high school, a friend gave me a ride home from work late at night. We stopped for gas and I noted that her oil light was on. When I asked her about it, she [...]

The Changing Face of Ministry

December 5th, 2012|Comments Off on The Changing Face of Ministry

These are unique and challenging times for churches. There are more distractions to draw people away from church involvement than ever before. These distractions make it difficult for attendees to fully participate in sermon series [...]

Let’s Prune Some Ministries!

December 5th, 2012|Comments Off on Let’s Prune Some Ministries!

Executive Pastors get excited about the opportunity to flex their catalyst muscles to launch ministries in the church. But most tend to lose enthusiasm when it comes time to do some pruning. Ministries are living [...]

America’s Houses of Worship

December 5th, 2012|Comments Off on America’s Houses of Worship

PBS has produced a series of videos entitled, "America’s Houses of Worship." I saw it when they used it as one of those programs that they intermittently interrupt with an appeal for the viewer to [...]

Getting Unstuck: Financial Innovations for Moving Ministries Forward

May 5th, 2009|Comments Off on Getting Unstuck: Financial Innovations for Moving Ministries Forward

Peter Haas knew he had a financial challenge on his hands when he got a report on the giving patterns of his fast-growing Substance Church in Fridley, Minnesota, and discovered that his 8-year-old daughter was one of the top [...]