The Top 10 Church Management Articles of 2013
Headlines that drew the most interest on

A number of acts and legal developments in 2013 significantly affected churches, pushing three articles toward the top of the list of this year's top 10 most popular articles on Richard Hammar and Frank Sommerville dove into the many details of these developments and provided answers to common questions related to them.

The list also reveals the variety of difficult decisions that church leaders often need to make: setting compensation, managing the many details of ministry, raising funds, and confronting the possibility of violence at church. These articles offered help with thinking through these topics.

The list is based on unique page views in 2013. Each post is highlighted below, starting with the tenth-most uniquely viewed post and building up to the first-most. Each item in the list also includes the post's title, author, description, and a related article that goes deeper on the subject.

  1. "2012: 'A Bad Year for Violence' at Churches" by Matt Branaugh

    An interview with security expert Carl Chinn on how congregations should respond to the latest statistics on church violence.

    Related Article: "Developing an Emergency Operations Plan" by Sarah E. Merkle, Church Law & Tax Report, November/December 2013
  2. "Firm Issues Gloomy 2013 Forecast for Religious Giving" by Matt Branaugh

    In January, the Dallas, Texas-based Atlas of Giving predicted a decrease in collections for the religious sector in 2013. Matt Branaugh provides four takeaways for churches in the midst of projected declines.

    Related Article: "Five Truths About Tithers" by Brian Kluth, Church Finance Today, June 2013
  3. "The Top 7 Paid Positions at Churches" by Marian V. Liautaud

    Results from Christianity Today's 2011 survey of 4,600 churches nationwide revealed the top 7 paid church positions based on gender. An infographic displays these findings.

    Related Article: "ECFA Sets Higher Standards for Compensation, Transactions" by Dan Busby and John Van Drunen, Church Law & Tax Report, September/October 2013
  4. "Three Risks Keeping Church Leaders Up at Night" by Ashley Moore

    A summary of three pitfalls that threaten every church.

    Related Article: "The Top Five Reasons Churches Go to Court," Church Law & Tax Report, May/June 2013
  5. "Finding Grants for Church Building Campaigns" by Joy Skjegstad

    Churches that serve the community may be eligible for outside funds. Learn how.

    Related Article: "Building on Budget" by Kevin Miller, Church Finance Today, May 2013
  6. "10 Tips on Managing Church" by Tim Clark

    Veteran pastor Tim Clark shares ten points he learned about church administration.

    Related Article: "The 10 Commandments of Church Management" by Frank Sommerville and Elaine Sommerville,, October 2012
  7. "How Does the Affordable Care Act Affect Churches?" by Frank Sommerville

    Attorney Frank Sommerville walks churches through how the Affordable Care Act will affect churches during the next two years.

    Related Article: "Does the New Obamacare Notice Requirement Apply to Churches?" by Richard R. Hammar, Church Law & Tax Report, September/October 2013
  8. "12 Benefits of the New Taxpayer Relief Act" by Richard R. Hammar

    Congress enacted legislation, known as the American Taxpayer Relief Act of 2012, in the final hours of 2012 that increased taxes for the wealthiest Americans and extended several expired tax benefits for 2012 tax returns. Richard Hammar lists 12 benefits of this.

    Related Article: "Unpacking the American Taxpayer Relief Act of 2012" by Richard R. Hammar, Church Law & Tax Report, March/April 2013
  9. "A Breakdown of Salaries and Benefits for Senior Pastors" by Marian V. Liautaud

    Christianity Today's 2011 survey of compensation levels based on 4,600 participating churches shows that a pastor's salary may be much different than take-home pay. An infographic displays these results.

    Related Article: "Paying the Pastor" by Richard R. Hammar,, March 2013
  10. "Five Takeaways from the November 2013 Housing Allowance Ruling" by Richard R. Hammar

    In late November, a federal judge from the Western District Court of Wisconsin struck down the ministerial housing allowance as an unconstitutional preference for religion. Richard R. Hammar shares five things to note about this ruling.

    Related Article: "10 Key Points from the Housing Allowance Ruling" by Richard R. Hammar, Church Law & Tax Report, January/February 2014–soon to be in print and available online at

This content is designed to provide accurate and authoritative information in regard to the subject matter covered. It is published with the understanding that the publisher is not engaged in rendering legal, accounting, or other professional service. If legal advice or other expert assistance is required, the services of a competent professional person should be sought. "From a Declaration of Principles jointly adopted by a Committee of the American Bar Association and a Committee of Publishers and Associations."

Due to the nature of the U.S. legal system, laws and regulations constantly change. The editors encourage readers to carefully search the site for all content related to the topic of interest and consult qualified local counsel to verify the status of specific statutes, laws, regulations, and precedential court holdings.

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