1. Giving reigns supreme for church income. "Of the principal sources of income for churches, an average of 91 percent comes from tithes and offerings; 6 percent comes from rental or lease income (including parking); 9 percent comes from special campaigns (e.g. capital fundraising); 7 percent comes from investments; 8 percent comes from ancillary programs (bookstore, cafeteria, daycare, and so on); and 13 percent comes from denominational support. (Note: Numbers do not add up to 100 percent because these are averages among those who indicate they use these types of income)" (How Churches Spend Their Money, an executive report based on a 2014 survey of more than 2,000 churches nationwide, ChurchLawAndTaxStore.com).
2. Counting "active attenders." "(H)ow do you gauge how a church is doing in a quantitative, much less qualitative, way? … At Meck, we stumbled on to something that was new to us … [it] employs an entirely different metric: 'active attenders.' This metric does not replace membership, but it does complement it. How we define an active attender is simple. If we can point to someone being 'active' through such activities as attending, giving, or serving, then they go into the 'active attender' category. If we can't point to them being active within a six-month period, they come out of that category" ("A Metric That Matters," by James Emery White, LeadershipJournal.net).
3. Should your church offer flu shots to staff? "Getting the shot can reduce the chance of needing a doctor visit by 60 percent ... great news for employers that offer shots in the office or pay for workers to get them. Among workers aged 50 to 64, the flu is responsible for nearly half of lost workdays and days of low production. The price tag for all that lost productivity: $6.2 billion" (August 8, 2014, Kiplinger Letter, Kiplinger.com).
4. "Time box" your way to better productivity. "Time boxing is a planning tool that's a cross between a calendar and a to-do list. It lets you divide your schedule into increments (half-hour or hour-long chunks) that you can slot tasks into and monitor. To set it up:
- Review your week. Take one day to plan for the week ahead. Inventory your deadlines, commitments, meetings, and so on.
- Prioritize what's on the list. Put deadline-sensitive tasks first, goal-oriented tasks second, and then schedule these around any recurring obligations.
- Estimate time for tasks. Err on the side of caution when calculating how long each will take.
- Enter series of time boxes into your calendar. Designate a task for each time slot ("8 to 9 a.m.: Return phone calls and e-mails"), and keep a log of how long it actually took you. Later, review whether you allocated enough time by seeing what you were and weren't able to finish"
(Adapted from Managing Time (20-Minute Manager), hbr.org).
5. Put strength in your hiring. "Though I've heard people teach about how leaders should surround themselves with staff who can cover their deficiencies, I believe that a good leader doesn't just look to compensate for their own weaknesses, but builds a team based on how everyone's strengths can contribute to the unique call of God for their church" ("Superman, Jesus, & You," by Tim Clark, pastortimclark.com).
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