Pastor Education Expenses • Push Small Groups • Team Consistency: Management Roundup
Trends, tips, ideas, and stats to help church leaders manage well this week.
Pastor Education Expenses • Push Small Groups • Team Consistency: Management Roundup

1. The tax treatment of educational benefits for pastors. "Pastors who receive educational assistance benefits from their church under an 'educa­tional assistance program' can exclude up to $5,250 of those benefits each year. This means that the church should not include the educa­tion benefits with the pastor's wages and oth­er compensation. (This also means that the pastor does not have to include the benefits on his or her income tax return.)" ("Paying for Continued Education," by Richard R. Hammar, Mastering Business Expenses).

2. Push small groups now. "People generally tend to operate their schedules around the calendar year and the school year (regardless of whether they're in school or have kids). So the two times of the year that prove most effective to market your small groups are September (when the school year starts) and January (when the calendar year starts, and a new school semester starts)" ("Effective Marketing for Small-Group Ministry," by Carter Moss, SmallGroups.com).

3. Increasing your team's consistency. "Here is one way to help increase team consistency: Once you've delegated and once you've trained, it's vital that you then follow up regularly to make sure that the job is being done and that there's consistency. Often, we set the expectation and then walk away and never check back until there's a fire burning too big to be extinguished. Also, inspecting what you expect will help you identify what you need to communicate about, what you need to train on, and so on" ("5 Hacks to Increase Your Team's Consistency," by Tim Parsons, Pastors.com).

4. Listening requires more than ears. "It's not fair, but when you start to progress in your career, your moves come under scrutiny. … (E)ven if you think you're doing everything right, check this area, which can be harming your well-crafted image:

You Look Like You're Not Listening. Being a poor listener can manifest in a number of different ways, including checking your phone while someone else is speaking, staring off into the distance, or just clearly not following along with the conversation ... People resent when their thoughts or input is treated as unimportant, which erodes your influence—plus, you're possibly missing valuable information that can help you lead more effectively"

("7 Ways You're Unconsciously Undermining Yourself," by Gwen Moran, FastCompany.com).

5. Are you acting like a pushover? "You want to be cooperative, but you don't want to be seen as a pushover. Watch out for these signs that you've taken being the good guy or gal too far—chances are that if you're feeling these things, other people are noticing them as well.

  • You kick yourself for not speaking up in meetings. You only realize your point of view on something after the discussion ends.
  • You feel overwhelmed and pulled in multiple directions.
  • Your calendar is all back-to-back meetings, with no time to focus on yourself or your critical priorities"

("Signs That You're Being a Pushover," by Amy Jen Su, hbr.org).

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