- Want to serve your congregation better? Offer fewer options. "The church needs to get back to majoring in what it does best. Modern church bulletins often blend essential church functions and an eclectic mix of opportunities. ... The average follower spends more time editing their socio-spiritual lives than filling them, and their discretionary time has not increased with these options. By providing a smorgasbord approach to church functions, you water down the importance of the events where the church truly shines. Praying together and discussing the Scripture together have suffered from the presence of too many optional activities." ("Leading Distracted People," by Adam Stadtmiller, Leadership Journal).
- Prevent payroll mistakes. Churches must issue a 2013 W-2 form to each employee by January 31, 2014. Make sure W-2s and other critical payroll paperwork gets handled correctly with these tips. And get help for tax-filing season and year-round tax questions that churches and clergy face with this comprehensive resource (via Church Law & Tax Report).
- Beat the tax-season blues. Get free help on various IRS paperwork through a special hotline set up by the IRS.
- A 2014 prediction for American churches–better get going. "The posture of many American churches in the most recent decades has been to find ways to get people in the community to come to the church. That is shifting, perhaps dramatically. In more churches, the congregation will move to the community. Instead of a philosophy of "y'all come," the dominant theme will be "we'll go." The congregants will be a more powerful presence in the community they serve, thus ministering to, influencing, and reaching more people with the gospel." ("Fourteen Predictions for Churches in 2014," by Thom Rainer, thomrainer.com). Learn more about how churches nationwide are mobilizing through this free executive report.
- Easily offended by criticism? Think twice. "What makes receiving feedback so hard? The process strikes at the tension between two core human needs–the need to learn and grow, and the need to be accepted just the way you are. As a result, even a seemingly benign suggestion can leave you feeling angry, anxious, badly treated, or profoundly threatened. ... Getting better at receiving feedback starts with understanding and managing those feelings. You might think there are a thousand ways in which feedback can push your buttons, but in fact there are only three: Truth triggers (the content of the feedback), relationship triggers (the person providing feedback), and identity triggers (your relationship with yourself). ... All these responses are natural and reasonable; in some cases they are unavoidable. The solution isn't to pretend you don't have them. It's to recognize what's happening and learn how to derive benefit from feedback even when it sets off one or more of your triggers." ("Find the Coaching in Criticism," by Sheila Heen and Douglas Stone, hbr.org).
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