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Seventh Circuit: Clergy Housing Allowance Is Constitutional
Appellate court reverses lower court ruling, preserving valuable tax benefit.
Seventh Circuit: Clergy Housing Allowance Is Constitutional
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The US Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit in Chicago ruled Friday afternoon that the clergy housing allowance is a constitutionally permissible tax benefit.

The Seventh Circuit reversed a 2017 decision by a federal district judge in Wisconsin, which favored leaders of the ...

Don't Be Blindsided by Three "Unexpected Expenses"
Don't Be Blindsided by Three "Unexpected Expenses"
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In his blog on ChristianityToday.com, small-church pastor Karl Vaters offers these tips that could keep you from being caught off guard by three types of expenses:

  1. Set aside money every month for annual bills. Most bills come monthly. But every church has annual bills (like insurance) that we have to stop being surprised by. Any healthy church anticipates these bills and plans for them by laying some money aside every month so it’s there when the bill inevitably arrives.
What to Include in a Severance Package
What to Include in a Severance Package
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Determine what to include in a severance package by establishing your budget and reviewing the paid benefits that the employee receives. Often a severance package will include full pay, paid insurance premiums, continued contribution to retirement, and outplacement services ...

4 Common Mistakes in Annual Reviews of Pastors
And solutions to these problems to help strengthen these reviews.
4 Common Mistakes in Annual Reviews of Pastors
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Every pastor I know wants to do a good job. The vast majority of them are willing to receive feedback. Yet many pastors get nervous about receiving an annual review. Why? Because they’ve been through a review with some of these four problems. Here’s how to solve ...

Hey, Fletch: Can My Church Force Me to Retire at Age 65?
The legal and ministry considerations of an age-based retirement policy.
Hey, Fletch: Can My Church Force Me to Retire at Age 65?
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In this regular column, longtime executive pastor and XPastor.org founder David Fletcher takes on readers’ questions about finances, staffing, communications, and more. Submit your questions using the subject line "Hey, Fletch" to editor@churchlawandtax.com.

Hey, Fletch: What Kind of Written Report Should We Give to the Church Board?
How this tool can reduce meeting times and enhance efficiency.
Hey, Fletch: What Kind of Written Report Should We Give to the Church Board?
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In this regular biweekly column, longtime executive pastor and XPastor.org founder David Fletcher takes on readers’ questions about finances, staffing, communications, and more. Submit your questions using the subject line "Hey, Fletch" to editor@churchlawandtax.com. ...

15 Reasons Your Next Hire Should Be Administrative
15 Reasons Your Next Hire Should Be Administrative
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I never imagined working in ministry. Growing up in a small town with mostly smaller churches, the senior pastor was lucky to be getting paid. On rare occasions, if a church was doing well financially, they might give the youth pastor $50 a week.

But no one had ever given a thought ...

5 Numbers to Watch this Fall
5 Numbers to Watch this Fall
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September through November has always been a season of growth at the church I serve. Summer is over and temperatures start dropping, which means people are spending less time on vacation or at the lake and more time showing up to church. The kids have gone back to school, and ...

Hey, Fletch: Would We Save Money by Outsourcing Our Church’s Cleaning?
The cost may seem high, but the in-house expenses may surprise you.
Hey, Fletch: Would We Save Money by Outsourcing Our Church’s Cleaning?
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In this regular column, longtime executive pastor and XPastor.org founder David Fletcher takes on readers’ questions about finances, staffing, communications, and more. Submit your questions using the subject line "Hey, Fletch" to editor@churchlawandtax.com.

The Outsourcing Option
Why your church might want to let an outside pro handle the books.
The Outsourcing Option
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When Steve Dawson first started working with churches more than two decades ago, much of the accounting work was still being done by hand.

Churches were just starting to use computers for spreadsheets and bookkeeping software. Not everyone was convinced that was a good idea, ...

Hey, Fletch: Should We Use Time Cards for Pastors?
When work ethic comes into question, is documentation a suitable solution?
Hey, Fletch: Should We Use Time Cards for Pastors?
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In this biweekly column, longtime executive pastor and XPastor.orgfounder David Fletcher takes on readers’ questions about finances, staffing, communications, and more. Submit your questions using the subject line "Hey, Fletch" to editor@churchlawandtax.com.

Hey, Fletch: A Board Member No Longer Gives to the Church
How to approach a board member who isn’t engaging with the church’s mission.
Hey, Fletch: A Board Member No Longer Gives to the Church
Image: Drew Beamer / Unsplash

In this biweekly column, longtime executive pastor and and XPastor.org founder David Fletcher takes on readers’ questions about finances, staffing, communications, and more. Submit your questions using the subject line "Hey, Fletch" to editor@churchlawandtax.com. ...

6 Common Problems with Church Bylaws
Why bylaws can often hurt churches.
6 Common Problems with Church Bylaws
Image: Daniel Alvarez Sanchez Diaz / Unsplash

Church bylaws are a necessity, both from a legal and an organizational perspective. They provide the framework from which the organization exists and operates.

So, hear me well. I not advocating the elimination, eradication, or minimization of church bylaws.

But I am suggesting ...

Hey, Fletch: What’s the Best Way to Structure a Pay Scale?
Tips for building a compensation plan that can grow with your church.
Hey, Fletch: What’s the Best Way to Structure a Pay Scale?
Image: Joshua Ness / Unsplash

In this biweekly column, longtime executive pastor and XPastor.orgfounder David Fletcher takes on readers’ questions about finances, staffing, communications, and more. Submit your questions using the subject line "Hey, Fletch" to editor@churchlawandtax.com.

How Can Churches Treat Their Staffs Well?
An experienced executive pastor offers insights on compensation, job descriptions, and more.
How Can Churches Treat Their Staffs Well?
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Editor’s Note: Christianity Today’s Church Law & Tax Team will co-host “Smart Money for Church Salaries,” a church compensation workshop with David Fletcher, on August 23 in Wheaton, Illinois. Readers receive an $80 discount by entering CT in the ...

Hey, Fletch: How Can We Fix Our New Giver Email?
Tips for making your emails to new donors effective and accessible.
Hey, Fletch: How Can We Fix Our New Giver Email?
Image: Rayi Christian Wicaksono / Unsplash

In this biweekly column, longtime executive pastor and XPastor.orgfounder David Fletcher takes on readers’ questions about finances, staffing, communications, and more. Submit your questions using the subject line "Hey, Fletch" to editor@churchlawandtax.com.

8 Reminders About Supplemental Income Projects
Take these necessary precautions.
8 Reminders About Supplemental Income Projects
Image: JESHOOTS.COM / Unsplash

I understand what a challenge it can be to focus on ministry when finances are tight. Over the years I have received several questions on the topic of supplemental income. Some of you have asked about precautions when working on supplemental income projects. I have heard from ...

Estate Gifts: Don’t Get Too Involved
Churches should never recommend a lawyer or a financial planner.
Estate Gifts: Don’t Get Too Involved
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The following excerpt about wills and estate planning is adapted from “Encouraging Estate Gifts in Your Church” in the June 2018 issue of Church Finance Today.

Churches can get into trouble if they get too involved in the process of procuring a gift or bequest. That’s ...

Hey, Fletch: How Can We Have Healthy, Honest Meetings?
Understand what a ‘four-wall discussion’ means.
Hey, Fletch: How Can We Have Healthy, Honest Meetings?
Image: rawpixel / Unsplash

In this biweekly column, longtime executive pastor and XPastor.orgfounder David Fletcher takes on readers’ questions about finances, staffing, communications, and more. Submit your questions using the subject line "Hey, Fletch" to editor@churchlawandtax.com.

What to Know About a New Donation Scam
Why churches should be careful about refund requests.
What to Know About a New Donation Scam
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A very kind but anxious fellow named Tom calls your finance office and informs your team that he just realized he accidentally submitted a donation to your organization in the amount of $5,000. He meant for it to be $50. He pleads for an immediate refund of the difference, since ...

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Using Social Media Safely

Using Social Media Safely Subscriber access only

Policies to keep your church staff and members safe when using social media.
Best Practices for Technology Usage

Best Practices for Technology Usage Subscriber access only

Establish policies and best practices to govern the use of technology for church staff.