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How to Finish the Year Strong
Get a head start on year-end tasks.
How to Finish the Year Strong
Image: Glenn Carstens-Peters / Unsplash

The holidays are just around the corner—and unfortunately, the rush of the season can shift the focus away from essential tasks that need to be accomplished before the New Year.

This year, don’t be caught off guard when the end of December rolls around. Instead, jump ...

Wisconsin Federal Judge: Housing Allowance Violates Establishment Clause
What a recent ruling might mean for pastors.
Wisconsin Federal Judge: Housing Allowance Violates Establishment Clause
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On October 6, a federal judge in Wisconsin ruled that the housing allowance provided to clergy by the Internal Revenue Code is unconstitutional and violates the First Amendment’s Establishment Clause.

A similar ruling had been handed down in 2013 by the same Wisconsin judge, ...

Before You Fire Your Pastor
8 guidelines to consider.
Before You Fire Your Pastor
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Recently, a pastor told me his deacons asked for his resignation, and they weren't clear on their reason for asking for it. The best I can discern the issue was change, or the pace of change.

The church is known in the area unflatteringly as a “preacher-eater church.” ...

Why You Should Remove Certain Reports from Your Meeting Agenda
And how to find which ones don't need to be presented.
Why You Should Remove Certain Reports from Your Meeting Agenda
Image: rawpixel.com / Unsplash

You've most likely been in meetings that drag on forever because of unnecessary committee reports. There is good news straight from the parliamentary procedure powers that be: you do not have to include “Time-Wasting Committee Reports” on your meeting agenda.

Planning a Pastor’s Retirement
Learn key strategies and find out your options.
Planning a Pastor’s Retirement
Image: Huy Phan / Unsplash

A 2015 survey of more than 4,000 pastors nationwide provided a sobering statistic: one in five pastors do not save anything for retirement. And those who do save for retirement still don’t save nearly enough. Without a retirement plan, a pastor will likely face substantial ...

How to Keep Your Meetings Short
The secret to making meetings brief and efficient.
How to Keep Your Meetings Short
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No one likes sitting in a meeting any longer than necessary. So here’s the best kept secret for shortening a meeting: bypass debate on non-controversial motions.

Not all motions or topics need to be discussed. Sometimes—more often than you might think—members ...

South Carolina Supreme Court Rules Against Breakaway Diocese’s Property Claims
What a recent ruling says about church property disputes.
South Carolina Supreme Court Rules Against Breakaway Diocese’s Property Claims
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The South Carolina Supreme Court has reached a split ruling in a case involving a breakaway diocese of the Episcopal Church, stating that the now-separate diocese will not be able to keep the historic properties it tried to claim from the denomination—properties worth ...

Do Americans Notice How Churches Help Communities?
LifeWay research reveals blind spots.
Do Americans Notice How Churches Help Communities?
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While you and other Christians may be aware of your local churches’ outreach ministries, LifeWay research reveals that those services are often unheard of in their wider communities.

Recently, LifeWay posed the following survey question: “Which, if any, of the following ...

Are Your Church IT Policies Too Restrictive?
Promote collaboration across church staff with these key reminders.
Are Your Church IT Policies Too Restrictive?
Image: Harpal Singh / Unsplash

A church IT worker’s job includes protecting the church from cyber threats. However, this protection—such as restricting the ability to download software—can feel too confining to staff members, and this can cause tension. There are ways IT workers can help ...

Top Aide to Pope Francis Faces Sexual Assault Charges
What churches can take away from the controversy surrounding George Cardinal Pell.
Top Aide to Pope Francis Faces Sexual Assault Charges
Image: Jan Tielens / Unsplash

George Cardinal Pell—senior Roman Catholic prelate in Australia, Vatican treasurer, and aide to Pope Francis—faces charges of sexual assault.

Pell has denied the veracity of the “multiple charges” from “multiple complainants,” according to ...

5 Tips to Increase Giving This Summer
Practical ways to encourage donations during these typically slower months.
5 Tips to Increase Giving This Summer
Image: Kupono Kuwamura / Unsplash

Giving is often a difficult topic for pastors to discuss with their congregations. The common worry is that no one likes to be told how to use their money. But donations are vital to keep the local church running effectively.

The Barna Group shares that only 5 percent of the ...

What a Pastoral Coach Says Pastors Need for Spiritual Self-Care
Ways to create a healthy rhythm in ministry work.
What a Pastoral Coach Says Pastors Need for Spiritual Self-Care
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The sometimes trying and stressful nature of the pastorate can easily weigh pastors down if they’re not careful.

Karen Miller is well aware of these difficulties. As a pastoral coach, she comes alongside pastors and leaders to help them tackle the challenges associated ...

9 Tips for Planning a Safe VBS
How to prepare for this significant summer event.
9 Tips for Planning a Safe VBS
Image: Mi Pham / Unsplash

It’s May—and that means summer is just around the corner. For many churches, summer means Vacation Bible School.

Is your church ready for this big event? Has your children’s ministry team started preparing? If you haven’t thought about it yet this year, ...

Church Cell Tower Leases and Zoning Laws
How to navigate the process smoothly and with minimal problems.
Church Cell Tower Leases and Zoning Laws
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Kevin Donohue spent decades building networks for wireless companies before switching sides to represent landowners through his work with Tower Genius—a consultant firm that helps churches, businesses, and private citizens with lease agreements. He spoke with ManagingYourChurch.com ...

Is the Church Fax Machine Still Needed?
How fax technology has changed, and what this means for churches.
Is the Church Fax Machine Still Needed?
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Fax machines are still operating in many churches. When churches move to Voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP) technology, they often have the hardest time letting go of fax technology.

Fax is a digital scan. The difference is in how it is transmitted—or, rather, in how it ...

5 Free Articles for Child Abuse Prevention Month
How your church can take steps toward awareness and prevention.
5 Free Articles for Child Abuse Prevention Month
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Did you know that child sexual abuse is the number one reason churches are sued? This is a big issue in the church—and, unfortunately, an issue that is rarely discussed. When it comes to a topic like child abuse, a natural response is to believe it could never happen in ...

The Tricky World of Copier Leases and Purchases
What a church must consider before buying or leasing.
The Tricky World of Copier Leases and Purchases
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Vonna Laue is an expert on church finances. She served 20 years with a CPA firm focused on churches and ministries and is an editorial advisor for Church Finance Today. Here, she offers advice on navigating the complex world of copier leases and purchases.

What advice would you ...

Largest US Protestant Denomination Reports Rise in Pastor Salary, Decline in Benefits
What a study from the Southern Baptist Convention shows about changes in pastors' pay.
Largest US Protestant Denomination Reports Rise in Pastor Salary, Decline in Benefits
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The Southern Baptist Convention’s (SBC) biannual “SBC Church Compensation Study” revealed that compensation for full-time senior pastors within their denomination increased by 3.4 percent over the past two years, placing it well above growth rate for the consumer ...

A Guide to 25-Minute Meetings for Church Leaders
Planning a productive (and short) meeting in which everyone gets a voice.
A Guide to 25-Minute Meetings for Church Leaders
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For many church leaders, meetings have become a way of life. They discuss strategy, rally the troops to talk about an upcoming event, and meet with the deacon board to plan a building expansion.

There are a few problems with this way of life, however. Meetings tend to ramble ...

Financial Fraud in Churches: A Major Risk
Why church leaders should assess the way they collect and record money.
Financial Fraud in Churches: A Major Risk
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Editor’s Note: In a podcast on the 10 major trends for churches in 2017, Thom Rainer and Jonathan Howe of LifeWay talk about financial fraud in churches and offer valuable insights for church leaders on the subject. We've highlighted part of this podcast.

Jonathan: ...

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Draw the Line: Relational Boundaries for Safe Youth Ministry

Draw the Line: Relational Boundaries for Safe Youth Ministry Subscriber access only

Proactively protect the students, leaders, and pastors at your church.
Creating a Disaster Preparation and Response Plan

Creating a Disaster Preparation and Response Plan Subscriber access only

Learn the steps you can take now so you are ready to respond if a crisis unfolds.