Trends, tips, ideas, and stats to help church leaders manage well this week.
1. How ministers should report their income taxes. “Most new ministers should report their federal income taxes as employees, because they will be considered employees under the tests currently used by the IRS and the courts. Most clergy will be ‘better off’ reporting as employees, since (1) the value of various fringe benefits will be excludable, including the cost of employer-paid health insurance premiums on the life of the minister, (2) the risk of an IRS audit is substantially lower, and (3) reporting as an employee avoids the additional taxes and penalties that often apply to self-employed clergy who are audited by the IRS and reclassified as employees” (Essential Guide to Law & Tax For New Ministers, by Richard R. Hammar, ChurchLawAndTaxStore.com).
2. Why sexual predators target churches. “Some sexual offenders state it outright—they go after churches because Christians tend to be naïve. … (Deepak) Reju says, ‘Christian are, generally speaking, trusting folks. Child abusers recognize this fact and want to take full advantage of it.’ He quotes a former prosecutor who lays it out: ‘For a variety of reasons, we naively tend to automatically lower our guard when we are amongst professing Christians. This same naïveté is why offenders flock to the faith community; no other environment provides them such quick and easy access to children without fear of raising concerns’” (“6 Reasons Why Sexual Predators Target Churches,” by Tim Challies, challies.com). April is National Child Abuse Awareness Month. Get more help for your church with protecting children and youth.
3. Master your time by tracking it. “If you sometimes have no idea where the day has gone, or if you can’t seem to accurately estimate how much time a task will take you, try keeping a log. Breaking your work down into categories—such as personal growth, core job duties, administrative work, and so on—will be easier than keeping track of every single task. You could also break it down by short-term, long-term, and urgent tasks, or by high, medium, and low priorities. If you’re a pen-and-paper person, create a time-tracking chart and update it at the end of each day. If you’re more digitally oriented, there are different apps that can do the math for you” (“Managing Time,” hbr.org).
4. Better leadership begins with consistency. “(L)eaders set themselves apart because they acknowledge that being a leader is hard. They handle the pressure of leadership by being consistently thoughtful, agile, and quick on their feet, while having an awareness of their emotional wake. In strenuous situations their employees don’t ‘walk on egg shells’ or wonder what outburst might happen next. They also make time for their employees. … (T)here is tremendous value in being consistent in how often you communicate with those that report to you. … This is a time for your employee to talk; start the meeting by asking them: What is the most important thing we should be discussing today?” (“Effective Leaders are Consistent,” FierceInc.com).
5. Notable quote. “Average leaders raise the bar on themselves; good leaders raise the bar for others; great leaders inspire others to raise their own bar.” —Orrin Woodward (via Jeff Haden, inc.com).