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January 22, 2019
Managing Your Church Blog, February, 2017
Salary Reductions • Boundary-Setting • Unliked—and That’s Okay: Management Roundup
Trends, tips, ideas, and stats to help church leaders manage well this week.
Salary Reductions • Boundary-Setting • Unliked—and That’s Okay: Management Roundup

1. Exercise caution with salary reduction agreements. “Many churches have established ‘salary reduction agreements’ to handle certain staff expenses. The objective is to reduce an employee's taxable income since only the income remaining after the various reductions is reported on the employee's W-2 at the end of the year. It is important for churches to understand that they cannot reduce an employee's taxable income through salary reductions unless specifically allowed by law. There are three ways taxable income can be reduced through salary reduction agreements: (1) tax-sheltered annuity contributions, (2) ‘cafeteria plans,’ and (3) housing allowances” (“Setting Pay Packages for Pastors,” by Richard R. Hammar, Church Finance Today). The 2017 National Church Compensation Survey is live. Please take time to submit your information confidentially to the survey. In return, you will receive one of three free gifts: a church finance eBook, a six-month subscription to Christianity Today magazine, or a congregation-wide Bible study on financial stewardship.

2. How boundaries preserve the work that really matters most. “For many, the thought of drawing boundaries at work is unthinkable because it means risking the loss of something they have built their self-concept around. You will be in a better position to set limits and hold yourself to them if you understand that your value does not come from your work. You matter for so many other reasons, most significantly because of the roles you play in the lives of people who love you. You have much to contribute to the work of God’s kingdom beyond your work in ministry. Ultimately, your worth is based on your identity as a child of God, adopted into his family and given an inheritance of righteousness and eternal life” (“Boundaries for Part-Time Ministry,” by Amy Simpson,

3. Not everyone will like you as a leader. “(H)ere are some realities I wish I would have learned decades ago:

  1. Everything you do is a bridge to some and a barrier to others. Some will be drawn to you, your style, and your personality. Others, not so much, and it’s okay.
  2. If you are always striving for the approval of people, you will find it difficult, maybe impossible, to be consistently faithful to God and His call. You simply won’t be esteemed by everyone, and attempting to be is an effort in futility. It’s okay that not everyone likes you. Really.
  3. Because you failed to meet expectations (reasonable or not), early fans sometimes become later critics, and that’s okay too. You’re never going to keep everybody happy all of the time.

"So what can you do?

"In the words of Brennan Manning, ‘Be who you is or you is who you ain’t!’ Today, to the fullest extent possible, be who God created you to be. Be in Christ. Be real. Be true to yourself if you want to be true to others” (“Not Everybody Likes You or Me (and It’s Okay)),” by Kurt Bubna,

4. Notable quote. “Management is efficiency in climbing the ladder of success; leadership determines whether the ladder is leaning against the right wall.” —Stephen Covey (via Kevin Kruse,