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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 ...

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 ...

Six Key Compensation Elements That Can Help Ministry Flourish
Join us for our June 13 webinar to be empowered to set fair pay in the church.
Six Key Compensation Elements That Can Help Ministry Flourish
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We’re hosting a webinarin response to an important issue.

The National Association of Evangelicals (NAE) conducted a 2015 survey of more than 4,000 pastors nationwide in which the dire state of pastors’ finances was quantified. Key among the findings were the stresses ...

Hey, Fletch: How Does the New Tax Law Affect Moving Expenses?
What the changed rules mean for churches.
Hey, Fletch: How Does the New Tax Law Affect Moving Expenses?
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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.

The ...

When Expenses Are Higher than Your Budget
Does your policy have the answer on what to do?
When Expenses Are Higher than Your Budget
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For churches that view the operating budget as an expense control mechanism, the matter of how to deal with expenditures in excess of budgeted amounts is an important element of policy that is poorly developed in many churches.

For example, a church operating budget will typically ...

Thom Rainer Made ‘Peanuts’ as a Pastor 30 Years Ago. Today, Many in Ministry Make Even Less.
What one leader’s story can tell us about compensation culture in the church.
Thom Rainer Made ‘Peanuts’ as a Pastor 30 Years Ago. Today, Many in Ministry Make Even Less.
Image: Mathieu Turle / Unsplash

The other day, I was listening to Thom Rainer’s recent podcast on “what to do if your church does not pay you adequately.” In it, Rainer’s cohost, Jonathan Howe, prompts him to tell a story about his early years in ministry, highlighting his financial ...

How to Ensure Fair Salaries for Your Church Staff
Find out more about an exciting new compensation resource for your ministry.
How to Ensure Fair Salaries for Your Church Staff
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Many churches struggle with knowing what a fair wage is for their pastors and staff. Our guess is that your church is among them.

For more than 10 years, Church Law & Tax has been creating the Compensation Handbook for Church Staff to help churches better understand fair ...

Hey, Fletch: What Are the Best Accounting Practices for a Multisite Campus?
Navigating donations, designations, and more.
Hey, Fletch: What Are the Best Accounting Practices for a Multisite Campus?
Image: rawpixel.com / Unsplash

In this 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.

Should a Church Own or Rent Vehicles?
Two church leaders weigh in on this question.
Should a Church Own or Rent Vehicles?
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First Evangelical Free Church of Fullerton, California—known as EvFree Fullerton—has wrestled a lot with the question of whether to buy or own.

Right now, EvFree, which averages a combined 2,500 people at its three Sunday services, has made the decision to own a variety ...

Underpaid Church Staff • Church Spokesperson Controversy • ‘Stand Your Ground’ in Church: News Roundup
This week’s headlines that affect churches and church leaders.
Underpaid Church Staff • Church Spokesperson Controversy • ‘Stand Your Ground’ in Church: News Roundup
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Thom Rainer Talks Underpaid Church Staff and What You Can Do About It. “I really hope that on this particular podcast we have a heavier representation of, for lack of better words, the church laity as we do the church staff or the pastor because the information that you’re ...

How to Start the Salary Negotiation Process
Tips for approaching conversations about compensation.
How to Start the Salary Negotiation Process
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Church staff and pastors are often great at dealing with people, but they aren’t always great at dealing with money. That’s especially true when it comes to negotiating their own compensation, says David Fletcher, executive pastor of First Evangelical Free Church ...

9 Ways to Reverse a Downward Giving Trend
9 Ways to Reverse a Downward Giving Trend
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Here are some of the steps our church has discovered by trial-and-error in the last couple of years that have helped us slow down, then reverse, a downward giving trend in our church.

1. Emphasize generosity, not just giving

The Bible is full of great teaching about stewardship ...

Minister’s Parole • Low-Income Church Communities • Religious Freedom Case: News Roundup
This week’s headlines that affect churches and church leaders.
Minister’s Parole • Low-Income Church Communities • Religious Freedom Case: News Roundup
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Minister’s Parole Conditions Regarding Church Attendance Are Challenged. “In Manning v. Powers . . . a California federal district court granted a preliminary injunction banning the government from enforcing two parole conditions imposed on Sherman Manning, a Baptist ...

FEMA and Churches • Public Accommodation Law • Immigration Agents at Church: News Roundup
This week’s headlines that affect churches and church leaders.
FEMA and Churches • Public Accommodation Law • Immigration Agents at Church: News Roundup
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Churches Now Eligible for FEMA Disaster Aid. “Churches suing the US government for funds to rebuild after Hurricane Harvey received some good news at the start of 2018: The Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) has revised its policies to make churches eligible for ...

Why Church Leaders Shouldn’t Avoid “Practical” Topics
Preachers may not want to talk about finances—but it’s critical that they do so.
Why Church Leaders Shouldn’t Avoid “Practical” Topics
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The gospels attest that Jesus talked a lot about money. Sixteen of the thirty-eight parables found in the gospels deal with handling money and possessions. Howard Dayton, who has written and lectured extensively on the Bible and finances, claims that “the Bible offers ...

The Top 10 Church Management Articles of 2017
Immigration law, hurricane response, the housing allowance: what readers kept clicking on this year.
The Top 10 Church Management Articles of 2017
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This past year’s most popular articles on ManagingYourChuch.com show the wide variety of financial, legal, safety, and tax matters that church leaders face. This list is based on unique page views in 2017 of articles published throughout the year.

10.“9 Tips for Planning ...

ECFA Releases 2017 State of Giving Report
Annual numbers show increase in giving to ministries.
ECFA Releases 2017 State of Giving Report
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At the end of November, the Evangelical Council for Financial Accountability (ECFA) released its eighth annual report on the State of Giving, with data gathered from nearly 2,000 organizations.

According to the report, “annual cash giving to ECFA-accredited organizations ...

What to Know About Penalties for Excessive Compensation
The rules for churches are stringent and could cause a loss of exempt status.
What to Know About Penalties for Excessive Compensation
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Churches and other 501(c)(3) organizations are subject to unique federal tax rules covering compensation. Specifically, 501(c)(3) organizations are prohibited under federal tax law from paying compensation above that which is “reasonable” to their leaders. Although ...

Evangelical Giving Trends • Sanctuary Church • Pastor Faces Lawsuit: News Roundup
This week’s headlines that affect churches and church leaders.
Evangelical Giving Trends • Sanctuary Church • Pastor Faces Lawsuit: News Roundup
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Research Shows Evangelical Giving Trends. “While the multi-million dollar tally of Giving Tuesday donations will take time to compile, we already know which kinds of charities are most favored by American evangelicals. Giving continues to rise for many categories of ministry, ...

Why Your Salary May Not Be All You Want It to Be
A church administrator’s perspective.
Why Your Salary May Not Be All You Want It to Be
Image: Ben White / Unsplash

After serving on church boards for decades and helping set salaries for dozens of church staff members, I’ve learned that setting compensation fairly is one of the most difficult tasks for church administrators and board members. Many factors might prevent a pastor or ...

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Tips on important topics from our resources.
Politics and the Church

Politics and the Church Subscriber access only

Tax and legal guidelines faith-based organizations need to know before jumping into the political fray.