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Five Free Tax Articles for Churches and Clergy
Available for a limited time.
Five Free Tax Articles for Churches and Clergy
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"The preparation of ministers’ tax returns presents a number of challenging issues that often are not well understood," writes Richard Hammar in "Avoiding Costly Tax-filing Mistakes." "This can lead to innocent mistakes, which in turn can lead ...

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: ...

For-Profit vs. Church Financial Management
The head of the Evangelical Council for Financial Accountability shares the differences to help people transition from the business world into a nonprofit ministry.
For-Profit vs. Church Financial Management
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Dan Busby serves as president of the Evangelical Council for Financial Accountability. Busby recently spoke with Church Finance Today on best practices for financial professionals who transition from the for-profit business world into a church setting.

What unrealistic expectations ...

Planning for Facility Repairs and Ongoing Maintenance
Facilities expert says ignoring facility issues can be extremely costly in the long run.
Planning for Facility Repairs and Ongoing Maintenance
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Kevin Folsom is director of campus operations at Trinity Christian Academy in Addison, Texas. He previously served in a similar role with Dallas Theological Seminary for 25 years and has been active 20 years with APPA, an association of higher education facility officers. Folsom ...

Senior Pastor's Role in Building a Culture of Generosity
Senior Pastor's Role in Building a Culture of Generosity
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I talked with Ron Edmondson, senior pastor of Immanuel Baptist Church in Lexington, Kentucky, about some practical ways senior pastors can foster a culture of generosity in their churches.

Ron and Immanuel have a great story of seeing the heat turned up on the church’s ...

Matching Grants vs. Challenge Grants
Why one is better in church fundraising.
Matching Grants vs. Challenge Grants
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Matching grants are a reasonably common tool used in churches, particularly for church planting, as well as ministries and nonprofit organizations. However, a small body of research strongly suggests that challenge grants work more effectively than matching grants in terms of ...

The Secret Struggle of Pastors and Finances
For many pastors, finances are a huge problem—but one they won’t tell you about.
The Secret Struggle of Pastors and Finances
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At some point in his or her career, your pastor has most likely struggled with finances—but chances are you (and most of your fellow congregants) wouldn’t know it.

In a recent article from SeminaryGradSchool.com titled “9 Secrets Pastors Keep,” Cincinnati ...

Interview: The Definition—and Danger—of 'Inurement'
Richard Hammar offers a definition for a common mistake that can have serious consequences.
Interview: The Definition—and Danger—of 'Inurement'
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While you may have heard the word “inurement,” you may be unsure of its definition. In this interview, Richard Hammar provides a definition of inurement.

Could inurement have implications for a church’s tax-exempt status? Hammar addresses instances where ministries ...

Who Should Know What People Give?
A look at six perspectives.
Who Should Know What People Give?
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The question "Who should be able to see individual church giving records?" is difficult to answer. Indeed, it is such a difficult question that I will not attempt to give a concrete answer. I will let you know what I’ve done in the past and six perspectives:

Accountability Systems
One basic principle and six simple steps help protect a church's finances.
Accountability Systems
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I’m not naturally a systems guy. But I’ve learned that good systems aren’t about stifling creativity or spontaneity; they’re about increasing accountability and stewardship.

I spend several hours each week building and maintaining proper systems. I and ...

Renting Versus Buying Your Church’s Facility
What churches should consider before making a costly or permanent decision.
Renting Versus Buying Your Church’s Facility
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God called you to plant a new church, and you’ve followed his calling. For the last year (or two years or five years), you’ve been renting adequate facilities to meet your congregation’s needs. You have space for Sunday services, children and youth ministries ...

Measuring Your Church's Cash Reserves
Adequate cash reserves are necessary for a church to meet its obligations on time in spite of fluctuations in monthly revenue.
Measuring Your Church's Cash Reserves
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Cash reserves are often measured in terms of months of operating cash based on the month-end when cash is generally at its lowest point for the year. One mistake churches make is measuring the months of cash they have based on their year-end cash balance. If their year-end is ...

How an Email Scam Targets the NBA—and Your Church
The email scam that exposed sensitive information from an NBA team affects churches, too.
How an Email Scam Targets the NBA—and Your Church
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A successful email scam is one that fools even the most well-known of organizations, and one scammer—using a specific email strategy—recently made headlines for conning an especially famous group: the Milwaukee Bucks professional basketball team.

For this particular ...

2 Major Changes in Churches
Adapting to new trends in giving and trust.
2 Major Changes in Churches
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Here are two changes every Christian leader needs to be aware of.

1. The Way People Give Is Changing

When earning patterns change, giving patterns change.

By every account, people in their 20s today don’t just give less than people in their 50s give. They’re giving ...

The Implications of USPS Mailing Rate Decreases
What the recent mailing rate decrease means for churches.
The Implications of USPS Mailing Rate Decreases
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For churches that rely upon mail to keep their congregation and community informed about church events, there’s good news for their postal budgets: the postal rates of the United State Postal Service (USPS) dropped on April 10, 2016.

“Nonprofits will immediately have ...

New Survey Shows the Bleak State of Pastors’ Savings and Financial Training
Survey shows that many pastors are self-informed about financial matters.
New Survey Shows the Bleak State of Pastors’ Savings and Financial Training
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A survey conducted last year by Grey Matter Research & Consulting reveals that the majority of pastors lack confidence when dealing with church finances, have no formal financial training, and many have little money set aside in personal savings.

The survey included responses ...

Church Capital Campaigns: What to Expect
Prepare for these challenges.
Church Capital Campaigns: What to Expect
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We’re in the middle of the “public phase” of a capital campaign at my church, and during the whole process I've learned:

1. You’ll repeat yourself … a lot!

Our teaching pastor repeated the core message of our campaign 19 times before it was finally ...

7 Tips for Developing a Funding Plan
Ways to encourage generosity at your church.
7 Tips for Developing a Funding Plan
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It took [my church] a couple of years of research, trial, and error to develop an effective funding plan. Here are a few lessons we learned along the way.

1. Research, research, research. We don’t need to re-create everything. A lot of work has already been done. We can ...

The Effect of Rising Health Care Costs on Churches
How some churches are responding to a new reality.
The Effect of Rising Health Care Costs on Churches
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The vast majority of Americans currently have access to health care. As of August 2015, “an unprecedented 90.8 percent now have health insurance,” according to CNN. But this higher statistic has also translated into other higher numbers: deductibles, prices on prescription ...

The High Price of “Harmless” Integrity Deficits
How white lies and exaggeration are hurting your ministry.
The High Price of “Harmless” Integrity Deficits
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The phrase “false witness” is a familiar one: we are not to bear it against our neighbor (Ex. 10:16), and such a witness “will not go unpunished” (Prov. 19:5, 9). We know God never lies, and we know that trust—in all areas of our lives—starts ...

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Understanding Church Insurance

Understanding Church Insurance Member access only

Understand your church's insurance needs to be assured you have adequate coverage.
Best Practices for Technology Usage

Best Practices for Technology Usage Member access only

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