Education and training are essential aspects of leading churches. The commitment to continually learn helps ensure pastors, staff members, board members, and volunteers stay sharp. It also helps ensure everyone stays current on key developments and trends—an even greater priority coming off of 2020, the global pandemic, and a change in presidential administrations.
Dozens of conferences offer this type of training. Many require significant investments of time and money, which makes it all the more important for leaders to wisely choose which ones they attend. For those who work with legal, financial, and risk management matters for their church, Church Law & Tax highly encourages extensive research before registering to attend seminars, workshops, and conferences. Unfortunately, a number of unscrupulous individuals target churches by purporting to provide tax and law information that is either erroneous, inaccurate, or misleading. Caution should be exercised.
To further assist with discerning which events are worthwhile, Church Law & Tax has selected six conferences church leaders should try to attend. These events involve individuals and organizations that Church Law & Tax trusts. These events, and those associated with them, are reputable, both in terms of the information provided and the ministry-minded intentions they carry.
The list below is organized as much as possible in chronological order:
The 2021 theme for this 17-year-old event, led by XPastor.org founder David Fletcher, will focus on strong leadership after the pandemic. The two-day conference is designed to educate and encourage about 200 select executive pastors, senior pastors, and other church leaders. The workshops and general sessions will cover key leadership and management issues facing medium-sized, large-sized, and multisite churches. “Intentionally a tribe, not a town, you can easily talk with national leaders,” notes Fletcher, a Church Law & Tax advisor-at-large.
Speakers include CPA Michael Batts, a senior editorial advisor for Church Law & Tax, and Fletcher. Matthew Branaugh from Church Law & Tax will attend the online “live-cast.”
Dates: February 16-18, 2021
Location: Dallas, Texas
Registration cost: $599 (in-person); $199 (online “live-cast”)
Now in its 65th year, the Church Network (TCN) hosts the longest-running national conference serving church business administrators. The 2021 conference again will offer a full daily schedule with general keynote speakers, a wide range of workshops, and an exhibit hall with vendors who serve the church market.
Attorney and CPA Richard Hammar, senior editor of Church Law & Tax, will present a live video keynote address on key legal, tax, and risk management developments.
Dates: July 7-10, 2021
Location: Minneapolis, Minnesota
Registration cost: To be determined
Can’t make it? TCN also has more than 80 local chapters that meet monthly. These chapters offer guest speakers who cover various topics related to church administration.
Church Compliance Conference
Attorney Erika Cole, a senior editorial advisor for Church Law & Tax, and her firm, Whiteford, Taylor & Preston, will host this one-day conference for pastors and church leaders, including executive pastors, trustees, church administrators, and finance officers. Attorney and CPA Richard Hammar, senior editor of Church Law & Tax, will present a live video keynote address on key legal, tax, and risk management developments.
Date: September 23, 2021
Location: Baltimore, Maryland
Registration cost: To be determined
The Christian Legal Society (CLS) is the largest national organization serving attorneys and law students who are Christians. The CLS conference provides training and encouragement to legal professionals, including those who serve churches, ministries, and nonprofits.
Dates: October 28-31, 2021 – register here
Location: San Antonio, Texas
Registration cost: $595 – $675 (financial hardship aid is available)
The Ultimate Financial and Legal Conference
This conference, cofounded by Frank and Elaine Sommerville (senior editorial advisors for Church Law & Tax), is designed to help church and ministry leaders transform their organizations internally with best practices in finance, law, human resources, and risk management.
Dates: October 25 – 26, 2021 – register here
Location: Sheraton Arlington (Texas) Hotel
Registration cost: $395
CPA firm Batts Morrison Wales & Lee covers recent developments and trends on legal, tax, and financial topics affecting nonprofit organizations and churches through an annual event. CPA Michael Batts, managing partner of the firm, is a senior editorial advisor for Church Law & Tax, and CPA Kaylyn Varnum, a partner at the firm, is an advisor-at-large for Church Law & Tax.
Date: November 4, 2021
Location: Online—request an invitation to register
Registration cost: $575