The value of a pastoral relations committee

pastoral-committee

For many of us, the Thanksgiving and Christmas holidays are a time when we give ourselves permission to overindulge in rich dishes and irresistible desserts. January brings the time to take stock of all that feasting and make a resolution to lose weight and get in shape.
Churches can also benefit from the opportunity that the New Year provides to re-think priorities. One issue to consider is how to improve communication between the pastor and the congregation. Among the most effective methods for strengthening the lines of communication is the formation of a Pastoral Relations Committee.

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The CE Interview: MARI BETH POOR — finding solutions by serving

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As iServe pastor, Mari Beth Poor oversees the “on the mountain” ministries that enhance the overall experience of people attending Sunday worship services at Mountaintop Community Church. These include guest services, student ministries, children’s ministry, and worship and media. She also leads the church’s “off the mountain” community efforts and global outreach.

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Get organized! 3 priorities for a successful campaign

CREATIVE PROVEN MACHINE

In this series installment, Paul Gage — who has consulted more than 500 church capital campaigns, with results exceeding $1 billion — focuses on the second phase of a campaign: Organization. According to Gage, the three most critical components of this phase are Prayer, Presentation and Preaching.

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Creating momentum for the generous heart

HANDS MAKING HEART

Anyone with resources — whether believers or not — will only give generously to what they understand and value. If your givers can’t articulate the result, or if they don’t fully support the outcome that their gift is meant to achieve, they won’t give much. Typically, they won’t give consistently, and they certainly won’t give lavishly or at great sacrifice.
Clearly communicating vision provides both the roadmap and the destination for the generous heart.

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Chronologically incorrect: a new approach to engaging first-time givers

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I recently conducted a small Facebook test. Survey participants were asked to answer three questions about giving. Here’s what I found:
• 96% of people consider themselves to be generous
• 80% of those same people want to be more generous than they currently are
• 92% feel held back by a lack of money
These findings represent a strange tension between who we are, who we want to be, and our perceived lack that stands in the way.

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Board duty is serious business!

“It is paramount to understand that even when the Church agrees to indemnify directors of boards to the maximum extent allowed by law, directors remain personally liable for their actions that breach board duties.”

People of faith are frequently mission-driven and ministerially oriented. For many of these, volunteering is often considered more privilege than obligation. When such folks have managerial or leadership experience, or when they possess special expertise or have received professional education and training, it is not uncommon that they volunteer to serve the Church via board membership and activity. It is critically important to recognize, however, that even highly educated, skilled and experienced people do not necessarily understand what board service entails and requires of them.

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7 tips: how to inspire the joy of giving this season

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With more than one-third of all charitable giving happening at the end of the year, this is an important time for churches and ministries to double-check their stewardship practices.

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Aligning budget with vision

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In 2002, Christina Borja accepted an office manager job at National Community Church (NCC) thinking she’d keep at it for six months to a year. But the position developed and soon she was helping lead pastor Mark Batterson with the books. Under her financial leadership, NCC’s annual budget has grown from $200,000 in 2004 to $7.3 million this year.

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Designing Worship Areas: Laying the foundation

First Baptist Church Milan — Milan, TN
(Photo provided by MNB Architects)

Beginning a seven-part series on worship space design can be a bit intimidating. There are so many avenues to consider, so many topics to discuss, and so many variables which can create completely different outcomes.The most important concept to communicate throughout this series is this: Every church is different. Each church has a DNA which must be honored. This DNA is made up of several factors, or lenses.

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Retirement plan investment choices — less really “is” more

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In today’s increasingly tech-savvy environment — in which so many people own smartphones and tablets and maintain a social media presence — there is a tendency to think that a smorgasbord of choices is desirable. This is not the case when it comes to the fund choices your church offers its employees in their 401(k) and 403(b) retirement plans.

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