At our Ultimate Church Structure Conferences, I speak with many pastors who, unfortunately, have been misinformed about what 501(c)(3) tax-exempt status truly means and the impact it will have on their churches. Pastors often attend our conference in the hopes of clearing up doubts and questions that they’ve been riddled with regarding tax law and church compliance. For that very reason, I have listed below three of the most common misconceptions that I hear from pastors across the country regarding churches and 501(c)(3) tax-exempt status.
Not every small church in the country is destined to become a megachurch, nor should it be. Nearly 90% of all churchgoers attend much smaller churches and obviously enjoy the size, fellowship and ministry they find there. Even so, here are some things we can learn from the megachurches, and which are likely to contribute to continued health and vitality, if not attendance growth.
Is your church following the three “S”s of online giving?
More and more churches are realizing that online giving is more than a passing fancy. Even so, there’s a big difference between throwing a PayPal button onto a forgotten corner of your website and providing a functional, user-friendly giving experience — one that actually makes it easier to give.
Choosing equipment for a portable church is significantly different than choosing equipment for a permanent church building. Churches that don’t acknowledge this will likely make things much harder for volunteers and experience more breakage, require far more storage, and end up spending more money in the long run.
While most pastors are very comfortable with their roles as counselors and teachers, it is in administration where they tend to be least prepared. By carefully choosing staff to help with the daily administration of the congregation, the pastor might have more time to exercise his ministerial duties, such as pastoral counseling.
Using a procurement services company can cut your overall annual costs, leaving more funds for you to support your ministry. But, where do you start?
Built in 1914, Five Wounds Portuguese National Church in San Jose, CA, is one of the most photographed, sketched and painted buildings in the area — not only for its Old World-style Catholic architecture, but also for its notable history. In 1915, the Panama-Pacific Exposition (the precursor to the World’s Fair) was held in San Francisco. The city was rebuilding after the 1906 earthquake, and it was hoped this massive event would bring commerce to the area. The Portuguese Pavilion was built for the Expo. After the fair was over, the pavilion was slated for demolition. A Portuguese priest of some repute in the burgeoning San Jose valley purchased it for a song. He shipped most of it — piece by piece — to its San Jose location, where it stands today. Much of the original wood and ornate decor remain. Thus, Five Wounds Portuguese National Church was founded. For a century, it has exuded Iberian charm and grace. Unfortunately, however, its sound quality was anything but awe-inspiring.
It’s no secret the world we live in today is much different than it was just a few years ago. In today’s society, it has become clear that churches are no longer the safe haven they once were thought to be. It’s not uncommon to hear stories of church violence or allegations of abuse on the nightly news. Unfortunately, churches have become more vulnerable to these types of incidents that threaten the strength and reputation of the organization. To help protect your religious organization from these threats, the leaders of your church are encouraged to set aside time each year to ensure the safety and security of the facility. During this time, it’s important to analyze, review and modify current church policies and procedures to ensure adequate plans are in place to help prevent potential risks.
The commission and design processes for a stained glass window aren’t as mysterious as they might seem at first glance.
There are more than 400,000 churches in the United States, each with its own governance structure and decision-making model. With so many different models and terminology used to describe church governance structures — elders, deacons, trustees, directors, pastor and apostle — it can be quite confusing to determine what’s the best and most biblically-sound corporate structure for your own church.