How a healthy church can spiral — quickly — into dysfunction

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Churches are more like organisms than they are organizations. Like an organism, when church health declines, it typically does so slowly. But there are cases when an otherwise healthy person experiences a sudden deterioration. Healthy churches can also experience a sharp decline in health. There are cases of healthy churches quickly becoming dysfunctional. Below are five ways I’ve seen churches spiral downward quickly, almost overnight.

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Protecting your church and religious organization against fraud

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Now more than ever, all organizations are exposed to risk, including cyber security breaches and internal fraud. Religious institutions — which strive on building a trusting relationship with their members and employees on the foundation of religious beliefs, coupled with tight budgets and limited financial oversight — are even more vulnerable to fraud and abuse.

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The Israel Experience: Closer Than You Think

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For people of faith, the appeal of a trip to Israel is timeless. To walk where Jesus walked, and to experience the Land of the Bible, is an experience like no other.
It is also an unparalleled fellowship opportunity — a journey that can begin, for a church-based travel group, well in advance of the trip.
Yet, even with all Israel has to offer for faith-based travelers, it might surprise you to know that 2014 was the best year for North American travel to Israel, especially among Catholics and Evangelicals.
There are other “surprises” you should know, as well.

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Financial planning tools for clergy and church administrators

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The statistics on Americans and retirement planning are staggering. More than half of us do not know how much we will need to live a comfortable retirement, and 60 percent have saved less than $25,000. For clergy, the economics of retirement can be even more challenging.

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Top 5 necessary leadership skills

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Every leader has different skills that make that leader unique. However, at the core of every leader — a coach, a parent, a boss and a project manager — are at least 10 necessary foundational skills needed to thrive.

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Performance bonds: beneficial or a waste of money?

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For most of my professional career, I have been anti-performance and payment bond-oriented. To me, they seem like such a waste of money. In short, they’re just an insurance policy (although the Surety industry would say they are not “insurance” but rather a “guarantee” — semantics!) in the unlikely event the general contractor on a job is unable to complete the project (usually due to a bankruptcy or other major catastrophe related to the contractor). In theory, that sounds great. It almost feels like the proverbial “Get Out Of Jail” card. But is it really?

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What makes a leader a Christian leader?

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As a big fan of Major League Baseball and Christianity, I like to keep my ears open to hearing of Christian ballplayers. It’s not that their statistics are going to be any different or that they run faster or slower. I watch them to see how they live.

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Dollar’s dollars: restricted gifts and abandoned projects

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Televangelist Creflo Dollar recently came under fire for asking that 200,000 of his followers donate $300 each to buy a $60-million luxury jet for his use. In the wake of bad publicity associated with the request, it appears that he may have cancelled the campaign before reaching his goal. The problem is: What happens to money already collected?

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‘Heads up’ safety — a paramount concern

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The Christian high school had much to be proud of: a history of academic excellence; a great reputation for community service; and also, as a much respected perennial contender for state football champion.

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How to choose the right insurance for your church

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The one constant when purchasing insurance is uncertainty. A few days of unexpected rain can carry in its wake a flood of unwelcome expenses and stress. Thankfully, insurance minimizes the havoc that can occur from such an event.

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