Make sure your staff has a chance at a dignified retirement

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Retirement. We all hope one day to do it. As church and ministry executives, you likely want to make sure you can offer your employees a competitive, robust retirement plan at a reasonable cost to your bottom line. But how do you know if your current plan is on the right track, or, if you don’t have one yet, how to choose the right one? “Establishing employee benefits is a very important consideration for any church or ministry and its employees,” says Dixie Beard, director of business development at GuideStone Financial Resources. “But before rushing into establishing an employee retirement plan, it is important to establish your ministry’s objectives, such as meeting your moral obligation to employees, evaluating your cultural environment and establishing cost parameters.”

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Employees need appreciation in churches too

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We even have a special month for pastor appreciation (October). Gary Chapman and Paul White has written The 5 Languages of Appreciation in the Workplace (Northfield Publishing/Moody Publishers), and Church Executive asked the authors to apply their concepts to the church. Dr. Chapman is the director of Marriage and Family Life Consultants Inc. in Winston-Salem, NC, and has served as senior associate pastor of Calvary Baptist Church in that city for 40 years.

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Language changes translations

“Every generation needs to go back to the source and put the Bible in the English idiom for themselves.”

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Five leadership resolutions for 2012

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New Year’s resolutions are often self-centered; it’s understandable. Successful people often reflect on who they are. They try to be more self-aware. They desire to develop themselves. So, good leaders often make resolutions involving individual goals, desires and objectives. Many leaders have resolve — the determination to see a goal and achieve it. Too often these goals involve what individual leaders can do on their own. By the nature of their roles, however, leaders have people around them – teams, subordinates and followers – who are necessary components of success.

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Best practices for families in the business of a church

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Most people don’t think of churches as family businesses. Yet, as in most fields of endeavor, we find that young people often follow in their parents’ footsteps. Typically, this is the field that they know most about since they grew up around it. Most famous church family successions of late are the Schullers, the Falwells, and the Grahams (though a ministry, not a congregation). They are not immune to the issues that plague secular family businesses: greed, entitlement, jealousy and struggles over power and control. (See sidebar on the November sale of the Crystal Cathedral by the bankruptcy court.)

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Why churches hire poorly

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Are you hiring the right person for that position? How do you know if the

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Nice leaders threaten?

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The book of Lamentations deals with the apparent

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Downsizing or right-sizing?

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Staff have idealistic expectations when the clergy are perceived

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Structured compensation

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More than 1 million ordained ministers work throughout the United States.

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Volunteer steps

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With the recent economic downturn, some churches are closing their doors due to

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