Investing with purpose: the rise of responsible investing


More than ever before, individuals are aligning their finances with their personal beliefs. The noted increase in charitable giving in the United States, as shown in recent findings from the National Center for Charitable Statistics, is a great example of this positive shift. But, individuals are not only trying to use their finances for good by helping others; they are investing in companies that align with their values, too. For example, last year, one out of every six dollars invested under professional management — $6.57 trillion or more — was invested in a socially conscious investment strategy, as reported in the 2014 Report on Sustainable, Responsible and Impact Investing Trends in the United States by US SIF: The Forum for Sustainable and Responsible Investment.

While the strategies go by various names — environmental, social and governance investing (ESG), socially responsible investing (SRI), biblically responsible investing (BRI), ethical investing, impact investing and many more — the goal of these fund managers is to reflect the beliefs of the investors they serve.


Church accounting basics: EMPLOYEE — to be or not to be


If your church is anything like mine, you are constantly trying to navigate the requirements of our nation’s employment laws. When researching the topic of “employee versus independent contractor,” what I find is consistently inconsistent. It’s easy to get lost in the lack of interpretation.


How to plan church events using mobile messaging

Planning and organizing an event for a large number of congregants introduces many variables. Dates, times and locations are all subject to change, often on short notice.

For churches reliant on volunteers (and with limited financial resources), the need to quickly communicate schedule changes is even greater.

Enter: mobile messaging.


The most common church claims — and how to protect against them


If your church is like many others, it probably has a limited budget. Plus, the staff is likely busy with ministry activities, and it is difficult to take on additional responsibilities. This can be an issue when it comes to risk management — improving safety for congregants and enhancing your facility’s security.


Protecting children in the church: background check myths

Background screening employees and volunteers is the most effective tool for keeping congregations safe. Yet, most ministries make major mistakes when implementing background check procedures.


Think you don’t need disability insurance? Think again


States require us to purchase auto insurance. Banks make certain we have mortgage insurance. Parents with children buy life insurance to protect their families in case of an unexpected death.

Yet, despite the fact that research shows we are much more likely to become disabled for more than three months than die in any given year, many of us do not have disability insurance.


How to evaluate your church’s health — key questions

I’ve consulted with dozens of churches formally, and perhaps hundreds informally. However, many churches never evaluate their ministry with any rigor.

The reason, these churches say, is because they don’t see the need for the effort, expense and potentially difficult season (emotionally) inaugurated by bringing in someone from the outside or going through an evaluation process. In my experience, those who refuse to evaluate themselves are either trying to avoid seeing empirically what they already know to be true through experience (painful), or are deferring pain in hopes it can be avoided by grasping for quick-fix solutions in the present (“We got this”).

Such mindsets betray feelings of, We could fix this if we really wanted to or really thought there was a problem. The words of the late Dr. Charles Siburt come to mind here: “Then why haven’t you?”


Stop getting mad at people who question change

Most people don’t like change. Most leaders want to challenge the status quo. Leadership is, in part, the process of helping people see the need for change, embrace the vision for change, and then implement the change.


BCWI announces the complete list of 2015 Best Christian Workplaces


Serving a cause that is greater than oneself is one of the top attractions of working in a Christian organization. These survey results indicate employees in Christian workplaces experience work that is meaningful and life giving.


Succession planning: Is your church ready?


Succession planning is the process of developing high-potential employees who have the ability to play leadership roles within your organization. It involves careful evaluation of staff capabilities and development of a process that includes training, mentoring and skill development.