Background check red flags: what to watch for, what they indicate — and what to do if they arise

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Ministries need to be aware that even the best applicant on paper might not seem so squeaky clean after a background check. It’s important that church leaders have a standardized policy when it comes to identifying “red flags” that will disqualify someone from employment or volunteer positions. Even red flags such as behavior or character traits need to be thoughtfully weighed as they could expose the church to increased risk.

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Payroll: Do you have your ducks in a row?

One definition of “dread” is managing payroll without qualified staff. For those churches with limited resources, ministerial staffing positions must be filled first. A common sentiment among pastoral leadership regarding payroll is, How hard can it be?

Well, it is hard. And, some mistakes could lead to serious consequences.

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The most expensive form of labor — volunteer labor

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Not infrequently, pastors and their parish / congregational administrators, board and / or committee members are inclined to avail themselves of “donated” labor in the form of volunteers who purport to have the appropriate experience, expertise and equipment required to perform some necessary project work on or within parish buildings.

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Protecting children in the church: the true cost of stewardship

Ministries have a bold task. You want — and need — to be good stewards of your communities and congregations. That can often lead to conflicting methodologies when it comes to balancing budgets.

While you want to devote the majority of your money to your missions, outreach and education programs, you also understand the importance of recruiting quality volunteers and employees, and prioritizing hiring procedures.

This, of course, has a dollar value, too.

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Balancing religious freedom & employment rights

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The young woman had been a mathematics teacher at the church-related high school for more than seven years. She was beloved by her students; they praised her ability to convey difficult concepts in an accessible, clear and engaging style.

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

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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.

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Think you don’t need disability insurance? Think again

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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.

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Tax issues in clergy compensation

Compensation planning for clergy and other church staff presents several unique tax issues that aren’t well understood by many church leaders and their advisers. Here are three quick key considerations when structuring compensation plans: 1.) Salary. The most basic component of church staff compensation is salary. There are two important considerations to keep in mind […]

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Getting staff in correct ‘class’

By David Middlebrook Deciding whether an individual worker is an employee or independent contractor is an increasingly important decision and deserves every church and ministry’s full attention. It is often tempting for churches and ministries to classify workers as independent contractors so as to avoid paying employment and payroll taxes and providing employee benefits and […]

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How to avoid a defamation lawsuit

The extensive use of social media, including Facebook, Twitter, streaming sermon videos, podcasts and blogging, has placed many churches into a public arena with potential legal and public relations consequences.

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