By David O. Middlebrook Churches are some of the most creative places on earth. Every week, church staff is called upon to create sermons, songs, Bible and Sunday school lessons, music, books and teaching materials, and all other kinds of creative works. Churches routinely use media — such as movies and audio clips — to […]
The purpose of bylaws is to reflect how your church operates, as well as to provide protection and structure. The bylaws contain a detailed framework of operations, and what seems important to the church in this season might not be in the next. So, you need to have a framework that can change.
I decided to do some research about what was happening at ministries around the country. The result of that search led to additional discussions and the following 4-step checklist when interviewing and potentially hiring family members of staff or of board members.
All employers — even churches — must be aware that the Department of Labor (DOL) takes the default position that all employees are nonexempt. This means they are eligible for minimum wage and overtime pay unless the employer can demonstrate that an exemption outlined by the DOL and the Act applies.
Church executives of all types know that the church is, in some ways, a business. Whether you’re a lead pastor, executive pastor, business administrator or denominational official, you attend to congregational business of facilities, finances, human resources, information technology, and a host of other issues on a daily basis. For example, take a quick test […]
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.
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.
The landscape for churches and ministries is filled with pitfalls.
Over the last 20 years, Congress and the IRS have become very interested in the activities of churches, ministries and nonprofits, which has led to the enactment of section 4958 and the creation of the Exempt Organizations Executive Compensation Compliance Project, resulting in increased enforcement presence and millions of dollars in fines.
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.
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.