Intellectual property considerations for church leaders

Intellectual property protection

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 […]


Get real-world, in-person church management training June 20-30 in Nashville!


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 […]


A (financial) foundation to grow on


With six campuses, more than 36,000 active members, and 1,050 full-and part-time staff, Gateway Church in Dallas / Fort Worth simply can’t function at maximum efficiency without a streamlined, accessible and accurate accounting “engine” — something they didn’t have…until now. When Lead Director of Business Administration Monty Carpenter joined the Gateway staff in 2011, incredible […]


3 myths of the 501(c)(3): When misunderstandings lead to misguidance


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.


Examining organizational structure — including (and especially) church members’ rights

empty board room table

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.


5 compliance challenges EVERY church leader needs to know about


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.


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.


3 key essentials to better stewardship


As your church settles down from Christmas celebrations, things are no doubt getting into full swing for the person managing all your church’s accounting. If that person is you, you likely still have several time-sensitive tasks on your horizon that need to get finished by January 31. Putting a good system in place can help keep you on track — and that’s what we’ve outlined for you below.


Church accounting basics: transparency & accountability


How to lay the foundation for true church CHURCH ACCTNGaccounting stewardship


Year-end tax & portfolio planning for pastors


November and December are a busy time of year for most pastors. Following the Thanksgiving holiday, the liturgical calendar begins anew with the season of Advent. As preparations are made to celebrate the coming of the Christ child, extra services need to be planned, multiple sermons need to be written, rehearsals are in full swing for the Christmas pageant, and pastors are also ministering to those for whom the holidays are not such a joyous time.

Amidst all these preparations, pastors need to set aside some time to focus on year-end financial details that have tax implications for 2015 and 2016. Don’t let the following items slip past you.