Can your church REALLY afford a pastor? Maybe not in the traditional sense…

Man holding Bible

More and more churches are asking themselves if they can truly afford a pastor. As a result, discussions on clergy compensation, burdensome seminary debt, and alternative pastoral models are taking place in seminaries and denominational bodies across the country — and ultimately, this question (or a similar one) is at the core of those conversations.


To hire relatives or not: the 4-step checklist

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.


Don’t touch — or you might get burned!


In our last article, we together began our journey to move “beyond insurance.” We then examined the first step in that process: risk identification, analysis and evaluation. Now, we undertake the next step in our journey: risk avoidance.


How the hourly wage rules will affect churches


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.


Healthy staff norms — 9 principles for working on a church staff

In my more than 35 years spent leading congregations and staff teams, 9 principles have consistently served to improve morale, avoid problems, and help everyone achieve success in ministry.


Acts of violence: prevention and response


By Eric Spacek, JD, ARM As church leaders, staff, volunteers or even members of the church, it is hard to imagine a religious facility being a prime target for criminals. Churches are seen as sacred and safe places; however, violent incidents of varying natures happen several times each year across the country. Because these places […]


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 […]


Villanova to train 20 priests, seminarians on business & management topics


All 20 priests, seminarians to be hosted in New York later this month


A Supreme Court case to watch: Trinity Lutheran Church vs. Pauley


Earlier this year, the U.S. Supreme Court agreed to consider Trinity Lutheran Church v. Pauley, a 2013 lawsuit filed by the church after the state of Missouri rejected its application for a grant to replace its preschool’s playground pebbles with repurposed rubber from old tires.

The State’s grounds for denial? The preschool was ineligible because it was run by a church, citing an 1875 Missouri constitutional amendment — known as the Blaine Amendment — prohibiting public funds from being used “in aid of any church.”

Here, David O. Middlebrook — a founding shareholder of Anthony & Middlebrook and the Church Law Group in Grapevine, TX, and Church Executive “Legal Realities” Series author — offers his take on this potentially pivotal case for churches.