Tag Archives: Church

Here are your clergy tax options

Posted on 02. Mar, 2014 by .

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Because you’re in ministry, you’re taxes are more complicated. You have a housing allowance, you may or may not have exempted out of social security and for various reasons, every church processes the taxes of their pastors differently (I know from personal example). You have have had taxes down at your last church, but now you’re totally confused. Most of you only have a couple of tax options:
  1. Do them yourself.
  2. Go to the local tax prep office
  3. Go to a CPA
Let me evaluate your three options.

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One HUGE mistake ministry leaders often make

Posted on 18. Nov, 2013 by .

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I'm probably preaching to the proverbial choir. If you're reading this, it probably doesn't apply to you... or maybe it does. One of the biggest mistakes ministry leaders often make is to not take the time to learn from others. Before your mind goes there, I'm not entirely thinking what you think I'm thinking. I'm not necessarily talking about the well read and well visited blogs and books written by the top ministry leaders in Christendom... although you should learn from them as well. I'm talking about the church down the street and the church you've never heard from in Montana. They're doing something you haven't thought of already and if you'd take a few moments of your day for a conversation, it could better you ministry. Hey, you don't have to tell me. We're all busy. I'm so busy, I'll never get everything done in the week that I need to get done this week. If I add a non-essential phone call, a less-than-critical lunch or God forbid - a day trip for a visit... well, how will I ever get all my work done. This is the very reasonable line of thinking that every busy ministry leader faces. However, I'm a big believer in the line that "Leaders are Learners" and that means budgeting a little bit of time to learn not just from books, but from others. Yes, that means you might miss a deadline or not get something else done, but the value of learning something new that could changed what you do is to critical to putt off. This last week I gave about 5 hours to learning from others and it was huge.

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Pornography statistics

Posted on 27. Jan, 2011 by .

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I’m at the end of my two week series of sex, porn and children’s ministry and I want to cram in a few last bits of information. A friend of mine who heard about this series sent me some links to share. She’s continuing to track down some additional resources, but she remember when studying marketing in college a few years ago she learned how the porn industry strategically marketed toward 11-17 year olds knowing that they were the largest user base and that if they got hooked (addicted) as a teenager, they’d be a customer for life. She remember reading how the porn industry used school textbooks to learn what kids would be searching for when working on projects to optimize search results so that kids would likely stumble across their content.… Read the rest

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Two great articles on sexuality

Posted on 26. Jan, 2011 by .

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Since I didn’t realize that Children’s Ministry Magazine had a great article on this important topic, I figured I’d search their site to see if there were any more. Yes, two great articles!

Click here for their article on how children understand sexuality at different points of their development. It would be a great resource for parents to understand what their kids know, what kinds of questions their kids are going to be asking and how to deal with those questions. Excellent information.

The second article I found was directed toward ministry leaders. It deals with how to tackle difficult conversations and situation involving a variety of sexual topics. Everything from engaging a family of same sex parents, working with children who have gender identity issues and encountering kids who are engaging in conversations about sexuality.… Read the rest

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The church and sex ed

Posted on 26. Jan, 2011 by .

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As I was writing this series about sex and Chidlren’s Ministry last week and this week, I didn’t even realize that Children’s Ministry Magazine published a pretty significant article on this very topic in their November/December 2010 issue called sexual purity. If you subscribe to the magazine, be sure to check it out (begins on page 62). There was a lot of great information in this article. One interesting quote was from a study saying that”

“Teenagers are more likely to abtsain from sexual intercourse before the age of 18 if their parents hold strong religious beliefs and explain them to their children and attend church together regularly.”

Good to know.

However, I was very intrigued by the direction the article took.… Read the rest

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Kids caught in the porn trap

Posted on 20. Jan, 2011 by .

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So this week I’ve broached the subject of sex, porn and Children’s Ministry, but I mostly opened the conversation about parent driven sex talks and resources. I haven’t said much about pornography though. Hopefully, thorough parent-driven sex talks will address pornography and prepare kids for when they’ll be exposed to it. However, is there a way for the church to help address this problem more intentionally?

The numbers speak for themselves. 12-18 year olds are significant consumers of pornography. The average age of first exposure is eight. All of us have children in our ministries who are being exposed to porn and many are developing addictions. Many of these kids are already caught int he trap. They’re lured back to it time and time again because of their new-found appetite, but they’re also carrying this shame and guilt they’ve never carried before.… Read the rest

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A new word for discipleship

Posted on 29. Mar, 2010 by .

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Screen shot 2010-03-26 at 10.55.24 PMWords are so interesting. Over time, they change meaning, lose effectiveness or develop a stigma. When it comes to faith, we see this all the time. Pick up C.S. Lewis’ book Mere Christianity and the opening chapter will tell you how the word Christian has lost it’s meaning, and this book was written decades ago. Really, it’s only been the last 2-3 years that I’ve replaced the term Christian for the words Christ follower. Sure, it may just be semantics, but the term seems to be much more intentional about meaning in a culture where the word Christian conjures up some many different definitions and emotions. Who knows, maybe in a few more years, there will be another term Christ followers are using.… Read the rest

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More social media factoids

Posted on 15. Nov, 2009 by .

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A few months ago I posted this video about the power of social media. Then a few weeks ago I found the video below from David Wakerly’s blog. I’m probably just preaching to the choir here, but this social media thing is a pretty big deal. Are you utilizing all it has to offer for your ministry?

Read the rest

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Random design question

Posted on 15. Nov, 2009 by .

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Okay, my design question isn’t really random, it just doesn’t have anything to do with kids or church ministry.

My parents own their own tax business. They’ve been a part of a franchise for the last 5-6 years, but now they’re out on their own. They’ve selected their name, but now they’re working with a design company to develop their logo. They’ve got several really good options on the table and they’re needing to select one concept that they’re going to take further. My good friend Matt McKee had some really good advice that I think they’ll take into consideration in the revision process. However, I wanted to get some feedback from a general audience as well. Most of the readers of this site aren’t in the “tax business” but everyone has to pay taxes.… Read the rest

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Need Bibles or books?

Posted on 26. Aug, 2009 by .

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index_02About six or seven year I ran into these guys at the CPC in Atlanta. I didn’t really have a definitive source for Bibles or other books. When I needed to buy Bibles by the case, I haven’t found anyone who can beat Harvest. When I was using curriculum from one of the major publishers, I found that I could buy it at a discount from Harvest rather than the publisher. As churches, we’re always looking for opportunities to save some money and stretch our ministry budgets. Harvest can help with that.

Here’s a little secret though. Don’t rely on just their website. Several years ago I was designing a small group/discipleship program for elementary aged kids. Depending on what grade you were in determined what books and supplies you needed.… Read the rest

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