The Church Network Weekly Update
Dec. 26, 2014

How to overcome dysfunctional church communication
Center for Church Communication
From June 13: Email marketing is not easy. Inbox competition is fierce, and customers and prospects are fickle. Fortunately, even small budget email campaigns can be crafted to deliver big readership and response rates. The secret? Tapping into the decision-making shortcuts that both consumers and business customers use. Once you know what shortcuts people default to, you'll know how to construct your emails to take advantage of them.More

Staff compensation consumes a major portion of large church budgets
Church Law & Tax
From Sept. 19: Large churches spend slightly less than half their total budget on staffing costs, according to a study released by Leadership Network in partnership with Vanderbloemen Search Group. The 2014 Large Church Salary Report is based on responses from 727 churches in North America with attendances ranging from 1,000 to more than 30,000 people.More

Who owns the pastor's sermon?
Christianity Today
From Feb. 7: In the late 1970s, Sealy Yates was sitting in his law office when Chuck Swindoll paid him a visit. Swindoll was then a relatively unknown pastor at First Evangelical Free Church. He had run into some legal trouble and wanted Yates's advice. At issue: Who owned Swindoll's sermons — Swindoll or First Evangelical? Nearly 40 years later, disputes over the copyrights of pastors' sermons aren't likely to go away. That's partly because of the money at stake, and partly because current copyright law is stacked against pastors.More

10 ideas to improve giving in your church
Thom S. Rainer
From May 16: Something is amiss in the North American church when believers average giving about 2-3 percent of their income to the church each year. Such shallow giving limits our ministry possibilities and hinders our getting the gospel to the nations. If you want to increase the giving in your congregation, consider these steps.More

The top 6 management conferences for church leaders
Christianity Today
From April 18: Leaders are learners, as the saying goes, and in matters of church management, ongoing training and learning are essential for leaders to keep up with legal, financial, and risk management developments. Numerous conferences and live events abound on this subject matter, and it's sometimes hard to discern which ones are best. Factor in limited budgets, and the decisions are even tougher to make.More

Lessons from the Houston church subpoena saga
Church Law & Tax
From Oct. 24: A months-long conflict between city leaders and religious leaders in Houston captured the national spotlight this week after the city attempted to obtain sermons, e-mails, and other records from five churches through subpoenas. Religious leaders nationwide and at least one prominent state official quickly cried foul, citing religious liberty concerns. On Oct. 17, the city issued new subpoenas, slightly narrowing the focus to any communications between the churches and their members during a petition drive challenging Houston's recently passed equal rights ordinance.More

The shocking un-truth about church budgets
ABP News
From Oct. 10: Before we do even one more church budget, we need a whole new framework for thinking about church and ministry. With our role in society shifting, we are no longer bastions of benevolent food pantries that we graciously bestow on the less fortunate and then return to our churches to plan new ways to do ministry. What we are now is mission outposts. We are places of solace and hope, community and hospitality for people who are too smart to believe in God and pretty convinced they don’t need the church — until they do.More

10 simple ways to cut business expenses
Fox Business
From Feb. 14: There's no avoiding the fact that running a business costs money. While you can't fully eliminate your costs, you can significantly reduce them with a few simple changes to your business operations. Holly Perez, senior manager of personal finance software company Quicken, shared these 10 cost-cutting solutions to help you reduce your business's budget.More

2 key points to help overcome the online giving hurdle
Church Tech Today
From July 3: In meetings with pastors, administrators and elder boards about the impact that online giving can have in their churches, there is one question that comes up more frequently than any other: "Why should we be paying 1 – 3 percent in processing fees for donations we could be getting for free?" This is a valid and important question, but "donations we could be getting for free" misses two key points.More

Designating a housing allowance
Church Law & Tax
From Sept. 5: Many churches are lax in their housing allowance designations. Internal Revenue Regulation 1.107(b) requires that in order to be housing allowance, the amount must be designated as such pursuant to an official action taken in advance of the payment of the allowance by the employing church or other qualifying organization.More