Blog

Wreckonomics: Ten Surefire Ways To Wreck Your Financial Future
October, 2018

If you see something you want, buy it right now. If you don’t have the cash to buy it, charge it so you can get it right now. When you get your paycheck, always pay yourself first and set aside “your” money to do what you want. If you can’t pay all your bills, no… Read More

Heart Attack!
September, 2018

“There’s a target on your back in the shape of a cross … and it will always be there.” Those were the heartfelt words an elder once shared with me. Then, shortly after he said that, he and his wife decided it was time for them to leave our church in search of something new…. Read More

A MINISTER’S GREATEST REGRET
September, 2018

When I was in college at Kent State University, I occasionally attended a church pastored by a man I respected greatly.  His preaching was exegetical and solid, he was practical and in tune with the journey of all age groups, and he was a sound counselor.  I loved talking with him about various topics, but… Read More

The 6 Most Common Mistakes People Make When It Comes to Their Money
September, 2018

In a survey by Bankrate last year, only 20% of American adults said they had no regrets when it came to their finances. 73% said they regret making financial mistakes. According to a report from CareerBuilder, 78% of full-time workers said they live paycheck to paycheck. 71% of all U.S. workers said they’re now in… Read More

Blind Spots
August, 2018

It’s official—I have a 20% blind spot. I’ve lost significant vision in my right eye; and what’s amazing, I’ve even had a metaphorical blind spot about my literal blind spot. For some crazy reason it just never occurred to me that one of the reasons traffic often “blindsides me” is that I don’t see it. … Read More

You’re Exceptional, but…
May, 2018

…I have exceptional teeth. But I will never forget the day my dentist smiled and said, “Your teeth are beautiful . . .  too bad they’re going to fall out of your gums due to lack of flossing!” My dentist had tried to get through to me many times before—but in that semi-humorous moment, he… Read More

A Rising Tithe Lifts All Churches
May, 2018

President John F. Kennedy is credited with the phrase, “A rising tide lifts all boats.” But it didn’t originate with him. Ted Sorenson, JFK’s speechwriter, borrowed it from a chamber of commerce in New England. Regardless of where it came from, the statement is true: when the tide rises it affects every boat in the… Read More

FOMO Addiction
April, 2018

FOMO – “Fear of Missing Out” is a serious problem for me and a real addiction for many. Years ago, our German exchange student, Olli, had a near panic attack one Friday night when he had no party or opportunity to entertain him. We thought it was kind of funny, but Olli wasn’t laughing. He… Read More

Flunking Lent
March, 2018

A few days ago, a pastor buddy surprised me with his confession . . . “I flunked Lent!” Here’s the situation: the two of us had just talked about his Netflix addiction. While it wasn’t one of the common addictions of our time such as alcohol or porn, he did “binge watch” stuff late at… Read More

Leadership Trends
February, 2018

When it comes to leadership trends, once again it’s safe to say that “It’s the best of times and the worst of times!”   The “Worst” Indicators Alcohol use is increasingly common among leaders, despite the growing documentation that it is a “dangerous liberty” and a questionable example. Worship at the technological tower of Babel… Read More

Are You Good Enough?
February, 2018

When I was younger I often struggled with the question of being good enough, and even now that I’m older the same is sadly sometimes still true. As a skinny, insecure kid growing up in Chicago, I never felt that I quite measured up. I was never good enough to make the high school team,… Read More

Five Things You Can Do To Protect Your Family’s Future
January, 2018

During uncertain economic times, there are certain things you and I can do to protect our family, our finances and our future.   (1) Put God FIRST. It seems like a no-brainer, but many still attempt to live their life and handle their finances “their way” instead of “God’s way.” Jesus said, “SEEK FIRST His… Read More

The Best Investment You’ll Ever Make
November, 2017

In Luke 16:9, Jesus said, “And I tell you, make friends for yourselves by means of unrighteous wealth, so that when it fails they may receive you into the eternal dwellings.” The NIV (1984) puts it this way: “I tell you, use worldly wealth to gain friends for yourselves, so that when it is gone,… Read More

Survival
October, 2017

Sometimes success is simply surviving! Last week we had dinner with friends who just returned from San Juan. Dave and Kim had endured the terror of Hurricane Maria while on the 14th floor of their beachfront apartment. Windows were blown out as their entire building swayed under the force of the ferocious storm. My buddy Cam… Read More

Can We Get A Do Over?
September, 2017

If you could start over, what would you want to do? I’m pretty sure all of us would do some things — maybe a lot of things — different if we got a do-over on life. Especially when it comes to our finances. Looking back over my life, I can guarantee you there are some… Read More

Churches and Real Estate
August, 2017

“The heavens are the heavens of the Lord, but the earth He has given to the sons of men.” Psalm 115: 16 With the ownership of real estate, churches have tremendous opportunities to not only create an inspiring physical space for worship, but to also make wise business decisions that allow the faith community to… Read More

What’s the Legal Risk of Hiring An Employee Who Hurts Someone?
August, 2017

Do you ever worry about what would happen to the church if one of its employees hurt someone, whether intentionally or accidentally?  If you haven’t, you should.  There is a legal cause of action called negligent hiring and it applies to churches just like it applies to other employers.  Let’s look at a quick example… Read More

Ministers and Housing Allowance
August, 2017

“Then my people will live in a peaceful habitation, and in secure dwellings and in undisturbed resting places.” Isaiah 32: 18 Churches and other religious institutions occupy a special place in the Internal Revenue Code. In fact, the Code allows ministers to exempt a portion of their income from federal taxation if that money was… Read More

The Miracle Meal
July, 2017

You will never GIVE more than you RECEIVE. Never. So stop whining and complaining and start giving. Mark Batterson tells the story of a friend who is an author and a filmmaker. He’s also the perfect illustration of the statement above. I’ll let Mark explain. “For nearly a decade, Joel served on staff at a… Read More

The Real Deal on Debt
July, 2017

Noted Christian financial expert, Dave Ramsey said, “Debt is so ingrained into our culture that most Americans can’t even envision a car without a payment, a house without a mortgage, a student without a loan and credit without a card. We’ve been sold debt with such repetition and with such fervor that most folks can’t… Read More

7 Steps to Create Culturally-Relevant Ministry
May, 2017

An astounding 71% of the ministers who participated in the Center for Church Leadership’s 2016 State of the Ministry survey identified “Creating culturally-relevant ministry” as a leadership challenge. The implications of this statistic are far-reaching, representing a serious threat to the short- and long-term success of both the churches and the ministers. This constant struggle… Read More

12 Steps to Multiply Your Volunteers
April, 2017

Recruiting and managing volunteers is a universal challenge for church leaders. Every minister dreams of a day that more people will want to serve than there are tasks to complete. Many would be satisfied by overcoming the 80/20 rule. Some would pay a king’s ransom just to convince one person to teach the 3rd grade… Read More

The 3% Initiative: 6 Steps to Increase Giving in Your Church
April, 2017

The Center for Church Leadership is excited to launch The 3% Initiative to enhance your congregation’s ability to execute culturally relevant ministry, invest in strategic growth efforts, and meet the current and future financial needs of the ministry staff – all by increasing your church’s financial giving by 3% each year over a five-year period…. Read More

The Six Most Irritating Aspects of Ministry
April, 2017

You’ve probably heard the saying, “Ministry would be great if it weren’t for the people.” It is typically followed closely by an unconvincing, “Not really,” but the truth hidden just under the surface is that not everything about ministry is rainbows and butterflies. There, it’s out in the light. You too can now admit, at… Read More

Six Ways to Get and Keep a Healthy Perspective
March, 2017

The real value of a stock is not determined by its price per share at a given moment and neither is your value as a minister calculated solely on your circumstances today, regardless of whether you are riding a wave of success or struggling to keep things from falling apart. The true value of a… Read More

4 Strategies to Give Your Vision Traction
March, 2017

Even if you’ve done a masterful job of casting and communicating the vision, your team’s pursuit of the preferred future will almost certainly face inertia, wheel spinning, detours, and possibly even mutiny. These challenges can occur when the vision loses its luster over time, when the vision is vague and undefined, when the vision is… Read More

Five Reasons Why Team Members Haven’t Embraced the Vision
March, 2017

The vision has been crafted, deliberated, adopted, and communicated – multiple times and in multiple venues. You are excited. Your elders are enthusiastic. Some of your ministry staff members are obviously all in. Others, though, are less engaged and a couple of them are flat out running in the opposite direction or appear to have… Read More

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