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The StartCHURCH Blog

Ever since Raul and his wife set out to start a new church, it has been their passion to share the difficult task of church management with ministers and ministry leaders. Taking courses at Bible college and attending church planting conferences are good, but optional, ideas. However, knowing and understanding the legal, business, and tax aspects of church and ministry is not optional, and getting it right is a requirement!

It is the founder's desire that every StartCHURCH blog function as a tool to help you grow strong in these areas. In each blog, you will find a wealth of information that will not only benefit your ministry, but might also help to keep you out of IRS trouble. The authors take time to research and write about the latest legal and tax changes happening in the world of ministry. They also address issues that affect pastors, leaders, and board members personally. Overall, the bottom line commitment is to empower you with the knowledge necessary to make informed decisions.

Please take some time to browse the postings. With the collective knowledge and experience that StartCHURCH brings, coupled with applicable and encouraging feedback posted by the readers, you may find these blogs are more helpful than you can imagine!

19 Apr 2018

Approved by IRS, Revoked by State

Raul Rivera

How familiar are you with your church or ministry's yearly state filing requirements? Is it something that you keep meaning to get around to, but never actually do?  I am not asking to make you feel bad, because I understand where you are. You get busy with the ministerial and spiritual side of leading a church or ministry, and as a result, the…

17 Apr 2018

Do Churches Need Security Teams?

Raul Rivera

How do we keep our churches safe in a world where evil exists? After recent strings of mass shootings, including the mass shooting at a church in Sutherland Springs, Texas last fall, many pastors are asking what steps they should take to make their churches safe. The truth of the matter is that most churches do not have safety plans, much less safety…

12 Apr 2018

Can the IRS Demand Church Records?

Raul Rivera

When I speak with pastors and church leaders who are skeptical about incorporating or applying for 501(c)(3) for their churches, I often hear, “If we incorporate, then we’ll become a State church.” or “If we become a 501(c)(3) church, then the IRS could come knock on our church door any time they wanted.” This leads us…

10 Apr 2018

6 Mistakes Made When Paying Pastors

Raul Rivera

There are many factors to consider when establishing pastoral compensation. We often speak with pastors and church leaders who have little to no experience in creating salary agreements for pastors, and they are unaware of the common pitfalls in this area. Typically what will happen is these pastors and church leaders will decide what and how to pay…

05 Apr 2018

4 Steps to Maintain Compliance for Your Ministry

Raul Rivera

The number one question pastors and ministry leaders ask once they receive the 501(c)(3) approval for their church or ministry is, “What do we need to do now?” Obtaining tax-exempt status for your church or ministry cost both time and resources. Maybe there were times when you thought that the day your ministry would receive official 501(c)(3)…

03 Apr 2018

3 Reasons Why Your Church Should be 501(c)(3)

Raul Rivera

Is it necessary for churches to apply for 501(c)(3) tax-exempt status? More specifically, should your church apply for 501(c)(3) tax-exempt status? This is a question that many pastors and church leaders are asking, and this is a question that you must ask and answer for yourself and your church. Some pastors and church leaders struggle to answer…

29 Mar 2018

Can Churches Give Bonuses to Pastors?

Raul Rivera

To the average churchgoer and to one looking in from the outside, the pastorate may appear to be one of glamor. Typically, these individuals only see what pastors do on Sunday mornings. However, pastors, and those who work closely with pastors, know that the responsibility of being a pastor is far from glamorous. Pastors often work long hours that…

27 Mar 2018

4 Things Great Ministries Do

Raul Rivera

With the due date of Form 990 for most ministries quickly approaching, I have recently written several blogs emphasizing the importance of filing a timely Form 990. The previous articles discussed the associated penalties and consequences of not filing Form 990 on time, and I presented four steps ministries can take to ensure a timely filing of Form…

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