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11 Jan 2018

3 Things for Churches to Make 2018 Awesome

Raul Rivera

Have you ever watched Olympic sprinters and found yourself marveling at the speed and quickness of the runners? I know I have!

Although not the most important aspect of the race, having an effective start is crucial to the success of a runner during a race. 

In a similar fashion, the manner in which your church starts 2018 can influence what your church may or may not experience throughout the year. This is especially so from a church administrative perspective. 

For example, if you are launching your church this year, what legal steps have you taken, if any, to start your ministry the right way? Or, what steps do you plan to take this year in order to improve your church’s stewardship and financial accountability?

These are just a few of the matters you should consider for your church as you begin moving forward in 2018.

With that being said, I want to provide you with three things your church should invest in early on to help make 2018 one of the most awesome years your church has yet to experience.

3 things for your church to invest in now

1. Invest in your church’s legal foundation

Some of you reading this post may not have officially started your church, or perhaps you just began holding services a few months ago and are thinking to yourself, “I will get around to the legal stuff once my church has gotten settled.”

Although that is a perfectly rational thought, I want to give you two reasons why you should not wait to establish your church’s legal foundation.

  • Legal protection: Establishing your church or ministry on a solid legal foundation removes liability from you and your church members.
  • Tax-deductible donations: Many pastors do not realize this, but when a church does not have official 501(c)(3) status, the “burden of proof” falls upon the donors. In other words, if one of your church members were to get audited and your church did not have official 501(c)(3) status, the burden of proving that your church is compliant with section 501(c)(3) is their responsibility. That can be a huge burden to carry! Once you obtain official 501(c)(3) status your church, you will be able to receive tithes and offerings and ensure your donors that their donations are tax-deductible. 

There are several steps you can take to invest in your church’s legal foundation. While some of you may have taken some of these steps, if it has been a while since you’ve done so, it might be a good time for you to reinforce what you have already done and ensure you are protected against whatever may come your way. 

Below are four steps you can take to begin investing in your church’s legal foundation:

  1. Incorporate your church.
  2. Create and adopt bylaws tailored to your church.
  3. Implement policies and procedures.
  4. Keep and maintain excellent corporate records.

If you have questions or are in need of help with any of these steps, feel free give us a call at 877-494-4655.

Strengthen Your Legal Foundation Today!

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2. Invest in stewardship and financial accountability

Having a financially-sound ministry is important to any pastor or ministry leader. But in order for that to happen, you have to be intentional with getting your church’s finances in order and maintaining that order.

This all begins with establishing a budget for your church. In short, there are six easy steps you can take to create a healthy budget for your church. Those six steps are as follows:

  1. Begin planning early.
  2. Get a realistic idea of the income you expect your church or ministry to bring in.
  3. Determine your church or ministry’s financial responsibilities.
  4. Determine your church or ministry’s financial goals.
  5. Create “buy-in” to the budget.
  6. Make a plan for how you will manage expenses.

These six steps are explained more thoroughly in a previous blog, and you can click here to learn more. 

The hurdle that most pastors and ministry leaders face when it comes to adequately maintaining budgets and ministry finances is TIME. 

This is why we created our Bookkeeping Service specifically for churches and ministries.

By utilizing our Bookkeeping Service, you will work with a personal bookkeeper and seasoned CPAs who will help streamline and make sense of your church or ministry’s budget and financial records.

Get Your Ministry’s Finances In Order Today!

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3. Invest in your church’s future

One of the most important things you can do for your church is to dedicate some time, energy, and resources in its future. 

There are many ways you can invest in your church’s future. One of the most common ways is by attending various seminars, workshops and/or conferences. 

Such events vary in topics such as:

  1. Church planting;
  2. Strengthening one’s personal relationship with God;
  3. Creating and running ministries for children and youth;
  4. Leadership and personal growth; and 
  5. Managing the business and legal aspect of leading and operating a church.

While there are many conferences that you can attend to invest in your church’s future, I encourage you to ask other pastors and ministry leaders about conferences they would recommend.

Lastly, I want to extend a personal invitation for you to attend one of our Ultimate Church Structure Conferences. This is an opportune time for you to invest in your church’s future and learn vital information in church compliance and strategies for expanding your church’s vision and reach. I also encourage you to bring a board member or two with you to the conference.

At our one-day conference you will learn:

  1. How to lead a church board meeting and keep board meeting minutes.
  2. How incorporating can actually help protect your church.
  3. How to strengthen your church’s bylaws whether you already have bylaws or not.
  4. How to maximize the tax benefits afforded to ordained ministers.
  5. How to avoid activities that could jeopardize your church’s tax exemption.
  6. How your church can no longer solely rely on tithes & offerings.
  7. And much more!

Register for a Conference Today!

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Please feel free to comment. We always appreciate good dialogue. However, we do moderate each comment to ensure that it is on topic and not derogatory to other participants. We ask that you keep your comments brief and pertinent to the topic so that others may benefit.

Blessings,
Raul Rivera

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About the Author

Church Planter. Speaker. Author. CEO. Raul Rivera has had ample experience in the church planting world. His current venture, StartCHURCH, has helped 1000's of churches to start right. Raul has compiled an array of manuals and software tools that help churches stay compliant with the IRS. He also hosts over 35 national conferences per year, training pastors on how to launch their churches. Raul is married to his wife Genel, and they and their five children live in Atlanta, GA.