10 Practices that Safeguard Against Church Embezzlement

The reality check, for those in church leadership, is the realization that easy access, no controls and personal need (or justification) are all stepping stones to church fraud. We all want to believe that the sweet lady who diligently keeps the books would never steal, but the reality is if the conditions are right, embezzlement is inevitable and once it begins it becomes a slippery slope.

I was saddened to read about a neighborhood church, where my kids used to attend youth events, being yet another victim of church embezzlement.

All you have to do is go to your search bar and type in ‘church embezzlement’ and you will find many headlines:

  • Woman pleads guilty to embezzling $300 from Church;
  • Manlius church treasurer’s husband arraigned on embezzlement charges;
  • Treasurer convicted and sentenced for embezzling over $110,000 from church bank accounts in California;
  • Church bookkeeper gets 3 years for embezzlement;
  • Largest South Korean church’s embezzlement scandal just got worse;

And the list goes on and on.   Read the Full Article →

$1,000 Christmas Giveaway!

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We can all use a little extra cash this time of year, so I am really excited to let you know about our $1,000 Visa gift card Christmas giveaway!

We are partnering with some other Christian organizations who have worked together to develop this giveaway, just in time for Christmas!  Entering is easy by just following the instructions below.

Thanks to Our Sponsor

We would like to thank the great people over at FaithWorks Financial for making this giveaway possible.

Read the Full Article →

Communicating Bad News to a Volunteer

It is never fun being the decision maker for a situation as serious as firing a church volunteer, but church leadership needs to take the time to think through what is communicated, by whom and in what format. Taking these simple steps can possibly save the reputation of the church, but more importantly, the spiritual walk of the volunteer.

I recently had a manicure and pedicure by a delightful woman. We will call her Rachel to protect her anonymity.  When Rachel learned what I did for a living she shared an interesting story with me.

Rachel tearfully shared that she had been fired as a children’s ministry volunteer because of a picture that she was tagged in that was posted on Facebook. Read the Full Article →

Clergy Housing Allowance Going Away?

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I don’t know if you have been following the story about the challenge to the clergy housing allowance made by Freedom From Religion Foundation (FFRF) but this case has been going on for a few years and a federal court has ruled that the clergy housing exclusion is unconstitutional.

Even though this decision will probably go to appeal, it is a big concern for the men and women who work in a clergy capacity. Read the Full Article →

5 Tips for a Successful Church Business Meeting

Most business meetings have a purpose and the first thing to think about when planning an agenda is to answer the question, what is the goal of this meeting?

Many churches meet with members to share information, cast vision or train volunteers.

This is done in an attempt to keep members engaged and is part of a structured communication management process.

These church meetings often share information about what the church has done, how it is performing and what it hopes to achieve in the future.

Business meetings should appeal to members and have a reputation for being well run, efficient and effective. Read the Full Article →

7 Steps to Creating a Customer Service Strategy

Creating a customer service strategy is critical to creating a culture that is service focused. To do this, churches need to incorporate service strategies into church goals which are reflected in employee goals. This systematic approach ensures accountability and follow through.

Churches and nonprofit organizations are becoming more aware of the need to identify who their customers are and strategically taking steps to create a positive experience. In the church, customers can be defined as members, volunteers and employees.

Creating a positive experience for these key customer groups is important because members fund the church, volunteers are the labor and employees facilitate the process. Read the Full Article →

6 Survey Questions to ask Church Visitors

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Attracting visitors to your church is the first step in achieving church growth.

Understanding the visitor experience can provide valuable information that can be used to create a first time experience that makes the visitor want to come back and hopefully join the church.

When I visit a church there are several things I pay attention to. I like going someplace that is welcoming, comfortable and consistent with my belief system. Read the Full Article →

Human Resource Planning in the Church Environment

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Churches are established to help people and it takes people to do that work. The challenge for churches is that the majority of the workforce is in the form of free labor that we refer to as volunteers. This creates a dynamic that is unique to churches and the nonprofit world.

The term human resources represents the people who make up the workforce (paid or volunteer) of an organization. Read the Full Article →

New Church Staff Evaluation Book

Working with church leaders has helped me recognize quite a few need help when managing employees and often feel vulnerable when asked to “assess” employee performance. Many are challenged with  trying to manage the day-to-day operations of a ministry and keeping employees focused on those things that are most important to church strategy.

Many church leaders dread the annual performance appraisal process, partially, because it’s a time consuming process but, more commonly, because they don’t have the training or expertise to assess employee performance painlessly. Read the Full Article →

10 Checklists to Help Manage Church Operations

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One of the many responsibilities that church leaders have is managing employee performance. This includes setting expectations and monitoring how work is completed.

Job functions that require multiple steps or programs that are multifaceted can be difficult to make certain that each step or facet is completed on time and as expected. One way to manage these types of jobs is to use work checklists. Read the Full Article →