Ministerial Emergency Fund
Ministers are not immune from unexpected life crises and the financial devastation they can cause. When a critical events occurs, ministers can find it difficult if not impossible to meet the new financial obligation while at the same time trying to cover normal expenses. Complicating matters is that they are often unable or unwilling to approach their church about the challenges.
The Center for Church Leadership has responded by partnering with Kairos Legacy Partners to create the Ministerial Emergency Fund (MEF). The MEF is funded through contributions from churches, businesses, and individuals and all donations are directed to churches in the Center’s network. The Center will conduct fundraising efforts focused specifically on funding the MEF each fall. The process for evaluating financial requests is confidential, prompt, and managed by a respected team of leaders.
Requests and referrals can be directed to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Less than half of Restoration Movement churches report that they offer a retirement plan. This means that hundreds of ministers will serve the Church faithfully their whole lives yet have no source of income when they reach retirement age.
The Center for Church Leadership has responded by partnering with the Pension Fund of the Christian Church to encourage churches to create and fund a retirement plan. A wide range of tools and resources are available through the Pension Fund that can help individuals plan for retirement and help churches apply a healthy and productive long-term perspective as they seek to provide and care for their minister.
Contact email@example.com for more information about the Ministerial Retirement Plan.
Center’s Tax Relief
Some of the most common difficulties that ministers face are related to taxes. In many cases churches do not set compensation packages up in a way that provides the full benefits available to ordained ministers. In some cases churches unintentionally create harm by failing to follow IRS regulations for withholdings, housing allowance, quarterly tax filing, etc. Codes relating to ordained ministers are highly specialized and very few tax preparers are equipped to accurately guide churches and ministers through the complexities associated with ministerial payroll, benefits, and tax reporting.
The Center for Church Leadership has responded by partnering with Burbrink Tax Services & Financial Counseling and Delano Sherley & Associates, Inc. to provide training and guidance relating to accounting, payroll, and taxes. The Center’s Tax Relief Initiative also provides churches an opportunity to receive a free initial consultation with a ministerial tax expert who will take time to understand the foundational issues, assess the level of risk, and recommend whether or not the church needs to hire a tax professional.
The Center’s expert ministerial tax and church finance partners:
More than half of ministers report that they struggle with isolation/loneliness and many state they do not have anyone in their lives with whom they can be transparent about challenges, hurts, and needs. There is also very little interaction and collaboration between congregations.
The Center for Church Leadership responded by creating the Center’s Roundtable to provide a venue for ministers to experience support, encouragement, and care. It is a safe place where you can be transparent about stress, fear, exhaustion, frustration, and anger. The Roundtable also provides a relaxed environment to share ideas, tackle challenges, and build each other up.
Contact firstname.lastname@example.org to join or start a Center’s Roundtable group in your area.
Facilitators, access the Roundtable here.
Churches regularly face questions about liability, real estate, bylaws, human resources, and many other topics that are best answered by competent legal counsel. However, many churches do not know when or how they need to consult with a lawyer which puts them at risk for litigation, fines, and other undesirable legal consequences.
The Center for Church Leadership responded by partnering with McPherson Legal, LLC and other Christian lawyers to create a series of informational blogs, white papers, and other resources that will help churches and ministers make informed decisions. The Legal Services Initiative also provides churches an opportunity to receive a free initial consultation with a lawyer who will take time to understand the foundational issues, assess the level of risk, and recommend whether or not the church needs to hire a lawyer.
Inquiries about legal questions can be directed to McPherson Legal, LLC at 513.256.0247 or David@mcpherson.legal.
Center’s Life Skills & Counseling Services
Ministers and their families experience a unique set of challenges and pressures as they serve the local church. With the role comes significant stress due to higher expectations for how the family behaves, interacts, and performs. Maintaining a healthy home environment is difficult enough without these added pressures so it should be no surprise that many ministers are facing relational crisis at home. Marriages are struggling, children are dealing with emotional and psychological problems, and moms and dads are finding it difficult to connect meaningfully with each other, much less with the kids.
The Center for Church leadership has responded by developing partnerships with Sweeten Life Systems and LifeWay Counseling Centers to offer preemptive and responsive resources to ministers and their families.
Sweeten Life Systems has developed a Toolbox that includes resources that equip ministers to help their church members – and themselves – understand and embrace their identity in Christ.
LifeWay Counseling Centers provides professional Christian counseling to ministers and their families, including individual, marriage, and family counseling. The Center for Church Leadership will provide up to 3 counseling sessions, per calendar year, for eligible individuals of member churches to help cover the cost of these valued services. Eligible individuals include pastors, spouses and dependents living in the pastor’s household.
This member benefit is currently offered for residents of Ohio, Kentucky and Indiana. Services are available at LifeWay Counseling Centers office locations in Ohio & Kentucky or via secure video sessions through the LifeWay Anywhere Program, Offering Care Where You Are.
To take advantage of this free confidential service, please call LifeWay at (513) 769-4600 and/or initiate contact via our website and identify yourself as a member of The Center for Church Leadership network.
Making ends meet on a church salary can be challenging and, to make matters worse, many ministers are not equipped to plan and manage their personal and household finances. One unfortunate consequence of this combination of limited resources and insufficient financial management is that many ministers at risk of leaving the ministry. Many who try to stay in the ministry end up defaulting on loans, hurting their credit score, and experiencing the relational stress that comes with financial shortfalls.
The Center for Church Leadership has responded by creating the Financial Training Initiative, which provides guided instruction through Dave Ramsey’s Financial Peace University (FPU). The Center has established a scholarship fund to help cover the cost of FPU when needed.
Contact email@example.com for information about the Financial Training Initiative.
The Center’s Navigation
Many churches are functioning without a clear vision and plan for how they want to impact their community and the world for Christ. This results are a wide range of difficulties and frustrations that can negatively impact a congregation’s effectiveness, health, and longevity.
The Center for Church Leadership has responded by creating the Center’s Navigation Initiative, a 6-month strategic planning process that is moderated by a Center staff member or trained coach. Sessions are conducted in person and through GoToMeeting, between which the church is given assignments to complete.
Contact firstname.lastname@example.org for information about the Center’s Navigation Initiative.
Many churches have a bold vision but lack the financial resources to pursue it aggressively. They have no margin in the budget for additional staff, new ministries, renovated facilities, relevant technologies, or expanded outreach efforts. The result is that many churches feel that they are spinning their wheels and unable to get traction simply because they don’t have money available to execute a plan.
The Center for Church Leadership has responded by launching an initiative to help churches achieve a 3% annual increase in financial giving over the course of five years. The Center has partnered with generosity experts to provide resources and coaching through the annual Summits, Coaching Webinars, and the 3% Initiative Toolbox.
The Center’s Research
The Center for Church Leadership is committed to being a leading source of relevant and credible research on Restoration Movement churches. A wide range of research projects will be conducted with special focus being placed on one nation-wide study each year that investigates a specific aspect of ministry or church leadership.
The 2016 State of the Ministry research study was designed to shed light on how and why serving in vocational ministry is impacting ministers and their families. Special attention was given to economic concerns, ministry challenges, staff and elder interactions, and attitudes toward persistence.
Contact email@example.com for additional information about research projects.