For the year, 2017 was remarkable in the investment markets, with both stocks and bonds performing well. The Foundation’s investment options as of December 31, 2017 are summarized below: COMPARISON OF RATES OF RETURN AS OF DECEMBER 31, 2017 1 year 3 year 5 year 10 year BALANCED FUND 17.18% 6.82% 7.92% 5.38% FIXED INCOME […]

Church Finance

January 3, 2018

Did your investments work for you?

First, let me acknowledge that this is horrible timing.  The last week of Advent is probably the worst time of the year to discuss tax-wise giving, but I strongly encourage you to share the information below with your congregation this week.  I don’t suggest re-writing your Christmas Eve sermon to discuss end of the year […]

Church Finance

December 21, 2017

Information to share this week

They say the greater the need the greater response.  Right now the need in and around Houston is beyond comprehension and is matched only by the desire for folks to respond.  Here are some ways to help: Pray.  Pray for those who are no longer in their homes.  Pray for those who are home with […]

Church Finance

August 28, 2017

Responding to Harvey

Politician Everett Dirksen is often quoted, “A billion here, a billion there, pretty soon, you’re talking real money.”   But what about trillions?  Like $10.7 trillion?  That’s $10,700,000,000,000.  Americans had $10.7 trillion in their checking accounts at the end of last year, an average of about $3,600 per account, an increase of about $1,000 over […]

Church Finance

July 18, 2017

What’s in your wallet (or checking account)

I had one of those weekends when apparently divergent messages come together and it all just kind of clicks.  On Saturday my daughter Emily was wearing a t-shirt with the graphic above, the one that encourages us to Believe There is Good in the World and at the same time to Be The Good. Then […]


July 10, 2017

Be The Good When the World Desperately Needs It

When I work with churches to set up or revise their endowment funds, I usually suggest a 5% spending policy:  take the value of the fund on September 30 each year and make 5% of that available for the following year, or some similar formula. I think this is the best approach, except when it […]

Church Finance

May 30, 2017

Why 25 may be better than 5

I recently read a book that should be required reading for any good Methonerd like myself.  Reverend Will Cantrell has written Unafraid and Unashamed:  Facing the Future of United Methodism.  It’s a really, really good book discussing the human sexuality issue in the church. At just 150 or so pages it’s a fairly quick read […]

Church Leadership

May 23, 2017

A Book You Really Must Read

I had a call from a pastor friend last week.  He thought we were going to talk about bequests and endowments.  We ended up talking about a capital campaign.  That was my fault. He called me excited that a member of his church had left a six-figure gift in her will.  This is a church […]

Church Finance

October 10, 2016

Reasons to have a capital campaign

As I watch the news about the impending invasion of Hurricane Matthew on the southeast United States, two memory tracks come to mind. The earlier of the two was in August of 1995 when we were vacationing in North Carolina and Hurricane Felix was a threat.  We were highly encouraged to evacuate and had every […]

Church Finance

October 6, 2016

Of Methodists, hurricanes and you

Sometimes I talk about how critically important it is for your members to pledge.  At other meetings I talk about why it’s not important at all, sometimes in the same church. The difference is which committee I’m talking with. The stewardship committee should emphasize pledging.  A pledge represents a goal, a decision made in advance. […]

Church Finance

October 3, 2016

Why pledging is so very important, and why it’s not at all.