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)

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 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.

So you’ve read that the pastor should tell his giving story and you read Bishop Tracy S. Malone’s giving story.  Let’s talk stories for one more week, because there are other stories to tell (see page 569 in the hymnal if you’re so inclined). When it comes to having people testify in worship or witness […]

Church Finance

September 26, 2016

A few more stories to tell

Last week I encouraged pastors to tell their giving stories as they kick off stewardship season.  We are grateful to Bishop Tracy S. Malone for sharing her own giving story.  Joining her in the  photo above are her husband, Derrick, and daughters, Ashley and Alexis.   I grew up in a Christian home where I was […]

Church Finance

September 19, 2016

Bishop Malone’s Giving Story

A few weeks ago I was in an investment seminar and the speaker suggested starting every meeting with account holders by asking each person in the meeting to write down an answer to a simple question: “What is the purpose of this pool of money?” At home that’s an easy question, many of us have […]

Church Finance

September 14, 2016

What’s this for, anyway?