A funny thing happened to me last week.  I went to a meeting.  I didn’t log into a meeting.  I went there.  I put on long pants (not my favorite part), drove to the church, small talked then got to the purpose of our time together.  An hour later I was back in my car […]

Church Finance, Church Leadership, Endowments, Stewardship

July 24, 2020

Getting Back to Normal-ish

The Board of Directors at the Foundation has spent the last year in a strategic planning process.  We are a much different organization than when I got here seven years ago and we were trying to get a handle on what exactly our role should be. My elevator speech has always been that the Foundation […]

Accountability, Church Finance, Church Leadership, Endowments, Stewardship

December 1, 2014

Rethinking our purpose

I had a great consultation last week with a pastor who had an interesting dilemma, one that many wish they were in.  The church was about to receive a significant bequest from a member and he was looking for some guidance before meeting with the family to discuss its best use in ministry. I, of […]

Church Finance, Church Leadership, Endowments, Stewardship

December 9, 2013

Investing Found Money

I was recently part of a discussion about gifts of life insurance to the church and whether or not I like them. (I know, you’re amazed at how exciting my life is, aren’t you?) Given the question “Is life insurance a good gift to give the church?” My answer is a definitive maybe. It depends […]

Church Finance, Endowments, Stewardship

October 11, 2013

Insuring the Future

Yesterday my wife Chris wrapped up her participation in the Susan G. Komen 3-Day for the Cure.  From early Friday morning until yesterday afternoon she and about 1,000 others walked 60 miles around western Cuyahoga County. Many of you are familiar with the Susan G. Komen Race for the Cure, a 5k (3.1 mile) walk […]

Church Finance, Church Leadership, Endowments, Stewardship

August 1, 2011

Lessons From a 3-Day Walk

Last week I heard a business guru give his tool to assess the success of small businesses given the difficult economy the last few years. “If you’re still open, you’re a success.”  But then he admonished them to get out of survival mode and plan for the future. I think that’s where we are with […]

Church Finance, Church Leadership, Endowments, Stewardship

May 9, 2011

Realigning to normal

It has become a key phrase in our society:  “You can’t be too safe.”  This notion when it comes to raising children prompted Lenore Skenazy to write Free Range Kids, a book and now a blog.  In it, she reminds us that kids need to go out and play and have fun.  If they end […]

Church Finance, Church Leadership, Endowments, Stewardship

May 2, 2011

You can’t be too safe

Last week’s stock market fluctuations aside, the economy seems to be on the upswing.  Economists point to statistics like orders for durable goods and slowly easing unemployment rates as their proof. I knew it was better in late December by the mail we didn’t receive. At the Foundation we have investments from about 160 local churches […]

Church Finance, Endowments, Stewardship

March 14, 2011

Did you have a bumper?

I had planned to take most of Advent off from writing this blog, but since I have all of my shopping done I thought I’d update you on the recent tax changes signed by the President. I think the biggest Christmas gift we were given was an extension of the IRA Rollover. For most people […]

Church Finance, Church Leadership, Endowments, Stewardship

December 20, 2010

Tax law update

I’ve had many requests for copies of the information I presented at Annual Conference last week.  Below is my report in its entirety.  Take what is helpful and leave the rest. They say it’s good to summarize at the beginning of the presentation.  So here’s my summary.  This is the fourth consecutive day you have […]

Church Finance, Endowments, Stewardship

June 21, 2010

My Annual Conference Thoughts