Article Resources


Leading from the Second Chair – a perspective on depression inside the church

I was a young 20-something, eager to get ahead, and interviewing for a promotion to project manager.  My boss at the time gave me this little bit of wisdom as she described the role, “You’ll have all the responsibility but none of the authority.” This sentiment does well to describe the roles of church administrator, treasurer, and executive pastor...

Governance Best Practices

Governance is an operating system that guides nonprofit executives in following care, loyalty, and obedience to their organization. The system provides the equilibrium between the board members’ power and their duty of protecting and advancing the organization’s exempt purpose. Whether your church has a board of trustees, directors, elders, or deacons, your organization was created with a board of individuals that are charged with a fiduciary responsibility to protect the mission and vision of the church. 

Who Owns A Congregation

When I ask members of a governing board about their job, someone (frequently a lawyer or a banker) often uses an obscure word that speaks rather deeply to the nature of the board’s role: “The board is a fiduciary.” And what might a fiduciary be? Many people connect this word exclusively with money, but the concept is actually much broader. A fiduciary (in Latin, fiduciarius, “trust,” from fides, “faith”) is anyone whose duty is to act in faithfulness to the interest of another, even at cost or peril to himself.

Different Does Not Equal Wrong

Examples of the benefits of right and wrong permeate our lives. Our legal system, governing laws, and our moral and social mores provide the structure that keeps our society working. There are many disciplines that require precise concepts of right and wrong, i.e., math, computer science, medicine, architecture, engineering, etc. I challenge you, however, to think about this concept— different does not equal wrong.

Is "Marketing"A Dirty Word in Your Church?

Well, it sure seemed to be at my church at a recent church council meeting I sat in on. For a number of years, like many main-line churches, our attendance, membership, and giving have been slowly and steadily declining. People have been worried for some time, but things are now getting more serious. Last year the number of member deaths outnumbered new members 5:1. Several long-time members and good givers have gone to nursing homes or moved away to be closer to children.

Increasing Generosity in Your Church

Recently, NCS Services surveyed more than 8,000 churches regarding their current stewardship needs.  There was an overwhelming response that increasing the generosity of the individuals in their congregation was by far the most important.  You will not believe how simple it can be to accomplish! If you have ever attended workshops for personal or professional improvement, you have probably left with at least one key idea to execute...

How To Create a Realistic Budget and Define Intrinsic Ministry Values 

In a world of finite resources, individuals and organizations tend to use an annual budget to ensure that resources are allocated appropriately and spent wisely. The annual budget is a helpful tool that allows a church or ministry to look strategically ahead at the upcoming year and plan, based on specific ministry “ROIs,” where it will invest its time and budget dollars to achieve projected outcomes.  Because a church has finite resources, it is necessary to monitor and adhere to the operating budget closely.

Clear the Clutter for Christ:  12 Steps to Honor what God Provides

Research shows that 80% of what we keep in our homes, we never use. Furthermore, the more we keep, the less we use – either because we do not remember we have it, or we cannot find it. The same can be said for our church home.  Church offices, storage closets, and classrooms are often filled with unused items left by previous staff, teachers, and volunteers.  Clutter is postponed decisions.

Bridging the Staff Team Divide

We are one team! Except, the administrative team often feels like a lesser partner in ministry. We do our best to honor and incorporate all voices in communication and decision-making, but somehow the administrative members of the team feel undervalued and marginalized.  Are we doing something wrong, or is this just the nature of staff team life in congregations? Ministry is our reason for being. The ministry of the congregation is orchestrated by our program staff.


The Local Church is the Hope of the World – And Must Lead in Every Community’s Shift Away from Misconduct

Much has been written about the #ChurchToo ‘movement’ emanating out of the broader community and the #MeToo tsunami. Taking into account the associated organizational risks, we would like to carefully parse the terminology of ‘misconduct’ and address the role of the Church at the center of this reform, a transformation that is so raw and yet so necessary if we are to see the church once again become a source of strength and morality in the public square.