All posts from “August 2009”

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August 28, 2009

Pinched Paychecks

Survey: Pastors, church staff nationwide see slight pay declines.

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About half the nation’s full-time pastors report they received no salary increase in the past year, continuing a downturn in salaries among top leaders in churches, according to a new survey published by Christianity Today International. In fact, the extensive survey, publishing this fall in the 2010-2011 Compensation Handbook for Church Staff, shows a slight decline or stall in pay levels for the majority of every church employee surveyed this year.

The Compensation Handbook was developed to provide church leaders and employees with a current and reliable picture of compensation practices across a broad spectrum of American churches. It presents survey data from nearly 5,000 churches representing more than 10,000 staff members in 13 ministry positions, both full-time and part-time, ranging from pastors to childcare positions. The survey was conducted in February and March from subscribers of various Christianity Today International magazines, e-newsletters, and web channels, including Church Law & Tax Report, Church Finance Today, and Leadership, a journal for pastors and church leaders.

Among the findings:
• After a slight bump up in salaries in 2008, the new survey finds a small decline reported in 2009.

Continue reading Pinched Paychecks...

August 28, 2009

Reading the Fine Print

Tips and tactics to remember when it comes to contracts.

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The deal sounded good.

About 50 churches in the Washington, D.C., area leased interactive electronic kiosks for their entrance areas so that members and visitors could check on activities and news and register for classes and meetings. The selling point? Church leaders say the kiosks were presented to them as “cost-free,” with the chance for their churches to potentially earn revenue from advertisers interested in reaching church audiences.

But in April, a lawsuit filed against three commercial leasing firms, an online services firm, and an interfaith digital network services firm by the District of Columbia churches suggested the deal wasn’t a good one. The churches say they received lengthy—and costly—leases and faulty equipment, as well as fees and termination expenses. All told, the lawsuit estimates hundreds of thousands of dollars in combined losses for the churches.

Officials from at least two of the firms deny the allegations. News reports indicate that the companies must prove the charges and expenses were disclosed—in the “fine print”—even as the equipment was advertised as cost-free.

The situation underscores why it’s important for church leaders to review any contract before signing it. Legal experts concede that contracts and agreements can be tough to navigate, but necessary to do nonetheless.

“One insurance coverage contract I reviewed was over a thousand pages long,” says Frank Sommerville, a Christian attorney based in Houston. “There was a lot of complex language surrounding liability coverage and exclusions, and that could create a lot of potential issues for the church.”

Church leaders don’t want to find themselves on the wrong end of a deal. Details really do matter. For that reason, it may be especially important to secure an attorney’s help with reviewing larger contracts. In addition, these seven items are important to remember when it comes to reviewing purchasing and leasing deals:

Continue reading Reading the Fine Print...

August 28, 2009

High Tech, Low Budget

How one rural pastor uses technology without spending a lot.

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In ministry, one can define stewardship as “maximizing the impact of every dollar.” In this economy, this definition takes on even greater meaning. And as the pastor of a small rural church, I have experienced this reality firsthand. Yet, even with added financial difficulties, I cannot forget that the above definition still includes the word “impact.” Our spending, regardless the amount, must make a difference.

One area often caught between stewardship and impact is technology. In my church, I have found that a little bit of technology goes a long way. Yet, the cost presents a formidable challenge to our budget. Unwilling to forgo the impact, I have tried to find creative ways to add technology without adding the typical high costs. Though not profound, the result of my efforts is five effective ideas for becoming high tech on a low budget.

Continue reading High Tech, Low Budget...

August 28, 2009

The 2010 Wish-List

Five purchases churches might budget for this fall to buy next year.

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Despite the lingering effects of the current economic maelstrom, next year’s church budget will soon become reality, and the need to disperse funds will be here.

Since a church budget should be assembled and managed wisely, it helps to know where trends are headed and how they affect resource effectiveness. For example, spending money on digital signs in the lobby may be a better investment than upgrading the paper quality of the bulletin, since many people have become acclimated to information video displays in airports and shopping malls and often prefer to receive data digitally.

Technology trends, then, give at least a general course directive on how to allocate funds and, while not a panacea, provide a useful tool in the service of worship when appropriately applied.

Here, then, are five current developments your church may find helpful as it considers purchases and next year’s budget:

Continue reading The 2010 Wish-List...

August 28, 2009

What Computers and Phones Do Church Staff Need?

Answers to common questions about computers and phones.

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Editor’s Note: The author’s consulting firm doesn’t sell or distribute any hardware or software, or receive any compensation for referrals. The firm’s work for many years with hundreds of churches led to the recommendations outlined here.

Many people make one of two mistakes about church technology needs. Either they underestimate the need and look for the cheapest possible solution (which often costs more because it’s the wrong solution), or they overspend on technology and overcomplicate the system.

We’ll look at some common questions regarding two office technology tools—desktop and notebook computers and mobile devices (such as smart phones)—with the hope that church leaders can avoid these mistakes on two essential categories of purchases.

Outside of megachurches, churches rarely have the budget for Information Technology staff. Some larger churches can add part-time staff to help support the technology needs of pastors and office personnel, but outside of that, most churches are best served by simple system and hardware strategies that increase reliability, which means less need for support.

When hardware purchases are strategized, they can drastically reduce the need for support and improve team productivity. And that’s especially important given our missions to share the Gospel and disciple believers.

The answers to these questions can help with those strategies for buying hardware:

Continue reading What Computers and Phones Do Church Staff Need?...

August 28, 2009

4 Reasons NOT to Cut Conferences

Why these events are important for your staff.

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During tough economic times, many churches are looking at cutting all travel for training and events, but that may not be the wisest decision. Here’s why:

Care. The church is about people caring for people, so your most important resource is people! They need to be trained and equipped to not only care, but guard and protect. They need to know how to identify young leaders and raise them up. They need to develop an eye for gifting and calling as well as those on the margins. Investing in people is one of the best investments you can make.

Creativity. Conferences and events are a great way to infuse your staff with engaging, innovative ideas and energy. Many events offer workshops and practical advice on how to handle the challenges of economy as well as do big things on small budgets. In addition, conferences often provide a gold mine of best practices. Skipping out may cost you more in the long haul.

Communication. Conferences and events provide your staff with a common language. Staff members sometimes struggle to put into words what they want to see changed or developed in their church. When staff members attend events together, they develop a common vocabulary and shared experiences, which are critical ingredients for innovation, growing a team, and developing a healthy congregation.

Close proximity. More conferences and events are looking for regional options in 2009 and 2010. Like Passion a few years back, more events, including Catalyst, are looking at more regional, coastal, and one-day events. That means you may be within driving distance to an enriching event—saving time and money. Keep your eyes open for events and conferences in and near your area and encourage staff to attend. In addition, keep an eye out for conferences and events that offer online attendance options or let you purchase DVDs and CDs to share with your staff.

More than ever, now is a time to embrace best practices, innovative ideas, and the encouragement of gathering with others facing similar challenges in ministry.

August 28, 2009

Making Comparisons for Church Purchases

Eight tips your church can use when making purchases.

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As a consumer in the marketplace, a local church faces the inevitability of making purchasing choices. Ford or Chevy? Plain or peanut? A lot or a little?

Wise choices are made from informed methods of comparison shopping. Executive pastors and church administrators identified these key principles to help your church make the right decision every time.

Continue reading Making Comparisons for Church Purchases...

August 26, 2009

Matt Branaugh

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Matt Branaugh is director of editorial for Christianity Today International's church management publications and resources. His current duties include editing the Church Law & Tax Report and Church Finance Today newsletters, ChurchLawAndTax.com, and ManagingYourChurch.com, as well as leading an editorial team of four people. He also writes the Church Law & Tax Update, Church Finance Update, and Church Management Update e-newsletters, and the "Office Toolkit" column for Leadership Journal.

He is passionate about equipping and energizing church pastors, business administrators, and executive pastors with the principles and tools that help them more effectively serve. Beyond this, he actively serves in his local church.

Follow his updates on Twitter (@MattBranaugh), as well as his daily and real-time news feeds on church management and leadership matters through Scoop.it (http://www.scoop.it/t/church-management) and Paper.li (http://paper.li/MattBranaugh/church-management#).

August 26, 2009

Marian Liautaud

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Marian V. Liautaud is the editor for Church Management Resources at Christianity Today International. Her position includes serving as editor for a variety of books, publications, websites, and e-newsletters, including ChurchSafety.com, the annual Church & Clergy Tax Guide, Reducing the Risk: Keeping Your Ministry Safe from Child Sexual Abuse, and the biannual Compensation Handbook for Church Staff. She also edits GiftedForLeadership.com, a blog about women and ministry leadership, and special book and Bible projects.

Marian has edited dozens of books and written numerous articles. She is a member of the National Association of Church Business Administration.

August 26, 2009

Richard R. Hammar

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Richard Hammar is senior editor for Church Law & Tax Report, and Church Finance Today. He serves as legal counsel to the Assembly of God denomination. He is an attorney and CPA, specializing in legal and tax issues for churches and clergy. A graduate of Harvard Law School, he is the author of more than 100 books, including the annual Church & Clergy Tax Guide, the Compensation Handbook for Church Staff, and his landmark work, Reducing the Risk: Keeping Your Ministry Safe from Child Sexual Abuse. In 2009, Richard Hammar became a Registered Parliamentarian by successfully completing a qualifying examination administered by the National Association of Parliamentarians. He joins the ranks of 270 other Registered Parliamentarians in the United States.

Richard also serves as senior editor of Church Law & Tax Report and Church Finance Today newsletters, and he is a frequent speaker at legal and tax conferences.

August 25, 2009

Mike Batts

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Mike Batts is a CPA and the managing partner of Batts Morrison Wales & Lee, an accounting firm dedicated exclusively to serving nonprofit organizations across the United States. He is a member and former chairman of the board of ECFA, a national organization that accredits Christian organizations in the areas of financial integrity, accountability, and governance. Mike has more than 25 years of experience advising churches and other nonprofit organizations. He is an accomplished author and national speaker on matters related to the nonprofit sector. Mike is Chairman of the Commission on Accountability and Policy for Religious Organizations, a national commission formed by ECFA upon the request of U.S. Senator Charles Grassley to address tax and policy matters for the religious and broader nonprofit sector. Mike recently received the Hall of Fame Award from the National Association of Church Business Administration in recognition of his significant professional contributions to the church community.

August 25, 2009

Kevin Snider

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Kevin Snider has been an attorney since 1994. He has practiced primarily in the area of constitutional law and civil rights. He currently is chief counsel for the Pacific Justice Institute (PJI).

The PJI legal department that he heads has approximately 1,000 volunteer attorney affiliates who represent people of faith and religious organizations. In this capacity, he gives legal counsel to pastors and religious leaders on a daily basis on a variety of church issues.

He has taught church law to seminary students and is a frequent presenter at seminars on church law and religious liberties. He recently served on the legal experts panel of the Evangelical Council for Financial Accountability’s Commission on Accountability and Policy for Religious Organizations.

August 25, 2009

G. Daniel Miller

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G. Daniel (Danny) Miller is a partner in the Washington, D.C., office of Conner & Winters, LLP, a Tulsa, Oklahoma- based law firm, and is a member of the firm's employee benefits group. Danny graduated from Vanderbilt University in 1971 and received his law degree from the Vanderbilt University School of Law in 1974. He has been practicing in the employee benefits area since graduating from law school.

Danny served as adjunct professor at the Southern Methodist University School of Law, where for three years he taught a course on taxation of deferred compensation. He is a fellow of the American College of Employee Benefit Counsel and is a member and past director of the SouthWest Benefits Association.

Danny is also a past member of the Advisory Committee to the Commissioner of the IRS TE/GE Division and the IRS Mid-Atlantic Pension Liaison Group, and is also a member of the Employee Benefits Committee of the Tax Section of the American Bar Association.

August 25, 2009

Lisa Runquist

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Lisa Runquist has more than 30 years of experience as a transactional lawyer, both with nonprofit organizations and business organizations. She has working knowledge of franchise law, intellectual property law, employment law, tax law, and constitutional law (First Amendment). She was appointed by the Evangelical Council for Financial Accountability (ECFA) to serve on the legal experts panel for the Commission on Accountability and Policy for Religious Organizations. The commission has reviewed and expects to provide input to Congress on major accountability and policy issues affecting religious and other nonprofit organizations.

August 25, 2009

Lynn Buzzard

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Lynn Buzzard has had long-term engagement with lawyers, courts, and non-governmental organizations on global issues, including judicial independence, religious liberty, and refugee and asylum issues. His involvements over a 35-year span have included cases, conferences, teaching and advocacy in a wide range of contexts in countries including China, Russia, Mongolia, Armenia, Albania, Ecuador, Korea, and Georgia.

Before joining the Campbell University law faculty in 1985, he served for 15 years as the first executive director of the Christian Legal Society (CLS). He has been active in Advocates International, serving as chairman of the board overseeing a global network of lawyers addressing issues of judicial independence, peace-making, rule of law, and religious liberty through networks in Africa, Asia, Latin America, and Europe.

August 25, 2009

George R. Grange II

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George R. (Chip) Grange is co-founder of Gammon & Grange, P.C. For 35 years he has provided counsel to entrepreneurial ventures, businesses, nonprofit organizations, religious ministries, and churches. His primary areas of legal experience include providing specialized counsel and comprehensive general counsel services to entrepreneurial ventures, nonprofit organizations, religious ministries, churches, and closely held businesses.

Chip has served on the boards of the Christian Legal Society (CLS), Christian Leadership Alliance (CLA), and Evangelical Council for Financial Accountability (ECFA). In addition, he sits as legal counsel with the boards of a number of the firm’s nonprofit clients. He was also a founding board member of CEO Dialogues, Inc., a member of Phi Beta Kappa, and is listed in Who's Who of American Lawyers.

August 25, 2009

H. Robert Showers Jr.

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Robert Showers helped start Simms Showers LLP in 2002 as a principal partner and heads up the Northern Virginia/Washington, D.C., office. His practice focuses on civil and commercial litigation and church, nonprofit, and business law. He regularly handles numerous lawsuits for and against churches, nonprofits, and small businesses and advises them on corporate, risk management, tax exemption, liability, land-use, construction, and employment issues.

Prior to joining Simms Showers in 2002, Robert was a managing owner in Gammon & Grange for 13 years, heading up the Washington, D.C.,-area firm’s litigation department and practicing in similar areas of the law.

Robert has lectured extensively nationwide and written articles on church and nonprofit law, sexual misconduct, and child sexual exploitation.

August 25, 2009

Kevin Miller

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Kevin A. Miller is associate rector of Church of the Resurrection in Wheaton, Illinois. He is past Executive Vice President of Christianity Today where he provided leadership to the Church Law and Tax Group.

August 25, 2009

Dan Busby

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Dan Busby is the President of Evangelical Council for Financial Accountability (ECFA), an oversight and accreditation organization. A CPA, Mr. Busby founded a CPA firm, was the Controller of a major medical center, and CFO of a major religious denomination. Hundreds of thousands of his books and booklets on tax and finance issues have been used by church and other nonprofit leaders. Over 250 of his articles have appeared in various magazines and websites. He is a frequent speaker at national nonprofit conferences and has spoken in 37 states.

August 25, 2009

Ann Buwalda

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Ann Buwalda founded the law firm, Just Law International, PC, in March 1996, which focuses on immigration law practice and particularly asylum and refugee cases. She has also served as adjunct professor teaching Immigration Law at Regent University in 1996 and since 2002 annually teaches International Asylum/Refugee and Human Rights Law as an adjunct professor at Handong International Law School in Pohang, Korea. Other law school and university campuses at which she has been invited to address students and faculty include George Mason University, American University, Georgetown Law School, Campbell University Law School, John Hopkins, and Liberty University School of Law.

Ann became Director for Jubilee Campaign USA in 1991 when she launched the organization in the Washington, DC area. In October 2000, Ms. Buwalda served as one of the “public members” on the United States Delegation to the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE), Human Rights Dimension Implementation Review Meeting held in Warsaw, Poland. She prepared and delivered the Statement for the United States delegation on the topic, Freedom of Thought, Conscience, Religion or Belief. On several occasions Miss Buwalda has testified before sub-committees of the United States Congress and the Congressional Human Rights Caucus concerning human rights, religious freedom, and the plight of refugees in various countries.

August 25, 2009

Gregg Capin

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Gregg is a partner with CapinCrouse LLP, a CPA firm specializing in service to not-for-profit organizations through audit, tax, and advisory services. Gregg has over thirty years of experience managing accounting, audit, and advisory services for a wide range of not-for-profit organizations both nationally and internationally. Prior to joining the firm in 1979, he served for five years as the accounting and trust manager of the Great Commission Foundation of Campus Crusade for Christ. He holds a B.A. degree from Azusa Pacific University.

With extensive experience, Gregg frequently speaks on not-for-profit accounting and auditing, planned giving administration, exempt organization tax, and other topics at conferences and seminars. He has conducted training within the firm, for industry groups and conferences, and for the AICPA and State CPA Societies.

August 25, 2009

George Gatgounis

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Rev. Dr. George Joseph Gatgounis, a Harvard alumnus, holds four master degrees, and three earned academic doctoral degrees. He currently serves as Secretary-Treasurer of the Harvard Club of South Carolina, and is a member of the Harvard Faculty Club. He is a prolific author, with numerous forthcoming works ranging in subject matter including exegesis, theology, religion, history, law, politics, foreign policy, and even science fiction. He has published Calvin the Magistrate. His forthcoming works include The Puritan View of Substantive Biblical Law, International Law Afloat on a Sea of Religious Ethics, Governmental Integrity and the Future of American Democracy, The Robert Hussein Case and its Implications for American Foreign Policy, Exegesis and Sermonic Development, and Radbertus and Ratramnus. A licensed attorney and litigator since 1994, he is also a South Carolina Supreme Court certified mediator and arbitrator, and a TASA and nationally known expert witness in religion. He has formally served as a Harvard Chaplain, jail chaplain, and nursing home chaplain, and currently also serves as a minister in Charleston, S.C., and is available for legal representation, confidential consultation, as well as public debates, conferences, sermons, and speeches.

August 25, 2009

James E. Guinn

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In 1975 Mr. Guinn and Mr. Robert D. Smith organized Guinn, Smith & Company, Inc. The company has grown to a staff of approximately thirty. Since inception, Guinn, Smith & Company has primarily been involved with providing tax, auditing, and accounting services for religious organizations.

Mr. Guinn is intensely involved in the representation of various religious organizations before the Internal Revenue Service. He has consulted with the general public, ministers, and employees of religious organizations with regard to Internal Revenue Service requirements. Out of his experiences, he has written several reference books for non-profit organizations and numerous articles addressing problems the Internal Revenue Service encounters in carrying out its function of insuring compliance of exempt organizations.

August 25, 2009

Vonna Laue

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Vonna Laue joined Capin Crouse, a national auditing firm specializing in churches and nonprofits, in 1996. She is licensed as a California and Colorado CPA and is a member of the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants, the Society for Human Resource Management, and the National Association of Church Business Administration. She serves clients including churches, colleges, universities, seminaries, mission organizations, and other nonprofit ministries.

Vonna has served in a variety of board roles for nonprofit organizations. She has written articles in national church business administration publications. She coauthored Essential Guide to Church Finances. Her speaking experience includes annual church seminars, semi-annual QuickBooks discussion groups, as well as the national conferences of the former Christian Management Association and the National Association of Church Business Administration.

August 25, 2009

David Middlebrook

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David Middlebrook is licensed to practice law in Texas, Colorado, and the District of Columbia, and his practice emphasis is focused on representing tax-exempt organizations. His clients include all types of charitable, religious, and educational organizations. Many nonprofit organizations retain Mr. Middlebrook as general counsel; others use his services as special nonprofit corporate counsel. Mr. Middlebrook graduated with honors with a B.S. in Business Management in 1985 and earned his Juris Doctor in 1989 from Southern Methodist University.

Mr. Middlebrook is a registered Congressional lobbyist where he works on behalf of religious nonprofit organizations for the protection of religious liberties. Mr. Middlebrook has authored and published numerous articles on nonprofit topics. He is the author of The Guardian System, a comprehensive system for the prevention of child abuse within an organization, for which he was awarded a 2001 Evangelical Christian Publishers Association Gold Medallion book award in recognition of excellence in evangelical Christian literature. He co-authored Nonprofit Law for Religious Organizations: Essential Questions and Answers, which is a response to the need for guidance, direction, and clarification of legal and tax laws affecting churches and other religious organizations.

August 25, 2009

Midgett Parker

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Mr. Parker has provided legal counsel to business, church and developer clients in land acquisition, land use regulations, financing, construction contracts and dispute resolution in the construction process. His involvement for churches and other religious institutions includes legal representation through zoning and subdivision, permits and interaction with building inspectors, loan negotiation and refinancing, tax exemptions, arbitration of post construction claims and final acceptance of the new facility.

August 25, 2009

Judge Enoch Perry

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Judge Enoch Perry, III is a well-known litigator and negotiator both locally and nationally. For over 14 years, he as served as General Counsel of the Church Of God In Christ, Inc., having the legal oversight of its churches worldwide. He has conducted seminars and published reference books on the topics of church law, sexual misconduct and legal procedures. Judge Perry is an expert in church law while maintaining a private practice in Mitchellville, Maryland, where he specializes in non-profit organizations, family law and personal injury.

August 25, 2009

Ashley Moore

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Ashley serves as Assistant Editor for the Church Law and Tax Group at Christianity Today. She assists with the creation of eBooks, provides editorial support for Church Law & Tax Report and Church Finance Today as well as ChurchLawAndTax.com and contributes to the ManagingYourChurch blog.

August 25, 2009

Ken Sande

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Ken Sande is president of Peacemaker Ministries and is author of The Peacemaker, which has been translated into 11 languages. He also is an Editorial Advisor for Christianity Today International’s Church Management Team, which includes Your Church magazine and ChurchSafety.com. He is passionate about bringing the life-changing power of God's peacemaking principles into the lives of Christians and their churches. Ken has used biblical peacemaking principles to minister to parties in hundreds of conflicts ranging from simple personal disputes to complex church, corporate, and legal conflicts. He has written books, articles, and other resources on biblical conflict resolution and is in frequent demand as a conference speaker. He and his wife, Corlette, love to hike with their two teenagers in the mountains near their home in Billings, Montana.

August 25, 2009

Elaine L. Sommerville

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Elaine L. Sommerville is licensed as a certified public accountant by the State of Texas. She has worked in public accounting for the past 25 years, primarily focusing on tax compliance aspects of nonprofit organizations. Elaine currently devotes her time to handling various IRS issues for individuals and for exempt organizations of various types. She is currently the sole shareholder of the firm of Sommerville & Associates, P.C.

Elaine also has a passion for training individuals who work for and with nonprofit organizations. To this end, she is a regular speaker for the Christian Leadership Alliance, the Texas Society of CPAs, the National Association of Church Business Administrators, and she is an instructor for the American Institute for Certified Public Accountants (AICPA). She is a member of the AICPA, the Texas Society of CPAs, and the National Association of Church Business Administrators.

August 25, 2009

Frank Sommerville

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Frank Sommerville is a shareholder in the law firm of Weycer, Kaplan, Pulaski & Zuber, P.C. in Houston and Dallas, Texas. He received his Bachelor's degree in business from Texas Wesleyan University. He received his Masters in Professional Accounting with an emphasis on taxation from the University of Texas at Arlington. His law degree is from the University of Houston Law Center. He holds a license as a Certified Public Accountant. He is also Board Certified in Tax Law by the Texas Board of Legal Specialization. He is rated AV (highest possible) by Martindale-Hubbell Legal Directory.

Frank has presented seminars on nonprofit taxation since 1981. He regularly assists churches in preventing litigation, including those that originate with accusations of sexual misconduct. Due to his significant contributions to the church administration profession, he was inducted into the National Association for Church Business Administration Hall of Fame in 2003.

August 25, 2009

Veronica Abney

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Veronica Abney is the Church Administrator for Salem Baptist Church of Chicago, the second largest arena facility in Chicago and the fastest growing church in the Midwest. She is responsible for church management and the ministry budget. Her contributions to the ministry have been featured in Crain’s Business, Money, Marketing Review, and Christianity Today magazines.

Prior to serving in the ministry, Veronica worked with a number of major corporations in the areas of banking, retail, and information technology. She worked with IBM, American National Bank, Chicago Board of Trade, Chicago Research and Trading, Kraft Foods, Time/Life, Data General, and the City of Chicago.

August 25, 2009

Paul Clark

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Paul Clark has served as a pastor in the areas of administration and operations for 15 years, holding a BA from Moody Bible Institute and a MBA from Xavier University. His passion is management in the local church and supporting others in leading the church organization, which he has done through teaching at both the undergraduate and graduate level. He has taught for Alliance Theological Seminary and currently serves as an adjunct professor at Mount Vernon Nazarene University. He has presented workshops on church management at Cedarville University, Moody Bible Institute's Pastor's Conference, and the CLA and NACBA national conferences. He’s been published in Your Church, NACBA Ledger, and aLife magazines, and discusses church management issues on his blog, www.visionmeetsreality.org.

August 25, 2009

Lee Dean

Lee Dean is a former editor and writer for Christianity Today International’s resource websites BuildingChurchLeaders.com, PreachingToday.com, and SmallGroups.com. He has experience in local church leadership, including teaching, preaching, communications, worship planning, small group ministry, and service on governing boards. For over 30 years, Lee Dean has been a reporter, writer, and editor for daily newspapers, trade magazines, websites, and ghostwriting clients. He is a graduate of Cornerstone University and Grand Rapids Theological Seminary.

August 25, 2009

David Fletcher

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Dr. David Fletcher served for 26 years at a church in Dallas, Texas, and four years in a church in Austin before joining the leadership team of The Chapel in Akron, Ohio, where he currently serves as Executive Pastor. The Chapel is one of the 100 largest churches in the U.S. with a membership of more than 8,000 across two campuses.

Dr. Fletcher draws on his extensive experience as an executive pastor to run XPastor.org, a global ministry tool for leaders of churches of all sizes. The site began as a place to host Fletcher’s useful XP ministry tool, the XP-Indicator, along with articles based on his XP research. Traffic to the site increased steadily, as did the content available; XPastor.org now gets tens of thousands of visits monthly.

August 25, 2009

Brian Kluth

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Brian Kluth is a pastor, author, speaker, and media expert on church giving and biblical generosity. His bestselling GenerousLife.org 30 & 40 Day Bible devotional have been given out by more than 2000 churches to every family in their congregation to inspire greater generosity and increase giving. His free MAXIMUMgenerosity.org Church Giving eNewsletter goes to more than 20,000 pastors, leaders, and Christians in more than 150 countries.

August 25, 2009

Brian McAuliffe

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Brian McAuliffe joined the Willow Creek Community Church (WCCC) team as the Director of Finance and Self-Supporting Ministries in June of 2000. Within a year, his role expanded and he became the CFO. He became the Director of Operations in April of 2002. He oversees the financial/accounting functions; all operational functions and the production functions of WCCC as well as the self-supporting ministries; Seeds Bookstore, CARS Ministry, Harvest Food Ministry, and Camp Paradise.

Brian received his MBA from Syracuse University and his BA from the University of Notre Dame. Brian has over 25 years of management and financial management experience in four major business sectors; Fortune 500, private-for-profit, not-for-profit and government. Just prior to joining WCCC, he held the position of Executive Director of Transitional Living Services in Syracuse, NY.

August 25, 2009

Phill Martin

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Phill Martin joined the staff of National Association of Church Business Administration (NACBA) in 2000 as Director of Education. In 2006 he became the Deputy Chief Executive Officer of the Association. Phill has completed twenty-four years in various position of ministry in local churches.

Active in his faith community, he has served as an elected officer of the Cooperative Baptist Fellowship, having held its top elected position as Moderate of the governing board 2002-03. He previously served as an at large member of its Coordinating Council chairing the Communication and Marketing Ministry Group. In addition he has served on their Information System Task Force to develop technology strategies for the organization and chaired the local arrangement committee for the 1998 Houston General Assembly. For three years, Gloria and Phill served as member care counselors for mission personnel serving primarily in Eastern Europe.

August 25, 2009

Kent Morris

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Kent Morris delivers a bridge-building perspective to the technical arena. He is a live sound engineer for Paul Baloche, Tommy Walker, Kim Hill, and Israel Houghton and served as a senior pastor for a decade. Currently he is an audio/video system designer with Cornerstone Media, whose clients include Mt. Paran Church of God and In Touch Ministries. Kent is an editor and writer for several magazines including Worship Leader, Your Church, Church Production, Sound and Video Contractor, Live Sound, and Technologies for Worship. He has been a member of the Audio Engineering Society for over twenty years and teaches for AES as well as NAMM, NSCA, NAB, LDI, and NRB on worship technology issues. As an engineer and instructor for Integrity Media and Maranatha! Music since 1995, he has taught thousands of worship techs how to provide "Media Worthy of Worship."

August 25, 2009

Nick Nicholaou

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Nick Nicholaou is President of Ministry Business Services (MBS), a team of management consultants specializing in ministry management and operations. While he was in executive service for the auto manufacturing industry, he and his wife Grace sensed God's call to found MBS. Since 1986 Nick and his team have been serving ministries in consultative and hands-on roles in operations and administration. His specific areas of expertise include organizational management, crisis resolution, and strategic implementation of technology.

In 1996 MBS was honored by the Christian Leadership Alliance (CLA) for its role in assisting ministries nationwide. Then in 2002 CLA honored Nick with their Distinguished Service Award for excellence in serving ministries. Prior to that, Nick was honored as NACBA’s 1993 inductee into their Hall of Fame for his contribution to the field of church management.

August 25, 2009

Joy Skjegstad

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Joy Skjegstad, author of Winning Grants to Strengthen Your Ministry (Alban Institute 2007) and Starting a Nonprofit at Your Church (Alban Institute 2002), is a national speaker and consultant on nonprofit management and ministry development. She has more than 20 years of experience starting and growing nonprofit organizations, with a special focus on faith-based groups, and youth and community development. She has served as the Executive Director of the Park Avenue Foundation at Park Avenue United Methodist Church and is the founder of the Institute for Ministry Leaders, a university-based training program that builds the management capacity of churches and other ministry organizations. She also served as the President of Sanctuary Community Development Corporation and has held a variety of other leadership positions with nonprofits in the Minneapolis/St. Paul area.

August 25, 2009

Dave Travis

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Dave Travis is Managing Director of Leadership Network. In his current role he leads a team on all church-focused programs. He is a sought-after commentator on the issues facing American churches. Before taking his current leadership role in the organization he led numerous program areas within the organization. Prior to joining Leadership Network in 1995, Dave served as a regional denominational director outside Atlanta, Georgia. Further back in his past he was a staff pastor and consulting engineer. Dave is a management graduate of Georgia Tech and holds an MDiv from The Southern Baptist Theological Seminary. He has coauthored a book, Beyond the Box, with Bill Easum which was released in 2003 and Beyond Megachurch Myths with Scott Thumma released in 2007.

August 25, 2009

Bob Wild

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Bob served as the Director of Finance and Administration for two megachurches, Vineyard Christian Fellowship of North Phoenix and Christ's Church of the Valley, over the past 20 years. Bob also served on several boards including the local Phoenix NACBA chapter, CCV Youth Sports, the largest nonprofit youth sports program in Arizona, and the Boys and Girls Club in Austin Texas. Bob wrote and self published an instruction manual for church planters called Growing Your Church From The Ground Up: The Corporate Side. Bob has been published in Church Executive Magazine and more recently in Group Publishing professional edition for their children's magazine. In 2009, Bob joined the team at Brotherhood Mutual Insurance Company as the Senior Director of Strategic Alliances.

August 3, 2009

Marshall Shelley

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Marshall Shelley is editorial vice-president of Christianity Today International, and editor in chief of the Church Leadership Media Group, which includes Leadership journal, PreachingToday.com, Church Law & Tax Report, Church Finance Today, and ChurchLawToday.com He served as general editor of The Quest Study Bible, a best-selling edition of the New International Version, released in 1994.

Marshall is author of several books, including The Consumer Church: Can Evangelicals Win the World Without Losing Their Soul, (InterVarsity Press), which he co-authored with his father, church historian Bruce Shelley, and The Leadership Secrets of Billy Graham (Zondervan, 2006), which he co-authored with Harold Myra.