church office


Developing an emergency operations plan for your church


The recent shooting at First Baptist Church of Sutherland Springs reminded us again that even sacred spaces can be unsafe. We should also be reminded that congregations of all sizes and locations should take steps to address the possibility that unimaginable violence could happen. So how can we “expect the unexpected?”

Create an emergency operations plan (EOP) designed especially for your church. While sample plans may help identify the scope of your plan, your church is unique in its location, buildings, schedule, activities,... [continue]

What the new overtime regulation means for your church-Updated 11/29/16


The new salary requirement for an exemption to the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) rules for overtime pay will not take effect December 1.

On November 22, a federal judge from Sherman, TX, issued an injunction halting the enforcement of a change to the "salary test" for an exemption to the FLSA rules for overtime pay. Currently, in order to satisfy the salary test a "white collar" employee must make $455 a week ($23,660 annually). That amount was set to increase to $913 a week ($47,476 annually) beginning December... [continue]

What the new overtime regulation means for your church


On May 17, 2016*, the Obama administration announced that it will increase the salary threshold for determining if an employee is eligible for overtime pay to $47,476.00 annually. This is an increase from the current threshold of $23,660.00 and this new regulation goes into effect on December 1 of this year.

This new regulation doesn’t change the duties tests for the various current overtime exemptions (such as administrative, executive, professional), but it does significantly raise the pay threshold and the pay threshold must be... [continue]

Ministers, church employees invited to participate in 2016 SBC Church Compensation Survey


DALLAS — GuideStone Financial Resources, along with LifeWay Research and Baptist state conventions, have opened the biennial SBC Church Compensation Survey for 2016. Ministers and church employees are invited to participate in the survey, a resource used by churches of all sizes to determine fair wages and benefits. Survey participants will have the opportunity to enter for a chance to win an iPad®. The survey and complete contest rules are available at GuideStone.org/CompensationSurvey.

The... [continue]

Sufficient unto the day


In college, my Greek professor had a standard answer when worried students started asking about the next exam. With a wry smile, he repeated, "Sufficient unto the day is the evil thereof." In other words, don't worry about that yet. (Or as some of us learned to interpret it, today was to be enjoyed because exam day would be a terrible day of judgment … ). Yes, it's biblical. See Matthew 6:34 in your KJV.

Just as students may worry over an upcoming exam, our uncertain world may cause infectious fear and worry within our churches. Severe weather, violence on... [continue]

How the Affordable Care Act affects your church


As a convention, we seek to help meet the needs of our churches. As a church, you, in turn, seek to help meet the needs of your pastor and other ministry staff. One of the ways many of you care for them is through reimbursement for the premiums of health insurance policies. However, due to recent changes in government regulations through the Affordable Care Act (ACA), this may no longer be possible beginning July 1, 2015.

If you allow this practice, called Premium Reimbursement Plans, to continue after June 30, your church could be... [continue]

Child abuse is everyone's business


Country singer Kacey Musgraves' single, "Biscuits," is gaining popularity. The message of the song can be summed up in the line that advises, "Mind your own biscuits and life will be gravy." It's a catchy and clever restatement of the familiar idiom, "mind your own business."

In today's society, we've heard so many variations of this phrase that many people behave as though nothing that goes on in other people's lives is anyone else's business. When it comes to child abuse and neglect, the adage simply doesn't apply. Christians should be at the... [continue]

Legislature says “I Do” to Pastor Protection Act


On June 11, Gov. Greg Abbott signed the so-called Pastor Protection Act that protects religious organizations and their employees from performing or participating in marriages that conflict with "sincerely held religious beliefs." The Christian Life Commission and its director of public policy, Kathryn Freeman, worked with faith leaders throughout Texas during the 2015 legislative session to get this bill passed.

The law will be added to Section 1, Chapter 2 of the Texas Family Code and will take effect Sept.1, 2015. The bill is timely... [continue]

Summer symbiosis: A guide to ministry internships


Summer is upon us. As I write this in mid-March, I'm interviewing candidates for a handful of internships within the Convention's communications department. While it takes time and energy to establish a perennial program, the payoff both for our department and the interns themselves is well worth the effort. Interns bring boundless life, energy and awareness to our team, they tackle projects in new and creative ways, and while they collect only modest compensation, the experience, school credit and resume bolstering they receive can be... [continue]