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IRS agents can pose as clergy to spy on churches
Charisma News
A New York Times front-page story shared that IRS rules allow that "an undercover employee or cooperating private individual may pose as an attorney, physician, clergyman or member of the news media." The New York Times also goes on to state that the IRS allows much more "latitude" than other federal agencies in gathering information. Rev. Patrick J. Mahoney, Director of the Christian Defense Coalition, states: "... American citizens must confront the fact that when they share their concerns with a member of the clergy, they may be talking to an IRS agent."
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ASSOCIATION NEWS
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TeleWeb: Tax and legal update — Affordable Care Act
The Church Network
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Looking to share your expertise?
MultiBriefs
In an effort to enhance the overall content of The Church Network NewsBrief, we'd like to include peer-written articles in future editions. As a member of The Church Network, your knowledge of the industry lends itself to unprecedented expertise. And we're hoping you'll share this expertise with your peers through well-written commentary. Because of the digital format, there's no word or graphical limit. Our group of talented editors can help with final edits. If you're interested in participating, please contact Ronnie Richard to discuss logistics.
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BUSINESS ADMINISTRATION
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Are you practicing Thanksgiving authentically?
By Mark MacDonald
We're just days away. Thanksgiving really does come before Christmas, although you wouldn't know from the jingly commercials on TV. Thanksgiving has sadly become little more than the official start of the holiday season, and that's a shame. We have so much to be thankful for. Our salvation, grace, mercy, family, friends — the list goes on and on. When it comes to authentic thankfulness, is your church practicing it correctly? The offering plate is under attack — What can churches do?
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Clergy housing allowance benefit safe — for now
Church Tax & Law
The Seventh Circuit Court of Appeals on Friday, Nov. 14, reversed a federal district court's 2013 decision deeming the clergy housing allowance as an unconstitutional preference for religion, preserving the most beneficial tax benefit clergy receive — for now. In the 2013 ruling, federal district court judge Barbara Crabb in Wisconsin struck down the ministerial housing allowance, rejecting the government's argument that the plaintiffs, the Freedom From Religion Foundation and two of its officers, lacked standing to challenge the housing allowance.
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A deeper look at church branding
Faith & Leadership
The notion of branding may seem profane to many in the church, but could there be something of value in this idea of church as a brand? Duke researcher Gavan Fitzsimons has found that brand identification can fulfill the same social and psychological needs that religion does, offering a sense of identity and community.
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7 common financial control problems
Managing Your Church
When it comes to maintaining financial integrity, churches of all sizes and settings often run into similar control issues. By addressing seven common problem areas now, leaders have a far greater chance of thwarting significant problems later.
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8 elements of a healthy small church
Church Tech Today
Every healthy church looks the same – no matter what size it is, what style of worship it utilizes or what denomination it does (or doesn't) belong to. The principles that make big churches healthy are the ones that make small churches healthy. And the same missteps can kill that health, too. But what exactly are those principles?
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CHURCH TRENDS
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1st 'International Day of the Bible' to launch Nov. 24
Christian Headlines
Bible ministry groups across the country are asking people to read or promote scripture publicly or online at noon on Nov. 24 in what's been dubbed the first International Day of the Bible. "This is a very simple act of faithfulness and honor to God about His word," Richard Glickstein, president of the National Bible Association, told The Christian Post. The day is being sponsored by the National Bible Association along with support from the American Bible Society and the YouVersion Bible app.
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You've met the 'nones.' Now meet the 'dones.'
Baptist News
Just as churches, seminaries and congregational consultants were wrapping their heads around the concept of "the nones" (those with no religion affiliation) in religious life, yet another term emerges for yet another category of Americans abandoning the church: "the dones." Sociologists, church historians and congregational coaches have realized for a while that another subset of Americans are answering "none" on surveys about religious affiliations: Those who have grown up in the church and remained active in adulthood — at least until getting tired of church life.
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Growth Opportunity... Muti-site vs. Multi-venue
HH Architects    Share   
Excitement of a growing church can quickly turn to frustration as growth constraints can limit the momentum curve leaving leadership teams with a difficult decision, how to best facilitate future growth: add more services, start/add a satellite campus, build bigger…MORE
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New York church hosting free, 'restaurant-style' Thanksgiving dinner; event to feed 1,000 people
The Christian Post
A New York church is gearing up for it's fifth annual Thanksgiving dinner, which is expected to feed 1,000 people. Pastor Reggie Stutzman of the Real Life Church in New York City, will lead 120 volunteers in hosting a restaurant-style Thanksgiving dinner in Hunts Point, Bronx next week. Guests will be treated to a "full turkey dinner" as well as musical entertainment. They will then be free to take home a variety of donated supplies, including used clothing and toiletries, and the event is entirely free.
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Why Christianity and the middle class are both in decline
Onfaith
The church is a bourgeois institution. And not just in our times — it's always been this way. From the very beginning, Christian communities were composed of urban dwellers of the middle class. Saint Paul's travels were focused on cities that had established synagogues and vibrant marketplaces. He engaged the intellectual establishment, praised those who patronized the early movement, and described his work in Rome as a fundraising trip for the poor church in Jerusalem.
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LEADERSHIP
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Good leaders must have many leadership tools
Faith & Leadership
Leadership is relationship-driven and relationships are unique and constantly in flux, requiring leaders to be flexible and fit their abilities to their situations and followers. Good leaders must have many leadership tools, have the ability to adapt to the situation at hand, and most importantly, have the relationship intelligence to understand people and lead in a way that optimizes their followers' potential. "Leadership tools" is admittedly an ambiguous term, but it essentially includes all the practical advice given in leadership books about how to organize people, run quick and efficient meetings, and execute the process of leading.
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Can a church be too big to fail?
The Washington Post
The designation "too big to fail" usually makes us think of large banks, propped up by taxpayer funds during the 2008 financial crisis. But the central questions it raises — when do we have a responsibility to save an institution? And who should be on the hook to save it? — apply beyond the finance industry.
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Tired of waiting? Go deeper
Faith & Leadership
Right now, one in 10 people are longing for a job, and a great many more are yearning for a job that they can truly pursue with their heart and soul. Look to your left; look to your right: You're likely to see someone who's waiting, been waiting a long time. The church has a season for helping people set aside distractions and get profoundly in touch with the powerlessness of waiting. It's called Advent. In Advent, God says to us, "Never mind the width. Your life isn't about quantity of activity or length of days. Let go of the width. Feel the depth." The answer to the agony of waiting isn't width. It's depth.
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JOB CENTER
See these jobs and more here.
Add your job opening here.


Finance Manager
Plano, Texas
St.Andrew UMC
This position will serve as the primary liaison between the finance office and other staff and church members. This person will handle all aspects of health benefits and payroll...

Director of Choirs
Gaithersburg, Maryland
Epworth United Methodist Church
This position will work closely with the Senior Pastor to develop and implement a vision for a comprehensive choral music ministry at Epworth that is consistent with the mission...

Director of Administration
Atlanta, Georgia
Unitarian Universalist Congregation of Atlanta
This position will provide senior leadership and management in the four main areas detailed below with principal emphasis on financial analysis, budgeting, planning and projections...

 



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