Organizing and planting a new church requires careful planning and implementation. Keep reading to find practical help on the legal and financial aspects of organizing. 

October 8, 2015 0 0 comments

None of the volunteers drew attention to themselves. So they didn’t get much attention. For this reason, churches need to be alerted. We agreed and gave it a name: Pastor and Ministry Appreciation. 

October 5, 2015 0 0 comments

Over the next few weeks, The Network wants to join with you in brainstorming simple and thoughtful ways to say “THANKS!” to the leaders in your church. 

October 5, 2015 0 2 comments

Our church is in transition and looking to re-establish what it means to be a committee that takes care of the Property and the Finances of the church. What ought this group do?

October 5, 2015 1 1 comments

Having some defined hours allows a pastor to plan and also allows people to plan. It is respectful of everyone’s need to plan. But exactly how many hours? This requires discernment. 

September 23, 2015 3 2 comments
Discussion Topic

In talking with churches in transition, we have found gaps in the typical ways that we gather church metrics. What new tools can we use to measure church growth, decline, and other changes?

September 22, 2015 0 3 comments
Discussion Topic

It's time for that uncomfortable conversation again: my compensation. I will be pointing to this question, “Is the level of financial support for the minister appropriate and sufficient?" 

September 21, 2015 0 6 comments
Discussion Topic

Many churches are wrestling with the changes that technology brings. One aspect of church life that may be impacted is office hours for Pastors. Has your church struggled to define office hours?

September 16, 2015 0 4 comments
Resource, Article

There's no doubt that church communications can be a difficult career. But as a church communicator, there are some ways you can be more effective in your job.

August 24, 2015 0 0 comments

Our church is beginning the transition to implementing background checks. We are running into several snags and would love the input and experience of others.

August 12, 2015 1 5 comments
Resource, Form or Template

The Church and Minister Profile Forms have been streamlined and are attached for quick download. 

June 22, 2015 0 0 comments
Resource, Article

Churches have a wealth of great content. It’s true. Yet so many churches struggle when it comes to finding the right things to post on social media, websites or other communications avenues.

June 16, 2015 0 0 comments
Discussion Topic

We often talk about bullying in schools and strategies to encourage decreased aggression for our children. But what about bullying in our everyday lives as adults in the church?

April 30, 2015 2 0 comments
Discussion Topic

When it comes to paying our congregational musicians, most churches are faced with a couple different scenarios. Has your church wrestled with this question?

April 29, 2015 0 2 comments
Resource, Book or Booklet

The 2015 Yearbooks are now available; look for pre-orders to be shipping soon!

April 15, 2015 0 2 comments
Resource, Policy or Guidelines

Easter weekend is over. You now have time to take a breath. It’s also important to spend some time as a team debriefing and reviewing how Easter went.

April 8, 2015 0 0 comments
Resource, Book or Booklet

Should you purposely try to fill the position from inside or should your purposely go outside your congregation? Does it really matter? There are advantages and disadvantages to both.

March 24, 2015 0 0 comments
Resource, Article

Easter may be one of the busiest times of the year for your church. It’s an opportunity to reach new people and invigorate those who are already a part of your community...

February 25, 2015 0 0 comments
Discussion Topic

This week the CRC launched a new experiment in crowdfunding. Is this the way we should do denominational publishing?

January 28, 2015 1 6 comments
Resource, Article

Talking to your congregation could be considered internal communications, while speaking to potential visitors and your community might be external.

January 23, 2015 0 0 comments
Resource, Policy or Guidelines

Churches are encouraged to use legal counsel for creating bylaws but this sample may be a great place to start.

January 20, 2015 0 0 comments
Resource, Policy or Guidelines

The Key Federal Tax Figures displays variables from previous fiscal years to the current fiscal year.

January 20, 2015 0 0 comments

Normally youth ministry staff are paid based on the hours they work planning youth activities. What are guidelines for compensation when they are with the youth 24 hrs per day?

January 14, 2015 0 1 comments

Our Bylaws are out of date and a mess.  Are there examples/samples, guides for CRCNA Bylaws (not articles of incorporation)?

January 12, 2015 0 1 comments
Resource, Article

Building and maintaining a good website is a struggle for many churches. Here are some of the most common roadblocks you can remove to give your website a better chance.

January 9, 2015 2 0 comments



If you look under Church Admin & Finance, Ministry Organization and look at the resources, you will find a sample mandate for an Administration Team.  The Finance Team is a subset of this team that meets when needed for budget and stewardship related matters. 

The Building and Grounds Team is also a subset of this team in this model and usually meets monthly, often working on projects for part or all of their scheduled time.  A member of the Administration Team serves on the Finance Team (a sample mandate also on the site under Finance resources) and a member serves on the Building and Grounds Team in addition to a member serving on the Personnel Team in this model. The Administration Team is a subset of Council so you have a council connect for both of your teams.

When it's pastor appreciation week, I look forward to encouraging not only the pastor but his family as well.  So often we forget about the sacrifices the family is making by allowing their dad/husband to serve us.  It's a great time to say thank you!

Thanks for this post Staci and drawing attention to recognizing and thanking those involved in various ministry capacities. This is an area that often gets overlooked in churches - or where there's maybe only one day when some recognition is given. ServiceLink has a document posted on their website with 10 Tips for Recognizing volunteers which provides ideas for showing thankfulness outside the giving of gifts. We have other ideas as well, but thought to share this one for now. I look forward to hearing other people's ideas.

Todd, it is definitely a thing. I finally remembered where it comes from. The letter of call.

"We also promise and oblige ourselves to review with you annually in the light of the synodical Ministers’  Compensation Guidelines the adequacy of this compensation prior to the adoption of the church budget."

Boom! ;)


Is it possible to divorce "health" from "paying the bills?" 

If you want to compare the health of churches and you only use Yearbook data, you will be greatly disappointed in the accuracy of the data to do such a comparison. It is pretty difficult to agree to new metrics which will be used and measured the very same for all the churches. 

A discussion of the health of churches will be beneficial. I hope that many will contribute.


Pastor Cecil,

Thank you for prescribing spiritual discernment regarding this issue.  It can be a tricky one!  For some reason, some people seem to equate office hours with the number of hours the pastor actually works, not realizing that often he/she does his/her best work away from the "office."  But I agree, balance is needed.  One thing I've done recently with council approval is to spend some of my "office hours" at the local Tim Horton's.  So, I spend most Tuesday afternoons there, so I call it "Timmy Tuesday."  I've found that more people (church and community) are willing to visit me at the local Timmy's than drop by the church "office."  I would encourage other pastors to try it!





Good advice! One of the distinct observations I made in transitioning from the parish ministry to chaplaincy was that I suddenly felt less stressed. In analyzing why, I observed that it probably related to suddenly having boundaries I had failed to create for myself in the parish. I suddenly had working hours and non-working hours (not to mention a more defined list of responsibilities). I had weekends that I was committed to preach or be on-call and weekends that I felt fairly free. I was struck by how much healthier this was. My advice to pastors since that time is to give yourself permission to communicate to your congregation (over and over, if necessary) that you have and need boundaries and schedules. Know that it is ok to focus on what you are good at and delegate other things that are not your forte. Commit to sermon prep time, visiting time, administrative time, etc. and time to be "off the clock" (Sabbath). You will be healthier, your work will be more focused, and your congregation will come to appreciate you as a well organized professional.

Larry -

As for your retirement pension.  Good advice to save more.  I certainly don't see the current CRC pension plan being sufficient in coming decades.  I would like to see us move away from a defined benefit pension towards a defined contribution pension system (Like the RCA) to encourage pastors to know more about our own (and our church's) financial matters.

May you continue to experience God's provision in this new phase of life.

As for the annual conversation about finances.  I've never had it with either of my congregations.  I didn't know it was a thing.  When needed I've broached the topic and we've discussed it well, but I think this would be a good thing to implement here.  If I had it to do over again, I would negotiate an annual cost of living increase as part of my call.  Something to the effect, "Ordinarily the pastor will receive an annual cost of living increase to his total salary (cash and housing).  When mutually agreed upon that annual increase may be suspended for up to one year or increased as God leads." 

That language helps when there is a significant turnover in council during a pastor's tenure.





Thanks for writing about this.  Being retired it does not affect me in the same way except to say that my 1600 /mo pension is considerably less than fellow Christian school teachers, RCA pastors,and the members of my church employed at Ibm, Savemart, and gov. Employees.




Should not local salary be based mostly on local cost of living?

My meeting went quite well, by the way. The expectations in my post reflect what I have often felt, but I was heard and understood in this meeting, and while some measures were below what I expected, others were above the classical average, and I was satisfied that we were at the right place. The important thing for me is that there was some communication, and the respect and understanding that comes from that communication. Also, when I wrote this post rather quickly, I did not specify that what the finance committee thinks is actually my fear or my past perception of what they think, which thankfully did not turn out to be the case... so, if there's a way to edit that, I would like to do that.

Thanks, Randy. Quite frankly, I am much relieved not to have that annual conversation any more. In my second to last year of pastoring full-time (and more?), there was no conversation, in fact. Rather the Chair of Finance made a an off-hand comment to me on the way out of another meeting that support staff would be getting a 1% raise, but the pastor none. Budget contributions were down at that point in the year, blah, blah, blah. I was so stunned I couldn't even think bad words.

So, come January when expenses were all paid, turned out there was a $20K (OK, it was Canadian $$) surplus. Whoops, too late to reconsider; the budget was already approved for that year.The $20K went to pay down the mortgage. (Btw, how and why a 30+ year-old congregation still had a large mortgage on its original building always escaped me and most folks simply didn't seem concerned, despite the interest charges accruing.) Not conducive to feeling good about Council. And they didn't get it when I brought up the issue civilly; uncivilly would have been worse, I'm sure.

The next year, a new Personnel and Finance Committee had taken over and a new climate was clearly evident. They were stunned, embarrassed when at "the meeting" I said there'd been no meeting the year before, no raise, no consideration of compensation guidelines. That was corrected and I thanked them.

Still, it makes for unpleasant memories plus temptations to cynicism. So, more power to you. You are NOT alone.

A great question! As a CRWM missionary currently on home service in the U.S. visiting 21 different churches across six states over the course of a short six months, we get a quick church-health snapshot of a lot of different congregations. In some places the decline is obvious and disheartening. In other places there are refreshing signs of renewal and growth.

Half of our work in Mexico is with Multiplication Network Ministries ( whose motto is "More Churches, Stronger Churches." This ministry, in fact, was founded by several members of the CRC and others (their global office is housed in Emmanuel CRC in Sauk Village, IL).

One of the tools we use in Mexico from this ministry is called "Take Your Church's Pulse." It is available in PDF format from the website and it can also be administered by means of an online survey. The heart of the tool is a questionnaire with seven questions in each of ten vital areas and ministries for every church (Vision, Leadership, Church Body Using Gifts, Resources, Context, Proclamation, Discipleship, Service, Fellowship and Worship). The point is not to "grade" a given church, but rather to promote healthy conversations about the church's life and ministry at this point in time.

Rev. Ben Meyer

CRWM Guadalajara, Mexico

The issue of how to work with a pastor regarding standardizing "office hours" at church is indeed complex. Because of the options provided by cell phones, and because of the nature of ministry frequently and appropriately being done away from the church office, it is indeed possible for a pastor to do honest, productive work while not being in the office at church.

Yet, as you suggest, there is something positive to be gained when "office hours" are posted and observed. Among the benefits is the "drop in ministry opportunities" that may occur, to say nothing of the community perception that someone is at the building, and the congregational experience of seeing their pastor function in a disciplined, accountable manner. 

In our CRC polity a pastor is accountable to the church council, and it is appropriate for the elders and the pastor to speak openly regarding a policy for office hours, and a format for accountability regarding this. Such a conversation can take into account the personal style of a given pastor, and the need or desire for flexibility of scheduling, yet it also can take into account the positive factors that are gained through what we can call "the public accountability demonstrated through a posted schedule".  

A pastor who resists such a conversation and such accountability risks alienation with those with whom he is serving. Elders who resist dealing with this matter risk allowing distrust within a congregation to fester. On the positive side, a ministry and pastor that make themselves physically present on a predictable schedule will open themselves to unknown and significant blessings. 

There are some basics here.

The pastor must divide his time three ways:

  1. Personal time. For those who are married: this will be a very important part of the family life. (Some pastors underestimate this role.)
  2. Prepare sermons, read, and study.
  3. Tend to congregational duties: visiting, pastoral care, and be part of congregational management.

Can these duties best be done by the pastor being regularly in his study in the church building...??

I could see advantages. Members would feel encouraged to come and see their pastors when needed.
But there are other equally valid possibilities. Just over a generation ago, most pastors had their study in the parsonage. I think it should be up to the pastors to make arrangements that would encourage parishioners to visit but that would also leave sufficient time for study and other personal  ministerial duties. Pastors may wish to have a study in the parsonage. That would be their choice. But when in  the church, parishioners should keep in mind that pastors don't have an office job. Many of their duties must be done in various settings. When they agree with the congregation that they will keep regular hours, those will be of necessity limited. Whatever pastors decide regarding the setting in which they can work best, they must keep one thing in mind: be accessible! The members should be able to reach them, if not directly then by leaving a message. With telephones now being sophisticated there should be no problems on this score. Congregations should remember that pastors need personal time: for reflection, sermon preparation, study, and a goodly part of pastoral work. In situations where pastors are urgently needed, there will be enough ingenuity among the elders and other leaders to locate him at short notice.

Thank you for the question. It is an appropriate one for this day and age where I find it easier - and more economical - to work from my home.  I would, however, like to suggest that we offer a parallel question: How many hours shall the pastor be in the study each week? And to that question, I think the answer has been and remains: "as long as it takes to prepare the sermons and lessons required each week." 

Any answer to this question has to be framed by the particular context of the congregation.  Here are four real life examples:

A rural church where the parsonage is across the parking lot of the church building and most of the congregation lives within 10 miles.  This pastor keeps a full schedule of office hours because it’s convenient, it’s a quieter space to study than an office in his home, and he serves as the “church secretary”.  He also wants to preserve a distinction between his home life and pastoral duties and prefers that his congregation meets him at the church office.  He does let the congregation know what days are his days off and asks that they be respected.

A small urban church where the pastor has a thirty minute commute to the church office and the congregation is widely dispersed throughout the urban area.  This pastor does not keep daily office hours, but does maintain a few days of the week when she spends most or part of the day at the office.  Cell phone and email keep the congregation and their pastor in 24/7 conversation.

A large urban church where the pastor lives within walking distance of the church building and the congregation is a lively mix of distance and proximity; some members live in the neighborhood and some commute 40 minutes.  This pastor tries to spend at least two full week days in the office so that folks can drop in, but also to interact with staff.  Those days vary because of other needs in the congregation and involvement in community activities.  If someone wants to meet with the pastor, he often suggests meeting at a place closer to where the congregation member lives or works than the church office.

Another urban church—the only CRC church in the city—where the pastor lives within a short commute of the church building but the majority of the congregation lives further away.  Again, this pastor has flexible office hours based on other demands on his time, but does hold himself to one consistent day a week to be in the office—the day he and church secretary pull together the liturgy and bulletin for the coming Sunday.   

There isn’t a one-size-fits-all answer to this question.  It’s a balance that needs to be worked out between the pastor, the elders, and other church staff.  Most pastors would also point out that their participation in and attendance at church events during the week often offer better times for those casual conversations.  Pastors who volunteer at the church’s food pantry, help serve the neighborhood dinner, attend the local high school football games, or read a story at the church’s daycare center are creating informal opportunities for interacting with congregational members that can build caring relationships without the need to be “in the office”.

Hi Kory,

Thanks for you good question! It's encouraging to me that background checks are becoming more important in the CRC. More and more people are asking about them. And it's encouraging to see good answers to your question and resources already posted. The number of recent requests about background checks has led Safe Church Ministry to (very soon) add a page to our website regarding it. We are currently waiting to have one part of that approved (one company is prepared to offer a discount to CRC affiliates and we want that to be a part of our webpage). Your local police can give you guidance regarding background checks. There are different levels of background checks, and different costs associated with them. Each church must weigh the risks and costs carefully, and then chose what will be the best for that context. And it's important to note that a background check should never stand alone as a screening procedure, it's only one part of a process that can also include an application, interview, and checking references. And good policies are also important to prevent abuse, protect children and vulnerable adults, and as Libby points out, also protect the church from potential litigation. There are companies that help organizations with background checks. The following have been successfully used by many CRC ministries in the U.S. and Canada. 

Screening One (U.S.) and My Back Check (Canada) are very reliable companies that work with all kinds of organizations; their primarily work is with employers, but they also can help with any background check needs.

Protect My Ministry (U.S. and Canada) is an organization that is geared toward helping congregations and ministries and provides background checks as well as other services.

Plan to Protect (Canada - expanding to U.S.) is another organization that is more comprehensive in nature and has a lot to offer organizations that serve children and youth and are concerned with safety.  


I'm not sure how to answer your question about undocumented people - I've heard that background checks are possible with only a name and birth date (however, a more comprehensive check may require more than that). There should be no exceptions to any policy - change the policy if you need to - but be sure to follow it.  I'll check into it and let you know.

Hi Kory -- do you mean the police will only do 3 per month, or that turn-around is 3 months?  If turn-around is 3-months, you could phase it in.  If the police will only do 3 per month, that is a different problem....and one that you may wish to discuss along the political route since it creates the irony of the police process being the impediment to background checks.  As for other organizations, have you looked into this:

All the best as you sort this out.  Feel free to contact me at ServiceLink if I can offer any assistance (

Thanks, Libby and Ken, for your input and the helpful resources. Our local police can do something like 3/month. Do either of you (or anyone else) have any other suggested organizations and specific costs?


Hi Kory.

Here is a link to a page on the ServiceLink site with some additional info on background checks, and there is a link to ScreeningOne, which processes online background checks in the US.

I would echo Libby's comment about emphasizing the integrity of the ministry and the doing a background check is a very small 'self sacrifice' toward our covenantal commitment to children and those with special needs.

There may be things you can do to accommodate and make it more convenient for people to go through the background check procedure.  The soccer association I coach with arranged for the local police dept. attend the coaches' registration day, ands the first phase of our background checks could happen there.  If there is a cost involved, you could consider covering or subsidizing that cost (typically under $50).

If you haven't done so already, contact your local police department and maybe one or two of the larger local minor sports organizations in your community.  While this may be new for you, there are others in your community who are likely already requiring these background checks, and they may be able to offer some helpful advice on how things work in your community and with your local police force.

And bravo to your congregation for taking this initiative.  It is not as intimidating as it first appears, and it demonstrates how much you value your ministry to children and those who are vulnerable.

This only addresses part of your post, but, in the case of people who refuse background checks, I recommend emphasizing how Safe Church policies protect volunteers as well as children. Background checks as well as policies protect adults from false accusations and litigation. 


Also, here is a one page resource on background checks that might be helpful to discuss with people. 

Mavis, I just started to looking at Salesforce in our church and appreciate your posts.  I did not install the NonProfit Package when I first signed up.  I don't know what version of the NonProfit you were talking about in this blog post, but Salesforce has come out with Version 3.  After looking at the it's household model, (your SPAM filters didn't let me put in a link)  I felt like it was the best option for us.   I tried to install the extra pack afterwards and ran into some big access issues.  I wasn't too far along in our process, so we just started over with fresh install of Salesfoce NonProfit Pack (one of the first options when you sign up).  I would really suggest that people do their homework on accounts before they sign up.  They can spare themselves some problems.  As you said, the non profit may not work best for everyone.  If you think it is best, it is smart to start with it rather than trying to convert to it later.

The article you link requires a subscription to read it. Could you summarize the conclusions of the article about how to weigh the decision of whether or not a church should purchase an AED?

Thank you.

Thanks so much for your explanation as how the "tools" criteria has been expanded within the Canadian context.

One thing that should be noted when considering the employee versus independent contractor for Canadian tax purposes is an expansion on the use of "tools". In many situations, where the individual has a particular set of skills that is not otherwise easily obtainable (doctors, lawyers and other such professionals being some of the prominent examples) this can lend a lot of weight toward the individual being considered and independent contractor. You might surmise that the same could be possible for musicians - I have yet to meet someone who picks up an instrument and is able to play it skillfully without having played any other instrument before.

While I would highly recommend you seek out a professional opinion before making any determination on your own (and I would note that in my post I am NOT providing an opinion on your situation) this is something to consider as being self-employed has many tax advantages even if there are some shortcomings.

Tough one to deal with, having to draw the line between what should be volunteer and what should be paid work. This difficulty extends to any worship director/coordinator that your church may have.

One thing I think I could agree on, but still probably not clear cut depending on who you talk to (what in life really is beyond the story of salvation?), is the provision of music and other such supplies (strings, sticks, etc) to the musicians and singers. These are items that are being used in the ministry of the church and comparable supplies are regularly provided to other ministries. Although, if you're regularly demanding gold-plated guitar strings, I think we might have an issue. :) (Maybe a stipend instead?)

I personally do not expect to be paid for the amount of time I put into learning my instrument because I want to volunteer my time and do something I love to do, but I know we all come from different life experiences so not all will agree. But I am only in a worship leader role and the actual service planning is completed by another individual so if I were doing both consistently I might feel differently. (I suppose if I was paid and considered self-employed I might also be able to claim some home office and auto expenses on my tax return and donate the money I made back to the church for a tax credit...)

If there are not enough/no musicians in the church and outside musicians need to be brought in, they should be offered compensation where the church can afford it - it is up to the individual offering their "services" to determine whether they want to volunteer their time or not. But it is not nice to see churches where there are capable musicians as part of the congregation and outside musicians are always being brought in.

One thing that paying inside musicians could do is make it awkward if you have to stop paying someone because they are not pulling their weight or do not pay someone at all because their skill level is not there (not that this should be the sole reason not to pay musicians, just a musing)

Sorry for all the competing thoughts I have going on in this comment. It makes sense in my head...

posted in: Paying the Piper?

Joyce, thanks for making the points that musicians have (almost always) had years of lessons and practice and have to put in time planning. And that they must purchase music on their own, which is very expensive. Many years ago in a previous church I would hear people argue that Sunday school teachers are not paid, so organists should also not expect compensation. That falls on deaf ears for those of us who have studied music and paid for lessons since childhood.

posted in: Paying the Piper?

Hi August, 

Thanks for the inquiry! I have passed along your question to Faith Alive Customer Service and they will be in touch shortly regarding this order. 


This strange letter appeared in our in box. Is this for the Yearbook??




Order Number: 9107012

Thank you for your recent order!  We thought you'd like to know that the
above-referenced order was shipped on 04/21/2015 via
Expedited Mail.

If you would like to follow the transit of your package, go to the website of
the carrier listed above and use this tracking number, if available:

Your order total came to $45.12 and we applied $0.00, leaving a
balance of $45.12.

If you have any questions or concerns regarding your order, please contact our
Customer Service department at or toll-free at
1-800-333-8300.  Please have your order number or customer number available.

Again, thank you for shopping with us. And be sure to visit the newly revised
website at to browse ministry resources, view samples,
and download the catalog.

In the passages from 1 Tim. it begins with the assumption or requirement that there be a desire to serve in these offices, it seems this is lacking in many cases.  Currently in our church we are struggling to come up with enough nominees to fill the slots, what does this say about a congregation?

I spoke with a veteran youth pastor in a large church in West Michigan. Currently he is full-time and salaried in his position and therefore receives no extra compensation for the annual week-long serve project or week-end youth events.  He does though get a few days off, out of the office, when he returns.

When he was employed as a part-time, hourly compensated youth coordinator this was a topic of discussion.  The negotiated decision was that he was paid for 12 hours each day for the time he was at a youth event or serve project with the youth. 

He and I agree that the key is to have these conversations upfront, even at the time of hiring, to avoid a possible issue or misunderstanding at the time of the event.  To have a policy in place, in writing, is for the benefit of both the church and the staff person.

Thank you for this post. It is helpful and timely!


August - We've been unable to find a crowdfunding system that accepts two currencies at once. If this experiment goes well, we'll keep searching. In the meantime, donations from Canadian members will be processed in such a way that they can receive a receipt that satisfies Revenue Canada requirements.

Exactly my point. How wide will this spread inside the CRCNA hierarchy/churches? Does each ministry/church start its own?

My guess is that the hymnal is more a pre-order system, and the story book is true crowd sourcing. Since CRC NA has officies in US and Canada I am assuming that there could be receipts done in both countries. However, the note mentioned that the charges are in US $ with the exchange provided for with the credit card. That is a good way of doing it since the credit card produces competitive rates.  However the tax receipt would be in US $$ which is a problem for Canada's tax system which operates in Canadian $$. For the CRC, donations from Canada are usually done in Canadian $$, with receipts so indicated, and the US organizations get the US $$ from it, depending on the exchange rate. 

Crowd sourcing for the CRC should actually have two sites, one for Canada and the other for US citizens.

The Canadian site should then have prices in Canadian $$ with the risk of exchange being with the CRC, not the individual making the donation.

August Guillaume

Here what I wrote when I first saw the announcement.


This is a novel idea. What safe guards are in place to prevent this idea from spreading throughout the denomination and or individual churches? Is there an element of risk involved to the churches' reputation? Are there legal issues involved or tax issues of Canada vs USA. I noticed receipts can be provided.

Thanks for checking it out, August. Crowdfunding is used for both product launches and for pure fundraising. Or even both at the same time, as we're doing with the God Loves Me storybooks. You can pre-order it, or just donate to the cause. It's exciting to see people doing both!

When I went to the site, it was an advertisement to purchase material to reserve a spot on the assembly line. This way the CRC can find out how much interest there is in a specific product before publishing. If one is not interested in purchasing a specific product, the looker is expected to exit the site. I hope it works for them, but don't call it crowdfunding!

Crowdfunding is to me something different. In crowdfunding the internet community is asked to fund a project, in return sometimes getting an interest in it or tickets should there be sufficient $$ returned. There are many crowdfunding sites that organizations can use.  For instance if the CRC needs a new building for publishing, crowdfunding could be used to raise the capital. 

August Guillaume



A sample bylaw is now posted under the Church Admin & Finance section.  


I would recommend Ministry Scheduler Pro by Rotunda Software.  It allows volunteers to submit their serving preferences, known "unavailable" dates, etc.  They can also request substitues for a particular date, and see other team members' contact info.  There's even an app for both Android and iPhones

The auto scheduler part of the software ensures volunteers aren't scheduled to be in 2 places at the same time.  

If you're working with a larger number of volunteers and many different ministries, MSP is the way to go!



Thanks for this informative article.

Church Law and Tax Report creates a list each year of the top 5 reasons that churches end up in court ( At the top of the list each year since 2010 is "Sexual Abuse of a Minor". We must not bury our heads in the sand and assume that it won't happen in our congregations. Having a safe church/abuse prevention policy in place, which includes background checks for staff and volunteers is an important step in protecting the children, youth, and vulnerable adults that have been entrusted to our care. It's also an important step in protecting our congregations from allegations, lawsuits, and financial ruin as well.

techsoup website allows churches to register for software donations in including quickbooks.  the admin fee for the donation is well under $100

you can also get microsoft office full versions and/or microsoft windows upgrades for small admin fees.

A position with this job description applies to a very, very large church. To put context to a job description like this you need to supply the context  (number of other employees this person is expected to work with). The average church in the CRCNA has only 225 members (1103/282500 source 2013 year book). A church that size would not have a function you outlined. But publishing these job descriptions is a good idea.

  " At the level of a council, there are a number of things which can be especially helpful:• View the pastor as a partner in ministry; with the elders, a shepherding team..."   This comment made above is particularly relevant.  However, the suggestions that followed this comment do not seem to follow from it, since they emphasize how the pastor is different, not how he partners.  The heavy reliance on the pastor, such as for preaching on christmas day for 25 years, for example, is caused mostly because of the inability of the partners to carry on the task.  In order to have true partnership, the elders should be able to be a true shepherding team, and carry on the task if the pastor has personal desires and obligations.  It is for this reason, as well as for enhancing the partnership, that pastors should be training the elders, and elders should be training each other.  While the primary role of the pastor is understood, and the function of primary caregiver is known, it should never be thought that others are unable or unwilling to carry out the tasks, roles and responsibilities.   This alone would relieve a great deal of stress and pressure from the pastor, and would encourage growth of the entire church.

This document refers to "written benevolence procedures," but they are not included in the post. Would it be possible to post those as well?


Noah Kruis, Administrative Coordinator
Creston Church

Thanks, Sheri, for this information!  In my role of supporting church staff members, I have a number of sample job descriptions that I would be happy to pass along to anyone who would like to see them.  I can be contacted at 

Jeanne Kallemeyn, Pastor-Church Relations, CRCNA

Thank you Sheri for these practical helps. They are exceptionally helpful. Administration is a spiritual gift (cf. the interesting Greek word "cybernesis," I Cor. 12:28) that often goes overlooked, but not by those who know that a good administrator can be the glue that holds a church's ministry together.



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