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Q&A
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Does anyone have any advice on a building use policy?

We have several community groups that use our church building, and they make a nominal donation to cover heat/light expenses. We have recently been contacted by a community resident, who would like to use our space in a "for profit" venture. I would be interested in any advice regarding the legal and tax implications of renting the building to this person. Any copies of building use policies would be appreciated.
Church Admin & Finance
Q&A
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Leadership Development Database Setup Ideas?

We as Administrative Elders have set a goal to develop future leaders in our congregation. We're currently finding out who has served in leadership roles in the past (leadership being elder, deacon, small group leader, other team/committee leader, etc, etc) and we're going to ask current ministry leaders and staff to suggest names of potential leaders. Then we'll plug all this into a database of some sort, and then we'll provide leadership opportunities for this group in the future. A couple of benefits of this are knowing what gifts/strengths are in our congregation, and when we have a new...
Church Admin & Finance
Q&A
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Volunteer Schedule Conflicts Ideas?

At our church, we have a lot of volunteers who serve in mulitple ministries. For example, one person might be on the Nursery list, they might be on the list to serve at after-church coffee time, and might also teach in one of the children's programs that meets during worship. Each of these ministries asks people to serve every 8-12 weeks, so we inevitably encounter schedule conflicts. Recently, someone suggested that we try to centralize and streamline our schedules to avoid scheduling conflicts. This sounds like a great idea! But also something that would take some time - and is just...
Church Admin & Finance
Q&A
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List of CRC pastors serving as US military chaplains?

I'm a church planter in an area with Army, Air Force, and Navy installations. Recently connected with a new couple that just moved here. They're not Reformed, but told me they had developed a relationship with a chaplain at their last post (Fort Hood) who they thought had attended CTS. This chaplain was re-assigned about the same time they were, and I believe is now in the Washington DC area. I am wondering if there's a way to find out which Army chaplains are affiliated with the CRC? Is there a list somewhere that I can look up? Someone I can contact in GR?
Church Admin & Finance
Q&A
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Is a pastor's retirement gift taxable?

Our pastor retired and the name of the church he founded was also retired. The year prior to his retirement, the budget committee designated a lump sum retirement gift to appreciate his 30 years of sacrifice for God and His church. Is this appreciation gift from the church taxable? That is, should it be included in his box1 of the W2? Reading various materials from the IRS, the main issue seems to revolve around the nature of the gift. Must we "prove" that the money was an "appreciation gift" and not compensative for services rendered?
Church Admin & Finance
Q&A
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Does anyone have a list of questions for an exit interview for departing members?

I am helping Second Byron CRC emerge from a period of controversy. The council believes it will profit from talking in depth to persons who are leaving the congregation for other churches, and would like to conduct exit interviews in order to find out more about areas of church life they need to improve on. The council would like its district elder and deacon do this interview, but would like to offer guidelines, a set of questions that would allow for a deeper conversation.
Church Admin & Finance
Q&A
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When do we count members for Ministry Shares?

I haven't found a clear articulation of the following on the CRCNA or Network website. When Synod approves the Ministry Share assessment in June 2011, is the assessment and/or related budget for 2012 based on the active professing members over 18 count as of August 31, 2010 - or August 31, 2011? Timeline: August 31 2010: Submission of Yearbook counts by local congregations January 1, 2011: Ministry Shares approved at Synod 2010 implemented September 2010 - May 2011: CRCNA Ministry agencies sets budgets and BOT arrives at a proposed Ministry Share assessment per active professing member over...
Church Admin & Finance
Q&A
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What are the necessary elements of a good church policy manual?

Our church is gathering together years of of old policy statements and council decisions in order to produce a policy manual that works. But we're working in a vacuum. We'd really like like to see the manuals some other churches have put together. Will you send me a copy of yours? Hard or electronic? And/or, can you share with this list some good insights you may have about such policy manuals? Thanks
Church Admin & Finance
Q&A
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Where can I find a sample policy regarding ministry standards and expectations for volunteers?

I am looking for a good sample policy for church volunteers that will set lifestyle and behavioral standards for our church ministries. Some things that I would want to include would be: membership in the church and active involvement in worship, moral standards, commitment to healthy communication, agreement to background checks, etc. Does anyone have a good sample policy listing the standards and expectations for ministry volunteers? Many thanks in advance.
Church Admin & Finance
Q&A
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Are returning office bearers required to sign the Form of Subscription again?

The Supplement to the Church Order for Article 5 re signing of the Form of Subscription states that is " To be signed by professors, ministers, ministry associates, elders, and deacons when ordained and/or installed in office ". (emphasis added) As I understand it, office bearers are ordained/installed when elected to serve second and third (and more) terms. Is it then required that returning office bearers sign the form multiple times?
Church Admin & Finance
Q&A
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What are the guidelines for establishing minimum pass vote percentages?

In our Council, we're looking at establishing minimum pass vote percentages for various issues. One that has caused some discussion is the vote by the congregationn on office bearers. Currently, Council prepares a list of candidates to present to the congregation. The congregation then votes on these names. In the case where the number of names approved by the congregation is more than the number of vacancies, the vacancies are filled by lot from the names approved. currently the required pass is 50%+1. However, it was brought up that perhaps this is too low. At 50%+1, is this enough...
Church Admin & Finance
Q&A
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What sample forms are available that outline the CRC stance on refusing to perform same-sex marriages?

I am interested in sample forms to include in our church's constitution that outline our stand and refusal to perform same sex marriages. I have searched several resources and have not been able to find any such sample form. Is it neccesary to involve a lawyer to draw this up to have it included in our constitution? Can anyone help me with this? Henk
Church Admin & Finance
Q&A
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How does a Canadian congregation get a license or permission to show videos and DVDs in church?

Are other Canadian CRC congregations and maybe also Canadian churches of other denominations facing the same issues as our congregation with regard to getting licence/permission to show DVDs or videos in church? Most DVDs or videos that we purchase at stores are sold for viewing by an “at home” audience of a few people. If you were to purchase the same item for viewing by large audiences, it would probably cost ten times as much because of the royalty paid to the copyright owner. It is possible for organizations or groups to make arrangements with the copyright owners for a royalty to be paid...
Church Admin & Finance
Q&A
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What guidelines or lock down procedures should a church follow when there's a threat of violence?

Does anyone have a "lock down" procedure in place for their church to use in case of a threat of violence? We do not have an intercom system but we do have a Bell/Buzzer that is audible throughout the building and located inside the office we plan to use as both a warning signal and an all clear signal depending on the number and length of rings. During our weekday programs there is always someone in the office who could signal the lock down, but what do you do on Sunday morning when all the adults are in the sanctuary?
Church Admin & Finance
Q&A
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What resources are available to churches for performing staff evaluations?

We're in the process of setting up evaluations of our staff in the New Year. I'm looking for resources that would help us with effectively evaluating our Pastor, Youth Director, Secretary and Custodian. I've reviewed a resource I received a few months ago ("Evaluation Essentials for Congregational Leaders"), but I found it simply expressed the importance of the evaluation, but gave no concrete approach or steps to performing one. Where can I find this?
Church Admin & Finance
Q&A
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4 comments

Church Governance Structure: Is there a better way within our polity to make a Consistory and Council more effective?

Have you at all become frustrated with the traditional model of church governance and are wondering if there is a better way within our polity to make a Consistory and Council more effective? With many churches going to a staff driven model, others hanging on to the past model of elder driven care and decision-making and plenty of combinations in between it is becoming harder and harder to decide what is most effective. We are in the midst of thinking about what will work best for our church - a church of about 1000 and healthy in many ways but desirous of releasing people into ministry and...
Church Admin & Finance

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