HELP SOUGHT TO COMPLETE COMPENSATION STUDY

GuideStone News Office

160201Compensation-SurveyDALLAS — GuideStone Financial Resources, along with LifeWay Research and Baptist state conventions, including the Tennessee Baptist Convention, has opened the biennial SBC Church Compensation Survey in 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 survey’s results will be made available in the early fall, in time for many churches considering their 2017 budgets. The survey is the largest free church compensation study conducted in the United States. The most recent survey results, conducted in 2014, have been visited almost 55,000 times.

“GuideStone works tirelessly to be an advocate for pastors and church staff, ensuring that they are compensated fairly,” said O.S. Hawkins, president of GuideStone Financial Resources.

“The surveys can help churches benchmark their own salary and benefits packages against churches of like size within Southern Baptist life,” he added.

Gary Rickman, ministry coordinator for the TBC, observed that the study can be invaluable for churches as they consider compensation packages for pastors and other staff members.

For the survey to be most effective, however, churches of all sizes need to complete the survey, he urged.

“If churches will spend just a little time to complete this survey, they will have a valuable resource to use when it comes time to determine their own compensation packages,” Rickman said.

Contact GuideStone Financial Resources with any questions or issues. Call toll-free at 1-888-984-8433 Monday–Friday between 7 a.m. and 6 p.m. CST to speak with a customer relations specialist.

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IMB: MORE QUESTIONS THAN ANSWERS

By Lonnie Wilkey
Editor, Baptist and Reflector

Lonnie Wilkey

Lonnie Wilkey

Earlier this year when the Southern Baptist International Mission Board announced that it needed to eliminate 600-800 positions, Southern Baptists were saddened and shocked.

IMB leaders have allowed the idea to propagate among Southern Baptists that there is a financial shortfall. The cutbacks did not occur because Southern Baptists didn’t give. Cooperative Program giving on the national level has increased in small increments over the past few years and the IMB gets the largest percentage of that offering. Just three years ago (2013), Southern Baptists gave more than $154 million to the Lottie Moon Christmas Offering, a record amount. Gifts topped $153 million the following year. In addition, the TBC began moving in 2011 toward a 50-50 distribution of wealth for Cooperative Program funds. This is resulting in hundreds of thousands of more dollars being funneled out of Tennessee and through the SBC for Great Commission causes. When the cutbacks were announced IMB leaders acknowledged that they had overspent millions of dollars over the past few years. Throwing more money at something won’t help it until the main problem of managing its money is corrected. [Read more…]

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FOCUS ON LONG-TERM MARKET GOALS

By Roy Hayhurst
GuideStone Financial Resources News Office

Photo -Richard Drew/AP, Creative Commons

Photo -Richard Drew/AP, Creative Commons

DALLAS — After a volatile start to the first week of trading in the 2016 calendar year, some investors are understandably concerned about their portfolios, but long-term investors should continue to consider their objectives and time horizons.

David S. Spika, global investment strategist at GuideStone Capital Management, LLC, offered perspective on the cur-rent market, noting 2016 likely will be a volatile year. Last year, after a bout of volatility, Spika was featured in a commentary posted on GuideStone’s website (GuideStone.org/VolatilityVideo), explaining the nature of the stock price swings at the time, as well as offering perspective on the market. In reflecting on the current market news, he said the volatility experienced in the second half of 2015 will likely persist for the foreseeable future and is not abnormal in the later stages of an economic cycle such as today’s. [Read more…]

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TAKE A LOOK AT YEAR-END TAX OPTIONS

By Chris Kelly
Exec. VP/General Counsel, Tennessee Baptist Foundation

Chris Kelly

Chris Kelly

At this time of year, you are probably consumed with visions of sugar plums or trying to find a bath robe suitable for a shepherd in this year’s Christmas play, but in just a couple short weeks, year 2015 will be in the books and so will the opportunity to make tax deductible gifts for this year. Though it’s definitely more fun to enjoy all that the Christmas season brings, it is worth taking a few minutes between bites of fruitcake to consider the following ideas for your year-end contributions to your church, association, or other Baptist cause.

(1) Consider a special offering to your church. It is the time of year for giving. What better organization to include on your list than your church? There may be a specially-designated fund at your church that could use a little extra this time of year, and if not, there is always the Lottie Moon Christmas Offering. It is a great way to honor the local work of your church in making a Kingdom impact. [Read more…]

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Pastor’s Insurance May Be Taxable Income

By Richard Skidmore
Financial Support Specialist, TBC

Richard Skidmore

Richard Skidmore

It is quite possible that beginning this past January your pastor or other church staff member began being taxed on their health insurance premium.

It will be the church’s responsibility to report the amount of the premium as taxable income as part of the salary paid to this person.

How can the Affordable Care Act that had as its centerpiece making health insurance more accessible and more affordable have this result? That is a question that seems hard to fathom but it’s a reality churches and ministers must face. [Read more…]

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