Surprising Truths About Church Salaries and Budgets

Surprising Truths About Church Salaries and Budgets

How much do church staff really earn? This is a question Christians have wondered at one point or another but have been too shy to ask.

A recent study released by Leadership Network and Vanderbloemen Search Group showed surprising results about church staff salaries and budgets, according to Dr. Thom Rainer, president and CEO of LifeWay Christian Resources of the Southern Baptist Convention, in an article he wrote on his website.

“As I read the study, I looked for surprises or changes in patterns from what I have been seeing in recent years. And though the data I’ve collected in the past may not compare perfectly with the research of this latest study, the contrasts are, at the very least, instructional and interesting,” he said.

First, growing churches pay their pastors and staff slightly less than declining churches. “At first glance, this information seems surprising. But growing churches often reach new Christians who have not established healthy giving patterns. Other growing churches may be more likely to reach younger families with lower incomes,” he said.

Another surprising fact is that only 2 percent of the churches’ budgets are funded outside congregational giving. These funds come from schools that are in the church’s building or from investments and endowments. Rainer said these sources of income are very small compared to congregational giving.

Source : ChristianToday

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CHURCH – LAS LAJAS SANCTUARY, COLOMBIA

If it hadn’t been for Rosa, a deaf mute, and her mother, who in 1754 saw the Virgin Mary in a rock formation during a storm here, this would probably still be a cliff. The inspiration for the church was not fast moving, as it wasn’t completed until 1949, about 200 years after the vision.

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Verse of the day – 6 Sep, 2016

Verse of the day

For we do not preach ourselves, but Jesus Christ as Lord, and ourselves as your servants for Jesus’ sake.
—2 Corinthians 4:5

Thoughts on Today’s Verse…
Our message is not ourselves. Jesus is Lord. One day all of creation will acknowledge and praise him. But for the people around us to praise Jesus today, they need to see him alive in us. We serve others in Jesus’ name. We are his body — his hands of compassion, his heart of mercy, and his voice of tenderness. So let’s lift up Jesus — not just by telling others about him, but serving others as his presence in the world.
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Prayer – For knowledge of God’s Creation

Almighty and everlasting God, you made the universe with all its marvellous order, its atoms, worlds, and galaxies, and the infinite complexity of living creatures.

Grant that, as we probe the mysteries of your creation, we may come to know you more truly, and more surely fulfil our role in your eternal purpose; in the name of Jesus Christ our Lord.

Amen.

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A Prayer for Priests

Prayers – A Prayer for Priests

Richard Cardinal Cushing (1895-1970), Archbishop of Boston

O Almighty Eternal God, look upon the face of Thy Son, and for the love of Him who is the eternal High Priest, have pity on Thy priests. Remember, O most compassionate God, that they are but weak and frail human beings. Stir up in them the grace of their vocation which is in them by the imposition of the bishop’s hands. Keep them close to Thee, lest the enemy prevail against them, so that they may never do anything in the slightest degree unworthy of their sublime vocation.O Jesus, I pray Thee for Thy faithful and fervent priests; for Thy unfaithful and tepid priests; for Thy priests laboring at home or abroad in distant mission fields; for Thy tempted priests; for Thy lonely priests; for Thy dying priests; for the souls of Thy priests in purgatory. But above all I commend to Thee the priests dearest to me; the priest who baptized me; the priests who absolved me from my sins; the priests at whose Masses I assisted, and who gave me Thy Body and Blood in Holy Communion; the priests who taught and instructed me, or helped and encouraged me; all the priests to whom I am indebted in any other way, particularly N. O Jesus, keep them all close to Thy Heart, and bless them abundantly in time and in eternity. Amen.
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Welcoming, but not affirming: Being gay and Christian

It may seem like LGBT people and conservative Christians inhabit two different worlds.

But with 40 per cent of same sex couples in Australia identifying as Christian, lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender people are likely to be a significant, if covert, presence in conservative Christian churches.

What is it like for people who are both LGBT and Christian? How do LGBT Christians see their place in conservative Christian churches? And how do pastors care for LGBT people in their congregations, and include them in the life of the church?

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Prayer for a Family

Prayer for a Family

Lord, bless our family, all of us now together, those far away, all who are gone back to you. May we know joy. May we bear our sorrows in patience. Let love guide our understanding of each other. Let us be grateful to each other. We have all made each other what we are. O Family of Jesus, watch over our family.
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Prayer for Christian Unity

Ut unum sint- “That They May Be One”
Lord Jesus Christ, at your Last Supper you prayed to the Father that all should be one. Send your Holy Spirit upon all who bear your name and seek to serve you. Strengthen our faith in you, and lead us to love one another in humility. May we who have been reborn in one baptism be united in one faith under one Shepherd. Amen.

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Christians and Jews Join Together to Support Israel

A group of U.S. Christians are joining together in support for Israel and to combat a U.S. pro-Palestinian movement.

CharismaNews.com reports that the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America (ELCA) became the latest American church to join the boycott, divestment and sanctions (BDS) movement against Israel.

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To counter this movement, about 100 Christian leaders, along with Israeli Knesset members, are working together to support Israel.

“Israel’s safety and well-being are the responsibility of every Jew and every Christian who loves Israel in every place at every moment of life,” Joseph Sabag of the Israel Allies Foundation told those gathered for a meeting of the coalition.

Sabag is working to push legislation through in the U.S. which would fight against the BDS movement.

“In May of 2015, South Carolina became the first state in America to adopt modern legislation regulating against the problem of commercial discrimination and boycotts against Israel,” Sabag said.

Other states have followed South Carolina’s lead, but there is still work to be done.

Barry Shaw, author of BDS for Idiots, warned of the movement’s dangers:

“What is going on with BDS is a global name for all the Israel haters. (It’s) really the misinformation campaign that they’re feeding to the general public and the miseducation that’s happening at these campuses,” he said.

Knesset member Michael Oren said the only way to combat false information is with the truth, and that is what the coalition of Christians and Israelis is seeking to do.