Posted



As more and more church-goers use debit and credit cards as their primary payment methods, churches are scrambling to offer new ways to give. Here are three methods that can help your card-wielding members support your church:

 

Let Them Give Online

Set up an online giving page. Having an online option for offerings will make it easier for your members to support your church with a debit or credit card, even on days when they’re not in the pews.

 

Allow Recurring Donations

Many church goers make it a point to give at regular intervals, whether it’s once a week or once a month. Offering them the option of setting up a recurring gift will help them continue their giving patterns without having to remember to log on to a donation form once a week. It’s also useful when a church member has to travel or be away for a long period of time; they can still support your programs even if they’re not physically at your facility.

 

Consider Using On-Site Options

Giving kiosks, which allow members to make gifts and offerings with their cards, are handy additions to churches who want to engage their members in person. Churches with giving kiosks typically invite their members to give at the kiosks either before or after the service. Because kiosks can process transactions in just a few seconds, they’re also a useful option for other types of giving, including event registrations, ticket sales for church events, and more.

 

Some churches are also starting to explore giving via text message. This method, wherein a church-goer initiates a donation by texting a keyword to a short code and completes the donation online, generally works best with a congregation’s younger members.

 

Promote Online Giving With a Live Event

Aside from general giving, churches often need to raise money for youth groups, mission trips, and other projects. Live events offer plenty of opportunities for your church’s staff to interact with congregants and ask for donations, and you can direct your parishioners to your online giving forms. Since many of your guests might not have cash with them, providing them with the option to give online is a great solution so that you can receive donations from more of your supporters.

 

If you can’t decide on the right event, you can always go with one of these surefire church fundraising ideas, such as:

Hosting a hymn-a-thon.

Organizing a weekly game night.

Holding a silent auction.

Planning an angel festival during the holidays.

While these are just a few fundraising ideas you can implement, there are a plethora of live events that you can use. Just make sure to set up a donation table where congregants can give cash or learn more about giving online.

 

The trick to increasing church giving today is to offer your members multiple ways to support your ministry. Instead of sticking solely to traditional methods (those methods do still work!), try to find other outlets that will let other people — people who don’t necessarily use cash or checks — support you. There are tons of different options available; see which one is right for you!

 

Shelby Systems is committed to helping churches large and small streamline their giving process. We provide the software and the plan that can help your church make the leap to digital giving. To find out how, contact one of our Ministry Consultants today. And don’t forget to ask about our special Digital Giving Package!


Posted



One great way to find out what your congregation and visitors are looking for is to distribute surveys, polling them on what they enjoy about your church, what they feel is lacking, and whatever is on their mind about their church experience in general.

Here are a few tips on crafting church survey questions:

 

  • Keep it short – the longer the list is – the less likely they are to complete it
  • Leave space for optional comments – in case they want to bring up a new topic
  • Whatever tech you use to distribute the survey – allow them the option to fill it out manually
  • Request basic demographic information – age, gender, residence, frequency and number of years to track trends

 

If your goal is to boost attendance, you should take a two-pronged approach to your surveys: make sure that your regulars are happy so they’ll continue to attend, and also find ways to evolve to make sure that your church is an appealing destination for new visitors.

Here are several sample questions to help you illuminate the path to increased attendance:

 

  1. What do you most enjoy about attending services here?
  2. What, if anything, would you change about attending services here?
  3. Would you recommend this church to a friend or family member? Why or why not?
  4. What are some ways that you think we could make our church more welcoming for new visitors?
  5. Have you attended a different church in the last year? If so, what—if anything—did you enjoy about that church that is different from our church?

 

When you get the surveys back, keep an eye out for things that your members enjoy about attending services at your church, but be even more aware about what they’re missing.

Do your members wish that they could get a cup of coffee on their way in? Hook it up! It’s a small price to pay for keeping your loyal members happy and maybe even attracting some new ones.

Source: Ministry Tech

 

 

Shelby Systems has decades of experience helping churches in all aspects of ministry, for assistance contact one of our Ministry Consultants today!


Posted



This end of the year financials check list comes to us via Alfred Johnson’s blog. We hope you find it useful.

 

Federal Reports

  • Make sure you have blank forms for all IRS needed filings. NELCO has what you need.  Click Here to order forms
  • Deadline for filings now is January 31, 2018 for most reports

General Ledger

  • Check all sub ledgers for unposted 2017 transactions
  • Check Journal Entry to make sure all journals have been posted to the ledger
  • Check your year-end Statement of Financial Position for year-end updates
    • Reclassifying any capital expenses
    • Verify and update Payroll activity
    • Check and take needed action on restricted income
  • Enter any year-end accruals needed
  • Modify chart of accounts for new year if needed
  • Choose timing to change default year to 2018
  • Run Year-end Closing procedure

Accounts Payable

  • Make sure all invoices to be accrued in old year are posted (Accrual based)
  • Make sure all expense checks to be recorded in 2017 are to be posted and printed (Cash Based)
  • Verify that all 1099 vendors’ invoices have been coded correctly.

Accounts Receivable

  • Review all unpaid invoices and write-off all that probably will never be paid
  • Verify that all Unapplied payments have been handled properly
  • If you have a Day Care then print statements for parents to use in filing their income tax report
  • Verify all 2017 invoices and payments have been posted

Payroll

  • New Year tax table updates are handled for you. No action necessary
  • May need to update individuals time-off hours
  • Use Manual Check feature to:
    • Add non-cash compensation for taxable benefits, such as insurance
    • Add Employer Paid Health Care Value for each employee
  • Run test reports for Form W-2 and ACA reports and correct any omissions / errors observed

Purchasing Management

  • Review and clean up outstanding Purchase orders that are old and no long viable
  • Review partially fulfilled Purchase Orders and clean up as needed

Fixed Assets

  • Inventory all items and adjust for retired, sold, or missing. Make adjustments as needed
  • Run depreciation for month, or for year if appropriate

Year End Closing

  • Run the Year End Closing procedure if you are on a calendar year

 

Source: alfredjohnson.net

 


Posted




What motivates you may not motivate others. As you teach people to give, it helps to understand their reasons.

  1. Some give because of relationship. People will give money to an organization because they have a relationship with the people there.
  2. Some give because of vision. A compelling vision inspires people to give (Proverbs 29:18, KJV). People want to be part of something bigger than themselves. Clear vision helps people understand what God wants to do through his church.
  3. Some give because of need. People will give to a need, as evidenced by the outpouring of donations after a hurricane or other natural disaster.
  4. Some give out of obedience. Many people give because they understand God’s directive to give (Malachi 3:9-10; Proverbs 3:9-10; Luke 6:38).
  5. Some give because of education. People will give when they have been taught what God’s Word says about money.

As you instruct on giving, recognize that some reasons will make more sense to a certain segment of your congregation, while others respond to a different drum. When possible, touch on each of these motives when you explain stewardship to people.

People need to be led, taught, inspired, encouraged, given incentive, celebrated, and helped with their personal money-management in order to become faithful and generous stewards.

Source: Ministry Today

 

Shelby Systems is committed to helping churches large and small streamline their giving process. We provide the software and the plan that can help your church make the leap to digital giving. To find out how, contact one of our Ministry Consultants today. And don’t forget to ask about our special Digital Giving Package!


Posted



Facebook has a feature called Facebook Live that can effectively help you communicate. Facebook Live is built right into the Facebook app. So if you are a pastor with a church Facebook page and a smartphone you can easily take advantage of this service. First, we will talk about some things you can do with Facebook Live regarding your church and then then you can see the step by step process, right form your phone.

There are several things you can do with Facebook Live that could benefit your congregation:

 

Morning Devotions or Bible Readings
A lot of churches post a daily verse, thought, or devotion. These are solid uses of social media but you could up your game by utilizing Facebook Live to do these instead. Get different voices to help you deliver these important daily messages.

Important Announcements
You can also make important announcements using Facebook Live. Whether that’s a closing for inclement weather or something else you can determine what is deemed important enough to go live for.

Celebrating With the Church
Facebook Live can be used to celebrate with your congregation. Maybe you achieved a collective goal, or had a really great outreach event. Whatever the celebration is, Facebook Live would be a good option to share the news or expand on the news shared on Sunday morning.

Sermon Recap
You could make a Monday or Tuesday block of time Facebook Live sermon recap. Come up with a catchy name and stick to the schedule and you could have a very effective means to help your sermon stick past Sunday.

Clarification
You could use Facebook Live to clarify a mistake or miscommunication made from the stage or in the newsletter, you never know.

 

Here’s how to start a Facebook Live Video on your smartphone:

  1. Go to (and make sure you are logged into) Your Church Facebook Page
  2. Click Post
  3. Choose “Go Live”


4. Describe Your Video


5. Go Live to your Congregation!

Push the blue “Go Live” button and go you will go live. What an easy and great way to connect through social media!

 

Source: Ministry Tech

 

Shelby Systems has decades of experience helping churches in all aspects of ministry, for assistance contact one of our Ministry Consultants today!


Posted



ECFA is presenting a free Webinar on January 11, 2018 at 1:00 PM EST.

Webinar Details:

  • Date: Thursday, January 11
  • Duration: 60-Minute Webinar
  • Time: 1:00pm EST ~ 12:00pm CST ~ 11:00am MST ~ 10:00am PST

Join us for the How Tax Reform May Impact Churches and Ministries Webinar with Dan Busby, president of ECFA, Vonna Laue, executive vice president of ECFA, Michael Martin, vice president and legal counsel of ECFA, and John Van Drunen, executive vice president and general counsel of ECFA.

You can get more information by CLICKING HERE.

Source: alfredjohnson.net


Posted




There are best practices when it comes to increasing giving and the following ten points could have a positive impact on giving in your church.

 

  1. Share a Compelling Vision

It is the responsibility of church leadership to help members understand the mission (why we exist) and vision (where we are going) of the ministry.  This means creating a church culture that is so attuned to the mission that members rally around its cause and support it with their labor (volunteers) and their dollars (financial support).

 

  1. Teach on Giving

Not every church member will understand the biblical principles of giving and it is the responsibility of the church to teach them.  It is a sensitive subject, no doubt, but there are some proven models that help to educate and increase understanding of the basic giving principles.  Members who understand these principles tend to give more.

 

  1. Teach on Personal Finance

It doesn’t matter how committed a member is to giving if his/her personal finances are a mess.  Most of us understand the challenge and limitations that come with carrying personal debt.  Host a Financial Peace course and help members experience the freedom that comes with living a debt free lifestyle.

 

  1. Communicate the Need

Members can only help with those things that they are aware of.  Help your congregation support the ministry by communicating what financial needs the church has.  For example, if the HVAC unit is on its last leg, put the word out so church members can help fund the replacement.

 

  1. Share Budget Information

Church members fund church operations and have an interest in how those dollars are spent.  Determine the best way to share monthly budget information updates.  Use the weekly bulletin, lobby posters or website to make information available.  Designate someone to answer budget questions that might come up.

 

  1. Make Giving Easy

Gone are the days of people carrying around a check book.  Use technology to make giving easy by providing a donate button on the church website, establishing a mobile giving option, or offering automatic Electronic Fund Transfers (EFT).

 

  1. Manage Church Conflict

When conflict arises in a church it is either resolved or members slowly disappear.  Manage conflict as soon as festering issues appear.  The sooner you can squelch a rumor, disagreement or miscommunication, the easier it is to resolve.  Take the time to address issues as they come up to ensure a cohesive church culture.

 

  1. Pursue Accreditation

Churches have been slow to recognize the value in seeking accreditation but having a seal of approval from organizations like ECFA, gives members confidence that the church is being managed with the highest of ethical standards.  The accreditation process can be time consuming but worth the time investment because of the credibility that comes with displaying the ECFA seal of approval.

 

  1. Demonstrate Good Stewardship

When people give to an organization they want to know that the money they donate is used for its intended purpose.  Demonstrate good stewardship by diligently seeking out the most cost effective ways of managing church resources.  For example, make a practice of soliciting at least three bids when hiring a contractor to do church building projects.

 

  1. Ask for a Financial Commitment

There is something about making a commitment that keeps members focused on their financial responsibility to the church.  Do a giving campaign once a year and ask members to commit to weekly or monthly giving to support the church budget requirements.

 

Churches rely on the financial support of members and successful churches have learned how to keep giving members motivated.  They do this by helping them understand what the mission is they are giving to, how those dollars are used and giving them the confidence that the church is managing its resources with the highest of ethical standards.


Shelby Systems is committed to helping churches large and small streamline their giving process. We provide the software and the plan that can help your church make the leap to digital giving. To find out how, contact one of our
 Ministry Consultants today. And don’t forget to ask about our special Digital Giving Package!


Posted

It seems like fraud is everywhere today.  You can’t go more than a month without hearing about security breaches or someone trying to steal data or scam people.  The IRS is not immune from such fraudulent activities, so in the past few years we have seen them do their best to shore up efforts to prevent such activities.  Consequently, most changes for W-2 and 1099’s this year is trying to limit such activities. Let’s walk through the changes.

When you produce (or receive) W-2’s this year, you may notice that Box 9 has been opened up.  The IRS has created an optional code to help verify W-2 data with employees’ 1040 electronic filings.  This is not required for 2017 filings, so if the box is blank (or if you see data) there is no cause for concern.


Last year filing deadlines changed, even though there is no change for 2017, it is a change that bears repeating.  If you are filing a 1099-MISC with information in Box 7 (Nonemployee Compensation) or any W-2, these files must be electronically filed or postmarked to the IRS by January 31st (same deadline as distribution of employee and 1099 recipient copies).  The IRS changed this last year to combat fraud – the sooner they get the information to confirm, the fewer people will be able to file fraudulent 1040’s.  In the past, criminals would get huge tax refunds paid out before W-2’s were due, and the IRS had no way of confirming that the W-2 used to produce that fraudulent refund wasn’t legitimate, since the form wasn’t due to them yet!  With the new deadline they are hoping to be able to look at the W-2 or 1099 filed and confirm the information prior to issuing the refund.

This year, several states followed the IRS’ lead and said “If you can require it by January 31st, we can too!”  For 2017, if you have to file W-2’s or 1099’s to the following states, you must have it submitted by January 31st: Arkansas, Arizona, Kansas, Maine, Minnesota, Missouri, Montana and Nebraska.  Other states already had the January 31st deadline, some still have later deadlines, but the ones above changed this year.

There are some other changes in state filing not related to deadlines – to get a full scope of W-2 and 1099 state filing changes, head out to www.nelcosolutions.com/statechanges and find the states you need to file to. 

Recently we did a webinar regarding these changes and demonstrating how Nelco can help save you hours this January – if you missed it, you can view it here: https://www.shelbysystems.com/resources/webinars/

 


Posted



We’d like to take a moment during this busy holiday season to thank you for being a valuable part of the Shelby family. It’s been our pleasure to play a part in the success of your ministries throughout 2017 and we look forward to serving you and your staff during 2018.

From our family to yours, we wish you a very Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year. Please click the image above to see a special greeting from our Shelby team.

“For unto us a Child is born, unto us a Son is given…and His name shall be called Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace.” Isaiah 9:6


Posted




Take a look at these ten major trends carefully, and see how God would have your church respond.

  1. The audio revolution. The e-book has not proved to be nearly as popular as we thought it would be. Many blog writers are reporting declines in readership. But audio books are rising in popularity. Listeners are moving to podcasts so they can learn while they jog, drive, and exercise. Outside of preaching podcasts, churches have many other opportunities to reach and disciple people through audio ministries.
  2. Boomer retirement crisis. Boomer pastors and church leaders are retiring in large numbers. But most of them don’t have succession plans. They are in churches from the small to the large. We will have many churches that are looking to fill these voids with little success.
  3. The deferred maintenance crisis in church facilities. Tim Cool of Cool Solutions Group, keeps reporting about churches that have done little to keep their church facilities in acceptable condition. For many of them, they are experiencing times of reckoning. A church recently had to close 4,000 square feet of space because it was deemed unsafe and uninhabitable. Like Tim says, you pay some now or you pay more later.
  4. Churches moving into retail spaces. The United States has a surplus of retail space, and that surplus will grow. The demise of many brick-and-mortar stores and chains presents an incredible opportunity for churches to find prime space for new and additional sites.
  5. Ongoing church closures. This trend shows no signs of slowing. I hope church leaders and members will be more receptive to acquisitions and mergers before it’s too late. Too many of these churches are expecting to be bailed out without lifting a finger.
  6. The rise of the neighborhood church. Churches that were once at the center of life in a neighborhood have declined and died. But we see them experiencing a renewal and revival both through acquisitions and re-plants.
  7. The learning revolution of the best church leaders. It is almost cliché to talk about the pace of change in our world and culture. I won’t bore you with the statistics and reality of change. But one thing is becoming glaringly obvious. Church leaders who are becoming ongoing learners are becoming the best leaders of these churches. Those church leaders who are not continually learning will not be leading well.
  8. Downsizing of worship centers/sanctuaries. This trend is one I have mentioned in recent months, but the pace of downsizing has accelerated. For certain, some of it is due to declining attendance, but that is not the only factor. A number of churches have intentionally moved to smaller worship services through multiple services, venues, and campuses.
  9. The rise of networks. More churches are aligning with both informal and formal networks with a common cause and common purpose. Those that are part of denominations typically choose to stay with their denominations for both doctrinal and legacy reasons. Acts 29 is an example of a church planting network more aligned with Reformed churches. Watch for new networks to form with different emphases and a broader evangelical doctrine.
  10. More Great Commission intentionality. When cultural Christianity was alive and well, churches could do minimal evangelistic activity and still grow by transfer growth. Such is not the case anymore. Churches will have to be highly intentional evangelistically in the months ahead or they will head toward death and closure.

Our prayer is that the summary of these trends can be used of God in your churches to move your congregation toward greater health and Great Commission obedience.

Source: Lifeway Resources

 

Shelby Systems has decades of experience helping churches in all aspects of ministry, for assistance contact one of our Ministry Consultants today!