How to Increase Your Church Contributions and Church Finances

Regardless of denominational differences or where a church is located, across the board they have one thing in common…they are almost always concerned about finances. Money is a necessary part of running a successful church.

Whenever a recession hits the nation and jobs become more difficult to find and less production means less income, eventually a church congregation is going to feel the pinch. And, like many things in life it actually provides us with an opportunity to see and do some worthwhile, even wonderful things. In these times, what can a church do to encourage giving so that the monetary needs of the church are met? Well, there are several….

* Have a fun event! Some churches will have a special dinner before embarking on a building campaign as a way to energize the church and open wallets. Instead of a private restaurant or having something catered, meet on your own grounds with a covered dish dinner, some fun games and singing and rally the people to rise to the occasion and give graciously during this tough time.

* Learn from the best! There are several good, Christian financial seminars, books and conferences to be taken advantage of. They will give you the tools and the know-how of setting up a working budget, giving to God the tithe of our income, wise spending and good saving habits. If a congregation is well trained on how to handle their income in their homes then the church shall lack no good thing. Think of it! Ministries are well supplied, food pantry and clothing racks filled to the brim, benevolence funds available and all because God’s people learned the simple ways of handling God’s money!

* Make sure you are using your existing resources effectively, or find out how you can streamline existing processes. For example, using our site specifically as an example, you could use this software to create a photo membership directory automatically, instead of doing it by hand (in a program such as Microsoft Word, etc). While of course you could do that in Microsoft Word, to edit it, keep it current, move pictures around, move text around, try and alphabetize it, etc would literally take 100’s of hours over the course of several months. So sit down and evaluate which of your existing processes can be streamlined.

* Understand what ministries your money supports! For most churches the bulk of the budget goes to pay the minister’s salary and the mortgage payment on the building if it is not paid for. The rest goes to support the various ministries in the church whether it is for children or seniors adults. Therefore, one Sunday a month or two or three, take a moment just before the worship service and have the leadership explain a particular ministry, introduce someone who is benefited by that ministry so the congregation makes a personal connection with where their money is going and who it truly benefits. When people see the good cause that is being supported, they are more likely to support it, both financially and in terms of volunteering.

* Don’t merely ask for money, get support for a vision! A trusted axiom is this: money follows vision. Where is the church going? What frontiers in the community are you going to blaze into? Where is all this headed? Ask your leadership to clarify the vision of the church. Dollars follow the asking, but checks follow vision!

If you apply these steps, not only will you see almost immediate results to the bottom line of your Church’s finances, but you will find that you have the funds and resources to accomplish what is important to you.

A King and Prime Minister Give Spiritual Leadership Which Is So Sadly Absent in Modern Politics

This was a specific passage that I had never spoken on or taught from, but as I read it and studied it carefully and prayerfully I realised these were various profound and significant lessons for our every day life.

I was studying the first book of Samuel and had come to Chapter 13. If you are sincerely and genuinely interested in positive leadership that counts and matters and which can produce good fruitful results then take time to consider this passage from the Word of God.

Saul was 30 years old when he became king, and he reigned for 42 years. The original Hebrew does not give any specific numbers. Normally highly reliable New International Version gives us an interpretation and not translation. The revised Standard Version which I used to use quite a lot gives us ‘dots’, and that is true to the Hebrew.

King Saul soon got into a predicament. We see here that all is not well.

Wrestling with this awkward text produced a relevant harvest when I saw the spiritual principles emerging from sentence after sentence.

Having started out reading and researching the life of Saul the first King of Israel, I found myself becoming more and more engrossed in the life and ministry and example of dear Samuel, the last of the prophetic Judges. He is a moral and spiritual leader who looked to Almighty God all his life, and that is a quality very few leaders today would admit to. I am not sure if they would even know how to do it.

In the 1940’s we, in the United Kingdom, had a King and a Prime Minister who looked to God and who called upon God, and who depended upon God, and who prayed to God.

We do not see this in the life of Saul.

If our political and spiritual leaders would take time to look to Almighty God through Jesus Christ, so many of our economic and financial problems could be resolved, within a comparatively short time.

In Chapter 13, there is a very real threat from the Philistines, as thousands of Philistines confronted Israel, and the Israeli soldiers became afraid and began to scatter.

Saul wanted trained crack troops. Saul wanted the very best, and that is understandable.

Saul is left to get on with the kingship without much reference to God.

Saul was a moral agent and responsible for his own willfulness and disobedience and that can never be cancelled out.

Not only are there consequences to sin, but there is also a chain reaction. One sin can lead to another, and sin can call the tune.

Their present troubles arose because of this lack of reference to God.

Is he trying to display some kind of bravado as if everything is all right? We will deal with threat!

Our own nation goes ahead and tries to muddle through, as do many others.

Functions and Powers of the Prime Minister

Introduction

In the Parliamentary system Prime Minister is the head of the government and the whole system of the state revolves round him. He is the leader of majority party in the parliament and he is the source of power. He is more power full than the president.

Relevant provisions

Article 46,91,95 of the constitution of Pakistan.

The office of the Prime Minister according to the constitution of 1973

The Prime Minister under the constitution of 1973 is the real executive and head of the Govt. The president is merely a constitutional figurehead who acts on the advice of the Prime Minister. Infact he is the real ruler of Pakistan.

Qualifications/characteristics for the office of Prime Minister (P.M)

Citizen of Pakistan

He should be the citizen of Pakistan.
Member of National Assembly

He should be the member of National Assembly.
Should not hold any office of profit

He should not hold any office of profit in the service of Pakistan.
Ideology of Pakistan

He should believe on ideology of Pakistan.
Mentally and physically fit

He should be mentally and physically fit.

Nomination of the P.M.

The president in his discretion appoints from amongst the members of National Assembly who has command the majority of members in the house.

Election of the P.M

The members of the National Assembly elect PM, the leader of the majority party. Assembly in its first session elects speaker and Deputy Speaker and then the Prime Minister. The Prime Minister shall be elected by the majority vote of the total membership of the National Assembly.

Oath of the P.M

After election the P.M takes the oath in the presence of the president. He declares to be Muslim and the belief in the finality of Prophet (S.A.W.W) promises to act upon the Islamic ideology, to give presence to national interest, protect the constitution and be loyal with the country.

Allowances and salary of the P,M.

Prime Minister is given different allowances and salary of Rs. 56 thousands.
Term of the office

The tenure of the post of the P.M is five years.

Powers and functions of the P.M

The powers and functions of the Prime Minister are as under:-

Chief Advisor of the President

The P.M is the chief advisor of the president. The president performs his duties with the consultation of the P.M.

Formation of Cabinet

The Prime Minister after taking oath select his cabinet. Every Minister, individually and cabinet as whole are responsible for their acts to the parliament.

National Leader

The P.M is a national leader. He leads the nation and organizes the public opinion in favour of his party.

Leader of the cabinet

The PM is the leader of the cabinet. All the minister work under the supervision of the PM.

Leader of the House

The PM is the leader of the National Assembly. His proposals are honoured in the house. He expresses his views in the Assembly.

Power to confer titles and awards

The PM has power to confer titles and awards to those who show excellent performance in different field of life.

Power of appointments.

The PM has power to appoint the high ranking officials with the approval of the president of Islamic republic of Pakistan. He appoints diplomas, ministerial staff and judges of the Supreme Courts and the High Courts. He also appoints the members of National Finance Commission etc.

Financial Powers

The PM also performs finance matters. The budget is prepared under his supervision.

Public welfare

The PM works for the public welfare. He takes every possible step to improve the life style of the people of his country.

Foreign Relation

The foreign policy is prepared under his guidelines. The diplomats are appointed by the president on the recommendations of the PM.

Power of Legislation

The PM takes part in legislation. All proceedings are conducted with the consent of the PM. He plays a vital role in law making.

Administrative Duties.

The PM performs the administrative function. He is responsible for the smooth running of the affairs of the country. He maintains law and order in the country.

Defence of the country

The PM is responsible for the defence of the country. He can take step to improve the defence system of the country.

Power to Dissolve the National Assembly

The PM can ask the president to dissolve the national assembly.

Party head

The PM is the party head. He belongs to party who has majority in the house. He has his political significance.

Power to terminate ministers

The PM if not satisfied with the function of his minister he can terminate them.

Bridge between president and Cabinet

The PM is a link between president and cabinet. The PM is duty bound to inform the president about work of cabinet.

Representative of the Nation

The PM is representative of the nation in international level.
Resign of Prime Minister

The PM may tender his resignation to the president as and when he desires so. After PM has resigned all the minister shall seased to hold offices.

Termination/ Vote of no confidence against Prime Minister

Under the present procedure, a resolution for a vote of no confidence can be moved by not less than twenty percent of the total membership of the National Assembly. The resolution shall not be voted upon before the expiration of three days, from the day on which such resolution is moved in the national assembly.

Acting Prime Minister

On the death, sickness leave, resignation or foreign tour of the PM the senior minister look after the work.

Finance Budget 2015: Super-Flop For The Automotive Industry

The very first full-term budget of FY-16 laid down by the new central government was lack-luster for the automotive industry.

Many issues were raised in the past by the Indian automobile manufacturers, like the lowering of base interest rates on sale of cars, additional excise cuts, faster implementation of Goods and Services Tax but none of them seem to have been met apart from allocation of Goods and Services Tax.

The Finance Minister of India, Mr. Arun has stressed on the faster implementation of infrastructure projects to promote industrial growth in this budget.

Budget Details

• An assurance for speedy implementation of the Goods and Services Tax has been given by the central govt. which will bring it into effect from April 2016.This implementation will help to create an unbiased and uniform tax structure across all the various states of India.

• The excise duty was lowered by a narrow margin. Now it is 24%for the SUVs, 20% for the mid-sized cars and 27% for the large cars. For the smaller-sized cars, it has been hiked up from 12% to 12.5% this means that car prices will either remain the same or increase marginally, but will not decrease at any cost.

• Excise duty on the chassis for an Ambulance has been cut down from 24% to 12.5%.

• Corporate tax has been reduced (30% to 25%). This will help to indirectly promote growth within the automotive industry and will give them a chance to recover 5% of their funds. This tax-cut is expected to begin from next year.

• The custom duty for all fully built and imported commercial vehicles has been increased to about 20%.

• An impetus for production of green vehicles has been proposed to the tune of INR 75 crore under the Faster Adoption &Manufacturing of Electric Vehicles (FAME) scheme. The excise duty discount EVS will be maintained.

• The demand to ask banks and other financial institutions to lower the interest rate on vehicles and vehicular loans has not been secured.

• INR70,000 crore will be invested in laying of about one lakh Kilometres of asphalt roads across the country especially rural areas.

To summarize, this budget was really measly for the Indian automotive industry. Nothing has become cheap for the hardworking consumers. The companies can somehow hope to recover a lost revenues due to the cut in excise duty but that will amount to INR 1000 per car only.

For companies grappling to meet their demand-supply schedule, this isn’t enough. Only a miracle can now save the automotive industry from the current turbulent state it is currently in. The chump change allocated in this budget won’t make a very big difference!

UK Finance Minister Outlines Thinking on Bonuses

The British Chancellor of the Exchequer Alistair Darling has been intimately involved in the creation of the modern British regulatory landscape, but all this may be about to change with a General Election due within 10 months. He also succeeds arguably one of the most successful Chancellor’s in the 21st Century – the current Prime Minister, Gordon Brown – just as Tony Blair has been a tough act to follow, Darling has had to step into Brown’s shoes at The Treasury. Darling has remained silent all week since the announcement of the opposition Tory party’s proposals for the abolition of the FSA; handing prudential financial oversight to the Bank of England, a general carve up of the FSA and probable delay on RDR commitment. Today, that changed with an interview published in a leading, left-wing publication, The Tribune.

Darling on Bonuses

Bonuses are going to be a sticky issue for regulators, politicians and employers – “Bonuses are Back!” may be the cry on the Square Mile, after all, if it’s being earned they’re going to be paid or risk losing competitiveness. Darling’s response is that many bank and financial sector employees only have a job today because of the taxpayer monies used to bail out the sector and shore up the banks. For banks now owned by the UK Government, there will be no bonuses this year;

First, we do have restrictions on the banks we own in terms of bonuses; they can’t get cash bonuses this year, it’s got to be deferred, it’s got to be capable of being clawed back, the people who failed can’t get rewards and they always have to be linked to long-term success.

The interim Walker report on working practices and pay structures including bonuses, published a couple of weeks ago, seems to simply state bankers should worry about doing the job they are already being paid to do. Darling disagrees in that Walker is going further; bankers did not do their jobs to begin with which is why we ended up in the global economic mess culminating in the near-miss, banking collapse. As Darling states,

One of the causes of the trouble is that they were not doing what they were supposed do be doing. Too many of them patently didn’t even understand what was going on in their own banks.

When pressed on disclosure of who actually is paid a bonus, Darling rightly concedes that naming the recipient poses issues outside of transparency and financial regulation; after all, I certainly would not like my name published anywhere with a big number printed after it – there is a dividing line between personal security and public disclosure, though directors at the Co-Operative Bank have been making personal identity disclosure without issue. With the FSA under political fire from the Conservatives, who announced they would dismantle the regulator if elected, Darling’s responses give some insight into why Labour wants the FSA to remain and enjoy enhanced power. For instance,

A lot of these people have got to realise they just would not be working today if they did not have the insurance policy provided by the British and American taxpayers and others. That’s why it is right that the Financial Standards Authority now has the power to say to a bank that they don’t like the pay structure of a bank, it’s too risky, you can’t do it.

Also when questioned on Walker’s proposal for a voluntary rather than statutory regime, Darling’s response was,

We have gone beyond that with the FSA and its new power to say we don’t like your pay structure, it’s too risky. That’s not voluntary, because ultimately the FSA can put you off the road.

This fundamentally underlines the difference between Labour and Conservative thinking on who will regulate the banks and financial sector – Labour clearly envisages an FSA with a very wide-ranging remit and the power to assert itself in virtually any aspect it sees fit. The Conservative focus beyond dismantling the FSA is yet to become clear, but it is reasonable to assume at this stage that they see a return of the Bank of England as the banking regulator and not as an “academic” body as Labour Minister Lord Myners recently put it. The Tribune article focused on pay structure and especially bonus payments, it’s to be expected from a socialist paper, but Darling fielded answers which did take the position that pay and bonuses are actually one commercial factor to be taken into account when dealing with banks who received bail-out monies. As he went on to say,

I think, in relation to telling the banks what to do, there is a broader question.

The interviewer’s observation of Darling when the question regarding a National Maximum wage is as telling as the Chancellor’s response:

What about a national maximum wage? Darling’s jaw drops discernibly amid a slight shudder: “People who call for these things are the same people who argued against a national pay maximum in the 1970s. I don’t think pay restraint or arbitrary controls work.”

This article was commissioned by ComplianceAsia, the leading APACS region provider of outsourced compliance support for leading banking and financial institutions operating in the region.