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Newsletter April 2021

Keeping You Focused on People  

Patrick Bradley, Director of Operations, Passion for PlantingDeath and taxes. They say those are the only things that are certain in life. It’s April 15th and we’re again reminded of the truth of that statement. For church leaders in the US, filing taxes is a task filled with many questions and headaches. Oh, if only you didn’t need a PhD to understand the tax code! Fortunately, this year we all get an extra month to file.

I’m generally a DIY kind of guy. In the past I’ve used a tax prep app to help me do my family’s taxes. I spent countless hours punching numbers into the app, reading through their instructions and help files, and searching online for answers to my unique tax situation questions. Some years I questioned whether I was doing them right even with its help. I saved a few bucks, but have less hair now and made some mistakes along the way.

That’s why many ministers get their taxes done by a professional who knows the tax laws and how to get the biggest refund (or pay the smallest penalty). Working with a professional does cost money, but it can mean less time spent, costly mistakes avoided, and better sleep at night.

In the same way, we here at Passion for Planting love helping planters spend less time, avoid costly mistakes and generally sleep better at night. We dwell in the details of planting new churches. We live there, so you don’t have to!

In this month’s newsletter, we’re highlighting several resources to help you with government filings & forms. They’ll help you take advantage of the benefits the government offers organized churches (and those who serve them). Don’t get bogged down with your learning curve on church paperwork. Let us provide you with some helps so you can stay focused on people!

-Patrick Bradley, Director of Operations

 April 2021 – Contents

  • Incorporating – Do It Right The First Time
  • 501c3 Status? – Do You Need It?
  • Developing Bylaws – Do It Yourself Today
  • Liberating Oversight – Don’t Hamstring Your Leadership
  • PlanterPlan – Get It Before The Price Increases


Have you incorporated as a church? When starting a church, you don’t have to incorporate, but it does offer many benefits. One of those is the legal protection that it offers church leaders. Unfortunately, churches find themselves in the middle of legal disputes from time to time. If your church isn’t incorporated, it may very well be your home and bank accounts on the line in a court of law.

Along with legal protection, incorporation also makes it easier for churches to open bank accounts, enter into contracts and buy property. What do you need to do to incorporate? Continue reading 

501c3 Status?

Here at Passion for Planting, we get emails and phone calls on a regular basis from church planters asking whether or not they need to have formal 501(c)(3) tax exempt status from the IRS to receive tax deductible gifts. The answer is no. According to IRS Publication 557, as well as IRS Code 508: “Churches (including integrated auxiliaries and conventions or associations of churches) that meet the requirements of….Continue Reading

Developing Bylaws

Some churches adopt bylaws reluctantly, and for unhealthy reasons: because the government requires them, or because of some kind of power struggle. This doesn’t have to be the case, though.

At Passion for Planting, we help church planters develop contextualized bylaws that align with scripture, so you can pursue the vision God has entrusted to you. Continue Reading

Liberating Oversight

A common complaint we hear from church leaders about their bylaws is all the hoops they have to jump through in order to make simple decisions. Accountability is important, but sometimes churches go overboard and hamstring their leaders with cumbersome accountability structures. No church leader should need the board’s approval to buy a stapler!

Depending on your church’s polity, adopting an Executive Limitations Policy might help your church empower its leaders to accomplish their mission within a defined set of parameters. What’s an Executive Limitations Policy and how do you develop one? Find those answers from Kevin Stone in his blog post at Executive Pastor Online.com


Need to create a vision booklet for fundraising? How would you like to start with a template instead of a blank page?

Want to know the best options for getting a mailing address for the church plant when you don’t have a building?

Not sure how to incorporate or file for your 501c3? Wouldn’t it be great to have step-by-step instructions so you do it right the first time?

All of that and more is included in PlanterPlan’s premium content, which can be yours for only $149, that is, until May 1st. For years now PlanterPlan has been helping church planters stay focused on people – it’s a roadmap and how-to manual of the countless administrative tasks most church planters face. PlanterPlan’s basic functionality continues to be free, but as of May 1st we have to increase the premium upgrade price to $199. Yes, still a screaming deal, but why pay more when you could pay less? Don’t delay – unlock all of PlanterPlan’s premium content for you and your team today.

Featured photo by Kelly Sikkema and Jason Hogan from Unsplash.com.