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“I thank my God every time I remember you.” Philippians 1:3
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“I thank my God every time
I remember you.”

Philippians 1:3
That is truly how I feel about this Network. God has brought together some wonderful people who are doing his work better together. Together, we can do a much greater work for the Kingdom. And because you are one of our network partners, I wanted to share one of our core philosophies at Healthy Growing Churches. 

God has given HGC several ministries that are so important for helping churches and leaders get healthy, stay healthy and reproduce. In late 2014, the board and leaders of HGC really wrestled with some of the financial realities of our ministries. Basically, it takes money to give assessments, it takes a team to provide consultations and coaching, being on-site brings expenses and the list goes on. And we could spend all day worrying about finances and never get to the great work God has given us to do.

The staff and board of HGC feel very strongly that the lack of funds will not keep anyone from receiving our services. Let me say that another way, we will not make the availability of our ministries contingent on anyone’s financial ability to pay. Instead, we will work with Sponsors to ensure every church is healthy and growing. What a beautiful mission God has given us. This philosophy allows currently under-resourced leaders and congregations to be resourced in a way that will lead them to health and greater effectiveness. Then, as they grow in health, they can sponsor or “pay it forward” for other congregations/leaders. 

Sponsorship also opens up the opportunity for individuals and congregations who have the resources it pay it forward. It means congregations aren’t limited to the ministries they can staff. It allows sponsors to impact their community beyond their immediate reach and expertise. Nathan Tatman, the Mission Advancement Pastor at County Line Church of God in Auburn, Indiana says it so well:
County Line’s vision is to 'Restore our communities with Christ… one life at a time.’ Originally, we started new ministries to accomplish our vision and found that new ministries will only last as long as resources (mainly people and finances) are available. Now our approach has changed from ‘What ministry can we start?’ to ‘How can we plant more churches and campuses that restore communities?’. A local church has a longer lifecycle, reaching more people thus restoring more communities. Our vision is now being accomplished in the Kingdom on a much greater scale.
In the next several weeks, we will be celebrating Sponsors and those who have been sponsored. God continues to build passionate leaders and healthy congregations on both sides of the sponsorship table. Both our Sponsors and those who have benefitted are reaping significant kingdom impact.

Watch our blog and our Facebook page for more information. If you have any questions about sponsorship, reach out to me or Dave.

You have heard about the Affordable Care Act but have you thought about how it affects you and your church? This is a rapidly changing landscape and there are many questions. Churches and pastors will need to stay current as policies are developed and changed. Here’s a few questions you should be asking:
 
Did you know your health insurance premiums may be considered taxable income in 2015?

READ MORE BELOW

 

Multiplication Moment

HGC Multipliers met up this week at Exponential! This is a great conference for planters and those interested in church multiplication. Getting the opportunity to connect with others within the Healthy Growing Churches Network and the ChoG tribe was a highlight for our staff.

 

Understanding the ACA (cont.)

 
Did you know your health insurance premiums may be considered taxable income in 2015?
If your church (your employer) pays for your health insurance and you are not on a group plan, effective July 1, 2015, health insurance premiums are considered taxable income. Your W2 will need to reflect this income and you will need to report it when you file your 2015 taxes.  (Watch for updates: Senator Grassley, Iowa, is trying to get this decision reversed permanently.)
 
Did you pay taxes on your health insurance premiums in 2014?
The IRS guidance has been amended for 2014. If you filed early and you reported your premiums in your income, you may be able to file an amended return. This will require additional paperwork on the part of your church (employer) so be sure to consult your tax professional prior to filing your amendment.
 
Are you the only full-time employee at your church?
Most tax experts are of the opinion that you may be exempt from the taxes due on insurance premiums if you have a HRA, Health Reimbursement Arrangement.
 
Are churches required to provide insurance to their employees?
Organizations with 50 or more full-time employees are required to provide insurance. However, if your church is providing insurance for any full-time employee, they must offer it to ALL full-time employees. 
 
These are just the tip of the ACA iceberg and it’s changing daily. It’s important to be informed. Talk to your tax professional and insurance provider for more information.
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