Episode 537

Religious Freedom Summit, New Ministers’ Tax Guide & Preparing Your Church For A Recession

Feb 2, 2024

Religious freedom impacts economic prosperity and political rights, U.S. House Speaker Mike Johnson said Jan. 31 in his keynote address at the International Religious Freedom Summit in Washington. GuideStone Financial Resources has released its most popular annual publication, the 2024 Ministers’ Tax Guide for 2023 Returns prepared by Richard Hammar, available now for GuideStone members. In the Baptist Press Toolbox, Kenneth Priest and Richard Baker write, “A recession is coming.”

Transcript

Religious freedom impacts economic prosperity and political rights, U.S. House Speaker Mike Johnson said Jan. 31 in his keynote address at the International Religious Freedom Summit in Washington.

“Economic prosperity grows when people are allowed to follow their faith, and freedom flourishes where freedom is allowed,” Johnson said. “When religious freedom is taken away from the people, political freedom soon follows.”

Johnson spoke in the final plenary of the two-day summit that, in its fourth year, convened a diverse segment of religious freedom advocates and leaders from the U.S. and abroad.

He decried atrocities and violations of religious freedom particularly in North Korea, Myanmar, Nigeria, Nicaragua, Cuba and China, citing the persecution of Uyghur Muslims, Buddhists, Fulan Gong, Catholics, Protestants and others. He advocated for Jewish individuals globally who are suffering spikes in persecution since the Oct. 7 Hamas attack on Israel.
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GuideStone Financial Resources has released its most popular annual publication, the 2024 Ministers’ Tax Guide for 2023 Returns prepared by Richard Hammar, available now for GuideStone members at GuideStone.org/TaxGuide. The tax guide includes tax highlights for 2023 along with step-by-step filing instructions for ministers’ personal taxes and comprehensive examples and sample forms.

Additionally, GuideStone ministry partners and church administrators have access to the annual Federal Reporting Requirements for Churches.This publication is included in the full tax guide or as a separate electronic copy.
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Every day, hundreds of thousands of people die without the hope of Jesus. Your faithful prayers will make a difference. That’s why the IMB created a free 18-month calendar, called “Impacting Lostness Through Prayer”. It provides guidance, reminders and encouragement as you pray for individuals and communities who have yet to hear the gospel. Learn more about this free resource at IMB.org/prayercalendar.

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In the Baptist Press Toolbox, Kenneth Priest and Richard Baker write, “A recession is coming. That is because there is always a recession up ahead. The next recession, whenever that might be, will be the most anticipated in history because everyone thinks it should be here by now. As horrible as recessions may be, they are inevitable in any strong economy.

What is a recession exactly? It is often defined as at least two consecutive quarters of declining Gross Domestic Product (all US sales) following a time of growth

Church leaders must be aware of their church and community’s financial outlook.

They offer these four tips:

1. Evaluate your community
2. Know your Per Capita Giving
3. Project your budget
4. Consider your Church Reserves

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