Almost 150 church and ministry business, HR and finance leaders from 22 states left Dallas with actionable insights and encouragement after the GuideStone Employee Benefits Summit (EBS). This year marked the first time the normally annual event could occur in two years due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
“While we were able to offer an EBS webinar series in place of an in-person event last year, we are grateful to be back hosting our fourth in-person EBS,” GuideStone President Hance Dilbeck said. “We combined the expertise of 11 GuideStone employee speakers and 13 outside experts to provide more than two dozen sessions for the benefit of these church and ministry leaders.”
Speakers included leaders from GuideStone in retirement benefits, insurance coverage and outside experts in cybersecurity, staff wellness, crisis counseling, sexual abuse prevention and leadership. Gateway Seminary President Jeff Iorg and North American Mission Board Vice President Trevin Wax provided keynote addresses. Attendees were able to obtain CPE credits for CPAs and CEU credits for Certified Church Administrators in The Church Network.
“The Employee Benefits Summit offers our second and third chair leaders a place to network, share insights and hear from leaders who understand churches and ministries,” Dilbeck said. “We at GuideStone love the church and its leaders and want them to be successful to help their staff start well, do well, be well and finish well. EBS is one of the ways we equip those leaders to serve well in their churches and ministries.”
During a session on building an effective compensation plan, GuideStone senior relationship manager Greg Love said providing a proper compensation plan, including not using a lump sum package approach, demonstrates to pastors and ministry leaders that they are cared for by the church or ministry.
“At this point in my career, I’ve met with thousands of pastors,” Love said. “What I’ve come to realize is that most pastors serving our churches silently struggle as they navigate personal financial challenges. As a church or ministry, your compensation decisions will either improve or hinder the quality of life for your employees and their families today. Churches and ministries can glorify God and steward and manage their resources by following best business practices for compensating pastors and ministry leaders.”
For more information on building a proper compensation plan, GuideStone offers its Compensation Planning Guide for free.
Mike Martin, assistant executive director of business and finance for the Hawaii Pacific Baptist Convention, had the distinction of traveling the longest distance to attend the two-day EBS conference. He said the conference provided a great opportunity for collaboration to help them as they provide resources for kingdom work.
“My favorite aspect is networking with other individuals who want to provide up-to-date resources dealing with the business side of ministry,” Martin said. “Connecting with other like-minded individuals and organizations is important as we move forward to serve those who are serving the Lord. I’d tell anybody in a business role in a church or ministry: Start planning to be part of this great event! Resource your staff and individuals to connect with other like-minded people who want to serve the Lord and their ministries. Attending the EBS is more than a seminar; it is a start of building partnerships and friendships that last a lifetime.”
(EDITOR’S NOTE – Roy Hayhurst is director of denominational and public relations services for GuideStone Financial Resources of the Southern Baptist Convention.)