Month: January 2024

Five Easter Ideas for Church Growth and Giving

Five Easter Ideas for Church Growth and Giving

Five Easter Ideas for Church Growth and Giving

Celebrating Easter and Christ’s Resurrection is the cornerstone of your church and your ministry. It’s what you stand for and how your worshipers define their personal commitment to God. No wonder Easter is one of the most attended worship services of the year!

Most of your congregation will gather together on April 9th to celebrate God’s miracle. A quarter of first-time church visitors will seek you out specifically on Easter Sunday. Easter church attendance is one of the most impactful holidays that can open doors for new church growth and giving.

So, what’s the best way to harness that faithful energy and engage your congregation all year long?

The key is creating special events that extend beyond Easter by using modern tools to connect with your church family easily and quickly.

Here are five innovative Easter ideas for church that will engage your fellowship throughout the Easter season and keep them returning all year long.

1. Reimagine Sunday Church Dinner

Church services and Easter egg hunts are mainstays, but how about hosting Easter dinner to share with your larger community? Churches have figured out how to do this at Thanksgiving. Why not Easter Sunday? It’s a perfect opportunity to bring Jesus’ teachings to those who need them most. Same great message, at a new date and time.

Make volunteer scheduling easy.

Manage food and volunteer sign ups easily with church volunteer scheduling. Many church members probably have favorite family recipes they’d be proud to share. From the Easter menu planning to leading children’s craft activities, keeping track of it all online will ensure a smooth event. Plus, noting members’ special skills helps you engage them in your next service project. (An online cookbook, perhaps?)

Mobile giving makes donating fast and simple.

Not everyone in your congregation is a seasoned chef. Make it easy for kitchen-challenged members to contribute to the cause with mobile payments through apps for churches. Donation management software helps you identify these donors when you’re looking to fund your next special project!

Make it a recurring event.

Continue hosting Sunday Church Dinners monthly or quarterly to keep spreading God’s Word. Church leaders can use this great opportunity to engage younger members in direct service to marginalized populations. They can help serve food or visit with guests. Be sure to use your church apps to spread the word about #SundayChurchDinner on social media.

2. Create a religious experience through art

Are there a few hidden Michelangelos among your flock? Start a new church tradition showcasing artistic creations by your congregation. From textiles to watercolors and woodworking, there are many modern interpretations of the Resurrection. Display them in your foyer or sanctuary.

Spotlight members, build community.

Use church volunteer scheduling to call for entries and organize volunteers to lead the event. It’s a great way to recognize and keep track of talented artists when it’s time for holiday decorating and the church bazaar.

Text, tag and spread the word.

Share the art collection on social media and your website. Rotate the art and host a monthly ‘gallery opening’. You can use church management software to text details about the event creating a sense of excitement and urgency within the broader community.

Explore new ways to engage.

At the event, set up a QR code through your apps for churches so visitors can sign a virtual guest book. Add these contacts to your database for marketing and outreach about future events. This also helps you chart visitors as they begin their unique spiritual journey at your church.

Mobile apps are simple and intuitive. They’re also a great way to include your Millennial and Gen Z members. These young tech savvy generations will love feeling ‘in the know’ as they set this up for you!

3. Re-enact the Easter story, God’s greatest miracle  

You don’t need a lot of props or preparation to deliver this defining moment of Christianity. The beauty and retelling of this story never gets old.

Make participation easy and fun.

Some churches host a ‘no-rehearsal performance’ with on-the-spot volunteers stepping up to improvise and share Jesus’s story. It’s a great opportunity for families!

You can find short scripts online and share copies with your actors. The imperfect efforts to read and act out the parts will endear your audience. The whole sanctuary will connect in this authentic moment.

Go viral with video.

Be sure to make a video recording of the event. Use apps for churches to post on social media. Tag church and community influencers and use #Easter related hashtags to increase organic traffic. Social media sharing is a great way to engage your Gen Z and Millennial members, while also scoring on church marketing

Refresh your website content.

Drive traffic to your website by uploading the video to your homepage. Or write  about creating the performance in your newsletter or blog.  You’ll be amazed at the uptick in views when people can watch friends in their community. Use your church management software to subscribe website visitors to your newsletter. Include an opt-in for text messages. Texting is great for sending short reminders about upcoming services, too.

4. Connect through service

Acts of service are a fabulous way to connect new members or worshipers returning after a gap. Kick off a new service project with an announcement during your Easter worship service. It’s your largest audience and a great way to share about the purpose, goal and timelines in person.

Choices boost participation.

Direct members to your church volunteer scheduling to gather volunteer contact info and share upcoming service projects dates on your church calendar. There are many ways to serve God and your community. Offer a variety of projects that focus on underserved populations such as the elderly or food deprived, local environmental initiatives or education. Joining a group of people with similar skills and passions creates a sense of belonging. And feeling like you belong in an active church group is what keeps members coming back.

Feedback matters.

Create quick church surveys and gain valuable feedback. Learn what worked and what didn’t. You’ll discover new ideas and service projects that interest members. When you share those results with your community, they’ll feel seen and heard by church leaders. Collecting input can drive positive change and help worshipers rediscover their sense of purpose.

Celebrate a job well done.

Share a meal and memories of completed acts of service. Ask volunteers to upload photos to use for future outreach and church milestones. Their shared experiences will create lasting bonds in your community. Encourage volunteers to bring a friend to learn about the projects and your church.

5. Share His songs in a concert

There are just so many inspirational songs, including them all on Easter would create one very long worship service! So rejoice together at a special time.

Group singing uplifts us all.

Like group prayer, the power of our collective voices transforms us. We feel God’s support and love through song. Recent blockbuster movies about gospel concerts may inspire your congregation.

Celebrate talent in your church community.

Invite musicians in your congregation to perform. It’s a great way to discover fresh voices and original new music. Welcome area musicians to perform, too.

Spread His Word.

Definitely record this event and use it on your social channels. Encourage members to share it on their social stories. Add new music to your church set to keep current with trends of the younger generations of worshipers.

Easter is the most important celebration of your faith. This worship service in your church is the perfect platform to share in God’s love and welcome new visitors. But the power of this miracle transcends this special Sunday. Your ministry shares his Word all year long. We encourage you to explore all the modern avenues to engage your community on Easter and throughout the year.

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Article taken from here.

Tech Trends That Will Shape Church in 2024

Tech Trends That Will Shape Church in 2024

Tech Trends That Will Shape Church in 2024

Technology is constantly evolving, and churches are no exception. Church leaders are increasingly looking for ways to use technology to reach more people, engage their congregations, and streamline their operations. We spoke with Joe Palombo from Church Production Magazine about tech trends for 2024 on the Church Solutions Podcast.

Here are a few of the most important ones to watch:

1. Continued Growth of Hybrid Church

Hybrid church, which combines in-person and online services, has become increasingly popular in recent years, and this trend is expected to continue in 2024. Hybrid church allows churches to reach a wider audience, including people who are unable to attend in-person services due to illness, disability, or other reasons.

2. Increased use of Artificial Intelligence (AI)

AI is already being used by some churches in a variety of ways, such as to personalize outreach, generate creative content, and automate tasks. In 2024, we expect to see even more churches adopting AI-powered tools and services.

3. Continued Rise of the Metaverse

The metaverse is a virtual world that is still in its early stages of development, but it has the potential to revolutionize the way churches operate. In the metaverse, churches could offer virtual services, host online events, and create immersive learning experiences.

4. Growth of Digital Giving

Digital giving has been on the rise for several years, and this trend is expected to continue in 2024. More and more people are choosing to give to their churches online, and churches are responding by offering more convenient and secure giving options.

5. Focus on Cybersecurity

As churches become more reliant on technology, it is important for them to take steps to protect their finances, members data, and other systems from cyberattacks. In 2024, we expect to see more churches investing in cybersecurity solutions and training their staff on best practices.

If you are a church leader, there are a few things you can do to prepare for the tech trends of 2024:

  • Assess your current tech needs: Take some time to assess your church’s current technology use and identify any areas where you need to improve.
  • Create a tech plan: Once you have identified your needs, develop a plan for how you will meet them. This plan should include specific goals, timelines, and budgets.
  • Train your staff and volunteers: Make sure that your staff and volunteers are trained on how to use the technology that your church is using. This will help to ensure that your church’s tech ministry is running smoothly.
  • Stay up-to-date on the latest trends: Technology is constantly changing, so it is important to stay up-to-date on the latest trends and developments. This will help you to make sure that your church is using the best possible technology to support its ministry.

You can help your church to stay ahead of the curve and use technology to reach more people and engage your congregation in new and innovative ways.

Reach out to us, we are happy to talk. Since 2001 our seasoned ministry staff has worked exclusively with churches and ministries around the world. We have monthly webinars to equip you for ministry. Click here to learn more.

Article written by: SCTV TEAM

Article taken from here.

Payroll and Budget Changes for 2024

Payroll and Budget Changes for 2024

Payroll and Budget Changes for 2024

While churches continue to face pressure to raise wages and spend more on staffing in general, results from our 2023 State of Church Compensation survey indicate that the job market is beginning to calm down and stabilize. For example, even though 8 in 10 congregations anticipate they will spend more on salaries and overall payroll in the coming year, the number of churches looking to increase their staff size continues to grow.

The data from this year’s State of Church Compensation Survey is divided into two sections: 2023 changes and anticipated 2024 changes.

2023 Changes

In last year’s survey, we reported that “around 40% of churches appear to be targeting an increase of 4-5% in their 2023 budget for salaries, benefits, total payroll, and a cost-of-living-adjustment (COLA). Another 20% of congregations are planning for a slightly higher increase in the 5-7% range.”

As the chart below visualizes, our prediction was very accurate. The only signficant difference was that churches increased spending on salaries by about 0.8% more than predicted, which led to a corresponding increase in total payroll spending. If you dig into the data, this overall increase in spending was driven both by churches making fewer cuts than they anticipated and by some churches spending slightly more than they anticipated.

Overall, 8 out of 10 churches made changes to their payroll (either negative or positive) in 2023. Of these churches, 82% increased wages, 32% increased benefits, and 74% increased overall payroll spending. While responses varied between churches, the overall median increase for salaries, benefits, and overall payroll was 4.875%, 4%, and 5% respectively.

In 2023, only 16% of churches reported decreasing their staff on purpose and only 11% reported decreasing their overall payroll spending. The vast majority of churches (74-77%) surveyed indicated that they increased the amount of money they spent on salaries/wages and overall payroll. Comparing these percentages to last year’s predictions, it is clear that churches simply made fewer cuts to staff and salaries than they predicted. We believe this is because they simply couldn’t afford to lose staff (replacing personnel right now is far more expensive than retaining them).

Slightly fewer churches offered bonuses or gift cards in 2023 (63%) than in 2022 (66%), and of those that offered bonuses fewer still offered them in lieu of permanent salary/wage increases (18% in 2023 versus 22% in 2022).

Data gathered on hiring over the course of the pandemic lines up perfectly with figures gathered last year through our surveys on the State of Church Compensation and The Impact of COVID-19 on the American Church.

As the pandemic officially ended and churches found their “new normal,” the number of churches hiring has increased from 22% to 37.3%. At the same time, the number of churches looking to decrease or maintain their staff size has shrunk from 22% to 16.4% and from 56% to 46.2% respectively. In short, more churches are looking to hire and fewer are planning on letting staff go

One way that churches offset some of the salary/wage increases in light of inflation in 2022, was by cutting or decreasing staff hours. This year’s survey indicates that around 75% of churches decreased the total number of hours worked by staff between 2022 and 2023.

The prevailing reasons that churches cited for cuts included decreasing giving/income (53%), often as a result of decreased attendance (22%), a purposeful or natural decrease in the size of their staff (26%), changes to benefits and/or ministry spending (5-7%), and pressure from increased facility or utilities costs (2%). Many churches noted the decrease in staff hours or paid staff was the result of voluntary attrition—staff left for other better paying jobs, retired, stepped down, or cut back their own hours becase they took on a second job (became bivocational).

This trend in 2023 mirrors feedback in last year’s survey that much of the decrease in staffing expenses was due to voluntary changes (turnover, positions left unfilled, and/or an increase in bivocational work).

Of the 35% of churches that increased the amount they spent on benefits between 2022 and 2023, 28% spent more on retirement matching and 54% spent more on health/dental insurance for staff. Less than 6% of churches were able to decrease the amount of money they spent on benefits in their 2023 budget.

2024 Changes

As churches look to 2024, 72% of churches anticipate they will increase spending on salaries/wages, 35% anticipate they will spend more on benefits, and 70% anticipate they will spend more overall on payroll. At the same time, 74% of churches plan on keeping staff hours the same, while 60% plan to maintain the same number of employees.

If true, this would indicates a course correction may be occuring in terms of hiring and staff expansion. Many of the churches that sought to hire and re-hire staff that left, resigned, or retired during the height of the pandemic are not filling those positions. As these positions continue to be filled, we hope that the job market will stabilize even further.

In 2023, churches are much more aligned on a cost of living adjustment of around 3%. Slightly less than half (44%) of churches plan on applying a COLA of between 3 and 3.5% for their 2024 budgets. Around 20% are targeting a lower COLA of between 1.5 and 2.5%, while 19% are considering a higher COLA of between 3.5 and 4.5%.

The median anticipated increase among the 385 churches that responded is 3.5% for salaries, 4% for benefits, and 4% for total payroll. The average projected increases are slightly higher at 3.9% for salaries, 4.58% for benefits, and 4.5% total payroll.

Based on this data, and armed with the knowledge that not every church was able to increase salaries last year due to inflation, we anticipate a 3.75% increase in spending on salaries, a 4.25% increase in benefit spending, and an overall 4.25% increase in total payroll.

Watch this year’s State of Church Compensation webinar to learn more about anticipated changes and pressures for churches as we prepare to move from 2023 to 2024.

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Article taken from here.

Designating a Housing Allowance for 2024

How Not to Waste Your Churches Money

Designating a Housing Allowance for 2024

The housing allowance is the most important tax benefit available to ministers.

But many ministers do not take full advantage of it because they (or their tax adviser or church board) are not familiar with the rules.

What can church leaders do to help? Consider the following guidance.

Designating a housing allowance for ministers in church-owned parsonages

Ministers who live in a church-provided parsonage or manse can exclude from their income for federal income tax reporting purposes (1) the fair rental value of the parsonage, and (2) the portion of their compensation designated in advance by the church as a “parsonage allowance”—to the extent that it is used to pay for parsonage-related expenses such as utilities, repairs, and furnishings and does not exceed the fair rental value of the home (furnished, plus utilities).

Recommendation. If your pastor lives in a church-provided parsonage or manse, and incurs any out-of-pocket expenses living there (for example, for utilities or furnishings), then have the church designate a portion of the pastor’s 2024 compensation as a “parsonage allowance.” This should be done in December 2023 so that it will be effective for all of 2024. Parsonage allowances cannot be designated retroactively.

Example. Your youth pastor lives in a church-provided parsonage. He is expected to pay his utilities and provide his furniture. His compensation for 2024 will be $35,000. In its December 2023 meeting, the church board designates $3,000 of this amount as a “parsonage allowance.” The youth pastor has parsonage expenses of at least $3,000 in 2024 (for utilities and furnishings). At the end of the year, the church treasurer issues the youth pastor a W-2 reporting only $32,000 as church compensation. The parsonage allowance is not taxable (assuming that it was used for parsonage expenses) for income tax reporting purposes.

Designating a housing allowance for ministers who own their home

Many ministers own their homes. The portion of their compensation that is designated in advance by the church as a “housing allowance” is not subject to income tax to the extent it is used for housing expenses and does not exceed the home’s annual fair rental value (furnished, plus utilities).

Recommendation. If your pastor owns a home, have the church designate a portion of the pastor’s 2024 compensation as a housing allowance. This action should be taken in December 2023 so that it will be effective for all of 2024. Housing allowances cannot be designated retroactively.

Tip. Use the form in “Sample Housing Allowance Resolution for Pastors.”

Key question. Who should designate the housing allowance? In most churches, it will be the governing board. But this is not always the case. Some church boards delegate this authority (and other compensation decisions) to a personnel or compensation committee. In other churches, the membership approves all compensation decisions at the annual business meeting. Whichever method your church uses, be sure that the allowance is designated in advance, and that the action is in writing.

Designation a housing allowance for ministers who rent a home

Many ministers rent their homes. The Apostle Paul did for a brief time during his ministry. Acts 28:30 states that “for two whole years, Paul stayed there in his own rented house.” Perhaps your minister is renting a home or apartment. If so, you should understand that the portion of your minister’s compensation that is designated in advance by the church as a housing or rental allowance is not subject to income tax to the extent that it is used for rental expenses and does not exceed the fair rental value of the home (furnished, plus utilities). See the above recommendations and tips for ministers who own their homes.

Determining the amount of the allowance

How does your church determine the appropriate amount for a parsonage, housing, or rental allowance? A common practice is for churches to provide their pastor with an “estimated expense form” prior to the end of the year. The pastor estimates likely expenses for the following year on this form, and returns it to the board or other body that designates housing allowances. The allowance is based on the pastor’s estimated expenses.

Tip. Sample expense forms are reproduced at the end of chapter 6 in the annual Church & Clergy Tax Guide. There are separate forms for computing parsonage allowances, housing allowances, and rental allowances. This is a simple and convenient way for your church to designate an appropriate allowance.

Tip. Your church should not be too conservative in designating a housing allowance. The pastor cannot exclude from taxable income an amount more than the church-designated allowance. So, your church may want to designate an allowance in excess of a pastor’s estimated housing expenses for the new year.

Tax reporting

Most churches reduce the pastor’s W-2 by the amount the church designated as a housing allowance. But remember that the allowance is not necessarily nontaxable for income tax reporting purposes. For ministers who own or rent their home, the allowance is nontaxable only to the extent that it does not exceed actual housing expenses or the annual rental value of the home (furnished, plus utilities). It is the minister’s responsibility to report any excess housing allowance as taxable income on his or her tax return.

IRS Publication 517 states:

You must include in gross income the amount of any [housing, rental, or parsonage] allowance that is more than the smallest of

  • Your reasonable salary,
  • The fair rental value of the home plus utilities, or
  • The amount actually used to provide a home.

Include this amount in the total on Form 1040, line 1. On the dotted line next to line 1, enter “Excess allowance” and the amount.

Example. At the end of 2023, a church board determined that Pastor T’s compensation for 2024 would be $50,000. It designated $20,000 of this amount as a housing allowance. At the end of the year the church treasurer issues Pastor T a W-2 that reports taxable income of $30,000 (salary less housing allowance). However, Pastor T only has $17,000 of housing expenses in 2024. As a result, taxable income is understated on his W-2 by $3,000. It is Pastor T’s responsibility to report this $3,000 as additional income on line 7a of Form 1040.

Church treasurers should be sure that their pastor is aware of this reporting responsibility. Many pastors erroneously assume that they can reduce their taxable income by the full amount of the church-designated housing allowance. This will be true only if the allowance is less than the pastor’s actual housing expenses and the annual rental value of the home (including utilities).

Amending the housing allowance

What if the housing allowance designated for your pastor turns out to be too low? For example, the pastor has to pay for unanticipated home repairs, or begins to prepay part of the home mortgage loan. Can the church amend the pastor’s housing allowance? Yes it can, but note that the amendment only operates prospectively—from the date of the amendment forward.

For detailed information on the parsonages and housing allowances, see chapter 6 in the annual Church & Clergy Tax Guide.

Article written by: Richard R. Hammar, Attorney, CPA

Article taken from here.

Say No To These Things In 2024

Say No To These Things In 2024

Say No To These Things In 2024

Most leaders feel overwhelmed, overworked, and overcommitted.
But strategic leaders spend 80% of their time doing the things that produce 80% of their results. That’s what helps you thrive and operate at your best.
One way to do that is categorical decision-making: Making one decision that eliminates dozens or hundreds of other decisions. It eliminates groups of people or things that are no longer serving you from your calendar and your life.
For example, this is one kind of categorical decision you can make: Eliminate particular kinds of meetings. For example, stop doing breakfast meetings, lunch meetings, meetings over one hour, evening meetings, or weekend meetings.
It becomes so much easier to eliminate overwhelm when you have categories that you simply say ‘no’ to. As a result, you avoid all the mental floundering— time and energy—involved in thinking about whether you should say yes or no.
When you decide what you won’t do, it frees up time and energy to fulfill your purpose. Case closed. Move on.
On the following pages, you’ll find 42 Things You Can Say ‘No’ To In 2024. Combine a few of these, and you can easily free 100 hours next year; that’s over 4 days of freed up time.
  • Breakfast meetings. They take up too much time. It’s never an hour.
  • Meetings longer than an hour. Set the default to 30 minutes for meetings.
  • Weekly meetings that should be bi-weekly.
  • Bi-weekly meetings that could be monthly.
  • Group meetings that don’t require your direct input.
  • Having too many direct reports. Streamline your direct reports to your top 3-4 team members.
  • Off-site meetings to save travel time.
  • Meetings over meals. Even lunch and dinner take up far more time than 30 minutes in the office.
  • “Pick your brain” meetings. These are often pointless.
  • “Let’s just get together” meetings with no defined purpose.
  • Outside meetings that you or your team didn’t call.
  • Meetings with no end time.
  • Meetings on certain days (i.e. I never do meetings on Tuesdays or Fridays).
  • Morning meetings. To protect your creative and thinking time, say no to meetings before noon.
  • Interruptions. When someone knocks on your office door and asks for some time, tell them you’re working on an important project and will see them later.

Energy Draines

It’s not just time that disappears when you make unstrategic decisions; it’s your energy. Some interactions may not take that much time, but they can drain your energy for hours or the rest of the day. When it comes to people, loving people doesn’t mean giving them unfiltered access to your life. Boundaries exist for a reason.

  • Avoiding hard decisions. It’s easy to avoid hard calls. But over time, it drains your energy and can even make you lose sleep. Just make the call.
  • Blame. It’s way too easy to blame others for everything that went wrong. Start accepting responsibility. You’ll save time and get better at what you do. Plus, you’ll be a better human.
  • Bad clients. Release bad clients. Keep the best. They pay on time and create very few challenges.
  • B Players. No more B players in 2024. An A player will outperform them 2x-10x, and you’ll stop losing sleep.
  • Trolls. The block function on the internet exists for a reason.
  • High drama people. Create clear boundaries around high drama types.
  • Energy-draining relationships. Set clear boundaries around relationships that take more energy than they give. Eliminate some, reduce the frequency of others, and always, always, always set clear boundaries.
  • Mindless or endless scrolling. Use the time limit function on various social apps to limit your time, or better yet, delete them from your phone, so you have to be intentional about spending time on them.
  • Social media arguments. Avoid engaging in any online debates that won’t have a beneficial outcome. Or better, avoid engaging in any online debates at all.
  • Comparison. Keep your head down. Do your best work. If you need to compete, compete against yourself.

Administrative Tedium

  • Last-minute requests. Turn down tasks or projects without adequate time for proper execution.
  • Unimportant email threads. Unsubscribe from all low-priority emails.
  • Long emails. When you get a long email (often with no paragraph breaks), don’t respond if that’s an option, or, alternatively, give a short, kind twosentence response.
  • Tasks you can delegate. If you have a team, release them to do their work.
  • Things that could be done by AI. AI is advancing every week. Take 15 minutes a day to figure out how you could better leverage it. This could save you and your team hours a day.

Personal Well-Being (or Lack of It)

  • Cheating sleep. It’s easy to think you’re crushing work because you’re cheating on sleep, but long term, you’re just crushing yourself.
  • Ignoring the signs of burnout. Take a break before you break.
  • Late-night work. If you can’t get it done during the day, it’s a sign you’ve taken on too much or could improve your efficiency.
  • Weekend work. See above.
  • Skipping exercise. Working out or even going for a walk will make you more productive, not less productive.
  • Junk food. Saying no to junk food will almost always give you more energy and avoid the carb crashes and sugar crashes that ruin productivity.


  • Hiring fast. Yes, you’re desperate, but a fast hire is rarely a great hire and it costs you far more in the long run.
  • Random texts or phone calls. Just because someone texts or calls doesn’t mean you need to answer right away. Put your phone on do not disturb, and get back to them later.
  • Too many personal commitments. Limit personal activities that don’t align with your larger life goals.
  • Endless research. Limit time gathering information and simply ship the work.
  • Overpromising. Let your yes be yes and your no be no. Only commit to what you’re sure you can deliver.
  • Underdelivering. When you promise something, deliver more than they expect and better than they expect. Because you’ve eliminated so many distractions and other time-suckers, this won’t be difficult anymore.

Acting on even a few of these will free up dozens of hours a month. Act on all of them, and you might not even recognize yourself anymore. You’ll have more margin for your family, for your goals, and to pursue some new passions you never had time for before. Learning the power of categorical decision-making is a keystone to helping you live in a way today that will help you thrive tomorrow.

Article written by: Carey Nieuwhof

Article taken from here.