New Dept of Labor law for churches

This was too good not to share.  Thanks Kevin!

“New Overtime Regulations and the Impact on Churches” by Kevin S. Conner, CCA, MBA

On December 1, 2016 the Department of Labor’s final rule updating overtime regulations will go into effect. It is estimated that within the first year alone, this new rule will extend overtime pay protections to over 4 million workers, and some of these workers are likely employed by your church. The primary change which is most likely to affect churches in this final rule is the change to the standard salary level threshold for exempt employees. Exempt employees are those employees who are not entitled to overtime pay according to the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA). Employees can be classified as exempt on the basis of how much they are paid, how they are paid, and what kind of work they do. The exemptions fall into one of three categories; executive exemption, professional exemption, and administrative exemption. The Department of Labor’s website provides substantial resources to help employers with performing job duties tests to determine if one of these exemptions applies to certain employees. Performing these tests is crucial for employers (including churches) to ensure that its employees are being compensated in compliance with employment law. If, after a duties test, an employee is classified as exempt, the employer is also required to meet a salary threshold of $455 per week ($23,660 per year) in order to keep the employee in this exempt status. The application is such that an exempt employee does not have to track his or her hours and employers do not have to pay overtime wages to exempt employees working in excess of 40 hours in a work-week. The final rule going into effect December 1, 2016 will increase the salary threshold from $455 per week to more than double; $913 per week ($47,476 annually). This means that employees who are currently classified as exempt, but are making under $913 per week ($47,476 annually) will either need to have their compensation raised to this level or will lose their exempt status under FLSA. The options for a church facing this issue are fairly straightforward, but by no means simple. The employee would need to be given a raise to get them to the new compensation level, or the employee would need to be reclassified as a non-exempt employee and would need to immediately begin to track his or her hours each week. The church would then be legally obligated to pay time-and-a-half for all hours worked over 40 in a given work-week. Any way you slice it, after December 1, 2016, churches will have a new burden to bear. The burden could be financial, administrative, or both. Whatever situation your church is in, this is not a piece of legislation that should be ignored. It will be law, and will not be likely to change. In fact future automatic changes to this threshold are scheduled to occur every three years, beginning January 1, 2020. For more thorough information on this issue and how your church can navigate its way through it, and to learn more about other ways this could impact your church, I recommend taking a look at the following resources:

Website: Department of Labor Website Link

The Church Law Group Webinars: Evangelical Council for Financial Accountability Impact of New Overtime Regulations on Churches & Ministries (Cost: $29.00)

The Church Network New Overtime Rules and the Effect on Churches (Cost: $59.00-$79.00)


Living out Love

Chrilovestians have a hard time figuring out how to live out their faith in a faithless or faith-neuter world. We, like everyone else here, have our preferences regarding food, cars, jobs, schools, friends, apps, and even the wisdom that we choose to let guide our lives. I like pizza, but probably shouldn’t eat it for every meal for every day…that would not be healthy. As Christ followers, we have a guidebook for healthy living called the New Testament (NT).  This is the back 1/3 of most of our Bibles and gives the Holy Scriptures pertaining to Jesus Christ.  (obviously there are a ton of prophetic verses about Christ in the Old Testament, but that’s for a different discussion.)

How do we prioritize even just using the NT as our guidebook?

Jesus’s simplification of the Old Testament (OT) into 2 commandments (Love God & Love your neighbor – Matthew 22:37-39) is super helpful, but not specific.  Below is a list of ways that I believe the NT gives us to live out the 2nd part of Christ’s words.  These provide practical instruction for how to work out loving our neighbors, but in case you forget, it all comes back to the heart of why… Christ loves us, so we are to love him and love each other.  I call them the “One-Anothers.”

1      love

John 13:34 – A new commandment I give to you, that you love one another: just as I have loved you, you also are to love one another.

1 John 3:11 – For this is the message that you have heard from the beginning, that we should love one another.

1 John 4:11 – Beloved, if God so loved us, we also ought to love one another.

1 John 4:12 – No one has ever seen God; if we love one another, God abides in us and his love is perfected in us.

2 John 5 – And now I ask you, dear lady—not as though I were writing you a new commandment, but the one we have had from the beginning—that we love one another.

2      hospitality

1 Peter 4:9 – Show hospitality to one another without grumbling.

3      stir or spur towards loves & good works

Hebrews 10:24 – And let us consider how to stir up one another to love and good works

4      instruct/ teach/ admonish

Romans 15:14 – I myself am satisfied about you, my brothers, that you yourselves are full of goodness, filled with all knowledge and able to instruct one another.

Colossians 3:16 – Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly, teaching and admonishing one another in all wisdom, singing psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, with thankfulness in your hearts to God.

5      bear with

Ephesians 4:2 – with all humility and gentleness, with patience, bearing with one another in love

Colossians 3:13 – bearing with one another and, if one has a complaint against another, forgiving each other;

6      forgive

Ephesians 4:32 – Be kind to one another, tender-hearted, forgiving one another, as God in Christ forgave you.

7      submit to

Ephesians 5:21 – submitting to one another out of reverence for Christ.

Philippians 2:4 – Let each of you look not only to his own interests, but also to the interests of others.

8      encourage/ don’t judge, hinder, speak evil, provoke, or envy

Romans 14:13 – Therefore let us not pass judgment on one another any longer, but rather decide never to put a stumbling block or hindrance in the way of a brother.

Galatians 5:26 – Let us not become conceited, provoking one another, envying one another.

James 4:11 – Do not speak evil against one another, brothers.

1 Thessalonians 4:18 – Therefore encourage one another with these words. (regarding our heavenly homecoming)

9      honor

Romans 12:10 Love one another with brotherly affection. Outdo one another in showing honor.

10     comfort

2 Corinthians 13:11 – Finally, brothers, rejoice. Aim for restoration, comfort one another, agree with one another, live in peace; and the God of love and peace will be with you.

11     confess & pray

James 5:16 – Therefore, confess your sins to one another and pray for one another, that you may be healed. The prayer of a righteous person has great power as it is working

12    do good

1 Thessalonians 5:15 – See that no one repays anyone evil for evil, but always seek to do good to one another and to everyone.

13    be at peace (but still be salty)

Salt is good, but if the salt has lost its saltiness, how will you make it salty again? Have salt in yourselves, and be at peace with one another

14    praise for loving well

2 Thessalonians 1:3 – We ought always to give thanks to God for you, brothers, as is right, because your faith is growing abundantly, and the love of every one of you for one another is increasing.

Which of these “one anothers” are easiest for you or are your preferred way to love?

Which of these “one anothers” are most difficult?

We can’t eat pizza all the time, we need a balanced approach to food and to loving others.

Do something about it…

  • Write down and idea or two about how to practice each of the 14 one-anothers.
  • Pick 3 that you are actually going to DO this week and plan
  • Share with someone (spouse, friend, or other) how the practicing went.

Job Seeking Resources…

ikigai smallerNot sure where I found this picture now, but it is of a Japanese concept of the ‘sweet spot.’ I am praying that you find yours.

After evaluating the job market first hand earlier this year, I can say two things…

  1. There are a LOT of people looking for jobs right now
  2. There are some good resources available to help you, so spend the time really praying through what doors God is opening to you vs. just rushing in to the next paycheck.

Here are some good job seeking resources;

  • Oklahoma Works – OR just come into their offices, do the 1 hour assessment and magically you’ll be able to connect with thousands of free jobs and employers looking for candidates.
    • OKC – 7401 NE 23rd
    • South OKC – 9210 S. Western
    • Norman – 1141 E. Main
    • They also help with your UNEMPLOYMENT INSURANCE CLAIM by calling 405-525-1500.
  • Staffing Agencies
    • Inceed – (finance & accounting)
    • Indeed – everything –
    • Accel –

However, if you’re not in an immediate need of cash flow, let me remind you that most jobs are not Googled, on Monster, or in any version of ‘classified ads’ they are found through RELATIONSHIPS. Relationships with God, yourself, & others that care for you.

Spend some time, and money, buying & reading these books; (blog reviews below also…)

  • Doing Things That Matter – Tim Mannin
  • Do Over – Jon Acuff
  • 48 Days to the Work you Love – Dan Miller
  • Who Moved my Cheese – Spencer Johnson
  • Visioneering – Andy Stanley

RETREAT – Get away from your house/kids/responsibilities for a few days to pray, rest, & ask the questions outlined in the books above.

Ask for help – After you’ve determined what God has wired you to be & do, get some time with your friends/family/others that care for you to recruit their ideas, networks, & prayers.

Rhythm – This is key. From day 1 of your job search process, make sure you are feeding things that are long term investments into every single day. This is not the time to be 100+ hour job search-focused & ignore the rest of your life (which incidentally is the thing that you are working to support anyway…).

  • Pray & spend time reading the Bible – Ps. 108:12-13 says, “…for the help of man is worthless. With God we will gain the victory…”
  • Sleep – seriously. get 8+ hours
  • Family – spend time loving on your spouse & kids. They feel the challenge too.
  • Food – don’t use this as an excuse to eat crap. Repeat regularly, “I look & feel better when I eat good & healthy food.”
  • Exercise – Energy & endorphins…and what other obstacles are in your schedule anyway?

Empowering Lives of Freedom,


Caregiver Resources…

I attended a the Sandwich Generation conference at UCO a few weeks ago and came across a number of great resources that I wanted to share for caregivers and/or anyone concerned about aging services and or dementia/ Alzheimer’s concerns.

Listen weekly to “Well Preseved with Eunice Khoury” on KTOK am 1000 in the OKC market at 7:06am on Saturdays or on the iheartradio app.

Caregiver Resources

  • Sunbeam’s Caregiver Fundamentals Program – 8 week super helpful course. Info at
  • –
  • Caring for Caregivers –
  • eCare Diary –
  • The Caregiver’s Voice –
  • Caregiving Cafe –
  • Caregiver Support –
  • Medicare info –

Alzheimer’s Support

  • Alzheimer’s Reading Room blog –
  • NORMAN Alzheimer’s support groups
    • Arbor House Care facility – 1st Thur of month – noon.
    • McFarlin Methodist Church – 3rd Wed of month – 11:30am.
    • Norman VA Center – 2nd Tues of month – 1pm & 4th Mon of month – 1pm. 405-360-5600
  • Broyles Foundation – and in OKC at 405-848-5790

United Way partnerships

  • National –
  • OKC –
  • Norman –

Blessings to you as you help others with these resources.

Get a Job (hint…don’t do these)

Crowd+business+people+jobs   For my fellow OKC friends recently downsized and looking for the next gig, here’s my Top 5 things to help you Get a Job.

  1. Ignore your heart. Taking time to grieve, searching out your passions, & understanding your Why take time and will delay your Getting a Job.
  2. Ignore your spouse/family completely so you can focus on the next job. They mostly need you to provide $ for their toys & lifestyle.
  3. Ignore your health. Exercise is a luxury you don’t have time for while you’re in the trenches…the gym/bike/P90x/Cize class can wait till you’re re-employed.
  4. Call in as many favors as possible. Even if you haven’t talked with people for years, the fact that they are in your social media circles means they will drop everything and bend over backwards to find you the highest paying next job possible.
  5. Start buying the daily paper again and “smile & dial” those Want Ads!

Seriously, I’ve had these all pop up as real ideas or suggestions and they are trash. There is a lot of legitimate advice out there these days, so spend time finding it. My real suggestions??? spend time with some quality friends & family, get away to pray & get your head on straight, then craft a battle plan to launch your YOLO career pathway. And…if you need a free 30 minute brainstorming session, just let me know and we can schedule it.

Book App – Doing Things That Matter

Most of us have the 1 message that if we had our ’15 minutes of fame’ we would want to leverage it well by sharing that 1 message with the world. This book is Tim Mannin’s 1 message. It is indeed a book about living on purpose and stringing together a series of actions over time that “matter”, but I am more impacted by what the rest if he book fleshes out…the KIND of things that matter.  

Tim’s subtitle is the ‘things’ that matter… 

Dream Wildly

Live Differently

Love Recklessly

Lead Courageously

The book details each ‘thing’ above and challenges us to act out routinely in ways that, despite conventional wisdom, lead us along a narrow road towards ultimate /eternal satisfaction. 

However, my primary application of this book is not from these items. They were valuable reminders but not new to my ‘storyline.’

The revolutionary idea of this book is the concept around being vs. doing. I was humbled as I thought through my recent prayer life focused on the things I do or should do, but little action towards becoming the person God has wired me to be. Tim’s exercise on page 48 was convicting…”Ask yourself, “Who am I becoming as a…” Then there was a list of roles in our lives to fill in the blanks on. Father, spouse, son, friend, neighbor, advocate, employee, etc…were all areas to think through our daily efforts at becoming more of who we’re wired to be. 

“Allow God to be God and you to be you because that is exactly who he wants you to be. Nothing more. Nothing less.” – p. 51

What are of becoming are you focusing on next? Mine is becoming an employee that identifies needs and attacks them. 

Book App – Visioneering


Book Application for Andy Stanley’s Visioneering. 

I have enjoyed Andy Stanley’s teaching and small group leadership materials for many years. I have especially appreciated his faithfulness to the message, continuing from his dad’s ministry, but not being afraid to repackage the message for the next generation. 

That being said, Visioneering may be the most valuable of his messages as it doesn’t espouse a canned list of Christian action steps but instead empowers people to plan, or engineer, their unique vision for the future. This has been powerful to me as I love helping to release those visions in others and believe that today’s challenges will require all of our collective visions and efforts to move forward. 

The book outlined a methodology of identifying challenges, clarifying personal steps toward solutions, and guidance on implementing those solutions. 

I was able to identify some key themes in my varied career paths, draft a version of my vision, and begin the ‘investigate before initiate’ mode. (Per the book, I can’t tell you the specific vision yet as I’m still validating it.) 

I would highly recommend the book during a season of reflection, job satisfaction analysis, retreat weekend, job change, mid life crisis, or even just trying to imagine ‘what you want to be when you grow up.’

Without revealing too much, my work/ministry vision is around bringing about financial freedom for others. If you’ve fleshed out your vision, please share!