How I Saved $2000

In 2003 I had a conversation with Steve Merriman and from that one conversation I saved over $2000 in taxes that year. Steve is the founder of Clergy Advantage ( – you’ve heard me talk about them in the blog before – they are the ones who cleared me when I was recently audited – you can read about it here).

I’ve known Steve since my days at Saddleback when he was a consultant for us.  In 2003 he helped me adjust my housing allowance and retirement to match my current reality of living in NYC (and did I mention it saved me over $2000 in taxes).  Steve is a friend, a trusted adviser to our staff and is one of the biggest PRO-ponents of clergy that I know. He is the person I trust with my taxes, retirement and investing.

On Tuesday, October 21, Steve and his colleagues are holding a free webinar for church staff. I strongly encourage you to attend.  Steve and his team did a similar seminar at our church earlier this year and our staff and a packed room of local pastors found it to be very helpful.  I’m sure you will too.  Here’s the details:

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Clergy Advantage would like to invite you, your spouse, and ministry staff to attend our “Tax Basics & Advanced Housing Allowance Strategies” webinar. If you’ve been unable to attend the summer workshops, this is a great way to learn how to maximize your tax benefits and save money on gas at the same time!  It’s also not too late for “year end” tax planning.

Tuesday, October 21, 2008
10:00 to 11:00 AM  MST
(Via the Internet)
The workshop and all materials are complimentary.  All you need is an hour with a phone and a computer available to gain complete knowledge of “The Greatest Tax Benefit for Ministers and Those Who Qualify”.  You’ll learn tried and true strategies to maximize your housing allowance benefits and keep them during retirement. You’ll also have an opportunity to ask questions in a two-way conversation with our Clergy Tax and Retirement Specialists.
Why Attend?
We will cover these topics and more:
  • Lowering your Social Security Tax liability.
  • Social Security Self Employed Status for ministers.
  • Use Housing Allowance for a down-payment on  a new home.
  • What expenses qualify for deductions?
  • Who qualifies as a minister?
  • Understand the Four Tax Rules for Ministers only.

How to Register

We hope to hear from you! To register and receive your log-in information and instructions, please email
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I hope you can make the webinar but even if you can’t, make sure that you have an adviser that is fully versed on the ins and outs of clergy taxes taking care of you.


P.S. If you decide to participate in the webinar, let them know that I you heard about it from me. Thanks in advance!

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About Nelson Searcy

Nelson Searcy is an experienced church growth strategist, pastor, church planter and coach, consulting with churches around the world. As founder of Church Leader Insights and the Renegade Pastors Network, he has personally trained more than 3,500 church leaders in over 45 denominations through live events, seminars and monthly coaching. Nelson is also the Founding and Lead Pastor of The Journey Church, with locations across New York City and in Boca Raton, FL. Nelson and his church routinely appear on lists such as “The 50 Most Influential Churches” and “The 25 Most Innovative Leaders.” He is the author of over 100 church growth resources and 18+ books, including The Renegade Pastor: Abandoning Average in Your Life, Ministry and The Difference Maker: Using Your Everyday Life for Eternal Impact, and At the Cross with the People Who Were There. He and his wife, Kelley, have one son, Alexander.

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