NACBA Weekly Update
Feb. 8, 2013

Church branding: How to create a visual image that succinctly articulates your mission and message
Church Executive
"Branding" and "church" are two words that often seem uncomfortable when put together. True believers never want to compromise their faith by commercializing its message. But a respectful, distinctive branding platform can enhance, focus and ignite enthusiasm for the mission and message of a church. Lawndale Baptist Church in Greensboro, N.C., is a good example of how this can work.More

Changing the weather patterns of giving in your church: Part 3 of 3
By Dr. Steve McSwain, exclusively for the NACBA Weekly Update
This is the third and final in a series of exclusive articles I've written for NACBA. I've sought to answer two vitally important questions: In Part 1, I asked the question that's been asked of me hundreds of times by Christian leaders and churches I coach across America: "What is the climate of giving in today's church?" In Part 2, I began what I'll wrap up in today's article — an answer to the corollary question: "Is there anything that church leaders might do to change the climate of giving in their church?"More

Why people work harder on problems than they need to
Business Insider
In virtually every business, organization, or family in the world today, people are doing their best to solve problems. And that’s admirable. Yet, most are working way harder than they should.More

What will multisite look like in 2013?
Worship Facilities
The multisite strategy has proven to be an effective vehicle for outreach, volunteer mobilization, leadership development and regional impact. During 2013 we’ll continue to see an increase in multisite church mergers, Internet online campuses, international expansion of campuses, and more. More

Why you shouldn't dread an audit
Church Executive Magazine
There are many reasons why an organization might have a financial audit. Whether it’s to comply with debt covenants, satisfy an accreditation or membership requirement, or provide an accountability tool and best practice, most people would agree that the audit process can seem painful. More

The shrinking church: Congregations look for solutions as they face declines in membership, attendance
The Lutheran
When Joyce Gibbs began attending Zion Lutheran in Phillipsburg, Kan., in 1954, the congregation had to set up extra chairs in the aisle during worship services. In 1964 a new building was constructed to accommodate the rapidly growing congregation. Today, Zion's average attendance has dwindled to about 50 and Sunday school is now a one-room class with a handful of mixed-aged youth. It's no news flash that churches are shrinking. But where is everyone going? And more importantly, where do we go from here?More

3 ways Facebook's graph search is important for churches
If you haven't heard the news, Facebook has made another change to its social network site. You can read all you want behind Facebook's Graph Search. The short version of it is that you can use common language to search for anything you want on Facebook about the people or things you have interaction with. Regardless of your thoughts on what Facebook should or shouldn't do, you may want to learn how you can invest in this for your ministry. Here are three ways that the Church can capitalize on Graph Search.More

86 percent of churches provide no estate planning
Baptist Press
The majority of Southern Baptist pastors believe Christians should include a legacy gift to a ministry or church, but 86 percent of their churches provide no assistance for estate planning, according to a study by LifeWay Research. According to the survey, 84 percent of Southern Baptist churches received no estate gifts in the year preceding the poll. Eleven percent received one estate gift and just 1 percent received three or more gifts the previous year.More

Guns in churches: Help or hinder?
Associated Baptist Press
With gun legislation on President Barack Obama’s agenda and the National Rifle Association fighting against more gun restrictions, it seems every organization in our culture is thinking about guns. That includes churches. Many states, mostly in the Midwest and the South, have laws protecting a gun owner’s right to carry a concealed weapon in a house of worship. Arkansas’ governor is about to approve a bill that will allow handguns in churches and North Dakota is eying a similar bill. Church leaders are considering how we can better protect churches. Evacuation plans, lockdown procedures and child protection are all issues that pastors and lay leaders are looking at. But should a plan include guns?More

Do new people at your church need a GPS?
Church Leadership
Have you ever asked for directions? You often get directions with major flaws, and there is a reason for poor directions. It is called the "curse of knowledge." This means that once you know something, it is impossible to put yourself in the place of someone who does not have the knowledge. The "curse of knowledge" plagues churches where everyone there has knowledge that new people do not have, and thus we inadequately understand the needs of those just arriving. There is no cure, but there are some ways to reduce the symptoms.More

Church Super Bowl party with a twist
Associated Baptist Press
Like many American congregations, University Baptist Church in Charlottesville, Va., has a Super Bowl tradition, but this one has a twist. The viewing audience is homeless men seeking shelter from the sub-freezing temperatures typical during February in the foothills of the Blue Ridge Mountains.More

40 great church websites of 2013
Church Relevance
Studying best practices from other church websites can give you ideas that can improve online communication, avoid costly mistakes and even yield greater spiritual fruit. There's certainly a place for such pragmatism, but only if it goes hand-in-hand with listening to and obeying God. To help give you ideas and inspiration, here is a list of 40 great church websites.More

How clean is your church tech?
Church Mag
It's that time of year when people get colds and are coughing and sneezing more. Have you ever thought about how clean the tech you use might be? Research by University of Arizona found that the average desktop has 400 times more bacteria than the average toilet seat. So just how clean is your tech and what can you do about it?More

Religious construction spending in 2013-14 expected to increase
Church Executive
Growing at a faster rate than the overall U.S. economy, the nonresidential construction industry is expected to see solid, yet measured, increases in activity this year. The religious sector is expected to post a 2.6 percent increase of spending this year and 4.9 percent in 2014.More

5 things really influential people do
The people you remember in your life are the ones who influenced you in some manner. These people make you sit up and take notice. They help you change course for the better. Master these five actions and you'll effectively inspire yourself, those around you and maybe even the world.More

Don't fall for these 7 leadership traps
Church Leaders
Oftentimes, leaders are not always measured on their wins or successes, but rather their mistakes and failures. A leader is supposed to have wins, therefore they are oftentimes overlooked; however, those mistakes stick out like a sore thumb. Looking at mistakes in the context of ministry leadership, there are seven common mistakes that seem to be prevalent among ministry leaders.More

How poor leaders become good leaders
Harvard Business Review
Using 360-degree feedback data over a 12- to 18-month period, the Harvard Business Review tracked what, exactly, leaders who'd made the most significant progress were doing. The Review found that practically all of them — more than 80 percent — significantly improved their ability to execute nine particular leadership skills.More

Leadership lessons from cutting-edge NFL coaches
49ers coach Jim Harbaugh and Ravens coach John Harbaugh may have captured the world's attention in the run-up to the Super Bowl because they're brothers who hail from a coaching dynasty. But there's a much better reason to watch them: their distinctly 21st-century approach to leadership.More