NACBA Weekly Update
July 15, 2011

Friendship: The key to keeping people coming back to Church
Rob and Joanne attend Harvest Christian Fellowship, in Riverside Ca, where thousands gather weekly for services. When asked what keeps them attending, they answer without hesitancy, friendships. Their answer is simple, yet goes to the very heart of what draws people to church and keeps them there. On the other side of the coin, Mark, a new Christian and recovering addict, attended a local church one Sunday and was met with suspicious stares and coldness, as many were disturbed by his tattoos and ear studs. Whether large or small, churches are wise to emphasize the nurturing of friendships and to identify the things that kill them. More

NACBA packs lessons for churches seeking loans
Worship Facilities
While it can be difficult for a church -- or anyone, for that matter -- to obtain funding in the current economy, it's not impossible. Worship Facilities Magazine staff spoke with Bank of the West's (BOW's) Mark Thomas at the 55th annual National Association of Church Business Administration (NACBA) conference and tradeshow in Washington, D.C. Here are some interesting tidbits both from that conversation and from a conference session, "Church Loan Solutions & Cash Management," presented by Thomas and Peggy Morris, BOW cash management specialist.More

Depression claims many pastors, ministry leaders
The Christian Post
Pastors, the spiritual shepherds of the faithful, are not supposed to burn out. Ministry leaders, the CEOs in charge of efficient organizations, are not allowed to feel low. Christians, especially Christian leaders, must never be depressed. But, there are more of such Christian leaders than you think who some time or the other wanted to run away from the Lord’s work, from something they once gave their whole heart to. And this may happen when all seems well with the church, when the ministry is flourishing.More

Most Americans believe churches are good for the community
A new study conducted by the Barna Group says most Americans believe churches are assets to their communities. More than three out of four respondents (78 percent) said that the presence of a church in their community was either "very" or "somewhat" positive. Only 5 percent said churches were a negative influence in a community; the rest had no opinion on the matter. Although most agreed churches were of benefit to their community, relatively few respondents knew precisely how a church could or should contribute to the community.More

Copper thieves cost churches millions
The Christian Post
Churches in the United States have lost tens of millions of dollars to copper thieves, and stand to lose even more money if security measures aren’t put in place, the Christian Security Network (CSN) reports. Churches aren't immune to thieves, who can make a pretty penny by stealing copper and selling it to a recycling facility. Copper pipes, gutters, wiring, and air conditioning units have all been stolen from churches across America in exchange for quick cash. Thieves have even taken cemetery markers and crosses made of the valuable metal. More

3 ways Millennials impact our culture and the church
Church Executive Magazine
Regardless of descriptive labels they may claim or not claim, Millennials are changing the attitudes of our society. They are poised to become the dominant adult population in the next two decades. And as they enter the workforce, get married, have kids and begin to lead, they will challenge the status quo. They will inevitably elevate new cultural norms over old ones.More

New ideas for successful student ministry
Every successful student ministry venture begins with a group of passionate people who are willing to work together to create an innovative concept in response to a problem or need. Consider these noted patterns that are evident when ideas turn into successful ventures. Every venture starts out with a need or a problem. Problems are often the sparks that set aflame innovation. Kingdom ventures are born out of yearning, need, and crisis. Before you can express a solution you need to eyeball the problem.More

Worshipping with multiple courses
Houston Chronicle
A lot of Bible stories center around eating, from the fruit at the Garden of Eden to the multiplication of fish and loaves to the Last Supper. Yet, at many Christian churches, the only foods consumed are paper-thin communion wafers or donuts after the service, said self-proclaimed foodie and seminary graduate Stasi McAteer. Stasi and husband John McAteer, a professor at Houston Baptist University, posit that churches should take some cues from the slow food movement. That means sharing meals together that make them appreciate the Creator and investing time to connect with community, place and God beyond the table.More

The 10 Commandments of TV ministry
Ministry Today Magazine
There’s been a dramatic increase in the number of ministries involved in the mass media--specifically TV outreaches. As technology brings the cost of video equipment down, more and more local ministries are delving into an arena that seemed unreachable just a few years ago. Want to take your message to the masses? Here are the 10 most important steps to launching your media ministry successfully.More

Florida church starts to spend historic offering to help homeless
Orlando Sentinel
When First Baptist Church of Orlando took up a collection for homeless families in March, the record $5.6 million in pledges stunned even church leaders. But as the news sank in, a heavy responsibility emerged: How could the church spend the generous outpouring in a way that would make a lasting difference? "Immediately afterward, people started showing up on our doorstep," said the church's senior associate pastor, Danny de Armas. "We didn't want to send people away, but it wasn't appropriate to just start handing out money. Our goal was not to treat the symptoms, but to treat causes."More

The 11-minute difference: 7 checkpoints to a great guest experience at your church
Church Central
When a first time guest drives onto your campus, they will decide within 11 minutes whether or not they are coming back. Yes, the decision is made before your guests experience worship and the content of the sermon- the two elements that demand most, if not all, of our time and attention in preparation. What would it look like if you extended the same level of intention to the 11 minutes prior to walking in the sanctuary or worship center? Maybe the better question is “What would it feel like for your guests?” More

Youth groups aid tornado-battered county
Baptist Press
An Alabama-based youth ministry -- helping St. Clair County to come "storming back" from the April 27 tornado that destroyed 300 homes and took 13 lives -- organized 18 rebuilding projects in June involving dozens of youth groups. But youth weren't the only ones involved in the disaster relief effort in the county's Shoal Creek Valley community, said Jeff Huey, director of Extreme Ministries, an organization based in Cropwell, Ala., that assists churches in sharing the Gospel through drama, praise and worship, evangelism, discipleship and construction projects.More

Accountability is the key to having a successful church
The Puyallup Herald
“You have the friendliest church I’ve ever attended.” How we church members like to hear those words about our church. They make our day. And of course, we know that the majority of people who participate in, and unite with a congregation, do so because of its friendliness, which hopefully, leads to friendship with God and others. Friendliness, however, defines only part of the picture.More

Study: Talking about faith increases hospital patients' overall satisfaction
Hospitalized patients who had conversations about religion and spirituality with the health care team were the most satisfied with their overall care. However, 20 percent of patients who would have valued these discussions say their desires went unmet, according to a new study by Joshua Williams from the University of Chicago, and his colleagues. Their work appears online in the Journal of General Internal Medicine, published by Springer.More