NACBA Weekly Update
Sept. 11, 2009

Making God more accessible
The Wall Street Journal
Churches, synagogues, mosques and temples are places where people with disabilities might not expect to feel excluded, isolated or patronized. Yet that has often been the norm. For years congregations have effectively excluded the disabled from worship--by steps, narrow doorways and straitened attitudes--or segregated them in "special" services. There are some potential benefits for congregations that are willing to make the investment in architecture and attitude in order to become more welcoming. More NACBA Teleweb: Tax and legal update with Frank Sommerville NACBA    Share    Employment law continues to be one of the most difficult and perplexing challenges for church administrative leaders. What seems reasonable is not always law and what staff request is not always legal even if everyone is willing and happy. The National Association of Church Business Administration (NACBA) invites you to a phone and web-based seminar: Employment Law for Churches - Open Mic with Frank Sommerville, Sept. 17 at 1:30 CDT. NACBA members can register for $59, while non-members can register for $69. Register Church acquires mortgage after falling victim to alleged fraud Detroit News    Share    One of Detroit's oldest churches, victimized by an alleged Ponzi scheme, has had its prayers answered. First Baptist Institutional Church, which found out earlier this summer that it needed $560,000 by Sept. 1 or it would go into foreclosure, has obtained a 15-year mortgage for that amount. "Our church has been saved," said parishioner Valerie Weatherly of Livonia. "We're very, very happy. ...Your church is your family and that's also your home and to think, 'Is there going to be a lock? Will my key fit?' We prayed so hard." More

Heeding the call: Churches taking ownership of Great Commission
Associated Baptist Press
A suburban Dallas church is discovering that direct involvement in mission partnerships -- including hands-on work with several congregations in southern Mexico -- is leading to renewed passion for global missions among the congregation. "The more our people became involved in a personal way -- once their hearts were plunged in it -- their energy and efforts and money tended to follow," Jerry Carlisle, pastor of First Baptist Church of Plano, Texas, said. More

Religious groups face financial crisis as donations diminish
Los Angeles Times
With donations slowing, religious groups across the theological spectrum are reporting millions of dollars in reduced income that is resulting in staff layoffs and program cuts. More

Baylor conducts largest study of clergy sexual misconduct
Baylor University
Baylor University's School of Social Work today announced that findings from the nationwide study of the prevalence of Clergy Sexual Misconduct (CSM) with Adults have been accepted for publication later this year in the Journal for the Scientific Study of Religion. The findings suggest that the prevalence of Clergy Sexual Misconduct with Adults is higher than many people realize and that it occurs across denominations and religions. More

Pastors feel the economic realities
Christian Newswire
Recent national survey of pastors and church staff shows the compensation and benefits paid to the average pastor has declined this year compared to a slight bump up in salaries in 2008. This annual survey, conducted and compiled by Christianity Today International and reported on in the 2010-2011 Compensation Handbook for Church Staff, is based on data from nearly 5,000 churches. Staff members in 13 different positions, ranging from senior pastors to church secretaries, reported on their total compensation package, including details such as salary, housing allowance/parsonage, retirement, life insurance, health insurance, disability insurance, and continuing education allowances. More

Churches let their light shine for effective services
Church Executive Magazine
Worship spaces today are used for a wide variety of functions, in addition to regularly scheduled worship services. Most churches host wedding and funeral ceremonies and many also present music and theater events for their immediate community. Lighting can fulfill many different events to address these programmatic needs. More

The 10 Commandments of TV ministry
Ministry Today Magazine
If you feel God is calling you into some type of media ministry, there are several areas you must to consider first. Without a keen understanding of these issues, you're heading for trouble. But if you'll take the time to explore the 10 critical areas outlined by the author of this article, you will be more ready to step out and begin an effective media ministry. More

Seven ways to keep push back healthy
Ministry Marketing Coach
We've each found ourselves in situations where it has become necessary to push back on something with a boss, colleague, client or friend. For most of us, it's difficult to be on either the giving or receiving end, regardless of the hot issue of the moment. We also don't relish the thought of having a tough conversation with someone we respect. Every now and then, however, there's simply no choice and push back becomes necessary to keep relationships healthy. Here are a few things to keep in mind when it does. More

Seven ways to keep push back healthy
While it is true that everyone is called to salvation and ministry, the church has long recognized that God uses some persons' aptitudes, interests, physical and emotional capacities, and spiritual commitment to call them into some phase of ministry as their vocation. These persons, based on their gifts and desire to serve, find that they can best devote their entire life to God's call to a specific task. More

Giving with the belief that faith will be rewarded
Democrat and Chronicle
As ushers prepare the offering buckets at New Born Fellowship Church in northeast Rochester, N.Y., Pastor Perdita Meeks asks the congregation what time it is. "Seed time!" the faithful shout in unison, their enthusiasm reinforced by the projection of "Seed Time Whoo!" on two giant screens flanking the pulpit. Then they are told to sow their seed in the church -- by giving 10 percent of their wages in tithing envelopes that allow for gifts by cash, check and credit card. More