NACBA Weekly Update
Sept. 24, 2010

Annual prayer event "at the pole" turns 20
The News of Today
"See You at the Pole" is a prayer service being held at Christian schools & public schools around the United States today. The students were supposed to gather around the flag pole at their school before classes began this morning, to pray, read scripture, and worship. The event has taken place since 1990, and this year marks the 20th anniversary of the first "See You at the Pole" event. Although there are no official numbers of students who participated in this year’s event, the people who created it believe between 1 million and 2 million students participated. More

The decline in worship attendance
The Christian Century
Many people assume that there has been a steady decline in worship attendance for all the mainline denominations since the mid-1960s—the era when most of them began to see their memberships decline. But trends in attendance—usually thought to be a better indicator of church vitality than trends in membership—have actually followed their own patterns.More

Study shows young clergy increasing
A study released this week testifies to the ongoing need for more young adults like Phillips becoming clergy — and the widening age gap among U.S. pastoral leaders in The United Methodist Church. The denomination is moving in the right direction. Between 2009 and 2010, the number of young elders, deacons and local pastors (those under the age of 35) increased. There are more young clergy than 10 years ago, according to the 2010 study by the Lewis Center for Church Leadership of Wesley Theological Seminary in Washington, D.C. More

Charity report: U.S. ties for fifth in global giving
Houston Chronicle
The U.S. tied with Switzerland for fifth place in a "world giving index" by the British-based Charities Aid Foundation that measured charitable behavior across the globe. The ranking in the "World Giving Index 2010" was based on the U.S.'s showing in three categories — 60 percent of Americans gave to an organization; 39 percent volunteered for a group; and 65 percent were willing to aid a stranger.More

Green church 2010
Church Executive Magazine
As we look at what’s to come in the remainder of 2010 and beyond, it’s a good time to pause and be reflective. Church leaders are certain to want to reach more people, gain a stronger connection with the community, grow their congregations, improve their staff’s effectiveness, positively impact their church budgets and, most importantly, transform the lives of those in their congregation. What’s often surprising for many church leaders is how their green planning, design, and construction considerations can positively impact every one of those areas.More

Faith-based hiring in jeopardy
Congress is tampering with freedom of religion in pending legislation that would deny religious charities that receive federal grants their fundamental right to hire people who share their faith. H.R. 5466, sponsored by Rep. Patrick Kennedy (D-R.I.), targets faith groups that work in the mental health and substance abuse field. Under that legislation, groups like Teen Challenge and World Vision, which receive funding from the federal government, would be prohibited from hiring employees on the basis of religious beliefs and would be forced to hire atheists and other non-believing individuals.More

Pastor's suffering strengthens church
Baptist Press
This was not the method of church growth Dwayne Maxey had in mind when he was called as pastor of tiny Eastside Baptist Church in 2000. The congregation consisted of some 10 weekly attendees a decade ago, but recently attendance has increased five-fold to nearly 50 and Maxey has seen several converted and has baptized nine this year. God has sent revival to Eastside not through a series of evangelistic meetings but through Maxey's suffering. More

Churches come together to form 'mosaic'
The Valley Chronicle
When Pastor Kevin Robinson began his doctoral dissertation on whether multiple congregations can peacefully coexist in the same facility, he didn’t know he’d soon get real-world experience. Not only are the four congregations ministering under the same roof, but they plan joint activities. “I feel this is God’s place and he wants to use it to the maximum,” Robinson said.More

Steps for starting multiple worship services
We live in the age of multiple choices. One way for growing churches to reach people is to create options. Options might include different worship styles under one roof, time options for busy people or options addressing a particular need (like starting a mission church under your church’s mission for another ethnic group). A new worship service does two things. When people from an existing worship service commit to the new service it creates space for the existing worship service to grow. The new service will grow as it reaches new people. More

Time for stewardship sermons
In an article for Sermon Central, Bob Russell writes about what he has learned about stewardship sermons, including the best time of year to preach them: "The timing of a stewardship sermon dramatically affects how it is received. If people are reconsidering their spending priorities, they're more likely to welcome biblical teaching on money. If they're overwhelmed with charities, events and school expenses, for example, they'll likely resent a church asking for more money, too.More

10 tips for a church financial crisis
Church Central
Is your church facing a financial crisis? Here are ten tips to help you handle the crisis (and yourself). More

3 things to know before buying church management software
Christianity Today
Church management software frees staff members to do their jobs more efficiently. They communicate better using one common tool, and they help control the costs related to running a church. Yet it's often hard to know what to expect when considering a new church management program. Here are three tips to consider.More

Megachurch pastor preaches 24 hours straight on audacious faith
The Christian Post
One of the youngest megachurch pastors in the country preached what may have amounted to half a year's worth of sermons in 24 hours. Executing what he called the craziest, most asinine ideas he's ever had, Pastor Steven Furtick stood in front of a live Web audience on Tuesday and Wednesday, teaching from the Bible for 24 hours straight. Though hours of sermons may have easily sounded like a snooze fest for some, the online event was a big draw for thousands who were familiar with the young pastor's passionate preaching.More

Heavenly body
The Washington Post
As arduous as exercise can be, and as ardently as yoga class namastes stress the body-spirit connection, and as often as one wishes to take the Lord's name in vain during the third set of squat-thrusts, it was only a matter of time before someone put it all together: Enter "Body Gospel."More