NACBA Weekly Update
Jan. 2, 2009

Budgeting in Difficult Economic Times
from Paul Clark
Without a doubt, there will be some economic impact on our church’s financial picture in 2009. Most economists predict that it will be well into 2009 before we see some sense of stability return to the markets and the economy as a whole. This next year will require some thoughtful response on our part, as we lead, and we need to be both prayerfully dependent on God, and wise and proactive in our planning. Here’s a place to start. More

10 Stewardship Issues Every Church Leader Should Consider in 2009
from COOP Magazine
Whether whispered silently in our heads or energetically wrestled through in leadership meetings, economic fears challenge churches. We offer hope and meaning to our communities and a world growing more restless in finding truth. What a terrible price to miss authentic ministry because we lacked financial resources, especially when our neighbors may be driven to their most open spiritual moments in years because of their personal financial stress. Growing and courageous churches should consider these 10 issues in preparation for the coming year. More

IRS Announces 2009 Standard Mileage Rates
from the Internal Revenue Service
The Internal Revenue Service today issued the 2009 optional standard mileage rates used to calculate the deductible costs of operating an automobile for business, charitable, medical or moving purposes. More

Five Ways to Welcome Guests
Making guests welcome at your church is serious business. Church consultant Gary McIntosh knows the truth of that statement: after moving to Tulsa, Okla., and encountering a chilly reception in various congregations, his grandparents stopped going to church. They never regularly attended for the rest of their lives. What visitors perceive in our welcome will influence their feelings and response to church and the Lord for years to come. More

Barna Group Advises Churches to Revisit Budgets
from OneNewsNow
A new survey from The Barna Group finds that churches stand to lose several billion dollars in donations as the economy continues its slide. The survey finds that more than 150 million adults said they have been affected by the economic downturn, and most of them expect it to take several years before the nation fully recovers. George Barna, founder of The Barna Group, believes churches and nonprofits will be hit especially hard next year. More

Churches Starting to Feel Financial Stress
from The Advocate-Messenger
The effects of the nation's current down economic condition has been measured by experts in many ways - losses in home sales, employment, income and stock values, for example. But the national mainstream media generally have not done many stories on another measurement of the effects of the recession - church finances. More

10 Ways to Prevent Embezzlement of Church Funds
from LifeWay
There are several things every church needs to do to help prevent embezzlement from happening to their church. The church must guard itself and help protect the church treasurer and other financial leaders from even a hint that embezzlement of church funds is possible. One factor seems to be constant in most cases: church members were surprised that the person embezzled the funds because the church trusted the person. More

Confessions of a Pastor
from Ministry Today
Everyone makes mistakes. But when a pastor makes one and is humble enough to admit it, it usually winds up in a sermon. I'll spare you the full sermon on my biggest financial mistakes and instead offer the cliff notes version. More

Economic Slowdown Likely to Put a Damper on Giving, Survey Finds
from the Philanthropy News Digest
FAgainst the backdrop of a slowing economy, 29 percent of individuals expect to cut back on their charitable giving this fall, with fully a quarter (26 percent) of those individuals saying they are done giving for the year, a new survey from the Grizzard Communications Group finds. More

Here's the Steeple; Open the Door, and Where are the Young People?
from the Minneapolis Star-Tribune
Ian is a Christian who says he is highly spiritual but not at all religious. Unfortunately for churches, there are a lot of Ians out there. A new benchmark survey finds that 55 percent of young people ages 12 to 25 say they are more spiritual now than two years ago. But nearly one-third of the young people said they don't trust organized religion. More