NACBA Weekly Update
Jan. 14, 2011

An overview of religious financial fraud
Christian Headlines
The January 2011 issue of the International Bulletin of Missionary Research reported that Christian religious leaders will commit an estimated $34 billion in financial fraud in 2011 while $31 billion will be spent on global missions. Researchers from the Center for the Study of Global Christianity estimate that Christian religious leaders will commit $90 million in financial crimes daily and the fraud is growing at a rate of 5.97 percent each year. If the researchers are correct, religious financial fraud among Christians will almost double in 14 years to $60 billion annually by 2025.More

Churches mustn't neglect the disabled
USA Today
With the Baby Boom generation about to age into infirmity, and wounded war veterans returning from Iraq and Afghanistan in growing numbers, the issue of worshippers with disabilities will very soon overwhelm ethical and theological abstraction. But half the congregations in the USA have fewer than 100 members— many in small towns and rural areas — which means the financial cost of adjusting their structures, Sunday schools and weekly services for one or two hearing-impaired or autistic or wheelchair using members can be a challenge.More

Churches reach flock with Facebook
The Advertiser
Just as customs of the devout have evolved, so have the ways in which church leaders reach them. These days, religious leaders are just as likely to have a church Twitter account, Facebook page, YouTube channel, iTunes podcast and a blog, as they are to have a column in the monthly newsletter. Millions of people are using social networking media already, church leaders seem to be reasoning, why not try to reach them where they're spending all their time.More

Kids and connection came first for this church's vision
Church Executive Magazine
Kansas City Baptist Temple is a culturally and generationally diverse church that straddles the city limit line between Kansas City and Raytown in Missouri. Their mission is to mold each member into the image of the Lord Jesus Christ and mobilize all to minister God’s Word to the world. The church’s innovative strategy has led them to new priorities and away from a worship center expansion.More

House churches next phase in multi-site movement
The Christian Post
A megachurch in Florida is using house churches to expand its network, showing that reaching out on a smaller scale doesn't mean retreating in the multisite movement. Northland, A Church Distributed, based in Longwood, Fla., currently has 15 to 20 house churches in several states that virtually participate in the worship services held at the main campus every Sunday. "House churches are the next extension of the multisite movement," said Dr. Dan Lacich, pastor of Distributed Services at Northland, to The Christian Post.More

Spotlight your church with a 'cookie extravaganza'
Baptist Press
Invite your community to stop by your church this Valentine's Day to receive two dozen free homemade heart cookies. This fresh ministry project, a true labor of love, is a sweet and personal way to say "God loves you" and "we care." More

Getting to know the 'nones'
Associated Baptist Press
Recent polls give evidence of a dramatic increase in the number of Americans who self-identify as having no religious affiliation -- with their share of the population up from 7 to nearly 17 percent in the last few years. These individuals, identified as “nones” in the new book American Grace by Robert D. Putnam and David E. Campbell, require serious attention from persons who remain engaged in religious communities.More

Avoid being or appearing lazy in your ministry
LifeWay
Whether your laziness is real or merely perceived, your work, your witness, and your words are diluted when you appear to be lazy to others. Learn three ways not to deal with the accusations and four steps you can take when your critics accuse you of being lazy.More

Worship workflow
Sound & Video Contractor
Today, churches large and small are equipped with concert-quality sound systems, broadcast-quality video equipment, and theatrically based lighting systems. Outside of church, people live in a world where laptop manufacturers tout that their computers are fitted with studio-quality audio. People watch HD television and see 3D movies. It’s what they’ve come to expect, and they expect it when they go to church as well. The challenge is that while professional AV technology can be and is being integrated into worship systems, technology does not operate itself. And the majority of the people who serve their churches have day jobs that connect to AV only by the farthest stretch of the imagination.More

Faith-based groups pitch in for Haiti
USA Today
More than $300 million dollars and thousands of volunteers — all powered by religious faith — have poured in to earthquake-shattered Haiti to help rebuild the country and restore its spirit. Church by church, parish by parish, hundreds of thousands of Americans have donated funds or traded vacations for mission trips. Although international governmental aid is the mainstay of Haiti relief, faith-based groups offer significant muscle in funds and volunteers.More

New converts flocking to an ancient church
Houston Chronicle
Like many of his parishioners, Father Richard Petranek came to the Orthodox church in search of the past. After 30 years as an Episcopalian priest, Petranek converted to the Antiochian Orthodox Church and leads a new but growing parish in west Houston, filled almost entirely with converts to the ancient faith. "Most people come for the stability," he said. "The same thing that is taught today in the Orthodox church was taught 500 years ago, was taught 1,000 years ago, was taught 1,500 years ago." More

Refueling station
Ministry Today Magazine
Almost all parents feel at times like a person who’s run out of gas—they’re going on empty. Desperately they look around to find “parent fuel” that fills them and gives them confidence in raising their kids. Parents look to the church as the gas station for the parent fuel they need. But often even the best churches have little to offer. How can your church fuel parents so they can move down the road toward God’s parenting destination?More