The Church Network Weekly Update
Jan. 16, 2015

Losing faith in JPMorgan, churches claim self-dealing
Two U.S. churches' allegations of self-dealing by JPMorgan Chase & Co. expose an area inside the largest U.S. bank that is rich in potential for conflicting interests — a trust business that invests in the bank's own products. JPMorgan, entrusted to manage funds to support the churches' good works, put its own financial interests first, the churches say. Their claims came after other religious orders pressed the bank for a report on its business standards, prompting it to release almost 100 pages last month describing its efforts to bolster ethics and compliance.More

TeleWeb: Capital reserve planning — Not a rainy day fund
The Church Network
What are Capital Reserves? Why are they important? How do we get started? Join us for this one hour webinar that will take place on Jan. 29 at 1:30 p.m. CDT / 2:30 p.m. EDT when Tim Cool of Cool Solutions Group and Glenn Wood of Seacoast Church will address how much needs to allocated annually, what areas need to be accounted for, the general life cycle of a facility and its components, and how the free "Life Cycle Calculator" can help you with your planning.More

Registration is now open for our 2015 spring regional meetings
The Church Network
For those who have attended, the responses have been extremely positive and almost all have indicated they would attend again. If you have never participated, plan now and join the fun to network with fellow administrators, talk about your successes and your challenges, see how other churches are organized and make new friends who you can call on throughout the year.More

Churches step in with alternative to high-interest, small-dollar lending industry
The Washington Post
Every month for about three years, Nina McCarthy followed the same routine after payday. She'd go into a Check Into Cash near her home in the Richmond, Virginia, area, and pay off an open-end loan for $700 or $800 — and then she'd take out a new one for the same amount, never accumulating interest in the process. Then McCarthy's overtime hours at work were cut. With rent, a car payment and a 3-year-old granddaughter to feed, McCarthy didn’t have $700 for Check Into Cash. More

Arizona church poised to win high court fight over signs
The Associated Press via The State Journal
A small church in a Phoenix, Arizona, suburb appeared likely to win its Supreme Court dispute over a local ordinance that puts limits on roadside signs that direct people to Sunday services. Liberal and conservative justices alike expressed misgivings with the Gilbert, Arizona, sign ordinance because it places more restrictions on the churches' temporary signs than those erected by political candidates, real estate agents and others.More

England religious leaders turn to b-school to manage church investments
Business education: coming to a church near you in 2015. Britain's bishops are turning to business school, with 36 of the religious leaders set to study mini-MBA degrees that will be funded by the Church of England, in a sign of the increasingly diverse make-up of management education. The Archbishop of Canterbury, Justin Welby, the principal leader of the Church, has dispatched the flock of bishops to brush up on their leadership skills, as the Church seeks to change its management culture. More

Is your church ready for company?
Walla Walla Union-Bulletin
Have you ever noticed that Wal-Mart has greeters? Yes, greeters who often present you with a shopping cart. Not a bad idea, is it? Wal-Mart, whatever you think of it, is not a storefront operation, it is a leader in our economy and in many other ways as well, and it all began with front-door hospitality. Wal-Mart is a giant corporation now. More

Georgia church withdraws application for long-term home
Macon Telegraph
A church withdrew its plan for a long-term supportive living home for men recovering from addictions and other "life-crippling choices" on Sardis Church Road in Georgia. The Nehemiah Men's Home, a ministry of Mikado Baptist Church, planned to buy about 20 acres at 4325/4371 Sardis Church Road and applied for a conditional use permit to allow the men's home. The site is within a mile of the church. The application for the permit was on a recent agenda for the Macon-Bibb County Planning & Zoning Commission meeting.More

Judge won't dismiss church bankruptcy
Boston Herald
A U.S. Bankruptcy Court judge found insufficient grounds to dismiss Greater Love Tabernacle Church's bankruptcy case at the request of its mortgage holder, who cited the Dorchester, Massachusetts, church's inability to refinance its debt. Judge Joan Feeney ordered the church to file an appraisal and report on its fundraising efforts toward a purchase of its property or mortgage refinancing before an April hearing.More

WhatsApp's growth exceeds Christianity's 1st 19 centuries
Here's a brain-jarring statistic that screams for a closer look. Christianity, the world's most popular religion, took nearly 19 centuries to attract 600 million adherents. By contrast, a business-sector infant ̬ WhatsApp — announced recently that it has just hit 700 million users, after starting at zero six years ago. Who? What? Most Americans over age 30 probably haven't even heard of WhatsApp. It's a wildly popular instant-messaging service, based in Silicon Valley but used most heavily in Europe, Asia and Latin America. More

Arizona pastor believes his church was the victim of a scam
Many residents of Tucson, Arizona, wouldn't dream of stealing from a church, but one place of worship said it happened when a paving company left a job unfinished. Back in October, Pastor Angel Morfin of Peniel Church of Jesus Christ was approached by a man with an offer too hard to resist. The promise was for a newly paved parking lot, for only $4,000 within two days time. Morfin wrote three checks to an 'Anthony Stevens.' "He said he was coming back in an hour and he didn't," said Morfin. More

How much should I give to the church collection plate?
According to author Quentin Fottrell: I grew up in Ireland. Once upon a time, the ruling class there forced farmers to give 10 percent of their income to the church. The place of worship in this case was the Anglican Church of Ireland, even though most of these farmers were Roman Catholics. For most of those who were forced to hand over their 10 percent, or tithe, it burned and, on occasion, led to violence. Fortunately, that was around 150 years before I was born.More

Community Mission Christian Center pastor addresses program concerns
Republican Herald
The pastor of the Community Mission Christian Center reached out to address concerns from borough residents about his newly opened church on North Mill Street and its intentions. "One of our members here responded first and I just said, simply, 'We are not a homeless shelter. We are not a drug rehabilitation center, we are just a church. Plain and simple,'" Pastor Bob Alonge said. More

Pennsylvania church invites walkers into gym
With temperatures dropping into the single digits and snow piling up in feet on the pavement, getting exercise by walking outdoors is tough at this time of year in Erie. A local congregation is opening its gym doors to help. Glenwood United Methodist Church in Erie, Pennsylvania, is again sponsoring a free Walking Through Winter program on Tuesdays and Thursdays through March from 10 to 11:30 a.m. Anyone is welcome in the church gym, as long as they take a pair of dry shoes. More

Leadership courage: Creating a culture where people feel safe to take risks
The human ingenuity within any organization is its greatest competitive advantage. Yet the fear, complacency and outright disengagement that can exist within its walls are the biggest barriers to leveraging it. The number one responsibility of any leader is to create an environment that not only engages their workforce, but draws out the best of what they have to offer. The best thinking. The best creativity and innovation. The best strategy and business execution. The best customer service and quality control. More

Prevent your star performers from losing passion for their work
When Mohamed El-Erian abruptly resigned from his high-profile, and highly lucrative, position as Pimco's co-chief investment officer a year ago, most observers were shocked. I wasn't. As a researcher and consultant to executives across diverse industries, I know how common it is for successful, high-performing people to lose their passion for work — and their commitment to their organizations — over time.More

An afternoon with the incoming president: Planning the year
By Robert C. Harris
Success for the incoming president is crucial. An afternoon discussion with him or her prior to taking office will enhance understanding, performance and outcomes. To gauge president-elect's preparedness, I ask, "What are your goals? What do you intend to achieve?" Too often the response is silence, an admission of procrastination and a potpourri of tactics mixed with personal plans. I anticipated the future leader would answer with a clear, concise statement built on the mission, members' needs and organizational success. More