The Church Network Weekly Update
Jan. 23, 2015

A generational gap: Giving to charity
The Wall Street Journal
Only a few weeks ago, many Americans were rushing to help their favorite charities — even if last-minute tax deductions, rather than the holiday spirit, were the spur. As it turns out, what we give, and where we direct our dollars and goods, varies from generation to generation. That's among the primary findings from a recent Harris Poll titled "Money? Time? Blood? What Are Americans Giving?"More

Upcoming TeleWeb: Capital Reserve Planning - Not a Rainy Day Fund
The Church Network
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 where Tim Cool and Glenn Wood will share their insights on how much needs to allocate annually, what areas need to be accounted for, the general life cycle of a facility and its component, and their free " Life Cycle Calculator" that can help you with your own planning!More

Brentwood Baptist Church announces a 1 year ministry residency experience for 2015
Brentwood Baptist
The Ministry Residency at Brentwood Baptist is a one-year residency experience equipping next generation pastors, worship leaders, missionaries, disciplers and church planters to effectively lead the local church. Brentwood Baptist Church has long provided internships for hundreds of men and women impacting the Kingdom of God around the globe. By virtue of its many resources, strategic Nashville area location, and distinctive multi-campus approach to ministry, Brentwood Baptist is well-positioned to provide a more indepth, church careerMore

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

10 principles to get the best from volunteer church leaders
New Small Church
Volunteer leaders are the backbone of the small church. In bigger churches, most or all of the first- and second-tier leaders are paid staff. (Namely, the pastoral staff and department heads). That's a great thing. When you hire someone, it’s much easier to require certain tasks and enforce your expectations. After all, they have a financial stake in how well they perform as a church leader. But small churches are led by volunteers. Volunteers who can quit at any time. And when they do quit, it doesn't hurt them financially, it actually frees up more of their spare time. So we need to give them good reasons to stick around.More

What church planters can learn from Target's failure in Canada
Sarah Bessey
Canadian author Sarah Bessey has seen church plants succeed in Canada. Many of them, in fact. Some of them followed the Church Planter Handbook that must exist somewhere and others have been messy organic and unlikely. Though, a bit wary now of outsiders coming into Canada as self-appointed missionaries to Reach Canada For Christ™, she's not quite at the "get off my lawn" stage yet though. So when news broke recently about Target’s abject and utter failure to expand into Canada, she began to think about how church planters to Canada (or even within Canada) can learn from the Target failure.More

5 cash flow ratios and measures your church must monitor
Church Law & Tax
If your church goes through several months of low giving, will you be able to keep your doors open? A church without necessary reserves will be scrambling to operate in the short term, no matter what the other balances are. Positive net income and net asset balances won't make up for inadequate cash reserves or help in months when giving is down.More

25 of the most common passwords in 2014
Church Mag
Maybe passwords are obsolete or maybe we just don’t know what makes a strong password. It really doesn’t matter if they’re becoming obsolete, since that’s what we are using for Internet security. A chain is as strong as its weakest link, and when it comes to passwords, it looks like we are that link. According to SplashData — after analyzing 3.5 million leaked passwords vis hacks, scams and security breaches — here is a list of the most common (thus least secure) passwords in North America and Western Europe.More

3 reasons to nix the creative ministry names
Church Tech Today
Have you ever visited a church for the first time and wondered what on earth the Ignite Ministry could possibly be? Is it a group of pyromaniacs who light things on fire? And should you be worried about sending your kids to Aftershock? Will this be registering on the Richter scale? Many churches get caught up in trying to find unique names for their ministries. A cool name and trendy logo will set them apart and get people interested, right? But typically these distinct brands end up having a negative impact for a few reasons.More

Church communication: Why bother?
By Jennifer Johnson
Why we do something is just as important, if not more important, than how we do something. I receive a plethora of advertising and marketing materials related to "church communication" on a daily basis. They arrive via email, Facebook, direct mail, in person and by other media avenues. With all of those outlets constantly reminding me how to do something the "right way," it's easy to push aside why being a church communicator is important. More

The most disturbing trend happening in your church in 2015
According to Will Mancini, founder of church consulting firm Auxano, the disturbing trend for many churches is in a decidedly different direction: It's that your most committed people will attend worship services less frequently than ever in 2015. What does this mean? Simply that people who use[d] to attend 4 times a month may only attend 3 times a month. Members who used to come twice a month will only come once a month. Why are so many Christians choosing to spend less time with a community of believers on Sunday? Mancini suggests that there are many causes, but he specifically cites three.More

Is there a Christian revival starting in France?
The Week
Could it be that France is in the early stages of a Christian revival? Yes, churches in the French countryside are desperately empty. There are no young people there. But then, there are no young people in the French countryside, period. In the cities — which is where people are, and where cultural trends gain escape velocity — the story is quite different.More

Boy says he didn't go to heaven; publisher says it will pull book
Nearly five years after it hit best-seller lists, a book that purported to be a 6-year-old boy's story of visiting angels and heaven after being injured in a bad car crash is being pulled from shelves. The young man at the center of The Boy Who Came Back from Heaven, Alex Malarkey, said that the story was all made up. The book's publisher, Tyndale House, had promoted it as "a supernatural encounter that will give you new insights on Heaven, angels, and hearing the voice of God."More

Christian leaders should prepare for the long term
Faith & Leadership
Wesley Granberg-Michaelson’s advice to Christian leaders: Discern God's call and learn how to sustain your inward life for the long term. "Leaders have to know who they are," he said. "When everything else crumbles and when you are in situations of disillusionment, when plans haven't worked out, when colleagues have disappointed you, there'll come those times when you say, 'Why am I doing this?'"More

5 key attributes of effective leaders
By Betty Boyd
Do you have what it takes to be a leader? Not everyone can or should be a leader. It takes a lot of extra work and stress — everyone is looking to you for every important decision. Leadership is also not one-size-fits-all. Leaders must make a commitment not only to themselves, but also to others. So what does it take to be an effective leader? Here are five key attributes.More

The downside of shielding your team from bad news
Retaining top talent is hard enough, so why dampen the mood with bad news? You may think it's a good idea to gloss over it, but according to Cass Sunstein, a Harvard professor and author of the new book "Wiser: Getting Beyond Groupthink to Make Groups Smarter," that's the last thing you ought to do. speaking to employees — or bosses, for that matter — as if everything's hunky dory when it really isn't may work against you. Yet it's all too common behavior in offices: "A big problem is often groups have people who silence themselves, who don't say what they know, who want to please the leader rather than inform the leader," Sunstein said.More

For churches, only trust will win over a skeptical public
Managing Your Church
Trust is a scarce commodity these days. Polls tragically reflect how little faith the public puts in government leaders, law enforcement professionals, and business executives. Sadly, public sentiment for church leaders isn’t much better. We live in an era when skepticism of churches is too often considered politically correct. Half-truths about churches are accepted as facts.More