NACBA Weekly Update
Jan. 24, 2014

How to 'fire' a church volunteer
By Deborah Wipf
One question I frequently receive when talking about recruiting and retaining church volunteers is what to do about a volunteer who isn't working out. In other words, how do you "fire" a volunteer? This is obviously a delicate situation and needs to be handled with great care. You don't want to offend this individual or damage the relationship, but his performance in the volunteer role is hurting the team. So, what to do?More

Churches: Important Jan. 31 deadline looms
Managing Your Church
Churches and businesses must issue their employees' 2013 W-2s by Jan. 31. This applies to clergy who report themselves as employees, but not the self-employed. This is a critical date for all organizations. When churches don't issue W-2s in a timely fashion, it strains relationships with employees and causes unnecessary stress on everyone involved. Make every tax date a priority this year.More

Experts: Charitable deduction probably safe for 2014
The Chronicle of Philanthropy
Nonprofit experts are confident the charitable tax deduction will emerge unscathed from the current session of Congress, but they are less certain how lawmakers will deal with several tax breaks for charities that expired at the end of 2013. President Barack Obama has long pressed to limit the tax savings wealthy people can get for itemized deductions, including for charitable gifts, and he will likely reprise such an approach in his proposed budget next month. More

Be ready to respond to a violent incident at your church
Church Executive
Churches are often viewed as safe havens — places where community members can come to worship and learn without being harmed. Unfortunately, this isn't always the case. Violent incidents happen several times each year at churches all across the country. Because places of worship are open to the public, they've become more vulnerable to these senseless acts of violence. And, many churches are unprepared for such a situation and its aftermath.More

Are churches legally required to issue statements for every contribution?
Managing Your Church
Is there a minimum gift amount for which a contribution statement must be issued? For instance, if someone visited the church one Sunday and dropped a $10 check in the offering plate, is the church obligated to send a statement? Churches typically face this question in January, but also may encounter it throughout the year if they issue regular quarterly giving statements.More

Online search: The SEO 3x5 search matrix
By Jeffrey Dobkin
The toughest part of online marketing is driving people to your website. No online search strategy = no visitors = no payoff. See how important search engine optimization can be? You can change all that. Pay-per-click advertising can be counted on — to be expensive. Results can be great; results can be spotty. Either way, it’s sure to be expensive. Enter the world of search engine optimization, or SEO. Here are SEO instructions that are simple, clear and easy to implement without being a, you know, geek.More

Top 12 pastor stunts: Living as an atheist is just the latest ministry gimmick
Religion News Service
A California pastor made headlines recently when he announced that he will live like an atheist for a year. But Ryan Bell is actually just the latest "stunt pastor" to use unorthodox means to draw attention to his message. This kind of reality-show piety has a history, of sorts, especially in Christianity. But the rise of the entertainment industry, combined with a focus on marketing techniques to preach the faith or build up a church, have sparked a penchant for ministry gimmicks that go well beyond the old dunk tank.More

Moving forward: Opportunity or obstacle?
Church Central
"We've always done it that way." How often do we hear these words within the walls of the church? Moving forward creates difficulty for many congregations who find it much easier to remain in one place or to step backwards to a familiar place of yesteryear. How does a congregation move forward? More

What megachurches get right
Church Leaders
There are plenty of social problems like hunger and homelessness we face here in the United States. Christians are being marginalized more than ever, religious persecution is rampant on a global basis, and that's just the beginning. But what are we still debating in the church today? Megachurches. Hard to believe, but we Christians spend more time criticizing large churches than anything else. Here are some reasons it's time for a moratorium on megachurch criticism.More

9 steps to more concise business writing
By Joe Latta
In today's world of ultratasking and information overload, being concise is more important than ever. Your audience typically doesn't have the time or desire to search for information. They don't want to read six lines for what could have been said in six words. They want to get in, get information and get out. If they can't, your message is lost.More

4 good questions for churches about cash reserves
Church Law & Tax
Churches often have questions about cash reserves. A general rule of thumb is for churches to maintain a minimum of three months of cash on hand related to expenses. Michael Batts offers his thoughts about adequate levels of cash reserves, plus a couple of questions about demonstrating the need for reserves to senior church leadership.More

Is your church jumping the shark?
By Mark MacDonald
When a decline starts for a product or TV show, the writers or manufacturers lose their minds with wild ideas that they'll attempt to correct the decline. This has been called "jumping the shark." Sometimes gimmicks work to attract a big crowd. Until you jump the shark. How about your church? How do you know when you're jumping the shark?More

7 ways leaders maintain their composure in difficult times
Leaders need to show more composure than ever before in the workplace. With the changing management requirements, increased marketplace demands and intensifying competitive factors that surround us, leaders must have greater poise, agility and patience to minimize the impact of uncertainty. How leaders respond to these and other growing pressures is an indicator of their leadership preparedness, maturity and acumen.More

Mastering the fine art of getting to the point
Fast Company
Joe McCormack thinks everything would be better if people could just get to the point. As the author of "Brief" and founder of the Sheffield Company, a marketing firm that focuses on helping clients craft concise messaging, he's observed firsthand how endless meetings, data dumps and wordy emails are becoming the bane of business.More

Are you connected or connecting?
We live in a high-tech world but leadership is still a high-touch job. At the risk of being accused of being old school, here is a simple way to create real connections with your team, and anyone else for that matter. These are the kinds of connections of which winning relationships are made. There are three main components: question, common ground, compliment. Call it QC2. It's a simple tool to initiate connections — human being to human being.More