NACBA Weekly Update
Feb. 10, 2012

Churches go less formal to make people comfortable
USA Today
VideoBrief
Ron Williams is the pastor of Church at the GYM in Sanford, Fla. As the Baptist church's name implies, Williams' congregation meets in a gym. Williams says the goal is to remove the "stained-glass barriers" for people who might not be comfortable in traditional church settings. "I think all the trappings of traditional religion can make it difficult for people to start coming," he said. "You can invite someone and they will say, 'I don't have any clothes to wear to church.' "More

March Regional Metro Group Meetings
NACBA
Are you an administrative leader who meets Metro requirements? If so, there are two fantastic opportunities to participate in a roundtable discussion group. The Metro Group is comprised of administrators from larger churches across America and Canada who meet annually during two sessions at the NACBA National Conference. The roundtable events will be smaller groups which will allow more in-depth conversations. The Metro Group will be hosting two meetings in March, one in Tennessee and one in California.More

Virtual 'town hall' meeting slated by Commission on Accountability and Policy for Religious Organizations
ECFA
The Commission on Accountability and Policy for Religious Organizations will host a virtual "town hall" meeting via the Internet Feb. 17 to receive input on issues being reviewed by the group. The public and media nationwide are invited to participate in the 90-minute event, which will begin at 1 p.m. EST and be broadcast from The National Press Club studios in Washington, D.C.More

New York Senate backs church use of schools
The New York Times
The New York Senate passed a bill that would allow churches to continue holding worship services in public schools, but the future of the legislation remained in question as the Assembly speaker expressed skepticism about it. The bill says that congregations may hold services in schools when the property is not being used for school purposes.More

Poll: 65 percent in US say churches should be allowed to meet in public schools
Baptist Press
Two-thirds of Americans believe public schools should rent to churches and other community groups, according to a new study by LifeWay Research. The study comes as a Feb. 12 deadline banning the use of New York City schools by churches approaches. Up to 160 NYC congregations that have used school buildings for worship services in the last year will be directly affected by the ban. It will be the only major city in the U.S. with such a policy.More

Appeals court rejects clergy tax benefit
The Wall Street Journal (blog)
A three-judge panel of the federal Eleventh Circuit Court of Appeals in Atlanta overturned a U.S. Tax Court decision allowing clergy members to claim a tax exclusion for more than one home. The ruling reversed the Tax Court's decision in Driscoll v. Commissioner, which was made final in March 2011.More

Tithing goes high tech at Virginia church
WSET-TV
VideoBrief
Tree of Life Ministries in Lynchburg, Va., is making tithing high-tech. The church bought a new gadget that church leaders nicknamed the "electronic usher." Church-goers can now make a donation during service with a credit or debit card with an mobile application called Square-Up. The application company takes 2.75 percent of each purchase, and the donor is emailed or texted a receipt.More

Millennials, religion, and a reason for hope
Christian Post
The millennial generation is considered the least religious generation in American history. Though small in number, the millennial Christians have a burning fire within them that can revolutionize churches to make a kingdom difference. How will churches in America respond? Will they embrace the energy and zeal of the millennials, or will they disregard this generation and force these young people to venues of ministry beyond existing churches?More

Make sure your staff has a chance at a dignified retirement
Church Executive
Retirement. We all hope one day to do it. As church and ministry executives, you likely want to make sure you can offer your employees a competitive, robust retirement plan at a reasonable cost to your bottom line. But how do you know if your current plan is on the right track; or, if you don’t have one yet, how to choose the right one?More

10 small church strategies in a big church world
Outreach Magazine
There are countless numbers of websites and blogs dedicated to helping churches realize the potential of developing a strategy for effective ministry. Unfortunately, there is a curious shortage of plans that can be easily implemented by a small church with limited resources. Here are 10 strategies for smaller churches looking to find a way to be more effective in their ability to minister.More

When should churches seek legal protections for names and logos?
Managing Your Church (blog)
Churches should feel confident that it's right and beneficial to register for trademark protection for their names and logos. A primary objective of trademark law is to eliminate confusion as to the source of goods or services. A church applying for trademark protection won't necessarily take away another church's right to have its name and logo: If a church's name and logo are unique, trademark protection will be granted. If the name and logo are generic or descriptive, it won't.More

Churches reaching out with Pinterest
Church Marketing Sucks
Whether you're crazy about pinning or think that it's just a fad, there's no denying that Pinterest is a new player on the social media scene. In January it beat YouTube, Reddit, Google+, LinkedIn and MySpace for percentage of total referral traffic, according to a Shareaholic study. One church is pioneering this new territory and has some insights to share on how churches can use Pinterest.More

4 key predictions for charitable giving in 2012
Adviser One
Charitable giving in the U.S. significantly outpaced economic growth last year, according to a recent Atlas of Giving report. At the same time, religion, the largest giving sector, lost a full percentage point in total gifts last year. Atlas of Giving also made four key predictions for 2012.More

Program helps Canada churches reduce energy costs
Northumberland News
Churches and other places of worship throughout Northumberland County in Canada are being offered help to "walk more lightly on the earth" by reducing their energy consumption. Go Green Together, a non-profit corporation dedicated to reducing greenhouse gases, held two workshops recently to explain how the Greening Sacred Spaces program can help churches lower their utility bills.More

How to make church meetings amazing
Building Church Leaders
Consider four pieces to meetings that could bring about major changes in your church, community or even the world: embrace the big issue, passion trumps position, progress wins the day, and leave the meeting excited to get busy.More