NACBA Weekly Update
Feb. 12, 2010

For churches, how much risk is too much?
Christianity Today
In the wake of several church shooting incidents in recent years, risk has become a hot topic for churches. The National Association of Church Business Administration last year convened 30 first-time regional workshops to raise risk awareness among the 85 percent of churches it says are vulnerable because they don't have a professional administrator. "Risk management is a huge issue in the church right now," says NACBA Deputy Chief Executive Officer Phillip Martin. "It carries everything from child protection issues … to the issue of security as it relates to guns, protection of pastors, staff and congregants."More

Putting all our eggs in the wrong basket
Terry Austin Blog
"Don't put all your eggs in one basket," is an old warning about trusting everything to one resource. It is good advice most of the time, especially when it comes to financial investments. However, the author of this article is concerned that when it comes to stewardship education, the church is putting all their efforts toward one purpose, and the reality is that it might be the wrong basket.More

Finding funds
Your Church
During tough economic times, many congregations look for new kinds of funding for ministry programs. The author of this article often runs into church staff members who are convinced there is a "magic grant" somewhere that can alleviate their congregation's financial worries--they just need to find it. Usually, though, there is no magic grant. Congregations who receive grants often work at securing the funding during a period of years because building relationships with funders takes time.More

Churches warned to prepare for another lean year
The Christian Post
Churches and non-profits should prepare for another lean year as Americans continue to grip their wallets, a researcher cautioned. "Barring a significant event or shift, the prospects for a recovery of charitable giving during 2010 appear dim," said David Kinnaman, president of the Barna Group. "Even while some financial indicators show signs of life, most Americans are very concerned about the country’s long-term economic prospects and seem to be tightening budgets and scrimping on donations." A new survey released Monday by the Barna Group shows that more Americans have cut back on their giving to non-profits and churches.More

Megafaith Church populations swell, despite some backlash
The Longmont Times-Call
Religious scholars use "megachurch" to define large, mostly nondenominational churches with 2,000 or more visitors each week. Other characteristics include a dynamic senior pastor supported by many associate pastors, a large church staff and a worship style that departs from traditional Christian hymns. They often form on the outskirts of urban areas where there is enough land to expand. Deborah Whitehead, assistant professor of religious studies at the University of Colorado at Boulder, said the popularity of what religious scholars and critics deem megachurches isn't waning anytime soon. Megachurches offer people options in the "spiritual marketplace," she said. More

Inter-faith chaplaincy plays role at Games
Vancouver Province
For some athletes at the Vancouver Olympics, medals aren’t a singular goal. Some are looking to learn more about life, and some even look to improve their faith in God, as one of the most anticipated moments of their lives approaches and passes, sometimes with great elation or disappointment. That’s where the inter-faith chaplaincy at the athletes villages in Vancouver and Whistler, B.C., come in.More

Religious groups get creative during tough times
St. Petersburg Times
Writing about his organization's financial decisions, Presbyterian church official Gerry Tyer found an apt metaphor in the Exodus narrative. "The year 2009 was a wilderness journey for the Presbytery of Tampa Bay,'' said Tyer, head of the umbrella organization of most area Presbyterians. As the recession persists, the Presbyterian church isn't the only religious organization feeling the fallout. Many have been forced to freeze salaries, cut staff, postpone construction projects and pare programs. Religious schools, seeing enrollment shrink, are trying to help rising numbers of families who no longer can afford tuition.More

The threat within
Ministry Today Magazine
In the business world, embezzlement is the most common financial crime. Unfortunately, it's also a frequent crime against churches and nonprofit ministries. Unlike other crimes, embezzlement is perpetrated by a trusted person from within. Though most leaders can't imagine one of their own committing such an act, these types of crimes are common--and costly--enough to warrant the following preventive measures. More

Arsonists on rampage as 11 Texas churches burn
Residents of eastern Texas are on edge, worried in the wake of what may be a serial arsonist on the loose with an appetite for burning churches to the ground. At various intervals since New Year's Day, 11 churches in the state have gone up in flames, and authorities have ruled nearly all of them arson. A $25,000 reward is offered for information leading to the arrest and conviction of the fire starter. "The disturbing part is it changes everyone's lifestyle," said Neal Franklin, fire chief in Tyler, where two churches have been destroyed. "It changes our attitude." More

4 ways to use social media during capital campaigns
Ministry Marketing Coach
It's interesting that we live in a digital, multi-media world of RSS feeds, Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, etc., until we go to church. Even some of the strongest users of these platforms in other areas of their lives fail to see the impact technology can have in church life. A capital campaign is one of the most intensive and comprehensive tasks a church chooses to take on. Thus, a capital campaign is the perfect opportunity to introduce technology as a way to manage communication with the larger church membership.More

'Mystery worshippers' go online
Seattle Times
The help-wanted ad going live this week on Craigslist might raise some eyebrows. If not tempers." Need people who aren't Christians to review church service," it says. It goes on. "Who: Age 20-35. Do not currently believe Jesus Christ is God. Not mad at Christians. What: Attend a church service (anonymously) and complete a survey." The pay for this odd job? $50. To go, once, to the Sunday service at North Sound Church in Edmonds and rate it on everything from whether the music is tedious to if the sermon seems sincere. It's the inspiration of Jim Henderson, a Seattle evangelical Christian, former pastor and self-described "spiritual anthropologist" who says it's past time Christians found out "what our true customers really think."More

Time to build? Some churches have the vision, raise the funds
Church Executive Magazine
Is this the time for a church to be building? Even as jobs are being lost and families are rethinking their pledges to their church’s budget, even as many are having difficulty with their own home mortgage much less be financing their church's new home, one person in the building trades says the present time is "an incredible opportunity for the faith-based building sector."More

Higher calling to get kids active in church
Battle Creek Enquirer
Somewhere in the countryside between Fulton and Athens, Mich., the Wakeshma Community Church sits surrounded by farmland. That doesn't mean it's not a hive of activity, though. Mindi Hommerding works as the church's children's ministry director, coordinating the many programs meant to engage kids and get them active, if not active in the church. Sitting in the church's pool table-, foosball- and video game-equipped youth lounge, Hommerding recently spoke to the Battle Creek Enquirer about getting grants, working for God and that great equalizer of people of all faiths: basketball.More

Women's ministry in smaller churches
One of the challenges of being a small church is perpetuating new ideas. Because of the lack of human resources and input, the pool of ideas may be shallow and drained more quickly. Here are some suggestions for renewing your creative energies.More

Which of these six leadership styles works best?
The Wall Street Journal
Leadership is a big, vague, amorphous topic. We can write about great leaders at great length. But practically speaking, how do you become one? A good start is to focus on leadership styles. Daniel Goleman, who popularized the notion of "emotional intelligence," has described six different styles that leaders use to motivate others.More

The NACBA Weekly Update now available as an iPhone app
NACBA understands the need to deliver timely, relevant industry news to its members and other church business professionals. In partnering with MultiBriefs to create the NACBA Weekly Update, the association committed itself to delivering this news to members and other church professionals. That partnership has now expanded to provide another convenient avenue to receive this information. The NACBA Weekly Update is now part of the new MultiBriefs app, now available for the Apple iPhone and iPod Touch in the App Store.

Simply search "MultiBriefs" in the App Store and download the app free of charge. Once the MultiBriefs application is downloaded, you can add the NACBA feed from the "Religious Community" section. News is streamed into your iPhone or iPod Touch each week. And just like the e-mail news brief you’ve become accustomed to, you may share articles with your colleagues via e-mail, Twitter, Facebook and LinkedIn. You can even bookmark certain articles as favorites to revisit at a later date. As always, feedback is appreciated and is important to the success of the app. Feel free to rate the application in the App Store.More