The Church Network Weekly Update
Feb. 13, 2015

Federal court rules Christian ministries can hire or fire employees according to beliefs
Christian Headlines
Christian ministries can hire or fire people based on their religious beliefs, a federal court has ruled. The decision comes after Alyce Conlon filed suit against InterVarsity Christian Fellowship after she was fired for not reconciling her marriage. Previously, she had worked as a spiritual director for the fellowship. Conlon was placed on paid leave so she could reconcile with her husband. Then in December 2011 she was fired because the organization had "not seen enough progress."More

Upcoming TeleWeb: How to train effective finance committee members
The Church Network

Been Asked to Serve on Your Church's Finance Committee? Four Things You Need to Know

Join us for this one hour webinar that will take place on Feb. 19 at 1:30 p.m. CST / 2:30 p.m. EST

After almost twenty-five years of working with churches I have seen my share of financial train wrecks. Many of these unfortunate incidents have been caused by finance committee malfunctions. These situations have ranged from iron-fisted over-controlling team members to weak and passive people who simply agree with anything the pastor wants, and most everything in between...

Without question, the vast majority of these situations occurred because volunteers serving on their church’s finance committee simply did not know what they were supposed to do. One remedy for this is to get ahead of the game by properly preparing potential finance team members for their new assignment. One way to do this is to instruct them in four things they need to know about being a financial leader in a church:
  1. Know the job qualifications.
  2. Know the context in which you will serve.
  3. Know the proper role of a finance team member.
  4. Know the risks and responsibilities of service.

Your church's elusive magic bullet for communication
By Mark MacDonald
A friend recently texted to request help with a computer issue. I knew how to do it, so I gladly offered to sit and show him. There was a pause, and he asked, "Can you just give quick instructions now?" He obviously wanted me to text back a single tweet that would educate him to do a difficult task. Can 140-character count actually do that? We all want a "magic bullet" solution.More

How to drop your church's secret menu and make your guests feel welcome
New Small Church
Every church has a secret menu. Things we say and do that regular attenders take for granted, but can be confusing and frustrating to newcomers. Here are some secret menu items seen in some churches. Where's the front door? What should I wear? How do I find the restrooms, nursery, etc? Can I sit anywhere? This is not a plea to change the way your church worships. Just explain it. Especially the things your church does that may be distinct to your denomination or faith tradition. And use every means available. You can never over-explain. Here are a few examples.More

5 methods to creating church Instagram posts
The team at Brentwood Baptist Church recently discovered that Instagram was giving them the largest return on investment. Post after post had more engagement than anything they posted on Facebook or Twitter. Their church uses Facebook more than Twitter, but the statistics for Instagram shifted what they should be investing their time into, especially during live events. Here are 5 methods they've used to create church Instagram posts.More

New York church taking Walmart to court over gun sales
Trinity Church sits in the shadow of lower Manhattan's One World Trade Center, its brownstone Gothic Revival spire dwarfed by the Financial District’s surrounding skyscrapers. One of the smaller investments in Trinity’s diverse portfolio: about $300,000 worth of shares in Walmart. This spring, the church will face off against the big-box giant in a court case that could change the way public companies make business decisions. At issue, for Trinity: Walmart's sale of guns with high-capacity magazines of the sort used in mass killings.More

Noah's Ark theme park developers sue Kentucky over lost tax rebates
Kentucky officials committed religious discrimination when they pulled tax rebates from a planned Noah's Ark-based theme park attraction, the project's developers charged on Thursday, Feb. 5, in a federal lawsuit. State tourism officials in December told the Ark Encounter developers they were pulling the tax incentives from the theme park proposal because the plans had evolved from a tourist attraction into a ministry seeking to advance religion.More

LifeWay taking offers through week for Nashville campus
The Tennessean
LifeWay Christian Resources is taking offers through this week on its nearly 15-acre downtown campus, according to a letter Thom S. Rainer, CEO of the publishing arm of the Southern Baptist Convention, recently sent to employees. Rainer was referring to his disclosure five months ago that LifeWay was studying whether to sell part or all of the campus, which includes nine buildings, amid rising property values downtown and its need for less space. The ministry has more than 1 million square feet of office, warehouse and parking space stretching from Broadway to Church Street and from Ninth Avenue up to the Gulch.More

Multisite church is new 'normal' in America
Church Tech Today
With the landscape of church changing dramatically in America, church models are shifting to better support today's church-goer. In an increasingly secularized nation with overall church attendance in decline, multisite churches are growing in number and church attendance. The multisite strategy has become the "new normal" for healthy and growing churches in urban, suburban and rural communities. leadership network reports that an estimated 5 million people attend one of the more than 8,000 multisite churches across North America.More

Hundreds Of Churches to celebrate Evolution or Creation Sunday
All Christian News
On Feb. 15, nearly 500 churches across the United States will commemorate Charles Darwin's birthday (Feb. 12) and his contribution to science. They are calling the event "Evolution Sunday." Many other church congregations plan to celebrate "Creation Sunday" rather than promote evolution. These types of events have taken place since 2006. Several churches believe that evolution and the Bible are compatible. Many of the 500 churches that have pledged to observe the holiday this year are located in Pennsylvania, New York, California, and Ohio.More

How to delegate better. Welcome to delegation 102
There are many different ways of being a CEO and unfortunately a majority of people gravitate toward the old command and control model where the boss' fingerprints can be found on everything. A far better approach is to let employees make as many decisions as they can, allowing them to implement them once they do.More

How to lead a senior leadership team that works
Tony Morgan Live
A strong Senior Leadership Team is an essential component of a church. On average, churches that report having a unified SLT are growing more than twice as fast as those that do not. But unity in and of itself isn't everything. People are unified to the detriment of their organizations all the time. We need leaders who are willing to push each other and be pushed, who are not all cut from the same cloth and bring a variety of perspectives.More

Emotional crisis first responder
Wall Street Journal
Sooner or later, someone in the depths of a marital or relationship problem will want to talk about what’s going on and possibly to ask for advice. Being there for that person — a family member, a friend or even a work colleague — is challenging. No one teaches us how to give emotional support. Some experts are teaching people how to be more confident and effective in supporting a friend or family member through a marriage or relationship crisis — and how to set and maintain boundaries.More