NACBA Weekly Update
Mar. 1, 2013

Aging pushes churches to fiscal brink
Associated Baptist Press
Things were looking bleak for Orange Grove Baptist Church and its aging membership when Greg Shoemaker arrived as its pastor about a year ago. Add the economic troubles of the area just north of Pascagoula, Miss., to the national trends driving down church attendance, and all Orange Grove Baptist had were about a dozen mostly elderly members worshiping in a sanctuary meant for 120. What he didn't know at the time was that the decline in numbers would continue and raise questions about whether the church would survive.More

Interpreters needed: How to communicate administration principles to nonadministrative individuals
By Deborah Wipf
Purchase requests, planning, job descriptions, registration forms and more. These are part of a church administrator's regular vocabulary. However, your nonadministrative team members may feel like you're speaking a foreign language. You want to facilitate ministry, support your leaders and protect the integrity of your church — not slow things down or cause frustration. So how do you communicate the importance of the not-so-glamorous back-office functions? More

Youth ministry that's more than fun and games
Faith and Leadership
The youth ministries room at Clemson United Methodist Church in Clemson, S.C., still has an old sofa, the type that teenagers typically occupy on Sunday evenings far and wide across the faith landscape. But that’s one of the few vestiges of the past in a youth ministry working to educate young Christians in a deeper way.More

Charitable deduction cap would be 'devastating'
Baptist Press
A proposal to limit charitable deductions would be devastating for churches, religious organizations and other nonprofits if adopted by the federal government, says a church-state expert.More

Book author and former pastor says 'CEO' church leadership model unbiblical
Church Executive
Glen Newman, author of "Pastors Move Over: Make Room for the Rest of Us," challenges the modern traditional form of church government, which recognizes the single pastor as the primary leader of the local Christian church.More

TeleWeb: Affordable Care Act
To date the information around the Affordable Care Act has created more questions than answers. Of particular concern for church administrative leaders is how it will affect congregations and their budget. This seminar will identify the areas of concern that will affect the future. It will focus on the areas that need the church's immediate attention and provide what guidance that is available. More

Mounting mortgage cases could force large megachurch into foreclosure
One of America's largest megachurches brings in millions of dollars per year but is facing multiple foreclosure cases. First National Bank of Illinois's recent foreclosure case against Family Christian Center, whose 15,000 weekly attendees make it the largest church in Indiana and ranked No. 15 in the nation by Outreach Magazine in 2011, over condos used to house visiting pastors is just the latest of the church's ongoing financial struggles.More

SBA aims to clarify health care law
The U.S. Small Business Administration aims to clear up misconceptions about the health-reform law with a new blog series, and comments the agency has received on its website indicate many entrepreneurs remain confused about the key provisions going into effect in January.More

Lessons from a church sexual abuse scandal
Managing Your Church
A high-profile case involving the rape of a 13-year-old girl inside a Tulsa, Okla., megachurch and other charges of abuse provides a sobering reminder about the steps churches must take to prevent sexual abuse — and a reminder for leaders to know their legal obligations if an allegation ever arises.More

Steps to avoid a counterfeit church logo
Worship Facilities
Since we live in a visual world and people identify with and pursue visuals that look and feel like them, it's imperative to find a logo that is "like" your authentic congregation and your community. Why both? Because your congregation needs to feel that the logo represents them — and the community needs to be attracted by it. Here are three things to be aware of with church logo trends.More

Should your church's name include its denomination?
A new study by Grey Matter Research suggests that both churchgoers and the unchurched largely agree on whether or not Protestant churches should reference their denominational affiliation in their names. "When a church does not reference its denomination in the church name, unchurched people tend to see that church as less formal, rigid, and old-fashioned," notes the Phoenix-based market research firm. "But this also makes them feel more uncertain and wonder whether the church is trying to hide its beliefs."More

Youth ministry that's more than fun and games
Faith and Leadership
The youth ministries room at Clemson United Methodist Church in Clemson, S.C., still has an old sofa, the type that teenagers typically occupy on Sunday evenings far and wide across the faith landscape. But that's one of the few vestiges of the past in a youth ministry working to educate young Christians in a deeper way. Believing that the role of the church is to mold young people into serious students and devoted disciples, the 1,000-member congregation, located a mile from Clemson University, has shifted the focus of its work with youth.More

For aging religious leaders, is it still 'till death us do part'?
Religion News Service
When aging religious leaders reach the top echelons of temporal and spiritual power, their followers have a certain expectation: Till death us do part. But Pope Benedict XVI's surprise resignation has shifted that calculus, prompting introspection about traditional understandings of religions' senior management and when, if and how to let them go. More

4 thoughts on unfriendly church starts
The Christian Post
This issue is not new, but it does seem to be one gaining more attention. A new church is started in a community with many members of an existing church. Unfortunately, the existing church has not blessed the new church start, nor has it been consulted about it. In many cases, a staff member from the existing church has led the unfriendly church start.More

What info is missing on your church website?
Church Mag
According to, if the user can't find the information they are seeking within 10-20 seconds, they will leave the website. Depending on the size of your organization and the people you are serving, you need to be aware of what they need and want on the website. Here are some quick tips to meet the needs of the people on your site.More

How to write emails people won't ignore
Harvard Business Review
Your clients and colleagues don't have time to engage fully with every email they get. Some of them receive hundreds of messages per day. That's why they start with the ones they can deal with quickly. They may never get around to answering — or even reading — the rest.More

Neighbors anything but joyful about Houston church's noise
Houston Chronicle
Mount Calvary Missionary Baptist Church has been a fixture in Houston's Heights for nearly a century. In the last few years, the aging neighborhood of legacy homes — worth far less than the near-downtown land where they sat — have been sold and replaced by new residences. The music at Mount Calvary suddenly prompted noise complaints to church leaders and police. Newcomers also don't like the sounds from construction workers building a new sanctuary next to the church or the parking issues on Sunday mornings.More

Churches and the billboard problem
Center for Church Communication
The modern church's affinity for billboards has been well documented because, let's face it, we've produced our share of terrible signage. A drive-by approach to communication may seem more apropos than ever in an ADD-riddled world, but the opposite is true. Relationship and context are as vital to meaningful communication as ever, and billboards abhor relationship and context.More

How to sniff out a stale church
Church Central
No one likes a stinky church. Even worse than a smelly old building is a spiritually stale church. It happens when the group inside is warm and cozy, but nothing fresh comes in. While visitors notice how musty everything smells, the regulars are so used to the odor that they don't even notice the stench. When visitors don't return, the regulars assume it was the stranger who was the stinky one. Here are some signs and remedies of church staleness.More

The perfect hire starts with the perfect job posting
Fast Company
While many job ads are hastily sketched out with little forethought, these descriptions can be one of the most important tools to finding the best people for the job. Paying careful attention to your ad ensures your team understands the role you're trying to fill, as well as broadcasts your needs to the world. After all, you're not going to attract the right people if you haven't defined what "right" means for you.More