NACBA Weekly Update
March 11, 2011

Churches face tricky balance of welcoming and protecting
Fort Worth Star-Telegram
Once, churches were sanctuaries where respect, fear of the Almighty or even superstition kept lawbreakers at bay. Now, violent crimes seem to be increasingly common at churches large and small. This week's attack at an Arlington, Texas, church, where the pastor was slain and his assistant severely beaten, is yet another example. A church's work requires a delicate balance: protecting churchgoers but also keeping the doors open to the troubled and hurting. That can leave churches vulnerable.More

Churches and the 'digital cloud' studied
Baptist Press
A survey conducted by LifeWay Research has found that few churches are thinking about "the cloud" as anything more than fluffy white vapor hanging in the sky. It seems that many churches have not moved from the desktop and hard drive-based world of church management -- or even from the paper and pencil -- and onto "the cloud" (as Web-based management tools are called). LifeWay Research, in a survey sponsored by Fellowship Technologies, a partner in LifeWay's Digital Church initiative, found that only 12 percent of Protestant churches use Web-based church management software to share information about their church members and ministries.More

Does your church have a farm team?
Church Executive Magazine
When you look around the office, do you have a farm team to pull from when you need your next player? Most of us would refer to this as succession planning. If Bill moves into his new director role, who is going to replace Bill? You could play this scenario over with everyone on staff. The author of this articles recommends that you start with your key staff positions or areas of responsibility. More

Poll: What Evangelical leaders believe about the End Times
The Christian Post
A majority of evangelical leaders believe that Jesus Christ will return to earth and then reign with his followers for 1,000 years, a new survey shows. This end times theology is called premillennialism and 65 percent of surveyed evangelical leaders identify with it.More

Lent in the fast lane: Not your grandma's fish fry
Pittsburgh Tribune-Review
Fish fry fundraisers during the Christian Lenten season are as traditional as the apple pies hawked at bake sales nationwide. But as Lent begins and fish fries pop up across Western Pennsylvania, the organizers of some of these events go beyond the traditional when it comes to serving customers. With online ordering, Google voice hotlines, beer and wine sales, upscale menus and scale-tipping amounts of seafood, these aren't your grandma's Friday fish fries. The competition is stiff, processes are streamlined and time is limited.More

Tale of 2 churches
Decatur Daily
Two of Decatur, Tenn.’s largest church congregations have had different experiences with relocations aimed at allowing expansion. Central Baptist has completed its move and already has reached capacity under its existing space arrangement in the former Mutual Savings Life Insurance property on U.S. 31 South. On the other hand, Calvary Assembly of God has had to delay completion of its move from Beltline Road Southwest to Alabama 20 because of the struggling economy. More

Lost in ministry? Get back to the basics
Resonate or Die
In an age where a lot of attention is placed on websites, Twitter followings and making friends/fans on Facebook, it can be easy to forget the importance of focusing on the basics in our ministries. Websites such as Twitter and Facebook are great tools and, in this digital age, it’s important to utilize them to reach the world (after all, it’s where you will find them). But once we do attract someone to our ministry, what basics are we intentional about in our teaching, connecting and discipleship?More

The courage to a child
Building Church Leaders
More than once, Jesus pointed to children as examples. Even in a culture where children were considered a liability and of little worth, Jesus would pull a nearby child into the circle of his disciples, and say, have faith like a child, or come to me like a child. He told us that we were children of God (1 John 3:1). So it seems that we who get to observe children should consider the possibility that they might have something to teach us.More

Sign of the times: Updated Bible
The Washington Post
A retooled classic hit bookstores this week will raise new questions for millions of Christians about the nature of sin, whether women can exert authority over men and what the word "booty" really means. That book is the Bible. On Wednesday, as many Christians began observing Lent, American publishers released new translations of two of the most widely read English language Bibles - the official Catholic version and the most popular evangelical version - that together have been printed more than 415 million times. More

A congregational coffee shop
Presbyterian Church
The fact that there is a coffee house in the bell tower is not what is unusual at Mt. Tabor Presbyterian Church. Nor is the fact that it’s run on volunteers and donations. What might be the most unusual element at Mt. Tabor is the leadership’s willingness to not start out with a carefully defined goal but to instead let the mission find them. “We deliberately said among ourselves, ‘We’ll open the door and see what comes and we’re going to help people do what they want to do here,’” said the Rev. Carley Friesen, pastor. “And that was a very deliberate and intentional way to do it. This is not the church doing something for the community but the church and the community working together and that is a huge part of this.”More

Spring forward to high attendance
Baptist Press
It happens on Sunday morning twice each year, and it may affect your church attendance. Need fresh ideas to capitalize on Daylight Savings Time? More

A lenten sacrifice: Shutting off Facebook
Inside Bay Area
Once upon a time, people gave up food for Lent -- usually something they needed to cut back on, like sweets. These days, people are vowing to give up Facebook. It makes sense, says Lisa Hendey, webmaster at St. Anthony of Padua Catholic Church, Fresno's largest Roman Catholic congregation. "In the past, it might have been giving up the extras, like chocolate or TV, but Facebook has become such a big part of people's daily lives they're contemplating giving it up, praying about it and discussing it." More

Slain pastor laid to rest
Associated Baptist Press
Mourners filled First Baptist Church in Arlington, Texas, March 9 to celebrate the life of a young mission pastor cut short by murder, while more than 500 others watched live on the Internet. Clint Dobson, 28, was laid to rest six days after his suffocation death during a robbery at NorthPointe Baptist Church, a satellite of First Baptist Church and part of the congregation's expansive mission outreach to the poor.More

Hard partying and Bible study, at the fraternity house
The New York Times
Imagine 475 college students — all members of fraternities and sororities around the country — flooding a hotel for a weekend. Imagine, come Sunday, that not one noise complaint has been lodged, no chairs are broken, no beer stains the carpets and the hotel housekeeper says, “What a nice bunch of kids.” Improbable, but that is exactly what happened recently when an evangelical Christian campus group, Greek InterVarsity, held a regional conference here to expand Bible studies and Christian recruiting in fraternities and sororities at mainstream universities.More