NACBA Weekly Update
March 19, 2010

Churches suffer losses under new FCC rule
The Christian Post
As the Federal Communications Commission seeks out more broadband space, the agency is being asked to consider possibly the largest group that would be affected by the move – that is, churches. Churches across the country that use wireless devices have already been affected by FCC's 2008 decision to auction off rights to the 700 MHz band. But their new push for even more spectrum is sure to create more losses and interferences. "I assure you the number one use of wireless systems in this country is churches," Reed Hall, director of Audio & Technical Production at Lakewood Church in Houston, told The Christian Post. "Ninety percent of them have at least one wireless system. You compare that to Broadway, which is like a three-block area."More

Study: Most church Web sites ineffective
Associated Baptist Press
Churches, by and large, still haven’t entered the digital age when it comes to evangelism -- but those who have are reaping huge rewards, according to a new survey. A poll conducted by Christian technology company Endis indicates that when churches deliberately focus their Web sites on attracting outsiders they see a corresponding rise in the number of non-Christian visitors. But many focus on the internal life of the church, and their effectiveness is reduced. More

Top six tax mistakes made by ministers
According to the Internal Revenue Service, ministers are unique. Sometimes, church members and other individuals incorrectly assume ministers pay fewer taxes than the average tax payers. This is an incorrect assumption. Generally, ministers actually pay more taxes than the average tax payers. If the church does not handle its ministerial taxes correctly, the mistakes could cost the church and minister a lot of additional money and headaches. Here are some of the common tax mistakes often made by churches and ministers.More

Ageism in the Church?
In recent decades, we have witnessed a trend toward age segmentation in many North American churches. A family may drive to the church facilities together on Sunday morning, but after arriving, it is likely they will immediately disperse according to age. The children will be off to the "children's church" or to Sunday school classes, and parents will find their way into the main sanctuary for a worship service. In some cases, teenagers may head in still another direction to experiences ministries that are specially designed for them. An hour or two later, the family reconvenes for the ride back home.More

Responsive leading
Ministry Today Magazine
What if you could get feedback on your preaching … during the sermon? Creative preaching meets a Who Wants to Be a Millionaire?-style quiz show at Youngstown Metro Church in Boardman, Ohio. Senior pastor Joshua Shank uses a quiz program that allows the congregation to respond to questions on the screen and see immediate results. "Sometimes we miss the simplicity of the Gospel for all of the hoopla that surrounds it," Aimee Shank, an administrator at the church and the pastor's wife, says. "However, technology can definitely be beneficial to communication, particularly with a generation that speaks the language of media."More

More video, but sermon length stays the same
A newly released study by Ellison Research shows the typical Protestant church worship service has grown more contemporary and diversified during the past five years. The greatest increases have been in the proportion of churches using video clips and graphic presentations such as PowerPoint. Results of the study were published in the March-April issue of Facts and Trends. The study explored specific worship elements or styles churches use today, compared to what was used five years ago.More

Misplaced perceptions of multi-site ministry
Church Executive Magazine
What are multi-site churches thinking today? When the multi-site movement emerged, it really made a lot of practical sense. A church could reach more people in more places without duplicating the back office tasks of accounting, technology, communications and employee policies and benefits. Through new worship services in new locations, a church could make a permanent investment in people in another place. These reasons to consider multi-site all made sense. Reasonable minds could see that this approach was a viable option for a healthy, growing church. In fact, many may have perceived that multi-site is primarily for reasons such as economic efficiency, more worship services, or seeking to do more ministry on your own. Yet the actions of many multi-site churches defy these reason-driven perceptions.More

Religion losing Latinos in U.S.
USA Today
Latino population growth over the past two decades has boosted numbers in the Catholic Church, but a new, in-depth analysis shows Latinos' allegiance to Catholicism is waning as some move toward other Christian denominations or claim no religion at all. A report out today by researchers at Trinity College in Hartford, Conn., finds Latino religious identification increasingly diverse and more "Americanized."More

How do you get clear about financial stewardship?
Church Central
What do you think about financial stewardship? While there are a host of resources for churches on developing their giving, it's important to clarify your own thinking. The clearer you are yourself, the easier it will be for you to offer others a challenge to give. Here are some questions to ask yourself. Don't ask them of others until you've done some thinking for yourself. As you clarify your own thinking, consider how you want to share it with the congregation. More

Simple tips for screening and selecting underage workers
Churches put a lot of emphasis on screening and selecting adult volunteers, but what about recruiting minors to serve in your ministry? Because churches cannot screen all the kids active in youth ministry and because potential 16-year-old offenders have no criminal record, normal sexual misconduct preventions do not apply.So what is a church to do? Here are some simple steps you can take to begin implementing specific screening and selection protocols for your underage workers.More

Fading faith? Survey shows generation gap in religious devotion
Deseret News
Studies suggest today's current crop of young adults — labeled the "Millennial Generation" — is less religious than preceding generations. But a closer look suggests they really may not be much different than preceding generations at the same age. Whatever the case, religious leaders haven't lost faith in the Millennials.More

Homeless are part of his diverse ministry
Baptist Press
Every Monday around 4:30 p.m., the iron gate separating Uptown Baptist from the sidewalk creaks open and a couple dozen or more homeless men and women file into pews for a word from Scripture then to the basement for a hot meal. Outside, a flock of Chicagoans scatter from the train and the buses, shouldering computer bags and backpacks as they head home or as they trek to an evening job in one of the city's most diverse communities. This is North American Mission Board missionary Michael Allen's mission field.More

A ministry with heart: One man's calling becomes every man's congregation
Gainesville Times
What started as a simple Bible study five years ago by the Rev. Nathaniel "Shan" Montgomery and wife Jonsita Montgomery has blossomed into a thriving church and outreach program called Heart Outreach Ministries. The church on Atlanta Highway in Gainesville, Ga., opened its doors just seven months ago and is already making its mark.More

Southern California city says home Bible group must get permit
FOX News
For the second time in six months, officials in Rancho Cucamonga, Calif., has ordered a group of Christian worshippers who meet inside homes to get a permit or shut down. It's the latest incident in which religious groups in Southern California have been targeted by cities for home gatherings, though many of those groups were eventually allowed to meet without obtaining permits. The city is trying to halt Friday night meetings at a home after receiving a complaint in February from a neighbor that 40 to 60 people were gathering weekly in the San Bernardino County location. Officials said the homeowner needs a conditional use permit by Good Friday, April 2, to operate a church in a residential area.More

This bank really does God's work
New York Post
There's at least one bank in the New York metropolitan area that's doing God's work. Atlantic Stewardship Bank, based in Bergen County, N.J., donates 10 percent of its annual pre-tax earnings to charity -- and has done so under a tithing program that stretches back 25 years. It's part of the mission of the 13-branch, publicly traded bank, which has donated a total of $7 million to charities over the quarter-century. "Tithing is a biblical principle, meaning to give or devote one-tenth to God," said Paul Van Ostenbridge, the Midland Park-based bank's president and CEO. "The concept of a bank giving away 10 percent of its profits every year is quite unusual, especially in the current economic climate."More