NACBA Weekly Update
March 20, 2009

More than Half of Donors Plan No Decrease in Giving in 2009
from The Chronicle of Philanthropy
Their investment portfolios may be slumping and their jobs less secure, but a majority of Americans who give to charity still plan to donate as much this year as they have in the past, according to a new survey. More than 52 percent of donors said their gifts would be on par with 2008, while just 17.5 percent planned to give less. More

Alabama Churches Struggle in Tough Times
from The Birmingham News
The doors are locked and a "For Sale" sign stands in front of the 1,000-seat sanctuary of the 32nd Street Baptist Church in Powderly, Ala. The church wasn’t able to make the balloon payments on its mortgage, and the bank foreclosed. It’s an extreme case, but about 32 percent of more than 800 church administrators surveyed this year said their churches were having an especially hard time financially because of the economy, according to a report released in February by the National Association of Church Business Administration. More

In Recession, Church Multiplies Money For Needy
from NPR
Fair Haven Ministries, a church in recession-battered Michigan, is trying to juggle a drop in offerings with an escalating need to help people in the community. So it created its own stimulus package by drawing inspiration from a New Testament parable in which faithful servants took money given by their master, invested it and brought back more. More

Are You Ready to Lead?
What does good leadership look like? For most Christians, “Christian leadership” is something practiced by the pastor and church staff. But there are many opportunities in everyday life where leadership is called for—and it may be that you, whether you’re a trained church minister or just an average Joe, are the one called to step forward and lead. More

Five Key Elements in Creating a Church Budget that Increases Giving
from LifeWay
Using the church budget as a tool to increase giving is assumed by many church leaders as the best way to raise additional income for the church. However, giving seldom increases just because the church has adopted a budget. Several key elements need to be in place before your church budget increases giving by your church family. More

Heavenly Sunshine
from the Times-Herald
Though the global economic crisis is disastrous to many, local religious officials hope people don't foreclose on the house of the Lord or their faith in their God. Keep life in perspective, pastors say. It's about people, not a portfolio. "Difficult times can very often reveal how out of focus our priorities have become," said Ken Jensen, senior pastor at Northgate Christian Fellowship in Benicia, Calif. More

Media Campaign Seeks New Ways to Draw, Keep Younger Members
from The United Methodist Portal
As the United Methodist Church launches “Rethink Church,” the latest phase of a multi-million dollar media advertising campaign, the new research raises the question: Is the denomination attempting to build “brand loyalty” in an arena where it’s increasingly irrelevant? More

Student Pastors Introducing Internet Social Media as New Missions Frontier
from the Western Recorder
The printing press, radio, television—with each of these revolutionary inventions, Christians have used them to spread the gospel. Today, believers of the same mind, but different era, are taking the message of Christ to social media such as Facebook, Twitter, blogs, podcasts, YouTube, Flickr, MySpace and the like. Facebook alone now reaches more than 140 million members. More

Are You Missing a Golden Opportunity?
God's chosen method of communicating His Word is preaching. Someone wisely observed, “The biggest room in the world is the room for improvement.” Another sagely exhorts, “Good, Better, Best, Never let it rest, 'Til your good is better and your better is best!” Retooling and Improvement in preaching can be very beneficial. More

Putting Free Media to Work for Your Church
from Church Solutions Magazine
Does your church have people talking? It should. Being the talk of the town is not always a bad thing. Just ask business marketers. They spend millions of dollars trying to get people talking – about their products and services. But they’ve also found new ways (on shoestring budgets, no less) to motivate millions, thanks to the miracle of viral and buzz marketing. More

Highly Religious Patients Fight to Live Longer
from The Christian Post
A new study on patients with advanced cancer found that those who used their religious faith to cope with their illness were far more likely to want doctors to do everything possible to keep them alive than were less religious patients. Patients with a high level of "positive" religious coping – seeking God's love and care – were three times more likely than others to receive intensive life-prolonging treatment in their last week of life, according to a study published Wednesday in the Journal of the American Medical Association. More

Seminaries Face Financial Woes
from USA Today
Sagging endowments and other shrinking revenue streams are challenging the status quo at the nation's seminaries, most of which aren't cushioned by a link to an endowed university. Among the 175 "free-standing" institutions in the Association of Theological Schools, 39 percent were "financially stressed," with less than a year's worth of spendable assets, a fall 2008 report says. More