NACBA Weekly Update
March 25, 2011

Study: Prayer helps calm anger
Houston Chronicle
The Bible tells us to pray for our enemies. Now psychologists are saying the same thing. Saying a prayer may help calm anger and allow people to behave less aggressively towards those who have upset them, researchers say. "Prayer gets people to view the world in a very kind and gentle way and reduces feelings of anger with empathy," said Brad Bushman, co-author of the study and professor of communication and psychology at Ohio State University.More

Religion may become extinct in 9 nations, study says
A study using census data from nine countries shows that religion there is set for extinction, say researchers. The study found a steady rise in those claiming no religious affiliation. The team's mathematical model attempts to account for the interplay between the number of religious respondents and the social motives behind being one. The result, reported recently at the American Physical Society meeting in Dallas, indicates that religion will all but die out altogether in those countries.More

Census helps church with evangelism
The U.S. Census — the once-a-decade enumeration of the U.S. population — gives churchgoers a better sense of the people in their neighborhoods — their ages, ethnicity, educational backgrounds, household size, income levels and even their average travel time to work. “These are the people God has given you,” said the Rev. Lovett H. Weems Jr., director of the Lewis Center for Church Leadership at Wesley Theological Seminary in Washington, D.C. “And where else will we begin than with the people God has given us? That’s the beginning point for ministry. The second thing (the census) does is show when we worship on Sunday who is missing.”More

Church hopes to pack pews for Easter cash giveaway
Journal News
Last year, the Lindenwald Baptist Church held its first “1,000 Strong Easter Celebration Give-Away,” in which it offered a $1,000 cash — $500 each to a member and a guest — to boost Easter Sunday attendance. The church, which normally has a Sunday attendance of around 500, according to Pastor Randy Moore, recorded 1,137 in attendance that day, well-exceeding the goal of 1,000, and packed the sanctuary to the rafters. “A lot of our members gave up their seats and went to the foyer to listen,” Moore said. “We had a parking lot crew help direct traffic and a police escort to help everyone get out of here when we were done.” Even better, he said, 36 people gave their lives to Christ that day. More

Young Evangelicals find faith in emerging church movement
Voice of America
Only a generation ago, Evangelical Protestants were flocking to so-called megachurches with congregations that numbered in the thousands. The worshippers were fundamentalists, including Evangelicals, who view the Christian Bible as the literal truth. Now, a new generation of Evangelical and other Christians is seeking a more personal experience with a different political tone. They are meeting in more intimate settings, like the corner cafe, and no one is told what to believe.More

Facebook and the church life
Times Standard
A mere three years ago, Diana Davis published a hands-on book for church leaders titled “Fresh Ideas For Women's Ministry.” When flipping through its pages, she said, one of the first things she notices now is a missing word -- Facebook. She needs to rewrite the whole book to cover this reality gap. Lots of churches, she noted, don't even have solid websites. "Many small churches, or even our medium-sized churches, have nothing -- nothing," she said. "There are people who still do not realize that if you're not online, or if you are not on Facebook, you do not exist for lots of people today. Your church simply does not exist."More

Questions (and answers) about tithing
Baptist Press
Over the years, J.D. Greear, lead pastor at the Summit Church in Durham, N.C., has received questions about whether or not the tithe (giving the first 10 percent of our income back to God as prescribed by the law) was biblical. In this article, he provides answers to some of those questions that demonstrate how he has learned to approach them.More

It's in the details: 8 surprising reasons why people aren't coming back
As a secret shopper or mystery worshiper of churches around the country, the author of this article has found there are some reasons that he will tell a church I would not return for a second visit and some may be news to you. Whether he’s working with a church plant of 60 people or a megachurch of over 15,000, some things are universal and should be present regardless of church size. This article looks at actions and areas every church needs to address.More

Church audits
A church's bylaws require that the church have an "annual audit." For many years, the church board has refused to pay for a full audit because of the high cost. Instead, it has retained a local CPA to perform a limited "review" of the church's financial records. At an annual business meeting, a member insists that the board is in violation of the church bylaws. Start by completing the exercise in this article. Then review the Executive Summary for the key points on this topic, or read the Weekly Lesson for a complete discussion of this topic. More

How much can online giving really help your ministry?
Ministry Today Magazine
Without question the Lord provides the provision for the vision He plants in those called to "go" in His kingdom. Modern payment pathways—or in the case of ministries, "giving pathways"—aren't gimmicks for gain but normal and necessary tools in today's culture to continue to accomplish the work of the kingdom. The trend toward online giving has gained ground among churches and parachurch ministries, yet many Christians remain hesitant to use a method they believe is susceptible to fraud, theft and error. The truth is, online payments are technically more secure than putting a check in the mail.More

Control or growth?
Every church must eventually decide whether it is going to be structured for control or structured for growth. For a church to grow, both the pastor and the people must give up control. The people must give up control of the leadership, and the pastor must give up control of the ministry. Otherwise, you create a bottleneck for growth. This is especially true once a church grows beyond about 500 people, because then no single person or board can know everything that's going on in the church.More

Youth ministry as practical theology
Youth Worker
It is fair to say that most youth ministers desire to not only personally live a Christian life, but lead others to do so, as well. They want to honor God, share Christ and minister to adolescents and their families. In pursuit of that goal, youth ministers seem to have a mystical ability to transcend controversial divisions, denominational litmus tests and personal preference in the name of collaborating with others who love God and teenagers as much as they do. However, there can be a potentially negative side of youth workers bypassing differences. This can happen when theological convictions take a back seat to cooperation, leaving theological convictions necessarily shallow.More

NACBA TeleWeb: Governing Body Orientation
Join us for the next NACBA TeleWeb seminar, Governing Body Orientation with Mike Batts, April 14 at 1:30 CST. The governing body of your church has critically important responsibilities with respect to your church’s operations and activities. While governance models for churches vary widely, the common thread in all is that a governing body of some description (board of trustees, board of directors, board of elders, board of deacons, session, council, etc. – hereafter referred to as the “board”) bears significant responsibility (often ultimate responsibility) for the affairs of the church. Commonly, however, individuals are asked to serve on the board with little or no experience or knowledge about that responsibility. New members of the board need an orientation regarding good governance practices. This webinar provides an overview of the orientation process and a guide for making it simple. It is also a good review of good board governance practices for all members of church leadership.

Specific topics include:

  1. The orientation process
  2. The legal authority and responsibility of board members
  3. The proper role of the board
  4. Board committees
  5. The board’s role in risk management
  6. The board’s role in financial matters
  7. Governing and policy documents
  8. The liability of board members
  9. Understanding, evaluating, and protecting the church’s mission
  10. 10. Board meeting dynamics
Purchase access to the informative seminar and then provide to your board members to enhance your training strategy.More