NACBA Weekly Update
March 27, 2009

Counting the Cost
from Christian Century
Among U.S. churches of better-than-average size and budget, nearly half are feeling the impact of the deepening recession and are being forced in many cases to cut staff or freeze salaries. Donations are down, said 48 percent of church leaders surveyed at these churches in February. But, to rephrase the old question, is the collection plate half full or half empty? More

Digital Donations
from Ministry Today Magazine
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

Is Your Church a Safe Church?
from Crosswalk
With proper security measures in place, a church or religious organization can deter or prevent a potential incident from happening, said security experts. In today’s culture, church leaders need to be armed against the potential dangers of a stranger or intruder. They also need be aware and protect themselves against possible threats and accusations, as well as insure the church is a safe place for everyone, according to Rick Anderson, co-founder/owner, Church Security Solutions, LLC. More

Church Security: Preparing for Easter – NOW
from Christian Security Network
Many churches are busy preparing for one of our greatest celebrations for the Christian community of the year – Easter. Every church knows that their attendance will increase during Easter services; more this time of year than any other, except maybe Christmas. Many will perform Passion Plays and other special programs to recognize the death of Christ and His glorious resurrection bringing even more people through the doors. Knowing all these things it is time to think about how every church should “ramp up” security and emergency planning for the next month. More

Study of Unchurched Shows 20-somethings More Spiritually Open Than Those 30 and Up
from the Baptist Press
Despite recent media reports that young adults are running from churches in droves, the beliefs of many younger unchurched people are more connected to historic Christian beliefs than many suspected. More 20-somethings than people 30 and older believe in the God of the Bible, the resurrection of Christ and the uniqueness of the Christian God, according to research of unchurched individuals released by LifeWay Research. More

Congregations Face Difficult Choices in Sour Economy
from Crosswalk
Across the country -- fraught with foreclosures, job losses and other cutbacks -- congregations and other religious organizations are facing the same belt-tightening challenges as everyone else. More

Texas Church’s Attendance Up During Recession
from the Austin American Statesman
At Riverbend Church in Northwest Austin, Texas, attendance is up 10 percent this year compared with the same period last year, said the Rev. Norman Schoenfeld. “There are definitely a lot of people who haven't been going to church regularly — or at all — that are showing up on our doorsteps on Sunday mornings.” More

Student Pastors Introducing Internet Social Media as New Missions Frontier
from KFSM-TV
Not since the Depression has a generation been so fearful of their financial future as the economy shows little sign of recovery. Money is mentioned in the bible over 800 times so it comes as no surprise that many are turning to faith for help managing their money. 5NEWS traveled to First Baptist Springdale where teachers offer the promise of hope and peace. More

Spirit-filled, High-tech, Real time, Online, E-mailin' Twittering
from Bowling Green Daily News
Social networks - MySpace, Facebook and Twitter, to name a few - have become increasingly popular among high school and college students, and even parents and grandparents. Now, those same social networks that have connected and reconnected friends are being used as a resource for many religious organizations. Churches have crossed the virtual divide in efforts to build, foster and cultivate relationships and sustain their connections to congregations. More

Disciplining the Church
from The Christian Post
The church must never forget that the Bible is our management manual, and that the Bible makes the church responsible for disciplining its members. Church discipline is not a pleasant subject. It is one of the least talked about subjects within the church. But we cannot lead victorious Christian lives until we understand Christian discipline. The more we learn about what God teaches on this subject, the better equipped we will be to handle crises in our personal lives, our families, and our churches. More

Fish Fry Tradition Bolsters Catholic Unity During Lent
from The Associated Press via USA Today
The old-fashioned Lenten fish fry soldiers on, giving Catholics an opportunity to observe their meatless Friday while bolstering their sense of community. To a number of Catholics, the fish fry is also something more: a timeworn Catholic tradition that provides a safe haven from divides that have long roiled the U.S. church, a place where traditionalist Catholics, progressive Catholics and everyone in between can sit peacefully at the same plastic tablecloth. More

Connecticut Lawmakers End Church Finance Bill
from CBN News
Connecticut lawmakers killed the controversial church finance bill which would have forced the Catholic church to re-structure it's financial system and move the power out of the bishops hands into the hands of church members. Republicans claimed the bill was unconstitutional and said the government had no right to interfere with church business. More