NACBA Weekly Update
April 3, 2009

In Times Like These, More People are Going to Church for Help
from USA Today
Pleas for help -- spiritual and financial -- are flooding U.S. churches, from tiny congregations to megachurches, as recession woes seep into the pews, a new survey finds. Pastors say they're giving out benevolent funds in record numbers, increasing ministries to the unemployed and the financially fearful, even reaching into their own pockets more to help. More

Your Church Insurance Checkup
from Church Executive Magazine
Just like you ought to get a medical checkup regularly, you should get an annual insurance checkup to make sure that both your building(s) and insurance program are fit and free of any looming dangers. Given the recent meltdown on Wall Street, it’s possible that insurers may get pickier about which churches they’ll insure in 2009 and raise their rates. It may not happen, but you want to be in a strong position just in case it does. More

Top 10 Easter Outreach Ideas for Churches
from Church Central
Here it comes again—the largest attendance weekend of the year for American churches—Easter. Knowing that your worship time will be flooded with guests later this month may have turned your thoughts to reaching out to them. Here is the top 10 list of best Easter outreach ideas for churches. More

Church Services Put Paws in the Pews
from USA Today
As they enter the church, they yip, they lick and they sniff the tail ends of their fellow parishioners. An occasional woof interrupts the piano notes wafting through the sanctuary. But this is a forgiving audience. It is full of dog lovers, mostly, who gather every Thursday to worship at Underwood Hills Presbyterian Church in Omaha, Neb. More

Energy Conservation – A Responsible Choice for Churches
from Church Solutions
Good stewardship is foundational to our belief system. Combine that with the country’s challenging economic climate, and it’s easy to see why many churches are going green. At Plano, Texas-based Prestonwood Baptist Church, they always believed they were being good stewards of all that the Lord had blessed them with. However, after examining their energy and water usage, there was no doubt they could and should make changes. More

Churches Find Podcasts Fill Desire to Hear Sermons
from HeraldNet
Not everyone can make it to church every Sunday. People get sick, travel or are deployed far away from their hometowns. That's the case in Snohomish County, Wash., particularly Everett, where many men and women in the armed forces who might otherwise listen to their pastors from the pew are stationed overseas. Many local people can listen to Sunday services using the Internet and podcasts, a video and audio digital media that can be downloaded to computers and media players from church Web sites. More

Faith and Facebook
from the Examiner
Facebook is a good way to get people at your church connected. The author created a group for her church, and started inviting folks to join. It is a place where any church member could post news, announcements, events and prayer requests...a way for everyone to stay connected. More

Church in Financial Pinch Opens Thrift Shop
from the Bradenton Herald
Churches everywhere are hurting, as collections and tithing dwindle, but as ominous as these warnings sound, shrinking revenues brought on by a weak economy do have a silver lining, clergy in Bradenton, Fla., say. Without funds to pay others to do the work of the church, congregations are rolling up their sleeves and becoming part of ministry through the donations of their time and talent. More

Managing Your Youth Ministry: Why Names Matter
from the Youth Worker Journal
What’s in a name, and how much importance do we put on learning and using students’ names as quickly as possible? Do not underestimate the power of knowing a student’s first and last name. Knowing their names is the first step toward telling students they are known and belong. More

Discovering and Escaping Liturgy
from the Leadership Journal
The author’s church was growing as several thousand people connected with multimedia presentations each week. But at the same time the church was thriving with one generation, the author began to notice that younger adults were not engaging as well as their parents. So he began listening to these young people to discover why they were not resonating with this way of doing church. Worship trends among the young are more complicated than you realize. More

In Over Your Head
from Ministry Today
It's not enough to be a competent pastor. Today church and ministry leaders face the nearly impossible task of being experts in their chosen field and mastering the art of new technologies. Inexpensive lighting, sound, video and digital technologies have turned any church into a potential recording studio. Before making a bad purchase that your church will regret, consider these factors. More

Sour Economy Forces Change, Innovation at Seminaries
from Religion News Service
Seminary educators, under pressure to grow enrollments and cuts costs, are racing to find alternatives to the quasi-cloistered, academic environments that have trained generations of pastors. But they’re also being cautious not to compromise on quality when shaping a holy cohort set apart for ministry. More