The Church Network Weekly Update
Apr. 10, 2015

4 steps to empowering your staff to manage their budgets
By Deborah Ike
Does your team complain about filling out purchase requests? Do they wonder why you told them they couldn't rent that huge inflatable or buy that new software? If so, it's probably time to pull back the curtain and show them the budget. If you want ministry leaders who will take ownership of their departments and be excellent stewards of their resources, then give them responsibility to manage their budget.More

Don't Go It Alone - attend The Church Network's national conference
The Church Network
“Coming from public accounting I got a lot of continuing education and training. I didn't have that when I moved into the church world so this has been, honestly, beyond what I could have even expected,” said Jessica Pappas, Controller & Stewardship Ministry Director for The Chapel At CrossPoint in Getzville, New York, who attended last year’s conference. “I've learned things that I know I'm going to be able to take back and apply that I wouldn't have learned otherwise. And meeting people who are in the same boat, some who've already learned things I want to learn, it was awesome. I'm thrilled that I came.” Don’t Go It Alone! Register today for the 59th Annual Conference of The Church Network, July 13-16, at the Gaylord Opryland Resort in Nashville, Tennessee.More

Spring cleaning for effective church communications
By Mark MacDonald
Spring. It's finally here! For most of the country, the winter seemed to linger. But now that warmer temperatures have started to blow in, spring fever starts to bite. After the winter, everything seems to need cleaning, doesn't it? I know my truck is in need of a polish. But how about your church communications? It's a great time to start getting ready for the rest of the year since people vacation in the summer, and then the fall church program kickoff is soon after with a huge time to attract and engage people. It's not too soon to be thinking ahead.More

4 steps to effective fundraising
Worship Facilities
In 2015, giving is once again a booming business. Yet, when it comes to giving to religious organizations, the news is less encouraging. The shifting of American charitable dollars from religious institutions to other areas has been a gradual process – one that shows no signs of abating. Despite the doom and gloom, many vibrant congregations across the country are demonstrating enormous creativity, funding new building projects, incorporating technology into the worship experience, and creating new outreach programs in the community.More

5 tips to help turn volunteers into superstars!
Ministry Best Practices
Ok, sure you've recruited your volunteers, they've signed on the dotted line but NOW WHAT? Now you have to TRAIN them! Training though isn't just ONE and DONE, rather it is an ongoing process and investment into your volunteers. Continual training and development is very important. Because it not only helps with your volunteer's overall enjoyment and performance but it also helps in retention. Remember, it takes less energy to continually equip your volunteers than it does trying to recruit new ones. But it's not enough just to train, you need to do it well! But how?More

Dealing with underachieving employees
By Billy Arcement
In today's competitive work environment, leaders are charged with maximizing employee productivity, minimizing costs and improving profits — not always an easy task keeping all three going well. Among the monitoring responsibilities, people performance is high on the list. So, how should a leader approach an employee who is clearly underachieving and impacting productivity, costs and profits?More

Make mother's day more meaningful
Outreach Magazine
While roses and teas are synonymous with Mother’s Day, this year think of the holiday as an opportunity to reach an overworked and stressed out single or disadvantaged mom, a grieving family, or moms who just need to feel appreciated. We’ve borrowed from churches and come up with some ideas for showing the love of Jesus to moms and other women in your community.More

How frequently should churches really post on social media?
DJ Chuang
There is this notion floating around which has gained ground that a magic number exists for how frequently a church should post on different social media platforms to get the best reach every day. The concern pastors want to overcome is the same from the social media account as it is from the pulpit. For some people, this magical number comes from the generalized statistics that bloggers and businesses are trying to find online. The problem is these statistics are always changing, so no actual value can be found here. So Chuang took this into his own hands and evaluated 12,253 social media posts in December 2014 on three different social media platforms from the 100 largest churches in America in 2014. Here is what he found.More

What if you could replace performance evaluations with four simple questions?
The Washington Post
Everyone loves to hate performance evaluations, and with good reason: Research has shown them to be ineffective, unreliable and unsatisfactory for seemingly everyone involved. They consume way too much time, leave most workers deflated and feel increasingly out of step with reality. A once-a-year, backwards-looking conversation with the boss hardly fits our forward-looking, instantly updated world. Yet despite all that frustration, many companies do little to change them, thinking there are few alternatives.More

Reddit CEO Ellen Pao eliminates salary negotiations for new employees
Ellen Pao, the interim CEO of Reddit, has seen women struggle with salary negotiations, so she's eliminating money talk from the company's hiring process. Pao told The Wall Street Journal in an interview that she has eliminated salary negotiations from the hiring process at Reddit. The reason, according to Pao, is that women often can't win salary talks.More

Mixed-use project planned for church site in SouthPark
Charlotte Business Journal
Childress Klein has filed two rezoning applications to allow for the anticipated redevelopment of the Sharon United Methodist Church property on Charlotte's Sharon Road as well as two adjacent parcels on Coltsgate Road. The rezoning for the church property, at the southwest corner of the intersection of Morrison Boulevard and Sharon Road, would allow for the development of the following.More

Mike Tyson's abandoned mansion to be converted into church
Christian Daily
A mansion once owned by boxer Mike Tyson in Southington, Ohio, is now being converted into a church. The current owners bought the property in December 2014 and it is now being donated to Living Word Sanctuary. According to the Tribune Chronicle, Living Word says it plans to use the mansion for weekly church services, vacation Bible school and nature activities.More

Churches that rise again
Pittsburgh Post-Gazette
No longer able to afford their buildings, some congregations take on new missions, from food pantries to addiction recovery, to renew their purpose. Living Spirit is just one of several area churches that have an especially compelling reason to celebrate. That’s because they’ve undergone some resurrecting themselves. Some churches have literally left the building — bidding farewell to the bricks, mortar and stained-glass windows memorializing their spiritual forebears — and have started new missions. Other congregations are still in the building but would not easily be recognized by their forebears.More

Could working out be considered an act of worship?
The Christian Post
While some may raise their eyebrows at exalting God while working out, others are making this budding belief system their reality. Celebrities such as Kierra Sheard, the 27-year-old gospel singer who released her fifth studio album Graceland last summer, recognize the power of incorporating fitness and faith. Sheard recently took to Instagram to let fans know that she's working on her fitness. The daughter of Grammy Award-winning singer Karen Clark Sheard and Bishop J. Drew Sheard of the Greater Emmanuel Church of God in Christ in Detroit, encouraged her social media followers by letting them know that they, too, can worship by exercising.More

Rev. Gardner C. Taylor, powerful voice for civil rights, dies at 96
The New York Times
The Rev. Gardner C. Taylor, a grandson of slaves who took over a Baptist pulpit in Brooklyn, New York, in 1948, when overt racism defined much of American life, and became an influential voice for civil rights and one of the nation’s most eloquent churchmen, died on Sunday in Durham, North Carolina. He was 96.More

'Hope for Iowa': Iowa churches to distribute Bibles to every home in city
Christian News
Nearly twenty Iowa churches will work together this weekend to distribute Bibles to every home in their city — an effort that they say may be the first of its kind. First Baptist Church of Marshalltown has announced that it, along with 17 other churches, will place 12,000 Bibles in 12,000 homes on April 11. Following a series of violent crimes in the city, Gerald Robison, pastor of First Baptist Church, suggested the idea during a pastors’ meeting earlier this year. He envisioned his congregation carrying out the mission, but other pastors immediately expressed interest and were eager to get involved.More

What to stop (and start) doing when leading millennials
Tony Morgan Live
Millennials have so much to offer to a church staff. They are energetic, tech-savvy, passionate and eager to make a difference. Many churches hire young leaders but never fully maximize their potential. They put them in situations that lead to discouragement and possibly even burnout. Making a few changes in how you lead the millennials on your team can create lasting positive results.More

How to leave work at 5 pm and still get everything done
“There are several reasons why our days have swelled,” says productivity consultant and author of “Never Check Email In The Morning” and “Shed Your Stuff, Change Your Life” Julie Morgenstern. “Companies continuously are trying to hire as few people as possible. Our roles are continuously changing, the world is changing, we’re in a time of rapid change — nothing is ‘business as usual.’ Acknowledge that you have more work to do than time to do it, you’re going to do different things.” Whatever your title, industry, or rank within an organization, a few conscious decisions about how you spend your time can mean not just shorter hours at the office, but better ones.More

What makes a leader a Christian leader?
Church Executive
Andy Van Slyke, a Christ-following player for the Pittsburgh Pirates and St. Louis Cardinals, said years ago, “I won’t renegotiate my contract because I believe in the principle of sticking to my contract and what I agreed upon as the Parable of the Worker states in Matthew 20.” Wow! That is powerful because it is so full of character and commitment and is so counter-cultural. What about managers, owners, coaches, parents, etc.? Here are six non-exclusive characteristics that makes a leader a Christian leader.More