The Church Network Weekly Update
Apr. 24, 2015

When church staff turn against each other
Thom S. Rainer
Those who serve vocationally on church staffs are, for the most part, wonderful men and women who desire only to serve our Lord through a local congregation. But these pastors, executive pastors, children’s ministers, worship leaders, student ministers, and others are humans. And when sinful humans work together in any setting, there will be friction and challenging relationships. While we can never eliminate all difficult issues between co-workers, we can seek to manage the relationships in the most healthy and godly manner. Unfortunately, in some churches, one or more staff members will turn against another in an unhealthy, unbiblical, and ungodly manner. Here are eight thoughts about these bad situations.More

Early-bird deadline for TCN conference is just 3 weeks away
The Church Network
The 59th National Conference of The Church Network (powered by NACBA) in July in Nashville, Tennessee, is the place to find the help you need for your church administration issues. There will be 70+ workshops, four keynote speakers including Richard Hammar, 100+ church suppliers, plus around 500 of your colleagues in church administration with whom to network so you "Don't Go It Alone." Take advantage of this opportunity to get the latest information available on tax and legal issues, human resources, stewardship and fundraising, construction, communications, IT, accounting and much more. The early-bird deadline of May 14 is fast approaching. Don't delay! Register today!More

Make your church known for love
By Mark MacDonald
Jesus called his disciples together in John 13 and washed their feet just before His evil betrayal. In the chaos over the discussion of who it was that would betray Him, Jesus says to his disciples, "Love one another. Just like I love you; love one another." Why you might ask? Then He continues, "because by your love, they'll know you are my disciples." Jesus actually was teaching them the subtle art of search engine optimization way ahead of its time. You want to be known (or found) for something? It's easy.More

Solving high food expenses at church
Managing Your Church
Name most any type of church activity and you can usually find food from a caterer or restaurant associated with it. Meal provisions can be so generous that if someone served in multiple ways on a Sunday morning, he or she could eat quite well — not just once, but two or possibly even three times. Good grub is part of church culture.  However, just like a personal household budget, dining out a lot adds up for a church. It may sound overly dramatic, but if churches scale back on the food served, they can free up dollars for meaningful ministry purposes, be it an outreach effort or covering the cost of attending an event for one child.More

Is it about marketing? Or reputation?
Outreach Magazine
You need to decide whether your real issue is about marketing or about reputation. The two concepts are distinct, depending on the people you most want to reach. If you just want to reach churchy people (or people with church memories), then basic marketing may be sufficient. Place your facility in a highly visible, easily accessible location; provide lots of parking; surround yourself with illuminated, changeable signage. Identify yourself by your tradition, or use Christendom jargon for self-description: "Bible-Based," "Spirit-Filled," or franchised denominational slogans like "Open Hearts, Open Minds, Open Doors."More

Meerkat and Periscope: What are they and how can you use them for marketing?
By Emma Fitzpatrick
Forget writing about how fantastic last Sunday's brunch was (Facebook 2007). No need to microblog about it either (Twitter 2009). A colorful photo with perfectly arranged mimosas and scones is a step in the right direction (Instagram 2012). But now you can officially do better. Share live video of your entire meal (Meerkat and Periscope 2015).More

The impact of google's mobile-friendly update
Christian Web Trends
Tuesday was the big day ... Mobilegeddon ... the day Google launched its algorithm update to penalize sites that are not mobile friendly in its mobile search results. Some may find this shocking, but somehow the sun still rose this morning. In all seriousness, this is a big deal because this a major update, and Google is the biggest source of new website visitors for most churches, schools, nonprofits and businesses. Here are 3 things we know one day into the mobile-friendly update.More

Useful study reveals generational differences in what engages donors
Nonprofit Quarterly
A study released by software company Abila contrasts the ideas nonprofits have about how to engage donors with what donors say actually makes them feel engaged. Further, it looks at generational differences in the preferences of the donors. One of the points made in the study is that when nonprofits segment donors for a variety of approaches, it is often around only one data point, and that this is less than fully effective. Of course, the company that commissioned the study helps nonprofits use data to get better fundraising results.More

Country band Lady Antebellum's Bible survives tour bus fire
Christian Headlines
Singer Hillary Scott of country band Lady Antebellum is thanking God after no one was harmed in a recent tour bus fire. Christian Today reports all personal items inside the bus burned except for one: Scott’s Bible. The singer was traveling to the American Country Music Awards in Dallas with her husband and tour manager when one of the bus tires caught fire. All three passengers and the bus driver were all able to exit the bus safely, but Scott’s personal possessions were consumed by the blaze.More

World Bank launches interfaith push to eliminate extreme poverty
Religion News Service
The World Bank is teaming up with global religious leaders in a 15-year effort to end extreme poverty by 2030. About 35 religious groups worldwide, including Bread for the World, Islamic Relief International, the Religious Action Center of Reform Judaism and Sojourners, endorsed the call to action. Supporters include Christians, Jews, Muslims, Baha’is and others. “Our approach to this staggering need must be holistic, rooted in the spiritual visions of our respective faiths, and built on a shared recognition of the intrinsic dignity and value of every life on Earth,” the call said.More

New York church takes on Wal-Mart ... but loses
Christian Today
A U.S. church has lost its fight to stop giant retailer Wal-Mart selling high-performance sporting rifles. Trinity Wall Street Church in New York, which owns 3,500 shares in Wal-Mart, wanted the company to include a proposal seeking a board review of its sale of semiautomatic rifles with high-capacity magazines and other products. Wal-Mart had declined to do so but lost a previous federal court ruling which ordered it to include the measure. However, an appeals court has ruled that Wal-Mart's shareholders did not have the right to challenge its sales policies.More

Is Christianity dark enough for millennials?
The Atlantic
"I caution against the idea that the way to get young people into church is to be hip and cool and have a pastor who wears skinny jeans." Rachel Held Evans could have been talking about any number of much-hyped contemporary evangelical congregations: The Fellowship Church in Grapevine, Texas, for example, whose pastor started a website called, or Mars Hill, the Seattle megachurch that dissolved amid controversy in 2014, but left behind a large network of congregations. Many of the fastest growing churches in America are exactly what Evans describes: Places with Sunday morning rock bands and chic websites and pastors who occasionally, yes, wear skinny jeans.More

3 counterintuitive things you should do after you get a promotion
Fast Company
You just found out you got a promotion. Electricity shoots through you as the fronts of utter excitement and sheer terror collide. You think you have what it takes, and you know others believe in you. But there’s still a hint of insecurity about whether or not you can excel at this next level. To counter this, you pour yourself into learning what you need to do next and whom to impress.

10 instinctive decisions you will regret forever
Perspective is a funny thing. Look forward and the path seems uncertain, the future unpredictable. Look back and all the dots seem to connect ... except the dots that mark the choices you didn't make and the risks you didn't take. Here are 10 choices you will someday regret having made.  More

Leadership challenges in church revitalization
The Exchange
Ed Stetzer fell in love with church revitalization early in his ministry when he served a church of senior adults during a brief stint teaching at a seminary. The median age of the people was 68. It seemed like there was an oxygen tank or a walker at the end of most pews. They came to him and said, "Dr. Stetzer, help us reach the young people." Leading a church in revitalization taught him some invaluable lessons. While the process is often difficult and slow moving, if approached correctly it can reinvigorate and empower God’s people to produce lasting fruit.More