NACBA Weekly Update
May 8, 2009

U.S. Churches Use Twitter to Reach a Wider Audience
from the Telegraph
The sight of church goers typing messages into mobile phones during a service is becoming an increasingly common sight as clergy seek new ways of reversing declining attendance figures. Pastors in Westwinds Community Church in Michigan spent two weeks teaching their congregation about Twitter, which allows users to send messages to each other which are no longer than 140 characters. More

Faithbook: Michigan Religious Groups Tap into Social Networking to Expand Outreach
from the Lawrence Journal-World
The Facebook prompt is persistent, helpful and ever-questioning: “What’s on your mind?” The answer? For the places of worship in Lawrence who have tapped into the social networking tool, the answer is simple, yet complicated: God. More

Dear Good Stewards: Please Don’t Miss this Opportunity to Refinance Your Debt
from Bank of the West
Churches who have utilized debt to meet the physical plant needs of their growing congregations should be alerted to the recent decline in interest rates. As tough economic times have pressed in, many churches are reporting both increasing worship attendance and slight declines in contributions. As churches attempt to manage their budgets to these circumstances, refinancing provides a simple yet potentially very significant source of expense reduction. More

E-philanthropy: the Future of Giving Today
from The Catholic Spirit
A new way of giving to the church is rapidly replacing the long-standing tradition of the weekly collection basket at Mass. Electronic giving has been shown to provide financial stability for a growing number of parishes to continue their outreach during the current recession. More

The Powerful Benefits of Tithing
from The Los Angeles Chronicle
No one likes to think about tithing when it comes to God and His church. If most of us were honest, we would admit that it is far easier to pray, sing God´s praises and help others than it is to turn over 10 percent of everything we earn to the Lord. Yet God blesses those who tithe, and it is one of the most basic Biblical tests of our faithfulness and stewardship. More

Ten Ways to Secure Your Largest Donations Ever
from Church Executive Magazine
Across America churches are beginning to feel the recession’s squeeze on the offering dollars that people place in the plate. While some congregants are struggling financially, we also need to be reminded that there are many with stable incomes or a surplus of financial resources and assets. Here are 10 ideas to help you jump start some ways to get larger gifts on an ongoing basis to fulfill your church’s mission and vision for the future. More

Skateboarding and Religion: The Wheel Deal
from The Acorn
Several years ago, unbeknownst to them, the members of First United Presbyterian Church of Guthrie, Okla., had the very group they desired to include in their congregation right in their midst. Members were keenly aware that the church lacked the presence and vitality of the young people it needed to thrive, and they voiced a concern to their new pastor at the time, the Rev. Karen Rogers. About the same time, Rogers said she began noticing a group of kids gathering after school in the church parking lot. More

How to Minister During a Personal Crisis
from The Post
Pastor, there are few more crucial times to step up our ministry efforts than when someone is going through a personal crisis. Whether it’s a struggling marriage, a job loss, a death in the family, or something else, you and your church family must be ready to meet the painful needs of those in crisis. That doesn’t mean it’s all on your shoulders, though. More

Young Americans Losing Their Religion
from ABC News
New research shows young Americans are dramatically less likely to go to church -- or to participate in any form of organized religion -- than their parents and grandparents. "It's a huge change," says Harvard University professor Robert Putnam, who conducted the research. More

Iowa Churches Unite to Fight Hunger
from the Des Moines Register
How can small churches in a small Iowa town combat hunger locally and around the world? By mobilizing their own congregations and many others to collect thousands of food items to stock local food pantries. Led by Polk City United Methodist Church, the churches of Polk City, Iowa, have been involved in just such an effort, called We Can. More

I Will Survive
from Ministry Today
An ongoing study shows that the overwhelming majority of megachurches have experienced numeric growth during the current economic recession, while most smaller churches are also expanding—though at a slower rate. More

Church Security: Protecting the Front Line Personnel
from Christian Security Network
Over the years, the author has had the opportunity to visit many churches and ministries, not only in a business capacity, but also as a visitor or guest. What always amazes him is how these organizations will leave the doors unlocked for just anyone to walk in and not have any type of receptionist to greet, screen, or direct people. Not only is this a problem from a security standpoint, but also it doesn’t make a good first impression if you have never been to that church or ministry before. More