NACBA Weekly Update
May. 10, 2013

Stewardship and fundraising: 9 myths that hurt your church
Episcopal Cafe
Stewardship covers a wide range of issues, from mindful use of natural resources, to caring for our churches and other physical assets, to ensuring that we have in place adequate internal controls to prevent theft or malfeasance. But one aspect of stewardship almost inevitably brings sighs, groans and worried looks, and that is fundraising.More

Does your church building send the right message?
By Robert C. Foreman
Have you considered the impact of your church building's architecture? What message are you communicating via your building? Until recently, most church architecture was strongly influenced by the desire for religious buildings to support and enhance the worship experience, to make a good overall impression and thereby to attract visitors who would become new members. Most importantly, church buildings were designed to glorify God. To better understand these purposes of church architecture, we need to understand a significant intention of building design is more than just being functional — it is to convey a "message" and to provide an "experience."More

Leaders: Listen for the train
By Deborah Wipf
Like a train horn you hear every day, it's easy to ignore the small, routine stuff and get caught in a trap of sameness and normalcy. But if we're truly going to lead our teams — or even ourselves — we need to look at our work a bit differently.More

Time to kill your worship guide? 4 things to consider
By Mark MacDonald
The newspaper industry has lived in denial as subscriptions have dwindled. And churches are fooling themselves with faux reasons for keeping the little-read newsletter we call a bulletin. Or worship guide.More

Know your land use rights
Church Executive
Zoning gives local communities the ability to regulate the use of land within its boundaries. Through the years, Congress found that religious entities have too often been treated unequally in comparison with secular counterparts with regard to municipalities enforcing local land-use ordinances.More

Early-bird deadline for NACBA conference is May 16
The NACBA National Conference in July in Charlotte, N.C., is the place to find the help you need for your church administration issues. There will be 80 workshops, four keynote speakers, 100 church suppliers, plus around 500 of your colleagues in church administration with whom to network. Don't miss this opportunity to get the latest information available on the Affordable Care Act, other tax and legal issues, human resources, stewardship and fundraising, emergency preparedness, accounting and much more. The early-bird deadline of May 16 is fast approaching. Download the conference brochure and register online today.More

5 things you must know about SEO
Most people search in Google, Yahoo and/or Bing to find something they need. So it's imperative to ensure your website is optimized to be found on these major search engines (SEO = search engine optimization). Mark MacDonald, church website and brand strategist with 25-plus years of instructing ministries how to do communications better, will break SEO down into a foundational course on how you can do SEO better in this NACBA TeleWeb on May 16.More

House committee lays out options for altering charitable deduction
Chronicle of Philanthropy
The House Ways and Means Committee released a 558-page report that details options for overhauling the tax code gathered over nearly three months of meetings with thousands of individuals and interest groups, including nonprofit and charity leaders. The report provides details of how tax-exempt organizations could be affected by changes and presents all of the proposals for limiting or changing the charitable tax deduction, which nonprofits have successfully lobbied to defeat several times.More

Keeping an eye on health care regulations
Church Executive
When it comes to health care coverage, churches and ministry organizations find themselves in the same boat as other employers. If a church has 50 or more full-time and full-time-equivalent employees, it must generally offer affordable minimum essential health care coverage to them and their dependents, or face federally mandated payments imposed upon employers. More

How much is a volunteer's time worth?
Managing Your Church
How much is a volunteer's time worth? About $22.14 an hour, according to a new Independent Sector calculation. The organization uses Bureau of Labor Statistics information, looking at payroll averages of nonfarm, nonsupervisory labor and adding a percentage for benefits. Although it's an imperfect measurement, it can help nonprofits determine some dollar amounts associated with the hours of volunteer time provided to them during the year.More

5 reasons your pastor will not ask for a raise
The Christian Post
Much of the concern expressed about the pay of ministers seems to focus on those cases of real indulgence and abuse. But it's those cases that get the most attention and, sadly, hurt the vast majority of ministers who are faithful stewards of God's money. In a recent survey of more than 100 pastors, over 80 percent indicated they were financially struggling. About the same number said they needed a raise. But 100 percent responded that they had never asked for a raise. Why won't pastors speak up?More

Should pastors know how much church members give?
Christianity Today
A recent study found that churches where pastors know how much is donated and by whom were more likely to be doing well financially. However, only half of the 3,000 responding congregations told the Lake Institute on Faith and Giving that their pastors knew this information. Here is what some experts had to say on the subject.More

Has the Christian church forgotten its urban roots?
The Atlantic Cities
The early history of the Christian church is primarily an urban history, and this makes sense: Want to spread the word of a new religion? Your best chances likely lie in those places where would-be believers already densely congregate together. Today, this narrative is notable for an abrupt turn in the story over the last half-century, particularly in America: Now, cities are commonly described as the epicenter of secularism, with Christians and their megachurches retreating outside the citadel.More

Local churches have a shelf life
Church Central
What was once a downtown church building is now a unique restaurant. There is no longer a cross atop the building; instead, a sign outside invites customers to come in for fine dining. This distinctive restaurant serves as another reminder that local churches come and go. Jesus promised that the gates of hades would not be able to overcome His church. Yet that promise to the universal church does not necessarily apply to individual congregations. Local churches have a shelf life. Sadly, few retain a vibrant ministry for more than a century.More

Arkansas churches introduce electronic tithing
Arkansas Business
Anyone attending one of the nine services offered across three main Cross Church campuses in northwest Arkansas can opt for the traditional money in the offering plate route. But the church offers direct deposit and online giving options for the 9,047 people who are involved in weekly ministry there. And the church is installing a "giving kiosk" — a method of giving by debit or credit card — in each of its Fayetteville, Rogers and Springdale locations.More

Leaders: Listen for the train
By Deborah Wipf
We often do the same routines the same way for months or even years and don't realize when the process is broken. Then someone new joins the team and asks, "Hey, why are we doing it this way?" We look at them strangely, not really understanding what they're talking about. "Why wouldn't we do it that way?" Like a train horn you hear every day, it’s easy to ignore the small, routine stuff and get caught in this trap of sameness and normalcy. But if we're truly going to lead our teams — or even ourselves — we need to look at our work a bit differently.More

Brain, interrupted
The New York Times
Technology has given us many gifts, among them dozens of new ways to grab our attention. It's hard to talk to a friend without your phone buzzing at least once. Odds are high you will check your Twitter feed or Facebook wall while reading this article. Just try to type a memo at work without having an e-mail pop up that ruins your train of thought. But what constitutes distraction? Does the mere possibility that a phone call or email will soon arrive drain your brain power? And does distraction matter — do interruptions make us dumber? Quite a bit, according to new research.More

Great leaders aren't smug
CBS MoneyWatch
Senior and chief executives are all very different, but one strand in particular is interesting: how the executives rate themselves, as compared to the ratings they receive from their colleagues. What's emerging is an interesting trend: The executives who underestimate themselves perform more highly than those who overestimate themselves. In other words, a certain modesty, humility or even perhaps anxiety makes better leaders.More

Becoming a more generous leader
Fast Company
Wharton professor and extreme giver Adam Grant has devoted the past decade to discovering what characterizes people who achieve extraordinary success in their careers. His conclusion has the potential to influence a massive shift in global workplace behavior. According to Grant, generosity in the workplace — if done right — can help you get ahead. How much of a giver are you, and will being more like Grant help your career? More

WordPress for churches: Themes and plugins to get started
Center for Church Communication
One of the best things about technology today is that it's faster, it's cheaper and it's better than it's ever been. All of these qualities are a boon for the small, medium and large church because we have nothing but opportunity now to engage with our congregation, reach our local communities and expand our message unlike we've ever done — and again, we can do it on the cheap.More