The Church Network Weekly Update
May. 22, 2015

Are ministers mandatory child abuse reporters?
Managing Your Church
It's important to be informed about child abuse reporting laws in your state and to know your own legal obligations for reporting. Ministers are mandatory child abuse reporters in many states, either because the child abuse reporting law defines mandatory reporters to include "ministers," or because the law makes "any person" a mandatory reporter of child abuse. In other states, ministers may be mandatory reporters if they perform the duties of one of the specified categories of mandatory reporter.More

Upcoming TeleWeb: The Top 10 Risk Ares for Churches
The Church Network
From resource constraints to safety concerns and more, ministry isn't without risk. Parents drop off their children expecting them to be safe and cared for. Members place their tithes and offerings in the plate as it goes by expecting church leaders to manage and spend those funds wisely. Unfortunately, risks aren't 100 percent preventable. However, there are practical steps you can take to greatly reduce the likelihood they'll occur or reduce the impact if they do occur. This is where risk management comes into the picture.

Join Deborah Wipf Ike in this webinar on May 28 at 1:30 p.m. CDT / 2:30 p.m. EDT, who will share steps churches can take to implement risk management.More

Why church is like 'American Idol'
By Mark MacDonald
The news seems to be everywhere. After 15 seasons, "American Idol" is ending. Remember in the early 2000s when American Idol dominated the TV schedule? By the time Justin Guarini and Kelly Clarkson battled it out in the first season's finals, almost 23 million people tuned in. Everyone understood the premise of the show, whether they watched it or not. "American Idol" was the king of the airways. Slowly, "American Idol" became more about the judges' drama than the contestants, and the show's ratings dropped. Church in America is similar.More

Resources for church communications in the digital age
Faith & Leadership
Christian leaders – like leaders in all sectors – have at their disposal one of the most powerful communications tools ever devised. But taking advantage of communications on the Web requires the same theologically wise approach required when engaging with traditional media – or indeed, in face-to-face communications.More

Say goodbye to Internet Explorer
CPA Practice Advisor
When Microsoft releases Windows 10 later this year – rumored to be toward the end of July – one familiar application will be missing from the desktop. After two decades as the flagship browser for the Windows operating system, Internet Explorer is going away.More

6 questions about the Supreme Court's upcoming same-sex marriage ruling
Church Law & Tax
In April, the Supreme Court of the United States heard oral arguments in Obergefell vs. Hodges, a case that likely will decide whether same-sex marriage is legal nationwide. Deliberations are underway, with a decision expected sometime in June. Ahead of that ruling, Church Law & Tax posed six questions about the case and what leaders should know to Richard Hammar, senior editor of Church Law & Tax Report and

Making a critical hire? Here's why you should get deep
For many CEOs and organizations the good old-fashioned interview, or rounds of interviews, are the preferred and often only choice at their disposal. Candidates, in most cases, are going to tell you what they think you want to hear and if they are any good at interviews, will be very polished and probably quite impressive during the interview. Getting "deep" allows you to get beneath the surface level answers, beneath the veneer of the polished exterior and find out who is really sitting in front of you.More

CBF, SBC unite against payday loans
Baptist News Global
The Cooperative Baptist Fellowship and Southern Baptist Convention Ethics and Religious Liberty Commission joined other faith groups on May 14 in announcing a new coalition to combat predatory lending. The new Faith for Just Lending coalition, announced at a press conference in Washington, unites groups from varied backgrounds and traditions in a common belief that just lending is a matter of biblical morality and religious concern. More

11 places for greeters
Managing Your Church
Many people recognize the importance of having trained greeters at the church doors when guests arrive. While placing greeters there is a great idea, there are many other places to use greeters. Here are some ideas.More

A Houston church supports its community by helping schoolchildren
Faith & Leadership
Members of Foundry UMC discovered deep needs in the seemingly prosperous suburb where the church is located. They responded by creating a nonprofit that has helped thousands of economically disadvantaged children.More

'Cowboy pastor' spreads the gospel by riding a bull in church
Christian Today
A church leader in Ohio has earned himself the nickname "Cowboy pastor" after his unusual evangelism technique – riding a bull in church as a way to share the Gospel. Former professional bull-rider Pastor Lawrence Bishop II has built a ring inside Solid Rock Church in Monroe, Ohio, and hopes to attract people who otherwise wouldn't set foot inside a place of worship.More

Economist: Church in crisis but hope remains
The United Methodist Church
The United Methodist Church has only 15 years to reverse its decline in the United States if it is to have a sustainable future, an economist warned church leaders. At the same gathering, the church leaders discussed possible missional goals to address that decline and enhance the global denomination’s ministries around the world.More

How the church gave B.B. King the blues
The Washington Post
B.B. King first learned music from the African American churches of the Mississippi Delta. "Church was not only a warm spiritual experience," the legendary bluesman once said, reflecting on his religious childhood. "It was exciting entertainment. It was where I could sit next to a pretty girl and mostly it was where the music got all over my body and made me wanna jump."More

Mark Driscoll returns: Ex-Mars Hill pastor gets standing ovation at Mill Creek Church
Seattle Post-Intelligencer
Driscoll recently delivered his first Seattle-area reappearance since last August at the big, box-like Gold Creek Community Church in Mill Creek. He was greeted with a standing ovation, as well as protesters outside.More

Losing faith: A religious leader on America's disillusionment with church
The U.S. is less Christian than it used to be, and fewer Americans choose to be a part of any religion, according to a new study by the Pew Research Center. The Very Rev. Gary Hall, dean of the National Cathedral in Washington, D.C., points out that the survey shows a majority of the nation still identifies as religious.More

Why you shouldn't be afraid to be a 'servant leader'
What is servant leadership? When a leader has the mindset of a servant, her focus is exactly where it should be. It's on the customers, who she sees as the main reason she works so hard. The goal is to make sure every customer is 100 percent satisfied.More

How to say no at work
Nowadays many companies expect their employees to do more work in less time. From interns to managing partners, people say yes to these demands because they want to be team players, look eager or simply be nice. But saying no can sometimes be an asset to your career. "People need to change their mindset about agreeing to everything," says Susan Newman, Ph.D., a social psychologist and the author of "The Book of No." "By saying no, you can focus on your goals."More