NACBA Weekly Update
May 27, 2011

Recovery roles reverse: Help for Missouri city
WAFF-TV
Several groups in Alabama who've dealt with tornado devastation are already working to help tornado victims in Joplin, Missouri. They're packing supplies and many are sending up prayers. When the group at Crosspoint Community Church in Decatur, Ala., received some extra help with Alabama's clean-up, they had no idea how quickly roles would reverse. For several weeks now, the members at Crosspoint have switched from church staff to tornado relief team.More

Who to count on when disaster strikes -- government, church or both?
The Christian Post
In August of 2005, Hurricane Katrina swept through Louisiana, Alabama and Mississippi, wreaking havoc over several hundred square miles with dollar losses in the billions. Last month central Alabama suffered substantial damage when a tornado crushed the City of Tuscaloosa, Alabama and surrounding areas. On Sunday, Joplin, Mo., suffered devastating losses due to tornados and just yesterday, the central U.S. was hit by violent storms. When such destruction occurs, should we expect the government to step in and rebuild damaged areas or is the church capable of assuming such a huge role?More

NACBA TeleWeb: Tax and Legal Update
NACBA
Join Frank Sommerville on Thursday, June 9 as he provides an important tax and legal update for the next NACBA TeleWeb. The TeleWeb takes place at 1:30 CST. Register today!More

Standing on shaky ground: Pastor tax break threat lessens
Christianity Today
Legal scholars say a recent Supreme Court decision upholding Arizona's tax credits for scholarship donations could contain the seeds of defeat for a pending California challenge to the housing allowance enjoyed by pastors. The 5-4 decision upheld the constitutionality of Arizona giving tax credits to those who donate to scholarships for needy students who attend private schools. In 2008 and 2009, more than 90 percent of scholarships went to students attending religious schools, according to The Arizona Republic. Consequently, some taxpayers argue that the credit is an indirect religious subsidy.More

Tithing in tough times helps some keep the faith
WVEC-TV
Many people struggling to make ends meet are keeping the faith. For some, that means giving up some things to give to the church. It raises the question – do you give your 10% no matter what you’re facing? Some in the religious community say it’s important to give even in a struggle; others say God understands the hard times.More

Changing security measures at places of worship
KSDK-TV
By their very nature, churches and other places of worship are welcoming places that feed the spirit. But are they increasingly becoming soft targets for crime? A Missouri security specialist thinks so. He says crimes at churches have increased 500 percent in the last couple of years. Crowded pews, fussy babies and inspiring words; typical sights and sounds you'd expect at countless churches. But you have to look a little closer here to notice guys wearing earpieces, keeping watch, some of them armed. More

Insurance: An important piece of the church finance puzzle
Worship Facilities
Getting the right kind of insurance for your church is largely a matter of doing business with a company that specializes in dealing with issues associated with worship facilities. And once you find the company and the policy you want, there are several steps you can take to lower the cost of the coverage you need. Churches have unique insurance needs that require the services of a specialist, according to Eric Spacek, senior church risk manager for West Des Moines, Iowa-based GuideOne Insurance.More

7 things we regularly get wrong about worship
Crosswalk
It's Sunday around noonish. As the congregation files out of the sanctuary heading toward the parking lot, listen closely and you will hear it. It's a common refrain voiced near the exit doors of churches all across this land. "I didn't get anything out of that today." "I didn't get anything out of the sermon." "I didn't get anything out of that service." "I guess her song was all right, but I didn't get anything out of it." Sound familiar?More

5 tips for using on-screen lyrics in church
Baptist Press
You are the unsung hero of Sunday Morning worship. You have no voice, no one sees your face, and there is no training program to help you refine your skills. You simply go with your gut: You are the person who puts the lyrics on the screen. Knowing what words to sing during a song used to be a very personal thing, flipping the pages through your Baptist Hymnal. The worship leader would tell you what song number to turn to, and you'd see the words and notes -- even the bass line. But now we have software, allowing volunteers the chance to help lead worship through visual elements and textual display of the verses.More

How to witness through social media
Wesleyan Life
People live on Facebook or Twitter. A lot of the time people use it to dump information about events or shamelessly self-promote, but as Christians, we must remember that we are called to be witnesses to others. Jesus calls us to live in the world -- in the culture that we are born into -- and witness to those around us. A large part of today’s culture is social media, and we need to treat it as the great opportunity it is to use our daily lives as a way to witness.More

How do you preach about money?
Church Central
What does it mean to preach about money? Often it only means one thing: to get people to give more money to the church. Sermons about money are often limited to a few weeks per year - or only one – around the time when the church is raising funds for the budget. Instead of limiting our discussion of money to stewardship week, it may be more productive to 1) preach sermons about money more often and 2) focus more on ourselves and our own thinking than on influencing others.More

4 ground rules for life-giving meetings
Church Leaders
A good meeting sounds like an oxymoron. Meetings are normally not the highlight of the day at the office or at the church. People dread them like a root canal and for good reason. Usually, a lot is said, nothing is decided and very little is done after the meeting is over. Either the meetings need to be cancelled or we need to change the way we do meetings.More

10 summer ministry ideas
LifeWay
Now's the time for summer planning for the women of your church. Instead of scaling back or taking the summer off, consider experimenting with a fresh and flexible schedule that accommodates the often-sporadic pace of summer.More

Wellness responsibility of both minister and church
Associated Baptist Press
Most congregations know healthier clergy lead to healthier churches, but few consider how clergy wellness and congregational busy-ness are related, said Larry Golemon, an ordained Presbyterian minister and former research manager at the Alban Institute. “Clergy wellness can be understood by the term ‘shalom,’ a state of well-being intended for God’s creation,” Golemon writes in the Alban Institute’s Congregational Resource Guide.More