NACBA Weekly Update
May 29, 2009

Do New Buildings, Services Lead to Growth?
from the Baptist Press
Pastors estimate that only 1 in 3 newcomers to their churches are actually newcomers to church in general, according to the research conducted for Cornerstone Knowledge Network. A new study titled "Effects of Ministry Space and Outlet Expansion” explores the various ways churches are expanding their ministry space as well as measure growth rate and type, costs and staffing. More

Churches Aim to Provide the Best Seats in the House
from Church Executive Magazine
When purchasing seating for their worship centers church leaders are faced with a myriad of decisions that affect the pricing, usability and comfort for congregations. Building safety codes require studies that measure the flow of people in sanctuaries. This influences aisle widths, row spacing and many other factors in the design of the space. More

Stewardship-Driven Church Design
from Church Solutions
When congregations come to agreement that a new church facility is in order, one of the biggest – and most important – issues to address is what it should look like. As in all stages of development, the appearance and functionality of the facility must be conceived and planned as a way to further the Gospel of Christ. More

Ad Campaigns Invite People to Church
from The Gadsden Times
Shrinking mainline Protestant denominations are turning to marketing to help stem decades of membership losses and stay afloat. Laura Olson, a Clemson University professor who specializes in religion, said the rebranding efforts likely have their best chance to succeed with young adults who grew up in mainline churches, but who now consider themselves more generally spiritual. More

Churches Strategize to Help Cash-strapped Members
from The Examiner
In the current economic climate, churches are being squeezed. They need to do more for their members at a time when it's not necessarily easy to do more. After experiencing an increase in the number of members facing financial hardships, the church staff of Calvary Community Church in northwest Phoenix took a proactive approach. More

Are Churches Taking Elderly for Granted?
from The Courier-Journal
At first, the idea of churches overlooking their elderly members seems hard to grasp. After all, surveys show that church-affiliated populations are older than the national population as a whole -- and in many Protestant congregations, overwhelmingly so. Many churches do have plenty of classes and groups for older members. Yet many churches have paid so much attention to attracting the young that they may be overlooking the needs of those in their midst. More

Churches Mentoring Kids at Risk of Dropping Out
from The Southtown Star
With graduation season upon us, it's sobering to think that 1.2 million kids drop out of high school each year, averaging about 7,000 a day or one every 26 seconds, according to the April 2009 "Cities in Crisis" report from America's Promise Alliance. To help the situation, Kids Hope USA pairs at-risk kids with mentors from local churches. More

Nine Precautionary Steps to Enhance Your Church's Security
from LifeWay
Today, only a few churches in America leave their doors open. Crime is a cruel reality even for the church. The church is no longer considered a safe haven that criminals respect and fear. The local congregation must address this growing issue. While the church should not become a fortress, it needs to undertake some of the following precautionary steps to make sure the worshippers are protected and safe. More

The Gospel According to Twitter
from Religion News Service via the Salt Lake Tribune
Do you tweet during church? Isn't it rude? David Loveless doesn't think so. Loveless is lead pastor of Discovery Church, a nondenominational congregation that draws some 4,000 on Sundays to three locations in Orlando. The congregation has always thrived on the cutting edge, becoming among the first to embrace contemporary music and remove its steeple from its building. Now the congregation is tweeting -- using 21st-century technology to discuss the Gospel in 140-character cell-phone text updates sent via Twitter. More

Growing a Few College Students into a Megachurch
from the Star-News
Mike Ashcraft, pastor of Port City Community Church in Wilmington, N.C., has to remind himself that although his church has experienced a near meteoric rise from a handful of college students at its first service in 1999, when he was only 28 years old himself, to an astounding 4,800 (and still growing) congregation, these are people, not numbers. “I try to remember there’s not much of a difference between 1,000 people and 1,005 people – unless you’re one of those five,” he says. More

You Need a Friend
from the Ministry Toolbox
Ministry isn’t meant to be done alone. Pastor, you know that. We’re meant to work together for the cause of Christ. The Bible shows us this, and the early church modeled it for us. But according to one often-cited survey of pastors in the United States, 70 percent of clergy in the country have no close friends. More

Prayer May Reshape Your Brain ... And Your Reality
from NPR
Scientists are making the first attempts to understand spiritual experience — and what happens in the brains and bodies of people who believe they connect with the divine. The field is called "neurotheology," and although it is new, it's drawing prominent researchers in the U.S. and Canada. Scientists have found that the brains of people who spend untold hours in prayer and meditation are different. More

Couple Ordered to Stop Holding Bible Study at Home Without Permit
from NPR
Pastor David Jones and his wife Mary have been told that they cannot invite friends to their San Diego, Calif. home for a bible study — unless they are willing to pay tens of thousands of dollars to San Diego County, Calif. More