NACBA Weekly Update
June 12, 2009

Megachurches Attract Younger Adults, Survey Shows
from The Associated Press
Despite their reputation as symbols of baby-boomer America, Protestant megachurches attract a younger crowd and more singles than the average Protestant church, according to large-scale study released Tuesday. The survey also found distressing news for a movement that took off in the 1980s and remains influential in evangelical Christianity: megachurch-goers volunteer less and give less money than other churchgoers. More

Study: Charitable Giving Drops Little
from The Washington Times
The American spirit of giving to those in need hasn't taken much of a hit from the recession. Despite what some have described as the toughest economic environment since the Great Depression, U.S. charitable giving in 2008 dropped just 2 percent from 2007, according to an annual survey of philanthropy from the Giving USA Foundation in Glenview, Ill. More

The Life Cycle of a Healthy Sunday School Class
from The Baptist Press
Sunday School classes have life cycles. But sometimes, like the cocoon that fails to produce a butterfly, Sunday School classes get stuck mid-cycle. Take a moment to consider how your Sunday School class is progressing through its life cycle. More

Smaller, Stronger Methodists Find ‘New Normal’ after Katrina
from the Religion News Service
Nearly four years after Hurricane Katrina smashed their New Orleans area churches and scattered their communities, Louisiana Methodists have crossed an invisible boundary into the future, leaving behind the rescue subsidies and ad hoc rebuilding arrangements that have nourished more than 40 wounded churches since 2005. More

Recent Violence in Churches Exposes Lack of Security, Experts Say
from the Chicago Tribune
Experts say that as congregations offer shelter for victims of domestic violence, protest gun laws or take controversial stands on abortion, gay rights and the Middle East conflict, houses of worship have become battlegrounds and targets for attack. The prevailing false sense of security only adds to the danger, they say. More

A Hard Look at Church Business Meetings
from the Christian Index
One church sign revealed, “Today’s sermon: What is hell like?” Underneath the sermon title were the words “Church business meeting tonight.” Some church business meetings have been alarmingly similar to the place of torment. More

Finding Beauty in the Midst of Crisis
from Youth Worker
Like many of you, the author has had the unfortunate privilege of picking up the pieces following a crisis that ripped through our student ministry. In his own journey, two scenes in Scripture have brought needed perspective. While this column does not answer all the questions, perhaps it will provide insight to a crisis you have navigated or will navigate with young people. More

How to Develop Leaders in Your Church
from Building Church Leaders
Why don't churches develop leaders? The number one reason is that most simply do not know how. Also, many churches simply do not have the time. It is difficult, if not impossible, for the senior pastor to find the time as well as have the expertise to develop and maintain such a vital process—especially in a large church. And if you leave their development up to the leaders themselves, it may be sporadic at best, if it happens at all. This article provides direction in developing your church’s leaders. More

What Role Does Preaching Play in the Capital Campaign?
Capital campaigns are a very important moment in the life of a church. Ultimately it’s about vision, ministry, hearing God and really asking people to connect their story to the greater redemptive story of that church. More

Increase Church Security with Child Check-in Software
from Church Solutions Magazine
Even though we applaud volunteers whose quick thinking saves a child from danger, the real goal is to stop problems before they start. That's where good children’s check-in software comes in. The real advantage of children’s check-in software is that it can magnify your church's strengths. Some churches are better at old-fashioned human interaction; some are better at implementing cutting-edge tools and applying the latest theories about child development. More

Why Are Kids Leaving the Church?
from the Christian Chronicle
The author has yet to find the definitive, empirical study as to why kids leave church, although it is a very hot topic right now across the ecumenical world. But here is what we do know -- kids are leaving! Why is this happening? What can we do about it? More

Collegiates: Leadership for Your Student Ministry
from LifeWay
There are more than 250,000 college students involved in Southern Baptist churches and campus-based collegiate ministries. Of this total, more than 16,000 have indicated they feel God’s call to a full-time Christian vocation. These future national, church, and denominational leaders must be given opportunities to develop basic leadership skills and use their spiritual gifts. Therefore, they must also have opportunities to develop basic leadership skills and use their spiritual gifts. More

Cowboy Roams Idaho, Planting Churches
from The Baptist Press
Wearing a hat like the one cowboy actor Tom Mix made famous in westerns in the '20s and '30s along with a vest, brown cowboy boots and a full gray beard, Jim Ballard looks like he just stepped out of a Hollywood studio. But unlike the silver screen cowboys of old, Ballard spends his long Idaho days recruiting church planters and helping plant churches as director of missions for the Eastern Idaho Southern Baptist Association. More