NACBA Weekly Update
Jun. 21, 2013

How to crush departmental silos
By Deborah Wipf
Have you ever been frustrated with another department at your church? Wondered why they just don't "get it"? Ever considered they might be feeling the same way about you? The phrase "departmental silos" refers to the lack of communication and understanding between departments that leads to inefficiencies, duplicate work and a decline in morale. Here are several ways to get rid of those silos and improve relationships.More

Does your church need a space utilization check-up?
By Robert C. Foreman
Is your church short on classroom space? Are you "maxed out" in Sunday Bible study and children's classes? Sometimes church pastors and building committees become convinced they need more education space and feel the only solution is to begin a building expansion program. However, in many cases, we find these churches have space available they did not know they had.More

You lost them at hello
By Michael J. Berens
When you greet people, how long do you shake their hand? Authorities on business etiquette suggest no more than three or four seconds. A handshake that goes on for too long can produce the opposite effect of what is intended, making the other person feel ill at ease. The same holds true for communication, especially spoken communication.More

Donor denied $25,000 charitable deduction
Church Law & Tax
A donor made a cash contribution of $25,000 to a religious organization. The IRS audited the donor's tax return and denied the charitable contribution deduction on the ground that it was not properly substantiated. This case illustrates the consequences that can result from a church's failure to comply with the substantiation requirements for charitable contributions.More

12 cheat-sheet tips about church websites
By Mark MacDonald
When it comes to website design and content, here are 12 quick, easy-to-remember tips that will help you develop church websites that work. Use this article as a cheat-sheet to ensure you'll pass the test of an effective website.More

It's not too late
The start of the 57th NACBA National Conference in Charlotte, N.C., is less than a month away, but it's not too late be a part of this learning, networking, renewing event. There are still plenty of hotel rooms within the NACBA room block, but time is running out. Check out the information letter and frequently asked questions at Don’t delay, register today.More

TeleWeb: Biggest hiring hazards
The National Association of Church Business Administration invites you to a phone and/or Web-based seminar: Tax & Legal Update — Biggest Hiring Hazards with Frank Sommerville. Churches on average spend 53 percent of their operating budget on employees. Making the right hire every time is critical. This TeleWeb was originally set for June 6, but it has been rescheduled for July 25.More

Feds release first guidelines for confronting a church shooter
Religion News Service
For the first time, the federal government has issued written guidelines for houses of worship that are confronted with a homicidal gunman. Beyond seeking shelter and waiting for police to arrive, as many Newtown victims did, the new rules also advise adults in congregations to fight back — as a last resort — in a bid to stop the shooter. The new federal doctrine is "run, hide or fight."More

4 poor responses to church money problems
Managing Your Church
Randy Marsh, ministry development officer for the Evangelical Christian Credit Union, shared four poor responses church leaders make to money problems while speaking recently in Dallas at the 2013 XP-Seminar, a conference involving nearly 200 executive pastors from across the country. Here is a look at the poor responses.More

Quarterly financial statements enhance giving
Lewis Center for Church Leadership
Every year churches are required to send out an end-of-year giving statement for IRS purposes. Instead of doing it only once a year, consider doing it quarterly. This may send your financial staff into a frenzy, but it's really not bad. And once you put a simple system in place, there are multiple benefits.More

Americans are giving less money to God
CBS MarketWatch
In the world of charitable giving, your alma mater may be faring better than your maker. While Americans are becoming more giving, a new study finds that fewer and fewer of their donations are going to houses of worship. Americans donated $316 billion to charitable causes in 2012, a 3.5 percent increase from 2011. But while charitable donations to education increased 7 percent to $41 billion, religious donations dropped slightly (by 0.2 percent) to $101.54 billion.More

Senate finance panel outlines ideas for changing charity rules
The Chronicle of Philanthropy
The Senate Finance Committee recently released a report outlining options for overhauling laws governing the activities of tax-exempt organizations and the value of charitable deductions. The report suggests several goals for tax changes the committee should consider. It offers no obvious support for any specific idea. Instead, it provides links to opinions, research, and testimony the committee has gathered for changing the rules governing approximately 1.5 million tax-exempt groups with $2.7 trillion in assets.More

4 ways churches break attendance barriers
The Christian Post
Declining church numbers may be a good sign because it is an indication that the numbers reflect true regenerate members. But let's assume attendance growth is a positive indicator. Presumably more people are hearing the gospel and being discipled when a church is growing. If your church is stuck at some level of attendance, here are four common approaches churches take to break attendance barriers regardless of size. More

Church signs: Tips for secondary exterior signs
Center for Church Communication
So someone has driven by your primary sign, been intrigued and impressed, and they're coming to your church. What do you tell them now? Once you have people actually on your campus, your next job is to keep them there. What we'll call "secondary signs" do that. Signs that show people where to park, how to get in the building, whether or not you have a shuttle and/or multiple buildings, where they can take their children, what events are going on, maybe a sermon series that's coming up — you know, the nuts and bolts of what you actually do. More

Beyond the basics of church insurance
Church Executive
Each primary area of church insurance — property, liability, automobile and workmen's compensation — bears lesser-known considerations. To help church leaders navigate them, here's some expert advice from a handful of church insurance specialists.More

Multisite evolution: What should be the 'new normal' for multisite churches?
Christianity Today
Whatever your opinion of multisite may be, there can be no doubt it is the new normal. Multisite has joined a list of models and approaches that were once out of the mainstream and now is commonplace — most of us know of one or more multisite churches. No longer just a new trend, they now number more than 5,000 churches — and growing.More

How long does a pastor preach?
The Christian Post
Preaching is central to the worship services in most churches. Indeed most services are built around the message. The sermon is critical to the life and health of a church. With the sermon being essential and paramount to the health of a church, just how long does a pastor preach each sermon?More

Ministry space critique: Welcoming environment or clutter overload?
Worship Facilities
Summer is busy in the world of kids’ ministry. Pastors everywhere are looking at their calendars for the next three months and their weeks are filled with prep time and events. Yet even in the midst of this busy time of year, churches are leaning toward an outsider focus more than ever. Yes, they are still focused on the folks inside their walls, but what does it look like to be more outsider-focused? And how can you use that focus to your advantage to update your facility in simple, inviting ways that will draw in more of your community, and more of its kids?More

You lost them at hello
By Michael J. Berens
When you greet people, how long do you shake their hand? Authorities on business etiquette suggest no more than three or four seconds. A handshake that goes on for too long can produce the opposite effect of what is intended, making the other person feel ill at ease rather than welcome. The same holds true for communication, especially spoken communication. A greeting and a few brief introductory remarks help you connect with your audience, but then it's time to get to the point — or risk losing them altogether.More