NACBA Weekly Update
June 26, 2009

Con Artists Prey on the Faithful
from Consumer Affairs
The pitch speaks the language of faith and appeals to the budget. "There's no cost to your church. It may even make money to use for good works.” It’s a win-win situation, right? Maybe not. In fact, it’s probably a scam. Scammers are not beneath ripping off a church, something they seem to be doing more lately. More

Giving Through Thick and Thin
from Ministry Today Magazine
Despite an economic recession that's affected countless churches and ministries, here's the good news for pastors: Americans remain a giving people. Although the latest annual study of philanthropy from the Giving USA Foundation found that overall charitable giving dropped 2 percent between 2007 and 2008, among religious organizations it actually rose by 5.5 percent. More

Farmers Markets Put Churches in Quandary
from The Spokesman-Review
State tax officials recently gave several Spokane, Wash.-area churches an ultimatum: Stop running farmers markets in your parking lots or start paying tax on that land. “We have no choice here. The law is really clear,” said Mike Gowrylow, a spokesman for the state Department of Revenue. “When you’ve got a commercial business – no matter how small or homegrown – operating on tax-exempt property, then it runs afoul of the law.” More

Americans are Exploring New Ways of Experiencing God
from The Barna Group
Americans are in a new age of exploration, deploying new approaches to marriage, communications, sexuality, education, and more. According to the results from a new nationwide survey by The Barna Group, the “and more” includes how people pursue their faith and how they choose to relate to God and other people of faith. More

No Rush for Pews
from the Economist
Last year David Beckworth, an assistant professor of Economics at Texas State University, examined historic patterns in the size of evangelical congregations and found that, during each recession cycle between 1968 and 2004, membership of evangelical churches jumped by 50 percent. This report filled the newspapers and TV news shows at the height of the depression panic just before Christmas; but the report’s findings focused on evangelicals, and do not apply to Americans at large. More

Sound Expansion
from Systems Contractor News
Founded in 1907, Shandon Baptist Church in Columbia, S.C., has experienced much growth in the past two decades. Making the decision to move from its original downtown location to a new facility in 1995, church staff conducted exhaustive research to find a consulting firm that would achieve their program goals with precision and cost effectiveness. Subsequently, Omega Consultants was retained to design and implement the acoustics, sound, lighting, and video systems. Now, many years later, following significant church growth, the congregation needed to expand once again. More

Faith through Facebook
from The Advocate
Not so long ago, churches informed their members about upcoming events with mimeographed bulletins handed out on Sunday morning or mailed out to those who missed a service. Now, most churches also announce their programs on Web sites that can vary from a simple single page of information to more complex interactive and multi-faceted pages that include digital videos of services. More

Churches Report Drop in Offerings; Few Tighten Budgets
from The Christian Post
While nearly half of all churches have reported a decrease in tithes and offerings, many have still increased their budgets this year, a new survey shows. Forty percent of surveyed church leaders said current economic conditions have resulted in a drop in weekly giving by two percent or more, according to Your Church magazine's Budget Priorities Survey. More

Tour Introduces Texas Youth to ‘Signs of Hope’ in Communities
from the Houston Chronicle
It might only be June, but Spencer Stanford already is making plans for the holidays. Instead of spending traditional time with his family, he wants to feed the homeless through The Star of Hope Mission. The Cinco Ranch High School junior came to his decision after spending three days on the Fearless Youth Tour, which was organized by the Fellowship of Cinco Ranch in Katy, Texas. More

Mastering Technology - 'Parish' the Thought
from Quad Cities Online
When it comes to technology, church ministers can "ignore it, fight it or master it," a Catholic youth and young adult minister told parish religious education directors earlier this month in Davenport, Iowa. "Technology is like fire," said Chris Weber, 30. "Learn to master it, it will serve you well," he said. "Ignore it, you're going to get burned." More

Transgenerational Preaching
Each Sunday, the average pastor preaches to several different culture groups. These groups speak different languages, have different values, dress differently, think differently and often have difficulty communicating with each other. These cultural groups are more commonly known as generations. When thinking about how to preach across generational cultures, the average pastor takes one of three directions. More

How Church Facilities Can Stop Growth
from Church Central
According to author and consultant Dr. Bob Whitesel, some of the advice churches often receive about facilities may actually stop their growth. In his book, "Growth by Accident, Death by Planning," he offers seven "don’ts" to help churches avoid the mistakes in facility usage, planning and building that can be detrimental to a vibrant congregation. More