NACBA Weekly Update
July 17, 2009

Churches Cutting Back in Economic Solidarity
from the Press Herald
One of the nation's largest Christian denominations is addressing the nation's financial crisis with what it hopes will be a spiritual teaching moment as well as a cost-saver. Fifty United Methodist Church bishops in the United States will roll back their salaries by 4 percent next year. The salary cut is one of the strongest statements taken yet by a faith group as U.S. churches respond to a recession that has left growing numbers of people jobless and hungry. More

FCC's Wireless Mic Decision Still Pending
from the Baptist Press
Churches across the country eventually will have to replace wireless microphone systems operating in the 700 megahertz range, but the Federal Communications Commission's decision on the specifics of when and how is still pending. More

The Economy and Faith-based Nonprofits
from One News Now
A new survey shows that while the sluggish economy has had a major impact on Christian nonprofits, people in those organizations are keeping the faith. The survey was conducted in by Illinois-based J. David Schmidt & Associates for the Christian Leadership Alliance. Among the findings, compared to one year ago, 73 percent of nonprofits with investments said their portfolios and endowments are down, and 51 percent said cash reserves have diminished. Despite those dismal numbers, David Schmidt says many ministry leaders are prepared to weather the financial storm through faith in the Lord. More

Survey: Christian Nonprofits Relying More on Volunteers in Hard Times
from The Christian Post
Facing economic hard times, many Christian nonprofits are turning to volunteers for help with the work load, a new survey found. One out of every five Christian nonprofits is reportedly relying to a greater extent on volunteers to offset the economic downturn, according to a study conducted by J. David Schmidt & Associates for the Christian Leadership Alliance. More

The Church’s New Normal: A Time to Take from the Offering Plate According to One’s Need?
from Church Executive Magazine
Cross Timbers Community Church in Texas decided to take some exciting steps to respond to this current economic season. A few weeks back, Senior Pastor Toby Slough told the church during its giving time that if anyone that day had a need -- because being laid off or other financial challenges -- that they were welcome to take out of the plate as it passed by rather than give that week. Evidently that touched a lot of people because the church had the largest offering of the year that week. More

Study: Knowledge of Bible 'In Decline'
from BBC News
The National Biblical Literacy Survey found that young people believe the Bible is old-fashioned. More than 900 people from faith and non-faith backgrounds were surveyed, with fewer than one in 20 able to name all of the Ten Commandments. But the study showed many still turn to the Bible at times of emotional stress. More

Can Your Church Handle the Truth?
from the Leadership Journal
In many churches we assume that once you accept Jesus as your Savior, you get involved in church and your life gets better. This is the standard story repeated in "testimony time" on Sundays, and the unspoken assumption regarding discipleship. This "narrative of ascendency" has become the dominant American narrative of the gospel, rooted in American optimism and confidence. It is beautiful, compelling, and powerful. But is it the whole truth? More

You've Got the Power!
from Ministry Today Magazine
The Church has many administrators but few examples of Christ; many who can explain the doctrines of Christianity but few who walk as Jesus walked. Indeed, while many stand in leadership today, not many function in the higher realms of authority that Christ purchased for His Church. However, a new badge of authority is coming to the Church. It will bring deliverance on a scale unprecedented; in some cases, entire cities will be turned toward God. More

Unwrapping the Bad Rap
What are the iniquities of the church growth movement that make it inadequate for today? If you listen to the critiques, I believe you’ll find that the answer lies in not what the movement taught per se, but in the questions that the movement was trying to solve. More

Getting by when Churches have to Make Do with Less
from Church Central
Since 1970, real incomes have stagnated, but until recently, consumption has kept on growing. We made the difference up by borrowing: consumer debt, mortgage debt, and—especially since 2001—national debt. Reliable statistics about churches are hard to come by, but who can doubt that congregations have participated in this trend? Over the last 30 years, churches have become as comfortable with debt as families. And, with the same results. More

Tools to Help Bring Depth to Your Bible Study
from Threads Media
One of the four markers we talk about in young adult ministry is “depth.” Depth of Bible study is more than just knowing the whos and whats, of the Bible; it’s also being able to talk about and wrestle with the whys. The goal of depth is not just intellectual stimulation; true depth is measured by the level of encounter one has with the information. More

No Pastor Stands Alone
from Ministry Toolbox
As pastors, you are responsible for leading and building a community of Christ-followers. You teach the value of relationships and encourage our members to get involved in small groups because we know that life change happens best in deep, meaningful relationships. Does anyone find themselves longing for those same friendships that you challenge your congregation to seek out and live within? More

First Impressions Are Everything for Churches
from Church Solutions Magazine
Andy Stanley once said, “The Church is a family expecting guests in their home.” That’s often easier said than done. Have you taken a look at your facilities and processes with “new” eyes recently? How are you welcoming guests into your “home”?Your church’s physical appearance and frontline interaction with newcomers could make or break the chance of a return visit. More