NACBA Weekly Update
Aug. 9, 2013

Finding a sustainable financial model for Christian institutions
Faith and Leadership
Pastors and denominational executives have fretted about how ministries will be funded in the future. These leaders sometimes express the concern by discussing ways to diversify revenue streams or reduce the percentage of the budget devoted to staff. Increasingly, leaders feel like the financial model for Christian congregations and related institutions needs some reformation. What is needed to move from fretting to creating new models?More

No one likes a copycat
By Mark MacDonald
The history is clear in the cola wars. Coca-Cola invents something and Pepsi appears to copy it. In blindfolded taste tests, more people prefer Pepsi, yet Coca-Cola rules in most places and outsells Pepsi. It's because Coca-Cola has developed a stronger brand. Even when Pepsi has a unique product like Pepsi Max, they look like they're copying Coke Zero. No one likes a copycat. So why do churches do it all the time?More

Make your messages count
By Michael J. Berens
Once you've engaged your audience and have their attention, make sure you have something worthwhile to say. Worthwhile for them, I mean. What's important to you may not sound so important to your audience. To communicate effectively, you need to connect with your audience and help them understand why your message matters.More

3 signs your church is too busy
By Deborah Wipf
Reaching people for Christ is our main mission in ministry, and most churches use a variety of methods to attract a diverse audience. That makes sense, yet if we're not careful, this can lead to a scattered approach that drains your people and church finances. Here are a few ways to tell if your church is too busy .More

What does Gmail's new inbox mean for churches?
By Liz Murphy
When Google recently announced changes to the Gmail inbox by sorting all inbound messages into primary, social and promotions tabs, many users rejoiced. But this change has left some wondering what this new innovation means for the email campaigns and organizational newsletters of churches.More

Failing to fund the future
Worship Facilities
The demographics of the church has shifted. The builder and silent generation is moving off the stage and even baby boomers are near exiting. These facts are even more sobering given the fact that Giving USA recently stated that giving to religion might never recover from the past recession. We have to face reality, the generation that helped build much of the structures we use today is moving from here to heaven.More

10 tips for reducing the risk of employment-related litigation
By D. Albert Brannen
This article offers tips for minimizing or avoiding employment-related liability. These tips apply even to employers who may not have enough employees to be covered by the major federal employment laws such as Title VII, the Americans with Disabilities Act or the Family and Medical Leave Act.More

How to make billboards work for your church
Center for Church Communication
Billboards have been a staple in the marketing industry for many years. They're both effective and affordable. Billboards help companies get their message out and they can do the same for your church. Although billboards are not necessarily going to convert anyone, they can be a starting point by influencing people to walk through the doors of the local church. More

What best business practices indicate about the direction of the church
Church Central
There was a time that culture followed the church. It has been several centuries, but the music introduced on Sunday once dominated the top 40 chart in society. Today, however, the church stays just a few steps behind, often mimicking instead of initiating. The same is true of business. If you want to see where the church is headed, look down the street to the storefronts.More

How should churches respond to immigrant pastors who minister in the US illegally?
Christianity Today
Immigrants are strengthening the church and revitalizing some denominations with significant growth. Many of these churches are started by local leaders who emphasize evangelism and know the culture and language of the growing immigrant population in the United States. But some of these pastors lack valid immigration status and face a complex and painful dilemma.More

Is your church accessible to those with disabilities?
Managing Your Church
July marked the 23rd anniversary of the Americans with Disabilities Act. Although many spaces have made great leaps to become more accessible, a recent article in Nonprofit Quarterly pointed out that we still have an incredibly long way to go when it comes to making this world an accessible place for individuals with disabilities. Some churches have learned this the hard way through recent lawsuits.More

7 ways to manage email so it doesn't manage you
I'm always struck by the number of people who complain about the amount of email they receive and how much they despise their inbox — not because their complaints aren't valid but because my own view couldn't be more different. Over the years I've developed several practical guidelines that have enabled me to manage my inbox effectively and ensure it's not managing me.More

At church, a growing emphasis on charity beyond passing the plate
Chicago Tribune
Tracy Scott and her kids recently saw a homeless woman near a highway entrance ramp. They went out of their way to present the woman with a paper bag stuffed with snacks, water, a McDonald's gift card and a note. That gift — and the 15 or so similar ones Scott and her three children passed out this past spring — originated with a $2 bill, an envelope and a pastoral charge to go forth and do good. It also reflects what at least one expert sees as a growing commitment to Christian philanthropy that moves beyond passing the plate on Sundays.More

10 things pastors like least about their jobs
The Christian Post
Let me state the obvious: Pastors are humans. That means they have preferences, likes, and dislikes. So I did an unscientific Twitter poll to find out what pastors really don't like about their jobs. I was surprised at the variety of responses. Pastors are certainly not monolithic. No one response was greater than 20 percent of the total. And I was surprised at some potential responses that did not show up.More

Make your messages count
By Michael J. Berens
Once you have effectively engaged your audience and have their attention, make sure you have something worthwhile to say. Worthwhile for them, I mean. I am assuming you believe what you have to say is important or you wouldn't be taking up precious work time to bring your audience together to address them. What's important to you, however, may not sound so important to your audience. To communicate effectively, you need to connect with your audience and help them understand why your message matters.More

To move ahead you have to know what to leave behind
Harvard Business Review
Decisions are the most fundamental building blocks of successful change in our organizations, our teams and our careers. The faster and more strategically we stack those blocks, the faster and more successfully we achieve change. Yet, change efforts often stall precisely because those decisions don't happen. The question is why?More