NACBA Weekly Update
Aug. 12, 2011

Churches pair faith with fat-fighting to curb obesity
Pastor Michael Minor stirred a bit of controversy at his northwest Mississippi church when he banned fried chicken from the fellowship hall. But convinced that faith communities need to step up their efforts against obesity, Minor is now urging fellow African-American congregations nationwide to make the health of their members a priority. "Our bodies are not our own. They're a gift from God," he said. "We should do a better job with our bodies."More

Why Christians don't attend church
Wesleyan Life
A new study by the Barna organization shows that church attendance among self-identified Christians has declined by nine percentage points since 1991. Not that that's news to anyone. Everybody who does attend church understands that fewer and fewer people are attending larger and larger congregations. So while many local congregations are growing in size, overall church attendance is declining—even among Christians. Still, it begs the question: Why don't more Christians attend church?More

Two worlds -- one church
Worship Facilities
The digital world is influencing what we build in the physical world. As the online church removes the physical limitations of geography, hours and access, it is changing the way that church staff thinks about physical space. And while some of the impact is obvious, such as public Wi-Fi, streaming services, addition of kiosks and social media presence, new ideas are only just now starting to take shape.More

The church's response to families with autism
Associated Baptist Press
Families with autism need to feel welcome in the church in order to be healthy and strong. There are a lot of people like Kevin who need the healing powers church can bring. Kevin is 17. He struggles with autism, yet that doesn’t mean his spiritual needs are unlike ours. Sadly he is unable to access them because of his disability. He is one of many autistic children who lack a spiritual home. More

Churches provide financial relief with back-to-school backpack campaigns
The Christian Post
Churches participating in back-to-school backpack giveaway campaigns that provide notebooks, paper, and pens to children in need are delivering financial relief to families at no better time. From New Kensington, Pa., to San Clemente, Calif., the nation’s churches have ratcheted up their back-to-school help for families hit especially hard in the pocket book this year. In what has become an annual tradition for many churches, just one campaign can provide hundreds of children with much needed school supplies.More

When you're undermined
Leadership Journal
The idea of pastoral authority can seem abstract—until it's challenged. Suddenly its presence or absence is unmistakable. That's why we sought out a diverse group of pastors to tell us about how they responded to being undermined. We wanted to see how authority is exercised in the most crucial circumstance: when it's under fire.More

Church employment opportunities: 5 mistakes most people make when looking for a ministry position
Many people looking for church employment opportunities make several mistakes when they are looking for a new job. Looking for a position at a church is not much different than looking for a traditional job. Many of the same rules apply, but there are other mistakes that Christians make when they are looking for a new church job. Here are the five mistakes most people make when they are looking for jobs in the ministry.More

Thousands of churches prepare for national Back to Church Sunday
Youth Worker
More than 6,000 churches have extended a half million invitations to National Back to Church Sunday (NBTCS), set for Sept. 18. Churches are utilizing tools, such as the reDiscover Church booklet and the assistance of more than 100 communitywide coordinators to draw their friends and neighbors to attend.More

Church conventions serve dual purpose: Family vacation and economic stimulus
Orlando Sentinel
Summer is one of the busiest times for religious conventions, which provide an economic stimulus for the area's hotels and tourist attractions during their slow months. Last summer, church conventions boosted Orlando's economy by an estimated $83 million, according to Visit Orlando, the city's tourism-promotion bureau. Church conventions are drawn to Orlando during the summer months because the lower hotel rates and attraction discounts make it more affordable for families, Runzler said. Unlike trade and corporate conventions, which generally draw people who attend alone and on expense accounts, the religious conventions attract families paying their own way.More

Surge in copper theft continues for churches
Your Church
A surge in U. S. copper thefts has continued throughout the summer. “We've had copper robberies since forever, but we've seen a spike so far this summer," says a police officer in a recent Reuters article. Fueling more thefts: the rising value of copper during the summer. Since we last wrote on copper theft in late May, the price of a pound of the industrial metal has gone up around $31—from around $412 to $443. Churches are a major target for these thefts. More

Feeding the poor through pay-as-you-go
Christianity Today
A Better World Café, one of a handful of "pay-as-you-can" restaurants in the United States, provides clients with good meals and job training, among other things. Hosted at the Reformed Church of Highland Park in New Jersey, the idea for the restaurant was hatched in 2009 in a group working to meet local needs.More

Women rebuild lives through Louisiana program
Connections For Life, a nonprofit organization founded in 2000, offers a 12-month transitional housing and re-entry program to serve women coming from prison, treatment facilities, battered- women’s shelters and other referral agencies. The program provides the women with an efficiency apartment as well as clothing, food, transportation, job-placement help, assistance with children and family reunification and access to health care. The ministry meets most women they serve while the women are still in jail or a recovery program.More

Video: Church offering hits the jackpot
At Unity North Atlanta Church, members are learning that gifts sometimes come in thought provoking packages. Like so many other places of worship Unity North Atlanta Church has faced its economic challenges. The offering plate has been a little lighter of late. "We know prayer is a beautiful force that can transform everything," said Rev. Mercedez Guzman. "We see now we were heard." Their prayers prompted an act of generosity that came in the form of three Keno tickets.More

Unearthing the Bible's bad guys
The Washington Times
At the remains of an ancient metropolis in southern Israel, archaeologists are piecing together the history of a people remembered chiefly as the bad guys of the Hebrew Bible. The city of Gath, where the annual digging season began this week, is helping scholars paint a more nuanced portrait of the Philistines, who appear in the biblical story as the perennial enemies of the Israelites. More