NACBA Weekly Update
Aug. 14, 2009

Are Grants the Answer?
from Faith and Leadership
As Sunday offerings go down because of the recession, church leaders are looking for creative ways to replace that funding. I find many congregations think of grants as a way to fill the gap. As Sunday offerings go down because of the recession, church leaders are looking for creative ways to replace that funding. I find many congregations think of grants as a way to fill the gap. More

1 in 7 Church Background Checks Uncover Criminal History
from The Christian Post
Since LifeWay Christian Resources teamed up with last year to offer discounted background checks to ministries around the nation, some 450 churches have requested for more than 5,000 background checks. While most of those searches returned clean records or minor traffic-related offenses, 80 screenings reportedly uncovered serious felony offenses, and more than 600 people had some type of criminal history that may have disqualified them from volunteering or working at a church.That means around 13.6 percent, or roughly one in seven, of applicants were found to have a criminal history. More

Challenging Times Create Communication Imperatives
from Church Executive Magazine
There are opportunities, believe it or not, for churches and other faith-based nonprofits in an economic downturn. In order to survive, churches have no choice but to continue striking a balance in conducting ministry initiatives, relationship-building and business. Most importantly, they are continuing to support their communities. And, in order to be successful during difficult times, they are all the more dependent on faith-driven giving. Communicating effectively is the key in connecting not only with a congregation, but with staff as well. More

from The Tennessean
Dressed in a Titans jersey, she sat in a wheelchair and stared up at a black and white photo of herself on the wall of Otter Creek Church in Brentwood, Tenn. Burchette and about 20 other current and former residents of Tent City were guests of honor at Otter Creek on Wednesday night during a rare interfaith partnership between the Church of Christ congregation and Nashville's largest synagogue, Temple Congregation Ohabai Sholom. The church and synagogue came together to raise awareness about the people who live in Tent City, a camp of homeless people near the Cumberland River. The combination photo exhibit and fundraising event drew several hundred people. More

Florida Church Gets Big Return on Small Investments
from Florida Today via USA Today
In May, Indian River City United Methodist Church in Titusville, Fla., distributed $50 bills to 212 families in its congregation, Executive Pastor Tony Bowick said. The instructions: Use your talents, imaginations and entrepreneurial skills to multiply that investment. By Sunday afternoon, those households had more than doubled that $10,600 outlay into a little more than $24,500. More

Faith Groups Increase Online Presence through Social Networks, Interactive Webcasts
from the Las Vegas Review-Journal
It's pretty much like attending any other church service. Worshippers can meet one another in the lobby. They can sing along to an upbeat worship band. They can hear a powerful sermon. They can drop a few dollars into the collection plate and submit prayer requests, and first-timers can get information about the next step in their spiritual walk. So, with all of this, does it really matter that worshippers at The Church at South Las Vegas' Internet campus also can attend church while still wearing their jammies? More

Saving Generation Lost
from Youth Worker
Across Christendom the reports tell the same story: a mass exodus is underway. Nationwide polls and denominational reports show the next generation is calling it quits on traditional church. What would cause droves of once devoted followers of Christ to turn their back on their faith? More

MySpace Generation
from Ministry Today Magazine
Conventional wisdom suggests that if you want to connect with teens and young adults, there is no place like the mall. Indeed, if you take a trip to the trendiest mall in your area and do an informal demographic survey, you'll find that's still the case. But there's a new hangout in town, and the teens and 20-somethings from your city are there by the thousands. It's called MySpace, and it's taking over cyberspace. More

Four Tips for Dealing with an Economic Downturn
When the nation is in a difficult time economically, it impacts all sectors—business, government and even not-for-profit organizations. The church is no exception—across the nation, church leaders are reporting a downturn in contributions, reflecting the tight economy. More

Church Decline: Six Signs of Hope
from Church Central
The statistic is often quoted: 85 percent of all churches today are in plateau or decline. This is a distressing number, no matter how many times it’s repeated. While looking at what’s being done to turn the situation around, church consulting in particular, six signs of hope emerged. More

Seminary Plants
from Christianity Today
Megachurches have become one-stop centers, with food courts, sports leagues, and automotive repair shops alongside concert-caliber praise bands and strong preachers. Next up: seminaries. More

Help Your Small Group Experience Community
from LifeWay
Many Bible study groups have meetings, but not enough experience true community. Too often we give our lives to Bible study without giving them to one another. In the process, we diminish the opportunity for God's words to speak to us. When groups gel, its individuals become more apt to divulge life situations, which allows others to offer biblical advice and support. Here are some great ways to help your group become relationally connected, so that through community each person can experience spiritual growth. More