NACBA Weekly Update
Aug. 28, 2009

Many Clergy Vulnerable to Health Insurance Loss
from The Christian Century
While a sour economy and rising costs make it harder for small businesses to afford health coverage, one group of employees is especially vulnerable: clergy. Many denominations provide health care for clergy, but pastors of small and independent churches can be hard-hit by rising health-care costs. More

People of Faith Still Giving in Tough Times
from the Times News
A bad economy, sure, but that hasn't stopped people of faith from giving. Religious leaders in the Magic Valley in Idaho say that despite some setbacks their flocks are, for the most part, still donating to churches and charities. More

Religious Groups Have Wide Latitude for Property Tax Breaks
from the Democrat and Chronicle
Under New York law, churches receive full exemptions on property used for religious purposes. But they can also get a tax break on vacant real estate if they "in good faith contemplated" using the property for religious purposes. More

Survey Reveals Where Small, Large Church Attendees Diverge in Faith
from The Christian Post
People who attend larger churches are more likely than attendees of smaller ones to believe the Bible is totally accurate in all the principles it teaches, a new survey reveals. Three out of four attendees of churches with 1,000 or more adults hold that belief compared to three out of five attendees of churches with an average attendance of 100 or less, The Barna Group reported. More

Keeping Young People Interested in Faith
from Lancaster Online
The "Saturate" outreach is just one of the many efforts that Pennsylvania churches, synagogues and other houses of worship use to reach the sometimes-hard-to-get college-age and young-adult population. National statistics indicate that faith is not as large a part of young people's lives as more "mature" adults. More

The X Factor
from Leadership Journal
Ministry leaders across the country once viewed separate, age-targeted services as the key to reaching a generation largely absent from the churches built by their Boomer parents. Many of these once-prosperous twenty-something ministries have folded, spun off, or morphed. Church leaders have been provoked to think deeply about the nature and implications of the gospel and have seen their ministries leave lasting effects on the larger church. More

Volunteers that Stick
from Ministry Today Magazine
The bigger the vision, the more people serving and helping it takes to make that vision reality. Ministry was never designed to be done by only a select few. However, you can't develop people until you locate them. So how do you find potential leaders? More

Biometric Recognition Systems May be Just What God Had in Mind
from Biometric Recognition Systems May be Just What God Had in Mind
Most people attend church events and services to identify with God, not with their fingerprint. But as new technology progresses and the pace of the world quickens, many “pen and paper” check-in methods have become obsolete, tossed aside as cumbersome and inefficient. In fact, using old check-in systems could be costing you money and lowering the safety of those participating in your church programs. More

Producing a Comeback Church
from Preaching.com
In a study that resulted in the book Comeback Churches, 324 comeback churches were surveyed in order to seek answers to the questions of what and how to make a comeback from a trend of spiraling downward, both spiritually and numerically. How did 324 churches start growing again after experiencing a pattern of plateau or decline? Based upon the information gathered in this study, some church change factors were perceived to be more important than others by comeback leaders. More

Six Tactical Mistakes Churches Make
from Church Central
Bill Easum has seen many mistakes churches make, but six stand out as the most common tactical mistakes made by church leaders. Usually these mistakes are hallmarks of declining congregations. So if you church is declining, and you are doing any of the following, it will be in your best interest to change your tactics. 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. Here are some great ways to help your group become relationally connected, so that through community each person can experience spiritual growth. More

Blessing Schools: Churches Work with Public Schools to Bless, Improve
from the Associated Baptist Press
Some American Christians may have written off public education, but others are discovering innovative ways to develop meaningful relationships with public schools. More

Tennessee Pastor Illustrates Biblical Messages in Years-long Project
from the Knoxville News Sentinel
The Rev. John Stuart, pastor of Erin Presbyterian Church in Knoxville, Tenn., fills his free time with something he has done for as long as he can remember: art. But for the past two years he's been concentrating on a special project. "I'm trying to create a drawing for each of the 150 Psalms in the Bible. As I read each Psalm, I ask God to help me choose the right verse in order to create a symbolic drawing." More