NACBA Weekly Update
Aug. 30, 2013

Getting it right: How much should we pay the pastor?
Associated Baptist Press
Considering budgets, national averages, church size, education and the gender gap, it's no wonder churches struggle getting it right when it comes to pastor compensation. Many refer to surveys by NACBA and Christianity Today's Compensation Handbook for Church Staff, both updated regularly. It may be one of the most uncomfortable — and sometimes contentious — questions in congregational life: How much should we pay our senior pastor?More

Church building projects: Selecting the team
By Robert C. Foreman
For a successful building project, it is important for the church to have the right people in charge of the project. The building steering committee is the group of church members who act on behalf of the church leadership and congregation to guide the project through the programming, budgeting, design and construction process. They are one component of the church building team that includes the church, the architect and the contractor. How should the church go about choosing the right people to serve on the steering committee?More

Tax and legal update: Legal issues arising from third-party use of facilities
NACBA
Churches have nice facilities, and many community and business groups want to use the facilities. From the exercise class leader to the music teacher, their use of the facilities will create legal and tax consequences. Even 12 step programs can create issues. This TeleWeb on Sept. 5 will address the tax and legal risks associated with use of the church facilities.More

3 keys to keeping your sanity in ministry
By Deborah Wipf
Ministry is messy — even in the back office. Those of us who have worked in the back office know that administration is not always smooth sailing. Administrators are often the ones chosen to deal with touchy issues like confronting a staff member about his work performance or calming a volunteer who doesn't understand why she can't work in a particular area of the ministry. As you serve faithfully, here are a few keys to help you handle the rough patches.More

Affordable Care Act: Separating the myths from the mandates
Worship Facilities
As we approach the implementation of the new healthcare law, churches might do well to remember the words of Franklin Roosevelt who said, "The only thing we have to fear is fear itself!" Roosevelt uttered those words in 1932 at his first inaugural address. Today they seem timely still as we are about to see the biggest overhaul of healthcare ever with the launch of The Affordable Care Act, or as most know it, Obamacare.More

4 trends impacting giving to the church
Church Executive
Giving to religion has been in a steady decline since 1968 — and the economy has little to do with it. Most church leaders either ignore this decline, or object to the conclusion that the economy isn’t the reason. However, consistent studies have shown that even during times of economic prosperity, giving to religion has declined. There are multiple reasons.More

What size should your organization be?
Faith & Leadership
Many Christian institutions face issues of scale. In the past 10 years, a frequent question by congregational leaders relates to the scale of the church staff: How many staff members should the church have, given its size? Stanford Social Innovation Review's Fall 2013 issue features a study of 50 large-scale civic organizations. The study looked into the organizations' finances, membership models, and policy and organizing strategies, seeking to understand what drives growth and influence over others in such organizations.More

Repurpose your church video assets
Church Central
Week after week churches everywhere are focused on producing video content with a purpose. These are stylish, well thought-out videos that create the proper mood for biblical story; that help people connect with meaningful messages; and that beautifully illuminate and accent spiritual themes. What should you do with these videos?More

Who's the most influential teacher on giving?
Managing Your Church
Churchgoers learn to be generous throughout their lives. Most develop the habit of generous giving when they're young, according to results from our latest State of the Plate research. We combined results from this and the previous four years of State of the Plate surveys to create a comprehensive look at the habits of tithers, people who give 10 percent or more of their income to churches, nonprofits or benevolent causes. More

The 10-minute rule: Leaving a good impression
Lewis Center for Church Leadership
The first impression guests leave with determines whether they will be back. So what is it that goes into a good first impression? We interviewed a number of people who had recently visited a church for the first time. We asked them what made the biggest impression on them and what effect it had on their decision to return the following week. It was the friendliness of the people. And the critical time for making a friendly impression is the 10 minutes right after the service ends.More

Goodbye, unfriend? Social media bring new challenges for pastors in transition
Associated Baptist Press
About a year ago I resigned the pastorate of a church where I had served for 13 years. Leaving a ministry well is important, and I wanted to do it with integrity. This required having the conversation with my church leadership about the ethical boundaries that would guide our relationship into the future. All of this was familiar territory to me. But then reality struck: a lot had changed in 13 years, and one big change was the advent of social media. How do "separation ethics" for pastors apply to the use of social media?More

If everyone is happy, you're doing something wrong
By Michael J. Berens
In the world of business, change is the only constant. And change hurts. It's natural to assume that if our idea is a good one, people will respond positively — maybe even show a bit of enthusiasm. But that is rarely the case with a change initiative.More

The top reason for the decline in church attendance and 5 ways to address it
ThomRainer.com
Few people will argue that church attendance in many churches in America is declining. Certainly attendance declines are related to massive cultural shifts in our nation. But one reason for declines has a greater impact than others.More

Church building projects: What you need to know
By Robert C. Foreman
Nothing is as important to the success of a new church building project as the people you select to help with the task. Assembling the right team of people is a critical decision, which should result in a building that meets all of your facility needs.More

Study: Clergy at higher risk of depression and anxiety
The Huffington Post
Clergy are often relied upon to guide others through difficult times, but a new study has found that the very nature of their work could put them at greater risk of developing depression and anxiety themselves. Researchers interviewed more than 1,700 United Methodist pastors by phone and through online surveys, and found that the instances of depression were 8.7 percent and 11.1 percent, respectively, compared to the average national rate of 5.5 percent.More

It's all about the numbers?
The Christian Post
On Sept. 12, Outreach magazine will release its annual issue listing the 100 largest and fastest-growing churches in the nation. For the first time in a number of years, you won't see Mars Hill Church listed. I have no criticisms of the lists, nor any judgment regarding those who participated. I simply pulled our church off the list after conversations with some pastor friends who have done the same. Since we are no longer submitting our numbers for the Top 100 list, this seemed like an opportune time to speak about numbers. Churches that like to count are accused of being proud, pragmatic, and all about the numbers in an unholy and unhealthy way; some are, some aren't.More

If everyone is happy, you're doing something wrong
By Michael J. Berens
In the world of business, change is the only constant. It has a nice Zen quality about it, don't you think? By now, though, it has become something of a cliché — and an overused one at that. Still, like all good maxims, it contains a profound truth. As does its corollary, which does not get repeated as often: Change hurts. It's natural to assume that if our idea is a good one, people will respond positively — maybe even show a bit of enthusiasm. But that is rarely the case with a change initiative.More