NACBA Weekly Update
Aug. 31, 2012

Churches go high-tech to serve members
Houston Chronicle
On any given Sunday at Chapelwood United Methodist Church in Houston, staff members and volunteers could be using software behind the scenes to manage sound or enhance the message. And throughout the week, it's likely that church members will be chatting on the church's Facebook site, submitting online prayer requests or using the Internet to catch up on missed sermons. "We use technology in every area of everything we do," said Toby Dagenhart, director of ministry technology and communications. "We have a 6,000-member church. We have a lot of activity and a lot of folks we want to keep up with. For us, technology is a really powerful tool." More

Student-loan debt and the future of seminaries
The Wall Street Journal
When a church launches a search for a new pastor, the most traditional source has been the bricks-and-mortar seminary — but that option may undergo a significant change before long. Churches could have fewer job candidates to choose from, according to a recent study, which found that ministerial students are often so hampered by college student loans — which can range from $30,000 to $80,000 — that they are either unable to continue their studies or may not be able to afford to live on the usually modest salaries that await graduates.More

Give tithe without cash at digital kiosk
VideoBrief In a world of debit and credit cards, many folks have given up carrying cash in their wallets. Bay Area Fellowship in Corpus Christi, Texas, has a new way people are donating to their church, without having a single dollar on them. It seems today's modern times have changed many aspects about the way people practice their religion, right down to one of the oldest traditions, giving tithe. When the offering plate comes around, many congregants still prefer to drop in their dollar bills. For others who don't carry cash on them, there's another option. It's called the Giving Kiosk. More

Drafting a conditional agreement for a sex offender
Managing Your Church
When church leaders learn a sex offender is in their midst, their response typically is one of the following three: do nothing, total exclusion or conditional agreements. The conditional agreement is the most common response. This means the church allows a registered offender to attend, subject to certain conditions. It's an attempt to balance safety and ministry, although it's a nuclear-level risk on your premises because it imposes such an extraordinarily high burden of care on your part to become a guarantor for the offender's good conduct.More

Top 10 traits of a multisite church
When does a church move from being a church with multiple campuses and truly become a church of multiple campuses? The change in the prepositions "with" and "of" is dramatic and very few multisite churches have made that change. The latest survey of multisite churches in 2010 by Leadership Network revealed that 85 percent of multisite churches have three or fewer geographic campuses. Why are so few unable to break through the three campus barrier?More

Survey: Economy continues negative effect on churches
Religion News Service
The economy continues to weigh on pastors, with a new survey showing that nearly two-thirds say it has affected their churches negatively. LifeWay Research asked 1,000 pastors about the economy's effect on their churches and found that 56 percent described it somewhat negatively and 8 percent very negatively. Nine percent reported a positive effect on their churches and one-quarter said the economy was having "no impact on my church."More

Welcome to our church: 5 essential do's and don'ts
Most of the time, the impression your church makes on first-time visitors is determined before the first song is sung. And first impressions matter. Often, when planning church services, we can neglect an important aspect of our worship gatherings — how we welcome first-time visitors.More

Tracking tool helps churches spot issues before they become problems
Church Executive
When the leadership at the General Council on Finance and Administration of the United Methodist Church encountered problems gathering data from its churches, they turned to TrendSend for help. TrendSend is an email and Web-based system that gathers key data on organizational performance, generates trend reports and provides a platform for sharing information. With TrendSend, the churches have been able to report on key metrics such as weekly attendance and average plate offerings. More importantly, the data was now being gathered weekly, instead of annually.More

4 traits of incredibly effective delegators
Those who manage best allow staff members to think boldly, to move swiftly and to do so with a game plan rather than a rulebook. The only way to make that happen is to be willing to delegate, and as a business owner, giving up control can be scary. To beat back fear in favor of freedom, here's how to comfortably delegate.More

What employees really need at work
In 1943, psychologist Abraham Maslow introduced the concept now known as "the hierarchy of needs" in which he outlined how people are motivated to fulfill certain basic needs — food, water, safety — before moving on to other, more advanced needs, such as creativity and self-actualization. If we use that lens to look at our businesses, what are the needs of the modern employee?More

The impact of images online
Christian Web Trends
What are you doing on your website, blog, social media and other communications to tap into the power of images? Images are an extremely important part of Web design and content. Now MDG Advertising has done some research that shows just how impactful images are and put their findings in — you guessed it — an image.More

Trading the Good Word for good deeds
Star Tribune
Sherri Kadlec won't be attending Hillside Church of Bloomington, Minn., but she'll still be at church Sunday. She'll just be picking up litter strewn around school yards and parks as a form of service. Kadlec's church and four other congregations in Bloomington are canceling regular worship services to do charitable works in an effort to show they're living out the do-good messages they preach.More

In Philadelphia parks, churches fight to feed the homeless
The Washington Post
Church ministries have been feeding homeless people in Philadelphia's public parks for decades — not as a charitable gesture, but as an act of faith. But earlier this year, city officials passed an ordinance banning public feeding of groups of more than three people in any city park. Why make it so hard to feed the homeless in the City of Brotherly Love?More