NACBA Weekly Update
Sept. 2, 2011

United Methodists assess Irene's toll
From North Carolina, where Hurricane Irene first made landfall on Aug. 27, to New England, where sections of Vermont experienced the worst flooding in a century, Irene sparked evacuations by the hundreds of thousands, swamped shoreline communities and inland river towns and cut electric power to nearly 6 million people. At least 38 deaths in nine states were blamed on the storm. The United Methodist Committee on Relief, in touch with United Methodists in those states, is already processing initial $10,000 grant requests from the New York, Eastern Pennsylvania and Greater New Jersey conferences.More

Irene aftermath: Churches step in to take action
The Christian Post
Many communities along the East Coast were spared major damage from Hurricane Irene but with millions still affected, pastors are stepping in to make sure the church doesn’t stay cooped up and instead makes an impact in the storm’s aftermath. The impact that Irene had on churches last weekend varies from one area to another. After the skies cleared and the seas began to calm along the shore, some pastors opened up to describe what Irene left behind and what they are doing to help. More

NACBA TeleWeb: Tax and Legal Update - Revenue
In these days of tight budgets and diverse revenue options it is important that administrative leaders have a clear understanding of the legal issues around the acceptance of revenue and alternative streams of income. In the next NACBA TeleWeb with Frank Sommerville, scheduled for Thursday, Sept. 8 at 1:30 p.m. CST, you will learn about:

and more... including your questions about specific issues you face.More

9/11 traced new spiritual lines
USA Today
The terrorist attacks on Sept. 11, 2001, delivered an unfathomable religious jolt. Thousands were killed in a cruel, distorted vision of Islam, a religion that teaches peace. And for millions of Americans, the immediate response was to drop to their knees in prayer. A decade later, the soulful response seems fleeting. Statistically, the rush to the pews was a mere blip in a long-standing trend away from traditional religious practice, according to tracking studies by The Barna Group, a Christian research company.More

9/11 and Katrina prepped pastor for Irene
Baptist Press
Disaster relief ministry is nothing new to Michael Chance, who was in New York after Sept. 11, 2001, and in New Orleans after Hurricane Katrina. In the aftermath of Hurricane Irene, he now is ready to minister to flooding victims in New Jersey. While the church he leads, Raritan Valley Baptist Church in Edison, N.J., sustained two inches of water in the basement Sunday, ruining the carpeting, Chance feels blessed that the congregation was spared the brunt of the storm. The church has finished cleaning its building and is looking to help those in North Jersey who weren't as fortunate.More

Spiritual leadership in times of crisis
A crisis never announces itself. It just comes. The ravages of the tornado outbreaks in the spring of 2011 evidenced the devastating and unanticipated consequences of cataclysmic events. One thing is certain: nothing will test leadership like a crisis. Crises intensify the usual challenges of leadership to seemingly intolerable levels. Yet, in such times, God's leaders are not without promises and principles from Scripture to trust and to proclaim.More

Solar power funds church's youth ministry
Earth Techling
Trinity United Church in Elmira, Ontario, has taken an innovative approach to raising funds for its youth ministry programs – and with minimal labor and no price negotiations required, this fundraising method sure beats a bake sale: The church had a 54-panel photovoltaic (PV) system installed on the south-facing roof of its education wing.More

10 ways to use your mission statement today
No, you don’t need a cooler mission statement so you can call it a mantra. No you don’t need a better sounding slogan. You need to know what in the world your church or ministry is ultimately supposed to be doing and you need to state it in a clear, concise and compelling way. This is a leadership statement to direct and integrate all of your thinking, speaking and acting. Let me repeat--this is a leadership statement, not a marketing statement.More

Tax troubles wedge church between rock and a hard place
If you're a child, it is a playground. If you're a church, it is a way to stay afloat. "It is actually completely a nonprofit, 501(c)(3). It's a church," said Wayne Hawkins, treasurer with the Cascade Christian Center of Skagit Valley. "We're not out here trying to turn everybody into Christians; we're out here trying to help the community."More

Faith and work
Associated Baptist Press
In an uncertain and unstable economy, how do Christians reconcile work as a reflection of the image of God in them with high unemployment and under-employment rates? Should believers reexamine what defines "meaningful" work? How do Christians reconcile faith issues in the face of unemployment?More

Do you have a hard time saying no?
Church Central
Have you ever said “yes” to a request, and then gone back to your office kicking yourself because you didn’t say “no?" Leadership involves a series of yeses and nos, and it’s important for leaders to be thoughtful about both. Many church leaders have a hard time saying no. We are in ministry to make a difference and to help others, so saying yes to a chance to help seems like the right thing to do. For church staff members, saying yes to someone in authority over us sometimes seems like the only thing to do.More

Dealing with negative feedback from the congregation
Worship Facilities
We’ve all been there. Negative comments from the congregation during or after the service can be a very real, sometimes painful stumbling block for church technical servants. Our response to criticism from the congregation is important to the team dynamic, to the example we set as member of the church staff and to the outward demonstration of our personal Christian walk.More

Should churches try to minimize disruptions?
Christianity Today
At South Carolina's NewSpring Church, children are not admitted to the main service and doors are locked after the sermon starts. In North Carolina, Elevation Church leaders removed a boy with cerebral palsy from church because he was disrupting the service. The incidents raise the issue of how to respond to disruptions in worship. Should churches try to minimize disruptions in services?More

How to quell a dominating personality in your group
Let's say your group is bonding well; everyone is engaging in conversation, and everyone seems to be enjoying the meetings. But then a new person joins the group, and suddenly they're dominating every conversation. No matter what topic is discussed or what question is asked, they eagerly share their opinions for 5, 10 or 20 minutes—and no one else can get a word in edgewise. Even worse, sometimes—when someone else starts to answer a question—the dominating person jumps in and talks louder until the first person gives up. What has happened is the talker has sucked all the oxygen out of the group. They have crowded everyone else out. More

Young volunteers turn backs on money
USA Today
Lindsey Krinks has a private-college degree but earns less than $10,000 a year. She works a couple of part-time jobs, but most of her time is spent as an unpaid advocate for Nashville's homeless men and women. Krinks is part of a movement of mostly young Protestants known as the new monastics. Inspired by the monks of Christian tradition, they've turned their backs on a consumer culture that says they are what they buy. They're forging a new kind of American Dream, one that values quality of life over building a successful career. They live simply and are often dedicated to social causes.More