NACBA Weekly Update
Sept. 4, 2009

Soul-Searching on Facebook
from The Washington Post
For the longest time, the question just sat there on his screen. Cursor blinking. Waiting quietly, like a patient priest in a confessor's box. Religious Views: _____. Such public proclamations of beliefs used to require a baptism in water, or a circumcision, or learning the five pillars of Islam. Now Facebook users announce their spiritual identity with the stroke of a few keys. And what they are typing into the open-ended box offers a revealing peek into modern faith and what happens to that faith as it migrates online. More

Annual Reports are as Much for the Church as for Business Today
from Church Executive Magazine
No doubt as investors or participants in an employer’s 401(k)or IRA retirement fund, many congregants are used to perusing financial statements that affect them. They may or may not understand the fine details, but many a financial advisor has remarked at how good people can be at getting to the bottom line. With the current economic crisis placing challenges for people from all walks of life, the discussion of financing has become nearly a national obsession. More

Update of Popular 'NIV' Bible due in 2011
from USA Today
The scholars and publishers behind the world's leading English language evangelical Bible announced Tuesday that they would publish a updated translation in 2011. "And we'll make sure we get it right this time," says Keith Danby, president and chief executive officer of Biblica, once known as the International Bible Society. More

Missionaries Using Internet to Reach Out to New Souls
from Religion News Service via the State Journal-Register
For centuries, missionaries have ventured to the farthest reaches of the globe to share the gospel. Today, the new mission field is just a mouse click away. Some 2 million surfers a day type keywords like "God" and "Jesus" into search engines, and hundreds of thousands of them end up at one of 91 Web sites operated by Global Media Outreach, a ministry of the Orlando-based Campus Crusade for Christ that dispatches domestic missionaries to the far corners of the World Wide Web. More

In Defense of Sunday School for Kids - and Adults
from the Philadelphia Daily News
For more than 225 years, Sunday school has been the primary Christian-education program for persons of all ages in churches. But, in recent years, general interest in Sunday school seems to have declined. In fact, statistics tell us that over the past 20 years, attendance has dropped more than 25 percent. Does this decline in attendance and interest mean that Sunday school is no longer important? The author of this article believes Sunday school is as important as ever. More

Two Churches Envision Model for Racial Reconciliation and Changing Lives
from the Baptist Press
Several questions remain after long talks, compromises and at least one blunt sermon prior to the merger of a black church and a white church in Louisville. But both pastors say they have the Holy Spirit and a spirit of cooperation to succeed. More

Vacation Bible Schools for a New Generation
from the Marco Eagle
This is not your grandma’s vacation Bible school. Three Marco Island, Fla., churches recently presented weeklong vacation Bible schools (VBS). Each resonated with the truth of God’s Word, presented in a vibrant, high-tech manner, with elaborate sets guaranteed to get the attention of little ones who grew up on Sesame Street and Transformers. More

Working Well with the Church Staff
from Building Church Leaders
Those of us in children's ministries can forget that while there is only one group of children we have to communicate with, there are three groups of adults. We must communicate well with parents, the workers around us, and the leaders above us. Some who work with children are insecure and intimidated by strong leaders in the church. In many churches this creates separation. More

Feeling the Pinch? Churches Urged to Teach the Tithe
from the UM Portal
Four words that many people will likely hear in church soon: stewardship, pledging, gifts, giving. Two words you might not hear: tithe, tithing. Churches are launching their fall annual stewardship campaigns at a time when unemployment hovers around 10 percent and financial markets remain shaky. Many pastors may even hesitate to preach about the biblical teaching on tithing. More

The Fractured World of Multi-generational Church Leadership
from the Leadership Journal
When Pastor Rehoboam took over the flock after the long tenure of his father, change management was his number one challenge. Everyone had different ideas about how he should lead the community. Some of the members of the congregation met with him to politely suggest some policy changes focused largely on the optimal intensity of membership requirements. More

Coming to a Strip Mall Near You
from Ministry Today Magazine
Don't call it a trend just yet, but as thousands of retail stores have been forced to close across the nation in recent months, many churches are becoming the main attraction at shopping centers. And for both congregations hoping to connect more with non-churchgoers in their community and commercial landlords stuck with empty stores, a move into a strip mall can be a win-win situation. More

Religious Communities Unite for Interfaith Service Week
from The Christian Post
Religious communities across the country are uniting in service projects this week to honor one of President Obama’s faith-based initiatives. More than 3,000 interfaith projects have come out of the United We Serve Initiative, an interfaith effort of the White House Office of Faith-based and Neighborhood Partnerships, this summer. To recognize its accomplishments, President Obama designated Aug. 31-Sept. 6 as Interfaith Service Week during which Christians, Muslims, Jews, Hindus and people of other faiths are working together to overcome religious divides while strengthening local communities. More

Church Gives Six Truckloads of Supplies to Help 'Adopted' School
from SignOnSanDiego
When students started school at Johnson Elementary in San Diego, Calif., this week, they got rulers, pencils, notebooks and other school supplies that signal the start of a new partnership with a Rancho San Diego Catholic church. Six truckloads of supplies collected by parishioners at Church of St. Luke were delivered to the school. Carlos Cuellar, 64, a retired schoolteacher who led the drive, said church members are planning more clothing and supply drives and are recruiting volunteers to tutor students. More