NACBA Weekly Update
Sep. 7, 2012

Post-2008 giving realities
Church Executive
It has been four years now since the great economic adjustment of our generation. A lot has been said about the impact on churches. In reality, about one-third of churches are up from 2008-2009, one-third are down and one-third are flat. Despite what many may say, the economy is not the main reason for that, except in a few cases. The bigger effect of the economic adjustment has been on the mindset of givers.More

Supreme Court's health care ruling could weaken charity tax breaks
Christianity Today
The U.S. Supreme Court's ruling upholding the Affordable Care Act has advocates of faith-based nonprofits concerned about potential unintended "collateral damage" to their bottom lines. The worry: Chief Justice John Roberts' nod to lawmakers' wide discretion to impose taxes — and to condition taxes to influence behavior — could pose threats both to charities' tax exemptions and to donors' tax deductions.More

$1 million in 1 day? Texas nonprofit has a fundraising plan
Austin American-Statesman
A charity based in Austin, Texas, seeking to raise $1 million in one day outlined how it plans to reach its ambitious goal: prizes, music, word of mouth and nonprofit support. I Live Here, I Give Here — a nonprofit that promotes philanthropy and connects Central Texans with charities — announced six months ago that it plans to try to raise $1 million over a 24-hour period that begins at 7 p.m. CST March 4.More

Think attendance in your church is declining? Think again
Associated Baptist Press
Some eyewitnesses claim the attendance in their congregations is declining. This may be true. In some cases, however, congregations do not know how to count. If you think attendance in your congregation is really declining, think again. Your first reaction may be that it is an easy task. If a congregation has more people in attendance this year than it did last year, it is growing. If it has less, it is declining. Think again.More

Family systems basics about money at church: Balance
Church Central
A church system develops over time a certain balance, or homeostasis, in its relationships in regard to money. Finances are handled in a particular way. When leaders seek to change the balance, congregations responds with some kind of "change back" message. It's not personal: It's an automatic systemic response, although it can be framed personally.More

Challenge to clergy tax break clears hurdle
Associated Baptist Press
A Wisconsin judge has given a green light to a lawsuit challenging a federal law that exempts clergy from paying income taxes on the fair rental value of their homes. U.S. District Judge Barbara Crabb ruled that the Freedom From Religion Foundation has legal standing to challenge the constitutionality of a 1954 law that grants certain tax benefits to "ministers of the gospel."More

Do you pass this key leadership test?
It happens every time. You occasionally face a problem or challenge so big, so important, so critical that it requires your total focus, and that's when one of your employees is most likely to feel he must talk to you — right now. And that's when you take a key leadership test: Can you approach the employee's problem as if it was just as important as the problem you face? More

Food fights: Homeless ministries respond to restrictions
Christianity Today
A wave of anti-feeding laws enforced this summer in cities nationwide has met with mixed sentiments from homeless ministries. In Dallas, those interested in feeding the homeless must first become certified via a city-run food handlers' class. Denver has banned eating and sleeping on public property without permission. And Philadelphia ministries are up in arms over a recent ban on feeding the homeless in city parks.More

3 social media boundary suggestions
If you haven't discovered this fact already, you will soon: Social media can consume you. It takes so much more discipline these days to stay focused on projects that don't include social media. There is value in using social media, but you need to set some boundaries to help you not let social media tools infiltrate your life to the point that you wake up in the middle of the night thinking of good things to Tweet. Here are three suggestions to set social media boundaries in your life.More

How to cope with chronically late people
CBS MoneyWatch
Some people seem to have a very optimistic view of the universe. They are always shocked that there is traffic. They are sure they can crank out those last three emails before the meeting that's scheduled to start in 30 seconds. Or maybe it's not optimism. Maybe these people just feel their time is more valuable than other people's, and they feel important when they make other people wait for them. Whatever the cause, they are chronically late. If you work closely with such a person, how can you minimize the delays for everyone else?More

Storefront churches bring stability to people, neighborhoods
Connecticut Post
Walk down Stratford Avenue in Bridgeport, Conn., around noon any Sunday, and amid the din of traffic, you will hear pastors making joyful noises in storefront churches. Eight storefront churches, along with about as many traditional, stand-alone churches, share space on the half-mile stretch of road. Some have said they believe the pastors who run storefront churches are in it for the tax breaks. But, according to those familiar with the inner-city landscape, the storefront church is an institution that helps bring stability to fragile neighborhoods.More

6 steps to getting more stuff done
Let's face it: Despite all of the positives associated with today's rapidly changing business environment, technology can also cause distractions and put a strain on our productivity. Whatever your personal distractions may be, following these six simple steps should help you to increase personal productivity and job performance.More

'Church' on a ferry boat
United Methodist News Service
How do you attract tourists to worship with your church during the months of summer vacation? The little Michigan towns of St. Ignace and Mackinaw City have both tourists and locals standing in line for 30 minutes for a seat at their Vesper Cruise services led by various local denominations.More