NACBA Weekly Update
Sept. 18, 2009

Extra helping of welcoming
Religion News Service via the Washington Post

Wedgwood: The survivors and the grieving, 10 years later
Fort Worth Star-Telegram
On Sept. 15, 1999, Larry Gene Ashbrook walked into Wedgwood Baptist Church and opened fire, killing seven and wounding seven before taking his own life. The Star-Telegram contacted some of those involved in the tragedy to get updates on their lives. More

Benefits of the paperless church office
Church Solutions Magazine
You may not be ready for everything in your church to go paperless—after all, your congregation probably wouldn’t feel at home with (or appreciate the cost of) Kindle Bibles instead of the bound, print ones and credit card processors instead of donation envelopes. Paper certainly has its place for your attendees in the sanctuary or worship center, but online technology can be cost-effective in the church office by eliminating cumbersome and costly paper-based processes. More

Growing, site by site
The Daily News
The multi-site model allows one church to worship in multiple locations, while keeping the congregations relatively small. "One challenge of large churches is breaking the congregation down into small groups to foster that connection," said Tim Harris, pastor of Woodburn Baptist in Franklin, Ky. "With a multi-site model, you can fulfill the single church mission throughout multiple sites. There is tremendous ability to create something new and established at the same time." Although the model is relatively new to the area, it is one that churches have been using since the mid-1980s. More

Marketing your church without diluting your message
Ministry Today Magazine
In the last decade, the number of adults who do not attend church has nearly doubled, rising to 75 million. No big surprise from this 2004 Barna Group survey. The big surprise is how embarrassing the response from the church has been. Sadly, one of the church’s greatest shortcomings is failure to market itself authentically and effectively. From the way your congregation tells others about your church to how the weekly bulletin communicates, marketing your church--telling your story well--is not an optional add-on when you can afford it; it’s a certainty begging for intention and attention. More

Encountering God: Celebrating art in worship
Youth Worker
During the Reformation, the church frowned on artists and destroyed much of the art found in churches. Today, artists often are not included in worship. These creative types, who may have different artistic skills than are commonly used in worship, need alternative ways to engage in church and encounter God. More

When do we build?
It's exciting for pastors and church leaders to see people coming to Christ on a regular basis through the ministry of their church. It’s also a joy to have new people choose to join your church as they move to the area or experience other life changes that call for a new church home. But with growth come challenges: finding additional leaders for classes and programs, dealing with parking stresses, and the big question: when do we build? More

Your guests are talking. Are you listening?
Church Central
It's amazing how well we can think we're doing when our only evaluation is our own. It's also easy to hear feedback from our "churched" crowd and think we're delivering great guest service as well. But, remember churched people have very different expectations than your newest guest who is not a regular church-goer. Getting feedback from our newest guests risks that we'll have to work through. More

Promise of eternal bliss more persuasive than fear of hell
CanWest News Service
Fire and brimstone may spice up doomsday prophecies, but a new study shows most people prefer to look on the bright side of afterlife. When both heaven and hell are considered valid final destinations, researchers find the notion of eternal bliss is three times more powerful than that of eternal damnation in shaping church attendance and frequency of prayer. More

Charitable volunteers growing and giving
Muskegon Chronicle
Most churches want to spiritually nourish those who attend. But at the Lakes Community Church of the Nazarene in Muskegon, Mich., people have faithfully flocked there three times a week to get healthy fare from the fruit of the earth at the Lakes Community Garden. More

Study reveals concerns, impact of social media on Evangelical college students
The Christian Post
A first-of-its kind study on the impact of social networking activities on evangelical Christian college students is raising some red flags but also acknowledging the benefits of tools such as Facebook and text messaging. "It isn't yet clear whether over-zealous use of computer-based activities will be formally accepted in the U.S. as a distinctive, unique form of addiction," commented Gordon College psychology professor Bryan C. Auday, who teamed up with Sybil Coleman, Gordon College professor of social work, for the study. More

Faith in the Internet
The Record
Finding your religion can be a simple as checking your text messages or clicking a mouse as pastors and parishioners go online to share their faith with the world. Many churches have long operated Web sites that feature basic information about location, services, classes and staff, but more and more pastors are learning how to use their online toolbox to full advantage. More