NACBA Weekly Update
Oct. 2, 2009

Sense of sanctuary lost as church attacks spike
The Washington Post

Complexity of congregational life inspires first annual event for church administration
It's not easy being a church -- not anymore. A distrustful public, complex regulations, watchful governments, stricter zoning and the echo of past scandals all make the leadership of church harder than ever. And against the backdrop of the worst economic recession in 80 years, many church leaders are looking to each other for help. National Church Administration Day, a first-ever event set for Oct. 15, will celebrate the power of peer-learning to address the increasing complexity of “doing church” in contemporary society. More

Religious life won't be the same after downturn
The Associated Press
Organized religion was already in trouble before the fall of 2008. Denominations were stagnating or shrinking, and congregations across faith groups were fretting about their finances. The Great Recession made things worse. Long after the economy improves, the changes made today will have a profound effect on how people practice their faith, where they turn for help in times of stress and how they pass their beliefs to their children. More

Georgia church puts youth in charge
Times Georgian
The Church at Mirror Lake in Villa Rica, Ga., is breaking new ground in youth ministry and the "outside-the-box" thinking is proving even more successful than church leaders had hoped. When the Villa Rica church moved last September from its Conners Road location to a new building just up the street on Permian Way, instead of selling the old property church leaders opened up a new opportunity for the church’s youth ministry. Called the Revolve Campus, the property is now basically a church within a church for sixth through 12th graders. More

One in 5 Americans may be secular by 2030
Religion News Service via The Pew Forum
The number of American adults who do not identify with a particular religion is growing and may comprise more than 20 percent of the population in two decades, according to a new study. Conducted by researchers at Trinity College, the study, entitled "American Nones: The Profile of the No Religion Population," showed that people who profess no religion, or "Nones," are similar to the general public in marital status, education, racial and ethnic makeup and income. According to the study, it is possible that one in five Americans will put themselves in the "None" category by 2030. More

Let the little children come
Leadership Journal
Age-segregated ministries are radical not in their unusual methods or dramatic implementation, but in the foundational ways they are challenging the status quo regarding the purpose, philosophy, and programming of children's ministry. And in the process, they are transforming their worship communities. More

The definitive guide to church social media and SEO
Ministry Marketing Coach
One of the big buzzwords in Christian technology and design circles is social media and its role in online engagement and community. To answer some of the questions about church social media, the author of this article has provided a short guide, which is the first in a series of posts about church social media strategy. More

10 tips to improve church outreach
Church Central
The vast majority of churches are declining or are on an uncomfortable plateau. Many pastors in these congregations struggle with outreach and assimilation. Some churches who have regular outreach meetings spend little time reaching out to people who are not members of the church already. Those who attend our churches as guests are our warm prospects. They are much easier to talk to about our Lord and our churches than strangers on the street. They should receive priority attention. More

Researchers: Top churches lists are tools, not ego boosters
The Christian Post
When Outreach magazine and LifeWay Research released their annual 100 Largest and 100 Fastest-Growing U.S. Churches lists this month, they knew it would generate some heat. But amid some of the criticisms, the team that compiled the lists wants readers to view it not as purely numbers but as stories on how churches are reaching people. More

Alabama church one of largest, fastest growing in U.S.
The Birmingham News
The Church of the Highlands in Birmingham has been named the 33rd largest church in the United States and the 11th fastest-growing, according to a study by Lifeway Research published this month by Outreach Magazine. Because of the phenomenal growth at Church of the Highlands, pastors from across the nation seek out wisdom from the church's founding pastor, hoping to learn his church growth methods. More

Mission opportunities for churches and individuals
Mission outreach opportunities abound, so much so that the problem is not finding an appropriate one but narrowing down the possibilities to a few that fit your needs, skills, and budgets. For individuals and groups contemplating mission trips, time spent preparing thoroughly is essential. The first thing to consider is the personal question: "Why am I doing this?" More

Church adheres to green standards, works toward LEED certification
Church Solutions Magazine
It seems you can’t turn around these days without hearing something about the benefits of environmentally friendly activities or how practicing sustainable "green" efforts can lower your energy costs. Maybe your church has even implemented some of its own green practices, such as setting up recycle bins throughout your worship facilities and turning off lights when not in use. But what does it mean to truly be good stewards of the Earth? Do churches have an obligation to practice sustainable efforts, not only to save on energy costs but also to serve as an example of Creation stewardship? More