NACBA Weekly Update
Oct. 9, 2009

Religions take precautions against swine flu
Politics Daily
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Reminder: National Church Administration Day set for next week
NACBA
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 next Thursday, Oct. 15, will celebrate the power of peer-learning to address the increasing complexity of “doing church” in contemporary society. More

Church visioning programs put focus on faith
GazetteXtra
A bigger building doesn't mean better people. A remodeled sanctuary doesn't translate into changed hearts. Most church leaders understand those concepts but still find themselves having long arguments--in even longer meetings--about how to "grow" their congregations. But some Janesville, Wis., churches are looking at "church growth" in a different way. More

Churches fight Detroit blight with hope - and cash
CNN Money
With its ever-increasing pockets of barren land and abandoned housing, Detroit may be the most financially devastated city in the country. Who would take on the task of trying to revive neighborhoods mired in economic blight? Try an institution built on faith and hope: Detroit's churches. More

Faithful Stewards: 'Generosity' as a concept over 'stewardship?'
Associated Baptist Press
Stewardship often is seen as an individual act -- giving a tithe, with generosity gauged by contributions in addition to the basic 10 percent. But is the corporate body also a steward, and how or can that stewardship be measured? “I don’t think you can separate the church and individual members’ response,” explained David Waganer, resource coordinator for Stewardship Development Association. More

Churches encouraged to improve security as holiday season approaches
The Christian Post
An organization that specializes in helping churches and other Christian institutions to become safer and more secure is encouraging churches across America to begin planning for the holiday season by evaluating their security systems. "With the significance of the holiday, added church attendance, and things like special programs and events, now is the time for church leaders to ensure that they are prepared for the increased risks that will come their way in a few short months" says Jeff Hawkins, executive director of the Christian Security Network (CSN). More

Releasing the young guns
Ministry Today Magazine
Many pastors long to see their youth and young adults walk in power, healing and the prophetic, especially outside the church. No longer satisfied to build traditional youth ministries, they are stirred to impact their cities and regions. They long to see nearby campuses saturated in God’s glory, lives surrendered to Jesus and a culture reflecting the kingdom of God. For this vision to become a reality, however, they usually need a different set of tools. More

Dallas-Fort Worth area church-school partnerships give children a classroom lift
Dallas Morning News
The U.S. Department of Education began encouraging faith-based partnerships with public schools as one avenue toward school improvement with the creation of a special office by the Bush administration in 2001. National religious organizations promoting partnerships have urged churches to adopt schools. First Amendment Center scholar Charles Haynes said such partnerships can benefit schools, but religious groups cannot violate the separation of church and state. More

The state of the Church
Church Central
Over the last few years research groups like Gallup, The Barna, and the Association of Religious Data Archives have attempted to get a clear picture of the state of the Church in America. Until recently, it was widely accepted that over 40 percent of Americans attend church on a regular basis. If these numbers are right then over 130 million Americans fill our churches on any given Sunday. Not bad numbers , but are they right? Are we really doing that well? Recently, new research reveals that these numbers may be overstated and misleading. More

E-giving means fewer envelopes to open and less chance of fraud
Church Executive Magazine
Bad weather, vacations and illnesses can cause parishioners to miss church services during the year. While some people will make up their missed donations, many won’t. That’s where electronic giving, or e-giving, can help. E-giving enables church members to “set it and forget it.” This allows contributions to continue automatically, regardless of members’ weekly attendance. For church members, e-giving is all about convenience. As more and more of the population pay their bills online, they become used to the with-a-click simplicity of electronic payments. It’s only natural that parishioners want to extend this convenience to their tithing. More

Reading the fine print
Your Church
It's important for church leaders to review any contract before signing it. Legal experts concede that contracts and agreements can be tough to navigate, but necessary to do nonetheless. Church leaders don't want to find themselves on the wrong end of a deal. Details really do matter. More

Faithful fight high interest
News & Observer
The average debt for nearly half of Americans with credit-card balances rose from about $5,600 in 2004 to $7,300 in 2007, according to the latest figures from the Federal Reserve. With the average rates estimated between 12 and 15 percent, that means millions of consumers are paying $1,000 a year in credit-card interest alone. Religious people of many spiritual stripes agree that's a big problem, and they'll unite in Charlotte, N.C., this week and in London next month to try to do something about it. More