The Church Network Weekly Update
Oct. 10, 2014

The shocking un-truth about church budgets
ABP News
Before we do even one more church budget, we need a whole new framework for thinking about church and ministry. With our role in society shifting, we are no longer bastions of benevolent food pantries that we graciously bestow on the less fortunate and then return to our churches to plan new ways to do ministry. What we are now is mission outposts. We are places of solace and hope, community and hospitality for people who are too smart to believe in God and pretty convinced they don’t need the church — until they do.More

Welcome to The Church Network
The Church Network
Look closely at the masthead of this email and you will see that this email comes to you from
The Church Network, powered by NACBA. In July during the launch event for the NACBA national conference being held in Orlando, NACBA announced a re-brand. NACBA is now doing business as The Church Network. Please visit us at www.TheChurchNetwork.com.More

Pastors, make your logo smaller
By Mark MacDonald
Have you noticed things are changing with communications? Probably not. You have so much going on that church communication issues probably don't register. So, allow me to call your attention to a change that speaks loudly to the church: Make your logo smaller. You may think that branding is all about your logo, but it's not. Your logo — along with a standardized font and color palette coupled with a unique design style — is simply something that reminds the viewer of the deeper ministry that happens within the church.More

7 reasons why church leaders should publish on LinkedIn
Church Mag
LinkedIn, the social networking site with the mission of connecting the world's professionals, announced that it will begin unrolling the ability for its members to publish long-form posts on the site. It's a great way for church leaders and staff to expand their influence and message. Unfortunately, not many in church leadership have caught onto the immense value of being active on LinkedIn. It is, after all, seen as a social site only for business people.More

8 ways your church website can welcome 1st time visitors before they arrive
Center for Church Communication
Let's talk about those online first impressions. Unfortunately, church websites make it all too easy to cross churches off the list. One church hopper found two distinct categories of lessons for church websites: The church service experience and the website itself. More

When it comes to benefits, data drives decisions for religious organizations
Church Executive
Recent research by Arthur J. Gallagher & Co. and its Religious Practice, shows religious employers throughout the country are facing a common challenge: Aligning benefits cost containment strategies with organizational goals. So say the more than 1,800 organizations which have contributed to the 2014 Benefits Strategy and Benchmarking Survey.More

Strategy matters: The importance of strategic thinking in the church
The Exchange
Seeing broken people become whole in and through Jesus really is amazing. However, church leaders do themselves and the churches they lead a huge disservice when they neglect strategy because they are not naturally inclined to it. Many pastors and church leaders are not necessarily strategically inclined, and because of that they ignore it, or intentionally neglect it.More

9 key guidelines for staff meetings
Church Law & Tax
Taking the principals learned while a pastor at a small church, one pastor has continued applying those guidelines by applying them to future churches where he has served and to almost any other situation that requires leadership. More

Twitter data mining reveals America's religious fault lines
MIT Technology Review
Lu Chen at Wright State University in Dayton, Ohio, and a couple of pals have analyzed more than 250,000 Twitter users in the U.S. who have declared an affiliation with religions such as Christianity, Hinduism, Islam, Buddhism, and Judaism. The results provide some curious insights into the nature of religious activity on Twitter and how these groups of self-declared users differ from one another.More

Report: Which states give the most to charity? The ones with church-goers
The Washington Post
Poor and middle-income Americans are reaching deeper into their pockets when donating to charity, while the nation's wealthiest are giving less, according to a report by Chronicle of Philanthropy that analyzed taxpayers' IRS data. On average, Americans give about 3 percent of their income to charity each year, according to the report. But the giving gap between the rich and poor is significant, especially in view of the widening income gap.More

The IRS demands $325,000 from a church that only has 20 members
The Blaze
Members of Emmanuel Baptist Church in Topeka, Kansas, recently told the Topeka Capital-Journal that they never meant to break the law back in 2003, when a member of the church started running a daycare center for low-income families out of a church building. That daycare center closed in 2007, and the woman who ran it no longer attends the church — but she apparently left a mess on the church’s hands.More

Twitter data mining reveals America's religious fault lines
MIT Technology Review
Lu Chen at Wright State University in Dayton, Ohio, and a couple of pals have analyzed more than 250,000 Twitter users in the U.S. who have declared an affiliation with religions such as Christianity, Hinduism, Islam, Buddhism, and Judaism. The results provide some curious insights into the nature of religious activity on Twitter.More

The 3 best times to introduce change in your church
Church Law and Tax
It's not always easy to fix long-term problems and implement needed changes in a church — especially when old, dysfunctional ways have taken root. Sometimes we make our job harder than it needs to be, not by doing the wrong things, but by doing the right things at the wrong time. More

Religious giving and new metrics
Lake Institute on Faith & Giving
Local religious communities are a vital part of any study of Americans' philanthropic giving. While religious giving has continued to shrink as a percentage of philanthropy, it is still by far the largest segment of overall giving. Local congregations’ ability to receive weekly and monthly tithes and offerings from committed members remains the envy of the fundraising community. More

Christians cannot strategize and argue their way into renewed prominence
The Week
The church grows in two ways. The first is biological, through the growth of church-going families. Philip Longman has written extensively about how the seriously religious have higher birthrates than the secular in almost every country, and under almost every form of government. And further, he maintains that the children of serious believers do tend to remain in belief. We may see those low attendance numbers rising soon.More

These problems are solvable
Faith & Leadership
Even the most complex social problems can be solved when leaders and institutions are brought together to unleash a community's own problem-solving capabilities, says the president of Community Solutions.More

Leadership: How to build a steadfast following
By Ryan Clark
"A lot of people have the image of a strong leader being an island unto themselves, tough as nails and someone to be feared," writes Greg Schinkel, author and leadership expert. "That is an old and redundant image of leadership. … The new type of leader is a person who builds strong relationships so that when they need people to give 100 percent, the people want to follow this leader."More

Machiavelli and Christian leadership
Faith & Leadership
The former president of Fuller Theological Seminary is no fan of Machiavelli. But he does wish for a "seminary president's guidebook" that would match the scope and complexity of Machiavelli's writings on political leadership.More