NACBA Weekly Update
Oct. 30, 2009

Survey: Churches still generous despite recession
The Christian Post
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Video: Handling conflict with church staff
Youth Worker
Youth pastor Tim Schmoyer and his father-in-law, Pastor Danny Wayman, discuss ways that youth pastors and youth directors can work best with others on staff at church -- especially their senior pastor.More

A church that pays you to come on Sunday
Southtown Star
The Rev. Dan Willis is passing the collection plate in reverse. He will give you money to go to church. For the last three weeks, his Lighthouse Church of All Nations in Alsip, Ill., has raffled a combined $1,000 to attendees at the three Sunday services. Big surprise, but attendance has shot through the chapel roof. More

Texas church turns sanctuary into imaginary hell
WFAA-TV
During this upcoming weekend, Many North Texas churches are opting to celebrate fall with festivals rather than Halloween. But, one church in Sachse, Texas, is doing something totally different. They have transformed their sanctuary into an imaginary hell. The idea behind their "fear factory" is to deliver a powerful spiritual message. More

Christians foregoing Facebook for 'digital fasting'
KPDQ
In an age when many religious leaders embrace the latest technology and even "tweet" from the pulpit, some are reassessing the potential negative impact of online overload. "Unplugging has become essential to my spiritual journey and truly hearing God," said Anne Jackson, an author, speaker, and volunteer pastor at Cross Point Church in Nashville, Tenn. "For me, all the noise can drown that out if I'm not careful." More

Reaching children worldwide with free throws
Ministry Today Magazine
Most ministers cringe at the thought of asking people for donations, especially when it comes to raising funds for buildings or missions projects. That's why Perry Dissmore, pastor of Bear Creek Assembly of God in Panama City, Fla., opted to rely on another talent to generate income: his sharpshooting skills on the basketball court. More

Lessons churches have learned from the economic crisis
Church Solutions Magazine
Rumblings of economic turmoil were being heard long before the collapse of Lehman Brothers in the fall of 2008, but many see that event as the beginning of the financial crisis that has forever altered our economy and culture. Looking back at the 13 or so months since that institution’s demise, are there lessons to be learned for ministries and those who lead them? Absolutely. Few of these lessons have been easy. Words such as “painful” come to mind when asked to describe them. In our work providing banking resources to evangelical ministries across the country, we’ve seen three particularly important lessons emerge. More

Dirt’s flying, but pledges are down. What can we do?
Church Executive Magazine
The pastor of "Hometown" Community Church noted in a casual way one Sunday that the pledges for the new worship center and classroom buildings were coming in only at a 50 percent rate. Eight months ago the church had a mini-campaign, done without professional fundraising help, mostly to new people in the congregation. The leaders were encouraged enough to proceed with the construction, but just at the time the country was entering a recession. The vision has been shared over the months for the use of the new facilities. But the leadership has had to downsize the plans to bring the building more in line to contributions. What steps can this church, and others like it, take to save the project? More

Kentucky pastor urges: 'just go'
Baptist Press
It's informally known as "the church that buys gas for people." The moniker is a result of community outreach spurred when pastor Jeff McMain plainly told members of First Baptist Church in Clay, Ky., to "just go." Members blanketed the small town of 1,000 residents, raking and cleaning yards and, most visibly, lining up at the town's two convenience stores to randomly buy gas for customers in need. People took notice. More

When pastors' silent suffering turns tragic
Religion News Service
Those who counsel pastors say Christian culture, especially Southern evangelicalism, creates the perfect environment for depression. Pastors suffer in silence, unwilling or unable to seek help or even talk about it. Sometimes they leave the ministry. Occasionally the result is the unthinkable. More

Master decision-making meetings
Church Central
Seasoned pastors know that for every meeting there are actually three meetings. There is the meeting before the meeting, the meeting after the meeting, and the meeting. What happens in the meetings before and after the meeting in the hall, in the parking lot, and on the telephone is more important than what happens in the meeting. More

With focus and creativity, churches can engage children during Sunday school
Your Church
One ongoing expense for churches is children's Sunday school curriculum. But what can churches do when budgets tighten? Church leaders care about children, and they want the most effective curriculum for those children, but what happens when the funds aren't available--or get scaled back--for such purchases? More

Many religious institutions get serious about security
San Diego Union-Tribune
Every few months, more than 100 security volunteers at the Rock Church in Point Loma run through drills to prepare for a gunman attack, a kidnapping at the nursery or disorderly outsiders. That church isn't alone in fearing violence and vandalism. Once deemed sacred sanctuaries off-limits to criminals, religious institutions are becoming vulnerable targets to shootings, thefts and protests because of their low-tech security and open environment. More