The Church Network Weekly Update
Oct. 31, 2014

Many churches are missing out on refundable tax credit
By David Dennison
Many churches and other Christian ministries are unaware that they might be able to request a refund from the IRS even though they haven't paid any federal taxes. Sounds strange, doesn't it? But it's the truth, and I want to tell you about it. The Affordable Care Act was signed into law by President Barack Obama in 2010. No matter what your thoughts are about this law, there is a substantial financial benefit that churches can take advantage of.More

TeleWeb: Designing a plan for defense
The Church Network
In today's church world, we think of defense as it applies to "active-shooter" scenarios, but churches have legal and moral responsibilities regarding everyday safety that extend beyond such random shootings. Also, how does the legal community look at such cases when seeking financial judgments in claims involving "negligence?"

Join us for this one hour webinar that will take place on Nov. 6 at 1:30 p.m. CDT / 2:30 p.m. EDT where Jeff McKissack, President of Defense By Design in Dallas, Texas will share his insights of 27 years to these issues including some of the following specifics: What the legal vs moral responsibilities regarding staff & congregational safety are, what plaintiff attorneys look for when claiming "negligence" in issues of safety and what the major areas of vulnerability related to staff and congregational safety are.More

Welcome to The Church Network
The Church Network
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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

Looking to share your expertise?
In an effort to enhance the overall content of The Church Network NewsBrief, we'd like to include peer-written articles in future editions. As a member of The Church Network, your knowledge of the industry lends itself to unprecedented expertise. And we're hoping you'll share this expertise with your peers through well-written commentary. Because of the digital format, there's no word or graphical limit. Our group of talented editors can help with final edits. If you're interested in participating, please contact Ronnie Richard to discuss logistics.More

4 ingredients for an effective accounting system
Church Law & Tax
Churches that don't have effective accounting systems may compromise their church’s finances. Don’t let that happen at your church. Here are four essential ingredients that make up any solid system.More

5 tips for choosing a memorable church domain name
One quarter of a billion domain names have been registered in the last couple decades. Not surprisingly, it is often difficult to get the name you want today. It can be a challenge even for churches since there are hundreds of thousands of churches in the world and many have the same or a similar name. Even if the desired domain name is available, is it memorable?More

5 tips for a safe one-on-one mentoring program
Church Law & Tax
In order to minister more effectively to the various demographics and needs in your own community, you might already have a mentoring program in place or are considering developing one. As you move forward with your own program or explore the possibilities of starting one, you'll need to consider not only how to protect the integrity of your program but also the safety of participants. Here are some general guidelines and safeguards that should help.More

6 things nonprofits need to know about social media
Let's face it: The nonprofit business model is dependent on the kindness and social responsibility of individual donors, PR-minded companies, and the federal government. In order for your organization to survive, the endgame needs to result in money changing hands. Which makes it all the more surprising that most nonprofits use social media as a megaphone rather than strategically targeting their content, according to the Nonprofit Quarterly. Social media is chess, not checkers. Follow these guidelines to connect with both the clients you already have and the potential clients you'd love to meet.More

The recession changed how donors think
The NonProfit Times
This most recent recession was as bad as Larry May has ever seen, and he's seen a few. "I've been through four," said May. For the others, he said, "By the time we realized we were in a recession it was over. Nonprofits usually didn't even adjust their budgets. This has been radically different." May, along with fellow veteran direct marketers Geoffrey Peters, Jack Doyle and Lynn Edmonds, spoke during a panel at the recent National Catholic Development Conference 2014 conference in Chicago.More

Dozens of Brooklyn churches looking to sell their land
More than 50 Brooklyn clergy members are looking to develop their land and air rights in an effort to maintain their congregations while offering affordable housing and other community services. Hundreds of religious leaders — based primarily in Downtown Brooklyn, Cobble Hill, Flatbush and Crown Heights — attended a recent conference on "faith-based property development," hosted by Borough President Eric Adams, to learn how to partner with private developers to build out their parking lots, extra buildings, vacant lots and air rights. They also learned how to collaborate with city agencies to develop affordable housing.More

The recession changed how donors think
The NonProfit Times
This most recent recession was as bad as Larry May has ever seen, and he's seen a few. "I've been through four," said May. For the others, he said, "By the time we realized we were in a recession it was over. Nonprofits usually didn't even adjust their budgets. This has been radically different."More

15 all-too-common church facility problems
Church Law & Tax
Church leaders know that the church is not a building. That is not to say, though, that the building is unimportant. A building says something about the congregation that gathers there; so, we need to pay attention to our facilities.More

Lessons from the Houston church subpoena saga
Church Law & Tax
A months-long conflict between city leaders and religious leaders in Houston captured the national spotlight this week after the city attempted to obtain sermons, e-mails, and other records from five churches through subpoenas.More

New generation of video games seeks to create cultural understanding and inspire evangelism
Christian Headlines
Most video games are made by Western Developers for Western audiences. They tend to treat non-Western cultures, religions, and people as curiosities at best and dangers to American ideals at worst. While video games are notorious for playing fast and loose with other cultures, a new group of developers is refusing to exploit them as props or machine gun fodder. These developers not only make a conscious effort to understand and honor the people represented in games but challenge players to do the same.More

In England's churches, boom in new recruits changes nature of the clergy
The U.K. is not a very religious country, so a surprising trend has caught people's attention. More and more young people in Britain are enrolling in the priesthood. NPR's Ari Shapiro reports on what's inspiring that choice.More

Houston mayor drops pastor subpoenas
Christianity Today
Houston mayor Annise Parker announced on Oct. 28 that she is directing America's fourth-largest city to rescind subpoenas issued to five local pastors. The decision came a day after Parker met with Houston pastors, as well as clergy leaders from across the country who have defended the subpoenaed pastors’ religious freedom.More

The crash of Air France flight 447
Faith & Leadership
The 2009 tragedy is a case study for your team in leadership, teamwork and communication. Unlike other planes in the area, Air France 447 did not change course to avoid a system of tropical thunderstorms sitting off the coast of Brazil; instead, the plane, with an inexperienced co-pilot at the controls, headed directly into the storms. In the storms, the plane's pitot tubes, essential sensors that report airspeed, iced over.More

6 key traits leaders need to manage through a crisis
By Betty Boyd
Does there always seem to be a crisis in your organization? When there is, do your leaders have a duck-and-run mentality? A leader must be able to make decisions, and how leaders work through trouble is crucial for the success of any organization. As President John F. Kennedy once stated, "There are risks and costs to a program of action, but they are far less than the long-range risks and costs of comfortable inaction." Here are six key traits that are necessary for the management of crisis situations.More

7 common ways to lose the support of senior leadership
Ron Edmondson
The support of senior leadership and the support from senior leadership for those attempting to follow are equally important topics in leadership. Any good senior leader knows he or she is nothing without the people on their team. So, that requires confidence in the people trying to follow senior leadership. What causes senior leadership to lose confidence in people they are trying to lead and how do you lose the support of senior leadership? Here are seven common ways.More