NACBA Weekly Update
Nov. 14, 2008

Here's the Steeple; Open the Door, and Where are the Young People?
from the Minneapolis Star-Tribune
Ian is a Christian who says he is highly spiritual but not at all religious. Unfortunately for churches, there are a lot of Ians out there. A new benchmark survey finds that 55 percent of young people ages 12 to 25 say they are more spiritual now than two years ago. But nearly one-third of the young people said they don't trust organized religion. More

Developing a Vision for Emerging Generations
In 2005, University of North Carolina sociologist Christian Smith coined the phrase "Moral Therapeutic Deists" to describe the core religious values held by the vast majority of the next generation of the church in America. Summing up four years of research for the National Study of Youth and Religion, his study gave definition to some of the greatest fears already sensed by thousands of discerning ministers and churches across the evangelical world. More

Study Looks at Small Church Challenges
from the Baptist Press
Most pastors of smaller-membership Southern Baptist churches see what God is calling their congregations to be and do and have laid the groundwork for accomplishing the mission, but their efforts to lead are frustrated by "turf" battles and a failure to clarify and evaluate plans, according to a new study by LifeWay Research. More

In the Midst of an Economic Crisis, Local Churches Offer Sanctuary while Facing Concerns
from The Anniston Star
When the collection plate drifts her way, passed along by a sea of hands from one end of the pew to the other, Stephanie Murphy starts balancing the family checkbook in her head. Murphy regularly attends one of the larger Baptist churches in Anniston and in the parking lot after Sunday services, she hears the whispers from other members, those who simply cannot afford to give as much as they once did. "And there's a lot of guilt," says Murphy, who didn't want to mention her church specifically. "It's not the church's fault. They depend on donations, but with gas prices, then mortgage rates and now all the troubles on Wall Street … people are worried. More

State of Our Faith: Tithing is a Constant
from The Tribune-Democrat
A poor economy doesn’t always mean less cash for the church collection plate. With the economy in crisis, there have been reports from around the country about congregations cutting expenses at the very moment many members need help with food, heating bills and gasoline. However, area clergy are saying that their fundraising and collections have remained steady despite the economic downturn, but how long that will last is unclear. More

Missional Shift or Drift?
from Leadership Journal
In the summer of 2000, Mike Lueken had every reason to be proud as a pastor of Oak Hills Church in Folsom, California. Every Sunday, thousands of people flocked to Oak Hill's sixteen acre campus with its 35,000-square-foot facility, and the church was doing everything that a thriving, suburban megachurch with a $2 million budget was supposed to do. But then Lueken took a class at Fuller Seminary taught by Dallas Willard. The experience led to a complete change of course for him and Oak Hills Church. More

How's Your Sunday Service?
from Ministry Today
Every pastor wants to raise up a group of people who God considers true worshipers. We have the chance to cultivate these kinds of worshipers every Sunday in our services by how we lead. Whether you are a senior pastor or a worship leader, you serve as a model for true worship. To excel requires some understanding of fundamental principles of congregational worship. More

Apply a Business Model to Streamline Web Projects
from Church Solutions
So, you have secured a line item in the church budget for “Website Improvements,” now where do you begin? As project manager, you must first determine the scope of the project. Are you simply in need of a visual update or do you need improved functionality? Identifying a Web developer and/or web designer who can best meet the needs of your project is your next step. Everyone must be speaking the same language or the project will quickly get out of hand and off schedule. More

Barn Design Breaks Mold in Church Facility
from The Oxford Press
Construction on a new church facility in Oxford, Ohio, that will look more like a barn than a religious center is proceeding quickly. Cobblestone Community Church is the final phase of a $3 million construction project. The Rev. Bob Hostetler describes the church as a "community-oriented and student-friendly church." The centerpiece of the project is a unique structure called "The Loft." The Loft will look like a barn instead of a church, which may seem to be an unorthodox choice. Church member and project manager Mike Shea explained that there are multiple reasons for the barn-like appearance. More

Church Opens Doors for Low-cost Child Care
from the Colony Courier-Leader
In today’s trying economic times, child care expenses can consume so much of a family’s budget that sometimes it seems parents are putting in the hours at work just to pay for day care. First United Methodist Church in The Colony, Texas, hopes to ease this financial strain for low-income families. The church recently opened New Hope Learning Center with the mission of providing low-cost day care for children of low-income families. More