NACBA Weekly Update
Nov. 21, 2008

Churches Starting to Feel Financial Stress
from The Advocate-Messenger
The effects of the nation's current down economic condition has been measured by experts in many ways - losses in home sales, employment, income and stock values, for example. But the national mainstream media generally have not done many stories on another measurement of the effects of the recession - church finances. More

How to Connect Every Person in Your Church
How do you connect people in your church? How do you meet them where they’re at? Your church will only be as connected as you are dreaming and praying for. If you’re at 30 percent, dream of the day that you’ll get to 35 percent. If you’re at 50 percent, dream of the day you’ll be at 60 percent. Eventually you want a goal of connecting 110 percent of your congregation in life-changing small group communities. Let’s look at six ways you can connect the people at your church. More

Survey: Most Youth Worldwide Spiritual, Say Religion is Good
from The Christian Post
The majority of youths in the world say they are spiritual and think religion and spirituality are both positive, according to an extensive, first-of-its-kind survey. Fifty-seven percent of young people (ages 12-25) see themselves as being spiritual, reported the survey by Search Institute’s Center for Spiritual Development in Childhood and Adolescence that was sponsored by the John Templeton Foundation. The research surveyed more than 7,000 young people from a wide range of cultural and religious backgrounds, spanning 17 countries and six continents. More

Woman Says Bible Saved Her from $500K in Debt
from NBC New York
Many believers say the Bible has an answer for any problem, even money and finances. As millions of Americans try to dig out of debt during a tough economic climate, one Maryland woman said she needed to look no further than the Good Book for her financial guidance. Now debt free, Clements said she has found relief through the church and God. More

What’s a Church Greeter to Do? Tips for Your First Impressions Ministry
from Ministry Marketing Coach
Okay, your church has just initiated a “First Impressions” ministry and you are trying to work out a plan for making the most out of your greeters ministry. Well, here are a few ideas for what your greeters can do to enhance your church’s ministry. Divide up the tasks with people who have great personalities and can-do attitudes. This isn’t a comprehensive list, but this will get the planning rolling. More

Sharing Ministry Space
from Your Church
A charity permitted an outside group to use its facility for a Christmas party. During the party, a woman suffered serious injuries when she fell on a slippery floor. As a result of her injuries the woman underwent surgery for a complete hip replacement. She later sued the charity, claiming that it was responsible for her injuries because it had retained control over the premises during the party. What can churches do to minimize liability for injuries that occur when outside groups use their facilities? More

Bad News for Economy -- Good News for Charities?
from Christian Newswire
The weakening U.S. economy will force many U.S. adults to cut back on holiday gift spending this year but will also make some more likely to give a "charitable gift" as a present this holiday season, according to a World Vision survey just conducted by Harris Interactive. The study also finds that only 36 percent of U.S. adults feel they need something for the holidays this year. More

IRA Rollover Extension Advances Local Philanthropy
from The Times Herald
Somewhat overshadowed by the magnitude of the $700 billion Economic Stabilization Act President Bush signed into law in October was a provision to extend the IRA charitable rollover provision. As enacted, the IRA charitable rollover permits IRA owners who are 70-1/2 or older to make direct gifts from their IRAs to qualified charities of as much as $100,000 per year without any negative tax consequences because it does not have to be declared as income. More

Many Christians Discovering Meditation
from The Leaf Chronicle
Like many churchgoers in the Bible Belt, Kristy Robinson teaches Sunday school with her husband and helps prepare communion at their Episcopal church in Franklin, Tenn. She rounds out her church- and prayer-filled life with another spiritual practice that's not quite as familiar: meditation. More

North Carolina Church Reaches Out to Inmates
from the Independent Tribune
New Life Church of Jesus Christ in Concord, N.C., is reaching out to men and women in the Stanly County Jail in hopes of helping them choose a different path when they are released. A group of about four volunteers visit the jail once a week to counsel inmates and bring them the word of the Lord. Sometimes the volunteers will minister to 30 or 40 inmates at a time. Other times, they will go to individual cells to meet with inmates who need to talk or who need help making decisions about their lives. More