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Onward, Christian health care?
The New York Times
Christian Healthcare Ministries is not an insurance company. It is a nonprofit "health care sharing ministry" based in Barberton, Ohio. The cost of membership is far lower than the rates of traditional insurance policies — $45 a month for the cheapest plan — but the ministry makes no guarantees of payment. Members send their monthly "gift" to an escrow account, which disburses payments for eligible medical bills, excluding costs like routine physicals, continuing treatment for pre-existing conditions or procedures that members have voted to exclude, like care for pregnancies outside wedlock.
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Upcoming TeleWeb: How to train effective finance committee members
The Church Network

Been Asked to Serve on Your Church's Finance Committee? Four Things You Need to Know

Join us for this one hour webinar that will take place on Feb. 19 at 1:30 p.m. CDT / 2:30 p.m. ED

After almost twenty-five years of working with churches I have seen my share of financial train wrecks. Many of these unfortunate incidents have been caused by finance committee malfunctions. These situations have ranged from iron-fisted over-controlling team members to weak and passive people who simply agree with anything the pastor wants, and most everything in between...

Without question, the vast majority of these situations occurred because volunteers serving on their church’s finance committee simply did not know what they were supposed to do. One remedy for this is to get ahead of the game by properly preparing potential finance team members for their new assignment. One way to do this is to instruct them in four things they need to know about being a financial leader in a church:
  1. Know the job qualifications.
  2. Know the context in which you will serve.
  3. Know the proper role of a finance team member.
  4. Know the risks and responsibilities of service.

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Religious and secular advocates urge IRS to clarify rules on political endorsements from the pulpit
Religion News Service
Religious and secular advocacy groups jointly called Thursday (Jan. 29) for greater clarity by the Internal Revenue Service regarding nonprofits and political activity. In a rare combined front, leaders of the Evangelical Council for Financial Accountability, Alliance Defending Freedom, Public Citizen and the Center for American Progress met at the National Press Club to discuss ways the tax agency could better help nonprofits know what they can and cannot do under the law.
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What does 'customer service' have to do with ministry?
By Deborah Ike
When we think of ministry, we typically think about preaching, praying with people, discipleship, and various programs or events. The phrase, "customer service" probably isn’t the first thing to come to mind. Perhaps it shouldn't be at the top of the list, but if you focus on the second word, "service," it feels less like a business buzzword and more like ministry. So, whom do we serve?
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Business acumen matters to church lenders
Managing Your Church
Dan Mikes, executive vice president and national division manager for religious institution banking at Bank of the West, was recently interviewed about how churches are faring in the lending market. He provided an interesting insight regarding one step churches sometimes take in a mortgage loan application process — and shouldn't.
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  Free Ebook For Church Leaders

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How A/B testing can help your church communication
Center for Church Communication
As church communicators, the terms experiment, analysis and test are not common parts of our vocabulary. For some reason, they conjure up images of lab coats, bunsen burners, equations and test tubes — all things that seem at odds with the essence of church communications. This should change because experiments and analysis can only bring clarity and better results. For instance, A/B testing is an example of an experiment that can improve the number of people who take action at your church — something all church communicators are interested in seeing.
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The 'pay what you want' experiment at synagogues
The New York Times
For more than four decades, Temple Kol Ami financed its operations as most American synagogues do: it charged annual dues. But as the synagogue here approached its 50th anniversary, leaders started noticing some troubling trends. The recession, which hit Michigan hard, had cost many of its members jobs and income. Younger adults seemed less interested in affiliating with institutions. And worshipers were increasingly uncomfortable with facing set payments to join a community of faith.
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Momentum Summit Seminars for Ministry Leaders Coming to 15 Cities this Spring
[Building God's Way]    Share   
More than 900 church leaders attended Momentum Summit events in 2014. In addition to popular sessions on leadership, building expansion, renovation and funding, this year’s events will also shed light on the power of integrating for-profit enterprise to sustain and expand ministry in the 21st century. More

Study: Giving showed 2.1 percent hike for 2014
The Nonprofit Times
Unless you were fundraising for health care (without an ice bucket) or for international affairs, the likelihood is you had a decent 2014. Eight of the 10 sectors of nonprofits tracked in the new "The Charitable Giving Report" by Blackbaud showed positive revenue trends. Overall giving data from 4,798 nonprofits representing $16.2 billion in total fundraising during 2014 showed an increase of 2.1 percent, despite the absence of the high profile episodic events that drove an increase in giving in both 2013 and 2012.
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Romanian Ice Church at 6,600-feet high gives warm welcome to all Christians
The Associated Press via U.S. News & World Report
High on a remote mountain in Romania, priests have blessed a church made entirely from ice, outstanding both for its architectural style as well as being a place for religious tolerance. Builders have once again created the Ice Church, which is only reachable by cable car at an altitude of 6,600 feet. Water from Balea Lake, 190 miles northwest of Bucharest, is blessed by priests. Chunks of ice are then cut with a chain saw and cemented together with water and snow to make the church.
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Megachurch pastor Andy Stanley hopes to rebrand the church to make it less resistible
Christian Daily
The only bad thing that people should have to say about the Church or Christians is that they follow Jesus and believe He is Lord. Unfortunately, today, Pastor Andy Stanley hears a thousand other reasons except that. "How is it there are things that people say about us (Christians), the reasons they don't like us have nothing to do with the fact that Jesus is ultimately our ultimate authority?" Stanley, lead pastor of North Point Community Church in Alpharetta, Georgia, said, especially considering Jesus' top commandment was to love one another. "How did we become so resistible?"
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Rapper Kendrick Lamar brings religious themes to hip-hop music
Christian Headlines
Kendrick Lamar's hip-hop music may sound secular at first, with profanity tucked into his rap songs, but the lyrics actually describe the redeeming love of Christ. Buzzfeed reports that Lamar's music seems to fall somewhere between Christian and secular, and the artist himself is a professed Christian.
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  Online Master's degree in Church Management!

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Leadership lessons from Seahawks' Super Bowl fail: Own it and grow
Chicago Tribune
Entrepreneurs talk boldly about risk and about embracing the lessons of failure when things go wrong. But what if one's failure is epic and instantaneous, with 100-million-plus people watching live and most of them agreeing the risk you took was really, really dumb? We asked a few entrepreneurs and leadership experts to put themselves in Seattle Seahawks coach Pete Carroll’s shoes. Imagine you've blown it. What do you do next?
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A new kind of leader
Christianity Today
Leadership is not telling people what to do. Leadership, first and foremost, is about embodying what you want others to become. In our Western context, leadership is seen as a position of power and authority. By contrast, in Jesus' first-century Jewish context, leadership was about serving others in a selfless, sacrificial way. Sure, Jesus had all power and authority, but he used it not for his advantage or gain but for the benefit of those who followed him. Consider his words to his disciples.
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Paying for seminary
The Christian Century
Over the past decade, seminaries of all types have witnessed declining enrollments, especially in M.Div. programs, the primary degree for those heading into parish ministry. Minority enrollment has shown a steady increase, with Hispanic enrollment leading the way (at a growth rate of 50 percent), but the overall trend is down. The slight growth in advanced degree programs (S.T.D., Ph.D., and Th.D.) and some master's degree programs has also not compensated for the steady decline in enrollment for the M.Div. degree.
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Program Coordinator of Women's Ministries
Chicago, Illinois
African American Baptist-Mega Church
This position will be responsible for assisting the Director of the Women’s Ministry in planning, developing, coordinating...

Director of Finance
Coppell, Texas
First United Methodist Church
This position will Oversee and maintain the general financial systems of the church and carry out the financial decisions made by the committee...

Director of Stewardship Development
Palm Beach, Florida
The Church of Bethesda-by-the-Sea
The Director leads all of Bethesda’s stewardship and fundraising efforts: annual campaigns, capital projects, and planned giving programs...


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