Church collection plates may go empty as electronic giving rises
Brie Hall felt awkward the first few times she passed the collection basket at her Catholic church without tossing in a donation envelope. But it is more convenient to give her gift to God by direct debit from her checking account. The tradition of passing the church plate might become a relic of the past, as a majority of Americans pay bills electronically and move away from using cash or writing checks. Despite concerns about commercializing something so personal, electronic giving to churches is growing. More
NACBA Metro Group Regional Meeting in March
Are you an administrative leaders for a church of 2000+? If so, you need to join the NACBA Metro Group for a regional meeting in Dallas on March 24-25. The Metro Group is comprised of administrative leaders from larger churches across America and Canada who meet annually during two sessions at the NACBA National Conference. New comers are welcome!
This will be a roundtable discussion of topics of the groups choosing. Come bring your questions, forms, and ideas and share with a group of your peers to help us all become better administrators of God’s Kingdom. This group met in 2009 in Birmingham and it was a tremendous success. About 30 leaders gathered to talk about legal issues, payroll questions, computers, software and more.
The meeting will be “tagged onto” the SBBOC meeting and will be held at the Guidestone offices. Details are still in process but the cost will probably be less than $50 plus your hotel and travel.
If you are interested, please email Glenn Wood of Seacoast Church and he will add your name to the list for updates and additional information. His email is email@example.com.
Video: Has the economy created a financial crisis for churches?
FOX News Share
Is the financial crunch closing churches? In many towns across the nation churches have been forced to shut their doors, forcing congregations to consolidate or even file for bankruptcy. Simeon May, CEO of the National Association of Church Business Administration, discusses this issue with FoxNews religion correspondent Lauren Green. More
Poll: Churches are fans of Facebook, social media
Baptist Press Share
Churches are turning increasingly to social networking tools as ministry aids and Facebook is by far the most popular tool, according to a new study by LifeWay Research. The survey of 1,003 Protestant congregations was conducted in September and sponsored by LifeWay's Digital Church partner, Fellowship Technologies. It found that 47 percent of churches actively use Facebook. More
Churches cry foul when cities impose usage fees
Religion News Service via STLToday.com Share
When a community needs to rebuild crumbling roads, should houses of worship pay fees for the number of times their congregants drive on them? That's the question behind a recent suit filed by churches in the small city of Mission, Kan., who argue the city's new "transportation utility fee" is a tax they should not have to pay. With cash-strapped states and cities facing a slew of tough choices, there's a growing debate nationwide about whether religious congregations should help foot the bill. More
The number of religious facilities unable to pay their mortgage is surging
The Wall Street Journal Share
Residential and commercial real-estate owners aren't the only ones losing their properties to foreclosure. The past few years have seen a rapid acceleration in the number of churches losing their sanctuaries because they can't pay the mortgage. Just as homeowners borrowed too much or built too big during boom times, many churches did the same and now are struggling as their congregations shrink and collections fall owing to rising unemployment and a weak economy. More
See related article: Not so fast Wall Street Journal: Another perspective on church foreclosures (The Charis Group)
See related article: In God he trusts, but pastor needs cash for church (Chicago Tribune)
More church websites invite posting of prayers
USA Today Share
Need prayer power? Try the World Wide Web. More than four in 10 Protestant churches with websites now invite people to post pleas to the Lord on the main church site so volunteers and staff can chime in on the soulful call, according to a new survey. It's the latest cyberspin on religious life, updating traditional prayer rooms and supplementing other familiar prayer request paths such as e-mail or social networks. More
Helping churches change an unhealthy tradition
For years, many church cooks and culinary committees have served up heaping plates of Southern cuisine loaded with salt, sugar and fat. But some churches are turning over a new leaf, with help from a Kentucky program. The Harriett B. Porter Culinary Institute is reaching out to Louisville, Ky.-area churches to show them how to make healthier meals for their congregations and their families to reduce obesity and chronic illnesses. “People can learn through the church that eating is there to uplift the soul and not to drag the body down,” said Cynthia Chandler, a registered dietitian at Sullivan University, where part of the program takes place. More
More administrative resources
Church Executive, the business magazine and website for larger and megachurches, seems adept at surviving disasters and hardships. Now entering its tenth year in 2011, the magazine was being planned at the time of the 9/11 tragedy, followed by a year of business uncertainty, but launched anyway in January 2002. The digital edition is the same as the print edition in design and content, but embellished with video and attractive to many younger church leaders who eschew print for the new media. To have the digital version sent to you each month without charge, give your e-mail information here.
Church Safety Update
Each week get updated on the critical information and tools you need to help you evaluate, address, and improve the financial, legal, and physical safety of your church. To subscribe to Church Safety Update, published by Christianity Today International, click here. To view a sample issue, click here.
Church Law & Tax Update
Stay informed on legal trends and breaking developments that affect churches and church leaders. Keep your church legally sound with this twice monthly newsletter published by Christianity Today International. To subscribe to the Church Law & Tax Update click here. To view sample issue, click here.
Engaging conflict in small groups
Sooner or later, every small group will experience conflict. In some groups, conflict will become evident from the first meeting. In others, great pain is taken to avoid conflict. The members maneuver around it and make it clear that "we don't do conflict here." But the ways we behave in a small group reflect how we will behave outside of it, and handling conflict well in our group can lead to better ways of dealing with the uncomfortable issues people face every day. More
Ohio pastor living in van aims to aid the homeless
The Associated Press via WEWS-TV Share
When it comes to the important issues of the day, it's usually easier to relate to one person's dramatic story than to overwhelming statistics. That’s the idea behind Dayton, Ohio-area pastor Ryan Riddell's January journey. The clergyman is hoping to bring awareness to the issue of homelessness this month by sleeping and living in his van on the streets of Dayton instead of in his comfortable Miamisburg, Ohio, home. He seeks shelter from bitter January days at the downtown library or bus hub. More
Missouri church gives away new home
Associated Baptist Press Share
As the economy continued to decline, Missouri Baptist pastor Steve Easterwood asked himself, "What can our church do to help?" The church where Easterwood is senior pastor, responded, "Let's give away a house." On Dec. 18, First Baptist Church of Dexter, Mo., presented the keys to a new three-bedroom house to Brenda Wade and her 7-year-old son to create a home. "It's a real blessing for me, an answer to prayer," Wade said. More
Windows from closed church find new life among the dead
Religion News Service via The Christian Century Share
Crouched on a scaffold, Ray Clagnan gingerly tapped his hammer near Saint James' feet, hoping to set them free. Clagnan, a stained-glass expert, worked slowly, pane by pane. Soon, he moved to Mary Magdalene, carrying away her resplendent image in four pieces. During a break, he marveled at the level of skill displayed on the windows. "You would never see decorations as elaborate and detailed as these anymore," he said. "The painting in each piece, each frame, makes it special." For the first time in roughly 80 years, the saints and prophets of Sacred Heart Church are on the move. But they will soon find new life among the dead in an arrangement that one church official called "a match made in heaven." More
Missouri church aims to attract younger audience
The Springfield News-Leader Share
When the band struck its first note, the lights began to strobe and a fog filled the stage. North Point Church's new southeast location in Springfield, Mo., looked like a nightclub ready to rock. In fact, the new location is exactly that — the former Club Intensity location. And people who may have been rocking out over the weekend are the church's goal audience. "We want a person who goes to a rock concert on Saturday night to come into our church hung over and understand," says Justin Glenn, media director for both the original Norton Road campus and the new East Sunshine Street campus. "We want their hearts and their minds open whenever they walk in the building and whenever they hear our band and hear the music they're playing. ... That way, when Tommy gets up, it's a lot easier to communicate God's love for them." More