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For some, helping with disaster relief is not just aid, it's a calling
The New York Times    Share   Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
Some couples spend retirement playing the nation’s best golf courses or hopping cruise ships. Not Marteen and Wiley Blankenship. They collect disasters the way other retirees collect passport stamps. The minute they got the call from Southern Baptist Convention disaster relief leaders that tornadoes had ripped through the South, the Blankenships grabbed their sleeping bags and sturdy shoes and headed out from their home in Decatur, Ala. Together, they have cleaned up after Hurricane Katrina, mucked out flooded homes in Atlanta and built houses in Sri Lanka. And for the past week they were camped out here in a rural part of northeastern Alabama where 48 lives were lost and thousands more disrupted in the storms. More
See related article: Floods yield 'unprecedented' opportunities (Baptist Press)


Busy Parents Seek Regular Exercise Outlets for Kids
The Centers for Disease Control, in an effort to halt the trend of obesity among children, recommend that children play one hour each day. That’s a lot for a busy family, and so parents are seeking ways to incorporate play into their lives and into their childcare plans.  more


The Groupon dilemma for churches: Attracting members without encouraging cheapskates
The Huffington Post    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
Is there a Groupon solution for houses of worship? The online coupon marketer, along with similar sites such as LivingSocial, is experiencing remarkable growth by offering deep discounts that stores, restaurants and other businesses hope will attract new customers. After an initial run of enthusiasm, however, some businesses have backed away from the sites, finding people were eager to take the free meals or special offers, but not so willing to keep coming back at prices businesses must charge to turn a profit. Churches, mosques and temples can empathize. More

Build a Strong, Effective Web Ministry
Churches that build strong Web ministries often experience positive impact on all of their ministry efforts. For more information on how to build a strong, effective Web ministry that improves communication in all ministry areas, download the ACS Technologies ministry guide 5 Key Principles to Effective Web Ministry today. more


Bin Laden's death a tough subject for the pulpit
The Associated Press    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
The killing of Osama bin Laden, a man who was America's face of evil for nearly a decade, left Christians, Jews and Muslims relieved, proud or even jubilant. For their religious leaders, it was sometimes hard to know just what to say. There is at least some dissonance between the values they preach and the triumphant response on the streets of New York and Washington to the death of a human being — even one responsible for thousands of killings in those areas and around the world. More
See related article: Six-in-ten say it is wrong to celebrate death of bin Laden (Religion News Service)


Where have all the churches gone?
Thom Rainer    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
The largest church in the United States is Akron Baptist Temple in Akron, Ohio. Okay, it was the largest church in 1969. By the way, the primary metric for measuring church size in 1969 was Sunday school attendance. Today the metric is worship attendance. A lot of changes in churches take place in just a few years. For many, if not most, American churches, the changes are more negative than positive. Many churches today are shadows of what they were not too many years ago. Where have all the churches gone? More



How to reduce health care costs with taxes
Church Executive Magazine    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
Frequently ministers complain about rising health insurance costs. This cost is expected to continue rising. While I cannot do anything about these rising costs, there are several ways that the church can help reduce the financial burden its ministers incur to pay health care expenses. This article explores tax breaks for health care fringe benefits. More

Multisite multiplication
Associated Baptist Press    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
The term “multisite” or “multicampus” church might first bring megachurches to mind. But as it has developed, the church-growth model has taken on many forms to serve a variety of purposes and ministry contexts. More

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Church accountability resources
eHow.com    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
Accountability in the church refers to personal, financial and physical areas of management. Church members need to know that those in charge of the church administration are trustworthy and honorable. Unfortunately, that doesn't always prove true. As with any organization, those in charge may violate the trust of other members. Accountability measures should be put in place to help reduce the likelihood of abuse. More

Leadership lessons from a high school prom
Building Church Leaders    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
In the heart of a leader, three words act as a reliable, internal GPS: I love volunteers. Get this right and an organization or ministry will fly high. Ignore it, and you can count on the crash. This truth occupied a big chunk of my life recently, thanks to a high school prom. More

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18 ways to ruin your reputation on Facebook
ChurchLeaders.com    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
Facebook is a great way for you to build and maintain relationships with people both inside your church and in your community. But Facebook is not without its risks. Every time you post something, you risk hurting, offending or distancing yourself from people. So, here are 18 things you want to avoid doing on Facebook. More

The 3 blessings we forget to count
Church Central    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
In 1954 Irving Berlin admonished us to "Count Your Blessings Instead of Sheep." As it turns out...actually, it was always about the sheep! The author of this article writes, “I'm a war-scarred worship guy who fought the good fight, lost and won, and daily thanks God for the lessons learned on the front lines. In retrospect, however, some of the losses were the actual wins—blessings, really. I wouldn't have thought so at the time, but it's true!” Here's what he gives thanks for. More



Campus ministry: The interfaith invitation
Youth Worker    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
Should Christians participate in interfaith activities? If so, are there any guidelines about balancing interfaith cooperation with faithfulness to core values and beliefs? These questions became more urgent in March when President Barak Obama issued the Community Service Campus Challenge. The challenge "encourages campus-based religious and non-religious organizations to partner together with local community organizations or houses of worship to tackle specific, year-long community service." As a campus minister, how do you respond to the president's challenge? More

Local churches represent national increase in giving
The State Journal-Register    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
The wobbly economy may not have impacted giving at Mount Zion Apostolic Church, but it has led to a drop at churches nationwide, according to the annual State of the Plate survey, which looks at donations to churches. The economic collapse of late 2008 was felt strongly in 2009, when most churches surveyed reported giving either dropped, or simply remained the same. In 2010, there was a rebound in the percentage of churches reporting a rise in giving — almost reaching the pre-economic collapse number. However, almost four in 10 churches in 2010 reported giving dropped compared to 2009, the height of the economic troubles. For churches such as Mount Zion, the key word to refute is “rebound,” which indicates giving dropped at some point. More

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Bankrupt churches
Ministry Today Magazine    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
Cornerstone World Outreach Center, a Sioux City, Iowa, church, has filed for bankruptcy, three years after completing a new $8 million building program. An Ohio contracting company won a lawsuit against the church in an attempt to recover $3.6 million the church had failed to repay after the building was completed. In a statement announcing the bankruptcy, Cornerstone's pastor, Cary Gordon, cited "complications arising from an inability to achieve funding during the economic climate" and a breakdown of negotiations between the church and the contractor. Cornerstone's plight is only the most recent of financial woes for churches attempting to weather the economic recession. More

More sports teams turning to faith community
The Christian Post    Share    Share on
FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
An increasing number of sports teams are using a similar marketing strategy to get people to come out to ballparks and arenas – faith. Major League Baseball teams such as the Cleveland Indians, Houston Astros, Kansas City Royals and San Francisco Giants will hold, or already have held, promotions for Christian groups this season. More

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