Memphis churches lead in helping flood victims
In Memphis, Tenn., water levels remain near record highs and have only just begun to recede. Hundreds of people are still living in shelters, which the interfaith community of Memphis is leading the effort to provide. What's unique about this effort to shelter, feed and clothe flood victims in Memphis is that it's not being run by the Red Cross. That organization is usually the lead charity in providing shelter services in disasters, which it has an agreement with the Federal Emergency Management Agency to do. The Red Cross is in Memphis operating shelters as well as providing other disaster services. But when displaced residents check into Shelby County's center, they're assigned almost exclusively to one of the faith-based shelters that are part of the initiative called Shelby Cares. More
Your church building was destroyed -- now what?
Baptist Press Share
In the aftermath of catastrophic events such as the recent tornadoes and floods, it is normal and appropriate to grieve over terrible loss and at the same time rejoice in God's marvelous grace. After the bombing of the Parliament building during World War II, British Prime Minister Winston Churchill cautioned the planners and decision makers who were planning its reconstruction: "We shape our buildings, and afterward our buildings shape us." This truth certainly applies to church facilities. The way a church builds its buildings will be a major influence on the way it worships, grows disciples, fellowships or does any kind of ministry in the future. There are crucial steps a church can take to develop a positive response in the midst of a crisis. More
Early-bird deadline is only 6 days away!
Washington, D.C. "A Star Spangled Experience"
Don't miss the early-bird discount deadline for registering for NACBA's 55th National Conference! May 26 is just 6 days away.
This NACBA conference will be an excellent time for you to learn to relax and refresh, to renew and build new friendships, to be challenged by renowned keynote speakers, and to gain information about products and services. Don't delay, register today! More
Is your religion your financial destiny?
The New York Times Share
The economic differences among the country’s various religions are strikingly large, much larger than the differences among states and even larger than those among racial groups. Many factors are behind the discrepancies among religions, but one stands out. The relationship between education and income is so strong that you can almost draw a line through the points on this graph. Social science rarely produces results this clean. More
What's happening to church membership?
The Christian Century Share
A set of 2010 Gallup polls revealed that while religious participation (at least self-reported participation) is on the rise, Americans are less likely to identify with a particular religious group. People do not belong to churches the way they once did, even when they show up for religious services. Sociologist Robert Wuthnow argues that in recent years new ways of relating to institutions have developed—ways that are fluid and hard to pin down. People develop "loose connections." At a time when many churches face declining membership, they must also grapple with the reality that even those who attend have a different idea of what participation means. More
Tithing declines with economy
Ministry Today Magazine Share
A new study reveals how the economic duress of recent years as affected Americans' charitable giving. In the study, released last week, 77 percent attested to being personally touched by the nation’s financial difficulties. About one-quarter (28 percent) indicated they have been affected in a “major way.” Following the economic crisis of late 2008, 20 percent of Americans reduced their giving to churches and religious organizations, and 31 percent downsized giving to other nonprofits. More
Should our church be incorporated?
In many states, churches can incorporate either under the Model Nonprofit Corporation Act or under an alternative statute that was adopted prior to the enactment of the Act. Some alternative statutes involve the filing of a petition with a local court. Often, these alternative statutes contain far less detail than the model Act. Some states have enacted statutes that regulate the incorporation of specific religious organizations. This article addresses church incorporation. More
How technology could bring down the church
Today, another revolution in Bible reading is underway – one that has nothing to do with gilt-edged paper. If the King James Bible brought the Bible to the English-speaking masses, today’s technology goes a giant step further, making Scripture - in any language and any translation - accessible to anyone on earth with a smartphone. More
5 things that make a church compelling
There is a deafening, non-stop discussion in evangelicalism about what the church needs to be (many of the most vocal are those who pastor no one and win very few to our Lord). On and on they pontificate about how church needs to be personally relevant and interesting and meet felt needs. About how it needs to be entertaining for people without making them uncomfortable. About how it needs to be cool and compassionate and connected and cultural and...Here’s a “C” word for you, church needs to be compelling. More
It's all about the weekend
In a recent edition of his Leadership Uncensored newsletter, Ed Young Jr., reminded pastors: "At Fellowship, our favorite saying is, 'It's all about the weekend.' Why? Because throughout Scripture, the value of corporate worship is hammered home again and again—that's huge. Also, the weekend is the biggest port of entry into your church. That's where most of the guests and visitors show up. So, to make an indelible impression on the most people, you've got to have the weekend hitting on all cylinders. Here are some of the ways his church stays weekend-focused. More
What do lay leaders need to do about church finance?
Church Central Share
Church leaders have a key role to play in church finance. Here are some thoughts on how you can make a difference, whether you are on the board, finance committee or team, trustees, or simply a key leader in congregational life. More
Video: Florida pastor pushes for Facebook Fast
For many it is a way of life, for some it's an addiction. We are talking about Facebook. People use the social networking site to make friends, get news, and plan their social life. But Dr. Raymond Underwood, senior pastor at Palm Beach County Community Church in Palm Beach Gardens, Fla., is saying, end it all and take a Facebook fast. Underwood is asking his congregation for one day a week for four weeks, to log off facebook and plug in to the people in their life. More
Church spreads the love at gas pumps
The Christian Post Share
As gas prices continue to soar and smiles begin to fade, one church is hoping to turn those frowns upside down. Dove Creek Church recently hosted their second “Gas Buy Down” event at Tesoro Service Station in Atascadero, Calif., where customers received 25 cents off each gallon of gas. Volunteers from the church pumped gas, cleaned windows, checked oil and tire pressure, filled tires and most importantly reduced those abominable gas prices – with no strings attached. What began as an idea from the outreach ministry has successfully translated into an exciting community affair, and a tangible way to show God’s love, said lead pastor Dave Curtiss. More
Church tackles home repairs for low-income neighbors
The Daily Times Share
A community outreach group at St. Martha's Episcopal Church in Bethany Beach, Md., is encouraging low-income residents who are unable to make home repairs to apply for assistance. The Emergency Home Repair Committee works with the First State Resource Conservation and Development Council to eliminate housing conditions that present an immediate health and safety risk. About 20 volunteers work to repair heating, plumbing and electrical problems. More
Texas church encourages faith through deeds
Killeen Daily Herald Share
Members of Open Arms Outreach take the Bible verse James 2:26 to heart. The new church opened at the beginning of this year with the motto "serving the community one soul at a time." Pastor Christine Hester said the non-denominational church is dedicated to encouraging faith through deeds. The church, which occupies a small office space in downtown Killeen, Texas, operates a food and clothes pantry weekly, serves a free breakfast to the homeless once a month and provides assistance to needy members of the community on a case-by-case basis. More