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NACBA Weekly Update
June 5, 2009
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American Christian Leaders Applaud Obama's Speech
from Presbyterian News Service
A diverse group of American Christian leaders praised President Obama for his speech in Cairo reaching out to the Muslim world and making Israeli-Palestinian peace a top priority of his administration. In a letter to the president, the group also, however, expressed grave concern over the "deteriorating situation in the Holy Land" and urged the Obama administration to make real and concrete progress in achieving a just peace between Israel and the Palestinians. More    E-mail article

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Churches Fight Back Against Shrinking Membership
from U.S. News & World Report
With their new branding campaigns, mainline churches are betting that many young Americans are looking for worship alternatives to politically conservative evangelical congregations. A recent study conducted for the United Methodist Church by the Barna Group, a consulting firm specializing in faith-based polling, found that a third of Americans under 35 consider themselves spiritual but are not deeply connected to a church. "These young people have rejected too close a tie between religion and politics," says David Kinnaman, president of the Barna Group. "So the mainline sensibility provides a unique opportunity to speak to them." More    E-mail article

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Creating Rites of Passage in Your Church
from Youth Ministry Today
What constitutes a rite of passage, and what doesn't? What is the place of rites of passage within our culture, and specifically within the Christian church? Youth ministries have a responsibility to help kids and families cross these life-passage thresholds together. This article examines several questions that deserve careful attention, drawing on research insights from the disciplines of anthropology, psychology, and theology. More    E-mail article

Spiritual Immaturity Stymies Church
from the Baptist Press
An unclear understanding of spiritual maturity may be an underlying reason why there is so little progress in seeing people develop spiritually in the United States, despite overwhelming access to churches and unlimited products and resources, The Barna Group says. More    E-mail article

Poll Analysis: U.S. Christ Followers Not Following Church Leaders
from The Christian Post
Nearly nine in ten Americans who participated in the latest Associated Press-GfK poll identified themselves as Christian but only about half of them fit the typical picture of one – or at least one close to what their leaders try to paint. Though 86 percent of those polled said they consider themselves a Christian, only 35 percent said they attended religious services at least once a week. More    E-mail article

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Church Hands Out Cash in 'Faith Stimulus'
from The Associated Press via MSNBC
On a recent Sunday, members of Bay Community Church in Malbis, Ala., each were given envelopes stuffed with cash. Inside was $20, $40 or $100, depending on luck of the draw. No ordinary handout, the $50,000 gesture was billed as a "faith stimulus." Church members were told to spend it helping others, a novel approach to religious outreach during tough economic times. More    E-mail article

Lay Off the Layoffs
from the Leadership Journal
The Federal Reserve projects unemployment may hit 8.8 percent by the end of the year. But at least one church leader says churches have a biblical responsibility to exhaust all options to reduce operating budgets before resorting to the same job-cutting tactics used by companies, agencies, and ministries during the first quarter of 2009, which left millions of Americans out of work. More    E-mail article


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Some Churches Help Christians View Culture through Spiritual Lenses
from the Associated Baptist Press
What does it mean to participate with God in “making all things new”? Many feel the answer to that question is key to the life and liturgy of the church. “We think of ‘creating culture,’” said Winn Collier, one of the pastors at All Souls Church in Charlottesville, Va. “We are part of -- and contributing to -- our culture. The question is whether we are doing it faithfully, purposefully and well.” More    E-mail article

County Won't Force Permit on Bible Study Leaders
from The Union-Tribune
As reported in last week’s NACBA Weekly Update, a code enforcement officer recently warned Pastor David Jones of Bonita, Calif., for holding a “religious assembly” without a permit. The action became an international incident when it was initially reported last week. Barraged by hundreds of complaints, San Diego County officials backed down yesterday from their enforcement. More    E-mail article


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Many Churches not Changing Security Plans in Wake of Shooting
from the Lexington Herald-Leader
"You can live in faith or you can live in fear," pastor Gene Williams said three days after George Tiller was fatally shot in a Wichita, Kan., church. Williams, pastor emeritus at First Church of the Nazarene in Wichita, said for him, living in faith means keeping access to churches as open as possible. For other clergy, it means protecting their congregations with uniformed officers and security cameras. More    E-mail article

Why Churches Don’t Grow
from Church Executive Magazine
Healthy organisms grow. Healthy people grow, healthy animals grow, healthy trees grow, healthy plants grow, healthy churches grow. It is a characteristic that God supernaturally breathed into all living things. And the body of Christ — the local church — is a living thing. So, when a church is not growing, it is an important question to ask why. More    E-mail article

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Faith a Rock in Tough Times, Pastors Say
from The Abilene Reflector-Chronicle
The bad economy and increasing unemployment rates as a result of a global recession have people debating an age-old question – do hard times equal increased church attendance? More    E-mail article

Kentucky Church to Hold Gun Service
from the Courier-Journal
A Kentucky church is sponsoring an "Open Carry Church Service" in late June, encouraging people to wear unloaded guns in their holsters, enter a raffle to win a free handgun, hear patriotic music and listen to talks by operators of gun stores and firing ranges. Pastor Ken Pagano of New Bethel Church in Louisville, Ky., said the first-time event is "basically trying to think a little bit outside the box" to promote "responsible gun ownership and Second Amendment rights." More    E-mail article

 

What every Church needs to know about their Website
by PinPoint Creative Group
85% of visitors click on a church website before attending a church. It's critical to understand the 10 commandments that must be followed in order to... More

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July 17-21, 2009
Long Beach, CA

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