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Report: Religious groups see slight decrease in giving
Religion News Service via BeliefNet    Share   Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
Religious organizations reported a 0.7 percent decrease in donations last year, according to a study by Giving USA Foundation, a marked contrast from the 5.5 percent increase in giving reported in 2008. Religious congregations accounted for 33 percent of the total $303 billion in contributions in 2009. This is the third year in a row that religious donations have exceeded $100 billion. Total donations for all charitable groups in 2009 were down by 3.6 percent. More



Religious parents influence young adults
UMC.org    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
Parents matter in the religious lives of America’s youth. This finding was clear to sociologist Christian Smith as the principal investigator for the National Study of Youth and Religion in 2002-2003, the most detailed study ever done on teens and religion. And it was clear in a 2007-2008 study following teens into emerging adulthood. “What the best empirical evidence shows … is that even as the formation of faith and life play out in the lives of 18- to 23-year-olds, when it comes to religion, parents are in fact hugely important,” report Smith and Patricia Snell of the Center for the Study of Religion and Society at the University of Notre Dame. More

Improve Church Vitality With Effective Outreach
Effective outreach programs help the church become a vital part of the community by engaging people and helping them become committed church members. For useful strategies and tools to move outreach forward and make a difference in your community, download the ACS Technologies ministry guide Going Outside The Church Walls. more


Arkansas preacher tends to families of flood victims
The Washington Post    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
As a prelude to Father's Day, Graig Cowart planned to preach to his Baptist congregation about the importance of family. When survivors of a deadly flash flood showed up at his church wet and worried, he opted for works over words. "The last thing they need is a sermon," Cowart said. More

How you can convert conflict into ministry opportunities
Church Executive Magazine    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
Church conflict is among the worst kinds, wrapped as it usually is in theological certainty about the rectitude of each side’s views. Outsiders consider the conflict hypocritical. Insiders wind-up disillusioned and sometimes wash-out. Entire congregations vanish. What if more churches viewed conflict as itself a ministry opportunity? More

Straight talk to church members about pastors
Baptist Press    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
Pastors aren't perfect. But they do have one of the toughest jobs in the world. Regardless of the church polity, they do have to answer to every church member. The author of this article has served as a pastor of four churches, and has consulted with hundreds of pastors. In many ways, he thinks he understands the heart of a pastor. He shares with readers how to demonstrate love to their pastor. He puts them in the form of five things not to do, and five things to do. More

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Opinion: Worship spaces should be sanctuaries
Associated Baptist Press    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
What has happened to reverence for God and respect for the sanctuary of God? Before we can answer, we need to understand the meaning of reverence, respect and sanctuary. To have reverence is to have a deep feeling of respect or even awe. Respect is to hold someone or something in high regard or honor. The sanctuary is designated as the holiest of holies in a place of worship -- an especially holy place in the church building. More

Church support workers affected by gulf oil spill
Christian Century    Share    Share on
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As oil continues to spill into the Gulf of Mexico, churches and religious organizations along the Louisiana coast are providing food, money and support to parishioners whose livelihoods hang in the balance. Millions of gallons of oil have contaminated the gulf since an oil rig explosion on April 20, bringing the region's fishing industry to a screeching halt. It's been particularly hard for churches like St. Patrick Catholic Church in Port Sulphur, La., where many parishioners are fishermen. More



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Built on faith
Hutchinson News    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
Many times a church's building program, rather than helping them grow, actually slows or stops the growth they are intending to accommodate. "A building project's goal should be to build the church," said Max Fuqua, author of "When Not to Build." With that goal, it's easy for the congregation to stay unified. "When people have a goal of building a building, that takes the spirituality out of it," he said. More

Simple tips for safeguarding building projects
ChurchSafety.com    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
When planning a building or renovation project for your church, you'll want to keep people safe, spend smart, and hire the right people. Below are a few simple tips that will get you on the right track to safeguarding your next building project. More



Xerox FreeColorPrinters
NACBA members save thousands in printing costs using the Xerox FreeColorPrinters program. Bring your outsourced printing in-house and produce vivid color, cost-effective, high quality, easily customizable printed materials. To see if you qualify, call 800-201-7868 or apply at freecolorprinters.xerox.com. Enter referral code NACBA.
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No time for passive youth ministry, says urban leader
The Christian Post    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
This is no time for passive youth ministry, urban youth leaders were told over the weekend. Youth are being empowered in gangs and dying in the streets, yet Larry Acosta of Urban Youth Workers Institute finds many churches giving teens nothing more than the role of passing the offering plates every fifth Sunday. "You need to empower youth to lead with real ministry opportunities," Acosta said. "I'm talking next generation leaders empower[ing] youth to teach Bible studies, to lead small groups." More

How to defeat five ministry killers
Youth Worker    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
Ministry killers lurk in every church, waiting to ambush unsuspecting leaders. Unrealized pinholes in your soul will siphon the passion from you and potentially kill your ministry unless you set your trajectory in the right direction. More

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Are you working hard or overfunctioning at church?
Church Central    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail
article
Are you working hard at church? I assume so. Does that mean you are overfunctioning? Not necessarily. Overfunctioning involves taking responsibility for others, especially for their problems and shortcomings. In the short term, helping others can be a good thing. But if it becomes chronic, it can contribute to sustaining the limitations of others, and burning us out. But let’s recognize that ministry is truly hard work, as is accomplishing most things of value in this world. Working long hours may not necessarily be overfunctioning. If you can’t take a break without feeling anxious, that’s something to pay attention to, however. More

Developing your women's ministry Dream Team
LifeWay    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
Anyone who has ever achieved excellence or greatness started with a dream. Do you know God’s dream for your women’s ministry? Does your women’s ministry need to be refreshed with a new vision? Consider gathering a group of women to help you dream His dream for your women. More

Project Your Image With InFocus

Deliver your message with impact! InFocus projectors enhance any presentation and are perfect for sanctuaries, meeting rooms, classrooms, wherever you want to communicate and collaborate!
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Southern Baptists' budget vote shapes new evangelism approach
The Nashville Tennessean via USA Today    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
A decade ago, Southern Baptists fought over the belief that Jesus is the only way to heaven and the inerrancy of the Bible. Today, they're divided over budgets and baptisms. As the older hard-line conservatives fade into the background, a new group of leaders is jostling over the priorities of the country's largest Protestant denomination. These new leaders are less concerned about conservative politics and more concerned about saving souls. More

Pastor tests IRS by endorsing candidate
The Washington Times    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
A South Dakota minister says he wants to do for religious freedom what the Rev. Martin Luther King Jr. did for civil rights. The Rev. H. Wayne Williams, pastor of Liberty Baptist Tabernacle in Rapid City, last month endorsed GOP state Sen. Gordon Howie in the South Dakota governor's race, in defiance of the Internal Revenue Service and a federal court ruling and in hopes of producing a landmark constitutional test case. More

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NACBA TeleWeb: Tax and Legal Update: Focus Governance
NACBA    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
Churches function under many different models of governance but regardless of the model your congregation has adopted they must function under the federal and state laws. This seminar, presented by Frank Sommerville, will review models of governance and help participants to ask the right questions to be sure they have developed adequate models. Join us for this 1-hour TeleWeb seminar on Thursday July 1 at 1:30 p.m. CDT. Member price: $59; non-members: $69. Register today! More

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