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How US visa policies thwart hiring ministers
Christianity Today
Whatever happens in Congress with immigration reform this year, it won't solve the problems religious workers face in getting R-1 visas. Immigrant pastors and other church workers often are caught in a byzantine system that is inhospitable to evangelicals, even when they have complied with the necessary regulations. Ensuring that a religious worker has enough pay is just one of many issues that can trip up an immigrant who wants to pastor a church.
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3 signs your church is too busy
By Deborah Wipf
Reaching people for Christ is our main mission in ministry, and most churches use a variety of methods to attract a diverse audience. That makes sense, yet if we're not careful, this can lead to a scattered approach that drains your people and church finances. From a lack of defining goals to not measuring effectiveness or just plain not wanting to rock the boat, we can quickly fall into the trap of mistaking abundant activity for actual fruit. Here are a few ways to tell if your church is too busy — and how to combat the problem.
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Community Pulse: Is your church too busy?
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What does Gmail's new inbox mean for churches?
By Liz Murphy
When Google recently announced changes to the Gmail inbox by sorting all inbound messages into primary, social and promotions tabs, many users rejoiced. But this change has left some wondering what this new innovation means for the email campaigns and organizational newsletters of churches.

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The top church facility upgrades
By Robert C. Foreman
Smart church leaders understand that buildings are tools for ministry. This knowledge has spurred some churches to complete much needed renovations, in spite of a difficult economy. Even as new construction was forestalled during the recession, churches that desired continued growth went ahead with critical facility improvements.

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Cash flow concerns at your church?
Church Executive
When processing a loan request or conducting a review of an existing loan, banks evaluate an organization's ability to service debt from normal operating activities. Unfortunately for some churches, this isn't a point of focus — but it should be. Is there sufficient operating cash flow available to service debt?

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PRODUCT SHOWCASE
  Improve Communication In Small Groups

Spiritual growth and relationship building are a key part of the small group experience, and church leaders need an effective way to keep the ministry organized. For practical advice on improving communication at every ministry level download the ACS Technologies ministry guide Planning For Big Success with Small Groups.
 


BUSINESS ADMINISTRATION
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Protecting the church offering
Managing Your Church
Recently, an entire offering from an evening church service was stolen when the church board member counting it momentarily stepped away. It's reported that he heard a door slam and then discovered the money was gone. One step of fraud prevention is to require more than one person to be present while counting an offering, but this case shows that two people present may help with more than fraud prevention.
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3 in and out employment language essentials
Church Central
Church employees of every kind would be served by tattooing these on their forearms. You never know when you might have to use them. People are frequently either going into a new church position or leaving one. Some of those transitions are happy and some are not. First and foremost, transitions need to be strategic and well thought through; otherwise there can be serious ramifications for the future. Many of you know this already or are learning it.
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Welcoming newcomers to your congregation
Lewis Center for Church Leadership
How can you best welcome the next newcomer who crosses the threshold of your congregation? Consider Jesus' call to the disciples. When he said, "Follow me," at least according to the gospel writer Mark, the disciples did so immediately. So do not wait. Do not wait until your brochure is finished. Do not wait until your website is public. Do not wait until your membership database is up-to-date. Stop procrastinating. The next newcomer who arrives in your congregation is bearing a promise for you.
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Navigating tough trade-offs in the era of scarcity
The Chronicle of Philanthropy
Demand for social services is outpacing the ability of our traditional financing sources to keep up. So how should we balance the need to pay for services now versus the need to invest in adaptation for sustainability? This question has no easy answers.
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  PRODUCT SHOWCASES
Future Financial Planning


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TECHNOLOGY
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What does Gmail's new inbox mean for churches?
By Liz Murphy
In 2012, there were 425 million active Gmail users worldwide, making it the biggest email provider on the planet. So when Google recently announced changes to the Gmail inbox by sorting all inbound messages into primary, social and promotions tabs, many users rejoiced. Given the sheer number of people who use the Gmail service, however, this change has left some wondering what this new innovation means for the email campaigns and organizational newsletters of churches.
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The app of God
The Atlantic
YouVersion recently announced its app hit a monumental milestone — placing it among a rare strata of technology companies: The app, simply called "Bible," is now on more than 100 million devices and growing. On average, some 66,000 people have the app open during any given second, but that number climbs much higher at times.
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PRODUCT SHOWCASE
  21st Century Tithing
(Help bridge the technology gap in giving)


• Kiosk Tithing (Members can tithe right from a kiosk stand)
• Smart Phone Tithing (Let your members tithe right on their phones)
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Using the cloud to increase business productivity
CFO World
To be competitive, dynamic and successful, business policymakers need engaged and highly productive employees executing on goals that are aligned with the organization's strategic objectives. Also, smart leaders should ensure that technology is leveraged to drive and enhance productivity. Using technology to maximize your business productivity creates the platform to fully realize business success. So, how does the business owner and executive increase their business's productivity and keep employees happy and motivated at the same time?
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Mixing donations and technology
Managing Your Church
At coffee shops, many people don't grab a wallet to pay anymore. Instead, they pull out a smartphone and present a phone app to the cashier to pay. Each year, technology provides more ways to do a variety of tasks. It can be exciting, or possibly even overwhelming with the amount of change, but it's wise to take a step back and consider how and why churches may want to use these technologies.
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Where is GOD?

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CHURCH TRENDS
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Why fewer churches offer Vacation Bible School
Gleanings
If you attend a church that has more than 250 Sunday worshipers, or an annual budget of at least $500,000, or a pastor between 30 and 48 years of age, odds are good that your congregation offers Vacation Bible School during the summer months. Your church, however, would be in an increasingly selective group, according to a recent Barna Group study. VBS programs have declined 16 percent in the last 15 years, from 81 percent of American churches in 1997 to 68 percent in 2012.
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Are religious progressives the wave of the future?
Commonweal Magazine
That is the conclusion that a number of people have drawn from Do Americans Believe Capitalism & Government Are Working?, a recent study surveying Americans on economic conditions, inequality, capitalism, government economic policy and religious values. The study also paid special attention to what it considered the understudied counter to the religious right, namely "religious progressives."
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TRENDING ARTICLES
Missed last week's issue? See which articles your colleagues read most.

    Cash flow concerns at your church? (Church Executive)
Churches beware: Liability insurance a must (United Methodist News Service)
Study: 75 percent of young donors turned off by outdated websites (The Chronicle of Philanthropy)
The top church facility upgrades (By Robert C. Foreman)
Churches grapple with clothing and what's appropriate as summer heats up (The Washington Post)

Don't be left behind. Click here to see what else you missed.




LEADERSHIP
Looking for similar articles? Search here, keyword LEADER.


Millennials: Generation why?
By Julie Bernhard
If millennials haven't hit your office yet, they are on their way. Easily identified by their smartphone obsessions, tech savvy and attention deficit disorders, millennials are infiltrating recruiting offices and headed to a cube near you. Immediate instincts might be to take an early retirement, but remarkably this new group up-and-comers in Generation Y shouldn't have you wondering, "Generation why?" — they could be the next success story for your business. While it may seem like it's their world we live in, you can also use the following millennial traits to your advantage.
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How to become a leader others love to follow
Church Leaders
Everyone loves a great boss. And everyone loves to be led by a positive, kind, skilled leader. But it seems few people think they are led by a leader like that. The tone the leader sets is a major factor behind the reality that over 70 percent of people don't like their jobs. If you're a leader, that's got to hurt. So ... change that. Go be that positive, kind, skilled leader. It would be great if it was that simple, wouldn’t it?
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JOB CENTER
See these jobs and more here.

Church Business Administrator
Weddington United Methodist Church — Weddington, N.C.
Degree in business administration, accounting or a related field. Church experience is preferred. Weddington United Methodist Church is a 3,800 member church ...

FT Accountant
West University Baptist Church — Houston, Texas
Minimum qualifications: Degree in business with full competency in college level accounting classes, fluent knowledge of Excel, knowledge of accounting controls ...

IT Support Specialist
Ministry Consultants, Inc. — Allen, Texas
Preferred candidate will have 2-3 years experience in IT or related technical field providing PC, network and server support. Experience with MS Server, Windows and Office required ...
 



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