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More Americans 'mix and match' religious beliefs, poll finds
Los Angeles Times    Share   Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
America is a melting pot not only of culture but also religion, according to a survey released Wednesday. Many Americans attend services outside of their own religion, and blend Christianity with Eastern and New Age beliefs, the Pew Research Center's Forum on Religion & Public Life said. The nationwide poll of 4,013 adults found that a third regularly or occasionally attended religious services at more than one location -- and 24 percent of the public overall worshiped outside their faith. More




New churches: Chicago seen as a fertile field for congregations to branch out
Chicago Tribune    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
While religious affiliation is on the decline and many mainline denominations struggle to grow, nondenominational churches and networks are training and funding young pastors who want to do church differently. Nationwide, about 4,000 churches are planted each year, a new church every two hours or so, according to Dave Olson, the head of the American Church Research Project and the Evangelical Covenant Church's church planting director. There are more than 50 congregations considering planting churches in Chicago in the year ahead, said Sam Smith, of the Chicago Partnership for Church Planting, and the city has already seen a boom in new, hip churches. More




The role of design in modern church marketing
SitePoint    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
Any Web designer can attest to the recent rise of hip, high-quality church Web sites. A non-churchgoing designer might wonder how places of worship fit in amongst software startups and cutting-edge businesses; yet, these churches are branded as intensely as any business and supported by savvy church-marketing communities on the Web. The author of this article interviewed some of the industry’s top church designers and marketers to understand how design helps communicate the spiritual life. More


Pastor scandal brings out best in church
Ministry Today Magazine    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
A pastor-related financial scandal that halves your congregation and diminishes your community impact typically isn't seen as a good thing. Yet according to members of Live Oak Community Church in Oakley, Calif., the last nine months of turmoil have resulted in a "wonderful" transformation that's returned the church to its giving roots. 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




Parents of preschoolers get their own Sunday School class at Louisiana church
Baptist Press    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
One person saw the need and another person saw the opportunity, but it was the Sunday School teacher equipped with the right curriculum who brought the vision into focus. Deleece Nichols, daycare director at Florida Boulevard Baptist Church in Baton Rouge, La., noticed too many parents of her preschoolers were not attending Sunday School. She mentioned her observation to her pastor, Randy Johnson, who then asked his assistant Dottie Gore to pray about starting a class specifically for parents of preschoolers. More


Five ways you can smash those empty imaginary ministry boxes
Ministry Marketing Coach    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
We’ve all been there. You’re roped into a brainstorming session at the very moment your hair caught on fire from that looming time sensitive project that’s due in 15 minutes. You’re expected to sprinkle some of your magic creative dust in the room and come up with a ton of stellar ideas that will change humanity and rock the world for Jesus. It’s all happening on-the-fly and your brain is melting into slo-mo. Who cares about your other projects and never-mind that you weren’t given a heads up on what’s coming down, you’re a creative! As creatives, what should our attitude and approach be when it happens? More


Automated Call Tree. Phone Calls & Text Messages
Send interactive phone calls and text messages to your entire congregation. Increase attendance,response and participation. 
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MyBus™, by Thomas Built Buses
Thomas Built Buses, safely and cost-effectively transports up to 30 passengers, making it an excellent choice for churches, youth groups, childcare centers, and service organizations.  Since 1936, Thomas Built Buses has been designing the toughest and most reliable buses in North America. Visit us at www.mybus.com.
Keeping Your Church Safe
Sometimes it's easy for things to slip through the cracks. GuideOne Insurance has developed Keeping Your Church Safe to walk you through many of the more common risks a church faces. Whether it is church building security, nursery safety, transportation safety or an annual building inspection, this guide will be a resource you use again and again. Download
The Church Scheduling Answer
Who are the 1,400+ churches that use "EMS" facility scheduling and web calendar software? What do they have to say about it? Can I read case studies on EMS customers? If you think your scheduling operations could be more efficient and effective, the answers you’re looking for are here.


Sunday School is a team effort
Baptist Press    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
With all the talk about football this time of year, it seems appropriate to point out that a great "team effort" shouldn't be reserved only for athletic fields. Just like on a football field, one person can't do it all. It's crucial that you recruit and cultivate a team. Just having a name in each slot on the organizational chart isn't enough to make a team; it takes effort. Here are a few quick principles of high performing teams. More


Introduction to church risk management
Church Central    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
Many Americans are involved in some capacity with a local church, even if it is just visiting there a couple times a year. In recent years we have become intrigued by what has become known as the "mage-church" syndrome, those churches with thousands of members. Yet according to statistics, the "median" church in America only has 75 active members and 1 full-time staff purpose. In other words, these are very small businesses in the scope of what we would call "insurance" or "risk" exposures. There are hundreds of thousands of churches that do not have the staffing nor expertise to know where to go and what to do when it comes to submitting or managing an insurance claim. More




DIMENSIONAL DYNAMICS Architects and Planners
Serves churches throughout the United States, since 1971,
by designing quality Facilities to meet their ministry needs
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Right person, wrong position
Your Church    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
Have you ever had to let a church staff member go--even though they gave everything they had--because they still weren't hitting the mark? That's a painful and difficult transition to manage, and one that many churches don't always navigate in a healthy way. More


How to write your state of the church message
LifeWay    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
The New Year is approaching and you may be considering a sermon on "making resolutions" or on "fresh starts." The author of this article wants to encourage you to consider using the first Sunday of January to preach an annual "State of the Church" message. If you have never done this before, here are several practical suggestions. More




World Emergency Relief
Helps eradicate the worlds five most crucial daily emergencies; food, water, education, healthcare and child safety.  Let us be your mission stewards. See www.worldemergencyrelief.org.
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Nonprofits facing money woes respond with innovative fundraising strategies
Knoxville News Sentinel    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
According to a July 2009 report by the Giving USA Foundation at Indiana University, total giving to charitable organizations in the United States in 2008 was $307.65 billion, down 2 percent from 2007, adjusted for inflation. This was the largest decrease in 50 years. But research shows that churches and religious organizations are faring better than other nonprofits in this economy. The 2009 Congregational Economic Impact Study by the Lake Institute on Faith & Giving, published in October, reported that fewer than one-third of 1,500 churches surveyed had a decline in giving in the first half of 2009. Most said fundraising increased or held steady overall. More


Achieving "oneness" in a small group
SmallGroups.com    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
When churches start small-group ministries, most hope that new groups will continue to grow both numerically and in relationship with Christ and one another. One of the keys to sustain this type of growth over time is something the Bible calls "oneness." The author of this article defines "oneness" as: "Relationships characterized by unity of purpose and love for one another even in the face of extreme opposition or internal conflict." Genuine oneness, while an internal quality, is almost always noticed by outsiders, drawing them to the source of that same oneness. That's why oneness is one of the main engines that will drive small-group growth. More




Easy, Online Payroll -- Act Now & Get Your First Month Free!
PC Magazine and our customers agree that SurePayroll is the best payroll service for small businesses, and churches. Click here for a personalized price quote. MORE


Texas Baptist church helps foster teens' transition to adulthood
Associated Baptist Press    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
One Baptist congregation in Texas has decided to do something to help an often-overlooked group with special needs: teens who are aging out of the state's foster-care system and heading for the intimidating new world of adulthood. University Baptist Church in Fort Worth gives 18-to-21-year-old young adults who have aged out of the foster-care system much-needed support as they begin life on their own. More


Christian group to pay off $10K in strangers' parking tickets
The Associated Press via USA Today    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
A Christian group will once again camp out in front of City Hall and offer to pay off up to $10,000 dollars in parking tickets for any passersby. Organizers say the Dec. 12 event is an example of how easy it is to receive God's grace. The Grace Gift Parable giveaway was first held in 2004, when Treasure Valley church leaders doled out nearly $7,500 to delinquent parkers, including one woman who arrived with more than a dozen tickets. More


Closing the Backdoor of the Church
As we approach 2010, many writers have written about religion in an America and where we are headed as a nation. In today’s society, we have congregations that exceed 30,000 members, we have ministries that purchase former professional sports arenas and through media churches that have the ability to reach hundreds of millions of souls...
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Community experiences a walk through Bethlehem
The Sun    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
For those who have imagined what it was like at the time of Jesus’ birth or what it would be like to walk the streets of Bethlehem a local church offered the public an opportunity to experience a "Walk Thru Bethlehem." The overwhelming experience, which appealed to all ages, put guests right into the heart of Bethlehem with all of the sights, smells, and sounds. John Wesley United Methodist Church in Houston, Texas, transformed its activity center visually, aesthetically, and spiritually into a scene from Bethlehem, complete with a temple, a stable, camel rides, street vendors, and a live nativity. More


TruMarket
TruMarket helps determine the most efficient use of your media dollars. MORE


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