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Video: The National Council of Churches releases membership statistics of American churches
ABC News    Share   Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
America is the most developed nation when it comes to religion. It has a dynamic, competitive religious marketplace -- which means it has winners and losers. According to a report by the National Council of Churches, the biggest losers are the mainstream Protestant churches -- the Presbyterian Church, Methodists and Lutherans are all showing a dip in membership. While each of them are down just a few percentage points (the data was compiled in 2009 and reported to the council in 2010) the declines have reached into the double digits over the last decade. Some of them are responding with ad campaigns. More

Monkey Mountain in Park City, UT Combines Recreation and Education in "Massively Popular" New Business!

“From the beginning, our concept was to create a facility where children are encouraged to learn through play,” says Director Powell Smith. And the 4,600-square-foot facility even offers courses for kids in everything from zumba to science and tae kwon do. Read More

See related article: Growth stalls, falls for largest U.S. churches (USA Today)

Despite tough times, church giving rises    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
At a time when fixing the church roof or hiring a youth pastor might take precedence over supporting world mission, overall giving increased to the global United Methodist Church. At the same time, spending in the local church, adjusted for inflation, declined 1.28 percent from 2009 after a 3.63 percent drop in 2008. Scott Brewer, director of connectional services for the United Methodist Council on Finance and Administration, noted that the recession’s impact varied across the United States. “Although churches did not cut spending at the same level in 2009, it’s still clear that the difficult economy had an impact on congregations,” he said. More

Providing A Safe Haven For Your Children
Families expect churches to be a spiritual sanctuary and a protective haven for their children. For more information about the latest innovations in check-in, processing volunteers, and having a solid emergency plan in place download the ACS Technologies ministry guide How Secure Is Your Children’s Ministry today. more

Churches wrestle with guns in the pews
USA Today    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
Recently, state legislatures in Georgia, Michigan and Louisiana have been caught in the crossfire of the debate between gun rights and gun control as they consider allowing weapons in houses of worship. Though gun-rights proponents think they have both the First and Second Amendments on their side, they also cite the rights of religious organizations as property owners. Opponents, meanwhile, worry that having weapons in worship is part of a slippery slope to permitting them everywhere. More

Churches view social networking as ministry tool
Associated Baptist Press    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
With the Internet closing in on television as Americans’ main source of national and international news, churches increasingly are viewing social-networking applications like Facebook as ministry tools. “Social networking tools have become an integral part of most people’s daily lives and relationships,” said Curtis Simmons, vice president for marketing and community at Fellowship Technologies. “If churches desire to connect with their congregation and community in meaningful ways, then they need to establish a strategy for actively engaging in the social media conversation.” More
See related article: Social media: Spread the Gospel with it (The Baptist Press)

Report: Churches, charities not in competition for dollars
Religion News Service via Christian Century    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
Houses of worship and other charities often aren't in competition for dollars but instead tend to reap donations from similar donors, a new study shows. Slightly more than 50 percent of people who financially supported congregations also gave to at least one charitable organization in the last year, according to a study conducted by Phoenix-based Grey Matter Research Consulting. Researchers also found that the more Americans give to a house of worship, the more they donate to other groups. And the trend continues with the generosity of the donor. More

Pay up
Leadership Journal    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
Does a salary freeze remain in effect at your church? If so, it may be time to revisit that strategy, even if giving levels haven't picked up yet.While few signs point to any significant economic growth in 2011—the former director of the Office of Management and Budget told Fortune in November that unemployment will remain high as GDP grows only 1 percent to 2 percent—other indicators suggest slight improvements in earnings for workers. What does that mean for churches? High-performing pastors and staff members who have faithfully served, despite little or no pay increases in recent years, may find opportunities—limited as they may be—to go elsewhere. More

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A fellowship hall 'on steroids' draws people from far afield
Church Executive Magazine    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
When Green Acres Baptist Church of Tyler, Texas, celebrated the 2010 July 4 holiday, the church was celebrating more than our national Independence Day; it was celebrating the conclusion of five continuous years of construction. The $40 million process began with the addition of a Missions Outreach Center away from the church’s main campus. Main campus additions then followed with the expansion of ground level parking, the creation of a 10,000-square-foot maintenance facility, a 100,000-square-foot educational/administrative building known as The Lighthouse, and, finally, the completion of the CrossWalk Conference Center, an 86,000-square-foot multipurpose facility with adjacent two-level parking deck. More

Churches cross the border: Missionary work in Mexico
Houston Chronicle    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
In the midst of debating and lobbying for immigration reform, churches continue to reach out to families facing violence, poverty and drugs on both sides of the border. Mexico is a popular destination for missionaries, with thousands of Americans serving there long-term and even more visiting for week-long missions trips. The recent death of a missionary serving along the Texas-Mexico border is evidence of the danger many churches have long feared. More

Every Church Needs a Resiliency Plan

Your 150 year old church just burned to the ground on Christmas Eve. What do you do? Be ready to respond; click here for answers.”

Let there be light: New cathedral will draw solar power from stained glass
Postmedia News    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
A different kind of trinity is emerging at the newest cathedral in Saskatoon, Saskatchewan, Canada, where the Roman Catholic Diocese of Saskatoon is combining art, technology and faith in a stunning and environmentally-friendly project. The Holy Family Catholic Church, a $28.5-million cathedral under construction in Saskatoon's northeast, has solar cells embedded in the large stained glass windows that will be installed this spring. The cathedral could be the first church in North America to use photovoltaic cells in a stained glass installation, said cathedral building committee chair Jim Nakoneshny. More

Life after youth ministry
Youth Worker    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
When you take a look at a typical youth group gathering, what is the general age range of those present? The obvious might be that the participants' are in their teens because they are youth. When you consider the activities, studies and topics discussed and experienced in youth group, what age range is the target? Obviously, they're teens -- but, they won't always be. More

3 ways you can stay grounded in ministry
LifeWay    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
Having grown up as pastor Tony Evans’ daughter, women’s author and speaker Priscilla Shirer has learned a thing or two about ministry leadership. As God has opened up avenues for Shirer's ministry, she’s discovered solid spiritual truths that keep her grounded as she serves. Priscilla shared a few thoughts in a recent interview. More

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More administrative resources
Church Executive, the business magazine and website for larger and megachurches, seems adept at surviving disasters and hardships. Now entering its tenth year in 2011, the magazine was being planned at the time of the 9/11 tragedy, followed by a year of business uncertainty, but launched anyway in January 2002. The digital edition is the same as the print edition in design and content, but embellished with video and attractive to many younger church leaders who eschew print for the new media. To have the digital version sent to you each month without charge, give your e-mail information here.

Church Safety Update
Each week get updated on the critical information and tools you need to help you evaluate, address, and improve the financial, legal, and physical safety of your church. To subscribe to Church Safety Update, published by Christianity Today International, click here. To view a sample issue, click here.

Church Law & Tax Update
Stay informed on legal trends and breaking developments that affect churches and church leaders. Keep your church legally sound with this twice monthly newsletter published by Christianity Today International. To subscribe to the Church Law & Tax Update click here. To view sample issue, click here.


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