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Most churches reported increased or steady giving last year
Houston Chronicle    Share   Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
For years, we've been talking about how the down economy affects spending, and overall, it's been bad news for churches and non-profits who depend on individual donors for the day-to-day costs of operations. Slowly but surely, those purse strings may be loosening, with 43 percent of churches reporting increases in giving and 18 percent reporting steady giving in 2010, according to a survey by researcher Brian Kluth, Christianity Today International and other partners. The year before, 35 percent of churches saw increases. They also found that larger churches were less likely to see declines than those with fewer than 250 attendees. More

Amazing Play Sculptures Begin with Large Blocks of Foam

While no one at PLAYTIME claims to be the next Michelangelo, you can't blame the company for comparing sculptures made of marble with the ones they carve. But these works of art are not meant to just be admired. No, they're meant to be climbed, played with and jumped on. MORE

Do you give at church with tax deductions in mind?
USA Today    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
Do you donate more or less to your church knowing that it's tax deductible? If that income tax deduction went away, what then? That's one of the concerns probed in a new survey of church giving. The third annual "State of the Plate" survey of 1,507 church pastors, staff and leaders tracks the impact of the economy on churches and church practices on financial integrity. More

Smartphone and tablet apps are changing the way Christians study the Bible
Baptist Press    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
When pastor Dennis Newkirk stands before his congregation at Henderson Hills Baptist Church in Edmond, Okla., to begin a sermon, he gives a nod to technology. While "open your Bibles" may have been sufficient a decade ago, Newkirk also encourages members to "open" their iPhones, iPads, smartphones and tablet computers. When it comes to the Bible, there's plenty of "apps for that." More

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. more

Hispanic population helping US Christianity thrive
The Christian Post    Share    Share on
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With the Hispanic population booming in the U.S., one prominent evangelical believes Hispanics will be the “lifeguards for Christianity in America in the 21st century.” The Rev. Samuel Rodriguez made the comment to The Christian Post on Tuesday in response to the latest U.S. Census Bureau report, released last week, which revealed that the Hispanic population has grown to 50.5 million, or roughly 1 in 6 Americans. That marks a 43 percent growth over the last 10 years. The Hispanic population growth accounted for over half of the 27.3 million increase in the total U.S. population. More

Small groups crucial, but not cure-all
Associated Baptist Press    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
Establishing small groups within a large church—heralded by some as a remedy to the drawbacks of burgeoning congregation size—is “good medicine,” but not a cure-all, according to a national study by Baylor University sociologists. “Simply having a small-group program in a church is no guarantee of success,” said Kevin Dougherty, an assistant professor in Baylor’s department of sociology and co-author of the article “A Place to Belong: Small Group Involvement in Religious Congregations,” published in the March issue of the journal Sociology of Religion. More

How to tune up your website now so you won't disappoint Easter seekers
Christian Computing Magazine    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
When you see an advertisement on TV, in the newspaper, or a magazine, what do you do if you want to find out more? Most likely you'll check out the website. We go to websites to find out the details about a product: about the company, about the costs and benefits of our possible purchase.What's true in our everyday perusal of products is also true for the people who check out and who will be visiting your church website this Easter season. Here are ways to make sure yours doesn't disappoint. More

Inmates offer Lenten thoughts on God's love    Share    Share on
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When Ronnie writes of prisoners who “have given up,” who “are waiting to die” or who “just want to die,” he knows well of whom he is speaking. With equal confidence, the inmate of Riverbend Maximum Security Institution writes, “The good news is that Jesus doesn’t give up on any of these people. Nor should we.” Ronnie’s brief reflection on John 17, including his personal journey of more than 40 years to discover “Jesus is love; Jesus is real,” is part of the 2011 Lenten Devotional published by Christ United Methodist Church in Franklin, Tenn. Fifteen current and former inmates of the maximum-security prison wrote more than half of the entries in the booklet. The rest came from church staff members and other sources. More

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5 tips to prepare you for hosting killer church and ministry meetings
Resonate or Die    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
You’ve called a strategic or creative meeting and invited an outside party. You have some preconceived notions about what that guest’s role will be at the meeting and how everything is going to come down. The meeting takes place and not only did the guest not deliver, but nobody seemed to know who was leading the meeting and/or why it was taking place. Everyone wants to point fingers when this happens but there are two major players in that interaction: the outside party and the host. More

The changing face of ministry
Examiner    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
Southwest Virginia is an area that is traditionally very resistant to the winds of change. The desire to remain the same is not always necessarily a bad thing, and it is human nature to get comfortable where we are. Unfortunately, in the past five years, society has rapidly been impacted by social media and smart phone technology, and the church has not been able to realize that the world just outside of its doors is on a vastly different page culturally. The programs and methods employed by many American churches are easily ignored by the people they are trying to reach, simply for the fact that non-churched people have different scheduling responsibilities and priorities. 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.”

Poll: Most Americans don't blame God for natural disasters
Religion News Service    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
We may never know why bad things happen to good people, but most Americans—except evangelicals—reject the idea that natural disasters are divine punishment, a test of faith or some other sign from God, according to a new poll. The poll released last week, by Public Religion Research Institute in partnership with Religion News Service, was conducted a week after a March 11 earthquake triggered a devastating tsunami and nuclear crisis in Japan. More

Column: 'I want my pastor to be ...'
Herald-Review    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
Spring has sprung and the planting season has begun. It is also that time of the year when many pastors may give serious thought to going to another pastorate. It is an exciting time for both pastors and churches. There is always a degree of anxiety. What do churches look for and expect from a pastor? The author of this column asked one layman and leader who has served his church in a variety of ways, "What kind of pastor do you want? Here are some of his "wants" in a pastor. More

Grosh Backdrops for Church Events

Grosh Backdrops is the #1 supplier of backdrops for Vacation Bible School productions and holiday events. With over 5,000 backdrops in inventory , Grosh is sure to have the perfect backdrop for your VBS production, Easter celebration, Christmas play, concert or special gathering.

Use promotional code NACBA10 to save 10% on your next order. Offer valid until Aug 31, 2011

Building a youth ministry team
Youth Worker    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
"I need help!" All of us who have worked with youth have screamed those three words at one time or another during the course of our ministries. Whether you oversee a few students or a few hundred students in your youth program, none of us can effectively organize our programs or meaningfully minister to our students without the support of a strong ministry team. More

Young religious adults more likely to become obese?
The Seattle Times    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
An inactive lifestyle, watching TV and eating too many fatty foods are all to blame for many Americans being overweight and obese. We may have to add religion to that list. A study finds that young adults who regularly attend religious activities may be more prone to obesity by middle age than their nonreligious peers. More

Customized Training Applications for Churches

Cornerstone Consultants Ministries, LLC is a group of experienced church leaders that can provide customized applications for your church in such areas as: strategy planning, age-group training, population demographic profile, theme and publicity development, budget development, financial training, and many more. Visit our web site or call 318-451-1160.

NACBA TeleWeb: Governing Body Orientation
NACBA    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
Join us for the next NACBA TeleWeb seminar, Governing Body Orientation with Mike Batts, April 14 at 1:30 CST. The governing body of your church has critically important responsibilities with respect to your church’s operations and activities. While governance models for churches vary widely, the common thread in all is that a governing body of some description (board of trustees, board of directors, board of elders, board of deacons, session, council, etc. – hereafter referred to as the “board”) bears significant responsibility (often ultimate responsibility) for the affairs of the church. Commonly, however, individuals are asked to serve on the board with little or no experience or knowledge about that responsibility. New members of the board need an orientation regarding good governance practices. This webinar provides an overview of the orientation process and a guide for making it simple. It is also a good review of good board governance practices for all members of church leadership.

Specific topics include:
  1. The orientation process
  2. The legal authority and responsibility of board members
  3. The proper role of the board
  4. Board committees
  5. The board’s role in risk management
  6. The board’s role in financial matters
  7. Governing and policy documents
  8. The liability of board members
  9. Understanding, evaluating, and protecting the church’s mission
  10. Board meeting dynamics
Purchase access to the informative seminar and then provide to your board members to enhance your training strategy.

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