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ACS Technologies
With open arms, churches step up services for special-needs families
Sacramento Bee    Share   Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
Most families with special-needs children do not attend worship services, say disability experts. But houses of worship throughout the Sacramento, Calif., area now are stepping up efforts to reach these families, offering special-needs Sunday school classes, one-on-one buddy programs to match up kids in class, and even free baby-sitting on Friday nights. A church with a special-needs ministry "can make all the difference in the world," said Lora Knopf, whose 6-year-old daughter, Shelby, has cerebral palsy. More

Tithing changes in tough times
The Wall Street Journal    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
The ancient religious practice of tithing is based on a percentage of income, not a gross amount. As income declines, tithes do too. Yet researchers note that the rate of tithing--the giving of at least 10 percent of one's income--has stayed relatively consistent. Some 7 percent of adults reported donating at least a tenth of their income last year, a rate that has remained constant for a decade. More

Study: American 'Millennials' value family most
The Christian Post    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
When asked what’s important in life, most American "Millennials" – those born between 1980 and 1991 – say family comes first, ahead of friends, education, careers and even religion. That's the finding of LifeWay Research based on a wide-ranging August 2009 survey of 1,200 Millennials in the United States. The study forms the basis for the upcoming book "The Millennials: Connecting to America's Largest Generation" by Dr. Thom Rainer and his son Jess Rainer. More

Growing church opts for tele-communion
News & Observer    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
A new church was born Sunday morning, but, like an increasing number of congregations, it has no preaching pastor. In what has become one of the most popular church growth methods across the country, a large white screen unfurled in front of the stage with the preacher's image projected on it, preempting the live sermon and the pastor's physical presence. Welcome to the satellite church, a 21st century phenomenon that owes its success to advances in technology. These days, instead of starting new congregations, churches are reproducing the successful ones, franchise-style. More

Communicating Effectively With Mass E-mail
Mass e-mail is a highly effective tool in the church’s communications strategy. The church can customize e-mails sent out to each recipient and quickly gain their attention with information relevant to them. Download the ACS Technologies ministry guide Communicating Effectively With Mass E-mails for more information. more

5 major trends for churches in America
The Christian Post    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
Discerning future trends can be difficult if not risky. If we miss a trend, we risk missing opportunities because we had our resources directed elsewhere. The trends in this article were not created in a vacuum. Most the information is based on studies. But much of this research provides information and facts about today’s realities. It does not offer certitude for future trends. More

From clergy shortage to clergy glut
Religion News Service via The Pew Forum    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
After a decade-long clergy shortage in America's pulpits, Christian denominations are now experiencing a clergy glut -- with some denominations reporting two ministers for every vacant pulpit. "We have a serious surplus of ministers and candidates seeking calls," said Marcia Myers, director of the vocation office for the Presbyterian Church (USA), which has four ministers for every opening. The cause of the sudden turnaround: blame the bad economy. More

Christian Community Credit Union Offers Higher Certificate Rates!

When you invest in the Kingdom Builder Certificates, you help provide affordable financing to churches. What better place to put your money than at a financial institution where your money is safe, sound and invested in a God-honoring way. Learn more!

Sunday School as discipleship
Baptist Press    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
Are all the learners in your Sunday School class at the same place spiritually? Of course not. In fact, they are not even at the same place in terms of attendance patterns. That's one of the great things about Sunday School. Since we practice open enrollment, it's easy to get on the ministry list (class roll) and hard to get off of it. Since we practice the concept of open groups, we have an intentional mixture of believers and unbelievers, regular and irregular attendees, biblical experts and novices. While that is cool, it also presents us with one of our major challenges: How do we move everyone along a path to maturity and ministry? Here are a few ideas. More

Guard against embezzlement
Leadership Journal    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
Embezzlement is on the rise in churches of all sizes. One major church insurer logged 32 embezzlement-related claims in 2009, up 12.5 percent from its recent annual averages. "Regrettably, financial misconduct tends to be more predominant in economic down times," says David Middlebrook, a Texas-based attorney specializing in church law. Fraud experts often refer to a three-legged stool for embezzlement risk: opportunity, need, and organizational ethos. More

Xerox FreeColorPrinters
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A teachable moment for pastors, churches
Charlotte Observer    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
Last week's conviction of Bishop Anthony Jinwright holds lessons for every pastor and congregation. Jinwright led Greater Salem City of God, a church in west Charlotte, N.C., since 1981. A jury convicted him and wife Harriet, after hearing the following: They took the church credit card to Vegas, had the congregation pay for their luxury cars and their daughter's college tuition, demanded his $50,000 raise be taken out of money the church had borrowed, and failed to report more than $2.3 million in taxable income to the IRS. Here are five lessons churches can take from the Jinwrights' case. More

Dynamic churches have vision
Christian Computing Magazine    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
Vision matters to churches that want to reach their communities and develop fully devoted disciples. That's why we believe that dynamic churches have strong leadership teams with a clear vision of where they are headed. Though strong leadership can exist in a single leader, we have observed that a team committed to a vision will carry that vision and keep it in front of the people. In this way, every ministry area benefits from the team approach to leadership. The approach that yields the most results is based on a simple model: Vision, Goals, Strategies and Actions. More

Discover How to Recruit, Refresh, and Reignite Your Church Volunteers

Group's LifeServe National Conference

Join us: September 29 – October 1, 2010 in Columbus, Ohio. Pick from hundreds of workshops and focused learning conversations, led by volunteer leadership experts—Sue Mallory, Erik Rees… MORE

Death by meeting
Building Church Leaders    Share    Share on
FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
In his book Death by Meeting, Patrick Lencioni highlights two problems with meetings. Although he writes about meetings in the business world, the author of this article believes much of what he says can apply to elders' meetings, church staff meetings, worship committee meetings, or any other type of meeting. The first problem is this: meetings are boring. And the second is like it: meetings are ineffective. Meetings, says Lencioni, are boring because they lack drama. They are ineffective because they lack contextual structure. More

Churches making their message app-licable
The Cypress Times    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
For tech savvy Christians, or for just about any of the faithful under 35 years old, it's a no-brainer: spreading the Gospel means using the tools available now. And for a growing number of churches, that means having their own iPhone app. Tech leader Chris Ediger believes it's a good idea for churches to make themselves and their message easily accessible through apps and their websites. More

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Your congregation is waiting
Ministry Marketing Coach    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
Have you ever said that you just wished your congregation would jump in? Or maybe you hosted an outreach event and the turn out was less than optimal? You rack your brain to try to figure out why people didn’t show. Maybe you start with blaming the lack of promotion and then you make it all the way to believing that the people in your congregation are simply uncommitted. Here’s the reality though: Your members are looking to you for motivation. More

Oklahoma city turns to prayer group to 'dissipate' severe weather
Tulsa World    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
On Monday, when it appeared that Mother Nature would unleash nasty weather, city officials in Miami, Okla., turned to a heavenly ally. They called on the city's Emergency 911 prayer group for divine intervention. That group was activated at 8:35 a.m., when city officials learned that the town faced a good chance of being hit by a severe thunderstorm -- and possibly worse -- Monday night. More

Early-Bird Deadline for NACBA National Conference is tomorrow
NACBA    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
The National Association of Church Business Administration will be conducting its 54th National Conference and Trade Show in Orlando, Fla., July 19-23. The early-bird deadline for receiving a discounted price is May 15. This year's conference features more than 90 learning sessions plus keynote addresses from Robert Winstead, Reggie McNeal, Susan Beaumont, and Will Mancini. Scholarships are available for qualifying NACBA members. More

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NACBA Weekly Update
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