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Membership  Resources  Events  Certification  Nat'l Conference  Chapters  Jobs  Teleweb July 22, 2011

'Instant churches' convert public schools to worship spaces
USA Today    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
There's no tally of how many churches, synagogues and mosques convert public school spaces into prayer places for the nominal cost of permits and promises to make no permanent changes in the school setting. What's clear is that there has been a steady rise in numbers as congregations find schools are available, affordable and accessible to families they want to reach. Critics, including some courts, are concerned that these arrangements are an unconstitutional entanglement of church and state. They say these bargain permits effectively subsidize religious congregations who would have to pay steeply higher prices on the open market. They also note that the practice appears to favor Christian groups, which worship on Sundays — when school spaces are most often available. More

School Kids Help Design Their New Playground

When Denver Public Schools’ Force Elementary School learned that they would be getting a completely new playground under the city’s “Learning Landscapes” program, they asked students to help design it. PLAYTIME transformed the kids’ drawings into playground-size climbers, tunnels and slides. MORE

Sitting on the dock of the bay
Congregational Resource Guide    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
Martin Davis writes, “I’ve spoken to enough ministers in my time at CRG to know that administration and management aren’t topics that normally excite their souls. But the National Association of Church Business Administration does its best to make these important areas not just palatable, but downright enjoyable.” This article, appearing in Congregational Resource Guide, recaps NACBA’s recent annual meeting. More

4th of July surprises from the NACBA in DC    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
Bill Couchenour and his brother Jim recently spoke at the 55th National Conference for the National Association of Church Business Administrators (NACBA). The title of their session was (not so surprisingly) “Developing Compelling Ministry Facilities.” The conference was being held over the 4th of July weekend to take advantage of being in Washington, D.C., for Independence Day. Couchenour writes, “The NACBA always does a wonderful job administrating their conferences at fantastic places so we were excited to be included. We had a good feel for our session but there were a few surprises.” More

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Gallup: Belief in Bible climbed as employment declined    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
Belief in the Bible hit a 35-year low in the United States in May 2008 when unemployment was at the relatively low level of 5.4 percent, but has begun to rebound over the past three years as unemployment has climbed to over 9 percent, according to separate streams of data published by the Gallup poll and the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics.The simultaneous increase in the unemployment rate and belief in the Bible may be wholly coincidentally--yet, no matter what caused their change of heart, a smaller percentage of Americans today reject the divine origin of the Bible than did in the spring of 2008. More

Churches aid soldiers with post-traumatic stress disorder
The Tennessean    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
Reboot is part of a movement among churches and religious groups to help veterans recover from PTSD. The movement’s leaders say veterans need medical care and professional counseling to recover, but spiritual care should be part of the equation. Since 2002, more than 200,000 veterans of the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan have been diagnosed with PTSD, a condition that can leave them haunted by the trauma of combat, emotionally numb or filled with anxiety. For most of the couples who’ve attended Reboot Recovery, it’s the first time they’ve discussed the topic openly, said Jenny Owens, who co-leads Reboot with her husband, Evan. More
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Unsung heroes
Associated Baptist Press    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
Tapping passion and giftedness—and an understanding of every job as ministry— may be the best way to find willing workers to fill those unglamorous and least-recognized posts in church life. More

The strategy for victory? Failure
Baptist Press    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
Nearly every business and management book published in the last 25 years probably has a chapter titled "Freedom to fail" or something similar. It sounded great -- until the U.S. economy failed spectacularly in 2008 because of foolish risks taken in Washington and on Wall Street. Now investors fear spending their money on new ventures. Businesses hesitate to hire new workers. The economy will never truly recover, however, until people in a position to change things risk failure and show some faith in the future. Churches, ministry organizations and mission teams often make the same mistake as businesses in not seeing the benefit of risk-taking and growth through failure. More

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Christmas planning?
Worship Facilities    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
Say it ain't so! At least let the kids go back to school before it gets to "that time of year" --- time to start planning your Christmas production. In reality, it's never too early. Many of you were making notes about this coming year during last year's production. Others, for a variety of reasons, won't start production planning until the weeks before your event. Regardless of the reasons: lack of vision or clarity on the part of your team members (worship leaders, senior leaders etc), uncertain budgets, your own hectic schedule etc --- it's not too early to do some basic planning for your 2011 Christmas production. More

Leadership requires flexibility
Church Central    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
Leaders have to handle the unexpected. While some are prone to rigid, uncompromising plans, others realize that planning is a continual process. That ability to flex is often the difference between a leader and a manager. Managers usually have set routines and rules by which things are governed, but leaders learn to live with an ever changing landscape. More

3 things to do when someone leaves your group    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
Small Groups. We’ve all been in one where the numbers keep whittling down until it’s just you and the leader left. When you’re the one leading, what do you do if people start leaving yours? More

Preschoolers and worship
Worship KidStyle via LifeWay    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
When you think of worship, do your thoughts turn only to a church service? While corporate worship is important to spiritual and moral growth and helps people feel closer to God, it is not the only kind of worship.Worship with a church family brings multiple blessings. Corporate worship can enrich lives and help worshipers develop wholesome attitudes about God. As people unite their voices in praise, prayer, studying the Bible, and giving money, a unity in the family is created. As people catch the true attitude of worship, it can lead to a renewed commitment to Christ. Every worship service is approached with high expectations. Expect to worship God with body, soul, and mind. More

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The pluses of Google+ for church leaders
Your Church    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
Google+ is the latest entry in the ocean of social media. As a church leader, you need to know the potential this has for your leadership and church. The interface has drawn a number of comparisons to Facebook, and while they look like they’re from the same family, you’d never mistake them for twins. The amazing thing is that you develop Circles and keep those people as close or as far away from you depending on your preferences. But the whole concept of Circles becomes more helpful (and less tongue-in-cheek) when you think about the natural circles of involvement in your life, whether it’s “Church Staff,” “Small Group,” or “Outreach Event.” Why is the Circles feature so important to you as a church leader? More

'Ministry on wheels' repairs churches    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
While most people use their RVs for cross-country vacations, trips to Yosemite or other relaxing getaways, several United Methodists in California have found a way to enjoy their recreational pastimes while helping others. RVers in Mission is a group of 30, mostly retirees, who volunteer to work on California-Pacific Annual Conference churches, campgrounds and facilities in need of repairs. They recently completed their 214th project at Pioneer Memorial United Methodist Church in Independence, a town of 669, in the shadow of the Sierra Nevada mountains. More

Church bigger and better after tornado destruction
Pensacola News Journal    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
Almost four years after a tornado destroyed its original building, Greater Little Rock Baptist Church is celebrating the opening of its new child development center. The center is the keystone of the church's two-story, $3 million addition that ultimately will house after-school programs, health and recreation facilities for the congregation — and the A Street neighborhood the church serves. More

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