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ACS Technologies
Pastor compensation keeps up with inflation
Baptist Press    Share   Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
Compensation for full-time Southern Baptist pastors is rising slightly faster than inflation, but the mounting cost of benefits is forcing churches to provide fewer pastors with medical insurance. These and other findings are part of the SBC Church Compensation Study, a survey of 11,674 staff positions in Southern Baptist churches. LifeWay Research conducted the survey in cooperation with GuideStone Financial Resources and Baptist state conventions through June 2010. More

Methodists study the hallmarks of healthy churches
Religion News Service via BeliefNet    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
What is the key to a healthy church? United Methodists have paid big bucks to find out. As the sour economy and aging buildings wreak havoc on church budgets, United Methodists are trying to get ahead of the problem and assess the health of their congregations in a bid to reverse declining fortunes. The church recently concluded a study of more than 32,000 Methodist congregations across North America, seeking the "key factors impacting vital congregations." The study surveyed everybody from bishops to district superintendents to people in the pews. More

Build a Strong, Effective Web Ministry
Churches that build strong Web ministries often experience positive impact on all of their ministry efforts. For more information on how to build a strong, effective Web ministry that improves communication in all ministry areas, download the ACS Technologies ministry guide 5 Key Principles to Effective Web Ministry today. more

Churches making mainstream films to attract souls
USA Today    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
Praise the Lord and pass the popcorn. Moviemaking churches are venturing into the cineplex to attract souls who might never set foot in a megachurch. Like Hollywood films, they take on real-life issues in dramatic packages. More

Need for funding common denominator in church starts
Associated Baptist Press    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
Regardless of the method or process used to start them, all new church plants have one thing in common -- the need for money. Sometimes a church planter will raise enough money through individual donations or start with a handful of people who are able to contribute enough financially to meet start-up needs. Some Christian organizations and networks offer loans, partial funding or help in finding sponsors or ministry partners. But for Baptists, many new starts rely on denominational resources -- through partner churches, the local association or the state convention. More

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How to welcome a new person to your church staff
LifeWay    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
Hiring staff is a lot like dating someone two or three times before marrying them. The dating stage of getting to know each other is done in the first few weeks and months the new staff person is on the field. Granted much of this will have been talked about in the interview process, but time spent orientating the new staff to your preferred style, values, and vision will avoid misunderstand and miscommunication and the potential for conflict later on. Consider the following four suggestions as you set them up for success. More

Growing number of worshipers make themselves at home
Denver Post    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
Megachurch, meet microchurch. Growing numbers of Coloradans believe the tiny house church, also called a simple church or an organic church, might be the mightier transformer of Christian lives. A recliner becomes a pulpit. A sofa and some armchairs serve as pews. Where two or more people are gathered in his name, Jesus said, there he is. House churches range in size from two people to a dozen or slightly more. More

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Ministers urge parishioners to tithe, even in hard times
The Florida Times-Union    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail
The subject of tithing is a touchy one even in good times, but it's become even more delicate during the lingering recession. Instead of merely insisting on giving, churches should provide services to help financially challenged members endure economic hardship. Most ministers agree that churches should be patient in letting hard-pressed members gradually ratchet up their giving until they reach the 10 percent mark. More

Churches using Facebook to share religious messages
Deseret News    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
Established initially as a network for college students, Facebook now has 400 million active users worldwide. With this widespread popularity, Facebook now takes religion to a whole different level by taking communication, theological discussion and religious outreach right to computers and cell phones across America. Many churches across the country have jumped on the Facebook bandwagon. "It's exponential. You can post it to 100 friends and by the end of the day thousands of people can have seen it," Kelli Kirk, communication director for the Good Shepherd Lutheran Church in Sandy, Utah, said of Facebook's ability to share religious messaging. More

25 years of being a "secret shopper worshiper"
Church Central    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
Who's checking your church for "chinks in the armor?" It's important to identify and do something about them. For 25 years the author of this article has enjoyed the occasional foray into sister churches to act as an objective "chink finder." His checklist for effectiveness has over 100 items on it, but he’s sharing some impressions that have occurred way too often in his experience. More

Leading a church in prayer
Leadership Journal    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
Some traditions use set prayers. Others rely on extemporaneous prayers. Both have their place. But the author of this article believes what congregations need most are studied prayers, well prepared, well expressed. These prayers may or may not be read, but will be thought through ahead of time. Publicly leading a church in prayer deserves thoughtful preparation. More

Study: Evangelistic events work well
Ministry Today Magazine    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
Churches that regularly use special events for evangelism are more effective at outreach, at least among Southern Baptist congregations, according to a new study from Southwest Baptist Theological Seminary and the North American Mission Board. The study, which looked at results from 3,200 Southern Baptist churches, found that two-thirds of the congregations that were most effective at sharing the gospel do so through a combination of event- and relationship-based evangelism strategy. More

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10 minute jump start guide to social media
Ministry Marketing Coach    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
Many pastors are aware of the tremendous outreach potential of social media, but the pressing needs of leading a congregation often leaves them asking, "Where do I begin?" If this is you, the author of this article suggests you try the four simple tasks. By investing just a few minutes every day, you’ll be thoughtfully connecting with people and strategically expanding your network without becoming an irritant. More

Lender fatigue
Church Executive Magazine    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
Churches today face their most significant challenge in obtaining financing for building programs since Jimmy Carter was president and interest rates hit 22 percent. Today, even churches with long histories of good relationships with their lender are surprised and dismayed by the difficulty, and sometimes impossibility, of getting the financing they need. What they are experiencing is the new church lending paradigm that has come into effect since the economic crisis began in late 2008. Intellectually, church leaders understand lending has become more difficult, but most do not understand how much church lending has fundamentally changed since the fall of 2008. They are therefore unprepared when they approach the lender. More

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Simple tips for creating an emotionally safe children's ministry    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
None of us intend to cause or allow a child to get hurt emotionally. Ideally, when a child comes to our classroom, we want them to feel safe to make friends with other children and trust the leaders. Above all, we want to create a safe haven where children can come to explore the mysteries of God, and discover his goodness. Use these simple tips to help you create an emotionally safe environment in your children's and youth ministry. More

North Texas church opens athletic facility to public
Fort Worth Star-Telegram    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
Crossroads Christian Church's new $15 million SportCenter in Grand Prairie, Texas, is open for business, and church leaders urge members to bring in as many guests and groups as they can for free use of the 20,000-square-foot gymnasium, tennis courts, soccer and football fields, amphitheater and other features. "We're a church, and we're here to reach people with the Gospel of Jesus Christ," Pastor Barry Cameron said. "Sports is a great avenue to reach people young and old." More

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Youth group pitches in for family's home repairs
Pantagraph    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
A youth group intent on helping one of its own members raised $10,000 in one night to help provide a new roof and paint for the house of a McLean family. They didn’t stop with the fundraising, which drew about $5,000 in pledges and another $5,000 in materials pledged: The Olympia Youth Ministry next brought nearly 100 people to the home for an intensive makeover weekend. More

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