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Membership  Resources  Events  Certification  Nat'l Conference  Chapters  Jobs  Teleweb Nov. 18, 2011


Bless Friday: Houston churches offer Black Friday alternative
The Christian Post    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
Black Friday may officially kick off the Christmas shopping season in many people’s minds, but for some in Houston, Texas, it also means a day of service and a time to help those in need. This year, eight local churches are providing an alternative to the frenzied Christmas shopping occurring on the day after Thanksgiving through a project called Bless Friday. “This is a different way to start off the season,” Chuck Fox, founder of Bless Friday, told The Christian Post Monday. He said people are becoming tired of the consumerism that the Christmas season brings, and Bless Friday provides a “thoughtful call to action” to do something different. More

Busy Parents Seek Regular Exercise Outlets for Kids
The Centers for Disease Control, in an effort to halt the trend of obesity among children, recommend that children play one hour each day. That’s a lot for a busy family, and so parents are seeking ways to incorporate play into their lives and into their childcare plans.  MORE

Want to be happy? Go to church
IOL SciTech    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
Regular attendance at religious services is associated with a more optimistic outlook and a lesser inclination to be depressed, compared to those who do not attend services at all, a study recently concluded. The study's findings supports previous research that religious participation can promote psychological and physical health - and reduce mortality risks - possibly by calming people in stressful times, creating meaningful social interactions and helping curtail bad habits. More

Church music wars battle for souls with song
USA Today    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
In many U.S. churches today, worship musicians bang the drums for God and singers croon as if Christ were their boyfriend. Bye-bye to Be Thou My Vision, a sixth-century Irish hymn with century-old English lyrics. Godspeed, Amazing Grace. Nearly 50 percent of Protestant churches now say they use electric guitars or drums in worship, up from nearly 35 percent in 2000, according to the recently released Faith Communities Today study of 14,000 congregations. But just because you don't like the tune doesn't mean it's theologically incorrect, says Rick Muchow, music pastor for the Saddleback Church founded by evangelist Rick Warren. "The Bible does not have an official soundtrack." More

Successful Outreach through Special Events
The key to successful outreach is offering special events that are tailored to the people the church wants to reach. For practical advice on starting and maintaining an effective special events ministry and reaching out to the community more efficiently, download the ACS ministry guide Events from Start to Finish. more

Houses of worship use innovation to battle losses in members, income    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
Nothing is safe during a recession. Not even the house of God. Coupling a down economy with a falling population has been a struggle for many — but not all — Mahoning Valley, Ind., churches. “What we’ve noticed is that given the economic times we live in — and the place we live in — that our giving, at least our Sunday offertory, has been kind of flat,” said the Rev. John Jerek, vicar for clergy at the Diocese of Youngstown. “It hasn’t really increased, certainly not the way it would have probably 10 years ago,” Father Jerek added. More

Churches and social media: Can Twitter destroy your church?
Church Executive Magazine    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
Many, if not most, churches and ministries now regularly use social networking sites, such as Facebook and Twitter, in their ministry efforts. Churches have discovered that posting to such sites is an effective and easy (and free) way to communicate with members of the church, particularly in youth ministries. However, imagine a scenario in which a church employee posts a comment to one of these sites, using a computer or other mobile device that was supplied to him by the church, and that the comment itself was a malicious or defamatory statement directed towards another church member or a member of the community at large. More

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Crossing boundaries in ministry poses opportunities, challenges
Associated Baptist Press    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
"Are we missing the big picture?" That's the question some Christian leaders are asking as America's centuries-old denominational patterns unravel and while denominational distinctions seem as entrenched -- and unbridgeable -- as ever. In a post-denominational society, can churches retain theological integrity and still find common ground with people who hold differing beliefs? More

Church turns to higher authority in zoning battle
The Wall Street Journal    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
Sundays at Faith Fellowship Church, Pastor Gary Mortara calls on God's help to heal the sick, repair torn marriages and rescue lost souls. But when city officials here rejected plans to move his growing congregation to a bigger building, Mortara turned to another authority: the Ninth U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals. In April, the court, in San Francisco, answered his prayers, ruling that San Leandro may have violated federal law by refusing to amend its zoning code to accommodate the Pentecostal congregation. It was a broad reading of a 2000 law giving religious groups the power to ask courts to set aside land-use regulations they believe interfere with their expression of faith, and it now stands as precedent throughout the Ninth Circuit, a nine-state region sprawling from Montana to Hawaii. More

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Year-End Giving

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Encouraging youth...even when it's hard
Youth Worker Journal    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
In youth ministry, we seem to be on a roller-coaster of ups and downs. As youth pastors/leaders, we tend to judge a lot of our success on how well the youth are doing in their own spiritual lives. There are seasons of tremendous joy when there can be new youth joining the group; some are accepting Christ for the first time, and others are wanting to take that next step. This can be very encouraging in the life of a youth pastor/leader. More

Faith that sticks
Leadership Journal    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
Our churches are filled with parents who agonize over their children's turbulent spiritual journeys. A host of studies suggest that approximately 40 to 50 percent of kids who are part of a church or youth group will fail to stick with their faith beyond high school. To try to understand more about the current state of both youth and the church, we at the Fuller Youth Institute studied close to 500 youth group graduates from across the U.S. during their first three years in college. Our primary goal was to identify church and family practices that build lasting faith, or what we call "sticky faith." More

9 areas every church should measure via    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
Church leaders have a level of uncertainty about whether they are measuring the right things. Often, just pinpointing the right areas to measure then isolating the method to measure them by is the hardest task. Here are nine areas the author of this article wants to measure consistently. More

Divorce-proof your church
Ministry Today Magazine    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
Believe it or not, 85 percent of Americans still get married. Why? Because God created us that way. At the core of who we are, we long for safe, loving, committed relationships. You don’t have to look very far in the Bible to realize that He also wants to bless our love and marriage. What’s troubling today is that the majority of couples eventually break up. Research estimates that between 40 to 50 percent of today’s marriages end in divorce. If you count couples that separate but don’t divorce, the statistic is even higher. The snowball effect? Tragically, one in three children now live in single-parent homes or do not live with their parents at all. More

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Economy-driven worship?
Associated Baptist Press    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
We are experiencing unprecedented times of financial strain. Everyone, every family, every business, every church is having difficulty meeting budget and/or making ends meet. People are being laid off by the thousands -- with no end in sight, at least in the near future. Creator magazine has been inundated with e-mails and letters from church musicians all over the United States wanting to leave their churches for greener pastures. Some are feeling pressure to leave, even if there is no grass in sight. Others are being asked to cut back to part time or are being dismissed because offerings have decreased and times in the church are tough. More

Japan relief efforts pay off    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
When northern Japan was devastated by last March’s earthquake/tsunami, the Rev. Michiko Nishinosono knew she had to do something to help. The members of the Japanese-language group she leads at Wesley United Methodist Church in San Jose, Calif., — known as Wesley Nichigo-bu (Japanese-speaking) — felt the same way. While Japanese Americans live throughout the Santa Clara Valley, San Jose’s Japantown, where Wesley is located, remains the cultural, emotional and spiritual heart of that community. After being approached to collaborate on a fundraiser for Japan relief, “our nichigo-bu decided to be a sponsor for this event, and we worked together,” she said. More

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More religion equals less crime?
The Christian Post    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
It’s rare to hear about street hardened criminals in a prison sneaking around to share the Gospel with fellow inmates. But it happened at a faith-based prison in Houston, Texas. Criminologist Byron R. Johnson shared this story and stories like it when he spoke at The Family Research Council headquarters Thursday in Washington, D.C. His new book More God, Less Crime explores an emerging conversation on the effects of religion on criminal behavior, and how it can change behavior for the better. Johnson, a professor of Social Sciences and director for the Program on Prosocial Behavior at Baylor University, said the book is a compilation and analysis of almost 300 studies regarding crime and religion. More

George Fischoff presents Gauguin/ Savage Light A Musical

An exciting one person performance of the journey to greatness of the immortal French artist Paul Gauguin!

Read the NY Times Review

Click here for Tickets and Show Times.


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