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As tithing drops, churches keeping more money for internal needs
State Journal-Register    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
Tithing to U.S. Protestant churches as a percentage of income is at its lowest level in at least 41 years, according to a recent report, and churches are keeping a greater share of those donations for their own needs. Parishioners gave about 2.38 percent of their income to their church, according to “The State of Church Giving through 2009,” a new report released last month by Empty Tomb Inc., a Christian research agency in Champaign. Just over 2 percent of income went toward congregational finances, such as operating costs and building expenses. Only 0.34 percent of parishioner income went to what Empty Tomb calls “benevolences,” such as charities and seminary training beyond the four walls of the church. 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

Study: Youths' level of faith depends on community
The Christian Post    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
When it comes to adolescents genuinely committing to their faith, a study found that their social environment determines how strong their faith level will be. The study, conducted by Professor David Dollahite from Brigham Young University, operated by The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, took on a different approach from simply reporting numbers and statistics on how devout young people are. He reached each teen on a personal level by allowing them to share their views on different variables. More

Keep people coming and get them involved
Outreach Magazine    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
How have pastors met the assimilation challenge all churches face? Leaders at 14 large and fast-growing churches share with us the creative means they use to approach the process of assimilation and retention. No single answer fits all, but these leaders have developed methods to help people connect and grow in their faith that your church can learn from. Here, from the Outreach magazine archives, are 14 church-tested strategies. More

Create a More Personal Web Experience
The church Web site is often a visitor’s first interaction with the church. One of the easiest ways to provide a more personal experience is to tightly integrate the Web site content with the church management system. For more information, download the ACS Technologies ministry guide Developing An Effective Web Strategy. more

New harmonies
The Christian Century    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
How many kinds of music are there? Most teenagers could come up with four or five. An aficionado might list dozens. But ask a church worship committee and you may hear that there are only two types, traditional and contemporary. Those terms don't tell you much. Which tradition, at what time? Contemporary to whom and where? Decades after the first time an organ console was unplugged to make way for a guitar amp, the worship wars rage on. More

Some fear megachurch bubble may soon burst
The Tennessean    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
The past three decades have been boom times for big churches. In the 1970s, only a handful of churches drew more than 2,000 people on Sundays. Now they number in the thousands. But the collapse of the Crystal Cathedral near Los Angeles, which is being sold to pay off more than $40 million in debt, has prompted fears that the megachurch bubble may be about to burst. Most megachurches — which earn that label around the 2,000-attendance level — are led by baby boomer pastors who soon will hit retirement age and without suitable replacements in the pipeline. And some fear the big-box worship centers with lots of individual programs no longer appeal to younger generations. More

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10 bad work habits to kick
Church Executive Magazine    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
We all struggle with bad habits; at home; at work; privately and publicly. Church leaders are no exception. The author of this article shares a few of these bad habits through the lens of church life. We can harm otherwise fruitful ministry with these character foibles. Here’s a list of 10 bad habits to consider kicking. More

Are you celebrating the resources you have in your church?
Church Central    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
Our society is very good at noticing what we don't have. The advertising industry makes it their business to make us think we're deprived if we don't buy what they're selling. The economic crunch means some of us have less than we used to, as individuals and institutions, and we notice that. The media in general tries to raise anxiety, not foster contentment, let alone celebration. What are the resources in your church, financial and otherwise, that you might celebrate? Here are a few suggestions, things the author of this article has observed in her own congregation and in others. More

Free Guide to
Year-End Giving

November and December make up the most generous season of the year. Even people who wouldn’t usually consider giving are drawn to thoughts about generosity. This guide from ServiceU offers helpful information for church staff and lay leaders as they prepare for the most important financial season of the year.
Learn More

Preventing identity theft at church
Managing Your Church    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
A church that meets in the Iowa Correctional Institute for Women says its former administrative assistant, who is also a former inmate, used volunteers’ personal information to steal 40 identities to open credit cards, according to the Des Moines Register. Social Security numbers, birth dates, and other information are required from volunteers to gain entry into the facilities. The church’s leaders believed all documents with personal information were secured. While few churches meet in correctional facilities like this one in Iowa, this news still serves as an important reminder of the precautions leaders can take to safeguard the sensitive information about their staff and members that churches possess. More

Why "thank you" should always kick off your worship    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
It’s common practice to teach your kids to say ‘please’ and then ‘thank you’ when they have requests. It’s considered proper protocol. And when talking to adults, it is. But with God, things are a little bit different. God has a protocol for how He wants to be approached. And it starts with thanksgiving. More

Church ministry can be a dangerous job
OAOA    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
The local church ministry is a dangerous job. It doesn’t appear to be, but statistically it ranks in the same category as deep-sea welders and loggers. It is behind crab fishermen, but ahead of munitions workers. The ministry is a complex calling, where compartmentalizing is impossible. No one involved in ministry leaves their work at the office at the end of the day. A quick stop at the supermarket can result in an impromptu counseling session. Standing in the checkout line can become an opportunity for outreach. Pastoral visits can take place at the post office, coffee shop or restaurant and at the least expected time. More

The epic-fail of church announcements
Church Marketing Sucks    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
Picture this scene. You’re in your pew. The worship is amazing, almost transcendent. The song ends in a moment of awe-filled silence. It’s just you and God. And then—train wreck; you are catapulted from a state of ethereal wonder to an awkward announcement about the church cookie bake-off or a video that never seems to have the sound start until seven seconds after it begins. Nothing in the history of Christendom, save perhaps the Second Crusade, rivals the ineffectiveness of the church’s ability to accomplish an intended purpose more than the medium of in-service announcements. More

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Western New York churchgoers receive $100 in envelopes
The Associated Press via ABC News    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
Dozens of congregants at a western New York church received a little something extra while attending services this past weekend. Envelopes each containing a $100 bill were handed out to about 85 families and individuals older than 18 near the end of Sunday's service at The Vine Wesleyan Church in Depew, in suburban Buffalo. The cash was accompanied by a letter telling recipients that the money could help them meet a need in their lives or the lives of someone else. More

Panel: Churches need to take lead in race relations
Associated Baptist Press    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
Churches too often have trailed society at large in terms of embracing racial and ethnic diversity, a multiethnic panel told a regional New Baptist Covenant II gathering in San Antonio. “I believe what we see on this stage is what our future must look like,” Victor Rodriguez, pastor of South San Filadelfia Baptist Church in San Antonio, said while glancing at three other panelists -- another Hispanic, an African-American and an Anglo. More

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New York pastor organizes kissing contests during service
Digital Journal    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
A New York pastor is using public kissing contests during services to help teach married couples how to keep romance alive in their marriages. His Sunday sermons have been described as the sexiest in town. With sermons, titled "The Power and Pleasure of Romance," Pastor Maurice Johnson of the non-denominational Winners Church in Queens is highlighting the importance of marriage in the African-American community, the New York Post reports. 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.


NACBA Weekly Update
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