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As 2011 comes to a close, NACBA would like to wish its members, partners, and other industry professionals a safe and happy holiday season. As we reflect on the past year for the industry, we would like to provide the readers of the NACBA Weekly Update, a look at the most accessed articles from the year. Our regular publication will resume next Friday, Jan. 6, 2012.

Video: The National Council of Churches releases membership statistics of American churches
ABC News    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
From Feb. 18, 2011: America is the most developed nation when it comes to religion. It has a dynamic, competitive religious marketplace -- which means it has winners and losers. According to a report by the National Council of Churches, the biggest losers are the mainstream Protestant churches -- the Presbyterian Church, Methodists and Lutherans are all showing a dip in membership. While each of them are down just a few percentage points (the data was compiled in 2009 and reported to the council in 2010) the declines have reached into the double digits over the last decade. Some of them are responding with ad campaigns. 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. 

Minister housing tax break under attack
The Christian Post    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
From Jan. 7, 2011: As tax time begins, church legal expert Richard Hammar warns ministers, pastors and clerics to be mindful of a legal battle that has strong financial implications on their personal and church taxes in 2011. In the January 2011 issue of Church Law & Tax Report, Hammar highlights tax developments, drawing special attention to a California court case that threatens to extinguish a federal tax break which dates back to 1954, the parsonage exemption. More

Church collection plates may go empty as electronic giving rises
Reuters    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
From Jan. 28, 2011: Brie Hall felt awkward the first few times she passed the collection basket at her Catholic church without tossing in a donation envelope. But it is more convenient to give her gift to God by direct debit from her checking account. The tradition of passing the church plate might become a relic of the past, as a majority of Americans pay bills electronically and move away from using cash or writing checks. Despite concerns about commercializing something so personal, electronic giving to churches is growing. More

Choosing the Best Data Security Partner
Data security is crucial in today’s ministry and choosing a data security partner may seem like a daunting task. To help, ACS Technologies has developed How Secure Is Your Vital Information. It covers choosing a partner that understands ministry and answers churches’ most frequently asked data security questions. more

Church uses for Google+
Wesleyan Life    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
From July 29, 2011: July was all a twitter (pun intended) over a new social media platform launched by Google called Google+. Google launched the beta version in July for individuals and plans to open it up for non-profits and businesses this year. Reviews have ranged from excitement over the simplicity and lack of Farmville to disappointment over just another social media site. Still in its testing phase, Google+ has potential for churches, specifically individual ministries, pastors, and those in leadership. Here are some thoughts on how churches can utilize Google+. More

Tithing, charitable spending take a hit
St. Louis Today    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
From Oct. 21, 2011: Tithing to mainline Protestant churches as a percentage of income is at its lowest level in at least 41 years, according to a new 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 week by Empty Tomb Inc., a Christian research agency in Champaign, Ill. 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

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Who is going to church? Not who you think, study finds
MSNBC    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
From Aug. 26, 2011: Who is filling the pews in American churches? It is increasingly likely that they won’t be working class white people, according to new research. While religious service attendance has decreased for all white Americans since the early 1970s, the rate of decline has been more than twice as high for less educated, lower and lower-middle class whites compared to more educated and presumably more affluent whites, according to a study presented Saturday at the annual meeting of the American Sociological Association in Las Vegas. More

An overview of religious financial fraud
Christian Headlines    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
From Jan. 14, 2011: The January 2011 issue of the International Bulletin of Missionary Research reported that Christian religious leaders will commit an estimated $34 billion in financial fraud in 2011 while $31 billion will be spent on global missions. Researchers from the Center for the Study of Global Christianity estimate that Christian religious leaders will commit $90 million in financial crimes daily and the fraud is growing at a rate of 5.97 percent each year. If the researchers are correct, religious financial fraud among Christians will almost double in 14 years to $60 billion annually by 2025. 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

What's a church's economic worth?
Philadelphia Inquirer    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
From Feb. 4, 2011: What is a church's economic worth to the community it serves? Last summer, a University of Pennsylvania professor and a national secular research group based in Center City took up that seemingly unanswerable question. With a list they devised of 54 value categories, they attempted to calculate the economic "halo effect" of a dozen religious congregations in Philadelphia - 10 Protestant churches, a Catholic parish, and a synagogue. They added up the money generated by weddings and funerals, festivals, counseling programs, preschools, elder care. They tallied the salaries of staff and the wages of roofers, plumbers, even snow shovelers. They put dollar signs on intangibles, too, such as helping people find work and teaching children to be socially responsible. More

Churches turn to electronic giving, survey finds
Christian Newswire    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
From April 8, 2011: As consumers in the United States shift increasingly to online banking and bill payment, their electronic financial habits are spilling over into the church. A new study by LifeWay Research found that 14 percent of all American Protestant churches offer online giving. The survey of 1,003 Protestant congregations found that large churches are most likely to offer online giving and that for the most part, electronic tithes and offerings are a recent development. More

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How to create a generosity culture in your church: 5 things you need to do
Church Central    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
From Oct. 21, 2011: For a car to run well, all the pistons must be firing properly. For a church’s finances to run well, all the "generosity" pistons must be firing as the church moves forward. But most churches today are struggling with the “Kluth Rule of 1/3rds on church giving - - 1/3 of the giving records are blank, 1/3 show less than $500/year, 1/3 show over $500/year”. For a church to develop a generosity culture, they must understand the 5 spiritual pistons that are needed to help their church grow generous givers and giving. To create a generosity culture, the following five things are needed. More

Top 10 worst church moments from a church secret shopper
Maurilio Amorim    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
From Nov. 4, 2011: Maurilio Amorim has attended hundreds of church services as a church secret shopper. He'se had thousands of conversations with volunteers, staff and visitors. Here’s his list of the top 10 worst things people said to him. More

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Friendship: The key to keeping people coming back to Church
Examiner    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
From July 15, 2011: Rob and Joanne attend Harvest Christian Fellowship, in Riverside Ca., where thousands gather weekly for services. When asked what keeps them attending, they answer without hesitancy, friendships. Their answer is simple, yet goes to the very heart of what draws people to church and keeps them there. On the other side of the coin, Mark, a new Christian and recovering addict, attended a local church one Sunday and was met with suspicious stares and coldness, as many were disturbed by his tattoos and ear studs. Whether large or small, churches are wise to emphasize the nurturing of friendships and to identify the things that kill them. 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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