Church Executive November Digital Issue 2012

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NOveMBer 2012

SPeCial SeCtion:


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MegA CHuRCH 80 Million StronG | 17 online GivinG:

reMOve BArrIerS For Greater GeneroSity | 22

FReD luteR JR.

VAnguARD FoR MultietHniCitY | 12


they want to change the world and will need intentional mentors to succeed.


Bullies can destroy a church by their determination to get their way or sway people to their side.


the Ce interv ieW

By Ronald E. Keener

as hurricane isaac blew through new orleans in late august, Fred luter, 56, could be excused if he felt like “here we go again.” hurricane Katrina, seven years earlier, destroyed his church and scattered the membership of Franklin avenue Baptist Church across the country.


enhance your church website with e-commerce functionality and mobile optimization.


trust, but verify when staff and volunteers handle funds.

20 ONLINE, ON-SITE, IN HAND 22 By Rez Gopez-Sindac

By offering multiple giving options, churches take the hassle out of giving and pave the way for members to exercise greater generosity.


hard walls leave a church with a troublesome room for performance audio.








By Ronald E. Keener



By David Middlebrook




Church Executive (Copyright 2012), Volume 11, Issue 11. Church Executive is published monthly by Power Trade Media LLC, a subsidiary of Friendship Publications Inc., 4742 N. 24th Street, Ste. 340, Phoenix, AZ 85016. ™

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1. What is your title? 10 [ ] Senior Pastor 11 [ ] Executive Pastor/Minister 12 [ ] Associate Pastor/Minister 13 [ ] Church Manager/Business Administrator 14 [ ] Treasurer/Finance Person 15 [ ] Church Director/Trustee 16 [ ] Technical Director 17 [ ] Travel Agent/Coord/Volunteer 18 [ ] Other

6 | ChurCh exeCutive | 11/2012

denise Craig

Chief Financial officer abba’s house | hixson, tn

Mike Klockenbrink

Chief of Staff lakeside Church | Folsom, Ca

dan Mikes

34 [ ] 500 to 999 35 [ ] Less than 500

executive vice President Bank of the West | San ramon, Ca

John C. Mrazek iii

4. What is your church’s annual operating budget? 40 [ ] More than $3,000,000 41 [ ] $2,000,000 to $2,999,999 42 [ ] $1,000,000 to $1,999,999 43 [ ] $500,000 to $999,999 44 [ ] Less than $500,000

Ceo Building Better Churches | Colorado Springs, Co

Sam S. rainer iii

Senior Pastor First Baptist Church | Murray, Ky

Mark Simmons

Business Manager Christ Community Church | Milpitas, Ca

eric Spacek

Senior Manager Guideone insurance | West des Moines, ia

2. What is your church’s denomination? 5. What is your level of purchasing authority? 80 [ ] Baptist 50 [ ] Authorize 81 [ ] Catholic 51 [ ] Specify 82 [ ] Church of Christ 52 [ ] Influence 83 [ ] Episcopal 53 [ ] None 84 [ ] Evangelical 85 [ ] Holiness 6. What does your church operate/own? 86 [ ] Lutheran 60 [ ] School 87 [ ] Methodist 61 [ ] Gymnasium 88 [ ] Pentecostal 62 [ ] Conference Center/Retreat Center 89 [ ] Presbyterian 63 [ ] Bus/Van 90 [ ] Reformed 64 [ ] Bookstore 91 [ ] Non-denominational 65 [ ] Assisted Living Facility 92 [ ] Other denomination 99 [ ] Not a church 3. What is your church’s congregation size? 30 [ ] 5,000 or more 31 [ ] 3,000 to 4,999 32 [ ] 2,000 to 2,999 33 [ ] 1,000 to 1,999

associate Pastor of administration First Baptist Church | hendersonville, nC

volume 11, no. 11


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rON KeeNer

let tHe sunsHine in with scandals and frauds exposed in churches, financial transparency will go a long way to restore integrity and build confidence among the people. every state adheres to what is commonly called a Sunshine law, which guarantees public access to records held by the government. Churches could use something similar. Churches aren’t known to open their financial, compensation and other records to parishioners. yes, go to the pastor and ask for a private opportunity to examine the data and you will likely get it. But it is mostly with a grudging compliance that makes an inquirer feel foolish and intrusive. Churches aren’t very transparent, but they ought to be. the time is well past due. dave travis of leadership network asks: “do church leaders make decisions and handle money ‘in the light of day,’ or do things happen behind closed doors?” travis writes about transparency in a new booklet, What’s Next?: A Look Over the Next Hill for Innovative Churches and Their Leaders, and reflects: “once upon a time, church members simply trusted their leaders. Some still do. But in the world we now inhabit, trust depends to some extent upon reasonable transparency. in the future, it could become a critical issue.” it is a world too where fraud and embezzlements are reported nearly weekly in the media—involving staff and volunteers working with the funds of the church. Church fraud is epi-

8 | ChurCh 8 | exeCutive ChurCh exeCutive | 11/2012| 11/2012

demic. news is replete with stories of pastors with outsized compensation packages. and when leadership does share the new budget figures for the next financial year, the line items are rolled up into a handful of categories without any real detail by which to judge the rightness of the expenditures. “Going forward, we feel that voluntary transparency will bolster churches in the eyes of the public – members and outsiders alike,” writes travis. “younger adults will insist upon it, being accustomed to detailed reports from other charitable organizations.” annual reports, posting of financial reports to the church website, audited financial statements at least every other year, 990 filings (though not required by law), and use of outside compensation comparisons all demonstrate financial integrity and build confidence. More churches are opting to abide by the standards of the evangelical Council for Financial accountability that now is for congregations as well as parachurch organizations. next year Church Executive will begin a series of articles on “responsible Financial Stewardship” in association with the eCFa. and we will be monitoring and reporting on this topic in other ways through the year. in a related action, likely in december, eCFa will release the first part of the report of the Commission on accountability and Policy for religious organizations to u.S. Senator Charles Grassley.

dave travis says that transparency and accountability aren’t the most favorite topics for most church leaders. “their lives and ministries have enough challenges without the added layers of expense and tough questions that invite criticism. “even so, we believe their openness and transparency should be hallmarks of any authentic church. Practically speaking, these things help win confidence from the community. in the long run, they’re worth the headaches. We suggest [the initiatives] demonstrate to the world that our churches are beyond reproach.” even as our churches ask us to live our lives beyond reproach, so should they.

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NewS updAte LEADERSHIP NETWORK SAYS THERE ARE NOW 5,000-PLUS MULTISITE CHURCHES The number of congregations that host worship services at more than one physical location has grown to more than 5,000 in the last decade, according to a Leadership Network report. Researchers say these “multisite” churches, which may share worshippers across town or many miles apart, are growing at a much larger pace than traditional megachurches. Without the burden of additional expensive buildings, congregations find they grow faster in new places, says Warren Bird, research director of Leadership Network. Bird, the author of books on the multisite trend, has tracked the number of churches meeting in more than one place for the Dallas-

based church think tank; he combined his findings with Faith Communities Today surveys. Multisite churches have grown from fewer than 200 in 2001 to 1,500 in 2006 to an estimated 3,000 in 2009 to more than 5,000 today. In comparison, U.S. megachurches have grown from about 50 in 1970 to about 1,650 in 2012 in North America. Multisite comes in all kinds of models: Some congregations speak different languages at different locations; some hear from different “campus pastors” onsite and others are preached to by a senior pastor who speaks live or via video. “The more campuses you have, the more likely you are to use video teaching,” says Bird. Sergio De La Mora, senior pastor

of Cornerstone Church of San Diego, preaches five times every Sunday on its main campus in National City, CA – with one service in Spanish and another translated into Japanese. After morning services, he hops in his car and drives to the La Jolla campus for a 5 p.m. service before returning to National City for its last service at 6:30 p.m. Meanwhile, videos of his 8:30 a.m. sermon are played in satellite campuses in Escondido, CA, and across the border in Tijuana and Mexico City. A campus pastor runs the service at a location in Tucson, AZ. At Community Christian Church in the Chicago area, Pastor Dave Ferguson has taken a different approach with its dozen sites. Each week he

gathers in a room with a team of campus pastors to develop a “big idea” into a sermon. A video featuring one of them is created, but the pastors can choose whether to speak from the original manuscript, a version of it they edited or show the video. In the end, the general message reaches about 10,000 people worshipping at sites that include a community center, a college theater, reopened churches and office parks. — Adelle M. Banks, Religion News Service

ECFA REACHES 1,700-ORGANIZATION MARK With the addition of Seattlebased Mars Hill Church as its newest member, Evangelical Council for Financial Accountability (ECFA) now numbers a record-breaking 1,700 churches and Christ-centered nonprofits in its accreditation. ECFA has grown from 1,500 accredited organizations in the last18 months. Dan Busby, ECFA president, says, “By meeting the stringent criteria ECFA applies to all applicants, this certifies to supporters of the church and the public that Mars Hill meets the highest standards of financial ethics, faithfulness and accountability.” “At Mars Hill, we are dedicated to utilizing the resources entrusted 10 | ChurCh exeCutive | 11/2012

to us in faithful adherence to our mission to make disciples and plant churches in the name of Jesus,” says Pastor Mark Driscoll. “In proactively submitting ourselves to the scrutiny of ECFA, we openly state our commitment to proclaim Jesus to our communities with utmost ethical honor.” Founded in Seattle, Mars Hill is the third fastest-growing and 28th largest church in the United States. Every organization privileged to display the ECFA seal of approval agrees to operate on the foundation of God-honoring, biblical principles. ECFA Seven Standards of Responsible Stewardship™ include transparency in all fiscal matters,

acting on the intent of givers and in their best interests, sound governance, responsible use of resources and compliance with laws. Adherence by all members is verified by an annual review process. The rapid addition of 200 new ECFA accredited organizations since March 2011 is a clear indicator of the rising need for confidence among donors to place their trust in worthy organizations. The increasing diversity of ministry size and mission among member organizations is demonstrating ECFA’s assistance in assuring fiscal responsibility globally among the body of Christ. — Ty Mays


Marketing can build churches By ronald e. Keener the use of marketing within the church is still seen as controversial, says one of the authors of Building Strong Congregations (autumn house Publishing). Bruce Wrenn says, “it depends on whom you ask. Some critics will always be opposed to the use of marketing because they find its function at odds with the spiritual life of the church. other critics might be won over if their opposition is based on a misunderstanding of what marketing really is, or if they mistakenly believe we are proposing it be used for all components of a church’s mission.” Wrenn is professor of Christian ministry at andrews university, Berrien Springs, Mi, and wrote the book with marketing expert Philip Kotler and church consultant norman Shawchuck. dr. Wrenn responded to questions from Church Executive: Should religious institutions and churches be marketed? We believe religion, that is, Christianity, shouldn’t and

can’t be marketed. But a church and its ministries can and should be marketed. Marketing involves the deep understanding of people’s needs and the development of need satisfying services – exactly what churches are trying to achieve by fostering fellowship and offering ministries as part of their mission. attracting other believers without a home church to join your congregation is also part of the “can and should” territory of church marketing. when should a large congregation begin to consider staffing for the marketing function? Congregations of any size should realize that they are already doing marketing if they are trying to serve the needs of people. So, staffing may merely consist of volunteers or paid staff learning how to do it better. in one sense, staffing the marketing function is merely helping congregants become more committed to understanding and serving people in need. a case can be made, however, for the strategic planning team to create a marketing plan as part of the planning process and assign responsibility for its implementation to a specific individual. what is branding when applied to a church? i recently was talking with a church marketer about how marketing is sometimes defined as removing the barriers to exchange, and that he might be faced with barriers of knowledge, motivation and trust that stand in the way of engaging in exchange with the audience he was trying to reach. Branding can be an effective means of breaking through such barriers. i see the most successful churches as having a well-established “corporate” brand, plus scores of individually branded ministries, events and programs. My guess is that they are giving a lot of attention to continuous improvement of their branding strategies and tactics. Is religious programming on tv or radio past its prime? where might pastors be spending such dollars more wisely for outreach? it is certainly true that narrowcasting – using media to reach a specifically targeted audience – has replaced broadcasting for many marketers, including church marketers. this question also points out the necessity for churches to develop comprehensive communication plans that include all methods of communicating your message. Churches, with their limited marketing budgets, must be careful to allocate funds among the media in a way that capitalizes on the strength of each medium. in other words, don’t send a radio ad out to do a blog’s job. radio, tv and newspapers still have their place in the church marketer’s arsenal; it’s just a smaller place than it used to be.

11/2012 | ChurCh exeCutive | 11

the ce interview

Fred Luter JR. Senior Pastor | Franklin Avenue Baptist Church | New Orleans, LA

As Hurricane Isaac blew through New Orleans in late August, Fred Luter, 56, could be excused if he felt like “here we go again.” Hurricane Katrina, seven years earlier, destroyed his church and scattered the membership across the country.

“We had more than 1,000 of our members move to Houston, and more than 600 of our members in Baton Rouge, and started a church in both cities that are still meeting. Our members in New Orleans met for a one-hour 7:30 am worship service at First Baptist Church New Orleans, pastored by Dr. David Crosby, a mostly Anglo church. God used this ‘partnership’ to be a testimony to the city of New Orleans. “By the grace of God,” Luter says, “we have once again seen tremendous church growth since Hurricane Katrina, causing us to have multiple services. If you are not in the sanctuary 10 to 15 minutes before service starts, you have to go to one of three overflow rooms with large TV monitors to watch the worship service. “We are in a landlocked city block with off-street parking, with some members parking up to four blocks away from the sanctuary. We bought 25 acres of land about 10 miles from our present facility to build a larger sanctuary, but more importantly we can park more than 1,200 cars on the property. We will certainly be able to reach more people with the gospel message that Jesus saves!”

By Ronald E. Keener

12 | Church executive | 11/2012

How do you manage your time between your congregation and the responsibilities of the SBC presidency? In my new role as president of the Southern Baptist Convention, there are some meetings and events that I am obligated to attend. I will block those dates out and then fit in my other responsibilities as a pastor of a growing church. Hopefully, there will not be any major conflicts where I need to be in two places on the same date! Having been a bivocational pastor at one time does certainly help with multitasking when I have to juggle appointments. In what ways would you describe your election as “making history”? Being the first AfricanAmerican to lead the largest Protestant denomination in America is certainly historic; there is no way to get around that. It is something that is mentioned in every interview as well as when being introduced before preaching engagements. I do recognize and embrace the history behind this election. Do you have an agenda or specific goals you wish to carry out during your tenure? I am still talking to pastors, state execs, denomination staff, and fellow Southern Baptists around the country to see what needs to be done to turn around our downward trend in church membership and baptisms, particularly among our young people. I am convinced that we must be willing to change some

What was it like to be a street preacher in the Lower Ninth Ward of the city? What did it teach you about life, faith and conversions? I enjoyed my years as a street preacher. I saw God do a lot of miraculous things on the street corners of the Lower Ninth Ward. Being a street preacher taught me that people, regardless of their lot in life, are hungry for the Word of God and are willing to make a public confession when the Gospel is presented in a way that they can understand.

of our outdated methods to reach this new generation. There is no way we can reach this iPod, iPhone and iPad generation with eight-track ministry! It’s been noted that the percent of non-Anglo churches has moved from one in 20 to one in five just during the last two decades. What should that tell us about the SBC, its growth and future? It should tell us that the SBC is more of a multiethnic convention. Our convention purposely wants to start more African-American, Hispanic and Asian congregations. The numbers will show that these ethnic groups are growing all across our convention. Is it too much to hope (as Curtis Freeman has said) “for the convention to move beyond the racialized divisions of the past and into a future where white and black Baptists might begin to see themselves as one people”? I believe that it is not too much to hope for, but it is not realistic to think that we can ever see ourselves as one people without mentioning black or white. However, I have no doubt that the divisions are coming closer than they have ever been, as proven by my election running unopposed in a predominantly white convention. You have spoken about your “Damascus Road” experience earlier in your life. What was that about? After being hit on my

motorcycle – a new blue-andsilver Honda 360 – I found myself in a local hospital with a head injury and a compound fracture of my left leg. I almost lost my life. A senior deacon at the church I grew up in came to my hospital bed, put his finger in my face and said, “Boy, obedience is better than sacrifice. If you would be obedient to your Mom you would not be sacrificing your life here in this hospital.” So that night I cried out to God to come into my life and make me a new creature! God did, and I have never been the same! I call that evening my “Damascus Road” experience! When was the last time you were on a motorcycle? I have never been on another motorcycle since, not because I do not want to ride again; however I know that if my wife, Elizabeth, found out then I would be sleeping that night on the sofa instead of in my bed!

You have been called a trailblazer in the SBC. How do you see yourself in what might be called “the top of your profession”? I am in no way a trailblazer in the SBC. As a matter of fact I am standing on the shoulders of men I would consider trailblazers. Men like Clarence Hopson, Sid Smith, Emanuel McCall, George McCalep, E.W. McCall and Jay Wells, just to name a few. These men were in the SBC long before me, and because of their steadfastness and sacrifice, made it possible for me to be elected as president of the SBC. You are known to place a special focus on family in your ministry. How so? I believe in a strong family ministry because I am the product of divorced parents when I was six years old. I personally experienced the impact of growing up in >>

11/2012 | Church executive | 13

the ce interview

a home without the presence of a father. Not having a father in the home truly impacted my life and some of the choices I made growing up. Therefore I know how crucial and critical a strong family makes in the lives of young children. Family is certainly a priority at Franklin Avenue Baptist Church. Also you believe that if you get the man to come to church the family will follow. What might you do to interest men in the church and reach them? By the grace of God we have 47 to 48 percent men in our congregation worshipping every week. Reaching men has been a priority for me since I became a pastor. I

am convinced if you save the man, the man will save his family! We have a number of ministries geared to reaching and discipling men, including a men’s Sunday School class, a men’s discipleship class that meets on Tuesday nights, a men’s choir that sings twice a month, a men’s usher’s ministry that serves once a month, and a men’s recreation night in our gymnasium. I am truly proud of our men’s ministry. You were a vice president at a brokerage firm early in your career. Did that experience in the secular world influence your life in ministry? My early bivocational

work at a brokerage helped in my relationship with people. A pastor has to have good communication skills if he is going to reach people. Are you entrepreneurial in your ministry? How is that being expressed in the congregation? We have more than 45 different ministries at Franklin Avenue – from the nursery to our Senior Soldiers – that are geared to reach people. Most of the ministries were started by members in the congregation who had an idea that could help minister to our growing congregation. If you name it, we will probably have that ministry at FABC. I saw a reference to your election on June 19 – or Juneteenth, it was called. What is the significance of that word for the black church? My election as president of the SBC on June 19 was very significant to many African-Americans because of the fact that even though President Lincoln’s Emancipation Proclamation became official on January 1, 1863, the word did not get to the slaves in Texas that they were free until June 19, 1865, some two and a half years later. Juneteenth is the oldest known celebration in America commemorating the ending of slavery in the United States. Your message to the SBC spoke to all races feeling welcomed in the church. Are there specific steps in working toward that? My message that the

14 | Church executive | 11/2012

SBC is “open to everyone” simply means that we purposely want it known that our convention is multiethnic. Because of the beginning of this convention as a result of slavery, many people felt that the convention was an all-Anglo convention. Well that is certainly not the case, and Fred Luter’s election is exhibit A. Now hopefully we can put this chapter of our history behind us and move forward to reach the lost in our world with the gospel of Jesus Christ! How do black churches differ from Anglo churches in worship practices? There is certainly a difference in the worship services in the black versus the Anglo services. Our music is different; our expression of vocal “feedback” during the sermon is different, as well as other practices during worship. However, that is the great thing about different worship styles. People can choose a church they are most comfortable in. The convention passed a significant resolution addressing homosexuality. Where do you and the church stand on the issue? Our convention in the resolution said that we believe that biblical marriage is between one man and one woman. Therefore no president, governor, mayor, elected official or, for that fact, any denomination can change what is clearly written in the Word of God. As I have often said, nothing can be politically right if it is biblically wrong.


Another example of defamation involves a lawsuit filed in 2012 against a former church member of Beaverton Grace Bible Church, OR, who was apparently blogging about her experience and allegedly making negative online reviews of the pastor and the church. Neither of these examples involved a church employee using social media to make allegedly defamatory remarks, but there have been instances where church blogs have resulted in legal trouble for the church and its leadership, whether culminating in a judgment from a lawsuit or an expensive legal settlement of a pending lawsuit.

Common sense can go a long way

How to avoid a defamation lawsuit By David Middlebrook

The extensive use of social media, including Facebook, Twitter, streaming sermon videos, podcasts and blogging, has placed many churches into a public arena with potential legal and public relations consequences. Social media has been a good thing for the spreading of the Gospel, allowing churches to have an immediate and global impact for Christ as well as the opportunity to create a sense of community within the church. However, as with all human endeavors, problems can and do occur. One example involves First Baptist Church of Jacksonville, FL, that recently settled a defamation lawsuit against a formerly anonymous blogger who filed a complaint in 2009 after having been labeled by the pastor from the pulpit as “obsessive compulsive” and a “sociopath.” The pastor was reacting to statements made on a blog deemed to be critical of the church. 16 | Church executive | 11/2012

Be careful what you say and what you type. Since most people are more likely to “hide behind the keyboard” and type something they wouldn’t say in person, ask yourself: “If the recipient of the e-mail was standing next to me, would I say or type the same words?” Church defamation lawsuits seem to be increasing, and churches need to address this issue with all staff and volunteers, especially those whose job description (employee) or position description (volunteer) entails interacting with social media on behalf of the church. Libel is written defamation and slander is spoken defamation. Context does matter practically though and while it is true that truth is always a possible defense, keep in mind that proving something is true can be a time-consuming and expensive legal and public relations process.

Develop a social media policy Generally, you want to establish guidelines and rules for social media use, including the various roles and responsibilities of key employees and/or volunteers. A key point is recognizing that social media sites are never really private and information can and does become public. When responding to church critics via social media, it is a good idea to run it by legal counsel for the church before “returning volley” or placing a “warning shot across the bow” of critics. It is best to have the social media policy and Christian code of conduct within the employee handbook or otherwise signed by the responsible employee or volunteer. If you adopt an appropriate and comprehensive written policy and train staff and volunteers about the legal environment, including the need to avoid making defamatory remarks or any kind of knee-jerk response to a situation or criticism in the use of social media, you will likely avoid defamation lawsuits and other forms of liability from your church’s use of social media. David Middlebrook is a partner with Anthony and Middlebrook of The Church Law Group, Grapevine, TX. []

They want to change the world and will need intentional mentors to succeed.

By Rez Gopez-Sindac

The millennials – those born after 1980 – constitute the new mega generation. Right now there are about 80 million millennials in America. This confident, connected and ethnically diverse generation is a major force to be reckoned with. They will be the dominant adult population for the first half of the 21st century and will be moving into positions of power and influence, according to Thom S. Rainer and Jess W. Rainer, authors of The Millennials: Connecting to America’s Largest Generation. Yet the millennials desperately need guidance if they are to make a difference in the world. A lack of patience and loyalty, in addition to a strong feeling of entitlement, are some of the perceived weaknesses of this young generation. But a more serious concern for many church leaders today is the millennial generation’s indifference to organized religion. According to the 2012 Millennial Values Survey – conducted jointly by Public Religion Research Institute and Georgetown University’s Berkley Center for Religion, Peace, and World Affairs – college-age millennials are more likely than the general population to be religiously unaffiliated. Another survey measuring religion among the millennials (produced by the Pew Research Center’s Forum on Religion & Public Life), reveals that 25 percent of adults under age 30 are unaffiliated, describing their religion as “atheist,” “agnostic” or “nothing in particular.” So what will it take for churches to reach the millennials and lead them to become faithful followers of Christ – equipped and empowered to make an eternal impact on the lives of others? Reaching the millennials is not a complicated process,

Millennials at National Community Church in Washington, D.C., attend worship services in various venues.

says 27-year-old author Jess W. Rainer, who also is the administration and outreach pastor at Grace Church in Hendersonville, TN. He says millennials like him already have so much that complicates life; that’s why they are looking for simplicity. The simplest and most creative way to reach the millennials, Rainer asserts, is to “get to know them, invite them to church, and share the Gospel with them.”

High tech, high touch For Cross Pointe Church in Duluth, GA, one creative strategy is to take advantage of the millennials’ strengths, which is they are technologically wired and relationally connected. “Our ministry strategy must be both high tech and high touch,” says Eric Echols, pastor of ministries at Cross Pointe Church. “Technology is a way of life for millennials. They don’t just appreciate the use of technology in our ministries – they expect it. They also want relationships and personal connection.” The same holds true for National Community Church in Washington, D.C., where about 60 percent of attendees are single and under the age of 35. “We meet in movie theaters around the D.C. area, and we utilize the movie theater screen much like modern-day stained glass to tell the story of God in moving pictures,” says Heather Zempel, discipleship pastor. NCC also communicates through Facebook and Twitter and podcasts its messages “so millennials can check us out online before they visit us in person.” As a discipleship pastor, Zempel says her job is to cultivate environments where growth can happen – “not to dream up programs to disciple people, but to >> 11/2012 | Church executive | 17

Pastor alex Bryant of First assembly of God, Fort Myers, Fl, poses with a team of young adults that did missionary work in Cullinan, South africa.


dream about how God wants to use each and every person at nCC to make disciples.” zempel also serves on the teaching team and leads the church’s Protégé Program.

Character transformation the Protégé Program is the brainchild of Steve Saccone, ministry development pastor at the highway Community, Mountain view, Ca, and author of Protégé: Developing Your Next Generation of Church Leaders. While serving on staff at Mosaic, a church in los angeles, Saccone grew passionate about investing in the development of the next generation of leaders that will lead the church into a better future. the Protégé Program, a two-year customized development process for protégés (people who seek to learn and grow) between 20 and 35 years of age, was launched at Mosaic in 2005. Since then churches from various denominations and faith traditions have adapted the program. “We longed to create a place where protégés would experience the dynamics of true character transformation as the bedrock that would fuel their pursuit to become worldclass, successful, morally and spiritually grounded kingdom leaders,” Saccone explains. Mentoring is about making time to be with a young leader, says Saccone. “young leaders crave opportunity for someone to take a risk on them, believe in them, and to have a person who opens doors for them and cheers them on in their growth journey as a leader.” Saccone says one of the most effective and unconventional approaches he has used in mentoring the next generation of church leaders involves what he calls “novel peer-to-peer learning experiences.” For instance, Saccone has organized group tours

through the Church of Scientology so young leaders can feel what it’s like to be on “the other side of conversion.” a debriefing among participants follows the tour to help them gain insight into how they ought to share the Gospel message. another example is listening to other communicators outside the church and analyzing their communication styles. Saccone says powerful learning happens when peers share with other peers what they are learning and how they are processing and analyzing everything.

Critical challenges the millennial generation has a lot to offer. Millennials are optimistic about the future and see themselves as change makers. But it can be easy to see that they’re not perfect. alex Bryant, college and young adults pastor at First assembly of God, Fort Myers, Fl, admits the biggest issue

WHAt Do MillenniAls looK FoR in A CHuRCH leADeR?

Eric Echols Cross Pointe Church Duluth, GA Millennials are passionate about changing the world. They are open to change and will not settle for the status quo, thus they look for leaders who are willing to change and adapt to move the church forward.

Heather Zempel National Community Church, Washington, DC I don’t need to be cool; they want me to be me. I don’t need to be an expert; I need to be a co-learner. Investing time with them sends a strong message of love and affirmation. Finally, they are drawn to humility.

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Alex Bryant First Assembly of God, Fort Myers, FL They want someone who will lead them with strength and integrity. They want a leader who is authentic and isn’t afraid to show his/her weaknesses but is strong enough to walk with integrity of heart and mind.

Jess Rainer Grace Church, Hendersonville, TN Millennials want leaders who are sincerely interested in leading, not someone who wants the title of leader. They want someone who is willing to walk beside them, show them what truly matters in life, and become a friend.

for him is that millennials think they know pretty much everything. “i encounter a generation that is extremely smart and knowledgeable in so many areas,” says Bryant. “the challenge is to get them to remain teachable.” at national Community Church, many of the young adults work jobs that are in some way influencing or influenced by the political world. zempel describes them as “a bit of a paradox.” She admits they are self-centered and consumeristic, but also eager to contribute to something bigger than themselves. they are wary, untrusting and even a bit cynical of authority, but crave to be mentored. zempel says it’s hard to get the millennials to commit to faithful attendance of a once-a-week Bible study, but if you ask them to give two years of their lives to work with the poor in Sudan, they jump in without looking back.

engaging millennials that’s why to keep the millennials engaged and involved in church and God’s work, they have to be recruited to a cause, not just a volunteer role in the church, argues eric echols, pastor of ministries at Cross Pointe Church. if they know they are making a difference and changing a small part of the world, echols says the millennial generation is more likely to be engaged in God’s work. the vision has to be big, says Bryant. “When the vision is too small, complaining and self-focus happen.”

For zempel it’s not about recruiting millennials to come to God’s work at the church; it’s about helping them discover how to be the church wherever God has positioned them. zempel says community and responsibility are key to making the millennials stay connected. “if they feel like they have a community that cares about them and encourages them, they stick. if they feel like they have ownership of some project and will be missed if they aren’t there, they stick.”

Dream church Dream church So what kind of church do millennials want? here’s a short list: they are looking for churches that have a strong vision. they are looking for diversity in the church. they are looking for a church that is built around community. they want a church that is outwardly focused. they are not plugging into churches that make them wait until they are older to have leadership roles. w they align more with community than denomination; with active vision than mission statements. w w w w w

More importantly, they need a place where the word of God is preached without apology, says Bryant. “this church is bigger than any denomination and stronger than the force that stands against it.” CE

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Recognize and stop

bullies in church

Bullies can destroy a church by their determination to get their way or sway people to their side. By Eddie Hammett

Bullying is a growing issue in our culture — in schools, businesses, organizations, families and communities. It is also a major problem in churches and other religious organizations. It often hides in the shadows of being right, politically right, getting control, or “this is the way I/we like it done.” Church bullying is growing across the country as churches struggle with declining attendance, finances, commitment and community impact. Often church bullies target the pastor and staff, blaming their leaders for the decline in

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their church’s metrics or status. While certainly leaders do bear some of the responsibility, more often these diminishing numbers and impact is a pulpit, pew and cultural issue. How should a pastor, staff member and congregation deal with church bullies?

Recognizing bullying I realize that change is a difficult concept and process for many churches, and that many churches and clergy have little or no training in dealing with the exponential change

we find ourselves in these days. Such a deficit raises fears, anxieties and frustration levels when things do not go a preferred or familiar way in a church. Having coached with clergy and other church leaders, it is clear to me that pastor bashing and bullying is a critical issue in many churches regardless of size, type, theology, age of church or median age of the congregation. Church bullies not only do not want to change their preferences, but they want to blame others in order to protect their preferred ways or comfort zone. I have heard of or experienced church bullying in a variety of ways in a church:


A Bible study group of older adults who repeat edly attack the pastor and staff with judgmental words accompanied by a spirit of anger, revenge or desire for their way.


A finance or stewardship committee that holds the church purse strings as if the money were in their household family budget. They often control what is or is not permitted by controlling the spending based on their personal preferences rather than the church’s mission or desires.


A very active, engaged lay leader that has his or her hand in everything not just to be a help, but to exercise some control in the way things are done to ensure their preferences are not ignored by others.


A parent or guardian who becomes the mouth piece for their child or grandchild in order to exercise control by evaluating all others by their personal preferences of parenting styles, disciplinary actions, dress preferences, programming preferences and standards. These parents usually are demanding, vindictive, persevering and filled with anger and revenge.


A deacon body or trustee group that is more committed to their personal preferences or comfort zones than the divine mission for the church. This control is most often exercised in micromanaging pastor and staff, wanting the pastor to be all things to all people and keeping everyone happy. The mission of the church becomes maintenance – by the deacon or trustee’s standards – and very often inhibits the pastor to live Christ’s call on their lives and the church.


There are clergy bullies out there who are driven by personal preferences, comfort zones and often seek to force the church into molds or styles they are more comfortable with rather than contextualizing ministry and facing their own learning curves and challenges.

Dealing with bullies Church bullies like to stir up trouble; they love attention as much as they like getting their way. The more attention you give them the more they stir the pot. Of course, when you don’t give them attention it often initially escalates their anger, determination and vengeance. Very often the bully cannot let go of their agenda. It has them at the heart and no one sees it like they do! They truly believe they are doing

the right thing and saving their church. However, more often than not, they have tunnel vision and it’s all about them. If the church or group plays into their game, the bully wins, and very often the pastor, staff and the church loses because the community learns they fight at that church. Bullies create a bad reputation for the church, and often people – weary of the internal war and conflict – leave the church because of the bully control rather than the issue the bully is mad about. A group of bullies can destroy a church by their determination to get their way or sway people to their side. They very often really do not care for the pastor, church or community reputation or wounds. It’s all about their agenda! So how do you manage such within a Christian context? How do you deal with such vengeance, anger, self-centeredness and hurt in a redemptive and Christian manner? Many pastors and churches have weakened because they opt to do nothing for fear of hurting people. They allow a small group to hurt – if not kill – the spirit and mission of their church in order to preserve someone’s feelings. How long will a church let the desire of a few condemn or control the future of their church? CE

Approaching the situation

w Be prayerful and intentional while following the principles in Matthew 18. w Invite a neutral outsider to help with the process. w The issue has to be dealt with by trusted lay leaders who have earned the right to talk and be heard and are willing to step up to the challenge of leadership. w The clergy are the target and they need to empower the lay leadership to determine next steps and carry out the desires of the congregation. w Go to the bully and respond to issues by asking, “What do you need from me that you are not getting now?” Following this, negotiate with lay leadership and congre gation if the bully’s demands are in line with the congre gation’s mission. w Invite trusted friends and colleagues of the bully to become an advocate for furthering conversation, being careful not to get triangulated in the relationship. w Scripturally, if these ideas do not work, then you take it to the congregation. This can be done in some church governance, but depending on a possible pathology of the bully, it could become detrimental and destroy, or certainly scar deeply, those involved and the reputation of the congregation in the community at large. w Church bullies must be dealt with; otherwise the poison they spew will negatively impact the church’s forward movement, generate polarization and often fuel a detrimental reputation in the community. CE Eddie Hammett lives in Hendersonville, N.C., and is a ministry colleague with The Columbia Partnership. He is a certified coach with the International Coach Federation. [www. and]

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Online, on-site,

in hand

By offering multiple giving options, churches take the hassle out of giving and pave the way for members to exercise greater generosity.

By Rez Gopez-Sindac

If you want to increase your church’s level of generosity, make giving easy. Remove the barriers that keep many people from blessing your church financially. For Lakeside Church, Folsom, CA, it started seven years ago with an option for its members to set up ACH (automated clearing house) fund transfers through their banks. Their church contributions were debited automatically from their checking or savings accounts on a regular basis. But wanting to provide donors with more giving 22 | Church executive | 11/2012

options, Lakeside took another step to making giving easy and accessible by using the services of FellowshipOne, a Web-based church management software that allows people to manage their online giving anytime, anywhere. “The initial roll-out was slow and a little cumbersome, but has greatly improved,” says Mike Klockenbrink, chief operating officer. “Many people were skeptics at first and were worried, but today approximately 33 percent of all our giving is online.”

BEFORE getting INTO ONLINE GIVING w Plan merchant fees into your budget. Online giving is not free. w Shop around for a merchant supplier. Fees can be negotiated. w Develop a plan on how you are going to respond to questions and concerns from your contributors. w Talk to other churches in your area that are doing online giving to get their perspective. — Mike Klockenbrink, COO, Lakeside Church

At Seacoast Church in Charleston, SC, there were only a handful of people donating online when the church introduced online giving in 2005. But the percentage has grown significantly since, says Glenn Wood, church administrator. “For 2011 we had some 20,000 individual contributions given online – that percentage was more than 32 percent.” NewSpring, a multicampus church in South Carolina, boasts a similar experience. Katie Bailey, assistant for strategic giving, says “38 percent of our offering this year have been received online.” NewSpring introduced online giving to its members in 2005 “to tear down a barrier for giving since people don’t typically carry cash and checks,” says Bailey. Recently, the church added more giving options through SecureGive kiosks and PayPal. “Online giving works because most people use debit or credit cards to complete their transactions in their everyday life,” says Bailey. “Giving is no exception.”

Online giving also helps reduce hours spent counting and entering donations, which then helps eliminate data entry errors, adds Klockenbrink. Another important benefit for churches is that giving is stabilized, says Nicole Vander Meulen, MinistryLINQ’s marketing and communications specialist. “A church is able to plan strategically, anticipate budget ebbs and flows and, ultimately, fuel its mission.”

Web-based online giving Giving through a church website is safe and easy. But churches need to find a reputable database software provider to help them track ministry statistics such as contributions and membership, and ensure safe and efficient transactions. Churches will also need a merchant account provider that will take care of credit and debit cards processing. Donors click on the “Online Giving” button on their church website and follow simple steps to create an account >>

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A giving kiosk at Seacoast Church, Charleston, SC, allows churchgoers a convenient option to give.

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and set up giving schedules that fit their needs. When choosing an online database system, Bailey says every church should make sure that whatever giving software they choose integrates well into their accounting software. “Using tools that aren’t connected to your church management software leads to silos and disconnected data, causing donors to fall through the cracks,” says Steve Caton, Church Community Builder’s vice president for sales and marketing. Online giving and online payments through the Church Community Builder software is a simple process – collecting only the necessary information, thus eliminating barriers to new givers and streamlining the process for regular givers. It allows the church to provide multiple giving options, such as ACH payment processing, credit/debit cards, and one-time or recurring gifts. Donors can control their own contribution strategy and schedules as well as gain real-time access to their giving

commitments and year-to-date activity. “Because a congregant can create and manage their own recurring contributions, the management workload for church staff is diminished as is the embarrassment for a donor if they must reduce or discontinue their recurring contributions as a result of financial hardship,” says Caton. Ease and accessibility also are among the features of EasyDraft, a fully integrated system with reporting and refund capabilities. Steve Contino, chief operating officer, says EasyDraft uses a consultative approach when working with churches, “and we listen to them so we can suggest the products that we feel will work best for them.” Contributors can store multiple checking and credit card accounts so they can choose how they want to pay for different contribution types. “No need for on-site IT staff, as we host the secure site, manage the site and support the church for free, allowing churches to serve while we handle all the processing,” says Contino. And when


seacoast church

Lakeside church

There are still churches who don’t accept credit cards for any giving, which is hard for me to understand in this day and age. There are concerns about whether it’s biblical to accept donations and “incurring debt” to pay the church. We accepted a long time ago that this was between the giver and God. We teach about being good stewards of our time, talents and resources and that we need to manage our resources in a godly manner and be wise stewards.

While Lakeside does accept credit cards, we strongly encourage our members not to use their credit card for donations, registrations or other transactions if they are unable to pay off their credit card in full each month. We prefer the use of checks, debit cards and especially eCheck (which has lower transaction fees). For those with revolving credit card debt or are simply seeking more information on how to manage their money God’s way, we encourage them to enroll in a biblical financial principles class such as Dave Ramsey’s “Financial Peace University,” which is offered twice a year at Lakeside.

— Glenn Wood, church administrator, Seacoast Church

— Mike Klockenbrink, COO, Lakeside Church

ministry leaders need assistance, Contino says they have access to friendly live agents. To use the services of EasyDraft, churches will have to fill out a questionnaire and provide their logos, colors and payment options. Equipment is not needed for webbased solutions. A typical set-up cost is a one-time fee of $150 and includes free customer service for the life

church community builder

Choices matter. When you restrict a donor’s choices to certain credit cards or no credit cards, you leave money on the table. The more giving choices you offer, the more preferences you support. Telling someone who earns points on their credit card that you don’t take credit cards only alienates them and forces them to give the way you want them to, not the way they want to give. — Steve Caton, VP for sales and marketing, Church Community Builder, Inc.

of the relationship. If a church is interested in further increasing its revenue through online giving, it can choose a merchant account provider that offers a referral program. One example is Holy Processing, a subsidiary of Capital Merchant Solutions, Inc. (CMS). A church can sign up as a reseller, and for each business that signs up for a merchant >>

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account that is referred by the church, CMS will give the church 20 percent of the profit from the processing for each business. The church will also get an up-front referral fee. “This extra money can be used to feed the hungry, provide clothing, provide shelter, build youth programs, build ministries and build churches,” says Jeremiah Davis, vice president of Holy Processing.

On-location giving Online giving is a first step in a congregation’s digital giving plan, says Marty Baker, founder of SecureGive, a turnkey digital giving solution providing online, kiosk, iPad and mobile phone options. A common next step, adds Baker, is installing a giving kiosk. Baker says having a kiosk in the church property allows members who are prompted to donate while at church to give easily, enabling the church to receive donations throughout the week.

Baker is also the founding and lead pastor of Stevens Creek Church in Augusta, GA. When the church launched its SecureGive kiosk, Baker says the administrative team could not figure out why donations were coming in on Tuesdays. It turned out that a women’s small group was meeting at the church, and the kiosk provided them a way to make a donation during the week. “It is not uncommon for people to stop by the church during the week and make a donation at the giving kiosk,” says Baker. “When giving is convenient, people give more.” Baker says churches that use kiosks have reported increases in excess of 40 percent of new donors to the church. Another huge benefit of a giving kiosk, Baker adds, is the savings in bank fees. Because a SecureGive kiosk uses a retail merchant account (and not an e-commerce merchant account used by Web-based online

giving service), it means people are physically swiping their bank card and keying in their PIN to complete the transaction. Baker says retail or card-present transactions will save the church money in processing fees. Yet, when it comes to flexibility and multiple applications, Qgiv claims it’s the only kiosk that allows both donations and multi-event registrations on the same unit. For example, church members can make a donation, purchase tickets to an event or register for the latest bulletins in one transaction. Todd Baylis, president of Qgiv, Inc., says Qgiv is the first complete tablet-based kiosk in the donation market. The kiosk head, he says, can be quickly disconnected for mobile and portable use, and is self-contained with an iPad card reader – enabling it to be used anywhere on location with internal battery power. The kiosk also includes 3G wireless, which means that payments can be

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WHAT TO WATCH OUT FOR Churches should be careful not to overpay for simple services. Shop around, start small and don’t get locked into a long contract. You can always change or add on services as needed. — Jeremiah Davis, VP of Holy Processing, Capital Merchant Solutions, Inc. In today’s busy society, the fewer steps or hoops churches ask their congregation to go through to give, the more likely they are to do so – and on a regular basis. — Todd Baylis, president, Qgiv, Inc. If a church were purchasing an online giving tool, it would be important to make sure that it integrates with mobile technology. The iGivings app connects with the merchant account the church already has in place to provide seamless integration and ease for not only the church member, but the church staff as well. — Jen DeLaPorte, chief of business development, iGivings, LLC When choosing an online giving solution, the product needs to be simple and secure. If the process is too complicated, people will not complete the transaction. — Marty Baker, SecureGive founder A church would not want a payment service provider who also provides payment services for adult websites, or provides payment services for illicit activities. — R. Wayne Steiger, president/CEO, FlowPay Corporation When shopping for an online giving tool be sure to look for a solution that offers options for donating from a phone, so each member of the congregation can give on-the-go. — Dana Simons, Your Mobile Church CEO

processed anywhere. Baylis says churches have been able to use the kiosk at outdoor events, such as bake sales and picnics. Qgiv provides flexible payment options so that churches can customize their donation preferences. But if a church is concerned about the use of credit cards, Baylis says the kiosk can be locked to ACH/eCheck only. “Our technology establishes an ease of donating not provided by any other charitable donation company or website,” says Baylis. “By providing on-location, secure and card-ready options, Qgiv takes the hassle out of giving, paving the way for patrons to increase the frequency and oftentimes even the dollar amount of their gifts.” Based on year-over-year transaction volume and metrics from a random sample of Qgiv’s faith-based clients, Baylis says statistics for January-August 2011 to January-August 2012 show a 34 percent increase in online donations.

Mobile giving solutions While kiosk machines meet a need, often a big drawback is they can be expensive because of the cost of the hardware, and there are usually additional costs associated with these devices, says R. Wayne Steiger, president/CEO of FlowPay Corporation. FlowPay is a payment-processing technology company that offers online, on-site and mobile giving solutions. It also provides on-site check conversion. >>

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“there is no longer any excuse for a person not to give,” says Steiger. “you cannot say you forgot your checkbook or don’t have any cash, because you don’t need to have either; plus everyone today has a cell phone.” Steiger says the mobile phone will become the primary means most people will use to give their

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tithes and offerings. one of the biggest mistakes churches are making today, says Steiger, is that they are demanding people to give the way they want to receive instead of the way people pay. this holds especially true for those under the age of 30 – who, says Steigler, give the least or don’t give at all.

“if you offer a way for them to begin to give, and they give a bare minimum of $10 each week, the cumulative result at the end of the year is impacting,” says Steigler. Getting churches mobile-ready to fully engage with today’s generation is the goal of your Mobile Church. its Mobile Wallet service enables churches to collect tithes and donations in any amount via text message. “We make it easy to connect with and collect from anyone who owns a cell phone anywhere, at any time,” says dana Simons, Ceo of your Mobile Church. Building a relationship with their donors and becoming a part of their “mobile routine” are benefits that your Mobile Church provides to its clients, says Simons. She adds that not only can churches provide their members the option to donate in any amount; they can also integrate donating with a routine of regular text messages, a visit to the app to access a sermon or submit a prayer request, or simply an automated text message reminder to securely confirm a weekly tithe. “donors may receive an email or text message on their phone with a request to support a cause, and rather than going home, browsing the church’s website and entering their credit card information, they simply send a text message to make their donation,” Simons says. and they can give from anywhere in the world, notes Jen delaPorte, chief of business development at iGivings, llC. iGivings has designed a mobile app platform that allows users to give from their phones. “they can be in church, on a beach, in an airport, hospital, or they can even be at church without their wallets and still be able to give their tithes and offerings,” says delaPorte. a great value to churches, adds delaPorte, is that the iGivings app can help build their community and feeling of connectedness that makes members want to be generous when the church body is in need. CE

Acoustics SpecIAL SectION

ReVeRb HurtS A wOrSHIpFuL


Hard walls leave a church with a troublesome room for performance audio. By BoBBie Bennett

Many modern churches have similar architectural designs: square or rectangular spaces. this may be ideal from an architectural standpoint, but it is not ideal for acoustics. in a recording studio, where the structure is built specifically to satisfy acoustical needs, rooms are built with angled walls, no parallel walls, and the hard, reflective surfaces are “treated” with absorbent materials to reduce sound wave reflections. Sound waves gradually lose strength as they travel distance and eventually die out, like water waves do after a stone is thrown into a pond. if a wave encounters a hard surface before it dies out, it will be bounced off and be sent in a different direction. imagine slapping water against the wall of a bath tub.

A troublesome room Parallel walls create what are called standing waves. Standing waves occur when a sound wave gets trapped between the parallel walls and bounces back and forth repeatedly, cycling once each time, until it eventually dies out. the resulting sound is displeasing to the ear. Compound that with other excessive reflections off of the hard walls and you are left with a troublesome room for performance audio. Since knocking down the walls and reconstructing the room is not an option for most churches, acoustical treatment can be a great solution.

Fiberboard panels covered in fabric on the walls absorbs the sound at Grace church, Longwood, FL.

Grace Church in longwood, Fl, is located at the corner of a strip mall. like many of today’s churches, the sanctuary is a giant square room with three sets of hard, highly reflective parallel walls. Grace Church smartly plays to the corners of the room — the stage is set diagonally in the corner on one side, therefore facing the opposing corner, not a flat wall, reducing slap back. abby dolbear, music pastor at Grace Church, contacted our firm to assess the room. She explained that even when the system was loud, people were still complaining that they >>

AVoiD sounD ‘leAKs’ into tHe CHuRCH’s neigHboRHooD Today, new environmental noise pollution laws are impacting churches, as well as clubs and concert venues, and as Sound Pressure Levels (SPL) are being implemented in worship settings, “sound is ‘leaking out’ into the neighborhood,” says Donnie Haulk, president and CEO of AE Global Media, Charlotte, NC. “In some cities and states

this leakage is called noise pollution and ordinances are starting to be written and enforced. Designing your building to be able to both absorb and keep your worship in your building is becoming a great consideration during the design process. And for existing spaces, acoustic remodels are being required to keep the worship in the building,”

Haulk says. Leakages can occur within the church building as well, as when a dynamic youth service elsewhere in the facility bleeds into the main service. “The use of acoustic blocking walls in the worship facility along with being mindful of people flow and ministry programming can be used to assure this isn’t an

issue for your ministry,” Haulk says. “The location and design of these rooms need to be mindful of the ministry application and relative location to the main worship space.” AE Global Media works extensively with churches around the world with live productions, broadcasting, webcasting, performance acoustics and media technologies. >>

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AVoiD sounD ‘leAKs’ …

Haulk says that another consideration is the “noise floor” in the worship space and the impact of the HVAC system on worship. “HVAC has major impact on how quiet a room can ultimately be,” he says. “The lower the noise floor in a worship space, the higher the dynamic range can be without having to be too loud or approach the threshold of pain to achieve great dynamics.” A church’s acoustics can be redone to allow for greater ministry impact, says Haulk. “Often as worship styles change, you are required to re-address the architecture needed to implement the new

worship music or art. Most buildings are capable of being upgraded.” Haulk gets many questions on acoustics: Can we modify our acoustic environment to enhance the worship experience? It is possible to “re-tune” a room with either mechanical or electrical acoustic treatments. Your required worship style and desired sound pressure level will determine how and where the room should be treated. It is recommended that the style of worship and SPL be determined before the building is built and then design the appropriate wor-

could not understand the vocals. even speaking without mics or speakers turned on, the room was very noticeably “live” with a lot of reverberation (the repetitive reflection of sound waves) and slap back echo. you can imagine the impact when the pastor was mic’ed for a sermon. dolbear knew acoustics were the problem and wanted to make it right. reverb is an important part of the worship service, when it is used effectively. the room cannot be completely deadened by acoustical treatment or the members of the congregation will feel isolated, negatively impacting the worship experience, but it cannot be so lively that it degrades the intelligibility of spoken word and sung lyrics coming from the stage. Keeping this in mind, our firm suggested a room treatment with fiberboard panels covered in fabric, fire treated and rated, scientifically placed so that sound is absorbed and diffused by the proper amount and so that the room still remains aesthetically pleasing to the eye.

ship space for the ministry. What impact do acoustics have on intimacy? Intimacy, as defined in worship, is the ability for the parishioner to be able to feel as if the minister is able to make a direct connection to him or her during the ministry time. To design an effective worship environment takes a clear understanding of the type/style of ministry being delivered and is impacted greatly by architecture style, volume of space, natural and generated light, color, amplified sound and acoustics. To achieve intimacy between the minister and the congregant one must be able

to achieve a 1.2 to 1.4 second delay time in the vocal frequencies. And have the sound to listener be perceived that the minister is physically close to the listener. With an audio system design that lets the minister be able to communicate at vocal levels that would be normally used in a small room. In other words, the system must allow the minister to have the option to speak at a normal or low speech level, not raising his or her voice, while still achieving clarity in all vocal frequencies. CE []

compression, an engineer can have complete control of the sound, further improving upon the room acoustics.

other improvements after the acoustical treatment was complete, Grace Church decided that they would proceed with an improvement of the electronics. acoustics should be addressed first, before taking a look at the electronic equipment. you can have great equipment in a bad room and the room will still sound bad; put great equipment in a great room and the results will be fantastic. a small line of carefully placed dB technologies speakers were flown on either side of the stage, paired with turbosound sub woofers. Special attention must be given to the directionality of all speakers in a space in order to avoid over exposure or dead spots. Matching the dispersion pattern of the speaker system to the area occupied by the congregation is always desirable. an allen & heath ilive digital console was also installed. With effective use of dynamic processors such as gates and

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darryl phillips, ApA’s production manager, working from the sound booth at Grace church; speakers (below) installed in sanctuary.

after the install was completed, dolbear notes that the congregation was satisfied with the noticeable differences. “the dispersion of the sound has been amazing. you can walk the entire auditorium and it is the same,” she says. CE Bobbie Bennett works in sales and marketing for Atlantic Professional Audio, Altamonte Springs, FL. []

A sounD sYsteM sAgA About longeVitY A common question Richard A. Honeycutt is asked when designing a sound system for a church is how long the system will last. Dr. Honeycutt is principal consultant with EDC Sound Services, Lexington, NC. “Let’s examine this question by using a real-life example,” he suggests. The First Baptist Church of Lexington, NC, founded in the late 1800s, moved into its current building in 1954. At that time, pastors prided themselves on projecting their speech so well, and enunciating so clearly, that no sound system was needed, so none was installed, except for two pulpit mics feeding a line amplifier for the local radio station broadcast. However, after two years, the first sound system was installed: a four-channel mixer-amplifier, a compressor, two speakers built into the front walls, and two dynamic mics. The electronics for this entire Altec Lansing system were mounted in a closet external to the sanctuary, he says. “This system served well for speech amplification, but in the 1970s, the music director wanted to amplify soloists and sometimes the choir; and the percentage of hearing-challenged listeners had increased. A new sound system was mounted in a custom-made roll-top cabinet in the balcony. It consisted of a 12-channel Electro Voice mixer, a Sunn power amplifier, a custom-built center speaker cluster, and new Electro Voice microphones,” Honeycutt says.

Into modern times Late in 2011, in order to improve intelligibility in the sanctuary, the graphic equalizer and compressor were replaced. The wireless mics were replaced; the cassette recorder was retired — all services began to be digitally recored — and a new EZDupe CD duplicator was purchased. Throughout these chronicles, the sound system was never replaced because of failure or being “worn out.” All changes were upgrades needed because of

changing requirements to support an evolving worship style, and in order to take advantage of new technology. So the answer to “How long will my new sound system last?” is probably “It doesn’t matter,” Honeycutt says. “Your needs and technology improvements will most likely dictate an upgrade before your new system fails.” CE


Unintrusive arrangement Choir pickup was accomplished using two E-V RE10 mics, each mounted in a foam “mouse,” a device allowing the mic to be placed on the floor in front of the choir, isolated from floor thumps. The resulting mic arrangement was not visually intrusive, and was free from the midrange frequency response irregularities caused by floor reflections. Replacing the left-and-right pulpit mics by a single central one improved gain-before-feedback. The central speaker evened out sound coverage throughout the sanctuary. During a major sanctuary renovation, the sound system was upgraded again. This happened in two stages over a period of about five years. A computer was added to provide digital recording capability of major events. The old telephone-line transmission system that sent the signal to the radio station was replaced, reducing lightning vulnerability.

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Navigating high turnover By Gary J. Moritz

In the Washington, D.C. area, we have found that there’s a high turnover rate within our church lay ministry leadership. The trend seems to be that our leaders spend about a year and a half with us. People do not settle down in our area, which has a high concentration of single adults, military personnel and government workers. People come to our church because they have moved here for work, only to be transferred elsewhere after a few years. In church leadership, this can become exhausting and frustrating as right about the time you have a leader built up and trained, they leave. We had to develop a method around this madness, a way to navigate the problem. We had to learn how to mobilize people for service and for the Great Commission. What worked for us was to start training the best to train the rest. People are going to pass through your church, and you

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have to realize that God brings them to you for a reason. Find out why they have come and how they are best able to lead. Then take ownership of them and train them to lead, whether it is at your church or elsewhere. In the book of Acts, we see the new believers praying, training and sending. Their mission was to see people come to Christ, and their focus was on training people to go and make disciples. Their passion was part of a larger picture that extended outside their walls and penetrated the world with the Gospel. This was the model we wanted to emulate, where everyone was trained to take responsibility for the work of the church. We had to learn that we could have a much bigger impact on the world if we stopped focusing on how long a leader was going to stick around to serve with us before we invested in them. We started praying for people to come through our doors who desired to be trained, we prepared them for their mission and we let God do the rest. It’s an employ-to-deploy mentality, and you know that you are making a global impact when you can say that you have leaders all over the world who have passed through your church and are now serving someplace else, bringing people to Christ. So how do you become a training center for leaders? How do you keep a constant flow of leaders streaming through so that when the turnovers happen, you have enough people to staff your ministries while at the same time you are launching people to serve elsewhere? We have found four principles that can be used to shape and mold leaders for their mission and ministry. GROW: We desire life change for every individual who walks through our doors. Let’s face it, they are a miracle from God, and it is not by chance that they are with us. Our purpose statement is to lead people into a growing relationship with Jesus Christ. Everything from our teaching series, programs and events revolves around helping people grow. Your leaders may come from all walks of life, backgrounds and educational levels, but there must be one common denominator – continual growth in their relationship with Christ. When people are growing in their walk with God, they will naturally want to serve and lead others to do the same. KNOW: We want people to know that everyone matters to God and has a job to do. We emphasize that each person is uniquely created and gifted for a specific purpose. We are all to be about our Father’s business, and it is our job to create an atmosphere within the church that will allow God to do great things in and through our people. When people understand that they have a responsibility to use the gifts God has given them to help advance the cause of Christ, they will be more likely to lead others to do the same.

AssessMents AnD AssiMilAtions We use a series of assessments for people to grow. We use Ephesians Four Ministries spiritual gifting test (; Mels Carbonell, the creator of the DISC make-up (www.; Career Direct (www.CareerDirect, and a personal test that we created ourselves using the S.H.A.P.E. concept from Saddleback Church (www.Saddle- to help people discover themselves. The results help us move people to where they will flourish so that we avoid buttonholing people, where they become frustrated and leave. The key to our people is that everyone can do something, and we find out what that something is so they can flourish. We have an assimilations director who works with our Sunday morning newcomer’s class, all small groups and

visitation teams. Yes, we do visitation. In this society, people feel alone and when a familiar face can stop by from our church, they realize they are not alone and that we cared to take time to visit with them. We even bring a gift with us. If one person oversees these areas and appoints leaders, then we can have a good handle on what is going on with people and why they depart or come. — Gary Moritz

sHoW: We want to show people what they are gifted to do and where they fit in. First, we train them in the dna of our church and in the habits of a growing Christian. then they are given a battery of self-assessments and inventories on their spiritual gifts, strengths, weaknesses and personality so that they see how God wired them for leadership and service. We show them their options for using those skills and where they are best suited to lead, and we provide them the opportunity to do it. For many people this is a valuable time of self-discovery as they learn where they best fit into our mission and purpose. go: lastly, we want people to go. after their time with us, we pray that our lay ministry leaders will have discovered who they are, what God wants from them and what they want God to do in their lives. in the Great Commission (Matt. 28:19-20), we see how Jesus trained his leaders and then told them to go and do the same. this should be the heartbeat of every church, training people to go and train others. don’t be afraid to invest in leaders just because they may not be around for the long haul. use the four principles of grow, know, show and go to train, utilize and launch leaders that are going to make a difference for the cause of Christ wherever God takes them. Gary J. Moritz is executive pastor at Capital Baptist Church, Annandale, VA, and board member and advisor to Outreach to Asia Nationals. []

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Trust, but verify when staff and volunteers handle funds.

By Vonna Laue As an auditor I often write and speak on the topic of internal controls and the importance of protecting the church from fraud. Sometimes people think I have to say these things because it’s my job, or that I’m engaging in scare tactics to get them to implement more work. The reality is I have a real heart for ministries. I understand that churches have limited time and financial resources, and that this can leave them at greater risk. I conducted an interview at a recent seminar with a church business administrator who serves a ministry where fraud took place. This individual serves a church in Orange County, CA, with a small staff and what it thought were good, basic financial controls in place. The person primarily responsible for the bookkeeping was a trusted individual who had served in that capacity for a few years. There were strong controls in place for Sunday morning 34 | Church executive | 11/2012

contribution collections and deposits, but the church had some weaknesses surrounding cash received at other times and from other places, such as ministry funds within the church. After the bookkeeper left the accounting department to take another role within the church, the new bookkeeper found paperwork that didn’t seem to reconcile. The church soon discovered that the previous bookkeeper had periodically deposited checks directly into her personal bank account via an ATM, rather than into the church’s account.

Immeasurable pain The initial discovery process progressed very quickly. The administrator obtained a copy of one of the checks in question and contacted the bank. Within hours, the bank was able to identify more than $50,000 that had been stolen.

The individual was confronted and the police were notified. The process did not finish quickly, however, and included tedious, time-consuming procedures. Several people from the church had to individually sit in a room with a police detective, review checks made out to the church and deposited into the bookkeeper’s account, and sign an affidavit that the funds were meant for the church, not the bookkeeper. The district attorney filed charges, more than $200,000 was determined to have been taken, and the former bookkeeper was sentenced to five years in jail.

Tighten up controls The pain this created for so many people was immeasurable. People wondered how it could happen in their church. Some blamed certain individuals for allowing it to take place. Others felt the church was too hard on the individual and should never have involved the police. The time and energy it took over many months was a distraction to the church and to the ministry that should have been taking place. During the process of getting to the bottom of this, the church realized that the bank reviews ATM deposits very sporadically, making the fraud less likely to be detected. In our interview, the administrator noted that the church had auditors who audited or reviewed their financial statements, providing some independent review of their internal control systems. Management and the auditors had determined that while

some controls were lacking, this deficit was not likely to result in a material misstatement or a material fraud. One check a week was all it took, however. “Materiality and cost-benefit analysis are tough when you are dealing with fraud,” the administrator said. The church has moved on and the administrator looked at ways to tighten up controls he previously thought were adequate. Ministries within his church are now responsible for completing their own reconciliation of funds received, and those are compared to deposits and general ledger entries. Emphasis is placed on making people aware of the risks that exist and the controls that are in place. Trust is viewed differently. We want you to understand that situations similar to this take place in churches across America every year, and yes, even weekly. The amounts vary significantly, but the results don’t. While we can’t live each day under a cloud of suspicion, we do have a responsibility to “trust, but verify.” Take an opportunity to carefully consider each area of your financial processing, such as cash receipts, cash disbursements and payroll, and actively look for areas where something could go wrong. When you have identified the risks, you can create adequate controls to mitigate those risks and protect the church you have been called to serve. CE Vonna Laue is a partner in the CPA firm of CapinCrouse LLP, Brea, CA. She is the co-author of Essential Guide to Church Finance. []

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HOw tO MArKet to YouR online CoMMunitY enhance your church website with e-commerce functionality and mobile optimization. the immeasurable growth of the internet has presented new opportunities for churches and other faith-based organizations to reach out even further into their communities. Church websites, just like those for any business or organization, need to be professional and effective. a user-friendly design, relevant text and relatable photos are some features that help achieve these goals. to generate a loyal following, e-commerce functionality and mobile optimization are two tactics that take a website to the next level. While a church is not a business in the traditional sense, there is still a financial piece to consider. Much of the funding is usually from public contributions. donations during church services help sustain the organization. however, with a set service schedule for example, members of the community may miss the chance to support their church.

By Kelly MeeneGhan Consider this: while sometimes the church doors may be closed, your website never is. Provide your congregation with the ability to donate online. if they cannot attend Sunday’s service one week, they will still have the option to give back to the church any time most convenient for them.

giving made easy this online channel provides people who are not regular church attenders to contribute and become more involved in your mission. Perhaps you want to shed light on why the church is raising money for the hungry or the homeless. this is a great opportunity to explain important efforts and how people can help. Make it clear and easy for people to donate to your church on your website. it may help to create a separate page on the site titled “Giving” or “donations” as a way to centralize all options for giving. explain the different causes, projects or initiatives of your church and ask your website visitors to be involved. explore what e-commerce options 36 | ChurCh exeCutive | 11/2012

your Web hosting provider offers you. Some provide the ability to conduct monetary transactions through PayPal, which is often considered one of the safest and most secure methods. you may be surprised to learn that such a feature may already be included in your current hosting package at no extra cost. enhancing your website is a great way to increase accessibility to the public. taking it a step further, the rising popularity of mobile phones is creating a need for churches to optimize their websites for multiple viewing platforms.

Make website viewable Between January 2011 and January 2012, mobile internet usage nearly doubled globally, according to StatCounter’s 2012 research. once dominated by the younger generations, smartphones are now adopted by people of all ages. it is becoming the norm for conducting daily activities like e-mail, social networking, shopping and Web surfing. even if a website is not technically optimized for mobile viewing, it may still

be viewable; however, the site will be minuscule with a distorted, dysfunctional layout. visitors who have such a negative experience can become disengaged. depending on the technology behind the website, some require detailed coding and technical processes in order to optimize a website for mobile viewing. however, there are design packages where only one click is needed to enable mobile optimization. internet technology and mobile devices have created many opportunities for churches to enhance relationships with their members and the general public. e-commerce, though not a new idea is often overlooked by churches, but when used effectively can help encourage people to contribute. additionally, a website that is viewable by everyone creates positive experiences and can in turn do great things for the church. CE

Kelly Meeneghan is a spokesperson for 1&1 Internet Inc., Chesterbrook, PA. []

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