What Churches Should Know about Zoning
Plus four other trends, tips, ideas, and stats to help church leaders manage well this week.
What Churches Should Know about Zoning

1. What churches should know about real estate zoning. "Most cities are not in compliance with the law. Our study of more than 200 municipalities shows that more than half have no zone whatsoever where churches can freely locate. This is in violation of the federal Religious Land Use and Institutionalized Persons Act of 2000 (RLUIPA)" ("Eleven Things Churches Should Know about Zoning," by John Mauck, ChurchLawAndTax.com). Get more help with real estate and zoning issues for your church with When Your Church Buys Property, a downloadable resource, and Pastor, Church & Law, Volume 2: Church Property & Administration.

2. What Millennials want in a church. "When we asked Millennials to choose words to describe their vision of the ideal church, a two-thirds majority or greater picked the [first five words]:

Community (78%)

Sanctuary (77%)

Classic (67%)

Quiet (65%)

Casual (64%)

Dignified (36%)

Loud (35%)

Trendy (33%)

Auditorium (23%)

Privacy (22%)"

("Making Space for Millenials, " by Barna Group and The CKN, theckn.com).

3. Before you hit "send" … "People today expect an instantaneous reply to any message. But you shouldn't reply to everything right away. If you hit "send" without fully thinking, you could start a cycle of miscommunication. Here are other options:

  • A non-response response: "Got your message." This serves as acknowledgment. Though it may aggravate someone in the midst of a negotiation or serious exchange.
  • An expectation-setter: "Got it. A lot on the plate today, I'll get back to you tomorrow." This is often good middle ground. It's an immediate response and resets the timetable.
  • A confident pause: Don't respond. Really. Just don't. Pausing for at least 24 hours is a pretty good rule of thumb. Not responding can often work to your advantage, so you and the sender can think"

(Adapted from "Before You Respond to that Email, Pause" by Anthony K. Tjan, hbr.org).

4. When incompetence becomes discouragement. "I love those men and women who serve local churches. I love their commitment and sacrifice. And I wish I could do more to help them remain energized and encouraged … Here [is one of] the top ten sources of discouragement of pastors and church staff [based on an informal Twitter poll]:

Performing tasks where the pastor/staff does not have competencies. 'I know nothing about finances. I am not a good administrator. But both functions consume my time.'"

("Top 10 Sources of Discouragement of Pastors and Church Staff," by Chuck Lawless, thomrainer.com).

5. Notable quote: "Leadership and learning are indispensable to each other." —John F. Kennedy

This content is designed to provide accurate and authoritative information in regard to the subject matter covered. It is published with the understanding that the publisher is not engaged in rendering legal, accounting, or other professional service. If legal advice or other expert assistance is required, the services of a competent professional person should be sought. "From a Declaration of Principles jointly adopted by a Committee of the American Bar Association and a Committee of Publishers and Associations."

Due to the nature of the U.S. legal system, laws and regulations constantly change. The editors encourage readers to carefully search the site for all content related to the topic of interest and consult qualified local counsel to verify the status of specific statutes, laws, regulations, and precedential court holdings.

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