- Appeals court says county violated church's rights. "A federal appeals court ruled that a church's rights under the federal Religious Land Use and Institutionalized Persons Act may have been violated by a county's refusal to allow it to build a new and larger facility to accommodate its growing congregation. ... The church purchased a 119-acre property in 2004 to construct a 3,000-seat church, a school, a daycare, and an 'agricultural reserve.' Under the county's water and sewer plan, however, the county generally did not provide public service to properties in the agricultural reserve. The county denied the church's request for an exception, but county officials rejected the request at a meeting in which they also approved an amendment to the water and sewer plan prohibiting public water and sewer service to private institutional facilities in the agricultural reserve." An appeals court "concluded the county failed to demonstrate that its water and sewer plan was the least restrictive means of furthering [its] interest" ("Church's Rights to Build Larger Facility Violated by County," by Richard R. Hammar, ChurchLawAndTax.com).
- The top five church management software features. Capterra, a company that matches up churches with church management software (ChMS) providers it works with, says the following five features were most commonly requested by churches it served in 2013:
- Membership management
- Attendance tracking
- Donation management
- Calendar management
- Member profiles
("The Smart Guide to Buying Church Management Software," by Leah Merrill, capterra.com).
- Assume the best of others. "Whether it is someone on your team who is not answering an e-mail promptly or your partner not doing a household chore, before walking into the conversation, believe that the person is doing his or her best. It is not always an easy task—it is well worth it, though" ("Assume Good Intent," fierceinc.com).
- Turn off your management auto-pilot. Mindfulness is the process of actively noticing new things. Paying attention to what's going on around you, instead of operating on auto-pilot, can reduce stress, unlock creativity, and boost performance. To be more mindful and encourage the practice within your team:
- Make not knowing okay. Encourage your team to ask, "Why? What are the benefits of doing it this way versus another way?" Such questioning helps you recognize and take advantage of new opportunities.
- Imagine that your thoughts are completely transparent. If they were, you wouldn't think awful things about other people; you'd find a way to understand their perspectives.
- Remember that stress comes from how you look at events, not from the events themselves. If you feel overwhelmed by your responsibilities, question the belief that you're the only one who can do a task or that there's only one way to do it.
("Mindfulness in the Age of Complexity," an interview with Ellen Langer by Alison Beard, hbr.org).
- Make positive feedback specific. When it comes to recognizing employees, "(d)on't just say 'thanks for all you do.' Explain why you're appreciative. This allows your colleague to revisit their triumph and makes it clear what types of value-driven behavior fuel recognition. By communicating the specific driver of a recognition moment, the chances of a repeat performance are radically improved" ("10 Tips for Recognizing Employees," by Eric Mosley, boston.com).
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