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In this day and age, a lot of what we hear about are foreclosing houses, increasing prices, and decreasing business locations. We all might need to take some advice from the Assemblies of God, one of the largest denominations in the country, which seems to be right on track with how to reach out to people and attract them to their churches. According to a Christianity Today blog post from last week, the Assemblies of God planted 368 churches in 2011 alone. They now have 12,595 Assemblies of God congregations in the country, which includes the numbers of churches that closed in 2011. “The denomination, which includes 3 million U.S. members, has a “Church Multiplication Network” that supports church planters with training and funding,” said Adelle Banks, who wrote the post. This was an interesting idea to me, because the impact of this group has made all the difference in the growth of the denomination. Having people set aside to train others and provide them with the tools for planting churches has resulted in bringing many more people to God. The article also goes on to say that a goal was made to try and plant one church a day last year. They obviously put a lot of effort into that goal and exceeded it. How did your church do in 2011? Did you see growth, did you see a decline, or did attendance stay about the same?  

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The Year-End can be a stressful time. That’s why Shelby Systems’ Support Manager, Chris Benson, and v.5 Account Manager, Edward Eoff, have joined us for a brief discussion of year-end topics in this Shelby podcast. They will explain what you need to know about the year-end update, running W2s (and other forms), closing procedures, free year-end resources, and how to find additional help. Check out this brief video presentation and make your year-end easy and stress-free! Another reminder, the Shelby Support Department will be open an additional hour (7 AM-7 PM CST) from now until January 13th. In addition to the extended hour, we will also be open from 8 AM-12 PM on Saturday, January 7th and Saturday, January 14th. If you can’t see the podcast below, click on this link to watch it on our Podcast Page. ShelbyPODCAST: Year-End Discussion from Shelby Systems Media on Vimeo.

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I came across Todd Rhoades’ post from Monday about pastor Chuck Smith recently being diagnosed with lung cancer. He is a pastor at Calvary Chapel in Florida, a church that is a friend and partner of Shelby Systems. Pastor Smith will have more details on the prognosis after Tuesday, but please keep him and his family in your prayers while they are going through this challenge.


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We are all different. In many different ways and to many different extremes, we have all been scarred. Likewise, we have all scarred someone. It’s funny, too, how each one of us handles it. I’ve always looked at those who are quick to forgive as amazing people. It’s not one of my strong points to admit my faults and apologize on the spot. I often need time and space before I can apologize. What’s even weirder, is that I find myself being much more forgiving to those whom I hardly know, as opposed to those I love. Another tendency is to become defensive, even when you know you are wrong. So why are we like that? Why does pride have such a strong hold on us? Our pride makes such an impression on our hearts that we are often willing to hurt others in order to protect it. It’s really ridiculous. Donald Miller is a popular Christian speaker, writer, and blogger.  I was recently reading his blog when he talked about a tough situation that he’s in and he just realized (thanks to a friend) that he has been running from this problem for months now. His raw and honest post hit home with me and I started reading into the comments section and found even more great confessions from people having similar experiences. One person wrote, “Be still and know that I am God” (Psalm 46:10). This 8-word verse is so powerful. It is humbling. To know that God is all-powerful, always there and in complete control is a very comforting (and terrifying) thing. Another woman wrote about how she, too, runs from her problems, but she also tends to “pick up a weapon and fight”. Truth is, we could all probably use some help with how we handle hard times. I recently saw the quote from Reinhold Niebuhr that says, “God grant me the serenity to accept the things that I cannot change, courage to change the things I can, and wisdom to know the difference.” This is another quote that can help remind us to be more secure and at peace with our circumstances. How do you handle tough situations? Do you find yourself running or leaning on God more often?


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Ed Stetzer, who writes for the Lifeway Research Blog, wrote an article a few months ago asking, “Should Churches Have Multiple Worship Service Styles?” This question is one that many churches have struggled with. There are always going to be people joining or visiting your church who prefer a certain style of worship, but it is almost impossible to try and please everyone. The larger your church gets, the more diverse your congregation becomes. This is a good thing, but that opens the window even wider for more opinions and expectations. Remember my post back in the day about demanding church members who expect something from your church that is different from your expectations? To try and mold your services to meet those expectations is a great idea, but it is important to hold tightly to the standards and expectations that your church was founded on. Some churches hold a more traditional service earlier in the morning and hold the more contemporary one at the later hour. Some even move the contemporary one to a Saturday night service. It’s all what works best for the staff and members. Does your church stick with the more contemporary services or more traditional services? Or both?


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Happy New YearWe aren’t quite sure where 2011 went, but we are excited about 2012 and all that will come with it. Wishing each of you a safe and relaxing New Year’s weekend! Our office will be closed on Monday, January 2nd but will reopen on Tuesday, January 3rd. Don’t forget that our Shelby Support Department will be open January 3rd-13th for an additional hour (7 AM-7 PM CST).  In addition to the extended hour, we will also be open from 8 AM-12 PM on Saturday, January 7th and Saturday, January 14th.


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Our v.5.10 and v.5.11 Year-End Releases are now available! There are three install options, depending on what best suits your needs. Be sure to go to the Shelby Community to get more information and to install the updates! Also, from January 3rd-13th, the Shelby Support Department will be open an additional hour (7 AM-7 PM CST).  In addition to the extended hour, we will also be open from 8 AM-12 PM on January 7th and January 14th (Saturdays). If you have any questions, please contact Shelby Systems Support at (888) 697-4352 or . Merry Christmas, everyone!


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We wish you all a safe, fun and joyous Christmas. We consider ourselves so privileged to have customers like you and we want to thank you all for what you do each day. Our office will be closed Friday, December 23rd and will reopen Tuesday, December 27th. Also, if you haven’t seen it yet, be sure to check out our 2011 Christmas video! Christmas Greeting From Shelby Systems 2011 from Shelby Systems Media on Vimeo.

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Why 13? Because that’s how many I could think of. We would love for you to add to the list in the comments section if you have any embarrassing church moments! 1. Throwing away your church bulletin as you walk out. People might be staring, or it might be in your head. Who really knows? 2. Introducing yourself to the person sitting closest to you and having them tell you that you’ve met a few times before. 3. Bringing in your own cup of coffee to realize that the church frowns upon food and drinks in the sanctuary. 4. Realizing that you are way overdressed. 5. Realizing that you are way underdressed. 6. Realizing that you came on the one day a year when the topic is “Church Financials”. 7. Realizing that all of the members have a permanent name tag (usually only applicable to smaller churches)… so you stick out as the “new person”. 8. Being asked if you are a visitor and you’ve attended the church for 7 years. 9. Dropping the offering plate (I’ve done this). 10. Having your child decide that he is going to have a meltdown in the middle of the service. 11. Having your phone go off during a prayer. 12. Sitting down next to a random Bible or jacket and having someone tell you that you are sitting in a reserved seat. 13. Not realizing when to pray/when a prayer is over and keeping your eyes open/closed. Most churches try to avoid letting these awkward moments happen, but they aren’t always preventable. It’s unfortunate to have members or visitors leave because they feel uncomfortable. What embarrassing moments have you experienced at church? Does your church do anything to try and prevent embarrassing/awkward situations?