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Bryan Miles’ inspired this post after I read his article on Magsays.com about leveraging hotels for your church. Now let me tell you… I have seen churches set up shop in a lot of random places. Old grocery store buildings, at the YMCA and even a bar (to name a few). It’s becoming more common to hear about church services in theaters, too. It’s not about where the services are held, though, but about the messages that are conveyed there. By utilizing a place like a hotel, you can manage the way things are run and portrayed during your events… much like in your very own church. These large, people-filled venues are great for handling conventions, conferences, banquets and meetings. We just wrapped up our International Shelby Conference (ISC) a few weeks ago that was held at the Hyatt Regency River Walk hotel in San Antonio, TX. The Hyatt was perfect for the event because there was plenty of room for the vendors in the Exhibit Hall, the hotel staff was quick to help us with anything that we needed and all of the attendees and Shelby staff received a discount for staying there. We couldn’t have asked for a better place to host our conference this year. As far as holding Sunday morning or Wednesday night worship services, hotels can be great venues for those as well. There is so much empty space in so many hotels that you would be surprised with the benefits and cost-saving opportunities that are available. So… if you are looking for the next location for a service, banquet, or conference… be sure to check out one of your local hotels!


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I guess this title sounds a lot like I’m going to be talking today about missions work or spreading the gospel around the world, but it’s actually about something much closer to home. Something in our own towns, our own households and our own hearts. In Relevant Magazine’s July/August issue, Scott McKnight writes about the lack of people who want to talk about sin anymore. This really got me thinking of how true it is that society is not only changing its views on religious issues each year, but how much interpretation and slack we have given ourselves with God. McKnight writes:
Pendulums are designed to swing, and the pendulum swing toward God’s grace and love meant a generation has been nurtured on a message that has embraced a gracious view of  God, but has far too often ignored the zealous holiness of that God’s love.
It’s true… we dilute the Bible’s messages to make them fit our own standards of living. We justify everything by saying that God has already forgiven us so certain words and actions can be excused. A lot of people don’t even want to talk about the word ‘sin’ anymore. McKnight mentioned a student of his that had never heard ‘sin’ mentioned at church and a girl who was offended by the word altogether. How do you interpret some of the Bible’s strict messages? Do you excuse a lot of your own actions?


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NACBA: National Association of Church Business Administration As stated on their website: NACBA is an inter-denominational, professional, Christian organization which exists to serve the Church by advancing professional excellence in individuals serving Christ through administration in local churches. The annual NACBA conference is quickly approaching in just two days and Shelby is more than excited to be exhibiting again this year. It will be held in Washington D.C. at the Gaylord National hotel from July 1-3. People from all over the country will be there to exhibit or learn more about what the exhibitors and NACBA have to offer. If you aren’t planning to attend this year, we highly recommend that you look at next year’s conference. For everyone that is going… safe travels and we look forward to seeing you at booth 315!


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As most of you know, we just wrapped up our annual International Shelby Conference (ISC) last Friday and the results were better than we could have imagined. Many of you took to Twitter to share and document your time spent at the conference. We got some great feedback about the classes, the giveaways, the performances and the new relationships that were formed. Here is some of what was said: “Just sent my 1st email in @shelbysystems It was so easy, thanks to what I learned at #isc2011” -@emily_e_simmons “Just got home from #ISC2011. Great conference, learned a lot and met a bunch of awesome people.” -@alex_nicoletti “I cannot believe I won an iPad 2 from #ISC2011#ECFA. Thank you so much. I love @shelbysystems Conferences.” – @Donnie_Payne “Thank you Shelby!! What an incredible testimony and power worship this morning with Nicole C. Mullen at #ISC2011” – @batteberry “Thanks everyone @shelbysystems @ShelbyISC @OurArena for a great #isc2011 and your dedication to equipping churches for greater effectiveness” – @JonathanESmith A comment from a customer that couldn’t make it… “Wishing I was going to #ISC2011 this year, especially to rock Arena better. You are gonna learn a boat load of stuff!” – @RobinMArnold …and a comment left by another customer specifically about the software… @shelbysystems LOVE your software. It helps our staff to “get the job done”.” – @DebRosevear

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Have you ever asked your congregation this question? Have you ever asked yourself this question? Is it because of a paycheck, because it’s routine, because you will be judged if you don’t? Do you want me to keep asking questions? It can be pretty interesting to hear people’s honest answers when you ask them why they go to church every week. “I was raised to always go on Sundays.” “My wife goes and I don’t want to be the “bad one” that stays home.” “… I will be fired if I don’t go.” All good reasons. Some churches have focused on renovations in order to make themselves more attractive. Many ministries have put in coffee shops, lounging areas, etc. These kinds of changes bring people in, make them feel comfortable, then allow them to hear the message. Other churches rely on different kinds of attendance motivators. How does your church attract new members?


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Well… tomorrow is the last day of ISC, so today is when we get to pack in the last of the all-day classes and announce the winners from our raffle. So many of our exhibitors and friends donated items to be given away, including iPads, iPods, gift cards, personal document printers, a 3 night stay at the hotel for ISC 2012 and everyone’s favorite… money! These last few days have been a blast and all of the hard work that went into planning this year’s ISC has really paid off. Tomorrow will be the closing session and we will be holding two more classes after breakfast before everyone starts heading home. We’ve loved getting to meet so many new people this year as well as seeing some familiar faces. It is an honor to work with some of the nicest people and to get the chance to serve them every day.

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Today was the end of checking people in to ISC and the start of our official classes. General Sessions also started today and we gathered for breakfast first thing, Ryan Fonseca opened us up with an incredible worship time. Everyone has been visiting our vendors along vendor row and attending the dozens of classes to learn more about Shelby and Arena software, financials, website content, social media and more. So far the day is flying by and the feedback is very positive. We are so blessed to have the exhibitors that have been so gracious and the customers that make this entire event so wonderful. If you would like to follow the conference on Twitter use the hashtag #ISC2011.

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The booth’s been put up, the giveaways are laid out, the vendors are setting up and the first ISC attendees are checking in. It’s another sunny day in San Antonio and everyone’s excited to see the familiar faces of past attendees as well as the first-timers. Today is the first day that we’re seeing customers in the Lone Star State and it is my first taste (ever) of what ISC will be like. So far it has been a lot of fun! On today’s schedule, we have: Sales demos, Pre-ISC classes, conference and Arena Developer Summit check-in and a first-time attendee meeting. If you wont be attending ISC this year, be sure you don’t miss out in 2012!

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As many of you know, Shelby’s annual conference (ISC) is approaching in just two days. We have been hard at work getting everything set up and prepared to make it look great for all of our vendors and attendees. It’s a hot and sunny day in this year’s conference city, San Antonio, TX, and the view of the Alamo from the front of our conference area is breathtaking. We are so excited to see everyone and hope that if you are attending, you have a safe and enjoyable trip. See you soon!