By Ed Stetzer
Earlier this year Lifeway Research conducted a telephone survey of 1,000 Protestant pastors to find out how churches have fared economically through the end of 2009. We did not put a lot of fanfare in the release a few weeks ago, but thought churches preparing for Fall fiscal year starts may be looking for facts to inform their plans.The results of this survey were not formally released to the media, but I have decided that you, my blog readers, are more important than a press release-- so, here is a blog exclusive!
We did this survey at the beginning of 2010 to look back at 2009. Although the majority of pastors continued to see the impact of the economy on their church as somewhat negative, giving in Protestant churches in the US has remained steady despite a tough economy, with 72% of Protestant churches finishing 2009 with offerings at or above 2008 levels. Almost two-thirds of Protestant churches finished 2009 at or above their budget.
Other surveys have found similar results. According to a new study from Giving USA, giving to religious organizations declined by just 0.7% last year.
So while we are all feeling the impact of a difficult economy, most of our churches have continued to give.
Until next time...share the journey and enjoy the ride!