Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Recession Catches Up To America's Churches

By Brooklyn Lowery

The National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER) declared in September that the recession that began in December 2007 ended in June 2009.

According to a recent LifeWay Research study, pastors of Protestant churches might disagree. After feeling moderate impact for two years, for the first time offering dollars have reportedly declined, and now 79 percent say the economy is impacting their church negatively.

Data gathered Oct. 7-14 by LifeWay Research reveals that 2010 is on course to be the third straight year with an increased number of churches receiving lower offerings than the prior year. Thirty-four percent of churches report receiving less offering this year than in 2009, as compared to 23 percent in 2009 that received less than in 2008, and 19 percent in 2008 that received less than in 2007.

“It’s hard to explain in financial terms how churches have done as well as they have the last three years,” said Scott McConnell, director of LifeWay Research. “Churches actually saw average offerings rise 3 percent in 2009, but the recession – though officially over mid last year – has finally taken its toll on churches in 2010.”

Read the rest of this article here and be sure to read to the end for some encouraging trends.

Until next time...share the journey and enjoy the ride!