Churches have seen their budgets drop by an average of $25,000 in the past five years, and those who claimed financial difficulty has increased from 8% in 2000 to 16% in 2015. However, churches remain spiritually vital by minimizing conflict, using bi-vocational pastors, sharing inspirational worship, and focusing on the programs/ministries they do best rather than offering a wider variety.
Why this matters for church leaders:
As budgets trend downward for churches, efficiency and cutting costs are more important than ever.
- A Stable but Stagnant Economy: While the economy is no longer in a recession, employers have not raised wages for the most part, preventing most workers from increasing their tithes since the high point of the recession in 2010. Church budgets overall have yet to recover from the recession.
- Saving Costs on Staff: Bi-vocational pastors have increased. Full time pastors dropped from 71% of churches in 2010 to 62% of churches in 2015. Churches will need to rely on more volunteers and ministers who have side jobs in order to meet their budgets.
- Focus on Healthy Spirituality: Minimal conflict and a greater focus on ministry distinguishes a vital church from a struggling church. It shouldn’t be a surprise that the churches focused on ministering to others have less time to bicker over finances!
What are the key takeaways from this study on spiritual vitality for your church?
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