Tuesday, August 28, 2012

Survey: Slow Economy Continues to Weigh on Pastors

Pastors say the economy continues to have a negative impact on their churches despite stabilized giving, according to a survey by LifeWay Research.
The survey of 1,000 Protestant pastors asked respondents, "How is the economy impacting your church?" Almost two-thirds responded negatively, with 56 percent indicating somewhat negatively and 8 percent very negatively. One quarter of the pastors surveyed said, "The economy has had no impact on my church," while 9 percent indicated a positive impact on their churches.
"Pastor views on the economy are similar to many economic outlook surveys," says Scott McConnell, director of LifeWay Research. "We weren't surprised the current perspective of economic impact on churches is predominantly negative."
However, there is some good news. LifeWay Research found that while the sluggish economic recovery has translated into flat or reduced giving for many churches, the trend continues of fewer churches reporting declines in giving.
  • 23 percent of churches had lower giving in 2010 than 2009.
  • 19 percent of churches had lower giving in 2011 than in 2010.
  • Through May 2012 giving for 15 percent of churches has been below 2011.

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