Financial Optimism in the Church
With the current financial chaos distressing our markets, I was surprised when the Leadership Network released this survey on financial perspectives in the church. The survey of large churches took place this summer, before the most recent madness surrounding a $700 billion government bailout of the financial services sector. Regardless, I’m pleasantly surprised with the optimism. This snippet from the report:
The 105 large churches surveyed by Leadership Network this summer said they were “minimally” or “not at all” affected (56%) by the downturn in the economy, while 41% responded “somewhat negatively” and 3% “very negatively” on the question.
While the outlook is not as hopeful as in previous surveys conducted, a large measure of financial optimism remains:
In terms of expected income this year, 74% of surveyed churches expect that income will increase in 2009, while 66% expect that their church will probably meet its budget this year and 28% said they probably would not meet budget. Two years ago, the latter group constituted only 4% who would not meet budget.
While 74% of surveyed churches expect their income will increase next year, that’s down from 96% two years ago. Nevertheless, 13% expect income to remain the same and only 12% predict a decrease.
This survey was conducted among larger churches. Would the results be any different among small and mid-size churches? My guess is that mid-size churches are hit the hardest in times of financial crises. But what do you think about the financial effects on churches in harder economic times?