Ministry Today – Serving and empowering church leaders

Although recent economic news show some positive signs the economy is improving, many Americans have cut back on donations to churches and other nonprofit organizations, according to a study released this week by the Barna Group.

The study, based on interviews with 1,008 U.S. adults conducted in January and early February, showed that three out of 10 Americans had dropped their level of support to churches and congregations in recent months.

Nearly one-quarter of church donors had cut contributions by 20 percent or more. That compares with just one-tenth who had done so in the first few months of the
economic recession. In other words, the segment of donors who have dramatically decreased their contributions to churches has more than doubled in the last 14 months.

But one measure of generosity that has stayed relatively consistent is tithing, the survey found. Overall, 7 percent of all adults reported donation levels equaling at least 10 percent of their income. The percentage of adults who tithe consistently has fallen between 5 percent and 7 percent since the beginning of the decade.

Churchgoers over the age of 45 (9 percent) were nearly twice as likely to tithe as those under that age (5 percent). But the study found that those with higher incomes were not necessarily more likely to tithe. Just 9 percent of adults with an annual household income of $75,000 or more and a four-year degree gave at least one-tenth of their income, while 11 percent of people with an annual household income of less than $20,000 and no college education gave an equivalent proportion.

But what does the research mean to pastors? David Kinnaman, president of the Barna Group, said leaders should maintain a conservative financial outlook. “The implication is that church and nonprofit leaders should prepare for another lean year," Kinnaman said. "Response to this reality suggests avoiding high-risk and untested fundraising efforts and communicating effectively with constituents. [Source: barna.org; 2/8/2010]

Leaders are readers! Subscribe now and get 3 magazines for the price of 1. Get Ministry Today, Charisma and SpiritLed Woman all for $24. YES - I'm a leader!

Ministry Today Subscription Special - Subscribe to Ministry Today magazine today and get 12 issues (2 full years) plus Amplified Leadership, a free leadership book for only $24.

Your Turn

Comment Guidelines
  • Lyndon Johnson

    63-Year-Old Law Still 'Threatens' Churches, Pastors

    Read why this law is so dangerous to the kingdom culture.

  • Explorers require significant input.

    How to Receive Clarity When Torn Between Choices

    Decision making is risky without guidance from the Holy Spirit.

  • Churches with less than 100 members possess a sense of potential that is alluring.

    The Great Value of Churches With Under 100 Members

    God can and does use small churches in significant ways to advance His Kingdom.

  • A dark cloud hangs over the 61 "deplorables" in Congress.

    Inauguration Day and the True Deplorables in Congress

    "To opt out of participation in this festival of the democratic process is to say publicly that ...

  • Start a Wildfire of Spiritual Growth in Your Church

    Start a Wildfire of Spiritual Growth in Your Church

    Watch how God can take one spark and turn it into a wildfire that impacts your ministry, your community and even future generations.

  • A new path is opening now.

    Prophecy: The Lord Is Opening Doors for Kingdom-Minded Businesses

    Find out how to activate this prophetic word of increase in your company.

  • The future of your ministry could depend on how you answer these questions.

    5 Questions You Will Answer in 2017

    The future of your life, ministry and church will be determined by the way you address these.

  • Local congregations are called to become Christ-like in their methodology, mission and essence.

    10 Traits of the Jesus-Driven Church

    If we attempt to walk in these, we will leave a powerful imprint on the world around us.

  • Do you have the proper training to be a soldier in God's army?

    The Training You Need as a Soldier in God's Army

    We are in already in a war. Let us enter the fight as fully trained soldiers with the full armor ...

Use Desktop Layout
Ministry Today Magazine — Serving and empowering church leaders