Feb
29
2016

Americans are Still Unable to Build Savings

In this week’s Ministry Briefing, a look at the savings rate in America:

There are only 52% of Americans who have more in emergency savings than credit card debt, and that number has remained steady since 2011. The only sign of good news is that the number of Americans with no credit card debt and no savings increased from 13% to 21%. Most alarming, 22% of Americans have more credit card debt than savings.

Source: Fox Business

Why does this matter for church leaders?

As the economic recovery continues to elude the majority of the middle class and wages remain stagnant, churches continue to face the reality that the majority of their members are most likely struggling to save money and to pay off debt. While many churches are squeamish when it comes to teaching on finances, the time has come when we need to get over our fears and begin teaching financial stewardship as discipleship. Three more thoughts on this:

  • Financial Training: A simple course that provides guidelines and community for struggling members may help many of your church members either get out of debt or at least minimize what they put on credit cards.
  • Benevolence Funds: Do you have a benevolence fund that more wealthy members can donate to in order to help a family in need? If you have members living on the financial brink, a lost job or broken down car can put them in a big financial hole, but a benevolence fund can help cover some of those gaps for a family.
  • Stewardship Planning: If you need to upgrade a facility or fund a ministry, take note of the financial status of your congregation. Are your members in a good position with their debt? Do the majority of your members have the capacity to save money?

How can YOUR church help people grow financially?

Ministry Briefing helps church leaders save time and lead betterMinistry Briefing subscribers receive a weekly curated list of the 40 most important church-related stories of the week, summarized with the original link (like what you see above). We keep church leaders abreast of cultural trends, stocked with new sermon illustrations, and save them time so they can focus on what really matters. 

Readers of my blog can get their first month for $1 by clicking here.

avatar

About the Author: Matt Steen

I love Jesus, Theresa (my wife), the Redskins & Capitals, and am currently living in Waco, Texas where I am studying the finer points of BBQ (while working on my MDiv and MBA at Baylor University). When not studying, I serve church leaders through MinistryBriefing.com and am the Director of Connections for Harris Creek Baptist Church's Downtown Campus.