Giving Remains Low for a Third of Churches

In this week’s Ministry Briefing we take a look at current giving trends:

In 20% of Protestant churches their offerings declined in the past year, while a third failed to meet their budget. Among those who were surveyed, 13% shared that the economy had improved giving in their congregations. This shortfall of 32% is better than 2010 when 46% of churches reported that they failed to meet their budget. Larger churches tended to meet their budget more often than smaller churches.

Source: Facts and Trends

Why does this matter for church leaders?

As you track giving and plan for future expenses, general trends can help keep your church in the black this year.

  • Shortfalls and Positive Trends: Although 32% of pastors reported that giving had fallen short of their projected budgets this year, the overall trend is positive, as 80% of pastors said the economy had hurt their churches in 2010, but that dropped to 56% in 2014.
  • Financial Security Is Hard to Find: Only 26% of churches exceeded their budget, meaning that the majority of churches are living on the edge financially with limited capacity to build up savings.
  • Planning for Shortfalls: If you’re among the 32% of pastors who saw a shortfall or the 39% who landed right on target, take some time to establish contingency plans if there are unanticipated declines in giving or unexpected expenses that add strain to your budget.

How can your church better insulate itself from the ups and downs of the economy?

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.


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 and am the Director of Connections for Harris Creek Baptist Church's Downtown Campus.