How the Economic Slump is (or isn’t) Hitting Churches

If America’s national recession and economic downturn are like a season of bad health, do churches have pneumonia, a bad cold, or merely the potential of illness?

Overall, churches are doing better than the national economy. If the economy has pneumonia, most churches either have only a cold or are adding precautions in anticipation of a possible illness. While all churches are closely monitoring their finances, and the situation is worsening for some, in general most churches are cautious but holding steady – and churches that are growing are doing well economically.

In an effort to get an accurate picture of the church’s current economic outlook, Leadership Network asked identical questions about the economy’s impact in surveys conducted in both 2008 and 2009. A comparison of the responses led to several surprises. In addition to Leadership Network’s own statistical analysis, the following report includes summaries and references to other recent research on church economics.

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